The Last Supper

In the run up to Halloween, here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

At the beginning of my second year of college, I moved into a flat in West Bromwich. It was quite a distance from the University but it was the only thing I could find that I could afford. There was a bus ride into Birmingham and so I just had to get used to the idea of commuting.

At some point I had acquired a very large paper poster of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. I really liked the painting and would often spend time studying the detail of the picture. It hung proudly on the main wall of the flat.

One evening, I went out and ended up at a party. I met a girl there who was an art student. We got talking and I mentioned that I wrote poetry and song lyrics she talked to me about how she was expected to paint and create a group of art items around a theme for a project. Somehow, we arrived at the idea, that perhaps she would use my poetry for that. The only thing left to do was for her to review the poems and so we made arrangements for her to visit the following Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, when it finally arrived, I tried to tidy and clean the flat. I was quite keen to impress her if the truth be told. I even went out and bought a few small cakes from the bakery and spent a small fortune on some decent instant coffee. She duly arrived and she sat opposite me across a small table and in between munching on the cakes, she began to read some of my poetry . At once, she spotted the theme that we had discussed and that had initially piqued her interest – fear, ghosts, astral plane and so on.

“Why do you write so many on that set of topics,” she asked.

I tried my best to explain. I told her about the Cavalier ghost, the activities at my house that had followed me to West Bromwich, about my interest in understanding it all and my avid reading of books on magic and the esoteric.

She laughed. “That’s a load of bloody nonsense,” she giggled.

To be honest, I was a bit angered by that reaction. She sits there, reading my innermost secrets in those poems and when I explain what motivated them she laughs!

“No, it isn’t nonsense. Not at all,” I said firmly.

“Of course, it is. There are no such things as ghosts.” She said matter of factly. “Magic is something done on stage by people using trickery.”

“No, you are wrong.”

“Prove it,” she said.

Those two words – Prove it – Damn it, I would try. I was pretty angry at having my intelligence questioned and being insulted by a person who had plainly never experienced anything at all unusual. Prove it Indeed.

I began mentally repeating the words “Make something happen – prove it to her.” I didn’t really expect anything to happen to be honest. I had not really ever tried to make something happen as to be honest, I was too scared of what might happen myself to try. Anger and indignation, pride and ego this time however, motivated me to try. There was no technique, no magic words, just a deep-seated will driven by anger to make her eat those words.

“I will,” I said forcefully.

To my utter amazement, the windows behind me suddenly rattled and with a loud cracking noise, blew wide open. A rush of air entered the flat blowing her hair back and scattering the pile of poems all around the room. Her eyes, probably like mine, widened in total shock and awe. Then, the piece de resistance, the huge paper Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper picture, pinned to the wall with pins, suddenly billowed off from that wall behind her, passed over her head and landed on the coffee table in front of her. It actually flew against the wind from the window to get there.

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There was a moments silence as she surveyed and computed what had just occurred. White as a sheet, she leapt to her feet, clutched her belongings and ran out of the door. I never saw her again.

I too was shocked. Actually scared silly might be more accurate.

I really do not know what happened that afternoon. Did I really cause that to happen or was it simply just a freakish coincidence that at the moment I willed something to happen, a strong wind blew open the windows of the flat. It had never happened before and it never happened again. I guess I will never know. It was however, a long time before I ever tried to work magic again.

If you enjoyed this story you will also enjoy my novel – The Last Observer – great price on Kindle all winter! or read the poems I wrote at college in Weird Tales, my first collection of published poetry.

The Power of Imagination

A fall into the ocean
A swim across the sea
Vivid imagination
Scheming silently
But can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it too?

A flight into space
An atomic spark
Particle to particle
Like a walk in the park
But can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it too?

Imagination
Imagination
Just deprivation
Sleep deprivation
A word is forming
Some translation
Form and meaning of
Imagination

Weird Tales CoverOriginally published in Weird Tales, 2006 by G. Michael Vasey

Poltergeist

In the run up to Halloween, here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

up in my house was on the whole, pretty good. We had great parents, almost every weekend we were gone camping somewhere, we had two proper holidays each year and I have no complaints at all. Just a bunch of heartfelt thanks to my parents and a growing sense of awe as to how they did all that with three small boys and not a lot of money.

When I was eleven, we moved. It was a good move to be honest from a terraced three up, two down in west Hull to a rather nice semi-detached outside of Hull. It meant a better school and a nicer environment back then. It stretched my parents’ finances a bit too. It is funny though that my brothers and I really did not like that house the first time we saw it. It had terrible wallpapers, it was gloomy and ill lit, very cold and damp without central heating. Between the three of us, there was no excitement at moving there.

Of course, within a few months, that house was completely different. Central heating had been installed, old fireplaces blocked up and replaced with modern gas fires, new wallpaper and décor and new curtains. To make it seem more homely, a couple of internal windows had been added letting much more light enter into the rooms as well. It was transformed. All was well in the Vasey household. But it wasn’t to stay that way.

The first incident was the Cavalier ghost and after that, I swapped rooms with my little brother giving me the smallest bedroom at the front of the house but also the privacy of my own room. I gradually came to loath that room. It started with the noises; strange noises at all times of day but mostly in the dead of night. Scrapping sounds and scratching sounds. Dad put it down to maybe a squirrel in the loft. I wasn’t as convinced.

Things would also move around. I would place my watch by the bathroom sink to get washed and find it in the kitchen. At first, I thought it was Dad having fun as he was always a great practical joker but it soon became apparent that it was not him. Keys went missing. Money too. These would then just as mysteriously turn up in the strangest places like on a window ledge or under the sofa cushions.

The next developments though were what eventually had me relieved to leave and go to college. It was what kept me awake at night in total fear. Have you noticed that silence is loud? I mean when you are really really focused on listening to nothing it is very, very loud. I would lie in bed, head under the bedclothes, bedside light on and listen. The scratting sounds, scratching sounds and the sounds of doors opening that I knew were locked, the sounds of footsteps and breathing. It was enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

Supernatural44

I would actually dread coming home from college for a weekend or the summer because of this. By the way, this only happened when I was there! Just for me apparently. I would literally go out and get drunk to stay there. The best example was one night close to Christmas. I was home from college and had been out with my friend and had a few. I was sleeping on the floor in my brother’s room that night. I lay down hoping to pass right out but instead I was cold stone sober and scared half to death by the sound of the front door opening. Now, the first thing I thought was that somehow I had left the door unlocked but I knew that wasn’t the case as I had checked it on the way up the stairs. The key was in the lock and that door was locked.

The front door opened and closed as I listened sitting half up in bed. There was a deep sigh and a little cough. Ice-cold fear ran through my veins. The silence was so loud it was unbearable. Then, the first foot step and creak of the bottom stair. My heart was beating as if to burst. Another long sigh and another step. And another. I was now fumbling for the light but my hands were shaking so hard I couldn’t find it. By now, the steps seemed to be at the top of the stair and moving along the hallway. The floorboards creaked and there was that sigh again. I was frozen to the spot but what I actually wanted to do was run. Run and anywhere. There was a moment’s silence and then I watched in disbelief and horror as the bedroom door began to slowly swing open.

I screamed. I screamed so loud you probably heard me in London.

A few moments passed by and then the door flew open and there to my utter relief stood my Dad in his pajamas holding a very large spanner in one hand and a flashlight in the other. He switched in the light and my brother looked about him in a state of shock through two sleepy looking eyes.

“It’s OK, I heard that too,” said my Dad. “I heard it too.”

We sat Dad and I and my brother for quite a while but all was quiet. Whatever it was it had gone. I eventually fell asleep and my Dad went back to bed checking the doors in the process.
We didn’t talk much about it the next day. It was simply something that happened in that house when I was home. My Dad said it was poltergeist activity and it was centered around me. I think he was right. We didn’t really know what to do about it but we did discover one thing. If I got angry, the phenomena stopped. So, that is what I would do. I would get angry and shout at whatever it was to get lost or perhaps using even more choice phrases. If a door started to open, instead of screaming, I pulled the door open with a verbal challenge. It had the desired effect.

The activity followed me though. It followed me to Aston University until I met Anantha. But that is another story.

If you enjoyed this story you will also enjoy my novel – The Last Observer – great price on Kindle all winter!

Just A Game?

In the run up to Halloween, here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

If there is one game that most certainly is not a game it is the Ouija board and I have avoided that board like the plague most of my life. However, one night, in my late teens, my friend and I went to visit an ex-teacher of his. Well actually, we went on the pretext of visiting her but actually, it was her daughter we really went to see but that really is as they say another story.
It was quite late by the time we arrived. We had already been for a beer at the pub and then had the idea to visit as we drove home. Their house was a huge home in a well to do area outside Hull. It was four stories and must have been well over a hundred years old. A beautiful home.

Inside, we were told that the daughters were playing in the kitchen a board game with some friends. One look told me all I needed to know. It was an Ouija board.

“No, that’s not for me,” I said immediately.

My friend decided to join them and so I sat next door in the TV lounge with the teacher and we watched a movie in near silence. I guess about 40 minutes had passed when I seemed that next door, pandemonium suddenly broke loose. The door opened and my friend cam running out, through the room, out into the hallway and up the stairs followed by the girls. We were stunned. My friend was streaming tears, sobbing, as he ran. For the next 5 minutes or so, we all chased him around the house. He sobbed and ran, we chased. It was simply bizarre behavior.

ouija

In the end, it was I who caught him on the stairs. By now, I suspected that someone or something was in control of my friend and, as my arm caught him on the staircase I said, “Come into me.”
I don’t remember much of what happened after that. Apparently, the entity took my invitation to heart and did indeed enter me with the result that I too started running around the house sobbing being chased by everyone. After around 30 minutes of this, I ‘woke up’ at the bottom of the staircase with wet cheeks and a bunch of concerned faces all staring down at me.

It would seem that the family thought that their house was haunted by a specific entity and in the kitchen, they had started to try to converse with this entity. Thinking that the conversation was simply one of them playing games with the others, my friend had demanded the entity ‘prove it’ with stunning results. Apparently, the entity was looking for something that it felt it had lost and was searching the house crying as it searched. Somehow, both my friend and then I had tapped into this and began to exhibit the same behavior.

The funny thing is that I do not recall anything of that 30 or so minutes. It is as if I had vacated the premises for that entire time. Though where I went to while the entity used my body, I do not know. It only confirmed my suspicions that Ouija boards are best left well alone.

If you enjoyed this story, you will love my novel – The Last Observer – buy it here.

Family Bible

“Come and look at this,” my father said with a tone in his voice I recognized as meaning it was something interesting.

I walked over to our kitchen table curiously. He had a book. It was actually a huge book and leather-bound.

“It’s a bible,” explained my Dad.

It was a large and heavy, black, leather-bound bible. It looked quite old too.

“It belonged to neighbors of mine when I was a boy,” explained Dad leafing through some of the pages. “Here, look at this.”

The inside cover of this huge family bible was written in and once I got used to the old fashioned hand writing, I realised it was a four generation family tree. Did it mark the path through the family that this bible had taken?

As if answering my mental question, Dad told me that the Bible had been acquired in the 17th Century and passed down through several generations of the family. That family was now extinct. It had died out with the recent death of the old lady who had given Dad this bible for safe keeping.

I found this bible fascinating. It’s age, the smell of the paper, the strange typeface used, the binding and leather cover that was embossed in a strange design. It was a mysterious book in many respects.

We examined the book for quite a while and then my Father packed it in paper and took it up to the attic where it would stay at least for the time being. We thought nothing more of that bible.

In the days and weeks that followed, strange things began to happen in the house. It started with creaks and groans, unexplained bangs and crashes from the attic. “Just the heating and cooling of the rafters,” my Dad told us reassuringly. But things didn’t improve and if anything, steadily got worse. Nights were filled with strange sounds and sudden crashes that woke us all up. Added to some of the other things that I was experiencing at the time, it meant I hardly slept through fear. I would lay there waiting for the sounds to start and then when they did growing more and more jumpy and afraid as they continued through the night.

Unfortunately however, other sounds began to emerge from the attic. Deep sighs that sounded as if the most depressed person you had ever met just let out their last death rattle. Then there were the slow, dragging footsteps punctuated with those horrible deep sighs of despair and followed by a few more footsteps.

I wasn’t the only one hearing these sounds every night and I met my father on one or two occasions armed with flashlight heading up the vertical pull-down ladder into that little square hole in the roof at the top of the stairs. He was investigating those sounds although mostly he just muttered something about me getting back to bed.

The sounds were truly scary. Imagine if every night it sounded like some one or some thing was slowly moving around your attic amongst crashes and creaks, sighs and groans. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck hearing those sounds as the cold hands of fear seemed to clasp around my neck slowly strangling me.

As abruptly as they started, they stopped. I noticed almost immediately and finally slept. No noises that night nor the next or the next. In fact, the noises were gone and never returned.

It was only several years later that I happened to be talking to my Dad about the noises that an explanation emerged.

“It was that bloody bible I am sure of it,” said my father somewhat to my surprise.

“Bible? you mean that big family bible you showed me that day?” I asked.

“Yes, that one. It always did give me a bad feeling and that family never really liked us so I had wondered why we were given it. One night, I went up in the attic and found the damn thing. I took it down, placed it in one of those old biscuit tins and then the next day, I buried it at the bottom of the garden. Seemed to work,” he added looking at me with a grin.

Who knows if it was that bible or what the sounds really were but one thing is for sure, if you one day happen to dig up an old biscuit tin that contains an old leather family bible, throw it away as quick as you can.

bible

If you enjoyed this story you will also like my novel – The Last Observer. Its on offer right now on Kindle.

The Voice

Thinking about the haunted jacket incident has brought back a few other memories and, in the run up to Halloween, I think I will develop a theme of ghostly experiences over the coming days. In that vein, here is today’s true scary story.

It was the summer of 1981. Bryan Adams was playing on the radio, the sun was shining and I was driving a brand new Ford Mustang. I was in Nova Scotia, Canada where I was doing my first season of fieldwork for my Ph.D. thesis. Things could not be better.

mustang

I had applied for a couple of Ph.D. programs earlier that summer. The one at Strathclyde University in conjunction with the British Geological Survey in Leeds was the one I wanted for all sorts of reasons. Firstly, it involved traveling to Nova Scotia, second, it was a topic that interested me and finally, I thought unlike many others that seemed designed to turn you into a university academic, this one might actually help me get a job. Even the trip for the interview had been fun as I left my parents caravanning with my brothers somewhere deep in the Yorkshire Dales and jumped on train to Glasgow. Back in 1981, this was still major travel and I reveled in traveling. Prof. P. Mcl. Donald Duff seemed a nice man and we got along very well. I had a funny feeling I would get the gig and I did with one proviso…. I needed a drivers license as otherwise getting about in Nova Scotia might be a serious issue.

Back at home, my father patiently instructed me in driving in the Mark 1 Ford Cortina he had purchased especially for the purpose – although I do think he liked the car too. I vividly recall the end of one lesson in which I had done quite well and as I pulled up outside the house, Dad invited me to drive into the driveway. I tried. I took half the front brick wall with me and later that night listened guiltily from my bed as my father hammered the car back into some semblance of shape.

My driving test was booked and there would be enough time to take a second attempt if necessary before my adventure to Nova Scotia began. I had a couple of proper lessons with a trained instructor and he agreed that I was ready. Fingers crossed then. The problem as I now look back was opting to use the Ford Cortina to take the test. It was old and it looked old. It was also sluggish to take off. I drove well but still failed the test due to ‘undue hesitation’ – I was never sure whether it was me or the car that caused that but yes, knowing the car, I was careful pulling out into the main road.

My second attempt was scheduled already and I decided to use the much newer vehicle provided by my professional driving instructor. It was a good decision and I drove straight through the test into a spanking new drivers license. I was now qualified to start the Ph.D, fieldwork.

I took the train to London lugging a huge suitcase. I then took the tube to Heathrow and was really terrified I wouldn’t make it on time. Of course, I did. I do not recall what sort of plane it was but it had a standing bar at the front where you could drink and smoke….. bizarre. I had never flown before and as the wheels left the ground I wasn’t sure if I really liked it either. A couple of gin and tonics later, I decided that I did.

I was met on arrival by the Prof and his wife and for the first week or so he drove me around. At the end of that period, we went to the rental company and rented my car – a brand new red Ford Escort. I couldn’t believe it – I mean, what could possibly get better? Nova Scotia, brand new car and whole new world to explore…..

The Escort lasted a day. On my first day on my own, I stopped for lunch at a burger joint. It had a front car park and I pulled up, parked, pulled on the handbrake, got out, closed the door and stood watching as the car rolled slowly forward and then down a 4 foot drop into the front garden of the house next door! Apparently, in an automatic car, you are supposed to leave it in PARK, not neutral and everyone knows that handbrakes are useless in automatic vehicles I was later told…. Was it a premonition of things to come?

So, now you know how I ended up driving a 2 liter Mustang down a grit road in Nova Scotia. The only replacement that they could offer was that beauty and, let me tell you, it was a beauty. It went very well and it looked great.

Off the main roads in Nova Scotia – at least back then, the roads are gravel and grit. So there I was driving a beast of a car down a gravel road, Bryan Adams full blast on the radio, the sun streaming through the retractable top enjoying every second of this freedom. I was going very fast. Very very fast indeed. Why not? It was fun.

“Gary – slow down!” said a voice behind me.

I swiveled around, the hairs on the back of my neck had jumped to attention and my heart was beating like crazy. There was no one there. I slowed instinctively anyway as I was as you might expect, very puzzled and just a little scared.

“SLOW DOWN!” said the voice again – louder this time.

I hit the brake quite hard in surprise and started to slow down abruptly. The tires spun in the gravel and the car started to drift in a skid. I steered into it and around the hairpin bend that suddenly appeared in front of me. I just made it around that bend with one wheel hanging over the edge momentarily before the skid ended and the tires engaged again pulling me to safety.

“Told you,” said the voice behind me.

I stopped. I was shaking like a leaf. After a while, I got out, lit a cigarette with shaking hands and went back to the hairpin bend. It was a sheer drop perhaps 40 to 50 feet into a lake below. There had been no road sign, no warning except for the voice. Had it not been for that voice, I would have been dead or badly injured in the lake below.

I think I looked like a ghost. But what or who that miraculous voice was I will never know. But it saved my life.

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If you enjoyed this story, you will adore my sci-fi, occult horror story – The Last Observer

Four Wheel Eroticism

Here comes trouble
Masquerading as adventure
As compelling a mistress
As there could ever be
Temptation without trepidation
It’s a sexy little package
A delight to behold
All dressed up in leather
All fur coat and no knickers
Excitement or maybe entrapment
Step on that pedal
To get A to B very fast
Low slung wide tyres
Tightly hugging the road
Automobile all shiny cold steel
Designed as a turn on
Drop your wallet
And run real fast
Four wheel eroticism
With an appetite to last

ferrariaurellia