Ghost Stories Beyond the Light

I answer questions on Quora now and then, and one of the most common is "Do you believe in ghosts?"

Per LaChaise Cemetery in Paris

I asked that question to my father as a toddler and his reply still holds up; "Ghosts don't exist."

Which I agree.  Ghosts, per se, do not exist.  Because they aren't "ghosts." They're just folks who are no longer on the planet.  They're people. They're still here.  Get over it.

I've seen ghosts most of my life - but didn't concern myself about it. Honestly.  It wasn't until they started to bug me that I actually thought about who or what they might be.

Like the fellow who used to live in my apartment in Santa Monica. I used to see him sitting on the edge of my bed.  "Who are you?" I got the impression he'd lived there before. Then I woke up to find him lying next to me on the bed. Naked. I jumped out of it (he disappeared).  I said "Dude. I don't mind you hanging out in your hold apt, but do not wake me up with your naked ass!"

He stopped. Then one day a new tenant ran in from next door.  Apt had been empty for years.  She screamed. "I was brushing my teeth and I looked up and a guy was standing behind me in the mirror!"  I said "Oh, was he about 5'10, sandy hair?" She said "Yes!"  I said "Oh, he's just the fellow who used to live here.  If you just tell him to stop doing that, he will."

Years later, I was in the post office standing next to a guy writing his return address on an envelope and recognized the address. (What are the odds?) I said "Dude, you live with a ghost."  He said "What?"  I told him the story... he didn't like hearing the story.  Too bad.  He lives with a ghost. Get over it.

I was in Sydney visiting the home of a friend who'd just sold his house. (Phillip Noyce and Jan Sharp in Darlinghurst) It was empty save for a bed which they left behind so I could camp out for a couple of fun filled weeks.  

One morning I awoke to see a man in a painter's outfit hanging from the rafters.  When he saw me react, he reacted - and said in an Aussie accent; "Terribly sorry mate, it's just something I feel the need to do." Then a ladder appeared, and he pulled the rope from his rafter and CLIMBED DOWN THE LADDER.  I blinked... and it was gone.

Not his ladder

I spoke to Jan Sharp later that day "What's up with the ghost?" She asked what I was talking about. I told her.  She said "Well our painter did hang himself but he did so in his own home."  I said "Well, he must like your home better because he's still hanging around."

I originally thought he was Mohawk
but research tells me he was Iroquois.
I was teaching in Maine - I woke to find a native american in full battle gear standing over me with an axe and a knife.  His arms were dripping something - looked like blood - could have been paint.  He was SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER in my face.  Like "Get out!" but in Mohawk or Iroquois. I jumped up and he disappeared.  I said "Look, I'm only teaching here in Maine for a week - I'll be gone then, okay?"  And for that entire week slept with every light on, tv on, radio on. He didn't bug me again.

Like I say - just didn't bother with them. If they don't bother me, why bother them?

Can you hear me now?
Until I was staying at a friend's place in Connecticut.  And my wife and I heard "knocking" "tapping" outside the wall - where no one could knock. And then the lights going on and off - and a groan... whenever it rained.  

One night I had a vivid dream where I met this "angry presence" - which I saw covered in blood, in a british uniform - old, tattered, beard... angry fellow showed me the horrors of his situation.  Dead bodies all around - moaning and general horror.

I did some research, found the home was built on a British garrison from 1812. I think I was being shown the hospital - or the dungeon - I don't know.  It was pretty nasty.  

But the next time this fellow appeared - sensing his presence "enter the room" in a cloud of anger. I said "Hi. Look. I know you're upset that we're staying in your home.  I apologize. However, if you look around you'll see a light, and beyond that light is everyone you've ever loved. Just go into that light and you'll see what I'm talking about."  I was guessing this to be the case - I had just started this research, and it seemed like the most logical, compassionate thing to say.
Typical 1812 uniform

He didn't bother us again that trip... and I thought, "wow, cool, it worked." (We'd tried sage and any other number of suggestions... never told our hosts about it. Why tell them "There's a scary ghost in your guest house?")  

But a year later we were back, and this time I had a dream where this young handsome guy came to visit - he was wearing 19th century clothes, three piece suit - trimmed beard. He came up to me and said in the most proper English; "I just wanted to come back and thank you for sending me home."

Mind you - I ASSUMED this was make believe - wishful thinking.  But I also allowed it might not be.  I may have mentioned this in my books - but maybe not. I'm writing this down, because I tried this technique a few weeks ago.

George Noory of "Coast to Coast" fame.

I was in Boulder shooting "Beyond Belief" with George Noory.  The episode hasn't aired yet, but will soon. I was in the makeup room with the very talented makeup artist, and we were catching up since my last appearance.  

A producer came in and said "Tell him about the ghost!"  She said "Oh yeah, there's a ghost in the studio."  I asked about him. She said she saw him one day - walking in to a locked set - hiding behind some lights.  She said the crew all knew "someone" was moving lights around, breaking them, doing stuff in a locked room - but she also "saw him."

George Noory and Jennifer Shaffer

I asked if she'd seen ghosts before. "When I was younger."  I said, "Let's try an experiment, shall we?" Who is this guy?  She said "No idea."  I said, "Let's ask.  Try to remember what you saw. Can you freeze what you saw as a photograph? or a hologram?" 

She said "Ok."  "Move closer to him, what does he look like?" She described a young man in his 20's, sandy hair, eyes, etc.  I said "Let's ask him. Who are you?" She "heard" a name - told it to me, and we "asked him" what he was doing there. She said her first impression was that he died nearby in a fire in the 1950's. 

She said "he's very angry." I said "What about?" She said... "Oh my god! About our show! He's angry because he says the people who come on the show are not telling the truth about what it's like over there!"  

She laughed - the producer was still in the room, and they both laughed at that idea; a critic from the flipside.  I said "What is it they're getting wrong?"  She said "He says "Everything."

I said, "Look around you my friend. There's a light. And beyond that light is everyone you've ever loved and who ever loved you. Do you want to go and see it?" She said "No, he's too angry."  

I thought okay, try another tack.  I said "Well, can you see the light?" "Yes." "Can you go closer to it?" "Okay." "Describe what you feel."  He said "It feels warmer."  I said "Okay, step through the light."  He said "No, I don't want to let go of my anger."  

I said, "It's okay. Your anger will stay here.  You can always come back and retrieve it.  Just put your hand through the light, how does that feel?"  "Warmer."  I said "Now stand in the light, what's that feel like?" She/he said "I feel less angry."  I said "Okay, step on the other side of the light - you can always come back here, this sound stage isn't going anywhere."  (If I were filming this, this is the moment I would have shoved the fellow "through the door." But I didn't. I just asked him to check out the other side.)

He said "Okay." I said "Describe what you're seeing."  He said "I'm seeing everything differently..." I said "Look around. Do you see your family?"  He said "I hate my family. I wouldn't go to them if I saw them."  

I pressed him; "But look carefully. See anyone?" He said "I see my uncle. He's the only person who loved me."  I said "Can we ask your uncle to come over here?" He said "okay."  

I said "Take his hand. What does that feel like?"  He said he felt love, comfort, safety.  I asked if the uncle would show him around a bit?" The uncle said, "Sure." (She said, "He's saying "sure.")

I said "Look, you can always come back - do you want to come back?" And he said "No, I want to stay here with my uncle for awhile."

With George in the makeup room.

George popped his head in and off I went to do the show.  After the show, I went back to get my bag and the make-up artist said "He came back!" 

I thought... "Oh no, it didn't work. Their ghost had returned."  I said "It didn't work?"  She said "No, he just came back to thank me for helping him."  

It did work.

So in answer to the question "What would you say to a ghost now that you know the architecture of the flipside?" that's what I'd say. "Everyone who ever loved you, or whom you loved, is on the other side of that light."  

We don't need to push them out the door - it's up to them to take it. But that's one method of how to do it.


Mother's Day Messages from the Flipside

"We all only get one mother, so try to stay in touch with her."
About the time she was under contract with the Shuberts, hoofing on broadway, playing classical piano concerts in DC. Dorothy Ann Hayes ("Anthy") from Decatur, Il.  HAPPY MOM DAY.

That's a relative statement of course - if we consider for a moment that we may have been doing this play over and over again, based on the many standing ovations we've gotten from our various performances, we do indeed only have "one mother at a time."

Meaning, for someone who connects with a previous lifetime, when they do so, and allow those memories to come forth, they also remember their father and mother from that lifetime.  Are they any less worthy of our love today than they were back then?

Often in this research, people under deep hypnosis will recognize a family member from back then as being a family member now... and say "Oh my goodness, my mother was my sister in that lifetime."  Something to really give us pause as we reflect and remember our mother from this lifetime.

In my case, I've been able to stay in touch with my mother who left her chrysalis back in 2011.  Doesn't mean I don't miss her - after all she was a concert pianist and sitting in the room with her playing was always something to marvel at.  One day she asked me to record music for my dad's funeral - and he was still on the planet.  She said "I don't know if I could play it for him during the mass, as I would be too emotional."

I recorded a concert of her playing - about a half hour's worth.  I use that track in films sometimes, we did use it for my dad's funeral - and we used it for her funeral.  So mom got to play at her own funeral.  Pretty unusual even for my version of reality.

I was meeting with Jennifer Shaffer yesterday, having coffee in Santa Monica, when she suddenly mentioned a friend of our children who had passed away.  When he passed away suddenly a year ago, I had asked about him - and we had a brief conversation about his journey on the flipside.  I didn't know his parents well enough to ring them up and say "Hey, I was talking to your son today..." but hoped that some day I would get a chance to do so.

Which happened yesterday, because he just kind of "dropped in" to our conversation.  What made it so unusual was the method of how he had shown up - one odd occurrence turned out to connect with another odd occurrence, which connected to a third event - all three events together made for this moment when this young fellow sent a series of images, not only to Jennifer but to others.  I was the one to connect the various images - and Jennifer said they added up to a message from this young boy.

I asked him "So why have you shown up here today, and what were those images that you passed along?"  

Jennifer said "He says it was a message for his mom on mother's day."

I took the time to reach out to his folks and have done so, who confirmed that they have had messages from him before.  I was so glad to hear that; you just never know how someone might react when hearing that their loved one has something to tell them from the flipside.  Sometimes it's a direct message - sometimes it's a metaphor of a message - sometimes it's hard to put one's finger on it, other than it "resonates" on some level.

As I've noted here on the blog, Erik Medhus "spoke" to his mother from the flipside - it was recorded by accident during a session with a medium who was communicating with her son.  It's clearly his voice on the audio, and I can confirm beyond any shadow of doubt that his mom, a Houston doctor, did not manipulate the audio, nor could it have been manipulated.  It is what it is. "Love you mom!" says Erik.

Clear as a bell.***

So what to make of this mother's day message? On one hand that we're always connected.  That our loved ones may have left their chrysalis, they may have transformed from a caterpillar to a butterfly - they may be hard to reach, or they may be on some kind of epic adventure - but they are not gone. They just aren't here.

Happy to report that the book Jennifer and I have been working on is close to being finished.  My recent appearance with George Noory on "Beyond Belief" at Gaia is nearly released... and other minor details on this journey.  

But it's good to remember our mom's on mother's day, as it's good to remember our dad's on their day.  And our kids on a day that will eventually become a hallmark card - "kid's day." We are all someone's child, all someone's sibling - if not in this lifetime, then during a previous one.  We can reflect on the unusual path that we took to get here - not only from our previous lifetimes, but through birth with our very own mom.

Unconditional love.  Love unconditionally.  Love the act of love, the gift of love, the giving of love.  It's all the same thing.  We have so few moments together here on the planet, you'd think we'd only spend time enjoying them.  

Here's a poem our daughter wrote when she was ten that her mom posted:

"A Perfect World"  by Olivia

No ba-bang of the guns or quarrelling

People always jubilant, no tears dripping from their eyes

No bullets in soldiers' hearts

The sick would heal and wounds would mend

Where people are always honest and grounds are spotless

All grass would be bright green

But if a world like that existed would anyone appreciate it?


***A note about the above audio of Erik Medhus "speaking from the flipside."

I've taken the time to download the two different audio clips of Erik's voice "coming through."  In the first instance ("Interview with Jesus") I put the audio through professional equipment to study the track.  A number of details are worth noting: in the original audio, there are two voices that are whispering (clearly evident as sound) and at one point, someone answers "Yes" to a question (The medium says "He said "yes" a split second later.")  These voices were not apparent to Dr. Medhus, I pointed them out to her (not the other way around.)  

They voices appear on the track about 1.5 times under speed - in other words if they're sped up they "sound normal."  There's no physical way to record two different speeds on the same track.  Further, there is no VOICE PRINT that appears when these voices are speaking. 

In other words, the frequency of the other voices (Dr. Medhus and the medium, in that case it was Jamie Butler) are clearly on the track and can be seen visually. But for the other voices, there is no visual appearance of their voices.  

It's possible that somehow the ear can hear something that is audible but does not appear as a physical voice signature, but I've never seen it before.  In the case of this second appearance of Erik's voice during a session, it's clear that neither the medium nor Dr. Medhus heard him initially - it's only in the recording, after someone pointed it out, were they able to hear his voice.  

Knowing Dr. Medhus as I do, and knowing how professional audio is recorded - there's no physical way for them to have interjected his voice overlapping theirs.  

It would have required a person to be physically present in the room (obviously it's not the case) nor is it believable in any stretch of the imagination that they would have included an actor in this situation - she doesn't charge any money for what she's doing, there's no monetary value here whatsoever, so for someone to suggest that there's a motivation, is really kind of loopy - or insane.  

I understand the difficulty that comes with hearing something that could not be there - it could very well be that we are all experiencing some kind of mass hallucination, hearing a frequency that does not exist - or it could be that somehow, someone recorded her son a decade ago, saying these exact words and then finding a way and a space to somehow download, record that track and then upload it again - but that's not physically possible to do - and the track itself came direct from Dr. Medhus.  

So there is no logical answer to how his voice appears on this audio - and in the absence of any logical answer, there is only one that's left.  It's his voice.  Further - the tone of his voice is casual, not forced - only a trained actor could interject something so casual into a conversation with such ease - "Love you mom!"  

Not said as if someone was shouting in a far away place so that someone could hear them - but said in afterthought - just what he likely always says at the end of these conversations, but can't be heard.  Not said like an actor trying to prove his existence, just a casual "see ya later." 

I contacted Dr. Medhus and told her how I had just done a similar "interview" with "Stephen Hawking" with Jennifer Shaffer and how in our interview some of the same hallmarks were repeated.  

The idea is not "here is what Stephen Hawking is telling us" but to objectively take a number of interviews with the same person with different mediums and compare the answers. Do they consistently say the same things? Or are the answers all over the map?  And if you have 3 or more mediums talk to the same individual (as I do in "Hacking the Afterlife") what does that tell us about the quality of the information?  

But I'm here to confirm that from a professional filmmaker's point of view - there is no logical explanation that I can come up with that isn't the most simple one; Erik spoke to his mother and reminded her that he loves her. My two cents.

(Thanks to Kari Krug for pointing me to this post from Thich Nhat Hanh)

"The day my mother died I wrote in my journal, "A serious misfortune of my life has arrived." I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.

I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet... wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. Those feet that I saw as "my" feet were actually "our" feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.

From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time."

- Thich Nhat Hanh, in "No Death, No Fear”.

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