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The Library awaits your offerings. Have you a succinct tale to tell from your own experience which tingles the spine and augers for the presence of the uncanny? Send it to webmaster@dead.net. Names & email addresses will be appended unless otherwise requested.
Latest entryposted November 9, '05. Here's three new ones. It is striking how many different types of experience correspond convincingly to the designation "uncanny." Thanks to the authors.
OK, here's the story..
In 1985, around the height of The Good Stuff in Burlington, VT., I was living once again in a house on Hickok Street. There were about 7 or 8 people sharing the house, a mix of touring folks and general afficionados of good music, frenly people, and unusual substances.
One night we were gathered in the front room, relaxing and listening to some live tapes (amazing renditions of Dark Star and Morning Dew are the songs that stick in my memory). I was sitting on the floor next to a chair. In the chair sat Cindy's cat Arlo - one of the coolest cats I've ever had the opportunity to share space with. For some reason, I was wearing a pair of cheap sunglasses; black frames which had been sprayed with small blobs of various neon colored plastic.
I took off the sunglasses and held them up to Arlo's face, as if he was wearing them. The cat did not move. Cindy said, "That's weird, Pete, he hates sunglasses and usually attacks them if you try to do that.."
I said, "But these aren't normal sunglasses, these are sunglasses that put cats to sleep.." At which point Arlo immediately lay down, curled up, and fell sound asleep.
Needless to say, the entire room experienced a moment of Otherness..
Arlo went out one night and never returned. Perhaps he became a successful entrepreneur in the pet eyewear industry.
The rest of the folks from that house are spread out all over the place; some are still in BTV, others moved far away. I'm not really in touch with any of them anymore (but if YOU read this, YOU probably remember this event, and I'd love to hear from YOU!).
I moved across the state to help a friend (now deceased) start the first 32-track digital recording studio in VT, and eventually found my way to MA, where I now have a family and a house, a software business, and still vividly remember that night long ago..
Pete Wason

    I have had many premonitions in my life, but none as strong as the morning the Shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas. I am a Deadhead and also a NASA buff. I live in South Florida and get NASA TV whenever there is a shuttle mission or live launch of an unmanned vehicle. Anyway, the morning Columbia Broke up, I had a dream at the exact same time as Columbia was breaking up, that I was outside with my mom. We were near a factory of some sort and fireballs of all different sizes were streaking from the sky, and they seemed to be from a jet that was crashing or breaking up in the air. I remember vividly yelling to my mom over the noise of the falling objects, that we needed to get back to the right, very important to get to the right. Anyway, it was so disturbing that it woke me up. I told my wife right after I woke up. Now, I had forgotten that I had wanted to get up early to watch the landing on Tv (just after 8am our time), so I went to my computer to see how my Further.net downloads had been going the night before. As always, I started at my homepage which has news on it. I noticed a headline reading something to the effect of "Houston loses contact with shuttle 16 minutes before landing". It was then i remembered the landing would be on, and figured I would turn on the tv to see the crew had landed and it had been a temporary problem. It was then I saw the footage of the pieces falling live as it was happening and to my astonishment it was almost exactly like had been in my dream, which at this time had been only 15 minutes or so before. I have never had such an exact dream like that, and hope not to again any time soon.I also noticed later that he last communications from the shuttle showed they were veering off course badly to the left and need to get back to the right, I wonder if that was why I had to get to the right in my dream. It was really unsettling, but the true loss was the seven lives that ended that day. God bless them and their families, and I hope the shuttle flies again soon as they would have wanted it that way.

Phil Ross Boca Raton, FL phildarkside@yahoo.com


    The day before Jerry passed I bought a guitar, I had to work the following day but I couldn't put it down. As it turned out I stayed up all night playing. That morning my fingers were trashed and I had some time to kill before work. So, living in Vegas, I decided to go to the desert behind the Silver Bowl and watch the sun rise. I sat in my Isuzu Amigo, you know one of those open top deals, listening to Infrared Roses as the sun peeked over the mountain. I had a massive audio set-up in the truck. The music was very loud. All at once I felt someone looking at me from behind, I turned my head toward the rear of the vehicle and a very calm Blackbird sat on the back seat. I looked at him he looked at me and we watched the desert sky and surrounding mountains transformed in the shadows of the rising sun. I went to work that day and of course knew nothing of what happened to Jerry until a co-worker told me because I listened to tapes all day. When I did find out, my body! was instantly covered in goose bumps. After work I decided to go back to my desert spot behind the Silver Bowl. As I approached the entrance there were police everywhere. They were not blocking the road so I went on in. Further down the road I noticed the smoke. The desert was burning.

Zelda Pinwheel zeldapinwheel_2000@yahoo.com

    When I was younger, about 10 or 11, my sister and I shared a room. We were both sleeping in the dead of night (no pun intended!) when my mother came through our bedroom door and screamed so loud I am sure the whole neighborhood heard her. It seems she had just been visited by her mother who had been dead for over 10 years! When she had calmed down enough to speak, my mother told us the following story:

    She was dreaming that she was talking to her mother. Her mother was insisting that she go check on her two daughters. At that point, my mother was then shaken out of her dream. She just shrugged off the "request" as part of a silly dream. However, as soon as her head hit the pillow ( she wasn't sleeping this time) she heard her mother's voice state loud and clear, "Jeannette, go and check on your daughters!" Since she was already awake, my mother decided to go ahead and check on me and my sister. When she came through our bedroom door, she immediately saw the burglar halfway through our bedroom window! Her screams were enough to scare him away but to this day, I always remember that I have a guardian angel looking out for me - my grandmother. Even though I never knew her (she died before I was born) I feel an incredible sense of peace and wellness whenever I think of that night.

Stephanie Allen, Margate, Florida StephBren2269@cs.com

Glad Tidings

    It was June 1974 and my brother Art and I were hitchhiking from Mendocino to Oregon. It was near evening and we were getting a bit impatient as we been hitching rides all day and we had only progressed a hundred miles or so. I was beginning to think about where we might camp the night and Art said, as he always did in these situations, that he would pray for a solution.

    (Now to set the context: Art was 22 and I was 16; Art was a fervent Christian and I was, let us say, an enthusiast for the Grateful Dead. Art carried his big black bible and pile of little white tracts to give away while I carried a tape deck, wore a tie dyed T-shirt and had a stack of colourful promotional cards of the new Dead albums which I too would give away, like tracts. We were, it seems now in retrospect, just a typical pair of California hitchhikers for 1974.)

    Anyway, Art knelt by the side of the road and started to pray for a lift and I cringed in embarrassment, trying to hide behind my backpack as I listened to my little tape deck.

    After about an hour we still hadn't gotten any rides and we both were walking in circles and Art said he'd pray one more time. I said to him (as only a brazen 16 year old can to his older brother) "Come on Art, do you really think Jesus cares if we get a ride tonight? I am not going to believe any or your religious stuff unless you pray and we get a ride all the way to Kim's front door."

    (Kim's place was our destination, about 500 miles away. He lived up a dirt road in a farmhouse on the outskirts of a small town in central Oregon.)

    Art took up the challenge and prayed for such a lift. The next car that came toward us stopped and a unshaven man in a chequered shirt and baseball cap got out and told us to climb into the back of his truck, so we did. We drove for a while and then he stopped the truck and asked if Art could drive so he could have a beer. So Art drove, the man drank and I sat in the back, watching the evening descend on the Pacific Ocean.

    Later that night the man put us up at a Ramada Inn somewhere outside of Eureka and he drank at the bar all night while Art read the bible and I listened to my tapes. The next day he let Art do all the driving while he dozed in his alcoholic stupor in the back seat and I breathed fumes coming into the back of the truck from his dodgy muffler system. He told Art he could drive wherever we wanted to go as long as if it was close to being on the man's way - he was headed toward Spokane.

    Kim's place was not directly, but near enough on his way, and so we drove all day into Oregon, then turned off the main road, drove further into the countryside, made a turn up an unmarked dirt road and bounded up Kim's driveway and right to the front door of his farmhouse which was named Glad Tidings. 

    We thanked the man, and as he drove away Art just smiled, knowingly.

    I told Art I couldn't deny what had happened and that indeed is was a pretty amazing coincidence that we would get a ride with a stranger all the way from Mendocino to the front door of Kim's farmhouse in Oregon. I said I'd give him the benefit of the doubt this time and he could chalk one up for his faith.

    Well it's nearly thirty years later and Art is still a committed Christian and I am still just a little bit curious about this ride that led us so directly to Glad Tidings. (Who was that man in the chequered shirt?)

    For the converted this story may serve as further proof for what they already know, for the rest of us, it is yet another uncanny incident to ponder.
- Don Defenderfer


    I would like to relate one of my experiences and my heartfelt belief in the Uncanny (I like to personally believe it is the all enveloping force of God - no religious denomination).
    One of my first premonitions was one of my strongest. Of course the first of anything can seem the strongest. Anyway, I am having a dream and after a bunch of dreamscape images which pertain to the story, yet would make it too long, I am watching through my own eyes (in the dream) a crowd of people. Suddenly, one man takes an axe and sinks it into the head of another. I feel the pain in my own head but have to look into a mirror hanging in a tree to check myself (I'm looking through my eyes, so I can't see my head). I then wake up and am not only shocked by how violent and real the dream seemed, but I can feel moisture running down my scalp in the front and back of my head. A lot like rain when it seeps through your hair and runs down your scalp. I try to wipe at it and check what is going on, but there is nothing there but the dripping feeling. It remains, so I get up and go to the bathroom to have a physical look see. Nothing is there but the sensation of dripping. I quickly race back to my room and try to write down every and anything I can about the whole dream before it fades. It is frustrating how quick it fades, but I scribble fast enough to get the gist of it.
    Two weeks later I am at a friends house and he starts chasing me with a buger on his finger. We are in a barn full of hay/straw at different levels. I run full speed into a barn beam with my head and split it open.
    Two more weeks later I stop dead in my tracks upon realizing the coincidence.
    It is 18 years since then and I always have a sign or feeling before anything serious happens to me. Sometimes it doesn't have to be serious. Sometimes it helps me fix my car or avoid unpleasantness. I have never seen a ghost or a good hallucination. This uncanny-ness is like a muscle that can show me things, but I cannot flex it or control it. 

- G.S.Swenerton GSSwenarton@aol.com

    It was late one night last week, March 10 or close to it. I was driving home while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Sadly it's a rather short CD, and I had come to the end. Usual deal, I hit the play button again. There is a lyric about 3 minutes into the song that goes "run rabbit run, dig that hole catch the sun". So I'm parking my car on my typical suburban street, and that lyric fires off. A split second later a white-tailed rabbit ran across the street in front of my car. Thankfully the car was stopped.
    A few other serendipitous things happened that week, but nothing on that
scale. As a few of my friends put it, that rabbit must have had a good taste in music.
-Jeff Hannan

    I have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for over twelve years. My wife and I have been to many shows around the country and have traveled with US Air from our airport to many locations. I have flown in almost every size and type of plane that serves in USAir's fleet.
    A few months ago I was up all night sending out resumes since I have been laid-off for over a year and really need some work. I went to bed at around six that morning, tired from having tailoring resumes for each ad for many hours (all the while listening to some great dead shows). I don't remember everything that I may have dreamt that morning but one dream that I did remember left me feeling so very strange that I had to tell my wife over the telephone as soon as I woke up. We were near the downtown area on foot, seeing the skyscrapers from a distance. It was a particularly good view of the city and she and I stopped to enjoy the view. Just as we were about to walk away from this great view, I saw a small gray and blue USAir plane flying. The plane was very close and seemed to be on an almost vertical trajectory as though it was a rocket flying straight up in the air instead of horizontally. As I gazed at the plane a feeling of horror crept over me.
    The plane stopped moving up and began to descend backward toward the ground. It was heading back to the ground at an angle that it brought it in our direction. We had to run from the where we stood to avoid being hit by the plane which crashed into a rectangular building in front of us. Terrified at what we saw, I felt a strong fleeting sensation as though we should run away from this place, as fast as we could, and not look back.
    Although I was certain that there were no survivors I told my wife to get help and I would go back to see if anyone was still alive. The building had collapsed and visibility was low with lots of smoke and debris in the air. I felt a terrible feeling of total dread as I walked into the wreckage. I could see bodies scattered around the area mixed with pieces of airplane and building.
    To my total amazement, the closer I got to the bodies the more I noticed movement. As I approached, I heard moans and the movements became clearer. No one was even badly injured! They all slowly got up and began to stumble past me toward the street as though they were only stunned.     The next morning a small USAir plane crashed at the airport killing everyone on board. It was described as having a tail rudder malfunction and had made a vertical incline before falling back and crashing into a hangar. I have no strange feelings as I write this, only a profound sadness for the families of the victims. This is the only purpose of my premonition that I can think of, to tell others. Like fire on the mountain.

-Chris H. haremail@carolina.rr.com

    Last spring, my family and I decided to take a train trip to Reno - not really for gaming purposes, but because we wanted to see the mountains without having to drive. Plus the rooms are pretty cheap. Anyway, the early part of the trip was pretty uneventful. Scenery went by the window that one doesn't usually get to see when traveling by auto. As we began heading into the hills, we saw increasing amounts of snow. A while before the train was due to reach the summit, we decided to go find seats in the observation car for the maximum view. A bit after we settled in, a group of three young men entered the car. Their entrance was striking in that they seemed to have come from another time period............clothing, hairstyles and even mannerisms. They wore black, roughly woven natural fiber trousers and vests, white shirts & suspenders. I don't know how to describe the hairstyles - they were just unique.
    As I listened to them speak, I noticed that they spoke a language that I couldn't get a handle on - strangely familiar but not quite identifiable. Usually I'm pretty good with linguistics too; even if I can't get the exact language I can generally at least name the language group. I finally narrowed it down to either Wales or Eastern Europe somewhere. Meaning I had no idea. After a little bit, the most outgoing of the trio - a tall blond young man - turned to me and asked in accented English if we'd passed Donner Lake yet. This opened up a general conversation about our mutual travels and we learned that they had just come from Tijuana. I finally had to ask them where they were from and the blond guy said Pennsylvania. "Pennsylvania", I thought, "hmm..............................maybe I was just imagining they were speaking a different language?" As my mind ran through the various possibilities, except the most obvious one, the blond turned to one of his companions, gestured at my 4 year-old daughter, Natasha, and smilingly spoke in the other language again. He then addressed me, remarking that Natasha looked exactly like his young niece. I asked him what language he had been speaking and he seemed surprised. "Pennsylvania Dutch", he replied politely. Now things fell into place. I told him that my family had been Mennonites and originally settled in that part of the world long ago - or long ago by American standards anyway.
    "Really? What's your last name?" he seemed genuinely interested, so I told him, "Zook".
    "Z-o-o-k?", he asked.
    "Exactly", I smiled, "do you know some Zooks?"
    "I'm a Zook m'self," he said proudly.
    I was pretty blown away at the odds of meeting a distant relative on a random train ride to Reno. At this point in the trip, the scenery was quite spectacular and kind of added to the whole experience. A little more discussion revealed that we were descended from the same brother (Moritz, who was one of three who came over from Switzerland in 1741). We are, it turns out 5th cousins, and I just marvel at how amazingly different our lives are. They are all three from Amish farms that literally use horses, have no electricity or running water. School ends for them at age 13. They explained to me that they're still bachelors which is signified by the fact that they did not have beards. The trip to Tijuana was because the alternative medical and dental practices in that region are in line with their traditions. The very fact that they are able to keep their culture intact in the midst of all the chaos is pretty amazing.
    We exchanged addresses and promised to keep in touch as the train neared Reno. All in all, a most memorable chance encounter. And one that made me look at life very differently.
-Lori Zook

    It was the winter of '92 and I was sitting in the windowsill of my third story apartment in downtown Traverse City. My roommates had gone out with some other friends of ours for the evening so I had the place to myself and thought I'd take advantage of the time alone struggling with attempts at learning how to play my guitar. I'd only been at it for a few months and my novice status was quite evident, so I was uncomfortable with subjecting others to the horrific sounds I torturously emitted during this learning process.

    At some point I grew tired of listening to myself, frustrated at my inability...so I drifted off guitar still in hand, admiring the quiet beauty of the winter evening. Traverse City is magical this time of year, easily transporting one to dreams and distant faraway places, children to visions of Santa and his elves flying whimsically through starlit nights. The snow was coming down in large fluffy flakes, capturing the light in rainbow prisms, sparkling with crystal faeries in the air and on it's surface as it blanketed the deserted street below.

    I was a fairly recent convert to the dead scene only having attended a handful of shows, my first being in the late eighties, but all of which had had a profound effect upon my psyche, experiences far too lengthy to go into here, but that had most certainly contributed to this moment. I began having a conversation with Jerry with no intention of any purpose or result, and as I was talking with him I was filled with this all consuming desire to play with the expression and ability that he had demonstrated during my exposure to his music and I communicated those feelings to him.

    Suddenly, my hands were not my own. They were still there and it was my fingers on the strings of my guitar, but it wasn't me directing them, it was someone else. It was Jerry. We were sharing the same space and he was playing my guitar carrying me along with him. The notes were so tender and beautiful I wanted to cry and I felt each one of them as a loving caress, each sound it's own voice, it's own body, life, energy, warmth and color, painting pictures, forming dreamscapes in their unity. I felt emotions sweep through me as each note rang out, exhilarated with the effortlessness and ease, the flowing streams of music flooding the space around me. It was the closest I'd ever been to what I imagine heaven could be.

    I have no idea how long this lasted and I was so carried away that I didn't notice my roommate Tom, who was also a bass and sax player, and our friends return from band rehearsal. They came into the darkened room and sat down on the floor listening quietly to what they thought was me playing. After some time, Tom spoke up and said, "You've got it girl, you've really got it."

    The spell was broken and my hands stopped abruptly. Jerry was gone, off astral traveling somewhere else I thought. But he had given me a song. A gift of metaphysical proportions, and I was truly grateful.

    I called the piece "Shadow Love" and put lyrics to it that summer sitting on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay. Jerry had become my muse and the song was written about him. As with many lyrics that I've written, I didn't understand all of the meanings and symbolism used until later on as they have a tendency to  reveal themselves to me often languorously and through varying methods. Though it is intensely special to me and I played it often and still do, after I finished it, it was also a bit difficult for me to don due to it's content and it's sense of foreboding.

    Though most people interpret it as a broken love song in the generally assumed traditional sense, it is a love song, but it is also about Jerry's addiction and health which I had no knowledge of at the time I wrote the lyrics but became aware of further down the road. And it was so sad and bittersweet to me that this was the song that had evolved out of such beautiful music."

    I've never been able to play it the same way Jerry and I did that night. The experience did not endow me with the dimension of his ability or talents. But I was a better writer and musician for it and within months of finishing "Shadow Love" I was recording and performing my own songs for the first time in public with barely a year's worth of self training on my guitar. It's the song I always use to start and warm up my fingers with and the only one that I include in every performance.
- Kimberly Smith

    About eighteen years ago, when I was about twelve years old--this is counting back from 2003--my father and I were friends or, more accurately, acquaintances with some folks who had purchased a tract of land in King George, Virginia, measuring approximately 200 acres plus. On this land resided so many wonderful varieties of wildlife, including wild turkey, whitetail deer, rabbit, squirrel, bobwhite quail, mourning doves, and all manner of migratory waterfowl, including ducks and geese of all the variety that populated the Eastern Flyway. Also on this property existed the original manner house, or "plantation house," as they were called long ago and several collapsed remnants of "slave houses," in which there were large amounts of creosote and, according to the owners of the property, taken with trying to creep out the younger people visiting the premises, bones of folks departed long ago. More likely these bones were of cows or other livestock occupying the on-site paddocks over the years, as I, along with several child-aged companions, unearthed several stiff, white calcinatious deposits. But the plantation house existed much as it had in the late 1700's, prior to the inevitable remodeling and developing of this beautiful property.
    One night, before the owners tore down the original mansion and built, in its place, a reception building in which the retail of the remaining lots would take place, we--my father, along with two adult friends and their sons--were invited to spend the night in the manner house. There was only one room with working electricity and that was the kitchen at the far left end of the first floor. The house itself consisted of three full floors above grade and one large basement framed in by the stone foundation; the property was surrounding closely by gigantic, valuable English boxwoods that were fun to hide in and dwarfed us as they were well over ten-feet tall. Myself and the two other young boys were taken in the evening prior to our "sleepover" with carrying in the chopped wood for the wood stove in the kitchen--the room in which we would sleep and cook our morning meal prior to setting out on adventures on the property the next day--hikes etc.
    To preface the night's sleep for the above mentioned crew, I must mention that one of the owners of the property--a dentist who had played for a time in the National Football League--who was not afraid of anything known on this earth, and as we'll see, from elsewhere, had spent several nights in the manner house with his young, twelve-year-old son Jonathan. He mentioned to us, in passing, one day while our crew was on the property prior to our sleepover that he had been in the house one night recently and heard distinctly someone walking about on the upper floors of the house and opening and closing doors. He immediately had assumed, he told us, that it was his son looking for the bathroom in the dark, unfamiliar with the house in the middle of the night. But when he turned on his flashlight and looked beside him, his son was fast asleep. He informed us, unflinching, that if he didn't bother this creature, or ghost, he figured it wouldn't bother him. Being unafraid of anything, he was correct as he slept the rest of that night undisturbed, but warned us all the same, knowing our night in the house wasn't far away.
    On another bright day just about seven days prior to our planned sleepover in the manner house, my father and I, instructed by one of the property owners to get drinks from the regriderator in the basement, ventured into the house and encountered the lead contractor. We were held rapt by his story. He said he was from Maryland and had already informed the property developers/owners that he could no longer stay on the premises despite the fact that this arrangement had aided their planning sessions about the property. The reason he had given to the owners, and told to us as we went for our drinks, was that he couldn't get a good night's sleep there; he said he had placed a mattress on the top floor in the center of the house--which was completely unfurnished--and had, at night, despite his knowledge that no one was around, heard what sounded like large cocktail parties with voices and laughter resounding throughout the house along with the sounds of music. He said he would get up and walk about the upper and lower floors to find nothing but darkness and silence. And once he returned to bed, the party would resume and glasses would chink together and chamber music would commence...
Finally, our night had come to sleep in this much discussed "haunted house." Myself and my two young friends at the time were charged immediately with carrying in the firewood in through the front door through two dark rooms without electricity to the aforementioned kitchen with the woodstove. Twice we freaked out at some noise of our own and dropped handfuls of wood on the floor and ran outside screaming only to be reprimanded by our fathers who had slight smiles on their faces while admonishing us, knowing, I think that adventure was in the air. Late at night, probably around nine o'clock, since there was no television or other media to inform or distract us, we lay down in our sleeping bags to sleep, spread out away from but near the wood stove in the kitchen. Just before we stopped visiting and discussing our prospects for the morning, one of the adults, Doug, showed his powerful National-Guard-issue flashlight and promised he'd brandish it if anything came knocking or walked "through" the thin door separating our L-shaped room from the rest of the house.
    Honestly, not but ten minutes--of course my father was already asleep beside me, snoring--after we had settled into darkness and turned off our lanterns a series of footsteps began on the third floor above us, at the opposite end of the house. Immediately we all, except my snoring father, perked up and listened to this obvious display of incredulous behavior by the "man of the house," jealous or indignant at the blatant trespassers as he walked across one floor, opened and closed two doors and began, slowly, to descend one flight of stairs and then another. We all stared at each other, all of us accountable in number and direct visual appearance, able to see each other by the glow from the wood stove, as all three of our dogs paced back and forth with hackles raised, Mohawks showing along their backs.  The footsteps continued slowly for what seemed like forever right up to the wall abutting our little "modern" kitchen where they stopped and left us all listening until we finally fell asleep, including the dogs. It was quite the night, living (perhaps dying) up to our expectations of spending the night in a "haunted house." Only my father to this day wonders what we're all talking about.
------------To add a twist to this story: several months prior to the night we actually spent in the house, we were on the property one day in early September-while it was quite warm, being in the South--and were invited to go into the manner house to get a cool drink out of an active refrigerator in the basement, our yellow lab, Maddy, ran up the stairs from the basement while we retrieved our drinks. Just as it was time to leave, my father asked me to go upstairs and get Maddy. I walked up the stairs--remember this was many days prior to this above narrated haunted account--and found Maddy standing with her hackles raised and growling loudly at the empty corner of a room just off the main entry. I looked where she was looking at the time and thought nothing of it and grabbed her collar and lead her back to the basement and out of the bulkhead against her will. About three months later we spent our interesting night in the house.
-P. Curtis
    About 15 years ago, I was working as a surveyor and was the "chainman" on a job in Santa Clara California. This was in February, it was a misty day and the streets were wet. The Chief of Party and I arrived at the job site at a quiet intersection about 8:00 am on a weekday morning. There was almost no traffic even though it was right on the El Camino. We parked one block off the El Camino, and walked around to the site. The Chief went into the office trailer to see the Superintendent.
    The project had been built to the point that the cement block basement of the structure was done, but nothing existed above ground level. The cement block structure was set-back about 8 feet from the edge of the sidewalk along the entire side street face of the building. That 8 foot gap was excavated down to about 6 feet or more. I stood on the side street sidewalk contemplating the wet pavement and the intersection. I mused to myself that if a car came down El Camino at too high a speed, and turned onto the side street where I stood it could slide out of control, jump the curb and wind up on it's side stuck down in the excavated space between the sidewalk and the wall of the cement block basement. I went on the imagine that if I were standing where I was and such an event were to happen, I would be crushed beneath the car. I stood staring into the excavation for a few minutes with my back turned toward the street. I walked up and down the sidewalk a few times, and then felt bored and had a strong feeling that I didn't want to be out there anymore. I went around the corner, and back to the truck to mess with the gear.
    I was out of sight of the intersection on the street where we parked. About fifteen minutes later, the Party Chief came walking quickly around the corner. He was moving toward the truck with determination, and I assumed we were leaving this job for another one. I was right, and as I was closing up the truck he casually mentioned there had been an accident. I asked what happened and he said a car had come around the corner too fast, lost control, and slid into the space between the sidewalk and the building. I couldn't believe my ears. I ran around the corner and down to the side of the project. There it was, a small blue Maverick on it's side neatly slipped into the excavation: exactly where I had stood a few moments earlier. The accident I had envisioned happened. Luckily, no one was hurt. I would have been killed had I been standing there with my back turned to the street.
    David Borough

    A life of travel had dropped me, for a while, on the sunny shore of Southern California far from my Blue Ridge Mountain home. I found myself on foot one day in the Buena Park area, I can't remember if it was car trouble or just the need of a good stroll that had me out and about on foot that day but I do remember one of those uncanny So. Cal. rainstorms kicking up and I, I ducked under a bus stop kiosk to keep dry. While whilling away the time I tapped my foot to the tune of Dire Wolf running through my head and trickling over my lips. Not much entertainment for my own ears but I kept my eyes happy by watching the water rise and run in the roadside gutter. I'm dry and happy on Magnolia Blvd. watching the water trundel on down to the sea. I'm on the second or third verse of the song for the second or third time when the water, and its cargo catch my eye. I've been watching the cities detritus flow by for more than 5 minutes now and knowing trash from treasure I get out of my seat as I see a single playing card, face down, floating in the gutter about 30 feet North of me. I stoop by the roadside and catch the card as the water rushes by and I know and you know before I turned the card over that it would be none other the the Queen of Spades. It looked forelorn on the rapids as it floated on down so I decided to keep it, dry it off and hhmmm...tuck it into the band of my floppy leather hat on my way to the upcoming Shoreline show. I don't know where, when or how, but at the show it slipped its clip and floated away down another river. Easy she come...and easy she go...

Grant Hiatt
    I was born in February 1972 in a small community called Princeton, British Columbia in Canada. My memories of the first nine years of my life there are still very vivid and magical. We lived two houses away from my elementary school, which was very modern for an old mining town and in 1979 we got a pool! Very prestigious for the times... The summers in Princeton were hot and scented with pine, winters were cold and comfortable, as well as very picturesque. My seasonal smell identification comes from those formative years spent there.
    Anyway, British Columbia has a rich history of First Nations culture and unlike any other province or territory in Canada, most of BC still has no treaties with the First Nations who were here in the very beginning. As a child, I knew a lot about Indians (as we called them then) because the area we lived in still had many individuals from a variety of bands living nearby, there had been a lot written about them and my mom, having lived in a variety of towns that were also reservations (Canada's version of appartheid), she was deeply interested in the culture. This brings me to the eerie experience I had as a seven year old kid in my own backyard. We had a regular sized backyard for those days, except we had a pool and a big fence, but behind that fence was a generous stretch of land that we referred to as the "hospital lot". I guess it was probably land zoned for expansion of either the tiny hospital or for more homes to eventually go in. But in 1979 that space was mine. Our backyard was a mile from the hospital on the road side with two miles on the right and then a huge drop off cliff down to the Similkameen River. You would never let a small girl play in that amount of land nowadays which is why it was such an idyllic time. Mostly I would pretend I was a witch and all that space was my kingdom. I wandered around talking and singing to myself picking weeds and herbs. There would always be sounds around, nature sounds, birds, the distant sounds of the road, the faraway river and the crunching of my feet on dried pine needles. I generally felt as though I was not alone, and not just because of my entourage of imaginary friends, but there was a perpetual feeling of being watched. I guess I thought it was my mom.
    I was doing my hunting and gathering witchy bit down by the drop off bank to the river when a strange sensation overtook me. I was very used to feeling "special" in my natural surroundings, as though I had some unique deal with environment in that area that allowed me to hear and see interesting things - maybe that was the feeling of being watched. I remember that everything got very still and quiet, which was unusual as there was constant sound. In that particular area there were mounds of earth covered over with pine needles and other ground cover and I always thought of them as the graves of the Indians. I would speak to them often and incorporate them into my imaginary games.
    The prickly creepy feeling was getting stronger - the feeling that something is not right, but also that it wasn't surprising that it wasn't. It was as though I had always felt some kind of presence, but it my child mind, that was normal and I played with it. There was a feeling urging me to pay attention and I guess, to leave. Very faintly I began to hear a drum pounding. I knew I was not welcome in these parts at this time and I ran - hard! Even though I was running very hard I turned to around to look behind me and what I saw made me run even faster... Coming towards me were several Indians in full dress, feathers, leather, bows and arrows etc. They weren't running but rather walking very deliberately toward me though I was already a good distance away. I couldn't believe what I was seeing!
    I ran straight into the house where my mom was in the green kitchen and breathlessly told her that some Indian men were down by the drop off. I was more confused than anything because I thought I was a good kid for having acknowledged their existence there where I thought no one else would. Much to my mother's credit she didn't try to convince me that it didn't happen though I confess I don't remember much about what she did say. I do know that when other "odd" experiences happened earlier in the year and later in my life, she never disbelieved me and would just ask questions. We moved two years later and I went back to that particular area, but with a degree of apprehension that I had never felt in that magical wood. I returned last summer to Princeton but did not choose to drive around and look at where my old house was or what happened to the hospital lot. I couldn't bear to have my memories altered from the perfection and magic that they have attained.
    Kindrée Draper
    Over a decade ago, I was working the night shift at an old corporate airport (Johnson County Industrial Airport) 45 minutes south of Kansas City. It was once an old Naval auxiliary facility, and I believe the National Guard continues to train at the ariport on a limited basis. I had worked there for a few years in my late teens and early twenties. A few times, I would see things or hear things out of the ordinary, but being in the nocturnal environment of a minute airport with few souls around- I would usually shrug them off and place blame on the winds, the trees, or moonlight regarding such occurences. On the west side of the runway, stood the old relic of an ominous hangar once used for military training. The pumps for the fuel trucks were located by that very hangar; and at night, it was the responsibility of one of the men to "top-off" the trucks.
   One night, as I was dutifully fueling the trucks- I heard the most horrendous of sounds that spooked me right out of my skin. The sound was profoundly indescribable and scared me so much so that I immediately ceased the fueling process and hastily drove back to the line office. To this day, I still could not tell you what I heard, and what I saw looming from the hangar that night. But, when I returned to the office and informed the others, I was then informed of the fact the hangar is considered haunted by legitimate news accounts and word-of-mouths'. Forgive me if I am incorrect in my historical facts- but the story is that of a young Naval pilot around WWII that was training during a terribly harassing thunderstorm and lost control of his plane, therefore crashing into the hangar. I did not know this story until after I was driven by my experiences. Needless to say, since then- it was the rule of the line-crew to have two men go together for the fueling process, and I most certainly kept a third eye out for any strange sights or sounds after that.
Ken (Denver, CO) <Rafferty.Kenneth@broadband.att.com>

    I work in the entertainment industry and had the pleasure to work in several arenas, stadiums, and theaters across the state of Pennsylvania.  I apologize in advance for the brief history lesson, but I feel I have to do it.

    Now for those of you who don't know, there are many stories of theaters having a "resident ghost" living in almost every theater. It is very unusual for a patron to have an encounter with a ghost, but I would believe it if I heard it. Our theater is a fully restored building that was constructed in the early 1900's. Several years after its opening, it burnt down and was reconstructed on the same site. So, almost 100 years later, here we are! Now, it's time for my story.

    My boss has told me of experiences he had with the ghost, but you never really believe a story like that until you have a personal experience of you own. So I was repairing some boards in the area of the theater above the stage where you hang things from. This is called the "grid", it is like another level of the stage, you can walk on it, but there are holes in the floor.  Heavy floor joists run one way and boards run perpendicular to form a grid. (clever, huh?!) So I am about 60 feet above the stage by myself. I know that my friend had gone back down to the stage several minutes ago, because I saw him leave. I am finishing my job when I see someone pass between me and the lights on the ceiling of this room. Startled and surprised I looked up to see nobody around. My heart was racing in my body, I was kind of scared and somehow I was able to think logically..... If I run down now, I'll have to come back up and finish what I started until I was done, or I could finish really, really fast, I could leave until tomorrow. I finished and erratically told my 3 associates what had happened. They felt I had finally been initiated by our ghost! Fortunately, he just lets us know that he is around instead of causing trouble.

    This happened about 2 years ago and I have never had an experience since.

Mike Pastore



I have really enjoyed reading people's stories about the supernatural and have one of my own to add.  My brother lives in a relatively old house in San Francisco.  I was visiting with him one night a few months ago and he gave me his bed while he slept on the couch.  At around five in the morning, I woke suddenly, feeling as if I was being tickled.  I felt a hand tickling my armpit, and I was jolted awake with a gasp at this touch.  I was sleeping on my side, and as a gasped, I jumped and sort of turned onto my back.  There was a white cloud in front of me, which came into focus after a few seconds as the figure of a man sitting on the edge of the bed.  He was wearing clothes that's looked to be from around the mid 1800s.  He was a grayish - white color, like a cloud.  He had his legs crossed towards me and his elbow resting on his knee with his chin on his fist.  He was smiling at me, a very sweet, pure, smile.  I got the strong sense that he held no ill intentions and was showing himself to me simply so that I would know that he existed.  I did not feel scared or threatened in any way.  After a few seconds he faded away slowly - back into a grayish white cloud and then nothing, and I was staring at the wall.  I got up to check the time and use the bathroom, and felt very calm - slightly confused about what I had seen but not shaken or scared.  I fell almost immediately back into a very good sleep.  Most of my life I have believed in the spiritual and the supernatural, but have never before or since had any personal experiences with things of this kind.

Shaz F.


Wishing to expand on "The Grey Zone"... (article following)

Being one of the two mentioned that witnessed an apparition I'd like to expand on it. My friend and I were sitting quietly on a sofa with Jake, the cat, between us, viewing some television. Suddenly in the large opening to the adjacent living room I saw a semi-transparent person in sort of a robe (not certain to the sex or if the person actually saw us) float across the doorway. Talk about an instant adrenaline rush! I glanced at my friend who had also taken on the composure of astonishment and whiter shade of pale. The real clincher was the cat, now up on all fours, arched back, every hair standing on end, also staring in the direction of the apparition. We all saw it - even the cat - from slightly different angles. Oh yeah....


The Gray Zone
I attended a run of Dead shows many years ago during which a Bay Area radio station ran a news item about a crashed UFO and alien bodies. The story put a whole different spin on the week for myself and several other people that had heard it. Assuming this to be international news, the world had become a far more interesting place and the paranormal was now beyond conjecture. (Little did we know at the time, it was some kind of rehash of the Roswell crash story) At one of the shows I partied more heartily than usual resulting in a far more "colourful" evening than the black stage sets would have suggested. I felt normal later that evening but decided next day to do SF sightseeing and forego that night's show. That evening at a friend's house we chatted about the flying saucers, and at around 8pm the friend went to the kitchen to prepare something. I clearly remember closing my eyes in the darkened room and falling into a very odd weightless-like state that for some reason I was quite sure lasted about 10 minutes, very memorable at the time because I was completely immersed in a distinctive battleship gray colour . The friend came back and I immediately excused myself as I suddenly felt extremely tired, and wanted to be well-rested to catch the last show of the run the following night.
I drove back to LA, musing on the impending TIME magazine cover story about the now indisputable flying saucers. I was quite perplexed the next day to hear that the UFO story had not broken at all in LA, or nationally for that matter. But not a fraction as perplexed or agitated as my mother was when I visited her. "What the hell happened up there?" she asked me repeatedly, staring me intently straight in the eyes. "Oh, the usual; a couple shows, a bit of sightseeing" I replied, censoring the juicier bits for my 100% straight mother, "Why, do you keep asking?". She proceeded to tell me with a good hint of distress, that at home in LA 450 miles away, on my night off between the shows, at about 8pm, as she walked toward her bathroom, she was stopped dead in her tracks by an semi-transparent apparition of me standing there, battleship gray no less, being fed by thousands of gray dots slowly moving from the edges of the room into the silhouette. She said she was too dumbfounded to move or call out to my father for close to 2 minutes (I can assure you I'D be half way down the street within 15 seconds!). She then reasoned that if I was in SF, I shouldn't be in LA, especially arriving by this method, so she backed out of the room, scared witless. She said she gained the nerve to return to the room only quite a while later and the apparition was gone.
My mother likes a good paranormal story, but definitely draws the line at having it happen to her. I quizzed her about it once again recently and she still sticks by her tale. It's her story, after all. I've never seen a ghost, a UFO, etc.
As for other paranormal events...
I have two friends that saw the same ghost at the same time. The apparition was of a man in a bathrobe visible only from the chest down who passed in front of them while they watched TV.
I've since met an Englishman with a similar story; two of them driving down an uninhabited stretch of English road at 2am and passing a lady in Victorian dress with an open parasol. An immediate U-turn revealed no trace of her.
I didn't think I personally had any other uncanny tales to relate until I read that wonderful story in the Library about the clock set 20 minutes ahead. Precognition?
Deja vu?
Many of us have experienced the sensation of deja vu at one time or another. I don't know about sailing down the "sea lanes of probability", but the most practical explanation I've yet heard is that a chemical process or brain area usually active while "remembering" misfires while the person is actually "experiencing" the event for the first time. This would adequately explain the accompanying realization that you can't quite pin down when it was that you previously "experienced" the event you sense you are "remembering".
I once had a deja vu experience that seems at odds with this theory, though. I was at a party talking with a friend when I announced that I felt a deja vu feeling coming on. We were observing a couple conversing, unaware of us nearby. For about forty-five seconds I was able to correctly relate to my friend most of the couple's dialogue and a couple truly abrupt subject changes, two or three seconds before they actually happened. Then the sensation simply faded away.
Perhaps it was that brain chemistry explanation coupled with being either very "in-the-moment" or a one-off bout of clairvoyance?
Anonymous 12 Jan 02
My wife and I are lucky enough to work together. This spring we scored a contract with the forest service doing fuel plots on a large biomas project in Northern California. This area is very steep and remote and bordered a wilderness area. We were about 3 hr. from the jeep working our way downhill. For some weird reason I looked at the wife and told her that we're going to find a airplane this afternoon. She looked at me like I went goofy..Y did I say that ? A few moments later as we got close to our last plot for the day I looked down and saw what I thought was a piece of a blue rain coat. I told the wife what I found , and wondered to myself who in their right mind would be way up here anyway?  I reached down to try and pick it up and up out of the duff attached to the fabric came a rib of a airplane wing....I stopped...a very strange feeling came over me ...  I looked around and realized we were standing in the middle of a airplane crash site.
To make a long story short it turned out to be a Navy plane, a Avenger that crashed in 1947. The Navy claims all 3 of the crew bailed out and survived....We found no bones, and no guns but everything else even life raft paddles were still there.

David & Judy Inghram
Broken Wheel Ranch
anonymity was requested for this fine addition to the Library
Some summers ago, I was driving out on a highway in an open meadow area, and I came across the carcass of an owl by the side of the road, which had been killed by a motor vehicle. The carcass was still mostly intact, and it had beautiful arrays of feathers. I had rarely seen raptor feathers of any sort. I put the carcass in the trunk of my car, and drove off with it.
When I got home, I put the carcass in an outdoor storage shed that I had. There it lay undisturbed for several months.
Later, in the fall, I met a Shoshoni woman, who gave me reason to believe that she had knowledge of some of the spiritual traditions of her people, and who related to me as someone with a good heart. I told her that I had this owl carcass, and I asked her what I should do with it. She told me to lays the owl's spirit to rest by making an offering of tobacco, sage, and meat, and burying the carcass. I determined to do this. I planned the burial for Thanksgiving day. On the evening before, I took the owl inside and prepared it for burial in a cotton shroud, with some chicken meat, tobacco, and sage. I smudged the room around clockwise while preparing the bird for burial, and then the bundle containing the bird.
I left in the predawn hours to undertake the burial of the owl, on a spot on the north bank in the bend of a river. As I walked out in the path- as I recall, it was a brilliantly clear night, the hour just before dawn- an owl came in flying low, directly at me. When the owl got about feet over my head, it made one clockwise circle around my head, while giving a characteristic owl chirp, and then it flew on.
There was something so reassuring about that occurrence that I had a great sense of calm and peacefulness about my mission from that point on. It was quite a weird feeling to walk along a park pathway with an owl wrapped in a shroud in my backpack, and I wasn't sure what could happen, but the owl showing up like that made me feel better.
That was just the beginning of my encounters with the owls, though. As I neared the place where I was to bury the owl- there was some uncertainty about exactly where I should do it- I heard them calling- more than two- and when I looked up at where I was, in a relatively cleared area, there were owls in the treetops of some of the highest sentry trees. I had never noticed anything like what could be considered an owl community before, but it was something like that, several of them, out there in the early light of dawn. I had a feeling that they were pointing me toward a place to bury the owl in a grave. So I took their hints, and came to a place along the north riverbank. I mumbled something as respectfully and meaningfully as I could in memory of the creatures spirit, dug a shallow hollow out on the bankside, and buried the creature. I put as much of my own personal religious goodwill into this ritual as I could. I felt as if I had no ambitions by doing this. It was more like I was taking some good advice on dealing with spiritual links to the natural world, from someone who knew of what they spoke.
I walked off to work immediately afterward, elated that I accomplished the burial successfully. The entire all-night experience, particularly the interaction with the owls, is one of the most uncanny experiences I've ever had.
I don't remember exactly what year in the 1980s this happened. It was the winter that the drought ended, I recall.
thanks to Jeff Mainard for this extraordinary vision:
Back in the Spring of 1987, I hosted a radio show on KKUP in Cupetino, CA. My show was on Wednesday mornings, from midnite to 6 am, where I would play Jazz, Blues, and bootleg Dinosaurs tapes. KKUP is a listener sponsored station, with no commercials. We did, however, have Public Service Announcements that I would usually read around 1 am. 

One night, I was reading a PSA for "Rose Resnick's Lighthouse for the Blind". As I was reading this 45 second PSA, I started to become self-consience of myself. "Am I reading too fast? Too slow? Do I sound sincere? Am I clear? Is anybody out there? etc..."  There must have been a hundred mentations going through my head as I'm reading this 45 second PSA over the airwaves. As I'm reading, I notice the second hand on the wall clock going slower, and slower, and slower...

All of a sudden, I am aware of my soul radiating out into space from the transmitter in the Santa Cruz mountains. I now have a sense of my transmissions co-mingling with other transmissions from earth. Not that I could hear all the other transmissions, but I could sense that I was sharing space with these transmissions. I also had an awareness of an "extraterrestial" presence, listening. I thought about what a responsibility i had "being on the air".

The next moment, I was in somebody's living room. I could see the end table lamp and a sofa. I then felt myself in somebody's mind, seeing the effects my reading had on the brain of that person. Suddenly, I was back in the KKUP studio finishing the PSA, not missing a beat. The whole event took less than 45 seconds. 

It was one of the strangest experiences I've ever had. I was sober at the time.

Jeff Mainard
This incursion into an orderly existence offered by Eric Vance <ecvance@home.com>
I'm not a big believer in the supernatural, but I did have one experience that still leaves me with the chills....I used to have an office in the basement of the City Hall in the community where I live in the days when I was a Director of City Planning (one of many strange career twists and turns). The City Hall was built in 1911 and was one of those elegant old wooden buildings that was typical of turn of the century architecture. I was working in my office about 11:00 one night when I heard a door open and heavy footsteps across the floor upstairs. I was the only one in the building at the time, but I figured one of the Council members had dropped by to pick something up, as they sometimes did in the evening, so I went upstairs. There was no one there, but I am absolutely sure about those footsteps. I went back downstairs and a few minutes later there were more footsteps. Suddenly, I got the weirdest feeling. I grabbed my stuff and leftI know I was the only one there because I set the alarms, which included
motion detectors, when I left.
The next day, I was telling one of the secretaries who had been there for many years about what had happened the night before. I made a joke about the place being haunted and that someone must have died in City Hall. That's when she told me that a former Chief of Police had committed suicide in the building in the 1950's (actually, he shot himself outside and then stumbled inside and died).
I believe that was the last late night I ever spent in that building alone.
8.20.1 Louis Bissacott <louie0112@yahoo.com>
In the spring of 1978, I was living at home with my parents and sister. One morning, my sister told my mother and I about a strange incident that occured to her the previous night. She said that she was laying on her bed on her stomach reading a magazine, when she felt a hand on her back, and the hand moved down her back until it got to her rear end, at which time she said it pressed down hard. She reached around, thinking it was my mother and she said she felt flesh. When she turned to see who it was, she said she saw an old woman kneeling by her bed. She closed her eyes, shook her head, and when she looked again, it was gone. My sister was very upset by this experience, and I told her that it had to be a dream that seemed very real. She was very adamant about it, convinced it really happened and couldn't have been a dream. Without any recent deaths in the family, or any previous experiences of this nature happening in the house, I was convinced it was a dream. The subject was dropped.
That night, just as I had gone to bed, something extremely disturbing happened to me. I had just shut out the light and was ready to fall asleep, when I realized that my bed was shaking! I remember pressing my hand down hard on the bed, to make sure it wasn't me shaking. The bed was definitley shaking!! I sat up , and at the foot of the bed, there was someone standing there! I couldn't make out if it was a man or a woman, but it definitely was the outline of a human being, and the reason I could make out the shape was there were light particles bouncing around in the shape of a standing figure! I think when I sat up, I actually scared it, because it backed away from the bed and just sort of faded away. It's a little hard to describe - It didn't disappear, or go through the wall - It just faded away! It took a while to fall asleep that night because I didn't know what it wanted or why it was there!
The next morning, I told my mother and sister about what happened and my sister reminded me of what had happened to her the previous night! I had completely forgotten about her experience but now I realized that she didn't have a dream. For some reason, there was a ghost in my house but I didn't know why. When my mother heard these stories, she told my sister and I that she understood what was happening here. It seems that our neighbor's mother had died recently, and not long after her death, her daughter-in-law, who was friends with my mother, told my mother that the old lady had a lot of bedsheets that hadn't been used and wanted to know if my mother wanted them. My mother took them, and she claimed that while washing them, she got a really creepy feeling, but chose to ignore it. After washing these sheets, she put them on my sister's and my bed. The same day she put them on our beds, the weird things started happening. "That old lady doesn't want you to have her sheets", my mother said. She immediately gathered up the sheets, threw them in the trash, and the "visitations" immediately stopped. My mother was right. The old lady didn't want us to have her sheets. It's been over 20 years, but I still shudder when I think about what happened to me and my sister. I've had a number of paranormal experiences in my life, but that one is definetely the eeriest.
8.24.1 Bill Halmeck <bgreen@aol.com>
For many years I ran along a quiet beach road every morning in the dark at 3:30 AM. At first this practice was rather erie because this wooded area is very dark and quite at that hour of the morning. Though out of routine, I became accustomed to the sounds and sights of these early morning hours, and rarely encountered anything out of the ordinary. Running in the dark of the morning became very peaceful and meditative.
One warm summer morning it was unusually quiet and still. Then as if from nowhere, the abrupt and alarming wail of a baby cried out from an opened window on the first floor of a darkend home just as I passed. I was frittened so by the sound, and I wielded around with a few strides, to stop and face the home. These crys had the intensity of a newborn, and I was possesed there for the few moments until it stopped. No light ever turned on in the house nor did it seem as though anyone else woke up. I continued on my run. For several mornings there after, I passed this same house with a hightened awarness.
On another morning about a week later, I was running again in the early morning hours. This morning a short but very loud thunder storm passed through. The kind of summer storm that blasts claps of thunder directly over your house as it passes. I love to run in the rain, so I ran right through the storm, and it passed through as quickly as it came. The cool early morming aftermath of this thunderstorm was so still and peacefull. All was quiet as I ran along my route. Then from out of an upstairs window of a two story home came the loud moan of a man. He moaned loudly several times, and I felt very uneasy as I passed. I thought about the baby crying a week earlier. Both events were very strange, and I thought maybe there was some significance, but I could make no conection to anything.
Several days later I was making a tape of assorted Grateful Dead songs. This tape was one of three that I had been working on for a couple of weeks. I was sending them to a freind in Colorodo. These were to be her introduction to the music of the Grateful Dead. I was creating what I thought was the ultimate Deadshow. I closed my masterpiece with none other than "morning dew". I listened to those words like I had a thousand times,
"I heard a baby cry this morning"
"I heard a young man moan this morning"
I got shivers up my spine as I am right now while I am writing this. I still did not understand. What did this mean?
A few days later the girl from Colorodo called and gave me the news of Jerry Garcia's death.
I knew I had been touched by some spirit of nature. I feel as though I was included in something larger than us all.
Aaron Stroud <trapin@yahoo.com> sent this in. :
Here's something that's not exactly spooky, but it's real and interesting: I lived in a small ranch house outside of Chicago from 1972 to 1986. I don't really know the history of the place or the land it was built on, but these occurences are forever etched in my mind. I can't tell how many times this happened, it became so commonplace that it wasn't scary by the time I was 9 years old. The first time this happened I was probably four or five. I would be woken in the wee hours of the morning. Who knows what time it really was, but it was always dark and my sibs and parents were always knocked out. Anyway, the sound that woke me was the unmistakable sound of the chairs in our dining room scratching against the tile floor. I remember in the beginning of the occurences that it sounded like mom and dad had company and hadn't told us. The sound became louder and louder every time, almost beckoning me to it. For the first ten times this happened, I would walk down our long hallway, turn left through the living room, and take another left into the kitchen. Here's the freaky part. As I would walk down the hall, the sound became increasingly louder until it was deafening. The first few times, I was so terrified about what was happening that I would wake my brother to check and see if he had heard the same thing. Any time I would wake someone, the sounds would stop, and no one would believe a word I was saying. I was always told that I was dreaming. After a while, I knew I wasn't dreaming. This was really happening and only I could hear it. When I finally got the courage to look and see what was happening in the dining room, the most unreal thing would happen every time: the sound would immediately cease, and the chairs were sitting under the table, not having moved an inch. To this day, the family still thinks I'm nuts. This is a true story, and like I said in the beginning, it happened so much that it became routine. Why was this poltergeist only audible to me? I have no idea. When we moved in '86, the occurences stopped. Pretty weird.

6.26.01 mpkolich@yahoo.com Jesse Slokum sent us this literal spine tingler:
I am the name-sake son of Marijan Kolic (it's pronounced with a hard "tch" sound). My father was an immigrant sailor, born on a long island - Dugi Otok - off of the Dalmatian coast of what is now Croatia. We were both born under the sign of Cancer, five days apart - he on the 12th and I on the 17th of July. Dad spoke English with a thick Slav accent, and as I was growing up, I grew estranged from the man. After dropping out of college in 1967, I hit the highway for San Francisco in September 1967, but spent more time down the coast in Santa Clara, and up in China Grade Ridge in the Sant Cruz Mountains than in the Bay area...Circumstances beyond my control led me back to NY by December where I was fortunate enough to attend my first Dead show Christmas eve...
Marijan had a hard time with my wandering ways, even though he had sailed to 4 continents himself in his youth...when I would visit him infrequently, during the seventies, our talks were strained. It wasn't until 1981, when I was doing well enough working in down-town San Francisco, and could fly out to visit him in New Jersey, that he began to warm up to his "chip-off-the-old-block" son... Finally, I felt a bond forming between us as adults...He would say - in his stilted english - "Son, be a gentlemen!"
Since he died in 1982, I've come to realize there was a legacy transmitted in that strong suggestion, and I labor daily to live the Gentle Life he dreamed of...
In the spring of 82, I was working still at the Blue Print Service Company in downtown SF when I found out that he had cancer...the doctor would try chemo-therapy but the prognosis wasn't favorable...By the fall I knew he wouldn't make it...My mother rented a hospital bed for him, nursing him in his terminal state like she'd nursed her own stroke-victim mother in the late forties...As October came along, I chose to take my first paid vacation the week after Thanksgiving...
The Monday morning before Turkey day, I got a call at work from my mother...He had maybe 48 hours, could I fly out? My supervisor was great, he said take the day off to deal with your travel considerations. My travel agent, who booked flights for some fantasy fiction author friends of mine in Berkeley, was fabulous - he got me on a "red-eye" east-bound that very night, November 22, 1982.
So, I went to my pad in Berkeley and got everything together for the 11:30 pm flight...I had some time to spare that afternoon, so I went to my favorite Coffee House in Berkeley, the Cafe Mediterraneum, on Telegraph Avenue (it's still there!). Sitting on the sidewalk near the doorway of the "Med" was a Vietnam Vet friend of mine (who was definitely suffering from Post Combat Stress Syndrome...). He asked me what I was doing there, noting, "Aren't you still working in SF?"
I had just enough time to tell him Dad was dying, and I was trying to get to his bedside ASAP. He wished me well...Then I felt a strong shiver in my spine, as if I was getting a Kundalini rush up my back...I had studied Kundalini Yoga since the seventies, so I was familiar with the phenomenon...it was 4:30pm California time. Later, I called my family to tell them where and when to meet me at the Newark, NJ, airport the next morning...
The Chicago to Newark leg of the flight was in a 747, I was in a window forward of the wing...the plane topped out at 41,000 feet above the billowy white cloud cover...I could see the curvature of the horizon, where white met blue...as we descended, flying over Northern NJ, I glanced down just in time to see the distinct shape of my hometown high school below! Yet, jets fly at hundreds of miles an hour, and in the few seconds it took me to look a mile away from the HS for my family house, the plane was already ten miles further east...
A happily uneventful flight complete, I walked up the concourse to meet my brothers...I could tell by the look on my younger brother Dennis' face that my father had - as Vaudeville-ian George Burns eulogised Lucille Ball - seen The Man come with his pictures...as George said about Luci, "When the man comes with your Pictures, you got to go..."
Dennis asked how I knew Dad was dead.
"It's all over you face, man."
Suddenly, the though struck me - was he already gone when I called from Berkeley?
"Yeah, about 7:30pm, EST."
The shiver came back - 3000 miles apart, and I had felt a tingling in my spine that will stay with me all of my days...Many more skeptical folks will swear such things happen all the time, that it's only co-incidence...yet, we read and hear of many such things happening to relatives and friends whose time had come. For me, in the years since eightytwo I've found a lot of my father's emotional make-up in myself, and will often experience a close presence...like he is walking beside me - is it all subjective? I'll leave that one to the very skeptical...for this namesake son, the spine tingler was a great gift, a strength that carries me through adversity.

Maureen O'Brien provides this uncanny reminiscence:
Early one morning, I dreamt that i was in my daugher's room, overwhelmed with a feeling of panic. I had forgotten that we had a pet bird (I had a pet bird once when I was a child, but I don't actually have a bird presently...), and i had unintentionally neglected this bird for a very long time. At this moment in my dream I remembered the bird, but by the time I found it, it was extremely emaciated and lying weakly on the floor of its filthy cage, with nothing but hulls left in the food dish; the water dish was crusty with mineral deposits from dried water. Save for a few dirty white feathers, there was nothing left of its former beautiful plumage, and it was gasping for air from its beak and making a horrible sound. I felt awful... due to my negligence, this poor creature was suffering. I fell to the floor and picked the bird up and cradled it in my hands, touching it gently and whispering softly, "it's ok, i promise I'll never let this happen again".. to my surprise the bird began to speak to me.." Why.. Why did you forget about me? I'm starving.. I'm staarrvinng.. ohhh...".. At this, i softly set the bird down, and I promised I'd return with fresh food and water. I took the feeding dishes into the kitchen, and carefully cleaned and filled them. As I returned to my daughter's room, i noticed white feathers strewn about the hallway. I felt a wave of panic wash over me.. i heard the wail of a banshee, tortured scream from hell....the cat was strutting out of my daughter's room proudly, with a white feather hanging from the corner of her mouth. I awoke with a jolt.

I lay in my bed for several moments, my heart pounding loudly, trying to grasp the hidden meaning of this dream. Was I neglecting my daughter? Myself? Something else? What did the cat symbolize? What did this wretched dream fortell? I was unable to shake the feeling as I stumbled into the bathroom. I looked into the mirror, and to my horror, resting in the tangles of my long hair was a small, white feather.
I have always been able to see things that most other folks do not....which had my mother in a fit more times than I would like to remember. This story takes place in 1967. I was eleven years old. I was traveling in a truck with my mom, two brothers and her boyfriend, Tex. We were driving in Compton, California.
My mother and her boyfriend had taken us to their friends home in Compton. They were there to help them prune their fruit trees. They had been smoking weed and drinking some California dark port....we were all having a good time.
I got a "calling" which to me, means it's time to talk to Grandma. I have never met any of my grandparents. They all passed away before I was born. My mother's mother passed away on my mothers sixth birthday. This is the Grandmother who speaks to me, often.
I walked passed the fruit trees to the back of the yard, which was quite large. I could hear my grandmother speaking, but this time I could not see her. She told me to please tell my mom not to drive home that evening. That there would be much blood....and it would be my blood. I was terrified. I went charging over to my mother and explained to her that my grandmother had just told me that we were not to drive home that evening....I relayed the message to her precisely as my grandmother had told me. My mother became very angry with me and yelled at me to stop my craziness! I told her that I wasn't crazy and grandma does not want me to get hurt. My mother yelled again saying that her mother had never spoken to her and why should she speak to me only? I said I didn't know why.
We drove towards home that evening....and as my mother turned the corner on Compton Blvd., I was half asleep but I woke up long enough to look up at her and say, "you know mom, I've never been in the hospital and I've never had any stitches?" About a minute later we were side swiped by a car and the door of the truck flew open and my brothers flew out of the truck and then, I flew out. Unfortunately, when I was sliding across the asphalt, the bed of the truck with all the tree branches fell on my head. I felt something gushing over my face and I was thinking...maybe it's gasoline...I'd better call for help...gasoline can kill you! The bed of the truck was lifted off of me and I stood up with some help..but the "gasoline" kept flowing....it wasn't gas...it was blood! And lots of it. I was in the hospital for six weeks. I had ninety-eight stitches in my head and twenty two in my arm....where they took the skin for the skin graft that covered the hole in my head. Luckily, no one else was hurt!
When I woke up in the morning my mother was crying because she hadn't believed me. I told her that it was okay. I told her that she shouldn't feel bad about getting the brush caught in her mom's hair....and she looked at me aghasted! When her mother was dying of pneumonia, she had tried to brush her hair and it got caught in her mother's tangles....I guess she had been feeling guilty all those years...kept it inside and never told a "soul"
Lisa Monroe
(2nd cousin to Bill)

During my sophomore year of college, I was living in the dorms with my friend Tom. I've never been one to have bizarre things happen to me, but, as it turns out, Tom is quite the magnet for supernatural occurances. One night while I was sleeping, I had a dream that our room was being visited by four strange entities. In the dream, I remember looking up from my bed to see a bright light coming in the windows and four beings (the aliens with the big black eyes) hovering above the floor and looking at Tom and me (we slept in lofts). And that's all there was to it (as far as I remember). The next morning, as Tom and I were getting ready for class, I told him about my dream. He just froze solid and told me that he had had the exact same dream. Same lights and same four beings floating above the floor and looking at us. It was the strangest supernatural experience I had had until...


Last summer I took a weeks vacation to go to Denver and see Phil at Red Rocks. One night, after spending the afternoon in Boulder at a bar called The Sink, I was walking around town taking it all in, when suddenly, it hit me. I had to call my friends Jason and Annette. Now, to give a bit of background info, Jason and Annette are married and, at the time, were trying to have a baby. She had had two miscarrages. One of them, unfortunately, was while we were on our way to see Bob Dylan in Cincinatti the previous year. At the time of my Denver trip, Annette was 7 months pregnant and had already been experiencing some complications. Anyway, while I was walking around downtown Boulder, all of a sudden, it hit me. I needed to call them. I immediately found a pay phone and called. As it turned out, Annette had to be taken to the hospital because she had gone into premature labor. Anyway, everything eventually turned out fine and she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, but it just goes to show how much of a connection you have to people when you really care about them.

Jef Fugh



I live near the north edge of a medium-sized town in western Oregon. About a mile from my house the town ends and gives way to open country--a rising range of grassy hills with scattered groves of ancient oak and maple, some bare hilltops which may once have been the site of Indian villages (I have found old arrowheads there), and then second-growth Douglas fir forest for miles beyond. I have enjoyed hiking in these hills since I moved here nearly 30 years ago.

About halfway up the range is a knoll which looks out over the valley below. It is shaded by magnificent old gnarled trees, and features a rocky outcropping which forms a natural bench. It is a comfortable place to rest before hiking to the ridgetop, or simply to sit and meditate for awhile; I have always felt particularly calm and centered sitting there.

Once (and only once, 25 years ago) I had a peculiar experience there. It was an early Spring day of intermittent clouds and sunshine, and as I sat enjoying a balmy breeze and thinking of nothing in particular, I strongly felt the shared presence of a young Kalapuya hunter from maybe 300 years before. For a moment I was looking through his eyes at a landscape of open unspoliled prairie, and at the same time sensed that he was looking through mine--with the same feeling of bewilderment--at a valley floor covered with White man's houses, streets, and automobiles.

The experience was not the least bit frightening; it was rather sad and poignant. I have often returned to this site, hoping to re-establish contact with this young man that I might--at the least--apologize for the harm my ancestors did to his people and his beautiful country.

But this has not happened. Last time I was there I found a chipped and broken arrowhead among the gravel. I didn't take it home, but buried it in a crack in the rocks.

Brian Pearson brian@unisun.org

Here's a true tale of a ghost Dave Hunter encountered... or did it encounter him?
While growing up I always knew that there was a "presence" in my house. It
was built in 1763 in a small town in New England. Many people had been born
in this hose, and many had died there. I had felt something watching so many
times that I had become used to it, although at times the presence of the
ghost was pretty uncomfortable. We named him "Judge Curtis" as that was the
rumor from our elderly neighbor as to who this ghost was. The subject of the
ghost was the source of much teasing and joking between me and my siblings.
In 1985 I followed the band out to Marin County and have lived here ever
since. In 1988 I went back to visit for the holidays, and was still on
California time as the rest of the family slept. It was sometime after
midnight when I decided to go up into the attic to poke through some of my
old belongings. There are two rooms in the attice, the one at the top of the
stairs is open to the rafters and the other room was semi-finished off
sometime back in the 1930's.
My dog Scottie followed me up the stairs and I procedded to dig thru some
boxes and drawers in the 1930's room. Scottie started to whine and pace
between me and the door leading back to the stairwell. I shrugged it off for
a minute or two but soon became very uncomfortable. Scottie left the room
and I could hear him whining louder at the top of the stairs. I called for
him to come, which he always obeys like a faithful dog, but He would not
enter the room!
At that instance I felt an Icy presence (it was already cold as the attic is
un-insulated and it was December) surround me with a very nasty vibe to it.
It was willing me to leave the attic, and I noticed that all the hair on my
arms was standing on end, and every cell of my body was rebelling my efforts
to move! I was stuck for what seemed like an eternity, which may have been
fractions of a second for all I know. Then this Icy presence enveloped me
and an even stronger feeling of terror came over me, finally I was able to
move and I dashed out of the room and went to lead old Scottie down the
stairs and he wouldn't let me touch him! The poor dog was terrified of me,
the dog I grew up with and was best friends with would not let me even get
near him.
I went downstairs and Scottie reluctantly followed and I went directly to my
brother Chris's room and woke him up. I was still enveloped in the Icy
chill. He woke with a start and immediatly commented on how pale I was and
didn't need to ask if I had seen the ghost. As soon as our conversation
started the presence left my body and I began to feel warmer, but I was
still terrified. Chris stayed up with me as I talked the whole incident out
and I ended up sleeping on the floor of his room to avoid passing by the
attic door again that night.
I have yet to venture into that attic again.
The next morning was filled with tales from other family members of their
encounters with "Mr. Curtis", one which my Mom related was how on one
winters afternoon she was working in the front hallway when a big tabby cat
came sauntering down the front saircase. She had never seen the cat before,
and wondered how it got into the house when all the doors were shut and the
windows sealed for winter! As it went around a corner she followed it to
shoo it back outside... when she turned the corner it simply vanished, never
to be seen again.
A few days later she related this tale to our elderly neighbor who asked my
mom to describe the cat to her. After my mom was finished the old woman
exclaimed, "when I was a child I remember Judge Curtis Having a big old
Tabby cat just like that."
May the Good Judge Curtis Rest in Peace... someday.
Dave Hunter

Here's a true chiller I wrote up to include as an outro to my comic book. I've since added a few details after triple checking the facts with my wife. . . . rh
Dog Moon began as an experiment in the primitive evocative power of one syllable words. No plot, just messing around. After publishing the resulting short sketch in the first issue of the Grateful Dead Almanac, I felt intrigued enough with the technique to continue along the same lines, limiting mysef to monosylables, and, lo and behold, a story started forming.
Concurrently, I was taking a two week course of Ciprofloxin for a nasty infection. About that time my wife Maureen left for a fortnight's visit to England. The antibiotic, combined with the solitude, dealt me a strangely persistant mood of existential horror which only my keen interest in writing Dog Moon alleviated. Without that anchor, depression beckoned, and I had to take the pills. Later I read, in the Phyicians Desk Reference, that this mental condition was deducible to drinking coffee with the drug. Ciprofloxin has been known to greatly exacerbate the effects of caffeine, which it certainly did in my case, giving each of numerous cups the effect of a triple espresso.
Meanwhile, Maureen called to tell me she'd rented a room in a medieval convent, scene of gruesome slaughter during the Norman Invasion. Mass was celebrated there until a local cathedral was built. Maureen was christened in the old place, recently turned into a hotel. She'd lived in the area as a child and knew the place was reputed to be aggressively haunted. An old friend of the family, whom I met on my vacation to England earlier this year, had lived there as a caretaker between the closing of the place as a church and its opening as a hotel. She reported how maids refused to clean a certain room, the Queen Anne room, and hurried quickly down the halls of the ancient wing it was situated in when they absolutely needed to pass that way.
When my wife got to the hotel, they said they had no rooms, despite her long standing reservation. She got heavy with them and was reluctantly granted a room in the old wing, which took some time to get ready. It was the Queen Anne room. Maureen didn't know of this specific room's reputation at the time.
At 2 a.m. of the warm July night, the temperature in the room suddenly dropped to an icy chill and the odor of mold and death permeated the place. Our daughter Katy moaned and groaned in her sleep.A distant moaning wail was heard along with a strong sense of presence in the room which disturbed Maureen so much she couldn't sleep till dawn.
Our daughter Charlotte came to stay the second night. The same performance repeated itself the next night, again at exactly 2 a.m. but Lottie & Kate slept through it all. Maureen lay there in a kind of parayzed terror. Recalling details for me, as I double check the facts, still gives her goosebumps.The morning of the third day, she demanded a change of room, and was accomodated with no questions. As she said, in a phone call to me: they knew. While Maureen was out of the room attending to this business, Charlotte observed a coffee cup on the table rise straight up in the air, sail across the room and hurl itself forcefully to the floor, shattering to shards. That was it. The family was out of that hotel.. Again no questions were asked. They knew. We've since come into possession of a ghastly tale of supernatural happenings at the same hotel, printed in a small book in the 1920's, but space forbids further report.
Suffice it to say, my wife's daily reports of haunting strengthened the sense of unearthly strangeness I endured while writing the first draft of DogMoon.
BD spins this yarn which is not to be read alone in the house at night.
Once on a vacation to South Florida, about 1978, my husband and I took a weekend excursion with a friend we were visiting, over to the Gulf Coast, to the Naples area. Our friend had just bought a new Ford van, but had not yet customized it, so it was just basic metal, no insulation or paneling. (This is an important point!) We all had our sleeping bags and were planning to sleep in the van.
We crossed over the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades and arrived at the Gulf in the late afternoon. We'd had a great day in the 'Glades, watching exotic birdlife and gators and blasting Dead tapes all the way. (No psychotropic substances consumed that day, however.) We planned to park the van on a beach somewhere and camp for the night. However, all the beaches we found had prohibitions against all-night parking or camping.
So we set out cruising the highway that runs along the Gulf, sometimes driving right next to the water, sometimes veering off about a half-mile from the beaches. We couldn't find any place to stop, and the sun was beginning to set, so we finally turned off the highway onto a dirt road that led directly west toward the beach and the sunset. It seemed that we could only have been a half or quarter mile from the beach. We really thought we had it made then, because it seemed that we were on public land and would eventually come out to some cloistered cove on the beach.
Except that we drove and drove and drove, and we were nowhere nearer to the beach than when we started, yet we were traveling in a virtually straight trajectory toward the sunset. Since we were still having such a good time listening to a tape and partying, it was a while before we noticed our dilemma. Twilight was about to descend.
At about the moment we noticed that we had been driving for 20-30 minutes and arriving nowhere but in swampy wilderness, the road became very unused with deep soft sand. (Still no beach in sight.) So of course we immediately got stuck. The guys got out and dug us out and we drove on maybe a couple hundred yards and got stuck again. This time, no matter how hard we tried, we were solidly entrenched in the sandy road. We decided that we just had to make the best of it and sleep there and hike out for help in the morning.
As we settled into our sleeping bags in the back of the van (hard plain metal, remember), I noticed out the panel door window that a small sapling pine was in my view, silhouetted against the deepening twilight glow. All was still. No breeze stirred at all. I felt a deep unease at our situation, as we had *zero* protection with us, not even a baseball bat, and I had heard tales of psycho crazies known to live in the Florida swamps. We were vulnerable stuck there in the van, like sardines in a tin can. Speeding away from trouble was not an option we had.
Just as we were completely settled and ready to doze off, there was the sound of heavy boots crunching on seashells coming toward the van from the rear. My heart went cold with fright. The guys both tensed at the sound. We didn't know who to expect so I buried into my sleeping bag so I couldn't be seen in the dim light from the window. The guys decided to stay very quiet unless someone tried to talk to us. Maybe it was a sheriff's officer who could help us? Maybe a property owner?
At that moment, there was the sound of a shovel digging into the sand right by the back left tire, the one stuck in the sand. The sand was flung against the side of the van. Remember, it was just a thin piece of metal, no insulation, so we heard every grain as it hit. I was frightened and hopeful. "Someone is trying to dig us out!" I whispered to the guys. "You guys should go out and talk to them!"
However, to my total confusion and dismay, both of the men beside me were lapsing into a very deep drowsy slumber. There was no response to my nudgings and increasingly alarmed whispers that they wake up and do something. The sound of the shovel digging and the sand hitting the van grew more intense. Now there was also the sound of the shovel hitting something metallic as it dug into the sand, and the sand continued to be persistently thrown against the van. It was SO LOUD!! How could the guys be so passive?? It was not like either of them at all!!
I was becoming terrified at our situation. I thought maybe it was some lunatic murderer digging our graves before coming after us in the van. I don't think I'd ever experienced that level of fright before that moment, but it only got worse from there. In addition to the sound of the shovel hitting something solid ("chink!") and the sand being flung forcefully against the van, a new sound began. It was a loud cacaphonous clanging, as if some animal(s) had tin cans and cowbells tied to them and they were going crazy with the sound. Yes, I began to understand the true meaning of "mindless terror" at this point. And still the men beside me remained in deep slumber, even snoring peacefully. I tried hysterically to shake them awake, entreating them to get up, to no avail. The clanging and the digging and the sand flinging raged so LOUD all around that back side of the van. And I could see that the little sapling tree outside the window, now framed with starlight, remained perfectly still. Wind was not the cause of this cacaphony.
Finally, I decided to give up to my Fate. What else could I do? I just gave up and blacked out. After some time, (I estimate several hours) I woke up again. It was pitch dark, except for some starlight. All was silent and still. Oh God, I thought, is it gone? Is everything alright? What's happening? The guys continued to sleep deeply beside me. Since I could hear nothing except their soft breathing, I began to let relief and hope seep into my shattered nerves.
At that moment, I heard the faint sound of the metallic clanging cowbells and tin cans moving from a distance swiftly toward the van. In seconds it all began again, the shoveling, the sand against the van metal, the LOUD clanging and rattling, like some animal trying to get many tin cans loose from its tail. I thought I had experienced "terror" before, but now my fright was simply off the scale. I was literally out of my mind with terror. Terror beyond thought. And the guys continued to doze on, as if in deeply enchanted unconsciousness.
Finally I did the only thing I could do. I climbed into the front seat to try to see what was going on in the sideview mirror or by looking through the rolled-up left window, not knowing what awaited me. Of course the whole sound moved then to the BACK of the van, and it was so dark I could see nothing. Well, nothing to do then but climb back into my sleeping bag and truly resign myself to my fate. Again I simply blacked out from terrified exhaustion.
When I opened my eyes again, it was bright clear morning. I was still alive!! I stirred and the guys woke up, too. Our friend turned to me and his first words were, "What if there's a 30-foot hole out there by the van?" I could have strangled him.
We all got out to find the sand was perfectly smooth. Not a single footprint anywhere, not even ours from the night before, nor any trace of where we had tried to dig ourselves out! The guys insisted it must have been a strong wind that night, but I KNEW better. But they were right about one thing: just falling asleep was the best course of action against this "entity"! It seemed to be having riotous fun in direct proportion to my level of fright (like coming back the instant it knew I was awake again). I began to suspect that we had been "set up" for that event, by trapping our vehicle there.
Was it a ghost? We speculated that maybe we were stuck on the site of some old pirate's buried treasure, hence the digging and clinking metal-on-metal sound. Also, because the sand was so fine and smooth, how did we hear the clear sound of heavy boots crunching on seashells?? We walked a ways in all directions. No footprints of any kind. So we just quickly dug ourselves out, turned back the way we came and got out of there!! My nerves took quite a while to heal. Anybody want the treasure map?
baymarin@well.com (BD)

Jon McIntire, Golden Age manager of the Grateful Dead, presents this quiddity for your delectation.

While I was in England visiting friends, Katie Hunter and I took a walk over some beautiful Herefordshire fields, replete with a bombast of wildflowers. So we're sauntering at a leisurely pace and chatting about no particular subject, when she asked me if I believed in ghosts. There was no conversational precedent and no emotional load to her tone. I chalked it up to the way kids have of carrying on conversations in their heads and when they finally do include you aloud, they think you've already heard what preceded in their imaginings. Wanting to answer honestly, Katie is old enough and bright enough to discuss just about anything, I replied that I wasn't sure what she or anyone meant by ghost. Could apply to a lot of things. But that I had indeed had some encounters with what I filed in my memory as probable ghosts, not having any other single word to use. She, of course, wanted details.

I used to live in a house in Bolinas California on a cliff 240 feet over the ocean, spectacular views of Mt Tam, the Bolinas lagoon, Stinson Beach, a piece of western San Francisco, and the vast Pacific Ocean. Quite the spot. One day the other folks with whom I was living at the time left for a couple of days and I took advantage of the near solitude to work on a commission of illustrations for a poetry magazine, "Isthmus". I say near solitude because we had a cat named Alfredo, who belonged to John Cooke. When John moved from Marin to Wyoming, we took the cat. Alfredo was a solid dude physically and psychologically, very independent and not given to displays of affection. So I put Wagner's Siegfried on the phono, cranked it up, and settled in for some intensely concentrated drawing at my desk in the front room.

All walls toward the ocean in this house were of glass, and there was a small courtyard in the center with a long hall running beside it to the entrance door at the other end of the house. There was a window onto the court yard beside my desk, and another window across the court alongside the hall. I had been working diligently for more than an hour, things flowing well. On the edges of my vision I became aware of someone/something walking somewhat slowly down the hallway towards the living room. Being intent on my creative frenzy, I paid it no conscious attention.

Wagner was booming and my pencil strokes were gushing forth. When suddenly the colorless, ectoplasmically translucent person, wearing a fedora, burst into the sound filled room, looked over at me, I was looking up at him when he actually came into the room, he appeared very surprised to see that I was there, jumped a bit and bolted into the kitchen. Why he was so surprised to see someone when the music was about 105 db was beyond me. Maybe hearing wasn't his thing.

I went back to my drawing, Being on a roll I didn't care what it was, having gotten a good look anyway. Alfredo freaked, came tearing over to me and wrapped himself around my feet under the desk and refused to budge from there even though I kept forgetting and repeatedly stepped on him. This behavior on Alfredo's part was TOTALLY unprecedented, he didn't even hang around to be petted. Yet there he stayed for the rest of the afternoon, until I went elsewhere.

The house was supposedly built by Philo Farnsworth, who invented the cathode ray tube or some such, anyway he was credited as being one of the main inventors of the television. I think he met his end in that house.

Jon McIntire jonmc@well.com

The contributor of this story requests anonymity in case anyone connected with this event happens to read the library.

My family has a history of not believing in things that can't be proven by empirical means. This story proves to me just how wrong we are. One of my relatives had a huge tumor in his abdomen. He also has other medical problems, making surgery more dangerous than normal, but the doctors felt they had no choice. The tumor was growing, and they decided to operate. My relative went into cardiac arrest on the operating table, and essentially died for a minute or two. But he had a good surgical team and some luck, and they revived him.

The operation was finished successfully. Nobody mentioned this to the patient. They didn't want to upset him in his delicate condition. Besides, my family doesn't talk about "such things." But a couple of days later, his wife was visiting him in the hospital and he asked her if he'd died during surgery. She admitted that he had, and said, "Why do you ask?" He said he just wanted to be confirm what he saw when he was hovering above the operating table, watching the doctors bring him back to life.

Name witheld by request

In the fall of 1984, my cousin and I, having been blessed or cursed with a curiosity concerning matters of the occult, pooled our money together and bought a Oija Board. Moms old board up in the attic was unsuitable for contacting the spirits, the clear plastic viewing disc on the pointer was broken and the felt pads on which the pointer sat were no longer in place. I'm not sure whether the reason this arrangement did not work was by nature mechanical, and that no such communication could occur, or social, the ghosts insulted by our request to talk with them on such shabby equipment attending to other matters.

That same night my cousin John and I broke out the board and contacted a spirit who called itself xzqvqzx. Xzqvqzx had very poor spelling skills and it was difficult to communicate in detail, but he (she, it, ?) proved competent in responding to yes and no questions. I can't remember the details of the dialog, but I do remember that xzqvqzx agreed to meet us that night at 2AM.

My cousin and I went into the living room to watch as much of Saturday Night Live as we could, but grew tired and went to bed. Our plan to wait up and keep our appointment had lost it's appeal tofatigue.

I was later awakened by the sensation of somebody pounding lightly on my left calf. I looked back and saw no-one. Dismissing it as a twitch I went back to sleep. A while later my sleep was interrupted again by the same pounding as before, but on my right thigh. I looked back but nobody was there. Scared out of my wits I looked over at my cousin up on his bed and tried to get up to wake him, but found I couldn't move, and in all my effort to shout, I could manage no more than a very strained and dry whisper.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the morning and telling John what had happened. He said that he heard his name being whispered, and trying to respond, found that he was unable to move.

When I went home later, John made me take the Ouija board with me, and he moved all of his furniture into the spare bedroom, refusing to sleep in that room ever again. A few weeks later I broke the board in two pieces and threw it in the garbage.

Brian Bramkamp

I'm a graduate student at UVa. and live in Charlottesville, Va. My little brother is in school at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Va., about 1 hour west of me. We are from Richmond, an hour east of me. One night this past summer, I think it was thursday, I was asleep early as I had to work the next day. But I wasn't sleeping very well. I was dreaming fairly vividly that I was out with my brother and a couple of his friends. One of the friends was Mark, a life long buddy of my brother's, the other kid was anonamous.

In the dream we were driving down Old Gun Rd., a windy narrow road where my parent's house is located near the James river. We were in my brother's car and he was driving, I was riding shotgun and the other kids were in the back. I was uneasy because Chris didn't seem firmly in control. Every turn we swerved and almost careened on the edge of the muddy ditches. The tires didn't seem to be gripping the rode properly and he was going too fast. I wanted to tell him to slow down, but for some reason I just sat there and squeezed the arm rests, anticipating that we were going to spin out and crash. It was a similar feeling I've had, and heard of others having, in dreams were you are in danger and want to cry out, but despite all your efforts you can't make a noise (or one of those dreams where you can't run when you try). It wasn't exactly like that, however, because I didn't really try to stop him, but rather resisted a strong urge to try in favor of a dubious notion that I was over reacting.

Anyway, as you might have nearly guessed by now, the car went into a series of rapid, agonizing 360's. I've had car wreck dreams like this before, usually with me behind the wheel, and this is were they really turn into nightmares. The car flys out of control and you wait for the impact, certain you'll never survive. It's truely a horrifying feeling that's hard to out do.

The car spun and spun, and then, WHAP! the rear of the hatchback honda thunked into a muddy embankment. I didn't wake up as you normally might at this piont. Instead, I assessed myself as uninjured, inquired to the others to find them uninjuried, and then we simply spewed out of the ditch and the dream faded away. I slept the rest of the night undisturbed.

O.K., so here's where it gets a little weird. Like I said it was summer, late summer, and my brother was still in Richmond, having not yet returned to JMU for his third year. While speaking with my mother the next day, who always spills her concerns about Chris to me, I was shocked to hear the latest news was that just last night Chris had run my parent's suburban off of Old Gun Rd. Mark and some other kid I didn't know were in the truck, but no one was injured and the suburban was only minimally damaged.

Rob Staples RStaplziii@aol.com

From: Phil Eyesngart

I was at a two day meeting for work where all the health center administrators of Kaiser's Northeast Region gather for an evening dinner followed by an all day meeting the next day (sounds like fun, huh?). After dinner I was headed to my room when one of the other administrators, who I knew only slightly, approached me. She said, "Excuse me, this may sound strange but I have to tell you." "Tell me what?" "All through dinner I saw a woman, a spirit, standing behind you." Now being somewhat wise to the world and, of course, as a Deadhead I took what she said at face value. We went to the lounge where she told me she had been able to see spirits and auras since she was a child. The spirit standing behind me had been the most powerful she had yet seen. She described the women to me, but I didn't recognize her. She said the spirit was very luminous, kind and benevolent. Well that was good news. The spirit told her that I should not worry about my health (I am a survivor of a bout with Hodgkins Disease '87-'88).

We talked for a bit and it did eventually occur to me that this might have been an unusual pickup line, but it did seem unlikely. She knew I was married, as was she, we didn't know each other and I give off that "married vibe" at these things. She really had no way to pre-judge my reaction as a colleage although I might have been the only person at that dinner who would have reacted as I did. In any event, I returned, alone, to my room and sat up quite awhile feeling pretty buzzed from the whole thing.

Two days later, I received an interoffice envelope with two microcassettes. On them this colleague had recorded two separate visitations she had from the same spirit on her drive home from the meeting. The tapes included several aspects of my life that she shouldn't have know about, as well as a more detailed description of the spirit and her history as well as some advice. None of the tape was particularly troubling, mostly upbeat stuff. One thing that was advised was to read things that came my way carefully looking for more than what seems to be there (sounds alot like other good advice I've heard like, "Sometimes you get shown the light..."). All in all pretty cool.

Then, less than a week later, I came in from some yardwork on a Saturday morning, had a second cup of coffee and glanced down at the newspaper (a scenario which was very rare at the time). The first thing my eye fell on was a classified ad for a piano for $50 less than a mile from my house! I had wanted to get a piano in the house for years and just didn't have the extra money for it. None of us plays, but I like to have a piano to muck about on. A few hours later I had my piano.

So, well maybe it's not very weird or spooky and I guess it could have just been my lucky day to see the piano ad, call, and get there first (BTW the piano was in excellent condition). I don't think so, as soon as I saw that ad, I thought of the spirit. I'd like to think that the spirit chose me and I have some guardian angel around me making my dreams come true. Unfortunately, I don't think so - but maybe I was a special assignment. Anyway, It was a very cool exprerience and either that colleague was a great actor with no fear or she believed every word she told me.

Phil Eyesngart EYESNGART@aol.com

The night in question was much like any other, my Mum had put me to bed and turned out the light. After ten mins. or so of the obligatory faux sleep, I flipped on a flashlight (back then I would have called it a torch) and read comic books under the covers. A couple of comics in, I became aware of an prescence in the room. Looking out from under the covers I saw what appeared to be some sort of cloudy, human-shaped entity. It had no face or features of any kind, but seemed to be looking at me. At that point I really didn't feel any fear, and I stared at it as if to say "yes? Can I help you?" The apparition lingered for a moment or two, then appeared to dissolve slowly into the floor.

After it had gone entirely, a whole bucket of dread poured down my spine, and paralyzed, I stared at the spot where it had been. I remained that way until fatigue overcame my will to stay awake. It was not until the family had made it to the U.S. that our neighbors wrote to us telling us the history of the house. The previous owners had divorced, the wife taking the kids and leaving the house to the husband, who had soon thereafter taken his life in the children's bathroom.

Our friends had not wanted to say anything while we were still living there, but as we had moved on deemed it time to tell. The letter also sparked communication amongst my own family. I had never mentioned my little story, and did not until my mother informed me that she had on many occasions, in the wee hours of the morning, heard footsteps on the landing and up and down the stairs. She had always assumed that it was me or my sister getting up early. Upon investigation, however, she always found us still asleep. Further letters from our friends in England told us that the new owners of the house were also experiencing assorted wierdness, and they did not stay there very long.

Simon Holcroft

Gail Edwards sends this story along. Our first "as told to" report: this story gave me goosebumps when i heard it, especially when the teller concluded by saying she didn't know why, but somehow she'd felt compelled to pass it along.

yesterday morning a yoga student named Julie was talking to me about the recent death of her mother. it seems a few days ago she got an excited phone call from her brother, a surgeon and a scientist, who has never put much stock in the supernatural. as Julie put it, he's always believed when you're dead you're dead, and that's it. her brother had been in surgery that day, when the patient suddenly went into cardiac arrest. as he was frantically taking steps to revive her, the patient suddenly opened her eyes wide and said to him, "your mother wants you to know she's happy now." he was dumbstruck. the patient had no knowledge of his mother's death.

Gail Edwards

R.A. of New York City submits one of the scariest tales received yet for the Library. New York City -

Spring 1996 It happened during the very stressful time just prior to our wedding. It was about 10:00 PM and my fiance (now my wife), was sleeping in the bedroom of our small New York apartment. She had to go to sleep early because she was working on a TV show that required her to be at work by 6:00 AM.

I was in the closet that passes for our office, fixing myself a little evening toke. As I smoked, and became increasingly stoned I realized that I was having a conversation with someone else, even going so far as to pass the pipe to the entity. As the realization of what I was up to set in, a shot of adrenaline pumped through me, and I knew that I had to get out of the small confines of the office.

I mustered my strength and hightailed it out the door and made for the living room. On the way down the dark hall I got the distinct feeling that I was being followed by a presence. Needles to say I was scared out of my mind. Once in the living room I felt a bit safer, but still freaked out. I decided to watch the video that I had rented earlier to calm my nerves. I thought to myself, "You're just too high, you're under a lot of stress and your mind took off on you - chill out."

I relaxed in the couch, ready to enjoy Woody Allen's "Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy." As the tape began I was more than startled to hear the first words of the film: (I'm paraphrasing) "Ghosts, spirits, fairies.." A big smile actually crossed my face at this point because it was a wonderful moment of synchronicity. However, it did not take long before I began to feel "the thing" at the archway to the living room was sizing me up from the dark hallway. My thoughts turned to my wife who is a very sound sleeper and the only noise was that of the movie, on quite low, certainly not enough to wake her. At that moment of extreme paranoia, the bedroom door suddenly shot open and she was standing there with a look of total fear on her face. I paused the film and she ran to me and we silently hugged for a long time.

She told me she had a really scary dream that she did not want to talk about. I was 100% freaking out now because of the timing of these events. I comforted her, but did not let on that anything weird was going on with me. After a while I tucked her back into bed and resumed the movie. A few minutes later I felt "it" again, this time coming closer. I said, "Get out of here - This is my place!" She called from the other room, "who are you talking to?" No response - no way to answer. Again, "Who are you talking to?" "I don't know" I replied, feeling annoyed and frustrated by this thing. Perhaps the word is haunted. I got up, opened the bedroom door turned on the light and got on the bed. I was fully awake and very scared. I admitted what happened to me earlier, and we were now both freaked out. I felt like I did when I was very young and went to see the Amityville Horror at too early an age. The TV was on, but I refused to go back out there to shut it off.

The two of us, holding hands got out of bed and quickly jumped out the door to the TV, smacked it off and leapt back into the bedroom and into bed. Lights still on. We sat up for what might have been hours. At some point I felt that the thing must be gone, and I was able to pass out, clothes and lights still on. Neither of us have any idea what went on that night. It never happened again, but as I write this, my skin is crawling like it did that night.

Andy Dorfman writes: About two years ago I had a very odd dream. I dreamed that I was a woman and I was falling down this staircase. A concrete one that sort of wrapped around and around (like in a parking garage). All the while I was falling I kept repeating over and over "why is this happening to me, why is this happening to me?" I got to the bottom feeling bruised and broken and kept repeating the phrase over and over.

I awoke when the fear level rose to where I needed to be back in reality (I suppose - maybe a topic for further thought - why do we always wake up from dreams of such intensity). Anyway, I got up and went into work to be told that my friend and coworker Pattye, who has worked in my lab with me for over ten years and is a very close personal friend as well, fell while running the night before and was in the hospital, that was weird enough, it gets better.

Later that day, I spoke to another close friend (Jody) who was with her all night in the hospital. She let me know what had happened and how she was doing. After listening to the gory details (both elbows had been broken) I told Jody about my dream. As I finished, her face went white. Jody said, Pattye was saying that over and over last night, "why is this happening to me?" Then MY face went white. There's more to life and flesh then we understand, thats all I know.

Andy Dorfmann adorfman@ix.netcom.com

John Potenza sent this amusing coincidence report along - perhaps only a Deadhead would find it truly uncanny, but hey . . .

At Meadowlands 10/16/89. After the Dark Star revival our hopes were high that on Bob's birthday they would play it. I had made xeroxes of the sheet music of Dark Star at work that day and I brought them to the show. I had the intention of making paper planes and flying them at the stage. Our seats were too far from the stage though so between sets i made some planes. Just as the lights went down for set 2 from the upper level I launched a plane. It caught an updraft of hot air and smoke from the floor and sailed clear across the arena. With my binoculars I saw the plane gently bump into a guys chest on the other side. He slowly opened it up and he and his girlfriend looked at it closely. A minute later the band opened the set with Dark Star. I saw these two folks jumping up and down very enthusiastically. I'd have loved to have heard their side of this story.

John Potenza GMGWNORTH!ROCHELLE!JPOTENZA@gmdenver.attmail.com

Julie Johnson sends this touching report of uncanny coincidence from Reed College.

Upon my arrival at the cemetary, I knew in an instant that my journey was not over. The place was enormous, one of the largest cemetaries I had ever seen. My brother had told me the site was easy to find, but I had not realized the impact of being familiar with the area would have in assisting him. This was the culmination of a week's travels. I had left Oregon a week earlier on a plane to Chicago where I attended my brother's wedding. Now I was in search of my mother's grave, which was located outside of Cleveland. My day had been spent driving, searching for the site with no more information than the name of the town I was in search of. I had been there many years before, when I would travel to Ashtabula to visit my grandmother. The last time I had been there was with my mother only weeks before her death in 1985.

After visiting several cemetaries in the area, I knew this was the right one. The cemetary was empty when we arrived; it was getting to be late in the afternoon. A woman was tending to several graves near the office, and she told us the office was closed for the day and no one was around other than herself. We decided the best approach would be to drive around and see if we could find the stone from the car. After almost an hour of searching I was utterly frustrated and the tension and emotion had reached almost untolerable levels.

The friend who had driven me to the cemetary offered to try and break into the office to find the records, so we parked the car. The woman had left by this point and the place was deserted. I began walking towards the office, looking at every stone as I went. I scanned the horizon, desperate to find her after such a long journey. I reached into myself and found myself calling out to my mother in a plea for help, "Mom, I need you to help me find you, bring me to you, please." Within 15 seconds, the door of the office swung open and a man stepped out. He looked directly at me, and waited for me to approach, as if he were expecting me. I walked over to him and asked if he could look through the records for me. He found her card and told me he had just been cutting the grass in that area and would show me personally where she was. He opened the garage and got on the riding mower and drove to the area where she was buried. I had been at the cemetary for maybe an hour and a half at this point, epecially in the area where he said he had been mowing, and had not heard the mower or seen him before. I was at her grave in less than 3 minutes after I sent out my plea for help...

Julie Johnson jjohns@reed.edu

David Glaubman has a different slant on the uncanny, which is, after all, often what you make of it. The following experience is real and commanding for him.

Early December 1980 in Boston. Ronald Reagan had won, and we were in deep shit. I tripped on Friday, and came pretty close to freaking out. That night I wrote my first (and only) science fiction story. As I read it, it scared me so much that I tore it up, poured water over it and flushed it down the toilet (everybody's a critic!) I was off-balance all weekend - I knew something was wrong, something seriously bad was going to happen. Nobody else seemed to be notice, or understand, and I was very confused about what was going to happen. The sun was going to explode? No, that wasn't quite it.

Sunday I was convinced that something was goin to happen. I called up the local TV station asking about the disaster - they were polite and unhelpful. Watching PBS that night at my parents', I watched a Masterpiece Theater episode that seemed to be about the outbreak of WWI. As a character spoke the words "the first is dead." a chill went through me. My sisters didn't seem to notice, but thought I was being a little weird (I hadn't fully come down from Friday).

I went home and went to work Monday morning. I had some difficulty concentrating, but my delusions from yesterday seemed over. After work I tried to relax but my uneasiness and dread fed on my efforts to calm myself. About 8, I went for a walk. I started walking, along the Charles river from Newton to Boston. I realized I was still (again?) high, and it seemed to me that everyone I saw on the street was likewise. We were all saints, cops and criminals alike. Life was so precious, so gorgeous, so beautiful, that we couldn't stand it. We used cruelty, hatred and suffering in puny, hopeless attempts to forget our divinity. (Stranger in a Strange Land?)

A car with kids went by me. I felt that I was going to, literally, fly away. Away from the earth, away from this sweet, simple world of events and people. I forced myself to kick at the car as it went by - I wanted to kiss them. I thought I needed to do something to keep me here, because of this overwhelming urge to fly away. The feeling passed, and I headed over to my friends S & S. They were crazy worried about me, since I had called them several times on my way over (I kept getting lost on the T) asking for news about whatever disastrous event was occurring. They quieted me, and comforted me, and semi-saned me and we went to bed. Nothing was wrong, the world wasn't going to explode, the First is not dead.

My sane, comforting friend S had a very bad moment (quite apart from the lasting tragedy of the awful fact) when she opened the morning paper to read that Lennon had been shot dead the night before. His reported time of death was during the same few minutes as my near rapture walking along the river. It's taken me a long time to tell anyone this.

David Glaubman <glaubman@autodesk.com>

John B.Randolph has one for our "chill fix" this week.

It was my junior year at college, in a small school in Richmond, Virginia. I was talking to my girlfriend on the telephone late one night, around 2 am, when an operator broke into the line... "This is the operator. I have an emergency request by Steve to break into this line. Will you allow him to be connected?" Lisa heard the operator and was very upset - Steve was a close friend of ours visiting his family over the weekend. "Oh my God, John, what could be wrong?" "I don't know, Lisa. Hang up and I'll call you right back as soon as I find out what's up." Lisa hung up on her end and I waited on the phone, but there was only silence. I had never had anyone break into a line before and in my panic, didn't ask the operator what I was exactly supposed to do. Was I supposed to wait on the line or hang up and wait for Steve to call? After half a minute, I got a dial-tone. I hung up the phone and waited. After 10 minutes I decided to call Steve at his home in Northern Virginia. I wasn't even sure that it was my friend Steve who tried to reach me - the operator just said "Steve". Steve's father answered the phone and I asked to speak to Steve. After a minute, Steve answered the phone. "Hello?" "Hello Steve, what's up?" "What do you mean - 'What's up?'! You call my home at 2 o'clock in the morning, wake up the entire house, get my father out of bed and then you ask me 'What's up?!!" "I am sorry, Steve, but I was worried. I was talking to Lisa when an operator broke into the line and said that it was an emergency call by 'Steve'." His voice started wavering. "That's so weird. That's so weird. I was just dreaming that Alan had died and that I was calling up the group to let them know..." Alan was a friend of ours, who, four years later, killed himself in a park outside of L.A.

John B. Randolph jr4h+@andrew.cmu.edu

John Salmon sent this chiller. Read carefully, the details count!

October 25, 1991 - Philadelphia I needed to get up a little bit earlier than usual that morning, as I had to pack my bags for a weekend trip I was taking from to Richmond. So the night before, I set my alarm clock ahead 20 minutes. Instead of doing it the sensible way, changing the alarm time from 7:00 am to 6:40, which would have taken a bit longer, I simply set the time on the clock ahead 20 minutes. (Trust me, this is important to the story.

Also, you should know that I'm a little obsessive when it comes to keeping my clocks and my wristwatch set accurately. I have TIM-1212 programmed into my telephone's speed dial.) So the long and short of it: my clock was set 20 minutes ahead of my wristwatch. Well, that morning my alarm went off and I rose sleepily from bed. I'd been up quite late the night before reading a pop-science book about quantuum physics and had been excitedly speculating about its implications regarding time, causality, "objective" reality, etc. It seemed to be confirming my belief that not only are we "the eyes of the world," we are ALL of its sense organs, its consciousness - it would not even exist were we not constantly creating it. And that "time" seemed to be a concept we impose on the world, not one which is inherently "there." A local, if not entirely subjective, phnomenon. I rose from bed, turned the alarm clock off, and stretched lazily. (The clock read 7:00; it was "really" 6:40.)

Just then I heard a noise from the other room of my apartment. A hollow, wooden striking, followed by the unmistakable sound of the 4 highest strings on my acoustic guitar ringing open. I was struck with fear. Was there someone in the other room? I lived alone. I had no dog or cat. An intruder? I stood still and listened. Still the notes of the guitar strings rang, fading now. I pushed the door open and peeked into the front room. Sunlight was beginning to stream in the windows. No one there. Door locked, windows shut tight. My acoustic guitar was lying in its open case on the floor in the middle of the room. There was nothing near it that could have caused the sound I'd heard. Weird. I shrugged it off, chalked it up to some kind of audio hallucination, and got in the shower.

After a nice long shower, I toweled myself off and began dressing. I'd forgotten all about the odd noise I'd heard. As I buckled my wristwatch, I walked into the front room to turn the radio on. My fingers fumbled with the buckle of my watch, and it slipped from my grasp as I crossed the room. The watch struck the soundboard of my guitar and the strap whipped lightly across the treble strings. A familiar noise! The exact same wooden thud and ringing sound I'd heard come from this room, earlier that morning. As I picked up my watch, the notes from the guitar strings still hanging in the air, I glanced at its face. My skin rose in goosebumps. The watch said it was 12 seconds past 7:00. That was exactly the time the clock in the other room had read when I heard the sound the first time. And I had inadvertently(?) created the noise, using a timepiece as the actuator.

I don't know what happened that morning, but I'm certain I didn't imagine it. It was actually a wonderful confirmation that the world is very strange, and that if there is a God, he likes to play jokes on us. I'm not sure if anyone else can understand what a weird experience for me, but I'll tell you, if I'd seen the ghost of Charlie Chaplin playing cards with Margaret Thatcher in my bathtub, I couldn't have been more freaked out.

John Salmon jsalmon@netaxs.com

Both of my daughters were present at this strange event which happened in Bristol, England. I heard the story years ago from each of them. I recently requested that Charlotte write it up for the Library.

Bristol Pro Cathedral stood abandoned and derelict next to the Waldorf School my sister Jessie and I attended. The smashed windows invited us in and, for me, held a personal fascination as it was the cathedral I was baptized in. I don't like to remember that day but am being asked to write it down, so here goes.

The strange draw of the rotting cathedal was so strong that each day would find us and our schoolmates exploring further into the depths of the decaying building. Finally we found ourselves in the belly of the crypt, each so frightened the hair literally stood straight up on our arms. Childish dares forced us, against our wills, to go and collect candles from the school and return at lunch time to try and wake the dead! With one candle lit and placed we form a circle sitting on the floor, hands on the marble slab - pinky to pinky - thumb to thumb - all of us spooked, nervously giggling. We close our eyes and concentrate on raising the spirits around us.I can't remember exactly what had happened, but suddenly we are very aware that we have entered a space that we have no right to be in and this joke is no longer funny. All of us want out and are frantically struggling to remove our hands from the circle we have formed, but our hands are frozen on the icy marble and another presence has joined us. We are aware of it from the foul odor that has infused the air and the controlled movements of the candle flame. The odor was so strong that I remember thinking I'd vomit if I didn't get out immediately. That's the last of my own thoughts I remember.

The rest of the time spent in the crypt, I was not myself. We all started singing. Twelve children started singing a song I had never heard before and don't remember now - but we all at the same moment began chanting a nursery rhyme - a song from another time - from another world. I don't know how long this lasted but suddenly we all stop and our attentions are focused on Leslie, who seems to have become our ring leader. She looks demonic, her face contorted, eyes rolling to the back of her head -and again that foul smell. I remember flashes of red and green surrounding the space around Leslie, and the flame of the candle in huge sporadic movements - Leslie's eyes flickering and her body jerking in spasms. Finally she is calm and from her mouth comes the voice of a young boy. The odor is sweeter now. Red and green are still the colors I'm seeing. The voice is pleading to us to stop this cruelty; to leave him alone. I'm overwhelmed by a feeling of sadness. I realize I'm crying. We were all sobbing uncontrollably except Leslie, who still speaks in the voice of the young boy. All I can hear now is our crying. The candle flame is calm but still we can't free our hands from the marble!! Suddenly, Dagmar, the german teacher, is standing in the middle of our circle screaming hysterically. The candle is out, the odor gone, our hands freed from their captivity. Tired, confused, at a complete loss to comrehend what we'd experienced, we are led outside to find that we had been in the crypt for five hours!

I never went back into the Pro Cathedral again, but months later someone had been looking through a book of records of the the boy's school that had once been a part of the cathedral and came across a story about a young boy who had been so tormented by his peers that he hanged himself and had been laid to rest beneath the floor of that crypt. Now I don't know, the following could be explained in terms of overwrought imaginations, but from that time on, when we'd look into the windows of the abandoned boy's dorm, with the sun at a certain late afternoon angle, the trees would cast on its inner wall the shadow of a hanging boy.

Charlotte Leopard

I had a very vivid dream about a week before the first set of Berkeley Greek Theater shows in 1981. I had never been to that theater before, but I dreamt I was at the shows, and the place was fairly small -- a stage in front of a grassy area. In my dream, all of the fans brought gift-wrapped presents to give to the band to thank them for everything. During intermission, some children dressed in costumes came on stage and put on a little show. Then, when I actually went to the shows, I discovered that the first day (September 11) was Mickey Hart's birthday. Healy played a tape over the PA of Joan Baez singing Happy Birthday to Mickey and, wouldn't you know it, a couple of band members did bring gift-wrapped presents on stage for him. Then, Wavy Gravy and a group of kids came on stage during the break one day (or maybe at two of the shows?) and did a little skit as part of a plug to get people to go to the blockade in protest of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant after the show on Sunday! I don't know if my written rendition of this experience can quite capture the amazement I felt as I watched my dream unfold, but I've never had another experience quite like it.

Jolie Goodman Jerrapin@aol.com

James Sabatino sent this in just as I was wrapping up the Library. The hair stood up on my arm for a solid minute, so I'll drop it in!

During the summer of 1991, I was working a temporary job in the accounting office of a downtown San Francisco department store. On lunch break one day, I walked the block or two to an eatery called the Food Club. It was one of those places with fifteen or twenty different counters serving everything from Mexican to Chinese food. The room was wide open with a high ceiling and the counters lined the walls. Halfway back into the room was a stairway that led to a balcony loaded with more tables. I bought my food and carried the tray up to the balcony, selecting a table against the back wall.

I ate while reading the newspaper. I looked at my watch at 12:45, and figuring I had ten more minutes or so, lit up a cigarette and folded the paper to the crossword puzzle. I went for the pencil in my back pack and noticed two women dressed in business suits, place their trays on the table next to mine and then sit down. The table was angled so that one of the women had her back to me. I thought little of it and began with the first clue of the puzzle.

Suddenly I felt very strange. A bit dizzy. I looked up and the walls of the place began to move back and forth and in and out. I heard a voice clearly say,"Get out! Now! Run! Go!" Grabbing my pack, I leapt up from the table, ran down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk. Once outside I felt fine and began to laugh at myself. I had been so scared I had left my paper and cigarettes. I must have looked quite ridiculous. I walked back to work. Ten minutes after I got back to my desk, a co-worker ran into the office all excited. "Some woman shot another woman at the Food Club!" The next day, there in the paper, was the picture of the dead woman - the one who had been sitting next to me.

James Sabatino Dept of Epidemiology Univ. of Alabama - Birmingham

Rich McManus sent these two tales from his own experience to the Library. The first lights a question mark, the second delivers the appropriate shiver that signals the UNQUESTIONABLE presence of the uncanny.


We had to get away from Chapel Hill for the first holiday of the new school year, and the Outer Banks were the place to get to. Having no means of transportation, JT and I hitchhiked across Eastern North Carolina. Our destination was the Drafty Tavern in Whalebone Junction, where I told my brother, who was camping on the Banks with his wife, we'd meet him by 9. It was well after 11 when we pulled up at the tavern. Fortunately, John and Louise were still there. We drove with them to their seaside camp, and settled in for the night under a canopy of stars.

As I nestled into my sleeping bag on the beach, my last thoughts were of how clear the Milky Way shone above. Dreaming of a need to visit my sister at Girl Scout camp, I awoke some hours later with pains arching through the soles of my feet. Somehow I had gotten out of my bag and wandered, asleep, across the dunes. The pains were from reeds I was trampling underfoot. I was profoundly disoriented upon coming to my senses, and it took awhile to find our campsite.

When I found my way back, there was my bag, draped neatly across a picnic table. Who or what escorted me out? What if I'd gone into the ocean? JT was still snoozing across the campfire from where I had lain down to sleep. Wake him to tell a strange tale? I could hardly explain it myself, and drifted back to sleep in my bag, never to sleepwalk again.

Part Two--Night on Roan Mountain Another Labor Day, same situation. This time we decided to head West, to hike on the Appalachian Trail. At nightfall we pulled into a parking lot astride the Tennessee-North Carolina border, on Roan Mountain. It was misting out, and our lantern beams gave us geometry lessons as we bounced them off various surfaces. Blue clouds of herb smoke found their way into the beams, and Schlitz laughter made the unpacking easy. We settled in beneath a stand of pines, just off a parking lot pull-off.

The next day would find us hunting for more fitting habitation. By 9 p.m., we and our Ramen noodles were cooked, and we retreated to our bags, chuckling at the absurdity of retiring so early. Deep in the night, I dreamt of sounding car horns. Insistent blaring. Gradually I realized that the horns were real, coming from the nearby parking lot. As I struggled for sight, I noticed my friends were already awake and shuffling with their belongings. One found a searchlight, and the tableau became clear: there was a ruckus in the parking lot! As suddenly as our beams began wagging in the night, car motors revved, tires peeled and the horn stopped sounding, to be replaced by the panicked weeping of children.

We staggered out of the woods to find two teenage runaways who had been picked up hitchhiking by creeps and had been undergoing sexual assault when our lanterns--appearing in the woodsmidst--scared off the attackers. When our wits settled, we drove them to a bus station in Johnson City, Tenn., arriving as dawn broke on that mountain town. The kids, a boy and girl, were sleeping like angels in the back of our wagon.

Rich McManus MCMANUSR@od31tm1.od.nih.gov

Craig O'Leary of Boston has this tale for us::

This happened nearly 10 years ago now. The phone rang. My grandmother, whom I'd always been close to was hysterical. My uncle had gotten into a serious car accident earlier that day. He was fine, the car was not, it was totaled because the brakes had failed. "Have you had your brakes checked lately", she asked. "No", I answered which was true as I'd not had any trouble with them. "Look, I know money's tight for you right now, I'll send $200.00, get those brakes fixed". A week or so later the check came. I called her that night to thank her and told her I'd deposit the check the next day. "Now, get them fixed" she said, "and don't spend it on those godamn concert tickets".

The next day, I was off doing my errands. I deposited the check and got to thinking 'maybe the brakes could wait a little longer, they seemed OK and after all there were more important things to do, I always could use some more blank Maxells, and the spring tour will be going on the hotline soon'. A little later my thoughts were interupted by a flashing red light on the dash, blinking frantically at first, as if to convey some urgency, then a steady red glow-- "BRAKES" it said. I stopped the car and got out. Checked as much as my limited car-knowledge allowed and finding nothing wrong got back in a started it up. No more light. And the brakes seemed fine. Needless to say, I drove very carefully. Damnedest thing.

When I got back home awhile later, another blinking red light greeted me. This one on my answering machine, signaling the urgent message that I must come home. My grandmother had died that afternoon. I got the brakes done right after the funeral.

Craig O'Leary (ctoleary@ix.netcom.com)

Here's a tale of my own, from the first edition of the library.

In 1965 I went to Big Sur with a friend, Paul Mittig, intending to camp out. Not wanting to go to the National Forest campgrounds, we scouted around and found a likely looking wooded area, climbed under a fence marked "No Trespassing" and discovered an inviting glade in a ring of big trees. Tired from our hiking, we lay down on our sleeping bags for a late afternoon nap. I was beginning to doze, feeling very happy with the magical place, when I became aware of a man standing near the foot of the bag. Tall and weathered, he wore a white shirt and slacks, a Panama hat, a patch over one eye, and carried a shotgun under his arm. "What are you doing here?" he demanded. I opened my mouth to reply, but was tongue tied. Then he just disappeared into thin air. I woke Paul and told him what I'd seen and we both agreed it was a good idea to get out of there. We spent the night at the campground, after all, where a raccoon opened the latch on the wooden cooler in the dark and drank all my chocolate milk right out of the carton.

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