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  Conversations with Ghosts
Alex Tanous with Callum E. Cooper

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NOTE: This short chapter is an account of Dr Tanous’ investigations of the Dandy House poltergeist, alongside his colleague Father Trabold, and also of the Frolic House case. The Dandy House case is a useful example of some of the characteristics and behaviour Dr Tanous displayed when working in haunted locations as a psychic and an investigator. Both of these reports were extracted from a collection of Dr Tanous’ notes on his personal accounts of such investigations, of working with the police on psychic crime detection, and of working with people who had had OBEs.

Although Dr Tanous was sceptical of possessions and exorcisms, it is demonstrated in the Dandy House case that he would not dismiss outright those within the church or religious circles who wished to explore such ideas. But he has made it clear in previous statements that these issues are more religiously driven and psychological than anything else. An exorcism may act much like a placebo, in which the suggestion is given that activity within a house will be made to stop by blessing it, and as a result, the occupants unconsciously dismiss bangs and cracking noises throughout the building, which were once interpreted as ‘paranormal’. However, this is just one explanation; each case of a haunting – as Dr Tanous generally agreed – must be judged on its merits, without generalization or prejudice.

Ask any personal counsellor to enumerate the challenges particular to psychological or psychiatric healing and he or she will ultimately tell you that until a counsellor can see a client’s problem as if through the client’s own eyes, there can be no healing.

So how does one go about counselling those whose compulsive or troublesome behaviour continues to manifest beyond death? The answer is, healing occurs in the same way, whether such personal counselling takes place before or after the demise of the physical body.

Confession is always good for the soul, especially for those spirits who feel a desperate need to tell their poignant personal stories. The timelessness of the out-of-body enables me to see where such troubled spirits are coming from, and frees me to be where they are. The Dandy expedition was one such unforgettable case in point.

The Dandy estate was located in a quiet little upstate New York town. Over the years, this sedate homestead had become the meeting place of choice for some rather disquieting spirits. The presence of at least one poltergeist had already been confirmed some five years prior to my arrival. My goal and that of my colleague, Father Alphonsus Trabold of St. Bonaventure University, was to investigate these restless spirits and, if possible, to rid the house of them once and for all.

“The disturbances began as noise without action,” explained the homeowner. “The sound of a window slamming when no window could possibly have slammed… things falling, when they really didn’t fall. Then we had action without noise,” he continued. “A lamp breaking, and we didn’t hear anything. Finally, some kind of creature jumped on Beth (a young girl who lived in the house). I think that’s what frightened me most.”

Soon after I entered the century-old house, I felt spirits there. Father Trabold and I made our way through the rooms with a tape recorder ready. As I acquainted myself with my surroundings, I became more and more absorbed in the house’s history until finally its tumultuous past began to speak through me.

“Birds quiet,” my recorded statement began. “A girl lying in bed, calling for help, getting no response from her mother and father who are arguing. I am now very cold. The chill is getting even stronger. The birds will remain quiet as I leave and draw the energy from the room. There are other energies in the room which are also affecting me. The vibrations are of certain things that have disquieted her over the years… The other energy is that of a girl… oh, I would say 12 or 13 – who was raped and killed. The young girl was raped by a man who was a bachelor… Again, the chills are hitting me…

I’m picking up a young man, 18 or 19, who was killed in an accident. For some reason, all these energies are converging here. There’s also been the death of a man in this room, a death which was a drastic death of agony – not a murder or a suicide.

What I am going to do now is pick up all of this energy… Alright, the energy has now been picked up. As you see, the lights go out. The energy is forcing me to say that it does not want to leave. The energy is here but… her fiancé had a very tragic death. The energies are sorrowful energies. Tragic. The person – the man – drowned and the woman has never gotten over it. The woman locked herself in this room from time to time and would not come out at all…”

At this point I began conversing directly with the spirits or energies involved, directing them to release their sorrows and in so doing to release their consciousness from the confines of the house.

“You must, you must, you must… time has gone, a child cannot be born. I am going to force you, force you. You must leave. The answer is No, you cannot stay. You cannot stay. (Heavy breathing, gasping, was audible on the tape at this point). Alright, alright, let’s go. Let’s go. Alright.”

Now the energy reached out to make physical contact with me.

“The burn is there. I know you burned me. I realize it. But I’m going to take you with me, no matter what happens. I’m holding on to you. Go ahead. No you’re not. You’re not going to take over. I’m going to have you. Alright, going? Let’s go. Let’s go. I want to break you, break you (gasping – audible on the tape).”

Later, Father Trabold described what I had been through, from his point of view:

“At first, you were speaking in a very calm way, sort of commenting on the different vibrations you got. Then, all at once, you stopped for a moment, and suddenly you were completely unaware of us. You started talking to the entity that was there – a young blind girl. It was obvious that the spirit didn’t want to leave. You were saying with more force each time that it should leave, and then parts of your body began to contort, especially your face, and your hands. You began to sway and sort of fall backward, and I put my arms around you and began to hold you. The weight was almost more than I could hold. The force was putting up a tremendous battle but you didn’t give up.”

After my attempt to direct the spirits away from the Dandy house, Father Trabold performed an exorcism. Evidently, our combined efforts worked. The poltergeist activity ceased forever. The burn that I spoke of on the tape? It was real alright. When I unbuttoned my shirt, I found a raw red patch on my side about the size and shape of a 50-cent piece.

On 15 January, 1983, I was a guest at the home of George ‘Frolic’, in Weymouth at the Big Bend in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Shortly after I arrived, I went to the ground floor where the kitchen and a large dining area were located. I walked into the dining room and stopped as I sensed happenings from many years before. I said, “George Washington was here, and the floor was then dirt.”

Frolic said, “You are standing where we found an Indian buried, and when we fixed this room we left him in the place we found him.”

Mr Frolic also said that Washington had written to his wife about this place; but that he doubted if Washington visited here as this had been a loyalist house. I had also heard that the seat which Martha Washington sat on while having her portrait painted was on the second floor of this house.

I was a guest in the Frolic house for several days, and one evening as I sat on a chair with my feet near where the skeleton was, I felt a cold chill and suddenly saw the whole story unfold in my mind, like a movie. It was apparent to me that the bones in the grave were not those of an Indian, but of a 16-year-old boy who had been in Washington’s army. I saw that the boy was very close to Washington, and did many little chores for him – like shining shoes, etc.

The boy seemed to be suffering from a fever which he could not handle and it was getting worse. The boy confessed to General Washington that he was a runaway and that he knew the loyalist family living in the Bend, and that they would help him if he went to them. It was apparent to me that it was really the boy’s sweetheart who was living in the house with her parents and brother.

General Washington gave his permission and the boy went to the house and was met by the family there. They realized that he was very sick, and tried to help him. The fever would not break. A day or two after he arrived at the house, he died.

He had told the family that he was in the area with Washington’s army. The girl then took the risk of going to see Washington to tell him what had happened. Because of the boy’s devotion, Washington himself escorted the girl back to the house and identified the body. Because of the hot weather, the boy was buried here. Washington wrote and signed a paper which he gave to these people to give to the parents of the boy. This paper has never been destroyed. I believe that it is still in existence.

Publisher: White Crow Books
Published November, 2013
170 pages
Size: 5 x 7 inches
ISBN 978-1-908733-55-9
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The Hidden Door – Introduction by Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick – Accounts of dreams are as old as human history. People have always been fascinated by their own dreams, and have always looked for significance· in them. From the most ancient civilisations of Assyrians and Babylonians through to Biblical times it was believed that dreams brought messages from the gods in the form of warnings, omens and portents. In ancient Greece they were seen as prophecies, or instructions from Zeus. Read here
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