#Occultober Shadows & Seances

Look at that cute kid. Yes, that’s me at age seven, 1973. I’m sharing this picture of me, on the cusp of beginning my magical journey, because it seems surreal to think that in less than a year, he’ll be reading his first book on the occult — Manly Palmer Hall’s Unseen Forces — and he’ll begin sneaking out of the house to spend nights in the local boneyard.

Truth be told, it was the summer of 1973 that I may have seen my first spirit…

Let me set the stage. I was already obsessed with ghosts and vampires and monsters… and detective work. By 1973 I had read through the majority of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and what Three Investigators i could get my hands on. I was reading horror comics, watching Sammy Terry’s Nightmare Theater, Dark Shadows, and going to the drive-in to see Hammer Horror films and The Legend of Boggy Creek. I was a devout fan of the Night Stalker TV movie, and I was devouring urban legends and folk tales, UFOs, and Bigfoot fervently.

My cousins were sort of in to all that stuff too. And, being six-ten years older, they used to enjoy scaring the proverbial crap out of me. That summer, they were playing with Ouija Boards and conducting seances, as kids are wont to do, especially in the 70s. Light as a feather, stiff as a board? Oh yeah, these were fun times to be a kid in the Midwest.

I remember clearly being at my grandparents’ house on Aleck Street in Converse. It was late at night and the street lights were casting long shadows. We were on the porch, a single candle burning in the center of us, all gather in a circle, holding hands, as they called out for spirits to manifest before us.

Of course, one of them was hiding in the bushes, making ghostly sounds and rattling tin cans, and the inevitable jump scare would be delivered as the crescendo of calls into the hereafter had reached their fevered pitch… but beforehand, and I remember this as clearly as it was yesterday, I saw a shadow, a silhouette, move across the porch but no one was there to cast it. I grew scared, but before I could wrap my head around what I saw, a cousin leapt from the bushes and everyone was screaming, and laughing, and the moment was gone.

I chalked it up to youthful fancy, but now, all these years later, I wonder…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: