Barroom brawler ghosts, a ghost prayer group, Peeping Tom ghosts, a ghost who hates children, and even a ghost who didn't know he was dead are just a few of the wild assortment of characters in Echo Bodine's delightful new collection of true ghost stories. A psychic who has been hunting ghosts for 40 years, Bodine shares her story of how she became a ghost buster along with the stories of ghosts, hauntings, and possessions she encountered along the way.
Wondering if those flickering lights, jangling door knobs, and mumbling sounds in the middle of the night mean you have a ghost? Bodine offers step-by-step instructions for getting rid of them along with clearing and protection prayers to keep them away. These funny, sometimes unnerving, and always entertaining stories will provide reassurance to anyone who has ever encountered things that go bump in the night.
Previously published as Relax, It's Only a Ghost.
|Publisher:||Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Echo Bodine is known internationally for her work as a spiritual healer and writer. She has appeared on numerous national television shows, including Sally Jesse Raphael and NBC's Later Today. Bodine is the author of a number of books, including Hands that Heal, Echoes of the Soul, Relax, It's Only a Ghost, and A Still Small Voice. She lives in Minnesota.
Read an Excerpt
THE LITTLE BOOK OF TRUE GHOST STORIES
By Echo Bodine
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Echo Bodine
All rights reserved.
What is a Ghost?
It was a dark and stormy night. The thunder shook the trees from their very roots. Bolts of lightning struck the earth's surface, burning holes deep into the soil.
What was inside the house was ten times as frightening. The Livingstons had ghosts. Several black, monstrous, floating creatures were knocking lamps off tables, pushing pictures off walls, and tossing clothes out of closets and drawers. They killed the family dog, Fluffy, and ate the guinea pig, Hector. The cat spewed brown foam from its mouth and moaned incessantly. The Livingstons wanted to know when this reign of terror was going to stop.
Green smoke burned out of the nostrils of these unwelcome guests. Their red eyes glared in the dark. Purple slime dripped from their mouths. Nothing could stop or tame these horrible visitors from the world beyond. They were out to destroy the family home and drive Mr. and Mrs. Livingston insane. They hated with a vengeance. They showed no mercy for the children the day they tied them up and chopped off their toes. They were horrible, villainous monsters slowly taking over and destroying this beautiful nineteenth-century Victorian home.
Just as an evil-looking specter loomed toward Mr. Livingston wielding a bloody ax, someone in the back room hollered, "Cut, let's do that scene over!" And we realize it's Hollywood making another movie about ghosts!
A Ghost's Life
A ghost's life is probably not at all what you would think it would be. I want to give you a picture of what life is really like for a ghost.
Imagine a very large, dark, open space filled with hundreds of thousands of souls. They look like people, but many have blank stares on their faces and are so self-absorbed they aren't even aware that there are other beings floating around beside them. Many of them appear as if they're going somewhere, but in reality they're not. They're just milling around, stuck in time. There's no happiness in this place. No sense of life or purpose.
These are not highly evolved souls. They are immature in their soul's development and often suspicious that anyone who might come to "take them home" is simply the Devil in disguise.
Many souls are quite confused about life after death; others are aware of what's going on and know they could move on to heaven but choose to remain in the astral plane—a vast wasteland of nothingness—after their physical body dies. Some believe death is simply a vacuum of emptiness, and rather than reach out to others for help with their plight, they simply choose to stay stuck. Many prefer to hold on to their former lives and identities. Many are filled with self-pity, anger, resentments, fear, or self-loathing. They wander this place, stuck in time and avoiding change.
From where they are, every one of them can see a beautiful light glowing at the "front door" of the other side. They all see the road that leads to heaven and many times a day see souls making that journey into the light, but for their various reasons none of these souls want anything to do with that place. Some believe that if they even try to go there, God will snatch them up and send them straight to hell. Some don't believe they have a right to go to heaven; others don't believe in a heaven and think this special road might actually lead to hell. They refuse to go in case they're being tricked.
There are souls who have committed suicide and are afraid to take the road home for fear that they won't be allowed in or will be sent to hell for the "sin" of taking their own life. There are souls who were addicted to things of the physical body such as food, alcohol, drugs, and sex who aren't ready to let go of their addictions. They hang out in the astral plane, hoping to find a way to continue to get high or experience their addiction. The majority of souls simply want to hang on to who they were and not move on.
How Houses Become Haunted
I want you to imagine that this vast empty space is the next dimension just above the earth plane. These stuck souls can see our homes, businesses, schools, and all the living people on earth. Sometimes they get lonely, bored, or restless and decide to look around for some action. And that's when they become ghosts—when they come to earth and make themselves known to us through their antics. Even though most of them are loners and rarely socialize, many are drawn to houses that have other earthbound spirits in them because they like knowing there are others around them. This is how a home becomes haunted.
At some point the ghosts realize that they can manipulate energy. When they get bored or want to get a kick out of frightening people, some of them start playing tricks to get people's attention. If your lights, TV, or radio turn on and off, it's a safe bet that this is the work of one of these antsy earthbound spirits. They learn that fear and anger are two powerful emotions with a lot of energy, so they'll try to create these emotions by frightening people. Then they'll either breathe in this energy to boost their own or use it to make more scary things happen, which then generates more energy, and so on.
People living in haunted houses often know that something isn't right, but they don't know how to interpret what's happening or what to do about it. They might see something wispy or floating out of the corner of their eye, but they chalk it up to an overactive imagination or something they saw on television. They might feel afraid, but they don't take it seriously—and that gets the ghost feeling even more rambunctious. That's usually when ghosts will begin tapping on the walls or making footstep sounds or pulling clothes out of closets. Or moving things from room to room, jangling door knobs, turning wastebaskets upside down, tipping things over, or making mumbling sounds. They might walk through a person, giving him the feeling of a cold breeze whooshing through his body. Ghosts do all of this to get a rise out of people in hopes of sucking up their fear energy.
Earthbound spirits who were addicts in life will look around for the home of an addict with the same addiction so they can enter the addict and continue to experience their preferred high. This is one way a person becomes possessed.
These stories are real. This is what ghosts are really about. They are angry, stuck, miserable, rebellious, lonely, depressed, afraid of God, and/or formerly addicted souls. They are lost. Many don't want to accept that they've died, and most do not want to move on.
In their opinion, the next best thing to being alive is hanging out on earth, and they'll do almost anything to get our attention. I've rarely met a ghost who doesn't eventually get bored being all alone and want some kind of contact. They'll look for a home inhabited by other ghosts, but they'll also look for homes that have sensitive (psychic) people in them. They can tell this by looking at our auras (the energy around our bodies). The intensity of the colors tells them which members of the household will respond to them the best.
For example, an intellectual's aura tends to have a lot of yellow in it. Ghosts usually stay away from people with yellow auras because they learn early on that intellectuals are always looking for rational explanations for everything—the ghosts can't get a rise out of them.
On the other hand, people with pink in their auras are very sensitive and open to having psychic experiences. Ghosts who find teenagers with pink in their auras feel like they've hit the jackpot, because teenagers are almost always open to having "ghostly encounters" and are less likely to tell the spirits to get lost.
Before we go any further into the world of ghosts and spirits, I want to start with the basics.
The Difference Between Ghosts and Spirits
When we physically die, our souls come out of our bodies, and, most of the time, we move on to the other side. Once in a while a soul will choose, for one reason or another, not to go on to the other side. It will choose to stay here on earth, which is where the "earth" from the term "earthbound spirit" comes from.
The difference between a ghost and a spirit is very simple: both are souls who are no longer living in a body, but a ghost is a soul who has remained on earth, and a spirit is a soul who has moved on to the other side and begun a new life there. A spirit can come to this side to visit, but it will return home; spirits are not stuck here on earth. Ghosts are.
A soul is made up of energy. It looks like the physical body it inhabited except that it's transparent. Some parapsychologists call the soul the body double because it looks so much like the physical body when it was alive. I've also seen the soul appear as a streak of light or blob of energy. When a soul appears in body form, it will also appear to be wearing clothing similar to something the person wore when in the body. A friend of mine who was killed visited me a few times after his death, and he always appeared to have on the same blue jeans and camel-colored leather jacket that he frequently wore when he was alive. My teacher told us that souls do this so they won't frighten us, just in case we are able to see them.
I saw the comedian Sam Kinison about a week after he died, walking around on the other side and shaking people's hands. He appeared to be wearing the long coat, tennis shoes, and hat he always wore in his comedy routine. One of the misconceptions about life after death is that we all wear robes and angel wings once we die. If Sam Kinison, or anyone deceased for that matter, were walking around in flowing gowns and angel wings, we would never recognize anyone.... And then there's the issue of scaring us half to death if they appeared to us!
Also common, and a little eerie, is that ghosts will sometimes only appear from the waist up or as just a head! This is because their energy is low and that's all they are able to manifest. It doesn't mean they're not all there—it just means that's as visible as they can make themselves at the time. As time passes they will build up their energy and be able to appear in full form.
There are basically two kinds of spirits: souls who remain earthbound, which we call ghosts, and souls who move on to the other side or heaven, which are commonly referred to as spirits. Spirits will visit us on earth, but they will always go home again to the other side.
Ghosts and spirits will both appear just as they did in their last life, which can make it pretty confusing to tell who's who. The giveaway, usually, is that ghosts tend to have an unhappy look to them, whereas spirits seem almost to glow. A ghost will usually seem depressed or irritable, with a certain blankness to his face, like the lights are on but no one's home. His aura is usually grayish, and you get the sense that he's got unfinished business. Spirits, on the other hand, tend to look radiant. Within a couple of weeks of crossing over, they appear younger, with no signs of stress on their face. Being with them, you sense that they are looking forward to resting and healing from their recent life experience. They're happy to be reunited with loved ones and radiate a sense of anticipation about their new life.CHAPTER 2
The Ghost Who Liked Liquor
It was wintertime, 1969. I was twenty-one years old and still living at home. We'd had a lot of spirit activity in our house since getting on this path, but until then I hadn't actually seen any spirits.
The first time I ever went to someone's house intentionally looking for a ghost, I had no idea what I was doing. I was pretty scared and still believed that ghosts were scary monsters who looked all whitish and weird—like they had no form and were just blobs of scary stuff!
What made this fun was that it was a friend of my mom's who suspected she had a ghost, so Mom and I went on the "job" together. The drive over to Carol's that night felt a lot like that drive over to Mrs. Olson's; we didn't know what to expect, and our imaginations were running wild. Carol had told us that there were strange sounds coming from the attic and she felt as if someone were watching her family. She said that her son was a recovering alcoholic and was having a terrible time staying sober. She wondered if there was some kind of negative influence in the house preventing her son from maintaining his sobriety. She also said they could hear a choir singing church music, which was interesting because their home had at one time been a church.
On the drive over, I was full of questions for my mom. What were we looking for? Did Carol really think she might have a ghost? What did a ghost look like? What were we going to do if we found one? I thought we should probably turn around and go home. Finding ghosts was not something I wanted to do.
When we pulled up to Carol's house, I imagined seeing scary things in all the windows. I was sure the ghosts were all watching me, ready to pounce on me as soon as I walked in the door. As usual, Mom was pretty calm, which always helped me feel more grounded. We kidded around with Carol for a while, trying to lighten things up. Looking back, we were probably just stalling; I don't think any of us really wanted to go to the attic and deal with whatever was there. The analytical part of me thought that it was probably just noisy pipes and there was nothing to make a fuss about.
Our chitchat ended, and it was time to see what was up in the attic. Slowly we made our way up the stairs. I'm sure I had one eye open and the other one closed as we reached the top of the staircase. I had myself scared silly.
At first glance everything seemed normal. The usual boxes and stored furniture were piled here and there. Then, slowly, images began coming into focus. At first all I saw was a very faint image of a family of four standing across the room from us. It was quite strange to look at this almost invisible family. They looked so strained and old, so frightened. My rational mind immediately tried to explain it all away. I told myself I was making it up, that ghosts weren't people. Ghosts didn't look like that. They were supposed to be scarylooking. These were simply transparent people who didn't look scary at all—just tired, old, and afraid.
They had a gray appearance to them. The man looked crabby and seemed angry that we were able to see him. The woman started talking to us as soon as she realized we could see her. I'm sure my mouth was hanging wide open as I watched this transparent female tell us about her death and explain that she was trapped in this house by her husband. She said he had been an alcoholic and a smoker. He had passed out one night after drinking and his cigarette burned their house down. All four family members perished in the fire. The woman said her husband would not let any of them go on to the other side because he was afraid of being punished by God for killing his family. I was flabbergasted.
I looked at mom and could tell by the shocked look on her face that she could hear this woman as well. I asked her what we should do, and we came up with the idea to just tell the ghosts that they couldn't stay at Carol's house anymore. They had to leave because they were frightening Carol's family. Mom got some psychic information through her clairvoyance (psychic sight in the third eye located in the forehead) and clairaudience (psychic hearing; her guides speaking to her). She learned that the male spirit had been entering Carol's son's body from time to time in order to taste alcohol and cigarettes, and that was why it was difficult for her son to maintain sobriety. After telling them that they needed to leave, Mom and I were anxious to leave, too. This was all so creepy. We had no idea what we were doing or how to get rid of the ghosts. They did disappear, giving us the illusion that they had left, but my guess is that they probably just stepped outside or went over to the neighbors' to make us think they were gone. We didn't hear a church choir or see any other spirits as we walked through the rest of the house. I think our fear shut us down psychically. There certainly was a feeling that there were more spirits there than we cared to know about, but I just wanted to go home. I wasn't ready to deal with ghosts yet!
The female ghost in this story could have taken her children and moved on to the other side anytime she wanted, but she allowed her husband to control her in death as she undoubtedly had in life. Every one of us has to discover our own power at some point in our soul's development and stop giving it away to others. It's part of setting ourselves free.CHAPTER 3
The Ghost Who Tried to Push Me Down the Stairs
The next time we went to psychic class, Mom and I told our teacher Birdie what had happened at Carol's. She told us that in the future we shouldn't show any fear because spirits can draw on fear energy and make themselves bigger. She said that if we're ever around spirits and feel afraid, we should say a prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer, to help us feel more in control. As she was saying all this, I told myself it didn't matter because I had no intention of going into a haunted house ever gain. Little did I know that shortly thereafter Birdie's advice would come in very handy.
Excerpted from THE LITTLE BOOK OF TRUE GHOST STORIES by Echo Bodine. Copyright © 2011 Echo Bodine. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 What is a Ghost? 9
2 The Ghost Who Liked Liquor 19
3 The Ghost Who Tried to Push Me Down the Stairs 250
4 A Gaggle of Ghosts 33
5 The Ghost Who Hated Children 45
6 The Ghost Who Was Afraid of God 51
7 The Ghost Who Was In Love 55
8 The Ghost Who Was Afraid of her Sister 59
9 The Ghost Who Was a Cop 63
10 The Ghosts Who Were Stoned 67
11 The Ghost Who Was Throwing the Renter Around 71
12 The Ghost Who Didn't Know He Was Dead 75
13 The Ghost Who Kept His Children Away 81
14 The Ghosts in the Woods 89
15 The Ghosts at the Bar 101
16 The Ghost Who Kept Entering His Body 119
17 The Ghosts Who Were Peeping Toms 127
18 The Ghost Who Liked Sex 133
19 The Ghost Who Pushed Her Out of Bed 137
20 The Ghost Who Tried to Strangle Me 141
21 The Ghosts Who Were Controlling Their Lives 145
22 Children Who Can See Ghosts 151
23 Famous Ghosts 157
24 What to Do When You Go Too Far 163
25 Signs That You Have a Ghost 167
26 Why an Earthbound Ghost Might Not Want to Leave 171
27 How to Get Rid of a Ghost 175
28 Clearing, Protection, and Prayers 183
In Closing 191