Written By: Judy Manning
With the plethora of paranormal shows on television (Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Paranormal State, Destination Truth, Psychic Kids, My Ghost Story, and Celebrity Ghost Stories) it’s hard to ignore the ever increasing interest in the subject matter. Many say they don’t believe in ghosts or spirits but I know, from personal experience, that there are things in this world that cannot be explained. Usually, personal experiences happen after a traumatic event or after the death of a loved one. For me, it was the latter. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
At the tender age of 10, I became increasingly fascinated with the occult. Ghosts, witches, magic (not the David Copperfield or Chris Angel kind), other worldly phenomenon, and all things supernatural (especially vampires.) Of course, I didn’t share this unusual obsession with my family or even my closest friends for fear of rejection or ridicule. Strangely enough, I became interested in these sometimes macabre things not because of some traumatic event but a benign cartoon series known as Scooby-Doo. Yes, Scooby-Doo. I wanted to be part of the gang and ride in the Mystery Machine, uncovering clues to solve a mystery that usually included some type of ghost or legend.
Then the pinnacle of my early fascination came when I saw, for the first time, the movie Dracula, starring Frank Langella as the oddly charismatic and frighteningly sensual vampire. Although I was only 10 years old at the time I saw the movie, I knew what attracted me and this dark, mysterious man with his seductive voice and hauntingly possessive nature thrilled me.
It was at that point I began to write. Yes, write. Along with Scooby-Doo and the gang solving mysteries while being chased by ghosts and ghouls, I loved trying to piece together the clues to solve the mysteries. These stories, albeit animated, had to be written and Dracula could not have been made without someone writing the script. So, I began to write and research as much as I could without drawing too much attention to myself. I was already dubbed the odd one in my family so to reveal my curious infatuation about the paranormal and supernatural would have surely been my one-way ticket to the loony bin. I discovered one of the greatest mystery/crime authors in the world—Agatha Christie—and read as many of her books as I could. I watched any movie based on her books and dove deeper into isolation from my family.
So with all that said, you ask, “Why the title, ‘Ghostly Obsession’?” The answer is not that simple. Despite my belief in the paranormal, I still had some lingering doubts but that all changed in April 2001, when my mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. The day she passed, we made funeral arrangements and her body was taken to the funeral home. Later that evening, after a good bit of crying and maybe a shot or three of bourbon, I was lying down on my bed with my hands behind my head, staring up at the ceiling and thinking of the daunting task of giving the eulogy at the service. I didn’t want to stand up in front of people to talk about my mother. It was dark in my room, save for the small lamp on my dresser. While lying there, my tears finally dried up enough so that I could see clearly the small cracks in the walls. It was then that I heard something like a faint whisper. I stayed still and heard it again another whisper. I sat up, unafraid but pumped with curiosity.
Looking around, I called out, “Mom?” I knew it was her. The voice was whispering in Korean. I quietly asked again, using the Korean word for mom: “Um-ma?” And there she was, in front of me, not floating but not standing. Not solid but not quite transparent. She looked like she did 10 years prior to her illness, looking healthy and happy. “Get up, baby. It’s OK,” she whispered in Korean. I was speechless. We didn’t have the greatest relationship, but I loved her in spite of it all. “Get up, baby. Get up.” So I stood up in front of her. Without saying it out loud, I thought, “Are you OK now?” She answered, “Yes, I’m OK.” I began blinking profusely, thinking either I had one too many bourbon shots or this was a strangely realistic dream. I knew it wasn’t because the room was very cold, like ice water. I can’t sleep if I’m too cold. When I blinked for the umpteenth time, her form changed; she became a little girl with pigtails, wearing a yellow dress. I blinked a few more times and she changed again, looking the way she did the day she died—bald, frail, and hollow. She repeated it again, “Get up, baby. Get up. It’s OK now. I’m OK.”
I began tearing up again. I told her I loved her because I didn’t get a chance to tell her before she died. I had gotten there just moments after she passed so now I was able to tell her. She smiled faintly and as she faded away, my phone rang. Startled, I quickly grabbed it so I wouldn’t wake up my visiting family. “Hello?” I whispered. The panicked voice of my brother was shouting back. “Judy! Oh my God, Judy! Mom, Mom, Mom, she came here, I saw her! I swear!” I nearly dropped the phone. “What? What are you talking about?” I asked. “Mom, she was here, she was a little girl with pigtails and yellow dress. She was here. She talked to me. She told me to get up.” My mouth fell agape in astonishment. I knew he wasn’t lying. I had no time to tell anyone because it had just happened to me. I told him what I experienced and then he knew, too, that our mother had come back to let us know that it was OK to move on. I also think she came to tell me it was OK for me to speak at her funeral.
After that experience, I became more resolute in my belief of ghosts/spirits and the paranormal. I’ve had a few more experiences, though not as pleasant (I’ll save this for another blog entry), but it further validated my belief in the paranormal. Hence, my continued immersion into the paranormal, occult, and supernatural became more than just a side project.My childhood fascination eventually turned into my ‘Ghostly Obsession’.
Though I haven’t yet, I do plan on going to several haunted locations in the local area. In the meantime, I try to watch as many such shows on television on the subject matter. I have my favorites, although in the past few months, I’ve tuned into the BIO channel on Saturdays because they have an entire day of intriguing ghost shows such as My Ghost Story (real people talking about their paranormal experiences) and Celebrity Ghost Stories (celebrities revealing their personal experiences with ghosts). If I am going to be out for the day, I set my DVR to record them. When the seasons for Ghost Hunters and GHI on SyFy and Paranormal State on A&E ends, I’m crestfallen and look for other ways to satiate my need for more paranormal viewing. If I am unable to find suitable replacements, I watch my DVR recordings or a movie about the paranormal or supernatural.
Such an obsession has become a part of my life. If I don’t take in at least one or two good ghost stories or shows in a week, I feel empty. I’m also writing a supernatural dark comedy/mystery/thriller book, because if I can’t watch it, I’ll create it on my own.
Nowadays, I am able to openly share my penchant for the paranormal without fear of being sneered at. There are so many of us out there searching for proof that such exists. Many fear death and I’m not ashamed to say that I am, too, but I’m not afraid of my eventual death, only that I will die before I’m ready, before I’ve done all the things I want to in this life, before I have grandchildren. I would love to come back as a ghost so I could give all these ghost chasers some solid proof. Watching it on television is one thing, but to actually experience it is quite another.
So, here’s my question to you. Do you believe? I would love to hear your ghost stories or paranormal experiences. If you have a ghost story/experience you would like to share, please let me know. You can either comment on the blog page or you can email me at [email protected] (NOTE: Please include in Subject Line: Ghost Story/Experience)
© 2011 – 2013, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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