Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

(photo by Tara Shannon)

For your Halloween pleasure, a re-post from September 5, 2007:

The Chair

I found it in the back of an antique store on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. It was a rocking chair but not like anyone I had ever seen before. It was so un-rocking-chair-like that at first I did not even notice it was a rocking chair. It was unique enough for me to take a closer look at it. What it looked like was a church pew or a high backed bench that had been cut down and then put on runners. It was small but at the same time very massive looking. It was made out of oak and very heavy. The tag on it said it was at least 150 years old. It was too weird looking for me so I did not sit in it.

Right next to it sat an old Morris chair that had recently been re-upholstered in a light knobby tweed fabric. I sat in it and knew instantly that I wanted it. Although the fabric was wrong for the piece I knew that small problem could be easily fixed. I looked at the price tag and my dream of owning it vanished as quickly as a puff of smoke. No way I could afford that price.

I walked away but could not get either chair out of my mind so when I found my sister I took her back to look at them. She sat in the rocking chair and I again sat in the Morris chair. About 10 seconds later she got up from the rocking chair and told me to sit in it and walked away. I sat down and immediately felt anger and "heard" someone repeatedly say, "Get out of my chair."

The voice was very querulous and insistent. I looked at my sister, screwed up my face, hunched my back, and started rocking furiously, mocking whoever was talking to me. I was annoyed by the fact that this spirit was telling me to get out of its chair and thought, "It isn't your chair anymore. You're dead."

I sat in the chair longer than I really wanted in order to show the spirit that it was not going to push me around and then got up and walked over to where my sister was looking at some object saying, "Well, that was creepy."

Her head spun around to look at me and she blurted out, "That's what I thought!"

She had also felt the spirit and wanted to see if what she felt was real so she asked me to sit in the chair without saying anything about her own experience. I then told her to sit in the Morris chair so she could see how a nice chair felt. We took turns sitting in the Morris chair and agreed that the Morris chair was comfortable and felt soothing. It felt nothing like the rocking chair. It took a long time for me to shake off the icky feeling of that rocking chair but after awhile I felt normal again but at the same time I felt uncomfortable and could not stop thinking about the chair.

Flash forward to Denver a couple of days after we had returned from San Diego. My husband and I were at my sister's house. It was nighttime and I was in the middle of a dream. I had variations of this dream for three or four days by this time and had attributed them to the emotional stress I was under. My sister was in the dream with me and we were both being tortured. There was a man in the dream who was holding me and, as I struggled to get away from him, told me if I did not stop he would cut my sister's throat. Standing across from me was the same man with a knife to my sister's throat. As I continued to struggle desperately to get away from the him and over to my sister, the other him slashed the knife across my sister's neck. I woke up thinking, "That wasn't my dream."

Whenever I have a nightmare I wake up with my heart pounding and my mind racing from the adrenaline rush that the dream has created . It takes a few minutes for my body and mind to disconnect from what has happened. For me, coming to full consciousness after a nightmare is like struggling to the surface of a swimming pool after you have stayed under too long. These dreams were not like that since I would wake up instantly. I felt no fear only a sense of uneasiness. I also noticed that instead of being inside the dream, like I normally am, I felt I was off to the side watching. Then there was the color in the dreams. I dream in Technicolor, bright, rich, intense colors. Colors that look as if they would stain your hands if you tried to touch them. These dreams were also in color but they were more like the color of 1970's era T.V situation comedy- subdued and almost washed out.

That is when I wondered if the spirit from the chair had attached itself to me and was punishing me for mocking it. That thought creeped me out and, just in case this was true, I mentally spoke to the spirit telling it to stop the dreams and to go away. I then said a prayer that I had learned as a little girl:

Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear
To whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this night be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.

I still felt uneasy and decided to do a meditation that would help me to surround myself in a ball of white light. After I did this I expanded the light to include my husband, then expanded it again to fill the room we were in. I then decided to fill my sister's whole house with light as not to leave the spirit there after we had gone home. I mentally went from room to room filling the house with light. When I was finished I felt safe and relaxed enough to fall back to sleep.

Since that night I have not had anymore torture dreams.

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