The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.


Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.


Paranormal Party Time

Long Suffering Spouse and I bumbled our way in to the venue, stopping to check with the merry group of smokers outside that we were headed towards the right room for the function.  Once inside, a smiley, relaxed looking woman welcomed us and introduced herself.  She was one of the core team running the club, and she was the MC for the evening. 

We were in a sizeable public bar, most of which was taken up by two large tables full of people who all seemed to know each other.  Coming into an unknown building to mix with a few dozen strangers is not my favourite way to spend an evening, and LSS could not have been described as enthusiastic by even the most optimistic observer.  However, we muddled our way through and found two seats at a small table with another couple.  The MC followed us to make sure we were comfortably accommodated.

The other couple, it turned out, had travelled for more than an hour on unpleasant roads to get to the party.  Mrs Other Couple was a veteran paranormal buff; she attended events with four groups, but this one was her favourite because of the congenial atmosphere.  Mr Other Couple, also there because of domestic blackmail, had more in common with LSS.  They were eye rolling together before the end of the evening. 

We had chocolates and nuts on the table, there was a quiz; karaoke was looming.  The MC turned out to be a professional entertainer.  It was how I imagined a cruise holiday might feel.  This was not the experience I had been anticipating, but we passed the time quite happily.  I inspected the other members.  They were a jolly-looking bunch, generally aged between 30 and 50.  There was plenty of laughing and table-hopping.  I started to think that being in this group might be a pleasant and easy way in to the paranormal scene.  A big hairy character shambled over to have a word with Mrs OC.  I was quite alarmed by him.  He exuded something, but I did not know what it was.  I have occasionally had inexplicable reactions of fear or dislike when meeting people for the first time, feeling they might be somehow dangerous.  I have never been proven right yet. 

Later on, yelling in my ear above the thudding music, Mrs OC told me that he was a medium.  She told me that she was a sensitive.  This, she said, meant she could sense facts by touching items, and she was aware when spirits were present.  She seemed very proud of this.  The MC appeared next to our table with a microphone.  I realised that there was no CD playing; karaoke hour had started and she was singing.  Perfectly.  Like a pop star.  She had come over, as the song was ending, to consult with Mrs OC about her choice of song.  Mrs OC got up and sang beautifully an emotional song from a light opera.   There was not a dry eye in the village.  Someone else had a turn.  I was told he had been on ‘The X Factor’.  They were certainly a group of people with talent and drive.  I have a voice like a demented frog.  It makes strong men weep.  Even people who are quite fond of me beg me not to hum along to music in case something dreadful happens.  I was starting to suspect I might not be the Right Stuff for this group at all.

To enthusiastic applause, Mrs OC took her seat again and responded to my ham fisted attempts to pump her for information.  I learned she has a spirit guide who places her in dangerous situations so she can make progress in her psychic skill.  She receives messages and warnings, I forget from whom.  She helped a trapped spirit to pass over, and as she did this she saw his wife welcome him to the other side.  She once suffered an attack from an elemental; she had an idea what kind it was – again the details have drifted away from me, but I expect it was fire, water, earth or air.  She explained that sprites were shape shifters.  LSS and I went home soon after. 

Make no mistake.  This was a nice, happy, ordinary looking woman with a nice, eye rolling husband, and, she told me, she has a nice daughter.  She has a trained operatic voice and a fulfilling hobby singing in local productions.  She is not crazy or ignorant, and I do not see how she could need any more attention.  She was, however, speaking the biggest lorry load of nonsense ever heard outside of the House of Commons.  I am ready and willing to believe a good many outlandish things, but this was a seriously deluded lady.

So where did that bizarre belief system come from?  How many others share it?  Are all the club members the same?  Is there a kind of orthodoxy, or is it more of a pick and mix?

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