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Graveyard Voice

David Perry, Oregon, USA
April 1997

Only a couple of ghost-classable things have happened to me personally, although I strongly believe that paranormal happenings abound. Being of a Buddhist learning, I see disembodied spiritual entities as nothing to be afraid of automatically (transmigrating souls), but I have become increasingly aware over the years (try reading 'Lights in the Attic') that there is definitely a markedly BIZARRE element to many 'visitations', even to the point that many of them seem AGGRESSIVELY bizarre, as if to convey to us the sense of another world in which reality, for its inhabitants, has done a sizable and seemingly very costly PERMANENT FREAKOUT!!! Beings trapped in these realms seem doomed to wander through existence, deformed by strangeness, darkness, and confusion, only contacting the lighter sides of reality briefly and in tortured, malformed, psychotically repetitive contexts.

At any rate, my two personal stories are thus:

The first happened on Halloween night sometime in the early Eighties, I believe when I was in eighth grade. Myself and two friends decided that this particular occasion was well suited to a little amateur ghost-trailing so we hatched a plan to use my friend's portable cassette deck, which had a built-in microphone, to try and capture inexplicable noises in a local graveyard. We waited until well after dark, as we assumed most of the kiddies would have completed their rounds by then and the chance of picking up noises from excited neighborhood children would be lessened. We wandered briefly around the cemetery and were met almost immediately by a large headstone with several names/dates on it. At the very bottom was a female baby name followed by these dates: b. Nov. 10 1888 d. Oct 31 1889. Needless to say, this piqued our curiosity, so we left the tape deck on record, propped by the side of the stone, returning about an hour later as by then the tape had run out. I'll never forget sitting around the bar in my parent's kitchen, watching with pumping hearts as my friend who owned the deck (who insisted on being the first to review the tape) listened with headphones, all manner of hopeful, inquisitive, tentatively frightened, and once or twice, truly horrified expressions came over his face. At one point all three of us nearly jumped through the roof when this friend started out of his chair abruptly upon hearing something strange. In the end we found nothing totally inexplicable, but at one point on the tape there was the faint but distinct sound of a baby crying (remember the child on the headstone had been about a year old when she died). The other thing that happened was a couple of years later. I had just gotten up from a nap and was watching television. My parents were gone and I wasn't too sure anyone else was in the house (it was around eight in the evening). I began hearing my stepsister's door distinctly opening and then closing--I definitely heard this happen several times, the sound of the latch opening and then firmly closing being very clear. I thought nothing of it, except that my stepsister was apparently having a hard time deciding whether to leave her room or not. Just then a car came up into our driveway, the door slammed, and my stepsister came cheerfully bounding into the back door of the house. I messed around with her door the next day to see if I could learn anything, but I still have never been able to satisfactorily establish how this happened.

David Perry, Oregon, USA
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