Present and In Attendance: Part Two

The burglary occurred in 2000, and the years that followed were peaceful and without event. After the break-in, my folks got an alarm system, a nerve wracking ‘beepidy beep beep’ thing that announced all entrances and exits, and brought peace of mind after the sun went down. Still, any time that I slept in the house alone, night-time was fraught with tension and anxiety. I would wake in the middle of the night in surprise at still being in one piece and would think, “Wow, nothing has eaten me yet.”. But that was not exactly comforting, since early morning still yawned in front of me, with plenty more time for supernatural nastiness. 2am after all, in the words of Jeff, is “obviously when Monsters feel snacky“.

The summer after Fern was born (2010) we experienced one of the creepiest and most tangible incidents of The Presence. If you’ve been with me for a while you might remember the story from this post. (Aw…click on that for skinny swimming babies, beautiful hotsprings and my old pal Leo). Here’s what I wrote at the time:

sunday night, we put fern to bed (late, since she was over-stimulated and over-tired.), setting her down in the middle of our mattress in my childhood room. now, i should preface this by saying that we have the Incredible Non-Kinetic Baby. she isn’t crawling or walking yet, rarely rolls over unless we force her onto her stomach, and sleeps like a bump on a log. unless you breathe on her, or think too loudly, and then she’s wide awake. after she went to sleep, we spent a few hours eating dinner, playing games, and generally unwinding. then we got ready for bed.

as i was brushing my teeth, jeff went into the room to check on her.

and she wasn’t on the bed.

nor was she on either side of the bed. jeff, trying to keep it cool, mused over possible explanations in what probably took a nano-second. maybe i had moved her? to another…room…when he wasn’t…looking….?

panic growing, he began searching under the pillows behind the bed, and then got on his stomach and felt around the sides of the bed. there was no sign of her, and then his fingers touched the top of her head.

she was under the bed.

her head was facing in the opposite direction of the way he had put her down. she was also still asleep.

jeff pulled her out and she woke up with a complaint. after a very shaken mommy and daddy checked her for bruises and/ or signs of foul play or spider bites, it was determined that she was perfectly fine.

When I called my Mom to tell her what happened she said, “Oh my god. Get OUT OF THERE.”

On our next visit, I walked into the bedroom, and laid down the law.

Alright, look. What happened last time was completely unacceptable. You are not allowed to touch or hurt my child, nor myself or my partner. This stops, right now. Knock it off.

Much to my surprise, whateveritis seemed to be listening. There was no recurrence and the creepy thickness also left. The house felt empty and clean. And I had a funny reaction…kind of like, “Aw, you didn’t have to leave. I just want you to leave us alone”.

The emptiness continued through all the rest of our visits up there. I sincerely thought it was gone, and even told Sara when I commented on her (even creepier) post about disturbances in her home. (I couldn’t find the post, but you should just scroll through her blog, because I just did and it reminded me why I love her.). I thought that it was all behind me.

Then Fern and I went up there by ourselves three weeks ago.

The first night, I felt the thickness again. I was afraid of perpetrators both from within and without, because the alarm system is broken. I fell asleep that night, after checking all doors and corners, and had one of those vivid dreams where you think you are actually awake, because everything looks and feels like normal waking.

I was walking back into the kitchen after locking the back door, confirming that the house was secure. But there was a man standing there, waiting for me. He was wearing yellow pajamas, glasses and he had a smirk on his face. His face shifted back and forth, first looking like one person, and then another. He said he had climbed in through the bedroom window. And when I cried out about Fern, he said, don’t worry, I only hurt her a little bit. What I’m really trying to figure out is how to kill YOU.

I startled awake, and then remarkably, fell back asleep. At this point, I am amazed at the power of my ability to rationalize. I mean really, what is wrong with me? Well, it’s because it’s all just my imagination, right?

The next night, I felt nervous again, and began to drift off with scenes from Poltergeist playing through my mind’s eye. It was about 11pm and I was just asleep, when the land-line phone started shrieking. Not a ring or a dial tone, but a shrieking Beeeehhhhhhhhhhhh. And then, If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try again. Frontier.

My blood running cold, I zombie walked into the kitchen and just stood staring at it. It was on speaker phone, with the receiver in the cradle. I picked up the earpiece, and the speaker turned off, with the shrieking coming through the receiver. Hung it up again and the speaker came back on. I had to unplug the receiver to get it to stop.

Shaking, I called Jeff. We ran through possibilities and then he said, “Are you going to stay there?” I asked him what choice I had…I really didn’t want to drive back to SF so late. By this time it was 12am and I didn’t want to wake my Aunt and Uncle. Then he said, “You could go to a motel.”

I laughed, since that would just make me a ninny. It’s just a phone malfunction, right? A phone malfunction…when I happen to be there…at midnight…one more occurrence in a long string of weird ass happenings…Every thing that has ever happened began to play itself back in my memory, culminating with a spirit that wanted to kill me and a disembodied something trying to make a call.

I’m not a ninny. And I’m also not going to be the moron that goes up to the attic, that investigates the spooky noise or doesn’t get out of the house when they should.

I woke Fern up and said, “Hi honey, I’m sorry to wake you, but we’re going on a little adventure.”. And took us to a Motel 6 in town.

Fern, bless her little heart, was a good sport, and was delighted to find herself in a Motel in the middle of the night. In the morning we got chocolate milk and then drove back to the house. In the daylight things seemed less threatening, but not exactly clear. I spoke to whateveritis again and said,

Look, I don’t want to force you to leave, because I suspect you have been here for a long time, longer than we have. In a way, I kind of like you, feel connected to you. After all, we have known each other for a long time. But if you don’t stop I will be forced to exorcise you out of this house. I think we can coexist, but you have to behave.

Unbelievably, it did just that, for the next three nights. Not only that, but I had delightful dreams each night. This is unusual for me, as my dreams are usually full of stress. However, I could still feel the watchfulness each time I would wake up in the dark. A pregnant pause, a waiting, and I felt like a bird being stalked by a cat.

The bizarreness was offset by the peace of heart I felt during the days. Every time I go back to Shasta County, I am reminded of the innate rightness I experience there. I am bonded deeply to those mountains, that creek, those Turkey Vultures, those quartz beds that reside just under the surface. The Achumawi, Atsugewi, Wintu and other tribes speak of the multitude of spirits that live in the area, the magic inherent in the land, and the culmination of power or energy that is Mt. Shasta.

All things have life in them. Trees have life, rocks have life, mountains, water, all these are full of life. You think a rock is something dead. Not at all. It is full of life. When I came here to visit you, I took care to speak to everything around here…. I sent my smoke to everything. That was to make friends with all things. No doubt there were many things that watched me in the night…. They must have been talking to each others. The stones talk to each other just as we do, and the trees too, the mountains talk to each other. You can hear them sometimes if you pay close attention, especially at night, outside…. I do not forget them. I take care of them, and they take care of me (Angulo, Achumawi Life-Force 61).

When I returned back to the city, Jeff and I went to see an Intuitive Counselor, to reach more deeply into the tangled energy around our search for home and ground. At the very end of the session, Jeff asked about the house and Whateveritis. With a background in energy medicine, and psychic services, our counselor had me visualize myself in our home. He closed his eyes and read into the situation. Eyes flying open he said, with certainty,

“There is definitely a presence in the house. I don’t get the sense that it was from the previous owner, but is much older. It somehow belongs to the land. I’m not clear on what it is, but there is some murkiness there.”

Y’all know me. I have a foot planted firmly in both worlds, spirit and mundane, and I am not one for tales of Atlantis or Lemurians, nor do I claim to have Super Secret Magic Crystal Powers.


“Mt. Shasta and the Lemurians.” Really, this is hilarious, do watch. Make sure you go all the way to the end.

But I do trust, fully, this intuitive counselor, and if he confirms that something is there, my ever blind and dumb left brain believes it.

So friends, that catches you all up to the present moment. I was so touched by your comments of concern on my last post. Like I said in my reply, this is the first time I have ever told of these incidents in a story like format. Initially I thought it would just be a good frightful read for this time of year, but now after the telling, and my own process around it all, I am fairly convinced I have a poltergeist, or worse, living in my childhood home. Some of you have mentioned theories or inklings, and I would love to hear about them. Here are a few of mine.

1. The man who built our home was a religious fanatic. He told my mother that it was “The house that God built”. If he was somehow embroiled in his own spiritual battle, did he infuse the inner workings of the house with it? Or did he anger the spirits of the land by imposing his religion in a place already called home by others?

2. The eerie feeling of the house feels exactly the same as the eerie feeling I get when I go to Shasta Lake, just 10 miles down the road. Lake Shasta is man made, with thousands of acres flooded to create a reservoir. Is my house haunted with a pissed off and displaced spirit who doesn’t like having its home under water, and just wants someone to know about it?

3. Is the spirit in my house lonely? Does it miss us, now that no-one lives there full time? We always hear stories of exorcisms like they are tales of war, with a spirit being treated with aggression… usually because said spirit is menacing. Yet I find it interesting that, so far anyway, Whateveritis has really responded to my requests to behave. The response that comes up most frequently for me is one of compassion.

4. Whateveritis acts with more frequency in direct relation to how frightened or sad I am. Does it feed off this negative energy? The other thing I did to enable us to stay there after the phone incident was to hum “This little light of mine”, to remember to keep my heart light. I thought of humorous things too, and tried to call up the sense of laughter in my chest. It worked, no joke.

And so, I release you from this tale of terror and mystery. Go into your day with laughter, keep a light on in your heart, and look forward to Dia de los Muertos and communing with the happy dead…those blessed loved ones who, if they visit, want nothing more than to say hello and keep you safe. xo

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17 thoughts on “Present and In Attendance: Part Two

  1. The first thing I want to point out is that you said there’s a lot of quartz in the area. You probably already know this, but areas with high amounts of quartz more frequently host paranormal activity. Quartz absorbs a lot of energy…

    I think it’s very possible that any of your theories are correct… what especially struck me was that you said it responds in correlation with when you’re feeling fearful or sad. This makes me think, because I’m inclined to believe that positive beings would *not* feed off of your negative energy.

    The fact that it doesn’t leave, but only seems to draw back when you ask it to leads me to believe that it’s definitely something older and greater than a human spirit, but then your intuitive counselor already told you that… I mean, ours left when we were stern with her and hasn’t come back (though a few weeks ago, I did have a very scary experience like your recent dream).

    Have you ever thought of getting someone — like an intuitive — up to the house and to check things out? I’ve read about so many incidents where entities in homes were actually very old, things that were tied to the land and were hell bent on holding their territory. It would probably feel better to have a more solid idea of what’s there, you know?

    My feeling is that it’s probably not a person there, but probably not a poltergeist, (unless the previous owner manifested it… there’s a thought, eh?) as it was in the house when you got there. I think you’ve probably got a good thing going, connecting your feelings at the lake and your feelings at the house.

    Now that I’ve written a novella for you, I’m gonna fade out before I have nightmares tonight. This is a CRAZY (not loopy crazy, mind you) story, and I would really like to hear more, if you decide to pursue what’s going on.

    So much love and light to you!

    Love you. xo

    1. YES about the quartz…i clued into that the last time i was up there. it was like…oh yeah…duh.

      i hear what you and milla are saying about an entity that feeds on negativity, and this is when my skin crawls. i’m trying to suss out if it feeds off the energy, or if the negativity brings it forth, or makes me more susceptible somehow. or if it’s colluding with what freud would call ‘the death instinct’ inside of me. eeeesh…so tangled.

      i think my intuitive counselor could do a remote clearing, and i might ask him.

      and i LOVE it when you write novellas.

  2. I trust your intuition, Mary. I wanted to put that out there. Because, frankly, after reading all this together and it culminating psychic-ally into the terrifying dream and physically the ghostly phone call what would do is run for the hills and never return.

    I remember first reading about the brake-in at your home and telling my husband how it’s the exact nightmare everyone (or at least me) envisions when things go bump in the night. That is, if they’re not envisioning something more supernaturally horrifying.

    Having always been a bit of a ninny myself, I don’t quite know how you’ve kept going back to somewhere that contains something so obviously potent and frightening. You are very brave.

    As someone who has also had times in their life when they were terribly, devastatingly depressed, I agree with the believe that negative emotion probably gives the entity some of its power. And certainly some of its power over you. I gotta second Sara, though and wonder, what kind of spirit would draw its force from such emotions?

    It’s also worth noting that the very sensitive often draw the supernatural to themselves, whether it’s because they have special attentiveness to the world around them, or because for some reason unknown to us these things are attracted to them.

    In light of all that you’ve told us though, it matters little to me whether the entity/spirit/whateveritsis is lonely, or homeless or misunderstood. I think that all your theories on it could be true, though am inclined to believe that such phenomena can all be treated as energy. (It’s interesting what Sara mentioned about quartz, I remember reading about that. Mediums that help keep energy around…) The bottom line is though that it has no right to mess with your child, or manifest an intention of hurting her, or you, or worse. Whatever it is, whether it has more claim to the house, or the land, it has no claim on your person, or your psyche. You’ve tried to make peace with it, but it keeps coming back with menace. (In spite repeated requests on your part to stop.)

    You are a sweet thoughtful person, as grounded as they come, it seems to me, and I appreciate your approach to your own fear of this thing. Remembering that there is nothing on this earth that doesn’t come from it, helps us battle all of the horrors of the world. Whatever you decide to do, like I said, I trust your intuition.

    All my happy, rainbow-y, cat-snuggled anti-ghost vibes go out to you 😉

    1. thank you for the reminder that i don’t have to take this on, and that telling it to piss off is within my rights. yet, this is where my compassion and desire to help (a compulsion that is not always coming from a mature place) kicks in. it reminds me of a vicious dog that potentially could be healed by learning to trust people. yet, just as i write that, i realize how fool hardy that approach could be. still…since i am the one it is contacting, i want to see if there is something i can do to help before banishing it, or returning it to source.

      plus, i am just way too curious. 🙂

      thank you for mirroring and trusting my intuition. my ninny loves your ninny, and i bet we’d have fun squealing together in a haunted house. and i’ve tried reading war and peace and it’s not nearly as interesting as what you write. xoxo

  3. Wow, so fascinating. I agree with Milla about it not having a claim on you or your fam or psyche. So maybe doing some closing boundaries and chakras type work? And then delving into whatever process with whateveritis. I just had someone do an energy reading of the house I bought. She’s in the bay and works over Skype too. She updates agreements and cords and does a healing for the house at the end. She could probably look at the land too.
    Keep us posted.
    Lots of love!

    1. ames, i just might contact you for that energy worker. thank you for the reminder to close boundaries…i will make sure to do that before entering the house next time. xo

  4. WOah!!!! Since I started reading your blog, I’ve gone back and read through some old posts, but I missed that one about Fern!! That is WILD. I have been thinking and thinking on your story and curious about what it is. I’m sure your intuitive would have mentioned it if this were the case, but I keep thinking it seems more animal than anything else. Like it does need to be told over and over again to lay off…..like a big oafish dog/animal that feeds on any energy, positive or negative. Jumping up on your chest and knocking you down. Moving Fern to sleep under the bed with it. Maybe that’s where your compassionate response comes from? Your love of animals?
    I don’t know…..I’ve been thinking about you and your story a lot….not with fear, but with intrigue.
    Thanks again for sharing ♥

    1. i LOVE the animal idea. i only wish it felt like a friendly dog! although after the under-the-bed thing with fern happened, we started referring to it as ‘spiders’. the house is always full of wolf spiders in the summer time, and we imagined the spiders kidnapped her for their very own. and she also happens to love spiders…she wants to be one for halloween. 🙂

      i always love hearing from you kim. xoxoxox

  5. oh mercy. i can’t write a novel, but i love that you left that night. that is bad ass wisdom. whatever works. in that moment. i love that jeff talked you through the process of figuring out what to do. and then your goddess warrior of compassion. you are a compassion warrior sister. healer supreme. mucho amore. mucho mucho mucho.

  6. Hey, been thinking about your story. I too find it totally fascinating. I’ve been feeling a bit hermit-y lately though, both IRL and online, so now I’m totally behind on commenting. Anyway, here I am and first of all I found your introduction to the presence so interesting. The face in the ceiling and “I am God”, wow, at age 4 ½ did you have much of an understanding of God? I also thought it was interesting that the previous owner had told your mom that it was “the house that God built” and were you aware of him saying that at the time?

    What Sara brought up about the quartz beds within the land and the absorption of energy and Milla’s comments on energy, as I myself feel more inclined to see it as the coalescence of an energy presence more so than a “personified” type entity, combined with your intuitive counselor’s read on the situation, an older presence tied to the land, murkiness involved. This leads me toward your own intuitive feelings about the similarity between how you feel in the house and the sense that you get at the man-made lake.

    Also this:

    “Every time I go back to Shasta County, I am reminded of the innate rightness I experience there. I am bonded deeply to those mountains, that creek, those Turkey Vultures, those quartz beds that reside just under the surface. The Achumawi, Atsugewi, Wintu and other tribes speak of the multitude of spirits that live in the area, the magic inherent in the land, and the culmination of power or energy that is Mt. Shasta.”

    Just as your sensitive and open nature allows you to “tap into” that magic and beauty of place on a spiritual level, perhaps when you enter an emotional place of fear or deep sadness, you’re in a state that is more in tune with something else. I’m sure indigenous displacement resulted in amazing amounts of fear and sadness and perhaps that energy lingers as well. Absorbed in the quartz? Who knows. Maybe the presence isn’t feeding or gaining power off of those emotions so much as they put you personally in a state that makes you more vulnerable to interactions with the presence.

    I also find it interesting how the dream state plays into so many of the experiences you’ve had and how dream imagery pulls from our waking life to interpret things that don’t necessarily exist on that level at all and how this could be making things even more frightening for you. For example, the guy in your dream saying he came in through the window could be related to the break-in in April. Perhaps the negative energy that you’re picking up on translates in intensity to how you may have felt during that experience? Perhaps you and Fern being there alone brought up those fearful feelings during your last visit, setting you up for the scary experience that you had.

    Whatever’s going on, it’s all very freaky deaky! I’m encouraged by the fact that it seems to respond to your wishes as far as backing off though. Also, with your curiosity and feelings of compassion/connection to this presence, I’m not surprised it has a tendency to return.

    I also find it totally interesting that after you confronted it following the Fern episode, with a sense of KNOCK IT OFF AND LEAVE US ALONE, how the house felt clean and empty. Then following your more compassionate plea after the phone incident, you were met with delightful dreams yet feelings of the presence still at bay.

    “Look, I don’t want to force you to leave, because I suspect you have been here for a long time, longer than we have. In a way, I kind of like you, feel connected to you. After all, we have known each other for a long time. But if you don’t stop I will be forced to exorcise you out of this house. I think we can coexist, but you have to behave.”

    If I were you, I’d enter the house from here on out with this message and intention. Also, not that I’m woo woo enough in practice to know exactly what it might be, but I’m sure some sort of energy healing type stuff would be helpful as well 😉

    Ok, much love and many delightful dreams to you as you work through it all Mary!

    1. damn girl, still waters run deep. 😀 thank you for sharing your amazing insight-fullness!

      we went to church regularly as a kid, and i remember being taught prayers, but i didn’t think about god much. and no, i only found out three weeks ago about it being ‘the house that god built’.

      and this: I’m sure indigenous displacement resulted in amazing amounts of fear and sadness and perhaps that energy lingers as well. Absorbed in the quartz? helped me put some more pieces together. years ago at grad school, i wrote a term paper on the historical animism of the local tribes and also my own sense that the land contains…rage. i told sadie rose this too, since she also lives in the region. there are so many special places up there that feel…uncomfortable…like how it feels when you hang out with someone who is simmering with anger. i postulated in my paper that it was ecocidal trauma held in the land that had yet to be healed…but my professor didn’t say much and i tucked the paper away and forgot about it. thank you for helping me reclaim that bit of intuitive wisdom. xo

  7. Such a full on couple of posts, so I’ve taken some time before jumping in! That is some persistent energy you got going on over there. My first thought was to wonder why it seems to only communicate to you. Is it just because you’re more tuned into these things? Or is it picking you out for some other reason? I can’t think of what that reason would be, but I guess you would have a better idea of what it is about you that it could be reacting with.
    From what I read, the thing that stuck with me the most was that you pick up on the same feeling at the lake near by. I think it’s great that you want to heal whatever badness there is around, I do worry though that it is beyond an individual’s work. If this is an old spirit, and a spirit of the place then that is some powerful stuff. Maybe that’s just my inner scared-y cat speaking though, because from what you’ve written I know that there’s no way I could go back. You are obviously a courageous woman.
    Good-luck, with whatever you decide, you seem to be having some rough luck with negative energies. Thankfully I’ve never lived in a place with bad vibes. I was a bit worried about the place I’m currently living in, because it’s an older flat, but it’s probably the place that I’ve felt the safest to be right from the start. I instantly felt at ease here, and after reading your story I had to go around and thank the place. Actually my housemate and I often declare to the apartment how much we love it (haha!), so maybe it’s mutual.
    Many thoughts of Love and Joy to you (although they’re a little weak and hayfever-y, so they might be tea soaked only slightly brush over and kiss your head!)

    1. i do think it’s beyond an individual’s work too. i’ve got a plan in the works to get a group of witchy women up there to do some work. i don’t want to go it alone! and i think places fall in love with us too…it sounds like your flat is crushed out on the two of you. xo

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