There was a time growing up when I became quite fascinated by spiritualism. The idea that a person could communicate with the dead—actually see and hear ghosts—was of great interest to me. This was an interest that my mother was actually willing to share with me, and so we ended up taking a couple of trips to a spiritualist church in Hull, England. These sessions were always characterized as demonstrations of clairvoyance, rather than speaking with the dead; but that is exactly what these people did.
On our second trip, my dad decided to stay at home, muttering something about it ‘only encouraging weird activity,’ but he was always interested in what had happened at the meetings, of course. He was, I believe, quite right. It did encourage the strange, ghostly activity that was going on in our house at that time, and it also made me more open to strange phenomena.
Attending a spiritualist church as a teenage boy was interesting in and of itself. The first thing I noticed was that the vast majority of my fellow visitors were female and well over the age of fifty. However, by contrast, the mediums were often younger people. That evening, it was quite a full audience for the demonstration as the medium was highly regarded, and he apparently attracted a more diverse audience. He was two or three readings into the evening when his eyes met mine.
“Young man,” he said.
I gulped and likely flushed, as all eyes suddenly stared at me.
“I have a man here with me in spirit who would like to warn you about that motorbike that you have. He is showing me that you will have an accident, so be careful. He is young, this man, and he is wearing motorcycle gear. He passed some time ago, though,” said the medium.
To be honest, I could barely speak. I just nodded acknowledgement, and the medium duly moved on to his next ‘victim.’
Of course, I was consumed with my own thoughts for the rest of the demonstration. We thought that the young man could have been my dad’s brother who had died long before I was born in a motorcycle accident; and yes, I had just recently bought a second-hand Honda C70 motorbike.
At the end of the meeting, both the medium and the organizer approached my mother and me. The organizer knew us and lived in the same area that we did. It transpired that the medium wanted to spend some time with me. He said that he had some things he wanted to tell me, and so, could I come by the next day around 2 p.m. for some tea?
We went home and told my dad what had occurred. He was understandably a little upset at the idea of his brother coming through, but he agreed that I should go for the tea and see what the medium had to say.
The next day was actually very disappointing at the time. I had fostered this idea that somehow the medium would tell me something really important, meaningful and deep. In fact, we simply sat in the backyard drinking tea and eating cakes, just chit chatting for about an hour or so. After that, the organizer suggested I should leave so as not to tire the medium, who would be giving another session later that day.
As I was about to leave, however, the medium looked at me and said, “Do you write at all, Gary?”
“Not much. Why?
“Well, I just wanted to say that you will one day write a lot.”
“Okay, thank you,” I replied.
“One more thing, Gary.”
“I’m sorry?” I asked, somewhat puzzled.
“Be open to spirit. They will write through you. Don’t be afraid. It will feel quite natural. It may not happen for many years yet, but it will, and I think that you might just sit from time to time with a pen in hand and a bit of paper and see if it happens.”
“Thank you,” I said again, feeling a bitter sense of disappointment. Was that all?
Apparently, the medium put on an uncharacteristically poor showing later that evening. He was tired from meeting with me, he had claimed. I didn’t understand why that should be so, nor really why he wanted to meet with me. At the time, I didn’t believe that he had told me anything very much of value at all.
About six months later, I visited the University of Hull. They had an open day for prospective students. I was seventeen and looking forward to going to university, so I went. Driving back home on my motorbike, as I accelerated away from some traffic lights, I suddenly saw a blur jump out in front of me. I braked as hard as I could, but I hit whatever it was. I heard the yelp of agony as I did so, and then I found myself sliding along the street at about 30 mph, until the handlebar hit a pothole and threw me away, gashing a hole in my knee as I went. The bike was messed up, I was okay (although bruised and bleeding), and the poor dog was dead. I felt bad. I felt terribly guilty for killing a dog. I also felt very fortunate that the light had turned red behind me, and I wasn’t run over by a car.
I remembered the medium then—what he had said in the message—and I understood that this was a sign.
Now, I do indeed write. I write a lot. And the spirits? Well, they do come through. As the boy in the movie said, I see dead people.
This story and others like it in My Haunted Life Too. Out Now!