Sunday, September 11, 2016

Falling Water Controls Dreams

The new television series, Falling Water, created by Henry Bromell (deceased) and Blake Masters, appears on October 13, 2016, on the USA Network. I have to admit I’m intrigued already, because of my own experience sharing dreams – and also because of a bizarre and mystical dream shared with me by somebody close to me. 

On February 14, 2011, I wrote about that dream when I posted the following blog, When You Dream The Same Dream As Somebody Else. In that blog I relate the story of two sisters (whose names I changed for reasons that will be obvious if you read the blog), who, unknown to each other, dreamed the same dream, but from their own perspectives. It was a frightening dream that will have you reconsidering the idea of reincarnation, if you don’t already believe in it. Neither sister knew the other’s dreams so when I heard about the second sister’s dream years after learning about the first sister's dream, my mouth fell open. I think you’ll be awed as well. 

The premise of the movie sounds eerily similar to what is happening in my own writings, especially when I factor in the coincidence of a screenplay I wrote back in the 1990s (written, but never produced), entitled Flies on the Wall, a story about a group of teenagers who dabble in the paranormal, specifically, astral projection, astral travel, and remote viewing. Begun January 22, 1998, reworked throughout the entire first decade of the new millennium, and forgotten during the last 6 years, FOTW reentered my mind when commercials for Falling Water first appeared. Thanks to Falling Water, I’m revamping that screenplay!

People dreaming the same dream is probably not all that uncommon. A couple of times my oldest daughter and I dreamed the same dream. On one occasion, for example, she walked into my bedroom when she was only 2 years old and asked me why I was dreaming about bears. I had nightmares about them as a child and continued to have nightmares about bears into adulthood. I never talked about them, though, because I didn’t understand their significance in my dreams (I think I know now). 

So how did my daughter know that I was dreaming about bears? Was she psychic? Was she experiencing the same dream? In one dream I was outside my home. An already heavy mist became so thick I could see only a couple of inches in front of my face. I kept calling for my daughter and reaching out in the darkness for her, because I had seen her round the corner of the house, and I panicked that I would lose her, because she was no longer visible. As I ran after her through the mist, holding onto the outside wall of my house so I wouldn’t lose my way, I called her name just as she appeared in my room by my bed. She said she was scared, because she got lost in her dream and couldn’t find me.

In the TV series, Falling Water, three unrelated people, played by David Ajala, Lizzie Brocher√©, and Will Yun Lee, share parts of the same dream and, like my screenplay in which a group of people try to control experiences for my characters in the ether world, dreamers in Falling Water find themselves being controlled by others who reach them through their dreams. 

I’m looking forward to watching this series in October. From Falling Water: “If you can control people’s dreams, you can control the world.” 

Sounds deliciously mysterious, doesn’t it? If you’re not already as excited for this new series as I am, read these 11 Reasons to Get Excited About USA's New Series Falling Water!

And watch the trailer HERE!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sleep Paralysis or Spirit Visitation?

You lie in bed awaiting sleep, but just before you fall asleep, you feel the air around you become heavy. It grips you in such a way that every pore in your body feels smothered by it. You hear whispers you can’t decipher. Your heart pounds like a herd of horses trampling a field. And the heavy thumping waves of whoosh whoosh whoosh thunder in your ears. 

Oh no! It’s happening again! 

But what is IT?

You decide it must be a spirit, because you feel a presence in your room. You cry out for help, but no words escape your mouth. Fear engulfs you, and though you try to get up, you can’t move. You are awake in your own nightmare.

I have relived that horrible nightmare over and over again, and only recently did I learn that it had a name – Sleep Paralysis. But is that really all it is, a feeling of being paralyzed? That simple answer doesn’t address the feeling of a presence in the room. 

In the moments before we fall asleep, when the air around us closes in like a vice, can we really attribute that feeling to Sleep Paralysis? From what I’ve read and heard, everyone’s experiences seem similar, and many people attribute these events to spirit visits, alien abductions, or nocturnal visits from beasts (incubus, succubus). In my case, because one of these events ties in so closely to the death of a friend who promised to contact me when she died (read The Pact), I tend to think more in terms of spirit visits than anything else. 

Explanations for this phenomenon exist in documentaries, on YouTube, and in articles on the web. The best explanation I’ve read about Sleep Paralysis is Karen Emslie’s article, Awake in a Nightmare, written for The Atlantic

For me, Sleep Paralysis events appear just before I fall asleep. The transition between being awake and falling asleep is the most vulnerable time for me. Perhaps my fear that IT will happen again is why just the process of falling asleep often awakens me. Insomnia rules many of my nights. 

Because I attribute my experiences to spirit visits, especially because of the close ties I had with my friend, Katherine, I think that the veil between the worlds of life and death lifts during that transition. Loved ones long gone try to reach us in those moments when we drift into sleep. When their attempts to reach us fail, they appear to us in dreams. I prefer dream visits to the ones attributed to Sleep Paralysis.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ghost Virgins

Are YOU a Ghost Virgin?

originally published October 12, 2010, on a site that no longer exists

A three-year-old girl walks out of her bedroom where her baby sister sleeps. Their mother is in the living room and wants to know why her little girl is not in bed. "There's a man in my closet," the child explains. 

The mother panics. They live on the south side of Chicago in an old dilapidated building that is in such disrepair that one day it will be demolished. She cannot just grab her daughter and leave – she has to rescue her baby.

The mother, her whole body trembling, grabs a knife with a serrated edge and tiptoes into the bedroom. She cautiously maneuvers her way to the closet and reaches out to it with the knife twitching in her hand. 

Her heart pounds in her chest and thumps in her ears. The door creaks slowly open and she adjusts her eyes to the darkness.

What she sees is – an empty closet – the man is not there. The likelihood that he jumped out of the window is slim. They are three levels up.

I don't remember that day. My mother does. Vividly. I was the three-year-old who claimed to have seen the man in my closet. Was it a dream – or was it a ghost?

Even before that experience, and especially after I experienced a ghostly presence one night as an adult (explained in this article, Touched By a Ghost – click the link if you want to read it), I have believed in ghosts. Never once did I discount the possibility that spirits existed, because once I discovered in a science class that energy never died, and that we all move, breathe, think, and exist due to energy, I have believed that a part of me – a part of all of us – never dies.

Because our spirits live on, who's to say that some of us don't continue to live – on Earth?

Even so, I know of several people who, at one time or another, did not believe in ghosts, among them some ghost hunters who run their own ghost hunting television programs. They didn't believe in ghosts – until – they encountered them. 

If you have never believed in ghosts and have never had experiences with ghosts, you are a ghost virgin. Oftentimes, not until somebody experiences ghosts do they become believers in ghosts. 

So many people disbelieve what they watch on ghost hunting programs, because they think the only reason these shows are on television is for the ratings. I understand how they feel. Sometimes those of us who view the programs barely detect the words the ghost hunters claim to hear, and the ghostly apparitions appear to be nothing more than smoke. 

With all of the digital alteration programs available, modifying videos is not only possible, it's probable. Why should anybody believe anything they see anymore?

Eager to hear or see proof, though, we tune in to these programs and listen carefully. We watch like hawks the images that appear before us. Like pregnant couples who attend the ultrasound of their first baby and stare at the monitor saying, "Yeah, I see it," then leave and cry in each other's arms because they didn't want to admit to the technician that they couldn't recognize their own baby, we cannot always decipher what appears before us. 

What would it take for you to believe in ghosts? A hand on your shoulder when you are alone? Whispering in your ear when nobody is near you? I have experienced both, and I guarantee you that just because you can't see spirits doesn't mean they aren't all around you. 

Until the day you first hear a ghost, see a ghost, smell a ghost, or feel a ghost, you will remain a ghost virgin. I'm sure some (if not most) of you would prefer it that way.