I grew up in quite an unusual household. My dad was visited by spirit from a very young age and would recount his ghostly tales to the delight of my sister and I. My mother was also interested in the paranormal and introduced us to our local spiritualist church. She also practised Reiki healing and read tarot cards. Hence, I grew up without fear of the paranormal and quickly developed ESP. I also learnt to speak to my spirit guides through guided meditation and then self meditation. Regardless of my development, I still craved rock solid proof that us mere mortals would live on in the afterlife.
After my parents divorced, I would visit my dad on a weekly basis to make sure he was looking after himself and to chat about our common interests, including the afterlife. We discussed at length my annoyance at not having any real proof of life after death. My dad had no such doubts of its existence and promised he would do everything he could to contact me, once he had passed over. He was very psychic during his life and most of his predictions were accurate. So it was with a heavy heart that I listened to him predict his own passing. He told me that he didn’t have long and that he knew this because his deceased brother and friend had informed him in a dream. He also told me that other deceased members of his family were featuring in his dreams on a nightly basis. He believed they were waiting for him and he took comfort in their presence. I didn’t take his prediction seriously as he was only 63 years old and although he was not in the best of health, there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with him either. I simply couldn’t take him seriously as the thought of losing him was unbearable!
His death was sudden and devastating. He passed with a burst stomach ulcer only two months after he’d told me his prediction. Not I or any other member of our close family had been aware of how precarious his health was. He had told us he had a small stomach ulcer, but had also reassured us that he was awaiting an appointment to have it treated.
On the morning of his passing I had awoken with a strong sense of foreboding and a need to speak to him. As he wasn’t answering his phone I rang my friend Sarah, who is also psychic, and she also expressed a sense of unease. Both of us knew something was wrong; we just couldn’t pinpoint the cause, except a sense that it concerned my dad.
When I arrived at my dads flat I had an overwhelming sense of my aunt’s presence; my dads’ younger sister who had passed of cancer a few months previously. I didn’t understand until later that her presence was to comfort me for what I was about to discover. Before entering the flat I knocked and called out to make sure he was decent. This was a habit as I had once entered his flat to find him in his birthday suit; to the extreme embarrassment of us both. I clearly heard him shout, “Come in hinny.”
It was only later I realised it was his spirit speaking to me, and that he was perhaps unaware of his passing at this early point. I was naturally devastated by his death; however, I took comfort later on when the pathology report confirmed that he wouldn’t have suffered long as his passing was swift. I also have to point out that even though I thought I heard and felt spirit presences that day, I also worried that my grief had skewed my perceptions. I was still in doubt if the afterlife existed. I theorised that the mind can conjure many things when comfort is needed.
A few weeks after the funeral, Sarah suggested a séance, which I was eager to try; especially after the promise I had been made. During his life my dad had a great sense of humour and was fascinated with Victorian séances and that era of illusion and trickery. What followed was very typical of him, especially in the wonderful and dramatic manner that he chose to show me his presence.
At the time I was living in a two hundred year old stone cottage, which came with its own set of problems including faulty electrics; so it wasn’t hugely alarming when half way through the séance, the overhead light bulb began to flicker on and off. At that point it could still have been a huge coincidence. We had chosen the dining room to hold the séance as this was where I kept the urn with my dads’ ashes in. Apart from my cat Mia, it was only I and Sarah in the room.
At first we didn’t notice anything unusual happening and I began to feel a huge sense of disappointment and loss. However, moments after the over head light began to flicker; the lamp bulb also began to flicker on and off. Shortly after this the temperature in the room plummeted and the flickering of the lights became more frequent and agitated.
At one point both the lamp bulb and the overhead light were flickering simultaneously. My cat Mia began to cry and scratch at the closed door at this point. I could sense my dad in the room and it appeared he wasn’t alone. Shadowy figures appeared for a split second and then vanished as quickly as they’d arrived. It was a spectacular show. As a finale to the séance the lamp bulb and the overhead bulb both exploded.
Incredibly shaken and drained we finished the séance and retreated into the living room to discuss what had happened. We both agreed that it had been incredible and moving. However, a slight nagging doubt still haunted me. What if the electrics had exploded due to faults and not spirits? What if this had caused us to imagine the drop in temperature and the ghostly figures? I doubted my sanity because of my grief.
The next day I replaced both the bulbs, however, both the lights would not work. I changed the fuse in the lamp, still to no avail. In a fit of practicality I called out an electrician who spent hours trying to fix the problem. I had three different electrical companies attempt to fix the problem without success. The overhead light never worked again and the lamp was only fit for the bin.
One thing they all agreed on was the fact that the lamp was plugged into a socket, which was on a completely different circuit to the overhead light. They all said it was a billion to one chance that the two would short circuit at the same time…… This was all the proof I needed and to this day I love the quirky way my dad chose to show me his presence. I have never doubted since. Thank You Dad, you kept your promise.
© Karen Ashurst 2014