Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Out of Body Experience

Taylor was living in Manchester, England, in 1989 when she left her body.

“I was sitting in my lounge, usual 9 p.m. coffee in right hand, alone, relaxed,” she said. “Suddenly I experienced splitting into two; me, and a ‘copy’ of myself.”

Taylor could only sit and watch from the couch as someone who looked like her stepped out of her body and stood in the living room.

“This other me put out their left hand, leaned on the arm of the sofa and got up to standing exactly as I normally would,” she said. “While this happened I could feel the movement of their limbs, see out of their eyes. This was insane.”

Taylor may have had an out-of-body experience. All cultures, from the ancient Egyptians to today’s modern West, have reported OBEs, whether it be bilocation (a person being in different places at the same time) or astral projection (traveling outside your body).

“I couldn’t believe it was happening, but it was,” Taylor said. “I could still feel my own limbs as before.”

Taylor’s “other me” walked through her fireplace wall. She could see through this being’s eyes to the point it passed into the brickwork, then she snapped back into her own body.

“I did wonder if the neighbors had been in next door, might they have seen this ghost of me?” she asked.

OBEs usually occur spontaneously – such as Taylor’s – and sometimes they can be seen by other people, according to “The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits,” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley. People experiencing an OBE can sometimes find themselves in another reality quite unlike our own. OBEs also often happen multiple times to the same person. Much like with Taylor.

Taylor was standing in her living room again when her second OBE occurred. Her right hand was resting on the same sofa when she exploded from her home.

“I found myself suddenly up in space having been apparently launched as if shot from a gun,” she said. “I was hurtling through space at warp speed. It was very arrrrggggghhhhhh but not scary or uncomfortable.”

She could see stars shooting past as she hurdled through the sky.

“I didn’t have any problem breathing,” she said. “It was exhilarating. I would love to do that again.”

She later felt herself “crashing” back into her body as the OBE ended.

In many OBE cases, people report being accompanied by a guide. Whether that guide be a departed family member, an angel or something demonic, is a matter of debate. Taylor experienced an unseen companion on her third trip.

“Again in my house, looking out of the back window to the garden; just relaxed and surveying my enormously long garden, wondering what I could do with it,” she said. “When suddenly I found myself to be looking out over a completely new landscape. It was overlaid on my visual field; I could see both things now at the same time.”

Taylor’s new reality included a large expanse of calm water, low hills and no trees. The light was different than the current light in Manchester, “very beautiful, calming.” Then someone pushed her.

“I felt a pair of invisible hands push me right in the middle of my back,” she said. “Now when I say this I mean I felt physical hands on me. I could not perceive this as different from someone being in my house and doing this.”

She toppled forward and fell into the water. Then her surroundings changed again.

“Before I was pushed in I could see no one,” she said. “But after I surfaced in the water I saw lots of people all very happy. At the end I suddenly, inexplicably, knew you couldn’t drown in the water.”

Water has long been associated with birth. In the book “The Children Time Forgot,” by Peter and Mary Harrison, a boy remembers his pre-birth saying, ‘you have to go into the water to be born, some people jump, others are pushed.’

Whether Taylor’s visions – she says alcohol and drugs were not involved – are lucid dreams, a revisiting of her birth, or touching the astral world, it’s impossible to tell. But Taylor knows one thing – the things she experienced were real.

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or Include your name, address and telephone number. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason's book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri's Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at: or visit Jason’s Web site at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Alien Lover

Scott Palmer’s family moved from Chicago to Marceline, Mo. – population 2,650 – in 1981. His parents wanted to raise their family somewhere smaller and safer than Chicago.

Eleven years later, he experienced something in Missouri that was neither small nor safe.

“I feel I ran into some people from another planet,” he said.

Scott was 21 years old in 1992 when he and a friend moved to Columbia, Mo., to work. Scott’s sister Stephanie was attending the University of Missouri–Columbia at the time and let them live with her until they could afford an apartment.

“She had moved out of a sorority house and moved in with some roommates,” he said. “My friend and I we moved up there because we thought it would be a good place to party it up.”

Scott and his friend – who doesn’t talk about the encounter – were sleeping on couches when Scott struck up a relationship with one of Stephanie’s roommates.

“One of my sister’s roommates was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl. Very pale skin,” Scott said. “I kind of took a liking to her.”

The girl, about 5’8” and muscular “like a gymnast,” Scott said, was intelligent and quiet. But there was something strange about her.

“Sometimes you would ask her questions and she’d just look like she wasn’t sure what you were talking about,” he said. “Like ‘who won the World Series?’ ‘Hey you remember the Rubik’s Cube?’ Stuff everyone should know. I thought, ‘where’s she from?’”

As the relationship progressed, so did the aura of strangeness around the girl.

“I ended up having a sexual relationship with her,” Scott said. “On her part it was emotionless. She acted like she didn’t know what to do. But I was still interested in her.”

Soon after, Scott discovered the girl had a boyfriend. He was blonde, like her, and also like her, there was something not quite right about him.

“He came over a few times and never showed any aggression towards me,” Scott said. “I thought when I heard he was coming over we would probably get into it but he never even showed me any kind of response. Like he didn't care.”

The “boyfriend” didn’t visit often, and the girl didn’t talk about him, so Scott pursued the relationship.

A few weeks later when her sister came in for the weekend, Scott and his friend discovered something terrifying.

“Her sister looked a lot like she did,” Scott said. “They were sisters, but it was really weird. They were the same height, and so on. They were in very good condition. I remember how clean and clear their skin was. They were like twins, but they weren’t twins.”

Scott and his friend sat on the couch watching TV as they waited for the sisters to get ready for their date.

“We’re waiting around for them,” he said. “They’re sitting behind us talking. We’re not thinking anything about it then they got into a little bit of an argument.”

The sisters moved to another room as the argument got louder – then Scott heard something that froze him to the couch.

“All of a sudden it just got really loud,” he said. “Right as we were thinking about getting up and investigating, we heard their language switch over.”

Noises, high-pitched and crackling, came from the girls in the other room.

“What we heard was something out of a Star Wars movie,” Scott said. “If it was a language, which I’m sure it was because they were speaking to each other, it sounded like insects or something.”

Scott and his friend sat in front of the TV, unable to move.

“At that time my friend and I had both gone into shock,” he said. “Our bodies just shut down. I’m not sure how much time went by but I remember getting myself together and walking out on the balcony. I just stood there and I just couldn’t think. I was still in shock. I was just trying to catch my breath.”

A few minutes later, Scott’s friend joined him on the balcony.

“My heart was beating fast, I couldn’t breathe well,” Scott said. “I looked over to him and asked, ‘did you just hear what I heard?’ He said, ‘let’s go for a walk.’”

The boys walked out of the apartment to a nearby sand volleyball pit.

“I don’t know who those girls are,” Scott’s friend said. “But they’re not from this planet.”

For a time they tried to reproduce the sounds, but couldn’t.

“To this day I can’t reproduce those sounds,” Scott said. “It was too otherworldly.”

Then the thought hit them – they’d heard something they weren’t supposed to hear.

“We were smart enough to say whatever that was, they don’t want to be known,” Scott said. “We decided to go back in (the apartment) because we didn’t want to alarm them. We might be in maximum danger.”

When they returned to the apartment, the sisters were sitting quietly on the couch.

“I can’t remember how it went down, but they said ‘where did you go?’” Scott said. “I’m not sure what our answer was. I think we hung out with them a little bit, but I don’t remember any detail after that.”

Scott’s friend’s memory after that point is just as sketchy. After that day, the story remained between the two until 2007 when Scott told his sister.

“She’s a real straight shooter, real conservative,” Scott said. “When I told her that story she said, ‘Wow. I always thought something was strange. Something about that girl that didn’t make any sense.’ That was out of character for her.”

Although Scott’s friend still won’t discuss the incident with anyone but him, they’re both convinced the sisters were the “Nordics” of UFO lore. UFO researchers claim the Nordics – called such because of their resemblance to Scandinavians – are an alien race that looks similar to average humans, but are slightly taller, in excellent physical condition, with pale skin, blue eyes and blonde hair.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that those girls were from a different planet,” Scott said. “It was a life-altering thing.”

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at:,, or visit Jason’s Web site at

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Shadow Had Red Eyes

Shadow People have followed Daniel Pestana of Portugal for years. Blacker-than-night human-shaped shadows visit Daniel often … and stare. Some wear hats, some a monk’s cowl.

“They are never hostile to me. They seem to be mere observers,” Pestana said. “I used to see them in the hallway of my house, in the reflections of mirrors and sometimes floating quickly from door to door.”

He became used to these frequent visits until the night he encountered something different. Something he feels is evil.

“I just saw it once,” he said.

Pestana was walking his now-ex-girlfriend home when they stopped in a small park in the center of a quarter.

“When we were saying good-bye to each other we heard a noise coming from a tree (next to) a house nearby,” he said. “I looked and I noticed that the top of the tree fanned itself with violence.”

Violent rustling and the snap of breaking branches bit through the night.

“Then I heard a muffled sound of something crashing into the ground,” Pestana said. “A strange feeling arose inside me that I still can’t explain.”

Pestana and his girlfriend watched silently as two hands grasped the top of a wall that surrounded the house’s yard.

“They didn't seem (like human) hands,” he said. “They were dark, as if it was burned paper.”

As the two stood frozen, a head as dark as the hands pulled itself up from behind the wall.

“Two brilliant and red eyes stared directly at us,” Pestana said. “The creature loosened a roar of some kind and it jumped upward (onto) the wall. We saw it perfectly.”

The figure was human-like and “pitch-black from head to toes.” Neither Pestana nor his girlfriend could make out features, only the fiery red eyes.

“I grabbed my girlfriend's hand and we ran through the streets without looking back,” Pestana said. “It was the only time that I felt truly threatened by those creatures.”

Shadow People are seen worldwide. Some seem oblivious to the people who see them, some curiously watch, and some seem to be mischievous. But the ones with red, glowing eyes have one common trait – they elicit terror.

A student of the paranormal, Bishop James Long, of St. Christopher Old Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky, says these red-eyed entities are demons.

“I have found that through my research and field experience, Shadow Figures that contain red, or very dark orange color, eyes tend to be negative in nature,” Long said. “The entity is clearly demonic. It is … fear that it preys on.”

Pestana is fortunate to have run.

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at:,, or visit Jason’s Web site at

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Dream of Shadow People

The shadows sat across one side of a semi-circle table, cloaked, piercing holes for eyes fixed on a crowd of people. Dawn Sevier of Sparta, Tenn., who has been haunted by Shadow People, thought this was a dream – but it felt so real.

“There was more than one, there were nine,” she said. “Each one was allowing their eyes to be seen. All the eyes were black, the blackest black I've ever seen, and they were looking out on a crowd of people who were there to voice concerns.”

Dream-Dawn walked up to the table and looked at each of nine shadows, one by one.

“None acknowledged that I was standing in front of them observing them,” she said. “In my dream, I had no fear at all. After I reached the last shadow, two people grabbed me and carried me through the crowd and put me into the back of a white limousine. I awoke feeling disturbed and have never forgotten this dream.”

Many parapsychologists consider dreams – especially lucid dreams, dreams that seem too real to be just dreams – to be a form of astral projection. You’re consciously aware during the dream and can control your actions while your soul travels outside your body – as can the very real entities you may encounter there.

Dawn’s soul may have stood before that council of nine, but she doesn’t know who they were judging, or who in the white limousine stepped in to save her.

Dawn has had a few of these lucid dreaming encounters, but none as terrifying as the thing she encountered while recovering from surgery.

“I had just been released from the hospital, and was heavily medicated,” she said. “I'd had a bad experience in the hospital, suddenly I couldn't tolerate morphine and it arrested my breathing. I had one of those experiences where you disconnect from your body and watch everything that's going on.”

Dawn was staying with a friend because she couldn’t be alone. During the first night at her friend’s house, she saw herself leave her body.

“I was sleeping and I found myself standing next to myself, watching myself sleep,” she said. “As I stood there, I could sense that someone was standing to my left – behind me – but I couldn't turn and look, I was blocked from turning. I could look to my right, and when I did, the wall began vibrating faster and faster.”

Suddenly a Shadow Person walked through the wall.

“It was uncloaked and its appearance was like looking at black oil,” Dawn said. “Its body was muscular, its head was large, no hair, and its eyes were black and red.”

Dawn stood next to her body and watched the creature. The entity had almond-shaped eyes, a small nose and small mouth set in an oval-shaped head. But the main feature was its veins.

“It had red blood veins … like humans have blue ones, running all over it's muscular structure,” she said. “It stood about seven feet tall, and it couldn't see me at all.”

She stood, staring at the creature when she realized it was looking at something specific – it was looking at her.

“I noticed that it was looking at the me laying in bed,” she said. “I suddenly felt like fighting and looked down at its feet, only it had no feet. Its legs faded to black-and-red mist, and as I saw this I had an urge to jump into my body that was sleeping.”

As this urge swept through her, the human qualities of the Shadow Man dissipated into a cloud of black and red mist. The mist rose above her body forming a column, and began wrapping itself around her feet and ankles, snaking it's way up the length of her body.

“Suddenly, I found myself throwing covers off myself and screaming, ‘no,’” Dawn said. “I demanded that the thing leave me alone, I told it that it couldn't touch me.”

As Dawn sat in bed – now awake – draped in an icy cold, sheets and nightgown soaked with sweat, she was not afraid. Curious and angry, but not afraid.

“I felt … anger at its attempt to invade my space,” she said.

Although Dawn hasn’t had a lucid dream encounter with a Shadow Person for years, she now sees them in her waking hours.

“I still see them today, mostly out of the corner of my eye,” she said. “I have no idea who or what they are, but I know they interact among us, and they don't like being known. Perhaps they are escorts from this realm to the other side, perhaps they are connected with the death process, but I don't feel they are to be feared. The nature of darkness is to be unknown; we're not supposed to be able to ‘see' in the dark. These entities are unknown by most, and seem alarmed when they are seen.”

Dawn doesn’t see these entities as evil or demonic, she sees them as travelers.

“But I don't know where the destination is,” she said. “If we can endure and move past the fear, perhaps one, or some of us can learn more about these Shadow entities.”

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at:,, or visit Jason’s Web site at