Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Tales of the Ouija Board

Author’s note: After last week’s story of a Ouija board encounter gone wrong, a “From the Shadows” reader contacted me with a story of his own.

Kindred walked into his older sister’s house one weekend night in January 1979, his senior year in high school, to find his sister, her boyfriend, and a few cousins around the kitchen table, some sitting, others standing.

He had no idea what the night would bring.

“All (cousins) were female, all in their early and late teens,” he said. “No real significance, although I now wonder if an overwhelming female presence influenced events that followed.”

Kindred’s cousin Dianne waved him toward the table.

“Check this out,” she said.

As Kindred stepped to the table, he saw something that sent fear through him.

“I was taken a little aback,” he said. “Coming from a Christian background we were all told not to mess with Ouija boards.”

But they were, and Kindred joined the game.

“Are you dead or alive,” someone asked, the plastic, triangular planchette skittering across the board. The group asked the question again and again as the planchette indicated a different spirit had joined the conversation.

“It would go to each letter, stop at each letter, and spell out ‘dead’ or ‘alive,’” Kindred said.

Cousin accused cousin of moving the planchette, but everyone denied it. The group would soon find no one in the room – no one living – had moved the triangle.

“A whimsical remark angered whatever was there and one leg of the widget caught on the end of the board,” Kindred said. “Everyone lifted their fingers off the widget and (it) quickly moved across the table top.”

Although frightened, no one wanted to stop the session.

“Curiosity had gotten the best of us all that night,” Kindred said.

Simple yes or no questions made way for more complex queries, like “what are you?”

“We would get answers back such as rabbits, cows, snakes and people we knew that said they were asleep but communicating with us,” he said.

Then whatever communicated with them began to get too close.

“One upsetting moment when going through the list of questions, it said it was by the cliff,” a landmark on the property, Kindred said. “Then by our corrals, then crossing the creek. The procession was towards us – and fast. Finally it said it was outside in the yard, wanting to come in.”

As the group hovered over the board wondering what to do, someone stood, peeled back the kitchen curtain and looked outside. A dog stood in the yard, staring at the house. It was Kindred’s parent’s dog Choco, who would have had to cross those landmarks to reach the house.

“That was pretty freaky,” Kindred said.

Fueled by tension, imagination and adrenaline, the group continued to work the board – then something happened.

“These routine sessions of questions and answers were suddenly broken,” Kindred said.

The board randomly spelled out “purple,” which confused everyone in the room. But when the board spelled “Newtown ND” and “Samantha,” Kindred realized the board targeted him. An ex-girlfriend named Samantha he’d always associated with the color purple lived in Newtown, N.D.

“It was all very startling to me,” Kindred said. “It was as if this universal conscience or entity somehow focused on me and brought up knowledge only I knew, and these were things that were not on my mind at all, at the time.”

The most disturbing event while the group sat in that kitchen, watching the plastic planchette skitter from letter to letter by its own power, didn’t occur in that house.

“While we used the board, my cousin’s mother kept getting phone calls from a little boy claiming he was her abandoned son,” Kindred said.

The voice told her he was calling from a pay phone from nearby Lander, Wyo., and wanted her to pick him up at the 7-11 there.

“Of course, she was clueless and took it as prank calls,” Kindred said. “She would know if she had a baby and had abandoned it anywhere.”

As soon as she hung up the telephone, the little boy would call back – then the “prank” turned into horror.

“The most terrifying thing for her was on the last of these several calls when the little boy’s voice morphed into a man’s voice as he was talking to her,” Kindred said. “Very, very, creepy.”

Although the telephone calls stopped after that, and the group put up the board and everyone went home for the night, the Ouija board experience has stayed with Kindred for 32 years.

“I do not encourage any one to experiment with a Ouija board,” Kindred said. “That night was the only and last night any of us ever engaged in (one).”

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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Ouija Board Spelled 'Join Me in Hell'

The night of terror began with a few drinks.

“It was just another night out with our group of friends,” Toni said. “We had all been drinking so we decided to go to our friend Brittny’s house.”

The idea of using a Ouija board had picked at Toni’s mind for the past three days so, as the group of friends sat at Brittny’s house, she brought it up.

“I had been wanting to play around with a Ouija board just for the hell of it,” she said. “Since we were all drunk and my older brother knew how to make a pretty nifty homemade Ouija board, we all thought it was a great idea.”

The friends soon discovered it was not.

After an opening prayer, the friends began their Ouija session.

“We started off with me and my brother’s hands on the triangle (planchette) we had cut out,” Toni said. “We warmed it up by spinning it in a circle for about 40 seconds.”

Once they stopped spinning the planchette, Toni’s brother asked the first question.

“Is there any spirit with us now?”

Tense moments past and nothing happened. Toni’s friend Taylor shouted something sarcastic and the planchette shot to the word “yes” on the top corner of the board.

“At first, I truly believed it was my older brother,” Toni said. “I was wrong.”

Very wrong.

Toni and her brother took turns with others in the room, and eventually the messages grew dark.

“We switched people maybe about eight times before it really started getting frightening,” she said. “All together, we had let nine spirits into the room.”

Messages from the board claimed the spirits of six women and three men were in the room. Then the questions began to flow, like, “Did any of you kill yourselves?”

They did.

“It answered with a ‘three,’” Toni said. “We then asked them how. G for gunshot, H for hanging.”

For the first answer, the planchette moved to X, but the next rested on H. Then something happened that pulled a blanket of fear over the group.

“We heard soft banging as if someone had just hung themselves and their feet were gently hitting the wall,” Toni said. “We asked the spirit who had made the banging noise to speak. We asked him why he killed himself and he spelled out ‘wife.’”

Had his wife been murdered?


How did she die?


“We asked if the devil made him do it and the triangle moved to ‘Yes,’” Toni said. “We asked if he hated women and he spelt out ‘all of them.’”

The room grew silently tense as the planchette skittered across the homemade board, broken only by heavy breaths and the occasional brave question.

“We asked if he wanted to harm any of the girls in the room and the triangle moved to ‘yes,’” Toni said. “We asked how and he spelt out ‘fire.’”

Then the planchette quickly moved from letter to letter, repeatedly spelling “maim.”

“Then one of the candles we had fell to the floor and hot wax got on my leg,” Toni said. “Or at least I thought it was hot wax. It turned out to be a pretty deep cut. I don’t know where it came from.”

Despite the injury, the friends kept playing.

“There were a few people in the room who were scared,” Toni said. When asked, the Ouija board identified each one.

The last people to use the board were Toni’s brother and Brittny. Facing each other, the two spun the planchette and began asking questions.

“I wasn’t scared until the last session with the board,” Toni said. “This time, we were dealing with a demonic spirit; an angry demonic spirit.”

Toni’s brother asked, “are you evil or good?”

The board signified evil.

“We all laughed and my brother began asking more questions,” Toni said.

Taylor screamed, “We needed to put it away and stop (messing) around with it.”

The group, focused on the spinning planchette, ignored him.

“We asked the demonic spirit if it wanted to hurt anyone in the room,” Toni said, and the planchette spelled “HAT.” Taylor was the only one wearing a hat.

“My brother asked him to point the triangle at who he wanted to hurt and it went straight to Taylor,” Toni said.

Taylor shot from his seat and screamed an expletive; then he moved to another part of the room. The point of the planchette followed him. The board spelled that Taylor was cursed.

“We asked more questions but the answers were too confusing for us to understand,” Toni said.

The next few answers weren’t.

“The Ouija board spelt out my father’s name,” Toni said. “This part made my heart stop because my dad truly is a (messed) up being.”

Toni’s brother asked why the board was interested in their father.

“It slowly spelt out ‘deal with devil,’” Toni said. “My brother asked to be more specific and it spelt out ‘no work.’”

Their father is technically disabled and “gets free meds and money from the government.”

Then the planchette started spinning, resting briefly on the board’s roughly written letters.

J. O. I. N. M. E. I. N. H. E. L. L. P. A. D. …

“My brother flipped the board before it could finish spelling our last name,” Toni said.

Toni’s brother and Brittny released the board, and destroyed it, along with the paper they used to write the messages. Then they burned the remains.

“After that night, I will not touch a Ouija board,” Toni said. “I now know how serious the Ouija board is.”

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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eyes of the 'Wolf Boy'

A small orange flame sparked in the night as Travis White lit a cigarette. White stood outside the Maryville, Mo., house on that night in August 2010, the air fresh from rain, nearby streetlights casting a yellow glow over the neighborhood.

“It was 3 a.m.,” White said. “I’d just gotten off shift.”

Smoke rolled from his mouth and he noticed something move in the yard near a copse of trees.

“Out of my periphery I thought it was a dog,” White said. “A really big dog; but when I looked at it straight on I was scared. Not one of those immovable scareds, just a little freaked out. I just didn’t want to be there right now.”

The dog, “about as long as a horse,” loped across the lawn as a dog would. Its tail long, tan and bushy “with a white tip. Like a fox.”

However, it was the eyes that frightened White.

“I don’t remember much about its facial features, but I remember the eyes,” he said. “It had glowing green eyes.”

The “dog” stopped next to a neighbor’s fence and watched White; its eyes glowed the entire encounter.

“It stared at me until I finished my cigarette and went inside,” White said. “About three to five minutes; just long enough to smoke a cigarette. I was little freaked out. I didn’t want to move. I just maintained eye contact.”

The “dog” disappeared between two houses and White went inside. White, who lives with his father and step-mother, took his father outside to look for tracks the next day, but they found nothing.

But, when White saw how tall the fence was, he knew something was wrong.

“I didn’t realize how tall it was,” he said. “I just thought it was a big dog or a wolf. The next day Dad went out there and stood where it was.”

The “dog” would have come up to the middle of White’s chest – he’s 6’2”.

That wasn’t the last time White saw the “dog.” He saw it twice more, and always at night.

“I saw it a couple of weeks later. Very briefly,” he said.

White parked his car on the street behind the house after work around 3 a.m. He sat inside the car smoking cigarettes when he saw eyes staring at him through the darkness.

“The street light back there flickers,” he said. “I was sitting in the car smoking a cigarette. I saw those green eyes.”

When the streetlight flicked on he saw the “dog.”

“I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because of the green glow,” White said. “But it was the dog. It was lying down, just staring at me,”

In the intermittent flickering the “dog” inched closer.

“It was freaky as close as the dog was when the light flickered back on,” he said. “I wanted to go inside. It was one of these, ‘in need to go inside,’ but I was frozen. I’ve seen big animals that freaked me out back when I lived on the farm and I just ran.”

But that night he couldn’t. Eventually, the “dog” stood and loped away. There were no footprints the next day.

“Dad calls it ‘Wolf Boy,’” White said. “We joke around about it being a werewolf.”

The third and last time White saw the creature was in April 2011, “It had been months since I thought about the ‘Wolf Boy’.”

White had fallen asleep in a chair watching television when something strange pulled him from sleep.

“I woke up to my name whispered in my ear,” he said. “As I started looking toward the door, the lights came on and I heard this scratching from Dad’s speakers. Nails on a chalkboard.”

White yelled at whoever had turned on the lights and stereo, but no one was in the room.

“Then I saw a figure standing just outside the door,” he said. “In my just woken-up mind someone had broken into the house and I caught them so I, of course, got my gun.”

When he stepped outside with the gun, the dark figure he’d seen looming outside the door was gone – but he wasn’t alone.

“I searched outside and I see the green eyes,” he said. White stood outside the door, armed, and watched Wolf Boy back off into the shadows between two houses. “That’s the last time I saw it.”

Through those three encounters, White’s still not sure what the beast could be, something normal, or something paranormal.

“My first impression was it was a big dog,” White said. “But the eyes. These eyes glow in the shadows. That’s the only inkling I got it was supernatural. The eyes and the first time I saw it, it was wet and there were no tracks in the mud.”

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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Shadow They Called 'The Cowboy'

The Cowboy has followed Cody Lilly for years, a black, human-shaped figure, featureless except for a hat – a fedora with a wide brim.

“We called him the Cowboy because he kind of looked like the Marlboro man,” Lilly said.

The Cowboy stepped into Lilly’s life his sophomore year of high school in Clarinda, Iowa, and visited almost nightly for two years, pacing about his room, waiting for something. What, Lilly didn’t know. Then the visits stopped.

Until 2011.

“My girlfriend that is now my fiancée is in Kansas City and I’m in Omaha. I was crashing with friends here,” he said. “My car started acting up, I’m in the process of looking for a job, finding an apartment, buying an engagement ring. I had a lot of stuff on my plate, which might have brought on what happened.”

What happened was the Cowboy.

“I’m sitting in my car on the phone with my mom,” Lilly said. “I’m a horrible man because I don’t know much about cars, but my mom does.”

As Lilly described the car’s behavior to his mother, he noticed a movement in the corner of his right eye. Lilly turned toward the passenger side window and saw it – the shadow man that once tormented him in the night. The Cowboy.

“It was full on. A shadow person in an old fedora,” Lilly said. “It was standing there. It leaned over like it’s bending to look at me.”

As Lilly stared in horror, the Cowboy reached out it’s arm and knocked on the car window.

“It knocked two times,” Lilly said. “After it knocked it dissolved in my vision. It just showed up, knocked on my window and was gone.”

Lilly wonders if the Cowboy wanted to let him know it was still around.

“It’s been quite some time that I saw him,” he said. “I’m just kind of thinking he just showed up. I was feeling stressed out and I think he showed up just to feed on that.”

The first time Lilly saw the Cowboy was almost eight years ago when he moved into his older brother’s basement bedroom.

“The room we stayed in was kind of long and there was a lot of room between the dresser and the bed,” he said. “When it showed up it just appeared by the dresser. It had red eyes. It was darker than the darkness around it and it would just pace back and forth. Those red eyes were on me all the time. Then it would just dissipate.”

He later discovered his brother had seen the red-eyed shadow entity as well, but the thing never approached him either.

“Our Cowboy, he never really came any closer than that,” Lilly said. “He just paced and watched.”

Lilly said he believes the shadow man was there for another reason – it hungered.

“It was feeding,” Lilly said, convinced the Cowboy was absorbing energy from his emotions. “The first time I saw it I was completely incapacitated by how scared I was of it.”

At first the nighttime visitations paralyzed Lilly with fear, but something eventually changed.

“The first times I saw it I stayed awake all night scared to the point I would not move,” he said. “When I realized it didn’t do anything I didn’t get scared, I got interested in it.”

Lilly got relaxed enough around the Cowboy, one night he spoke to it.

“I said, ‘hey, I don’t care if you’re here, but if you’re going to do something to me, do it to me in my sleep because I don’t want to lose any more sleep over this,’” Lilly said. “He stopped coming so often after that.”

Lilly and his brother aren’t the only people to see the Cowboy. During a New Year’s party at the house, they used Lilly’s bedroom as the coatroom.

“One of my brother’s friends was over. He went in to put his coat in the room and he came back out with it, pallid white,” Lilly said. “He said, ‘there is someone in your room.’ He wouldn’t say anything else. He just left. We think he saw it, too.”

Other odd things happened to Lilly in that house over the years, but he only places one at the feet of the Cowboy.

“Mom sleeps with a box fan. Every once in a while she’d hear the music of Glenn Miller through her box fan,” Lilly said. “Oddly enough, Clarinda is home to Glenn Miller.”

A few years later, as Lilly attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., about 45 miles south of Clarinda, he heard the music, too.

“The one time I saw the Cowboy in Maryville, I heard Glenn Miller coming from my box fan,” he said. “I looked up and there he was.”

Although Lilly grew comfortable with the Cowboy, the daylight sighting in Omaha brought the terror back.

“I got scared again,” Lilly said. “I had never heard one make noise. I was pretty shaken up about the thing. It had this feeling of anxiety and tiredness, like it was feeding off my emotions. Maybe it was letting me know it found me again. Maybe it’s been looking for me, which is kind of creepy.”

Even though the thought of a phantom lurking in the shadows of his life is a disturbing one, it has also piqued Lilly’s curiosity.

“(Shadow beings) have never tried to hurt me,” he said. “I kind of want to see more of them so I can maybe figure something out about them. So I can figure out what they want and why they’re here. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing.”

Regardless, Lilly is leaving Omaha. He wonders if the Cowboy will follow him.

“I’m moving to Kansas City,” he said. “I’ve kind of had weird stuff happen to me no matter where I’ve been. I’ll see what happens to me once I get down there.”

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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Encounter with a Mara

Mikk of Estonia knew something was wrong when he looked down and discovered he was floating around his house.

“I knew my body was asleep,” he said. “It was night time but I could see in the dark.”

Mikk often slipped into a lucid dream state, but this time he traveled outside his body – and encountered something terrifying.

“Some bad entity was around my house and my spirit fled,” Mikk said. “I was hovering along the main road from my house, away from the entity who was unpleasant.”

Turning back to see if the dark entity was following him, Mikk looked into the face of horror.

“I passed a house where a neighbor had died of cancer several months ago and with it I passed a shadow of a person,” he said. “It was standing in front of the neighbor’s house and as I sensed it, it was the most awful feeling. It was an unholy terror.”

Mikk stared in horror at the entity that simply stood at the neighbor’s house, seeming not to notice Mikk at all. However, Mikk got close enough to feel it.

“I past by its field, I think, and it was horrible,” Mikk said. “It wasn't evil; it was just inhuman, incompatible with the human mind.”

Mikk, an atheist, isn’t sure why he did this, but he recited the Lord’s Prayer and made the sign of the cross. Then he was back in his room.

“I heard a loud bang, like a car had hit our house or a piano had been dropped into our living room,” he said. “I was awake in a split second and stared into darkness listening. No one in the house had heard it. The sound came from my head.”

The event had ended, but Mikk wanted to know what he had seen.

“I asked a woman I know about it,” he said. “Her grandmother was a healer or seer in the older community here in Estonia. She said, ‘oh yeah, my grandmother told me about those things, they're called the maras.’”

A mara, the woman said, is a negative energy a person who hates or envies someone sends to that person either intentionally, or subconsciously. The mara then slowly drains the person’s happiness because the one who conjured it wants the target to be miserable.

“When I asked how to get rid of the thing she said it doesn't matter if you are religious, just say the Lord's Prayer,” Mikk said. “You have to mean it when you say it.”

That’s the key – conviction. When confronted by a dark spiritual being, she said you have to banish it with authority.

“When the shadow attacks or is menacing you are likely to be afraid and you can't get that much conviction or will power behind what you say so the Lord's Prayer is a healthy alternative,” Mikk said. “It almost doesn't have religious connotations in that context.”

Mikk only recited the first few lines of the Lord’s Prayer, but it seemed to work for him.

“I don't know the rest from heart but I’m planning to print it out and hang it next to my bed,” he said. “Also making the sign of the cross was that way. It was some sort of survivalist reflex. It felt like the right thing to do.”

Although this experience hasn’t changed Mikk’s spiritual beliefs, he thinks negative entities exist.

“To be honest, I’ve done lots of mushrooms and met with various entities there and I never made up my mind if they were hallucinations or something that the drug enables you to interact with,” he said. “If you are afraid, ignorant, negative, etc., the entities can get to you like rats can get into a shabby household and nest there. The evil ones are so bad they don't resemble humanity in any form except shape. They invoke such primal terror you can only scream like a caveman would.”

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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,