Haunted objects? I think I had one. If in reading this story, you’re looking for scientific proof, I can’t offer you any, but I can tell you what happened and what three outside sources eventually had to say about the matter.
And to further increase the incredibility of this story, I might also add that the object in question was a religious iconic image. The association wasn’t just ghostly, it was also negative. Who would ever suspect a religious object of having any kind of negativity associated with it? Aren’t they supposed to be sacrosanct? That’s what I was led to believe. I thought what is sacred is sacred, but apparently nothing is too sacred as to be inviolable. This revelation was shocking to me, but I can tell you that it’s true, and will leave the ultimate conclusion up to the reader.
While living in an old Victorian in Kittery, Maine many years ago, I experienced a stream of strange phenomena. Not all of it can be attributed to this particular object because I don’t recall the exact date when I acquired it, but a lot of notable events took place while it was in my possession.
The little town of Kittery, oldest town in the state of Maine (USA) incorporated in 1647, is well-known for being home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Another large part of its appeal is its proximity to the ocean in addition to being somewhat progressive. As small and quaint as it is, it offers a great community center with a gym, and a progressive recycling center with a Freebie Barn. This little barn is not much more than a warming shack dedicated to the useful treasures that people just don’t have the heart to throw away. It is here that I stumbled across a beautiful rendition of the Madonna and Child. The portrait was a reproduction by a Renaissance painter not unlike Botticelli, although I could never verify the artist; the artwork had been printed on what appeared to be satin. It was housed in a scuffed-up gilded frame, measuring about 7”x 9”, and covered with an unusual piece of convex glass. It all looked to be about a 1930s or 1940s vintage. It was unusual. And although not quite yet an antique, I could see its value. I grabbed it and thought to myself, “Why would anyone toss out such a beautiful picture?” Yes, indeed, why would someone do that…
I took my treasure home and cleaned it, putting it away until I had time to add a layer of gold leaf paint to the frame. Reconditioning antiques was a hobby of mine, including frames and mirrors, so I had a can of gold leaf paint on hand. A few weeks later, I did just that and found a perfect spot for it on the bedroom wall. I admired its simple beauty and the timelessness of the Renaissance artistry, never associating it with any kind of paranormal activity since it was a religious artifact. But I do recall brushing away some kind of doubt that I couldn’t quite put my finger on because it had essentially been thrown away. Maybe it came from a wealthy Catholic family with a past. Whatever prompted the feeling, I brushed it aside because I thought the portrait was so beautiful.
In looking back, there were many unexplained things that happened during this time like the cold water tap in the bathroom turning on by itself just after I went to bed. Or there were the papers I heard falling to the floor in the kitchen where there were none. There were also strange dreams, and odd looking watery patterns of energy seen out of the corner of my eye during waking hours. The pattern was similar to looking thru heat waves radiating off the pavement on a hot day. It would shimmer vertically, but move horizontally as if someone were walking around the room. Music boxes would play by themselves. The list goes on, and maybe some or none of these events were connected to the Madonna and Child. It just might be that the house was haunted, or maybe it was me! Truth is I can’t point a finger at any one explanation that would reason away the disquiet I experienced while living there for 6 years. But even as I changed domiciles, the strange phenomena would follow.
My next home was a small brick structure built around WWI, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the opposite side of the Piscataqua River from Kittery. Many things happened there, too, along with strange dreams. On two occasions, something lay upon me, placing pressure over my whole body making breathing and talking difficult. Whatever it was wouldn’t be shaken off. On the first occasion, it greeted me in my left ear by saying, “Hi Lynne.” I was wide awake. On both occasions, the only way I found to rid myself of it was to pray. Then the pressure lifted, leaving nothing visible in the room.
A couple of years later, I moved to my condo in Arizona where the unexplained phenomena not only continued but escalated. I brought the Madonna and Child along with me and once again, found a spot to hang it on the bedroom wall. This time, however, something had changed. Now whenever I looked at it, I felt a diminished sense of appreciation for its beauty. I still liked it, but it began to make me feel strange. There was one other occurrence similar to this from my childhood that came to mind when I looked at the portrait. My maternal grandmother, Mémère, a very reverent Catholic of French Canadian descent, had a huge crucifix hanging on the wall of her guest bedroom where I would sleep. It must have been about 2 and half feet long, attached to which was a realistic relief of Christ nailed to the cross, replete with bloody thorns, a stab wound, and a face etched in agony. The wood was dark and the whole thing felt ominous. I was probably 4 or 5 years old at the time, and it terrified me. I asked her take it down. I couldn’t sleep with it in the room. She was kind enough to remove it and to this day, I still don’t know why I was petrified of that crucifix. There was a scintilla of this feeling coming from the Madonna and Child. Again, I ignored it, and continued to keep it on the wall of the bedroom.
Shortly before all hell broke loose when the paranormal dirt hit the fan, I had gone to a Witches Ball in Phoenix with a very good friend of mine. We dressed up in our finest witch’s garb and went to observe the regalia of the event. There were many New Age vendors there that day which included card readers, and we both got a free 10-minute reading. I picked the reader I was most drawn to. She was a confident young woman, who had made a gorgeous gown styled in the fashion of 16th century dress. Within those ten minutes, she told me 2 things that stuck out in my mind which at the time, I couldn’t put in context. In fact I thought she was just another New Age wannabe who faked reading cards. But if she was a phoney, she was a very likeable one.
I told her I was experiencing negativity in my life which seemed to be escalating. She laid out the cards and closed her eyes. She tells me, “In your bedroom closet there are rows and rows of boxes.” (Yes, I thought, but most women have bunches of shoe boxes in their closets for storage. Ya gotta try harder than that.) She continued by saying, “There’s something in there that you’ve got to get out of the house. Do you have a storage space outside of your house?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then get it out. Also, there’s some artwork. Something like a painting. It acts like a portal and it’s drawing in negativity.”
“Hmmm…,” I thought to myself, “I have no idea what that could be. I have very little artwork on the walls. I have no paintings. Sounds like she’s picking up on someone else’s vibes, not mine.”
I thanked her and wondered what that was all about. However, upon reflection, I came to realize that there was one box in the closet which she may have been referring to. It was a small collection of artifacts that had been given to me as a gift years ago. Knowing that natural artifacts taken from Hawaii for example have been known to cause problems for tourists who take them home, I thought just possibly this might have been what she was referring to. As for the reference to ‘something like a painting’, I had no clue.
At work, we were tolerating our fifth manager who was no better in this position than his 4 predecessors. He had what I suspected to be a dubious lifestyle involving heavy drug use. He looked sickly and smelled bad. Rumors filtered back to work that his home life was somewhat violent as well. Within 3 months, he had been in 2 car accidents and arrested once, not to mention his bad attitude. It was hard to respect somebody like that. Nevertheless, he was my manager so I made an effort to ignore his shortcomings. However, shortly before his departure, he and I tangled opinions and had a serious disagreement at the office. I didn’t approve of his managerial style and made my feelings clear. That became a very upsetting, stressful day.
The shift ended at 11 p.m. and after catching up on last minute duties, I made it home just before midnight. Walking thru the door, everything appeared normal: hallway, kitchen, living room… that is until I crossed the threshold of the bedroom. Something was obviously out of place. I had a paucity of home decor. I hate clutter, so I choose my decorative items selectively. I had purchased a molded ceramic-type wall image of the North Wind. It actually resembled the sun in that it was circular with curved, pointed flames of decorative ceramic emanating from its edge. It had two closed eyes, a little nose, and just below its pursed lips were two little hands cupped as if holding something unseen to be blown away. The color was turquoise and very southwestern-looking. I thought it was beautiful. It weighed just under 2 pounds. When I walked through the door it wasn’t hanging on the wall. In disbelief, I began a search by walking around to the opposite side of the bed and there it lay on the carpet, broken, at a very strange angle from where it hung.
It appeared to have flown off the wall at an oblique angle covering a distance of maybe fifteen feet. It didn’t just drop; it had been ‘lifted’ off the hook and tossed because the hook was still in the wall. I looked at the wall then back at the North Wind, trying to find a logical explanation as to why or how it had left its perch and landed where it did. It made no sense. Moreover, it was as if it had been thrown towards the portrait because it landed almost beneath it. It was perplexing. I didn’t want to believe that ‘something’ was in my condo and had made itself at home. It may sound paranoid, but with all of the negative energy at work that night, I had a strong feeling that there was a connection.
In attempting to find an answer, I began asking my psychically savvy friends what they thought. Two came back with the same response, that something was acting like a portal. One of these psychic consultants was my dear friend, Caroline. I thought that if she came to the condo, she might better connect with the situation. Caroline walked into the bedroom then marched directly to the Madonna and Child, and said, “This is it. The activity is connected to this.” I reasoned with her, noting how accurate she had always been in the past with these matters but I just couldn’t see how a religious picture could be the source of negativity.
Reluctantly, I took the picture down. It almost seemed sacrilegious to me. How could something sacred and so beautiful be imbued with negativity? I now know that it can, with intent. Anything can. Crosses placed upside down in rituals are believed to have an opposite affect from their intended purpose. The ritual repurposes the object in a negative manner, and it works. Simply put, it’s the intent. Some family member must have misused this picture, or maybe it was imbued with negativity from the environment. Maybe someone had been murdered in that household or maybe other unspeakable acts had been committed. Whatever the reason, someone didn’t like having it around and donated it to the Freebie Barn.
In the next couple of days, I took the Madonna and Child to the dump near where I lived in Arizona. I felt conflicted about tossing it out, but ultimately I threw it in the trash.
Things finally calmed down soon after its disposal; the manager was dismissed.
It would seem that a strong angry force was at work that night. Why was it that the North Wind was tossed about and not something else even smaller? While in my possession, other inexplicable events from the past had been notable but not aggressive. I came home in a very agitated state. Perhaps it was latent power that had been activated because of the negativity at work. I don’t pretend to understand the connection and I have no solid answer for any of it. But I do have some advice: it would be prudent to exercise caution when looking for old treasures or antiques. Listen to that nagging doubt you’re brushing aside, or you may get more than you bargained for.