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The Llewellyn Journal

Terror at Midnight: A Haunting

This article was written by Hazel M. Denning
posted under Ghosts & Hauntings

Dr. Lewis and I met at a dinner party arranged to bring us together. From our first exchange of pleasantries we were on the same wavelength; for the remainder of the evening we were practically unaware of anyone else. He was an elderly physician with a wealth of knowledge about life and the paranormal field. He was psychic, although he did not claim that ability. It was an absolute joy to converse with him, and we spent the evening exchanging experiences and philosophies.

From him I learned firsthand about phantom limbs. One hears about people who still feel their arms or hands after they have been amputated. The explanation given is that these sensations are products of their imagination. Dr. Lewis told me about a case in his hospital. Hours after a man had his leg amputated he began to complain that his leg was burning. Since he had no leg, the nurse tried to put his mind at ease with the usual reassurances. The man was apparently in so much pain that she called Dr. Lewis to talk with him. Dr. Lewis sent an orderly to find out what had happened to the leg. It had been tossed aside, and was found lying against a very hot radiator, the flesh scorched. After the leg was disposed of properly the man experienced no more burning pain.

This incident happened many years ago, before “energy” had been recognized as the source of all things animate and inanimate. As unscientific as it may sound, the good doctor explained that after amputation the energy must be drawn up or back into the body in order for the individual to be comfortable. This can be easily accomplished. The mind visualizes the process, ordering it to take place. The person in charge of the procedure will often use hand passes from the extreme area of the limb up to the body. Explanations of the efficacy of this practice are numerous. Who knows the true explanation of this procedure? The fact remains that it works. This simple ritual has cured many cases of phantom limb pain.

When Dr. Lewis learned that I was interested in haunted houses, he offered to share his most frightening experience with me. One of his friends owned a house that was very definitely haunted. Everyone who slept in a certain room was awakened at midnight by a terrifying apparition in the form of a large, angry looking man. This specter stood over the bed and held his hands in a threatening manner over the occupant’s face. The man’s friends and family began to question whether the experience was triggered by fear and expectation, prompted by the rampant stories regarding that room. In other words, did fear create the experience? Was it purely subjective?

They decided to test their theory. A three-year-old child who knew nothing about the apparent hauntings was put to sleep in the room. Promptly at midnight the child screamed in terror, and everyone came running. They found her sitting on the bed, shaking and crying. “A terrible man tried to get me,” she stammered between sobs.

When Dr. Lewis heard the story he volunteered to be the next one to sleep in the bed. He declared that he was not afraid of man, beast, or ghosts—and so became the next victim. He was awakened from a sound sleep with the hair standing up on his head and the feeling that he was not alone. Opening his eyes, he watched a large man approach his bed and stand over him, huge hands held over his face in a threatening manner. In a firm voice and with as much bravado as he could manage, Dr. Lewis said, “What do you mean scaring everyone? What the hell do you want? If there is something I can do for you, just say so.”

The spirit answered apologetically. He explained that he had been murdered in this house, and his body buried in the basement. He believed his soul could not rest until he had been given a proper Christian internment. He described the exact spot in which his body had been buried and begged Dr. Lewis to help him find peace of mind.

The family that now owned the house agreed to help. Excavations in their cellar unearthed the bones of a grown man, in the exact location the spirit had described. Everyone cooperated, giving him a Christian burial. From that time on, no one who slept in that room was disturbed.

From True Hauntings: Spirits With a Purpose, by Hazel M. Denning, Ph.D.


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