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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When I was a teenager, I had a pretty weird fascination with all things creepy and haunted.  When you picture a teenager who is into that sort of thing, you are thinking of someone who dresses in black, has piercings, and listens to goth metal music.  Stereotype, that it is, I get that, but if we are being real about the topic, that is what most people think of.  I fit none of this when I was a teenager because I always wore khakis and polos in high school, always.  No jeans, rarely shorts, always khakis and polos.  To look at me, one would never think about my fascination.

When I was younger, I spent so much time going through abandoned buildings at night with flashlights and a few friends, hoping to find something other-worldly or get frightened by anything other than a wild animal.  Actually, my friend Josh threw me into a dark basement in an abandoned school once and locked the door behind me.  I should also mention that he was holding my flashlight at the time.  There was a moment of internal panic involved in that event, but my composure remained fairly intact.

My personal concept of and fascination with ghostly beings developed after I saw the movie The Sixth Sense for the first and only time shortly after it was released.  As a middle school kid, that movie scared the dog snot out of me and it took me months to shake the night terrors.  As I became older, my fears of all things dead developed into a more curious thought process.  Watching horror movies is something I never actually did;  if I am honest, I cannot think of a single one I have seen since The Sixth Sense.  The reason was because I wanted the reality of seeing something in front of my face, even if I was not entirely sure entities such as that existed in the first place.  Still, I continued looking and crawling around in "haunted" places with friends in order to figure it out.  Have you ever been in an old cemetery after midnight with a few other people just waiting for something interesting to happen?  I have.  Nothing happened.

Hunting around for spiritual beings is not something I do anymore at all.  Would you like to know why?  October 15th, 2005.

The night of October 15th, 2005 I went to the Roswell Mill just before midnight with a few friends and a few others I did not know.  This old mill predates the Civil War and the area was a point of interest for Sherman's troops when he marched south to burn down Atlanta.  Legends, facts, and all sorts of history speak of tragedies that happened at the mill, as well as the hundreds of wooded acres surrounding it.  

The people I met up with that night were Wiccan.  They carried crystals with them, vials of various substances, wore pentagrams, and had memorized chants.  I went on a venture into the woods with these people for nearly four hours and spectated everything they did, but being a Christian myself, did not participate.  Anyone is correct in assuming that your mind can play tricks on you and in the dark, anything can be imagined into reality if you think it over enough and want to believe it exists;  I agree.  That is not what happened to me.  On that night, I saw what I had been searching for in abandoned buildings among broken glass and decaying concrete.  Not only did I see what I had been after, but what I saw gave me a stern warning to go back from where I came and all but chased me and three others out of those woods that night.  

As if anyone who reads these blogs would not think I was partially insane for my previous content, I will not go into anymore detail about what happened unless you ask me privately.  When four people are alone in the woods and silent until they all react to something simultaneously and have the same story after running like a frightened rabbit, there is truth in that story somewhere.

The thing that bothered me the most about that night was a man who's nickname was Raven.  He was a line cook at the steakhouse where I worked, and one of the Wiccan folks who went to the woods with us that night.  I was in one group of people and he was leading the other group.  After that night, he seemed really depressed for a few days and I asked him why.

Raven:  When I was out there, I saw the spirit of a little girl crying and she ran up to me, wrapped her arms around my waist and wouldn't let go.  She was so sad that I couldn't tell her to leave.
Me:  So, what happened to her?
*his eyes pooled up at this point*
Raven:  She's still with me.

With that, Raven turned away from me and went back to his work on the prep-line.  That was the last time I spoke to him because he did not show up for work the next day, or any day following.  He was always a really happy guy and always showed up for work, so the managers were concerned so much that one of them actually found the house that he had listed on payroll as his address after his cell phone number became disconnected.  He was gone, the house was empty, and nobody knows what happened to him.    

The long and drawn out sequence of events leading up to the conclusion you just read made me realize a few things.  The first thing I realized is that most people will hear my story and will not believe me.  I know everything I have made mention of is exactly as I lived it, however.  The second thing is that I believe some things are better off left undiscovered and should at least be given that much respect.  The final thing is that my fears were fairly conquered after that point.  When I was rooting around in old buildings as a teenager, I wanted to find something that would scare me, but when the very thing I had spent so long searching for decided to confront me on it's own, the game changed for me completely and I have not pursued it since.  

Sometimes life (or death) does not make any sense, but sometimes we are better off leaving things unexplained anyway...

Grace and Peace,
    -Drew

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