A Family Haunting

ghost haunting

My desire to pursue psychic development evolved from my initial curiosity in ghosts which began when I was a teenager growing up in a home where paranormal phenomenon occurred. Since then I have become more knowledgeable and respectful of spirits and abandoned the word ghosts.

Our family home was built by my great-great-grandfather in 1910 in Wilkes-Barre, a small industrial city in northeastern Pennsylvania. Generations of my family inhabited the double block home which saw its share of good times and bad, being the place of birth and death. My grandmother and her siblings were all born in an upstairs bedroom, ironically the same room where their father died of blood poisoning just a few years later. Most of my maternal relatives lived there in that red brick home content and comfortable, but one of them seemed to never leave. The experiences were never bothersome; more like signs of existence.

As a teenager, I spent my evenings doing homework in my bedroom. One night I had the feeling like I was being watched, but every time I looked up from my notebook I saw no one. This continued for several minutes before I caught sight of a young girl with curly strawberry blonde hair poking her head into my room. I would see her looking at me in my peripheral view, but she dashed away every time I turned my head in her direction. The game of hide and seek went on every evening for weeks then just stopped. I mentioned it to my mother, who discussed it with an open mind but she didn’t have any answers for me.

A decade later, I spent my breaks from college in my grandmother’s guest room since my parents had divorced and moved away from the family home. One weekend, I was helping my grandmother clean out a closet when I found a large charcoal portrait in an elaborate frame. It was a drawing of a young girl with curly strawberry blonde hair – my jaw dropped. My grandmother saw the portrait and identified the girl as her mother. I was stunned at first, then smiled because the mystery was finally solved. I wondered why she appeared to me as a young girl and settled on the notion that she must’ve thought that the sight of a playful girl would be easier for me to process than seeing a stone-faced old woman.

haunted house in wilkes-barreMy grandmother’s guest room seems to have been a hot spot for me now that I reminisce. During one Christmas break, I was folding my laundry with my niece in the room. We heard the front door open which was a distinct squeaking sound because the wooden door had warped over time causing friction every time it was opened and closed. The sound of footsteps traveled from the living room, down the hallway past my room then dissipated in the kitchen. A moment later, my grandmother entered my room and I asked her if she had gotten anything interesting in the mail. She said she hadn’t left her bedroom in an hour. I told her that we just heard someone open the front door, but her answer was the same. My niece and I looked at each other confused while my grandmother walked away unaware of what had just occurred.

The next summer I returned home to work a part-time job and spend time with friends – which usually kept me out past midnight. Late one night, I quietly slipped my key into the lock then snuck into my room. I turned off the light then plopped into bed to watch television. My eyes began to wander during a boring commercial drifting over to an old photograph of my great-grandmother (the curly haired girl) as an adult. Suddenly, the lamp near the bed turned on! I was so surprised that I ran outside where I sat on the front porch wondering what the hell just happened and how long was I going to sit there. When I returned to the room a half hour later the light was still on. I examined the lamp and found that I had to turn the knob twice to turn it off: meaning the light came on while the knob was in the off position. This was not a defective lamp and this anomaly never happened before or after that particular night.

The most significant phenomenon I encountered in that room happened the following year when I experienced retrocognition – a vision from the life of my grandfather who had died 40 years earlier. It was spring break from college and at that time my grandmother was in the hospital after suffering a mini-stroke. My mother stopped by to give me an update on her medical condition then handed me my grandfather’s war journal which she had found while going through my grandmother’s personal papers. I was studying journalism so my mom suggested that I read the journal and try to develop it into a book. After my mother left, I sat in the empty apartment alone without my grandmother trying to feed me or ask me a laundry list of questions about school, my girlfriend, etc. I decided to read the handwritten journal which chronicled his basic training during World War II.

psychic in tobyhannaWhen I finished reading the loose leaf papers, something told me there was more to his story. So I went into my grandmother’s bedroom where I rooted through her closets and dresser drawers until I found 2 small dirty notebooks that my grandfather kept while trudging through the battlefields of Italy. I returned to my room to read them and came upon a passage that described his fears as his company crossed an open field into enemy territory. My eyes focused on the phrase “I felt scared when we first started, but I was okay after a hundred yards.” I read that sentence over and over then repeated it out loud as my hands began to tremble and my vision blurred. Suddenly, I saw men sneaking through high weeds, heard rocks crunching under boots, and heavy breathing: I was reliving that moment in my grandfather’s life. Not only was I hearing and seeing things, I could feel his fear. My trembling hands dropped the notebook snapping me back to reality. I stood up quivering then ran outside to the back porch where I cried for ten minutes. This surge of emotion…the dread and uncontrollably sobbing…is what he felt at that moment, but soldiers don’t have time to cry. Eventually, I regained my composure and returned to my room to finish reading the notebooks. Years later I self-published a book, My American Odyssey, based on my grandfather’s journal which can be viewed on my Store page.

Within a few years, several older family members passed away including my grandmother so my interest shifted from trying to interact with unfamiliar spirits to continuing a relationship with my departed relatives. I visited a psychic and a tarot card reader, but left each place feeling unsatisfied. Although one reading was better than the other, neither was enough. I wanted more evidence and I wanted to do it on my own, but the idea was fleeting so I carried on with life all the while receiving messages in the form of dreams, synchronicity, and clairvoyance questioning each one and doubting that I was capable of being psychic. It was not until this past year that I finally accepted the fact that I have been psychic all along. Now I am not only able to communicate with my deceased relatives, but also members of other people’s families. The more I develop, the messages become clearer and are received much easier.

Luzerne County Ghostspsychic book
Get a copy of My American Odyssey, the book inspired by Jim Byers’ moment of retrocognition available on the Store page. 

Read about other stories of hauntings in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties in this compelling book by Charles Adams.


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