Haunting Screams From
By James Donahue
A recent story in the
Philadelphia Inquirer about Gloucester County residents hearing shrill
screams from a haunted Civil War cemetery caught my eye.
Stories like that are
hard for anybody to pass up because they suggest supernatural goings on. And no matter what folks say or believe . . . the
subject of ghosts and the possibility that there is a hereafter is of interest to everybody. We all want to know.
What we find chilling
is the thought that ghostly screams can be heard in a graveyard . . . or that buildings are haunted by the shadowy remains
of some long departed soul. That this might someday be our personal fate is not a pleasant thought.
Back in the days when
I used to go to church and listen to the promise that we all will go to Heaven if we believe in Jesus, the stories about ghosts
and spiritual matters troubled me. If the fate of all humans is sealed, with an appointment at a great judgment seat, and
we either go up to the Pearly Gates or fall into fire and brimstone . . . then how could such a thing as a haunted spirit
left wandering the Earth exist?
Since deciding that the
Jesus story is a fairy tale, like so many others dumped into our culture, the probability of ghosts became much more real
to me. Also my wife, Doris, and I have lived in several haunted houses and even a haunted apartment so we are quite aware
that some kind of entity exists with us, but on a spiritual plane.
Strangely, ghosts don’t
frighten us. They interest us. When we discover the presence of a spirit we have gone to great lengths to try to communicate,
be aware of its activities, and even photograph it. The best we have captured on film is a bright light that doesn’t
belong in the picture.
Spirits are able, at
times, to move objects, flash lights, manifest as shadow figures, and even make sounds. We have heard footsteps on floors
over our heads, when we know that no one is there. One evening, in the house we now occupy, we heard the sound of an eerie
ringing, as if someone struck the edge of an expensive piece of crystal. It reverberated through the house for a moment and
then faded away to be heard no more.
Doris, a natural psychic
who can communicate, or channel with unseen forces, also communicates with the dead. She has talked to her relatives, my departed
mother, and on occasion, has made contact with dead relatives for close friends. She doesn’t make a profession out of
it, although I think she is as good at what she does as Sylvia Browne and a few of the other well-known mediums.
Our son, Aaron C. Donahue,
a talented psychic and remote viewer, shares our interest in the spirit world. Like us, he seems to enjoy living in haunted
buildings. And like us, I think he is somewhat perplexed as to just what these apparitions are. It is his theory that ghosts are only recordings of human activity from the past that play over and over
again in the collective unconscious. He believes this is what the channelers tune in on when they “talk to the dead.”
Thus ghosts have no new information to send, and we cannot really communicate with them.
So what does all of this
have to do with a haunted cemetery in Pennsylvania where
people hear eerie screams in the night?
All that I can say is
that ghostly sounds do occur, although we have never picked up on anything quite like that. Also, we notice, that when the
spirits do make sounds, or move objects, it is not an event that reoccurs over and over again.
That the people in Gloucester County
are hearing the shrill screams regularly suggest that it is something more Earthly that makes the noise.
I recall hearing a similar
sound at one rural (and very haunted) house we lived in. The thing frightened us at first. One night we were awakened by the
sound coming from something right outside our bedroom window.
I jumped up, clicked
on a yard light, and there for a brief moment, was the image of a fleeing animal. It looked like a dog. Later I realized it
was a coyote.