My Story

The Hauntings

Of Ghosts And Talking To The Dead


By James Donahue


There seem to be varied schools of thought among people even in esoteric circles today about the existence of ghosts and the ability of mediums and channelers that say they communicate with the dead.


My wife, Doris, is among the people who appear to be able to talk to dead spirits, and over the years, we have lived in or been associated with buildings that were obviously haunted.


The old Masonic Hall we once owned in Cass City, Michigan was so eerie, anybody that spent any time in the building either saw, heard or sensed the ghostly visitations. Floors sometimes shook from loud clangs and bangs, as if things were being dropped or torn asunder. You could not walk through this building without sensing an energy that made chills ripple down the nape of your neck.


My wife and I once lived in a small cottage in Sedona, Arizona, that was haunted by the spirit of a young and very mischievous boy who they say was killed many years earlier in a farm accident. The cottage served as quarters for farm workers at the time of the mishap. I use the word “mischievous” because this boy played practical jokes. He liked to move things we were using, when our back was turned, and make us search for them. They sometimes were found in unusual places, but eventually they were located.


Some say that the things we perceive as ghosts and spirit activity are nothing more than recordings of past events left fixed in the woodwork of old buildings. The question then is how can a recording of human existence create physical manifestations? In the case of the Sedona ghost, there appeared to be an interaction between ourselves and the spiritual world when objects were moved and we were forced to search for them.


Also there is the issue of communication. My wife, Doris, discovered in midlife that she has an ability to mentally communicate with the dead. She has been in touch with her dead brother Wayne, whom she was especially attached to during his life. Wayne claims to be waiting on “the other side” to help carry her through to the light when her time comes.


Doris also communicated with my mother in the weeks following her death. Mom expressed a joy at being relieved of the suffering she experienced from a failing heart during the weeks prior to her death. She also worried about my father who she said was “not taking his pills.” She wanted us to urge him to carry on and take his medicine. When I contacted Dad he confessed that he had stopped taking his medicine. I think he was shocked to get her message from “beyond.”


A story not long ago in an Atlanta newspaper told about Martha Copeland, who was communicating with her dead daughter, Cathy, through electronic voice tape recorders. Cathy died in an automobile accident in 2001. Her mother received the first message, apparently by accident. Cathy’s voice said simply: “Mom, I’m right here.” Copeland now has a costly computer system with noise filtering capabilities that catch the girl’s messages. Mother and daughter appear to be keeping in constant touch with one another, although the story made it unclear how, or if the mother has found a way to talk to the daughter.


Most of the older homes we either rented or owned over the years have been haunted. When I worked as a news reporter in Michigan, I once wrote a story about all of the haunted houses in the quaint 200-year-old village of Lexington, Michigan, located on Lake Huron just north of Detroit. And there were a lot of them. Some of the homeowners admitted they had ghosts but didn’t want any publicity. Others were proud of having spirits in their restored historic homes and opened their doors to me.


The existence of ghosts is a phenomenon that many people believe is real. Like the UFO phenomenon, however, they fear talking about ghosts for fear of being scoffed at by their neighbors. That we appear to have the spiritual manifestations of humans who once lived in the area, but are now dead and still in existence around us, is well established.


I once had a well-known psychic tell me that the spirit of our favorite dog, that had died only months earlier, was following me.


My mother didn’t stay around very long. She was available for two or three channeling sessions through Doris, and I managed to leave my body and visit her visually twice. I found her changing, from a beautiful woman in the prime of life on the first visit, to a being of light on the second trip.


The last time we channeled, Mom announced that she was going on into the light. We said good-by and then she was no more.


Because of that experience, I have always thought of the ghosts among us as wayward spirits that either lose their way, are waiting for others, or they are people who died so unexpectedly, they don’t realize they are dead.


But that is just my personal thought. Whatever is real will be known to us all in time.