Seventeen-year-old Jolene K, a passionate student of the paranormal and the occult, had begun experimenting with the Ouija board. She thought she had the knowledge to contact spirit entities through the board, but unfortunately she had neglected to assume a prayerful attitude to guard against malignant influences.
Her parents, Darwin and Aileen, called me to their home after a Friday night slumber party encounter with an ouija board had left their daughters, Jolene and twelve-year-old Joy, and three of Jolene's friends in hysterics.
According to Jolene, it had all begun three nights before on Tuesday evening after she had achieved what she believed to be a successful contact with a benevolent spirit through the Ouija board. The teenager said that she was in the process of putting the board away she became aware of a dark presence following her.
"At first it seemed something like a dark cloud," she said. "Or maybe even some kind of dark cloth, like a billowing cloak of some kind."
After she prepared for bed and said her prayers, she fell into a deep sleep.
"But when I awakened sometime before morning, I had an awful feeling," she said. "It felt like something icky was in the room with me."
Jolene got up, turned on all the lights in her bedroom, and went to the bathroom. "The lights made things better," she recalled, "so I just left them on until it was time for me to get up and go to school."
But even during the day at high school, she felt peculiar. "Really weird and nasty thoughts kept popping into my mind," she said. "Stupid thoughts, ugly thoughts--and especially sexual thoughts. I found myself fantasizing about guys--and girls. And when I walked between classes with my boyfriend Jake, I was literally trembling from the sexual feelings that I had for him."
Later that night, as Jolene prepared for bed, she washed her face, applied some cold cream on her face and was in the process of her evening "zit check" in front of her bathroom mirror when she found herself becoming completely fascinated with her features.
"It was as if I was seeing myself for the first time," she said. "Suddenly my nose, my cheekbones, my lips, my chin, my long dark hair--all of me seemed so totally wonderful. I was really beautiful. I wasn't just all right--I was terrific. And especially my eyes. I found myself just staring into the reflection of my eyes in the mirror."
Jolene has no idea how long she stood mesmerized by her own image in the mirror before she was aware of Joy standing beside her and squealing in disgust: "Eeeew! You really love yourself, don't you, Miss Movie Star? How creepy can you get? You were about to kiss yourself in the mirror!"
Jolene screamed at her sister, reminding Joy how many times she had forbidden her from entering "Her Majesty's" room without knocking first and gaining permission to do so.
"But the little Munchkin was right," Jolene admitted. "It was creepy the way I was standing there just staring at myself."
It became even creepier and more disconcerting when Jolene was brushing her teeth on Wednesday morning and saw a few moments of a fleeting "motion picture" in the mirror.
"It was like the mirror became a kind of crystal ball," she said, "and I saw my boyfriend Jake and his buddy Chuck getting in a bender-fender on the way to school that morning. When Jake wasn't in his homeroom, I knew that I had seen true. By third hour, everyone was talking about the accident. I had received an accurate prevision of an actual future event."
For the first time, Jolene decided to share her uncomfortable experience with the shadowy form that followed her back to her body after working the Ouija board. Melanie, Heather, and Michaela were three close friends who were also fascinated by the supernatural. All four of them were fans of the various vampire-slayers and witches on television, and each of them had built up a small library of books on magic, witchcraft, and the occult.
"Melanie hoped one day to become an initiated witch," Jolene said. "Heather experimented with a lot of different areas of the paranormal, and Michaela wanted to study to be a parapsychologist when she entered college."
Jolene told them that not only had she foreseen Jake's and Chuck's accident that morning, but ever since that night she had been receiving other kinds of strange visions.
"I could tell they really excited when I told them about all the sexual fantasies that had come to me, but they were most impressed with my ability to pick up impressions from some of the jewelry and stuff they had. I told them where they had got certain items or who had given it to them. Things I swear I didn't know before."
Then Michaela, the budding parapsychologist, removed the deck of miniature Zener cards that she always carried in her purse. The deck consists of five each of five symbols--the square, the cross, the wavy lines, the circle, and the star--and is used to test ESP.
"The girls were like totally amazed when I first got twenty out of twenty-five right, then twenty-two and twenty-three out of twenty-five," Jolene said. "Before when Michaela had tested me, I had never got too much above chance, five, six, or seven correct."
The consensus of Jolene's confidantes was that an entity from the Other Side had been summoned by her experiments with the Ouija board and was granting her increased psychic powers, such as an ability to receive glimpses of the future.
"I could tell that they were all kind of jealous of me, you know," Jolene said.
When Jolene looked into the mirror that night, she was startled to see a face behind her own, just to the left of her shoulder.
"The image really frightened me," she said. "It looked a lot like me, but its eyes had dark rings around them. Its hair was stringy, and its complexion had a kind of greenish tint to it. And when it smiled at me, it seemed more like an evil leer."
Jolene dropped to her knees and began to utter a prayer for protection and a supplication that she be surrounded by a shield of Light.
"After I had completed my prayers for protection and the banishment of evil, the mirror was once again clear," Jolene said. "I hoped that I had sent the thing back where it belonged and far away from me."
Things might have been resolved and the entity discouraged by Jolene's fervent prayers if the next day over lunch in the cafeteria Heather hadn't suggested that the four of them conduct a seance with the Ouija board to see if they could learn the identity of the entity was who had been following Jolene.
"I tried to warn them that this thing looked really evil and that we should let it go back to the Other Side," Jolene said. "But Heather kept insisting what a great research project this could be, and she got Michaela all excited about a big experiment, and pretty soon Melanie had come on board.
"I really began to suspect that Heather's motives were not strictly academic, you know. I think if truth were told she was jealous when the entity appeared to have granted me these big ESP powers, and she wondered if she might not be able to channel and control such energy if we worked some more with the being."
Against Jolene's objections, it was agreed that Friday night would be Ouija board night at her house. It was Jolene's turn to host a slumber party, anyway, so her parents wouldn't suspect that anything unusual might be occurring under their roof.
The K's had been given a clue, however. Darwin told me that on Wednesday evening as he had come upstairs to go to bed, he thought he saw Jolene in the hallway outside of her room.
"I called to her and asked what she was doing up at that late hour on a school night, but she didn't answer me," he said. "As I approached her, she turned and entered her bedroom. When I opened the door to see if anything were troubling her, I was surprised to see her in bed, quite obviously fast asleep."
And then Darwin received a couple of other surprises.
"It seemed that I caught a glimpse of Jolene standing in the doorway of her bathroom," he recalled. "How could this be, I wondered, because she is lying right there in her bed, right in front of me. And then I thought I saw the glowing outline of another person standing in the shadows off to the right of Jolene's bed. There was a soft, hissing sound from the direction of the bathroom, and where I thought I had seen Jolene, there was now only darkness."
Darwin left his older daughter's room convinced that his eyes had been deceived by patterns of light and shadow. He had been working too hard, staying up too late, and suffering from sleep deprivation--all of which had caused him to see things that weren't there.
The trouble was, the "things" really were there.
The slumber party seance quickly became a psychic disaster. Twelve-year-old Joy begged to be included, and Michaela agreed, stating that a child's openness toward such matters could very likely provide the circle with greater energy.
At the stroke of midnight, they began their attempts to contact the entity that had attached itself to Jolene during her out-of-body projection. All the girls knew from watching various television programs and reading certain books on the occult that midnight was the "witching hour," the time when doorways to the unknown opened a bit wider.
At first the planchette under the girls' fingertips moved smoothly from letter to letter on the Ouija board, blithely spelling out a quaint tale of a young seamtress named Suzette who had been killed by runaway horses in the streets of their city in the 1880s. Her spirit had remained earthbound for many years, pining for her love, Raymond, who remained devoted to her memory.
Just as the five girls were growing teary-eyed over the sad tale of a young woman deprived of life and love by a cruel accident, the board suddenly began to spell out lewd descriptions of Suzette's and Raymond's sexual techniques. At once repulsed and fascinated, the girls were soon learning how the spirit of Suzette had continued to make love to Raymond from beyond the grave--and how they, too, could receive passionate lovers from the Other Side.
Heather moved away from the board and began to make strange noises as she dropped to the floor and started to twitch spasmodically. When Jolene and Michaela knelt beside her to see what was wrong, Heather sat up with a leering smile and greeted them with a string of obscenities. Later, the other four girls would all swear that Heather's face was changed, altered into the features of a profane stranger.
Heather put her arms around little Joy and tried to kiss her. Jolene stepped in and pulled her away from her sister. Melanie screamed that she could see the image of a horrible, ugly woman superimposed over Heather's face and body. Michaela gasped that she, too, could see the wretched hag.
"Begone, evil demon!" Melanie shouted, holding one of her occult charms at arm's length before her. "Begone and leave us alone!"
Heather snarled and reached out for Melanie, seizing her by the throat, seemingly intent upon strangling her.
When Darwin and Aileen finally pushed open the door to their daughter's bedroom to see what was going on in there, Joy, Jolene, and Michaela were screaming hysterically and trying to pull Heather off Melanie.
Dawin immediately interpreted the scene as a bunch of teenagers' squabble over hairstyles, boys, rock stars, or lord-knows-what, so he insisted on driving Heather, Melanie, and Michaela home at once. It was when the always well-mannered and polite Heather spat in his face and swore at him in a hoarse, croaking voice that he knew that something was very wrong.
Once again--sadly a bit late in the course of events--Jolene suggested that they all join hands and pray for Heather to return to them as she was. As Jolene began the prayer, Heather fell to her knees and began to make growling and hissing sounds. Joy screamed in horror, and Aileen carried her out of the bedroom.
A few minutes after the prayer was concluded, Heather blinked her wide hazel eyes at her friends and Darwin, who stood ringed around her. She appeared to have no memory of the bizarre performance that had brought the slumber party experiment to a screeching halt.
Darwin changed his mind about taking Heather, Melanie, and Michaela home at two o'clock in the morning. Later, he admitted to me that he was embarrassed about the incident and worried about what the parents of the girls would say if they were awakened in the middle of the night to be informed that unsupervised activities at the K household had driven the girls into hysterics.
When the girls arose the next morning about ten o'clock and had some breakfast, everything seemed back to normal. But after her friends had gone home, the K's had a lengthy discussion with Jolene and decided to call me for advice in acquiring some preventionary measures against a repetition of such an event. Little Joy had slept between her parents until morning, crying, shuddering, and lapsing into nightmares that caused her to wake up screaming. Neither Darwin nor Aileen were eager to endure a repeat performance of a teenage activity that would traumatize their twelve-year-old and transform Jolene's normally courteous friends into crude, shrieking wackos.
When I arrived at the K's home on Sunday evening, I was informed that Joy was at a friend's house so we could all speak frankly about the frightening occurrence on Friday evening. After only a few minutes of conversation in the K's' living room, I soon determined that neither Darwin nor Aileen were aware of their daughter's experiments with the Ouija board.
As Jolene began to feel more comfortable with me and with her parents' disapproving, but supportive, attitude toward her adventures in the occult, she told of the dark entity that had apparently attached itself to her after one of her Ouija board sessions.
"Such an entity is what I have come to call a spirit parasite," I said. "They may once have been humans and wish once more to occupy a physical body or they may be regarded as the classic demons, who wish to invade and control a fleshly vehicle to experience human passions and emotions. Generally, these parasites of the soul cannot achieve power over humans unless they are somehow invited into the person's private space--or unless they are attracted to a human aura by that person's negativity or vulnerability. Unless you have made your prayer for protection and alerted your spirit guide, you are extremely vulnerable during a conscious out-of-body projection."
Jolene lowered her eyes and seemed to be studying my comments. "I guess I just thought that angels and guides were out there always looking after me."
"They are," I agreed. "But remember that there are always negative entities looking out for vulnerable humans."
I went on to say that humans are most susceptible to spirit invasion when they are abusing alcohol or drugs and have lowered their normal boundaries of self-control. Spirit parasites, eager to experience the passions of the flesh, may enter the human vehicle at that time and encourage the possessed human to indulgence in all sorts of excesses of sex, gluttony, greed, and ego aggrandizement.
"So many beginning students of metaphysics make the mistake of assuming that their good intentions protect them when they enter trance or deep meditative states," I continued. "These individuals may find themselves particularly beset by spirit parasites because they are seeking to follow the path of Light. They present a challenge to negative entities. And when these beings from the darkside find a chink in their armor--such as inadequate spiritual preparation--they are quick to zero in on those students too impatient to take the time to pray or to surround themselves with the Light of protection."
Darwin wondered what it was that he had seen in the hallway and in Jolene's room on Wednesday night.
"Jolene told us how she felt as though another being was somehow influencing her thoughts and causing her to fantasize sexual images regarding her friends and classmates," I said. "Later, as she stared into the mirror, a kind of dual consciousness enabled her to perceive the thoughts of the spirit parasite as it admired the body in which it found itself. Still later, she saw the other face in the mirror, the face that resembled her own, yet was also reflective of the negative entity. It was that awful face that caused her to pray for the creature to leave her."
I went on to explain that Jolene's prayers had probably been quite effective in discouraging the spirit parasite from making long range plans about inhabiting the teenager's body. If Jolene had continued to draw upon the Light, her spirit guardians would probably have been able to banish the negative entity within just a few more days. On Wednesday night, however, the spirit parasite was still able to draw energy from Jolene, and it was able to externalize itself while she slept.
"The other entity that you saw hovering near Jolene's bed," I told Darwin, "the one that seemed to be glowing, was quite likely her guardian angel or spirit guide. A spiritual balance would probably been achieved very shortly if Jolene had been talked into that séance with the Ouija board. The combined energies of all those young women--especially young women open to communication with the Other Side--brought the spirit parasite renewed strength. Thank heaven, Jolene conducted that prayer circle and performed a kind of impromptu exorcism."
Darwin and Aileen asked me if I believed that the entity had left their home. I redirected the question to Jolene, asking her if she still sensed the spiritual interloper around her.
"I...I really don't think so," she answered after a moment of thought. "And I have been praying my knees off ever since Friday night!"
I shared the following prayer with Jolene if she should ever be aware of the return of the spirit parasite: "Beloved Angel Guide, charge me with your great strength. Charge me with your light and your love. Charge my mental, physical, and spiritual selves with strength and energy. Keep me ever sensitive to your guidance and your direction and banish all evil and negativity from my presence."
"And what about us?" Aileen wanted to know. "What if we should sense that evil presence anywhere in our home?"
If any of them should still sense the negative energy of a spirit parasite or any discordant entity, I advised them to visualize their spirit guardian around them moving a soft, violet heavenly light over their physical bodies. Then say inwardly to the spirit guide: "Beloved spirit guide, angelic guardian, activate the God-spark within me and assist me in calling upon the highest of energies. Permit the heavenly Light to move around and through me. Keep this Holy Light bright around and within me and with the power of the Father-Mother-Creator Spirit banish all negative and chaotic energies from my presence."
When I left the Kozisek's residence that evening, I felt confident that a spiritual balance had been reinstated both in their home and in their daughter's personal province of psychic development. And I had Jolene's promise that she would not continue her experiments in any facet of the paranormal until she had undergone a process of disciplined study that would enable her more accurately to discern between the various shadowy residents of the world of the supernatural.