Well, here we are again. On October 31st children and playful adults across the U.S. and the western world will don their pointy hats and broomsticks, plastic teeth, zombie masks, white sheets and do comic terror across their towns. Funs, game and occult mythology… right? Maybe and maybe not.
My family has always had a certain fascination with the occult. It began with my mother who despite a conservative upbringing always held a certain fascination for spiritualism, astrology, and things that go bump in the night. That’s why I wrote my first novel as a paranormal. My 2012 Rite of Passage was a 2013 RomCon Reader’s Crown finalist and was based on long study about witchcraft and utilized much of what I had read about as a young man.
As an early teen I’d read The World Within and the classic Many Mansions. Books that detailed the author’s belief in reincarnation. Why do some people have the ability to see into the future? Why do we have the feeling we’ve done or said things before? And why are some people more attuned to their fellow man, nature and everything around them… according to Gina Cerminara, who wrote those books, the answer is because we’ve traveled this way before. Heady and intriguing stuff.
And on two occasions as a child I had experiences that gave me goose bumps. The first when I was ten, alone in our house. My parents had gone to visit. Suddenly, I heard a strange sound and turned to see what looked like a figure in armor carrying chains coming at me from our living room. I was terrified and ran the few hundred yards in tears to find my parents. Suffice it to say that I slept with one eye open and the light on for some time afterward.
The second occurrence was not so immediately frightening but left a lasting impression. We spent summers at my grandmother’s house on an island in Maine. One morning I awakened very early and sneaked out of bed. Tiptoeing down stairs I found my way to the an old couch in the living room. Looking out the front windows I caught sight of a sight I can still see… in the mist sat a large sailing ship circa 1800’s. At the time I thought nothing of it till I mentioned it to my dad and he looked at me rather oddly, later explaining that a large ship had gone aground in the mid 19th Century on the reef that guarded our small inlet. All but one crewman was lost. But I had never heard the story before.
As I sit writing this I still get a funny feeling because I can close my eyes and see both these visions as if they were happening today.
When I began to write Rite of Passage I had decided to use witchcraft as the paranormal vehicle to propel my story because witches occupy that mystical place between reality and fantasy and I wanted something that held a grain of truth. I’ve always prided myself on doing my “homework” so after having consumed a wealth of written material I decided to consult a local woman who was reputed to be a witch. If I expected something out of TV sitcom I was in for a surprise. The woman I met was polite, poised, and very professional. She told me she was a Wiccan High Priestess. She showed me how astrology, reincarnation, psychic ability, and many other things fit together. By the time we were done I was a believer.
Other things have surfaced that helped reinforce my belief in what might be called the supernatural. One of my friends who is a psychologist and ghost hunter of some repute tells me that while 99.5% of all she sees is sham or has a logical explanation there remains a tiny percentage that defies explanation.
The same can be said of a well-known author friend who spent years researching NDEs, near death experiences. Again the white lights, tunnels, and visions may be explainable. But… what no one can explain is out of body experiences where the person seems to float above their body and can recall things they could have no way to know.
So, in summary can I guarantee that the occult and the paranormal exist. No. But at this point in my life and with the research and experiences I’ve had I remain very much in the “it’s possible” column.
Have a nice Halloween!
Kevin V. Symmons
Kevin Symmons is a successful author, college faculty member, and president of one of the Northeast's most respected writing organizations. His paranormal novel, "Rite of Passage", was a 2013 RomCon Reader's Crown Award finalist and has been an Amazon Best Seller. "Out of the Storm", a contemporary romantic thriller set on Cape Cod, is already gathering 5 star reviews and will keep you turning pages late into the night. His novel "Solo", a sweeping women's fiction work that exposes the tragedy of domestic violence in America, is also available now. Kevin has collaborated with award-winning Boston screenwriter and playwright Barry Brodsky in adapting one of his story ideas for the screen. He is a sought after public speaker who has appeared across New England. Visit Kevin and like his FB Author Page, @KevinSymmons on Twitter, at Goodreads, Amazon, and at his website, www.ksymmons.com