new age spirituality

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The Long Dead Soldier

By T Stokes

The long dead soldierThis was an interesting case, and one that I could not get the families permission to publish full documentation and photographs.

A row of cottages in East Anglia had been the focus for many years of psychic activity.

When any call comes in to a psychic centre on a haunting, the stories are often embellished or exaggerated because people suspect you will not believe what they say, and this story did not ring true, especially when you become well known you get the spruicers, flannellers and sceptics just out to hoax you.

A property landlord was first to come and paint a rather frightening picture of one of his little cottages which could not keep its tenants.

Cross correlation is vital, and always speak to some of the other people who had witnessed this frightening apparition, for comparisons.

As is often in these cases all stories did not match at all well, so it was not easy to reach a proper diagnosis on exactly what we had.

One extremely overweight lady was hysterical and went red in the face as she screamed about the devil to us, and another man, a previous tenant in his forties who chain smoked, covered me with a continuous spray of spittle as he said the ghost had caused arguments in the house and his daughter had left in great fear.

An unstable chap working as a vegetable delivery man made absurd claims about blood dripping from ceilings, his football team were satanists, the real president Bush was being impersonated by a madman, and other tales of apport’s and aliens.

The biggest secret of these investigations is in the “backgrounding”. That is you put questions to the regular morning postman, the local pub is always good for gossip, and to see from the estate agent how many tenants the property has had and why they moved away, and to get their new address’s.

The library can often supply old maps to see what ground the house was built on.

However, the only sensible thing all were agreed on was that a man in an old fashioned uniform just appeared mainly at the top of the stairs or in the living room, and occasionally at family get togethers when they sang round the piano, and he radiated sadness and had a very depressed feel to him.

After several years you get a feel for what is coming in these situations, but despite good “backgrounding” here I was quite wrong.

We duly brought in several members of our rescue circle, for what is now called deliverance, this was in the days before EMF electro-magnetic field sensors, or temperature guns, all we had was 2 pairs of night vision goggles a thermometer for cold spots and a tape recorder, and after using this equipment which seems primitive now, we settled on where to hold our séance.

The evening went without any signs other than a couple of cold draughts, and we were about to pack up when David Tyndall in his comic way said quietly; “Houston we have contact” and there by the door where he was often seen was a figure of a young soldier, and the feeling of deep sadness was tangible.

As we all held hands and said “you are welcome among us stranger.” The half light shone on his hair which was parted down the middle, he stood upright as if to attention, he had a small moustache and wore a black button up to the neck military uniform, with a cap under his armpit.

Although we had been asked to exorcise the spirit, it seemed to want to stay there for some important reason, this is called “transfixation” and is common in these situations and this we granted.

There is a growing realisation from the public that exorcism should only be a last resort. This man did not want to move on, and we agreed no spiritual eviction was necessary

I am pretty good at historical time periods but I could not tell much more except some traumatic event had impeded his progress, he had become emotionally paralysed in time for whatever reason, and could only communicate his sadness.

This was frustrating, and we asked the landlord again about the previous tenants, he then said long before his time as owner, an old lady lived here and was now in a local retirement home.

One of our circle members was a gifted artist and drew a convincing likeness of the soldier, which I then took to the old folks home.

The sight of a frail old lady propped up in an armchair greeted me when a strict nurse showed me to where she sat, and said not to tire her. She showed no interest in what I had to say at all until I showed her the drawing.

She gasped “that’s herbie” and an awful story poured out of how these young men were pressured to enlist under age for W.W.1.

Her brother Herbie had enlisted at age 15 when officially the age was 18, he had fought through the war until after the horrific battle of the Somme.

When in the trenches he saw a dead colleague covered in a strange blanket, as he approached the blanket broke up and disappeared, he realised then that this blanket was a rat swarm eating the body.

Then suffering from anxiety, repulsion and shell shock he ran away.

Many young men some just schoolboys, were sent out prepared to kill and maim foreigners, not realising that their own government and people would later kill them !

Desertion from duty was called cowardice, and a firing squad shot this schoolboy soldier next day, and his family denied his back pay.

Herbie had appeared regularly at the family home declaring he was innocent of any charges of cowardice.

The stigma at that time of having a family member shot for desertion was dreadful. For many years the family denied they knew the identity of the young soldier who appeared in the home and stood up close to them.

Now we understand about post traumatic shock, but it was not acknowledged back then.

All other E.E.C member countries have given posthumous pardons to those murdered by their own government- except Britain.

Herbie's soul cannot rest until the injustice done to him and his family is put right. The first world war ended in 1918 surely now we can give these men rest.

* Herbies sister asked his name to be changed to protect the family.

Scotland has just announced a posthumous pardon for all those burnt at the stake for witchcraft 400 years ago.

T Stokes paranormalist
Copyright 2006