Vancouver. A Love Story. A Tragedy. A Sonnet. Part Four: Ghost Dance.

I don’t remember the date that I first encountered the disembodied in 2785 West 10th and Macdonald. I do remember the first being that I saw there was a shadow being that strode out of Eryn’s room and went towards the wall that separated the downstairs flat from upstairs. Where there had once been a door (and that would be freed open when I moved in late 2000) a wall had been made by the landlords. I watched the space where the shadow being had been, wondering if Eryn or Jen had seen it, waiting for a response to my lingering stare into the area where I had last seen it, but had none from Jen or Eryn. I would catch Jen often looking away from the kitchen table in those early nights of my visitation to party with her and Eryn, but nothing was said. It would be. Eventually, and not just by her. I think she didn’t want to tempt fate, or worse, engage with the spectral visitors that were legion in that house (not like I would) lest they come into her room. For the most part, they would simply wander through the house, we would see them in our periphery, or catch them as they passed between spaces, walking through walls and entering into rooms.

Working for a psychic of insane ability as I did for almost two years elevated my awareness and intuition. It was a matter of resonance. Suzanne’s world was unlike anyone I had ever known. She moved in circles that were in Canada’s elite and rubbed shoulders with gangsters and bikies who protected her as she filled one of her life’s tasks. Hunting and catching elite pedophiles. Her team (I was a part of it) worked tirelessly to give her the space in her life to dedicate her energy to protecting children from the worst forms of abuse one could imagine. As her assistant I wrote letters, ran errands, and did everything I could to allow her to work and occasionally get deep spiritual insights from my employer who knew of my connection to spirit. I would leave Suzanne’s home with my awareness altered to pick up the more subtle energies that are unseen by the five senses, and my personal history of possession, entity attachment, and spiritual experiences well beyond the ordinary magnetised the disembodied to me, and they followed me to West 10 and Mac.

Everyone who started coming to that house to party saw shadow beings. The startled and spooked ‘new’ people who came to play with us soon accepted the presence of what they believed to be ghosts at West 10th and Mac. There was many a bender there at the house before Eryn left that went on for days, and those who ‘saw’ something, often in plain sight, sat there confused in their intoxicated state, openly questioning what they saw. In the year Eryn was away in the UK and I spent time there hanging with the other flatmates, it continued. Some of the revellers would leave after their sighting, others laughing the experience off, or confining it to inebriation, others openly acknowledging their terror. I lived in that house for over two years, and not once did I ever feel threatened. In 2001/2002 when Eryn and Raeanna came back to Vancouver, West 10th and Mac became a train station. We had so many people coming to party with us in that house that it felt like rush hour at Grand Central all too often. Whenever we would all go out somewhere, we would always end up back at the house with a crew, and that would grow in size in the early morning hours, every night of the week for almost a year, and always on the weekends. For me, it was also a spectral train station. I was never alone. Yes, I had a plethora of lovers in 2001/2002, but I also saw the disembodied occupying my room and wandering about the house, as if they had followed me home from any location I had gone to during the day and night, and they had told their friends, ‘He can see us.’

I asked Suzanne how to deal with it, and her answer became part of my life’s work for many years after. “Before you go to bed, or any time you’re at home, visual a door, a golden door to the other side, and then instruct them (the disembodied) to walk through it to cross over’, she told me. Every night, whether alone or with a lover, I would watch in my periphery the cue that went through my room and out into the corridor (when my room was downstairs) or out onto the porch (when my room was upstairs) shuffle through the room, and in an instantaneous flash of light they would cross the threshold. I wasn’t acknowledged once in all those nights of assisting the disembodied. Until early 2002 when I had started writing the first draft of the novel Sanctum (writing with Harmon Sueno) on my flatmate Zoe’s computer which was in my room upstairs. She had graciously welcomed me to use her computer while she and the other flatmates had gone to a dance party with our neighbours. My door, which opened to the upstairs hallway and the porch entranceway directly outside my door to the right, was ajar as I typed away in silence. The memory of what happened to me lingers not only in my memory over twenty years later, but also in my bodily sensations now as I write this blog.

An icy wave washed over my back making my body rigid, stealing the heat from the room as my breath appeared as vapour. I stopped typing, turning around as slowly as possible. I recalled Dunedin in 1994 before being possessed in that moment at my desk, for then, before the penultimate experience of that day I had walked into my apartment on a blazingly hot afternoon only to find the apartment as cold as a walk-in freezer. What eventuated next was possession of my body by a murdered prostitute from the late 1890’s. So, I was well aware of what this frigid coldness meant. As she walked between my doorway and the entrance to the lounge opposite my room I caught a glimpse of her full frontal. This was the first time I had seen a ghost with my eyes looking forward rather than using the cones of my eyes on the side of the eyeball. Dressed in a white nurse’s smock that was stained with dried blood that had flowed over it, with a gruesome fissure between her head and torso was a very angry looking young woman. She glared at me through the gap between the door and jam with a look that I can never erase from my recollections.

My first thought was, ‘FUCK’. I wiled myself off my seat and opened the door, staring at the floor ahead of me, thinking I would pick her up in my periphery to my left. She wasn’t there. This meant that she had walked through the doors leading into the upstairs dining room. I walked through into the lounge, gaze forward and down, walked around the coach, and saw her in my periphery to my left. Dark roots, peroxided blonde hair stemming from the roots, her hair short and messy, her black eyeliner beneath her eyes had run down her face from the tears she had cried, her lipstick smudged around her mouth, wearing fishnets and black boots. For a moment I wondered if this was a prank played on me by one of my lovers in costume. Then, I felt her vehement anger. FUCK. This was no joke. WHY ME? WHY ME? WHJY ME? Was echoing across the space between us in wordless fury. I began to cry. Equally as scared as I was apologetic for her predicament I was noticeably trembling. She would have been in her mid/late 20s, my age, and she had come to me not for help, but in disbelief, looking for answers. I felt helpless to illuminate her as to why this horrific tragedy had befallen her, but I knew what I had to do. I reached out my left hand and pointed to where I would open a door for her. With a tremor in my voice, I asked her several times between long pauses of her glaring at me to move on as tears flowed down my cheeks. For the longest time, I didn’t think she was going to leave. The look of anger began to melt away on her face, replaced by a stunned stare as she turned away from me and walked back towards the entrance of the dining room. Walking towards the door I had visualised she strode through it, another flash over the threshold and the door dissolved leaving the dining room darkened. The energy in the room lightened and felt instantly warmer. I collapsed on the couch behind me, sobbing into my hands. I felt cursed, I need distraction to numb overstimulated awareness so I called some friends who lived nearby on the landline and went to bury my consciousness in a haze of drugs and hedonistic fervour deciding to keep my experience to myself.

Dead Can Dance…

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