There’s magick to be discovered in coincidences — if you know how to see it. Not saying I’m some seer of the esoteric. But if you can learn to pause moments and let the liminality of the present manifest, you may find your reality weaving, much like a web connecting moment after moment, incident after incident. Up close the web is sticky and can entangle you, but if you step back — to observe and reflect — you can behold and acknowledge the beauty of chaos.
What the fuck am I going on about? Synchronicities. A synchronicity is the concept of how just as events may be connected by causality, they also may be connected by meaning. But events connected by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of causality. For example, causality would be owning a hog, slaughtering it, and then frying it up as bacon. Synchronicity would be getting ready to eat a piece of bacon, then Charlotte’s Web comes on your TV, and Wilbur touches you so deeply you vow to never eat bacon again — or maybe you do eat the bacon and find the irony in eating pig while watching a pig to be hilarious — you sick bastard. Regardless, it was a meaningful coincidence. This concept is paranormal — so the evidence is only self-evident.
But as with most paranormal experiences, good luck proving it as real to others. People who have had contact with strange phenomena know what they experience without really knowing what they’ve experienced. The truth always seems to merely lie within the experience itself most of the time, without proof, without truth. And who cares about proving it to others anyway? What are you, desperate for respect? For fame? Just desperate in general? It’s a miserable feeling being stuck in that rut. But nonetheless, good luck finding respect in the realms of the unexplained outside your own echo-chamber. The church doesn’t know you. Science doesn’t want you. But wait — your ghostbusting devices were made for TV, but you have a face built for podcasting? Saaaay what? Why don’t we focus more on our own experiences, our own relationship with the weird, and see what we can learn from it? That’s something to share. Now I’m not discounting people’s efforts, really. I know there are some super-sincere people out there trying their best to do things exceptionally — but even the most sincere people get stuck in a mindset that is mired in solving an infinite jigsaw puzzle with unsubstantiated beliefs that only hypothetically fit.
The reason I’m writing this is because of my own interesting little jaunt the other day. It loosely reminded me of Hellier, a two-season docuseries (at least that’s what I call it) following a group of paranormal investigators through a maze of synchronistic messages received while they explore possible goblins in the Appalachia’s mining and cave systems — in a nutshell. It’s beautifully shot and definitely much more of a sincere effort showcasing the mental gymnastics of facing the supernatural world vs. most paranormal programming out there — content that seemingly stole its methodology from the sadness known as Ghost Hunters.
So my two-hour excursion into the unknown began at Stepp Cemetery. My fascination with this remote location began 10 years ago, and I do feel it’s a liminal space of wonderment with a complicated history. Of late, I posted on this blog highlighting the terrible vandalism occurring there. For more context and a video click on A Requiem for Baby Lester. But all you need to know for this post is the Morgan – Monroe State Forest is Indiana’s premier spot for Sasquatch and UFO sightings, plus tucked in the middle of it is a little cemetery steeped in ghost lore. And for a time in the early 1900s it was a site where the Crabbite cult met and performed sex acts, animal sacrifices and practiced venomous snake handling.
So the afternoon of August 10th I met my pal Steve Fisher of PAIN Paranormal just to check in on any additional damage to this location. As we were admiring the beauty of the cemetery and discussing the paranormal tales woven into it, I couldn’t help but wonder if any of our contributing efforts to honor and raise awareness for the preservation and protection of this cemetery would be acknowledged by the energies infused in it. See, there’s nothing wrong with visiting a location like this with proper intentions, even if your hope is to interact with the paranormal — but if your actions desecrate the grounds in hopes of challenging the “spirits,” you’re an asshole, plain and simple, and you need to be prosecuted. Period.
In deep discussion, we found ourselves drawn to a tree that was near where I’d stumbled across remains of Wiccan ceremonies a few weeks prior (as you’ll see in my other post). Behind that tree was a trail that led off into the forest. My son set out on that path to pick up litter. He’s a good egg, what can I say? As his trash detail led him deeper into the woods, he came across an odd stick structure. He immediately came back to tell us about it. Of course curiosity made us check it out, and after about a 10-minute hike, he led us off for about another 15 minutes to the backside of a hill and a structure in the woods.
This shelter was a type of lean-to that was pretty impressive. The interesting thing about the branches it was made with is they weren’t cut but appeared to be twisted apart and incorporated with trees that were bent over into the construction. Not that Indiana is a huge “squatchy” hotspot, but ironically the majority of Hoosier squatch sightings typically revolve around this area, and this structure seemed to fit the description of what Bigfoot hunters qualify as a squatch nest — at least in my perspective. Regardless if you believe, I’m not saying I do, but I just found this discovery very intriguing. It served to solidify that this ground is special and capable of unveiling secrets.
Upon making our way out of the cemetery, noting how almost every grave marker had coins placed on it, we caught another reminder that this area serves as a beacon to other seekers who come looking for mystery and glimpses of the arcane — part of the lid to a Ouija board box there in the grass. The intentions of the majority of folks who visit this spot, even those wishing for spiritual interaction, hopefully are good. No ill will. If this place is totally lost to monsters of its destruction — how much this opportunity to explore the mysterious will be missed. This thought reaffirmed my desire to make a change here.
Then it happened, the big startle — there in front of my Jeep — a rattlesnake. Never in my 46 years of living in Indiana have I seen one in the wild. It instantly made me consider the irony of this being the location of snake handling at the hands of the Crabbites and their odd cult beliefs. The snake before me felt like a sign. Not a harbinger of doom or dread, but more of a “namaste,” as in, “I’m acknowledging respect for the history this soil cradles and lessons it can yield, and in return it’s acknowledging my acknowledgment.” If there’s a Native American term for “show me yours and I’ll show you mine,” this was it. I’m either on something or onto something. But the impact was made.
After I left and wound myself out of the park, there’s another cemetery I’ve driven past every time I’ve visited the Morgan-Monroe Forestry — Pleasant View Cemetery. It’s always caught my eye because one marker appeared to be that of a full-size statue of a soldier. So on this trip, I pulled over to finally check it out. It’s the marker for a Thomas Riddle. That name instantly reeled me back. Tom Riddle is the name of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter. Lord Voldemort used the snake Nagini as one of his Horcruxes — and I just saw a snake — a snake that’s a natural “oh shit”-dropper kinda snake. So odd. So strange. To top it all off, in my efforts to find meaning in the pagan ceremonies that I had encountered weeks prior in Stepp, PARAHOLICS reached out to the occult community for guidance on the intention of the rituals. Along the way I made a new friend, who just happens to be a wizard not named Tom Riddle, but he’s a damn wizard nonetheless. I thought that was a fantastic bookend to bring my adventure full circle that afternoon.
It all definitely felt Hellier-esque at the time, and it made me appreciate those moments just a little bit more. Were these connections drawn that afternoon evidence of the paranormal? I guess in the veins of proof of the existence of ghosts, the afterlife and so on — no. But to me it’s evidence of being open to a broadening perspective of even the subtle way communication of esoteric experiences is a possibility. In other words, if your pursuit of truth has constructed walls over what’s possible, you’re gonna close yourself off to more opportunities for experiences big and small to manifest than what an egocentric pursuit could ever bring. Reminds me of the scene at the beginning of the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon. Bruce is instructing a young pupil and says, “Don’t think. FEEEEEEEEL! It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!” So yes, synchronicities are real, your perceptions are paranormal. Magick can be made in coincidences. This is not a call to be silly and show no discernment in your pursuits — this is a call to reflect on how small your brain is compared to the cosmos. We are just an amazing collection of bones and teeth comprised of stardust, and the majority of us can’t even comprehend roundabouts. Like Ryan Singer of the podcast Me And Paranormal You says, “It’s more fun to believe.” I would probably tweak that and say it’s more fun to be open to mysteries and accepting of the possibilities as they unfold.
— Evel Ogilville