Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Discourse on the Travel Channel

I had one of those nights that takes forever to fall asleep. Blame it on the Travel Channel and poetry. (And don't bother calling me and telling me I'm weird. I think that's even stamped on my birth certificate.)

I've always liked poetry. For example, I first tried my hand at it when I was around nine. I even remember it:

Spring is here,
The flowers are in bloom.
The sun is high.
Not the moon.
The flowers in their beds
Are as tall as a spoon.
Thank you, God,
For Spring so soon.
Again, don't even say it. I couldn't have been prouder.
Nowdays, though, my favorite poems come from Emily Dickinson. Probably my very favorite starts off:
"This world is not conclusion.
A species stands beyond -
Invisible as music
Yet positive, as sound."
So okay. Back to last night. It all started after dark. The fun ones always do. I retired to my hotel room, donned new flannel pj's, and grabbed the remote. (In other words, a typical night for me.)

Soon enough, I stumbled upon the Travel Channel was immediately transfixed. Wonder of wonders! They were in rural England at some old inn! (See my last posting.)

Wait... not just some old inn. They were at the 13th century Ram Inn, and "they" consisted of a tour guide, 3 paranormal "investigators", and a TV crew. They were there because the ancient place is rumored to have been haunted for centuries.

The group started in the main room, where one "investigator" immediately related that the inn was frequented by 4... things: 2 men, a woman, and an incubus. He hastens to add that the things are likely demonic and could try to physically harm them if they proceed.

I was mesmerized.

They pitter along, and soon enough they enter the room of the woman... thing. As the same "investigator" starts inquiring as to the history of the room, he is literally possessed by the spirit of the woman. (Or so it seemed. Really.) He suddenly looked like a hunched over, crochety old evil thing and kept whispering, "Go to thee baarrrn."

Holy crap. It literally looked like an English reenactment of the Gospels just before Jesus or the disciples drives out the freaky demons.

I was horrified.

I guess they were too, but not so horrified that the idiots didn't go to the barn. And before you conjure up some rickety, wooden barn, let me add that the "barn" was attached to the stone house, much in the same way that our garages are. So I'll call it a barnage.

So there they are in the stone barnage. It was dark and cluttered. (I have to admit, part of my night was spent wondering what English people clutter their barnages with. Chipped tea cups? Dull herbacious border trimmers? First edition Agatha Christie mysteries?? It will be the first thing I ask the English when I visit.)

Sooo.... the crew is in the barnage and nothing happens for quite awhile. Then, as they begin to relax and joke around, one crew member taunts that he sees something move in the stall next to him.

I kid you not - the minute the words touched his lips he was thrown into the stall wall. The impact sent one of his shoes flying. The guy is sprawled on the floor for a second, then was pulled - although you couldn't see who was doing the pulling! - into the stall, where it sounded like he was being attacked by me right after the Dallas Cowboys lost their last stinkin' game.

When the other crew members half-carried Mr. Investigtor out he was sobbing and shaking uncontrollably.

I was terrified.

After commerical break, the show revealed that Spencer, the "investigator" was fine, albeit, a little shaken up. The tour of Ram Inn ended with the tour guide looking into the camera and adding a chilling- "Sleep tight."

Yeah right.

I turned off the TV and lay in the darkness of the hotel room. No sooner had I closed my eyes when that Emily Dickinson poem coursed through my mind: "This world is not conclusion. / A species stands beyond - / Invisible as music/ Yet positive, as sound."

I wasn't scared. Really. I know Who holds dominion over all freaky things.

Yet still, I stayed awake, wondering....

What do you think about the "species" that stands beyond??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had an . . . experience with that show last year. I fell asleep on the couch while watching the travel channel. The "haunting" show came on while I was asleep -- but apparently I really wasn't all that asleep. When the show came on, I could hear it and was completely aware of what was happening on the show. I could tell you details about it still. Especially in my in-between-asleep-and-awake state, I was terrified. As much as I wanted to completely wake up and turn the channel, I couldn't for the life of me open my eyes, I couldn't sit up, I couldn't speak. I HATE ghost stories, "haunting" shows and all that stuff, so I would never have purposely subjected myself to it. As soon as the show was over I was able to get up and turn the TV off. Okay, I know this doesn't sound all that bad, but it was a TERRIBLE experience that has permanently scarred me. I simply will not fall asleep with the TV on now for fear of something like that happening again. (Now here's where I tell you what I think happened . . . take it or leave it.) A pastor once preached about a phenomenon (for lack of a better word) that sometimes happens to people. In the secular world it's called a "ghost crush" where people are in that almost asleep phase and they feel as if they can't breath because something is pushing all their air out -- like something is crushing them. The pastor said that he believes that ghost crushes are demonic in nature and are meant to terrify us and steal our peace -- trust me, it did. All this to say that I believe that satan and his forces use the supernatural, like "hauntings", psychics and such, to 1) attract people who are desperate for power beyond themselves -- look at the show, it's wildly popular and those crazy people will go to another "haunted" building next week for more of the same-- and 2) to plant fear in the hearts of people -- Christians in particular. BUT, as you intimated in your posting, "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!"