Out of the Psychic Closet: The Quest to Trust My True Nature describes Heathcotte’s paranormal experiences and her failure to integrate them. It details anecdotes of other people, analyzes research in the field, gives historical background, and suggests print and online resources for further study. Topics include ghosts, near-death experiences, retrocognition, dreams and lucid dreaming, doubles, déjà vu, visions, glossolalia, auras, remote viewing, UFO’s, voices, precognition, channeling, telepathy, spirit guides, peak experiences, xenoglossy, electronic transmission, past life memories, intuition, mystical awareness, and much more.
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This book is your go-to source when you’ve seen a ghost, dreamed something that came true, felt a nudge to change your mind, heard a voice in your head, felt at home in a new place, or smelled the aftershave of a dead loved ones. It shows you how to step out of the psychic closet yourself. You will rise above anxiety and distrust and incorporate your psychic abilities into a more honest model of personal reality. You can turn your consternation into awe and your fear into gratitude.
Witness to Another World
Now, I know I'm not crazy, but I spent years trying to believe what people told me was the truth and trying even harder not to believe what I knew within myself was real.
Maybe I'd started on that path by the age of three. Sleet bit my face. My bare arms felt numb in the cold air. "Wait, Daddy!" I screamed and staggered across our backyard away from our house toward my grandparents' house in Ovid, Indiana.
Daddy's jacket billowed when he turned toward me and opened the screen door. "Go back home."
Hurrying to him, I slipped and fell on frozen grass.
He let go of the door. It clattered as he dashed down the steps and engulfed me in his arms. "You can't go in there."
He bit down on his quivering lip. "Grandpa's dead."
"What dead, Daddy?" I sobbed. "What dead?"
It turned out to be something awful. "Dead" took Grandpa away; then a few weeks later it took Grandma too. Where did they go? Why did they leave us alone? I was scared.
Daddy and Mother acted sad. The next summer they sold both houses, and we moved to Pendleton, a town five miles away. I missed Grandma and Grandpa, but I felt glad that I got to see my other grandparents, Mom and Pop Crosley, a lot more.
One day Mother and Daddy took me to stay with Mom at the Crosley house. Mother looked very pretty in her blue dress with the fluffy peplum around the middle, but her face looked like she had a bellyache from eating too many green apples. Daddy held her waist. Their footsteps made hollow sounds as they walked off the porch.
Mother called back, "Don't worry. I'll be all right."
I loved to stay with Mom Crosley because she told me stories about her family and sang songs in her deep, trembling voice. Not today. She folded her arms over her starched gingham dress and paced around the dining room table. The shiny wooden floor creaked beneath her soft slippers.
I sat at the table where we ate fried chicken every Sunday and tried to fold dress tabs on paper dolls. The grandfather clock ticked loudly. "Is Mother sick?"
"We don't know. We'll just have to wait and see." Mom nibbled a mint from the cut-glass bowl. "She's got a baby inside her, and it might be sick."
After a long time Daddy brought Mother back. I thought she would bring the baby with her, but she didn't. I felt happy anyway. I didn't want her to go away anymore.
Many times, I went with Daddy to the little graveyard across the road from a country church. We never went inside. He mowed the grass while I sat on a tombstone and played with my dolls. In the fall, I picked dead blooms off the magenta peonies Daddy had planted beside the graves of Grandma and Grandpa. Nearby lay Daddy's brother who died as a baby and a sister dead at the age of ten. I tried to picture the children, lying beneath the earth in their little boxes. I felt afraid for them.
Daddy didn't cry as he told me about his family. He said we had to keep their resting places nice. That way we could show our love. Some other people's graves had high grass on them. A few had overgrown weeds, the tombstones cracked and broken. I wondered why no one loved those people.
The summer I turned six, my parents took me to a rodeo where my dad bought an all-black Shetland pony named Rocket. We took the backseat out of our 1941 Chevrolet, squeezed the pony in, and drove home with him whinnying or nibbling our hair all the way.
Ostensibly Daddy bought Rocket for me and my little sister, Trena, who was born the same summer, but he treated the pony like his own pet. He taught the pony to stand up on his hind legs and to drink grape soda from a bottle. He let us feed Rocket sugar cubes, apples, and potato peelings with salt on them. Rocket tried to bite the buttons off everyone's shirts and gulped down Daddy's Lucky Strike cigarettes. That pony had some poor nutrition habits.
My dad raised hunting dogs and fed any cat that wandered by, but Rocket was my special pet. Daddy taught me to drive a sulky in summer and a sleigh in winter. I gave the other children rides two at a time.
One of my best friends in the neighborhood was Marcia Stoner. By second grade, she and I had acquired two passions--roller skating and Brownie Scouts. Our mothers took turns giving us rides.
Just my size and very pretty, Marcia had long blond curls with a ribbon. I wore a bow in my black hair. New Year's Eve, instead of going skating as we had planned, Marcia visited relatives with her aunt and uncle. In those days before seat belts, she lay asleep in the backseat on the way home late on a snowy Indiana night.
A car driven by a drunk driver hit them. On impact Marcia flew out the back window. All her major bones broke, and her skull fractured.
Two days later, Marcia lay in a casket lined with pink rosebuds for the viewing in her family's living room. She wore the brown uniform of a beginner scout. I gazed at her, horrified, imagining all the broken bones I couldn't see. Her mother sobbed beside my mother and me. Others sat about, whispering and crying, including Marcia's two little sisters and several neighbors.
Because Marcia couldn't, I vowed that day never to go through the ceremony that conferred the right to wear the green uniform of a full-fledged Girl Scout.
At the funeral in the stone-walled Methodist church, I refused to go down to the altar to look at her again. The organist played the strains of Brahms' Lullaby, which sounded ugly to me at the time. The stench of hothouse gladiolas and roses blended with the musty smell of carpet soggy from snow boots. Nauseated, I sat on a wooden pew and cried.
In the weeks that followed, Mother encouraged me to play with other children, but I missed Marcia and kept to myself.
One sunny day, warm enough that the ground had thawed and started to green, I lay in my backyard, watching soft, white clouds move across a gray sky. The scent of first cherry blossoms carried on the air.
Suddenly Marcia appeared on a large cloud. Her curls bobbed over the side as she leaned down and grinned at me. Funny, she didn't wear a hair ribbon, but the impish voice sounded just like hers. "Hi."
I scrambled up and shouted, "Marcia, is that you?"
"Yes, this is a good place. I'm having fun here." Marcia turned away from me and disappeared into the cloud.
I went tearing into the house. "Mother, Mother?" I found her shelling peas in the kitchen. I shouted, "I saw Marcia. She's alive up in heaven, and she said she's all right!"
‘Now, Toby," Mother said as she set down the colander. Her pretty face looked sad. "You know Marcia can't talk to you. You're just imagining that."
Her words didn't make sense. How could I see Marcia if she wasn't there? How could I hear her?
Mother hugged me. Her body felt skinny now and her hug warm, but I remembered before my sister's birth how Mother's hugs had felt awkward over the huge mound of her stomach.
A memory clicked in my mind, and I asked, "What happened to that other baby?"
Mother's pale green eyes clouded with some emotion I didn't understand. "There wasn't any other baby. You must be thinking of something else." Mother sighed as she straightened my hair bow. "Why don't you go find out if some of the other kids can play?"
I trudged outside and started up the gravel alley. Mom Crosley and I were wrong about the other baby. If there had been one, Mother would have told me. Now she said I had not seen Marcia, and so, obviously, I was wrong about that, too--even though Marcia on the cloud looked as clear and real to me as when she sat next to me in school. I'd believed she was there--but it seemed I had been mistaken.
If I ever saw Marcia again, I would know it was my mind playing a trick on me. I'd make her go away, and I would definitely never tell anyone. When people are dead, they are gone forever.
Later that summer, Daddy and I took peonies for Marcia to the big cemetery in Pendleton with all the graves mowed and tidy. I felt glad to know that Marcia was still loved even though she was dead. I stood silently there and didn't talk to her. What would have been the point? Marcia wouldn't hear me, anyway.