Tales Of The Paranormal

by Greta Olsson

The fifteenth annual Yukon International Storytelling Festival, held from May 30 to June 2, 2002 in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, also included workshops on Cowboys, Children's Storytheater, Ballads, Drums, the Paranormal, and Forgiveness and Reconciliation.

Dale Jarvis led a workshop on paranormal possession, haunted houses, spirits, and unexplained coincidences. He believes that the house that he and his wife share is haunted, and he told several stories to illustrate why he held such a belief. The story of the ring grabbed me!

Dale's wife had a much cherished ring that her grandmother had given her. Obviously if it were ever lost or stolen, it couldn't be replaced. She had a habit of placing it on top of a stack of books near the door, putting it on when she went out and removing it when she got home.

Dale said that one night they were going out to dinner. They dressed and headed out the door. His wife reached for her ring and discovered that it wasn't there. The two of them did a thorough, frantic search of the entire home. No ring. Giving up, they went to dinner, but were in such a major upset that they couldn't eat. They left in the middle of their dinner and drove home.

In the car, Dale suddenly addressed the ghost he thought was responsible for their mystery. "Put it back," he demanded. "I want you to put the ring back." When they entered their door, there the ring was sitting in its usual place on top of the stack of books.

After the workshop, I went up to Dale and thanked him for the ring story. I had had thing go missing and then inexplicably show up again. "Tell the ghost to put it back, and maybe you won't have to wait so long next time," he advised.

I wear two heavy silver bracelets - the type that needs either three hands or another person to put them on. I have a gadget, but sometimes it still takes time and trouble to get them on.

Going to the Yukon, I tossed the bracelets in my suitcase rather than have to remove them twice for the metal detectors in the Seattle and Vancouver airports. It's my habit to arrive early, check my luggage immediately, and then relax - thus making my luggage sit for over an hour before being put on the plane, enabling any dishonest airline employee to pick the lock and help himself to whatever.

When I arrived at the Riverview Hotel in Whitehorse, my bracelets were gone. I did a thorough search. I emptied everything onto the bed after hanging up my clothes and putting my cosmetics into the bathroom. I felt under the lining and was able, via a Velcro strip, to look in the space the handle pushes into where there are two small metal "pockets". Nothing. No bracelets. One was a medical alert, and so I was doubly sorry to lose it.

On the plane coming home, I mentally demanded that the ghost put my bracelets back. I felt like a damn fool because I was sure they'd been stolen. When I got home, I emptied the case of probably 9/10ths of its contents doing the laundry and making my cosmetics and toothbrush available. I left the case on my living room floor in order to handle the misc. bits, and to clean the case the next morning.

The morning was bright and clear, and there on the floor, easily visible, lay my two bracelets in their carrying case. I could not have missed them when I unloaded the contents the previous night.

"Thanks, Ghost. Thanks, Dale."

My tale is true. I don't expect many of you to believe me. I know that one can look at something and not see it. Why? Some quirk in the brain? Lack of focus or attention? Don't believe me, but try it when you miss an item. If it shows up where it was supposed to be, thank your ghost.

When I snap a light switch on and off, I assure you that I don't understand electrical wiring, but the action usually works. You also don't have to understand your ghost if there is one. If it works for you, why not use it?

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