Still in the Family

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In the late 1970’s  I belonged to an enthusiastic southern California group known as PSI, or  Psychic Science Investigation  gators. There were  between fifteen and twenty of us. One of  our activities was to visit old houses in the area and tune in  on them psychically. I was in charge of these investigative  tours.

Among the historical sites we visited was Newland House  in Huntington Beach. We went through it , room by  room,  to see what “vibrations” we could pick up and to keep mentally alert for any possible psychic phenomena.

When our group went  through the Newland home, I  was careful to explain to the docents-volunteers who take  visitors on tours of the historic residence-that we would  like to walk  through the building without  being  given any information about the rooms  or anything in them.

We also  asked and received permission to use the  psychic gift of  psychometry, which meant  we could  touch or handle  objects to gain psychic impressions from them. We did  all  this and  jotted down our  impressions.

After our exploration we decided to meditate around the  large dining  room table, sometimes, in the altered state  induced by  meditation, it becomes easier  to pick  up thought forms or spirits who may  be present. We had a video camera with us  and used it  to record the proceedings.

At one  point  during  out meditation the chandelier over  the table began to  swing back and  forth. We all saw this  and  so did  the docents who were seated  outside our circle. Yet when we play  back the videotape the chandelier  was  not shown moving.

As we  continued to meditate I could sense  a spirit standing  by my  right shoulder. I could see her  clairvoyantly  very clearly.  The figure was that  of an  old woman  wearing  a  long  lavender dress.

She had  white hair  done in  a bun  and  she  was leaning  on a  cane.In my mind I could hear  her voice . In a  querulous tone she said  she wanted me to ask  a question for her.

“My portrait is missing  from  this home,” she said  and  added,” It was in a large oval,  dark-colored frame. I want  it put back.”

So I interrupted  the meditation and  described the woman  to the group. Then I described the portrait and asked  if anyone  there knew what had happened to it.

Since no one seemed to know anything  about the  matter, the meditation resumed. When it  was over  the  spirit appeared again at my right side. And again she  insisted  I ask about her  portrait.

“The old lady is back again,” I said to  everybody in the room, “and I don’t think she will go away until she gets  an answer. Can anyone help?”

At this  one of the  docents, Bess Kennedy, who had  accompanied  us through the house , turned red  and stammered, “I have it.”

Everyone  looked at her in surprise.

“I have it,” she repeated. And then she confessed: “Before  I was married my maiden name was  Newland. The old lady you described to us  was my grandmother. When  Newland House was given to the country as an historical site, I wanted  to have my grandmother’s portrait, so I took it home with  me. Yes,  it looked exactly as it was  described, but now it is  in a square  frame instead of the oval walnut frame it had  originally.”

She looked at the other docents and said firmly, “I’m not giving it back!” I told her she would  have to  work that  out with her  departed  grandmother.  At this point the spirit disappeared. Maybe she was  satisfied knowing her  portrait was still in the family

Christine Metzner

Fullerton, California

January 1986

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