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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