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The dead make great neighbors
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 10:58
Special to the Daily Planet

Part one of two parts

Recently, I had the opportunity to get away for a few days. Even paranormal investigators get the wintertime blues and I felt the urge to go someplace warm, with palm trees and umbrella drinks served by cute cabana boys. 

After all, if I was going to stare sightlessly at something, it might as well be the ocean and I might as well get a suntan. 

Demented Patty ran with it and booked us on an 11-day cruise to the Caribbean. I must say, when that damn groundhog saw his own shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, I didn’t really care!

    But sometimes, it’s not about the trip. It’s about what happens before the trip. And in this case, that part was really important. I needed to find a new pet sitter to watch my cats, but I needed someone who was open-minded about the paranormal and wouldn’t be afraid to come to my house. One of my best friends normally takes care of them, but she wasn’t available. So it was time to break in someone new.

    In Asheville, it’s actually pretty easy to find someone amazingly qualified to look after your pets. This is a pet-friendly town and animals are treated like children. I knew I had friends who occasionally went on vacation. I needed to start with them. 

    One suggested I get in touch with her pet sitter who was close to 30 years old and was finishing up a degree at A-B Technical Community College in the medical field.  

    Isla was saying all the right things during the interview process at a local bakery we’d gone to for a late lunch. But the real test would be meeting my furry babies. And checking out my house. I learned she was Catholic and I didn’t know how she would feel about some of the ghostly, occult, witchcraft and voodoo items in my house. And to the fact that it’s sometimes haunted. 

     When we got to my house, she immediately started playing with my cats and Lola rubbed her nose against the pet sitter’s nose. Whew! What a great sign! 

I began relating some of the details of investigations I’d been on, some details about my own house and some ghost stories I’d been part of. She was extremely open-minded and had a fit when she sat down on my living room floor in front of my glass-paned red cabinet full of tarot card decks.

I had a couple of classic Rider-Waite decks and some gorgeous signature decks that I loved the artwork on. Isla was so excited she barely took the time to ask if she could get them out before she started playing with them, much to my delight. 

She pulled the High Priestess card. I told her she was highly intuitive and she should trust her instincts more. The second card she pulled had me asking if she was undecided about something. 

She was. She was about to graduate but was having a hard time deciding which path she should take as far as specializing in one thing over another. I asked her what her gut said. If you’re intuitive, you always check your gut.

We then started talking about spells and scientific experiments I’d done on thought-forms called tulpas, one of which I’d participated in with my team and one I’d done on my own.

I also mentioned how sometimes at night you could hear music playing all over my house. Sometimes you could hear it all night long. So, here I was in the middle of telling one of my stories when she interrupted me with a smile on her face. “Is that the music?” she asked, her eyes wide with wonder. I cocked my head and listened for a few seconds. “Why yes, it is.”

Isla was so fascinated by my house that when I asked her if she might be available in May for a conference I was going to, she immediately said “yes.”

And then she added shyly that she was also available to stay over. I think she secretly wanted to stay in a haunted house all by herself and listen to the ghostly music all night long. And check out all my occult reference books.

In the end, I knew I wanted to give her a Halloween tarot card deck just like mine, the one she felt most drawn to... and I think I was supposed to use magick to find her a husband!

In next month’s column, you’ll read about how Patty and I hadn’t even boarded the ship before Isla started experiencing things not only in my house, but in my neighborhood! Events are still unfolding as this goes to Press. Stay tuned….

Shelley Wright, an Asheville native, is a paranormal investigator. She owns and runs the web-based Nevermore Mystical Arts and works at Wright’s Coin Shop, both in Asheville. 



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