Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yippee-aye-yay, Yippee-aye-yo...Ghost writers in the sky

By S. Derrickson Moore
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — Almost ready to move on to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other year-end holidays?
Not so fast.
The costumes aren’t over for another weekend, if you’re planning to dress up in really-really retro-wear for Doña Ana Arts Council’s Renaissance ArtsFaire Nov. 7 and 8.
And it looks like we aren’t ready to bid adios to the ghosts for awhile yet, either. Maybe never, the way several of our local haunts are attracting attention, fans, and paranormal investigators.
Generally, we can count on the ghosts taking a rest after Halloween and Dia de los Muertos events, continuing today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mesilla’s Plaza and ending with the final Day of the Dead candlelight procession from Mesilla Plaza to San Albino Cemetery at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
But is that really it for the year?
Lately, I feel like I’ve become ghost writer ... not the kind that writes under someone else’s name, but someone who devotes a growing amount of time chronicling ghosts and ghostly issues.
In recent months, in addition to the burgeoning number of Halloween and Day of the Dead events, exhibits, posole parties, balls, bobbings, et al, it seems like a regular ghost beat has developed, starting with a summer field trip to artist Josh Bond’s “confirmed haunted” historic old adobe complex in Cuchillo. Neither grandson Alex the Great (a confirmed ghost aficionado) nor I experienced any ghostly phenomena, though we did share a spookily-close bat flyby in the old Cuchillo Bar.
I’ve written about two local ghost hunting groups, Southwest Paranormal Investigations and Las Cruces Paranormal Investigators (formerly Las Cruces Ghost Hunters) and attended two “reveals” of audio and visual allegedly paranormal activity at the old Tortilla Factory and the Double Eagle in Mesilla.
I’ve done stories on the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s annual Ghosts of the Past Tours, which focused more on real-life historical figures than the ghostly part, with a few exceptions, like portrayals of La Llorona.
I interviewed Joan and James Burnett, who just opened the new Metaphysical Life Enrichment Center at 2600 El Paseo Road. They said they have done some work with ghostly and paranormal activity.
Some of the paranormal investigators, here and on popular TV shows, seem to have little interest in “busting” or dispatching ghosts, but would rather focus on gathering material proof of ghostly activities.
Josh Bond, on the other hand, has a laissez-faire approach to the whole haunting biz and, except for the occasional drained battery or electrical disturbance, seem to enjoy casually hanging out with his resident spirits. Artists are used to muses and it’s probably not that much of a stretch.
And I’ve talked to some brave individuals who have worked alone, investigating some pesky hauntings, including the Rev. Martha Turner. Like Jennifer Love Hewitt on “The Ghost Whisper,” Rev. Turner feels we should concentrate on helping lost ghostly souls to go into the light and on with their spiritual journeys.
I agree.
I wrote my first book, “Tenny Hale: American Prophet,” about one of the most documented psychics of our time. Hale was also a parapsychology pioneer. She thought much of what we consider to be poltergeist activity was actually manifestation of displaced adolescent energy and sometimes older (living) souls who had not learned to handle their psychic powers.
Maybe that’s a good thing for the paranormal aficionados. With all the proliferating ghost hunters and apparently more efficient and skillful ghost whispers these days, we could run out of ghosts pretty quickly, as they move into the light or get irked at all the spook stalkers and refuse to come out to play.
On the other hand, we’ll probably never run out of teen angst, so we can count on an inexhaustible supply of poltergeist activity.
To each his own.
But frankly, I’d rather move into some new seasonal activities and spend my time communing with a trinity of spirits who’ve proven themselves over the eons to be boon companions and infallible fountains of faith, love, sound advice and hope — the Father, the Son and my all-time favorite ghost: the holy one.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at

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