Friday, March 31, 2006

Freaky Friday

Okay, so I was haphazradly watching Montel the other day while I was changing diapers in my room. Montel had the famous psychic Sylvia Browne on TV answering questions from the audience. Normally I'm not into any talk show other than Oprah because they're full of nothing but garbage like "I've had 6 paternity tests and I still don't know who my baby's daddy is!" (Maury), or "I want to marry my brother" (who else, Jerry Springer). But Montel occassionally has some good stuff on his show so I give him the benefit of the doubt before I change the channel.

So on this day, the all-knowing oracle Sylvia was on hand to answer the audiences' questions about missing children, visits from dead people, future careers, money problems, and the like. One guest sparked my interest when she said a ghost called her on the cell phone. And he left a voicemail. I was like "What? Ghosts are calling people now on their cells? What's next, an e-mail from beyond?"

Jokes aside, she had proof of the ghost caller. On the night of the incident, she said, her husband had done her a favor and slept in the guest room. He has a bad snoring problem and didn't want to bother his sleep deprived wife. At around 3 am, the wife received a call from her husband's cell phone. She was fast asleep and didn't answer. She saw the Caller ID and the voicemail in the morning. She asked her husband if he had called her at 3 am last night and he said no, his cell phone has been dead since yesterday and he forgot to recharge it last night. Confused, the wife took her husband's cell phone and indeed, it was dead. After putting it on the charger, there was no record that her number was dialed from his phone at 3 am. Then she checked the voicemail. This is what it said:

"Hi.....It's Johnny...." followed by some mumbo jumbo we couldn't understand, but "Hi, It's Johnny" was clearly audible. Problem was, the husband's name wasn't Johnny. So who was this?

Sylvia Browne, without skipping a beat, says, "It was your spirit guide, your guardian angel in a sense. This spirit is always with you, guiding you through life. He just wanted to say "Hi" and let his presence be known to you."

Okay, so now I was freaked out. I do believe in the paranormal and ghosts, and also believe in guardian angels. But why do they need to call us on our cell phones? Well, actually, I'd rather they call me on the cell phone than appear to me in person out of nowhere, that would probably make me faint.

I've had several strange encounters in my life with near death misses to reaffirm my belief in guardian angels. No, I've never seen them or gotten a cell phone call from them, but so many times it's been like someone silently tells you to "look out, there's a car coming" or "go check if the kids are okay" that I'm convinced that we do have an angel assigned to us by God to make sure we don't trip over ourselves along the journey of life.

I once had a strange incident happened at my maternal grandmother's house. Her house was haunted. She had an incident with a poltergeist once and actually had an exorcism done in her house by a Muslim Imam. In Pakistan, people don't really believe in ghosts as much as they believe in Jinns. So the Imam came and read Sura Jinn and prayed for the ghosts/Jinns to leave. He sprinkled holy water all over the house too. Smoke started gathering my uncles's room for some reason. The children were taken out of the house and sent to live with a relative prior to the exorcism for obvious reasons. Only my grandmother, grandfather, and the Imam were present during the exorcism. As the smoke filled the room, my grandmother walked towards it and said, "I don't know what we did to bother you, but we apologize for it. We have children in this house and I would greatly appreciate if you could leave this home or pick a corner of the home to keep as your domain." The smoke dissipated and the house was declared "clean". The ghost decided to make it's home inside the walk-in storage closet, and my grandmother was made aware of this. After that day, everything was fine in the house, and everyone knew that if you ever needed anything from the storage closet, you just needed to make sure you turned on the lights. The ghost didn't want to harm us, it just didn't want to leave the home (I think it may have belonged to him in the past.)

Fast forward a couple years later, my mother takes us to grandma's house to visit. At night, it got cold. My grandmother's house didn't have a heating system, the climate in Karachi is usually hot, hotter, and hottest, so if you feel cold you wear a sweater or put on extra blankets. Problem was, the extra blankets were kept in THE STORAGE CLOSET!!! My aunts, who were unmarried and living at home at the time, refused to go to the storage room after daylight. My mother refused to believe in ghosts. She was already married and moved out of the house when the poltergeist incident happened and thought the whole thing was made up as a joke. My mom told my aunts, "You all are so silly to believe in ghosts. They don't exist. I'm going to go to the storage room and get the extra blankets, AND I won't turn on the lights!" To prep you for what's about to happen, let me tell you that my grandmother stored the blankets in an old crib inside the storage room. Cribs make excellent storage facilities once the kids have outgrown them.

So my mom went to the storage room and came back with the blankets, but was running. After she came back to the room she started laughing.

My aunt: "What happened? Did you see the ghost?"

My mother: "Kind of."

Me (at age 8): "What happened, tell me!"

My mother: "Well, as I stuck my hand underneath the pile of blankets in the crib, something grabbed my hand from underneath. I immediately pulled my hand away quickly, grabbed the blankets and ran out. I think I left the door open."

Me: "Oh no, he's gonna come and get us!"

My mother: "No he won't, he was just playing a joke. But I'll go back and turn on the lights and close the door so you feel safe."

Me: "Thanks."

Cut to my aunts cracking up because my mother finally became a believer that ghosts exist.


opinionatedinjerzee said...

hey, where are you?? havent come by the blog lately!!

Unknown said...

All right, in the spirit (ha ha) of honesty, I'll have to say, my first thoughts as I began reading this were you're losing it, maybe too many diaper changes today, too much daytime television or something (j/k). But then I continued reading, and found myself agreeing with the idea of guardian angels.

What is it with Pakistanis and superstitions? I can still remember my mom saying all kinds of mumbo jumbo to me when I'd wake up as a child from a bad dream, as well as lots of various methods of avoiding "nazir" and other evil eye nonsense.

Liked the ghost story, made me smile.

FBT said...

You are right about Pakistanis and ghosts. My best friend at school was a Pakistani and she was a purveyor of excellent ghost stories as well.

Chic Mommy said...

You know I don't know what it is, but my sister and I were discussing the other day, how come all the ghosts live in Paksitan? We rarely had any ghostly incidents in the U.S. but every other Pakistani you meet has an excellent ghost story to tell. I think I'm actually going to pull back the Freaky Friday idea. Aside from the fact that I don't want everyone to think I'm like that nut on Discovery Channel's "Most Haunted", I'm beginning to freak myself out! I made a little list today of all the ghost stories passed around in our family, and damn it's long, embarrassing and freaky. I need to stick to happy thoughts happy thoughts....

simply me said...

You know, I think the reason all these Jinns are in Pakistan and not here is because they can't get visas;)

Masti-boy said...

See this real ghost story video

Lisa said...

We've had some freaky stuff happen too. Most of it has occurred after my BIL committed suicide.

Your mom is like SO brave, because there is no way in hell I would be going back to that closet.

Sylvia Browne...I can't tell if she's real or not either. Sometimes she's soooo...mean to people. Cuts them off and doesn't even let them tell their story. Montel has her on there a lot, it seems. I used to like James Van Praagh too...another I can't tell if he's real or just really smart.

Chic Mommy said...

gosh Lisa, so sorry to hear about your loss. I agree with you on Sylvia, I think she is rude and cuts people off, I think it's part of her act to make herself seem credible, as if she's thinking "I already know what you're going to say, so I'll stop you right there."