I’ve heard dead people: Part II

July 20, 2012 — 127 Comments

You’re all still here!  Joy!

Today’s story is a little less straightforward than the last one, but definitely not less strange. It happened about a year ago.

As many of you know, I’ve been doing research for a biographical piece on my favorite Hot Dead Guy, Robert Cornelius.

Although he’s dreamy and delightful, he hasn’t made things easy for me because he didn’t leave any papers behind.  So I’ve had to cast a pretty wide net to find correspondence from him or pertaining to him.

After a while I hit a wall.  I had exhausted all of the possibilities I could think of.  One afternoon I was particularly frustrated and I sat at my desk, stewing.

All of a sudden I got an idea about where to look next.  And then another idea.  That happens sometimes.  If you give your mind time to work on a problem, it can come up with solutions more easily.  So that’s what I assumed it was.

But I became aware of an odd sensation around me.  It felt like static, but not really.  I heard a faint buzzing noise, but the room was completely quiet.  I got the impression of a hazy, bluish veil around me, but nothing was visible.  And I couldn’t help feeling that someone was in the room with me.

After another idea popped into my head from seemingly nowhere, I wondered, “What if these ideas aren’t coming from me?  What if they’ve been given to me by whoever or whatever is here?”  But that would be nuts.  That doesn’t happen except in movies and stuff.  My brain was obviously just playing tricks on me.

So I decided to debunk my own theory.  I said, “Okay, if there’s someone here, tell me something that I don’t know, but that I can easily verify.”  So there.  My brain, though crafty and wily, wouldn’t be able to fake that.  I sat quietly for a few minutes, waiting.  Nothing.  See?  I knew it.  I let my imagination get the best of me, that’s all.

But then I heard a male voice, very clearly, in my head:  There’s a church on the corner of 17th and Spruce.

This is in reference to Philadelphia, by the way.  Robert Cornelius lived there his whole life, so I’ve traveled to Philly many times to do research.  I had never been on Spruce Street. 17th Street, on the other hand, was well-known to me; it’s dotted with hotels and I’ve stayed there many times.

Aha!  I call bullshit on you, brain. 17th Street was the first street that occurred to you since I’ve been there so often.  And Spruce Street is just the first “tree” street you happened to think of (a lot of cross streets in Center City are named after trees).  But that was stupid, because I have no idea what’s on Spruce, therefore neither do you.  This will be an easy one to disprove.  You’re busted, brain, busted!  Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

So I pulled up Philadelphia on Google Maps and looked to see what was at that intersection.

Yeah.  This is the Tenth Presbyterian Church, on the southwest corner of 17th and Spruce.  It’s been there since 1855.

My stomach lurched as I stared at the street view photo on Google Maps.  It could have been a wild guess that happened to be correct against all odds.  But somehow I didn’t think so.

My friends, I can absolutely guarantee that I did not have this information before this incident.  I had never been at or near this intersection.  I didn’t know about this church.  Robert Cornelius was a Presbyterian but he wasn’t a member of the Tenth Presbyterian; his church was much further uptown.

Meanwhile  I still had the sensation of not being alone—the static, the buzzing, and the gauzy veil were all still there—but the energy had shifted somewhat.  Now it felt like whoever was in the room was gloating.  It had a “See? Told ya so” kind of vibe.

The energy gradually dissipated and I felt like I was by myself again.  And that was it.

I’ve had a few other visits from this same mystery guest since then, but those have felt more like someone dropping in to say, “Hey, how’s it going?” and then leaving.  Believe me when I tell you that this has all been Deeply Weird.

So who’s my mystery guest?  Is it Robert Cornelius saying hello to his #1 fan?  Possibly.  Or maybe it’s someone else who decided to lend a helping hand.  I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure.  All I know is that he’s friendly, helpful, and kind of a smartass.

So that’s my story for Part II.  I’m saving the eeriest story for Part III………

127 responses to I’ve heard dead people: Part II


    Dear Madame,
    O. Em. Gee.
    You have the gift!
    That is amazing!
    I cannot wait for #3!!!!!!
    Love, Lis


      It seems that I’ve acquired *something*, Lis, not sure if it’s a full-blown gift or not! Whatever it is, it’s something I didn’t have before. It’s kind of cool but creepy at the same time.


        Dear Madame,
        I knew a lady once, that said when she turned 40…”the veil was lifted”.
        That is how she described her 6th sense capability.
        I think your veil has been lifted.

        Good luck with that!
        No, really.
        I think it is super cool.
        I know you’ll use it well.
        Love, Lis


          That is EXACTLY what happened to me, Lisa. I hit 40 and it was like a switch went on. I like the expression “the veil was lifted” because that’s what it feels like. A lot is still hazy but it’s getting clearer over time. :)


    (shiver) Churches are weird!


    That is so cool. I hope it is him! He has seen you naked!


    Looking forward to part three! :)

    A gripping life July 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I think you should go on ancestry.com and research him. Maybe you can find some of his living relatives. That’s where I find all my dead peeps. I even go to cemeteries for people and take photos of tombstones so they have proof of their relatives. Weebs, I’m on this and looking forward to part 3. You’re not imagining these things… I feel the presence of people whenever I’m researching them. LOVE THIS!


      OMG, Grippy, I knew I loved you. I’m on Ancestry.com all the time–I love that site!! And now that the 1940 census is out, I’m all over it. I’ve looked for info on him there, but it’s all been just the standard census and vital records stuff, etc. I did manage to track down two of his great-great-grandsons, though, not through Ancestry.com but otherwise—they’re very nice guys, although I was disappointed that they bore no resemblance to their dreamy relative.


        Weebs, the mystery is unfolding. I just got off ancestry and found his wife Harriet Comely. And just as you suspected, Robert was quite the stud, as he produced 8 children. (You can pick ’em.) I noticed that his present day family relations have their info on him under lock and key… Damn them!
        Oh, and for the record, I love you, too.


    Hi Madam

    That is really weird. Sometimes I get convinced there is someone around, but I’ve never seen or heard anyone. 

    Are you going to check the church out? Maybe there some reference to him there. Or, if he didn’t go there, maybe you’ll find a reason why he didn’t. 



      Hi Nigel! Maybe someone is visiting you too, who knows… I did visit the church the next time I was in Philly after that incident, but nothing interesting there. Just your garden-variety church. No evidence that he had any ties to the place. The one he attended was much closer to his house, which makes sense. But I knew about that one already, so whoever visited me probably knew that too. Strange goings-on in the Weebles House.


    Smartass…I like that! You’re bringing up something I’ve been thinking of writing about. Not the creepy stuff, but out there nonetheless. Thanks for the inspiration…more contemplation is necessary! :)


    Oooooooh, this is the most fun EVER. No wonder you were so annoyed when Robert Cornelius didn’t win your Hot Dead Guy contest! Do you think the dead guys know? Do you think that they tease each other about it? “Haha, the living women think I’m hotter than you! I WIN!”


    Where was Janice’s scaredy cat when you were experiencing this sensation of paranormal presence? Let me guess. Sitting atop the book with RC’s face on the cover?


      Ha! That would have been perfect. I’m not sure where she was at the time, probably zonked out on the couch, completely indifferent to the whole thing. Animals are supposed to sense paranormal stuff, but I suppose that would require them to be awake and conscious. Mine rarely are.


    You’re making the hairs on neck stand up, and I shaved my head this morning so there’s hardly any there to stand up


      You actually helped inspire this series, Joe—from your posts on ghost stories. So thanks for this. Meanwhile you have the same hairstyle as Mr. Weebles. Guys look hot with shaved heads. You must be quite popular with the gentlemen.


    Here’s hoping that after your story is complete, this fine fellow will become your marketing rep. He sounds like a good guy to have in your corner.


    I love that story!!


    Love it! It’s defintely him. See, I told you RC thought you were smokin’ hot. :-)

    whiteladyinthehood July 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

    You are giving me goosebumps!!!!


    I would never be able to go on the Google Maps ever again.

    My friend was convinced her dorms in Philly were haunted. She found out that the building used to be a nursing home. There apparently was a fire there too. She did a Ouiji Board (which don’t work no matter what anybody says) or something and came up with a name. When she tried looking it up online everything started to go crazy. She also insists the door slammed shut. I did my own investigating and the doors there are very heavy and when not properly closed they will quickly slam and such. Still, there are a lot of unexplained eerie things nonetheless.

    The creepiest paranormal thing ever happened with my sister and a psychic. I can explain some of it but the rest was too specfic about my dead mom. My sister is also a compulsive liar and I could see being rubed into things, but who knows?


      Oooh, intriguing. Where in Philly? And now of course I’m curious about your experience with your sister and the psychic.


        She goes to Temple, a place called Elmira Jeffries. It’s pretty much on the edge of campus. I would say outskirts but that sounds too scary or sexy. I can’t make up my mind.


          I know where Temple’s campus is—Robert Cornelius had a factory building in that area of Philly. It’s the only one of his factory buildings still standing, in fact. Coincidence?? I think not.


    Well I suppose the other alternative is that you are going a bit mad. Or your mind could be playing tricks if you were tired. I don’t know, these things can seem very real, not that I have experienced it.


      I certainly haven’t ruled out the possibility that I’m going mad, Elliot. You just never know, right? I wasn’t tired, though, that much I know. It was early afternoon and I don’t recall being sleeping or fatigued at all. So at least I can rule that out.


    I think you should be writing a horror novel. I know I’d read it. :)


    Part 3 better be the rest of the story. You’re killing me over here. :)


    Great story! I’m looking forward to the next installment.


    You’re all still here! Joy!

    Not me, you’re imagining this. I was kinda weirded out by the ghost story last time and decided that “Fear No Weebles” was a little too out there for me. Why can’t you write nice stories like they have in the Reader’s Digest?

    Moving on–I love this stuff because, like everybody, it’s happened in my own life. Do I believe in these kinds of things? I don’t know. I don’t even know if I believe the ones in my own life (they can all be explained away, although some at a stretch). I know enough about life to know I don’t know anything. I like the mystery.

    I’m interested to see where the third installment takes us.


      Very Socratic philosophy there, Smak.

      I still have trouble believing the incidents that happened to me, even though I know they did. I tried to find rational explanations for them and I couldn’t. So I can only assume that whatever it is, it’s just something I am unable to understand fully.

      As for Part III, you’re a history guy, so you’ll probably find it quite interesting.


    “After another idea popped into my head from seemingly nowhere, I wondered, “What if these ideas aren’t coming from me? What if they’ve been given to me by whoever or whatever is here?” But that would be nuts.”

    I know exactly how this feeling is real. I have no idea were the ideas for my cartoons originate. It is like I am being fed by an outside source. This is true because they amuse me and entertain me as though someone else did create them. I laugh at my own sketches. Is Erato now the muse of cartoons too ?


      I bet Erato is a cool enough chick to deal in cartoons, Carl. Why not?

      I suppose a lot of creativity happens that way, ideas come in strange and unexpected ways. I’m still pretty sure that the ideas that came to me are from my head somehow, although they really felt like they were being handed over by someone. The rest, however, well, that wasn’t from me.


    it’s dead guy friday! lol. i always love it. xoxo


    I believe in all this and it figures that the help you’re getting is from someone is kind of fun and a smartass. I love these stories, MW and you certainly weave them well. Seems as if it’s a benevolent spirit though, so it’s kind of creepy, but kind of a cool compliment to your whole groovy energy. :) Looking forward to Part III.


      Thanks B! It’s definitely benevolent, not at all scary or unnerving. But if it really IS Robert Cornelius, I wish he’d materialize or something so I can get my cheap thrills. ;)


    Hey, can he get my ancestors to help me with my genealogical research? Especially my dead-end (ha!) brick wall of a GGGGreat grandfather McDowell?

    Now my maternal grandparents are another story. My grandfather was a writer (in Serbian, unfortunately for me), and he died when I was a baby. But I’ll get the feeling at times that he’s interested in my endeavors.

    On a cool, damp, cloudy May day last year I was at the cemetery where he and my grandmother are buried. And I was saying a quiet thank you for the help and inspiration. As I left, I ran my hand across the top of the granite headstone. It was cold, until I reached the area over my grandfather’s name. It was warm, as if the sun had been shining on it all day. The sun hadn’t been out. I like to think he was there visiting.

    So you know I’m looking forward to part 3! :)


      I sympathize, JM. I’ve hit a wall with my own ancestors as well. I’m stuck at around 1820 with some of them, unfortunately there are a lot of incredibly common Irish last names in my family so it’s been very difficult finding the right ones out of hundreds of people with the exact same name.

      That’s a very sweet story about you and your grandfather’s grave. I bet that was him saying hi and sending a hug. Ask him for help with your genealogical research, maybe he’ll oblige you! :)


    Maybe the clue about the church was just to get your attention so when he doled out the good stuff, you’d listen?


    Interesting experience- I look forward to reading more!


    I hear voices, well a voice, when I write. At first I thought I was crazy.


    You might have some medium ability there — seriously… I await part 3…


      Well, to be honest, I do have some medium abilities these days, Sandee–I never did until I started practicing reiki, that’s when the dam broke and all kinds of zany things started happening. So I’ve had some very odd experiences regarding people who are no longer with us.


    Wow: someone really wants his story told. Can’t wait to hear what happens next.


      It would seem that way, wouldn’t it? I appreciated the help, unexpected as it was! Part III is about a different experience, but of course if anything further happens with this, I’ll be updating everyone. :)


    Very cool story, Miss Weebles. Nothing cool like this ever happens to me. I’m envious.


    Who ya gonna call?
    Maybe if you’re really nice to him, he’ll start writing the thing.


    Robert Cornelius is such a hottie. I can’t believe all of the hot dead guys I never got to meet! What a great category!


    Dear M. Weebles–
    You must purchase a helmet and wire it with a ghost cam and mic! We need to see, hear and feel these spookilicious happenings… Awesome awesome writing.. can’t wait for more!


    another reason we need to chat, my dear… despite my psychic deafness, i ave been aware of things that defy the logic of my hard-wired little enginerd brain. i have also seen charlatans attempting to exploit human grief by claiming to converse with the dead…and i need to help someone sort out the differences.


      I could do a whole blog post on some of those fucking fraud “psychics” like James Van Pragh. I hope karma visits him soon because payback for him will SUCK.

      And yes, we need to chat.


    Perhaps it is an opening of the mind?….I am relatively new still to reading your blog, so I take this as all being a fairly new experience with you trying to logically digest it at this time? This is very interesting and speaking of a historical “hottie” that man is something else ;-)


      Isn’t he the hottest thing ever?? You have excellent taste, Amethyst.

      I think you’re right about this being an opening of sorts, over the past few years I’ve experienced other weird things like this, and it all seems to coincide with my becoming a reiki practitioner. Maybe it’s because I’m more open to the energy now. I’m definitely trying to sort it all out and digest it all, that’s for sure.


        It is definitely interesting and I would agree that since you are more open to the energy, that would have an effect. There is all kinds of phenomena going on all the time and when you think it from the perspective that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it presents some very interesting occurences. I think many people have these types of experiences, but it’s a bit uncomfortable and sometimes even frightening to acknowledge something we may not quite understand.


    Awesome! I love a good ghost story. As long as nothing bad happens, although I’m pretty sure RC wouldn’t let anything bad happen to his #1 fan.


    The ghost is sarcastic? Remind you of anyone you know? Could be messages from a relative. I’m not inclined to believe in ghosts but I do believe that messages from relatives can be sent via angels. (Yes I know believing in angels is as fantastical as believing in ghosts.)


      I have no issue with the belief in angels, Wanda. Could be a sarcastic angel coming to send me a message, I certainly can’t rule that out. The deceased relatives I knew weren’t sarcastic, but maybe it’s one I never met. So many possibilities here…


    Oh, I had a thought. You could take this story and spin it into a great trashy romance novel. The ghost could lead you through his life story-you achieve his life long wish of having an autobiography and you straighten up some sad misconception about him and his life-and in the end he leads you to a currently living relative that is a dead ringer for himself. Its been done before but there really are basically 4-5 formulas for those books and they still sell like hot cakes. There…your new career path. One request. If you do write this story, could you make the leading lady a middle aged slightly rotund woman instead of a twenty something with a 2 inch waist and a 45 inch bust and make the leading man hot and he loves women with some meat and brains….


      LOVE IT, Wanda! As for your request about the leading lady, you betcha. I’ve had enough with skinny little chippies. We need a gal who’s got it going on all over the place.


        It isn’t the skinny 20 year olds reading these books anyway. They are too busy beating off the 20 year old men. Its us old girls who are reading them and I think its time we had someone we can relate too! So Ms Weebles, it is time for you to put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard!


    I have heard a few stories like yours from people who I don’t think would lie about that sort of thing. I, on the other hand, have experienced absolutely nothing like this. At all. Ever. I don’t know what it is about the paranormal, but apparently I bore the *beep* out of it.


      I bored the shit (you can curse on my blog, we’re all friends here) of the paranormal too, for the most part, until a few years ago. I rarely had those experiences either. Somehow the dam just broke all of a sudden.


    Ooo Robert C looks so badass! I’m glad your ghost is sexy.


    Love it!!! As you said, we can never really know, but that would be great if it was the man himself. So dreamy, and he does look as though he’d be friendly, helpful, and very much a smartass.


    Well, did you go to the church? I am wondering why the voice choose that unknown place to point you at?


    dear Madame,
    I was right!!!
    Ask him if he has a friend.
    Young, and dead if possible.
    You know my preferences. :)
    love, Lis


    Ooh, I have goosebumps reading these! I’ve seen and heard ghosts most of my life and can pick up psychic info all the time, so I can relate.


    Your ghost story is my afternoon blog delight. I can relate very well to the brain tricking part. It’s what you have to do with ghosts.


    Ive been reading your blog all morning and its a whole bunch of greatness! However this particular post gave me CRAZY GOOSEBUMPS when I read it. I’m house sitting in the country and the TV keeps going on and off all the time, and yesterday I called my boyfriend for dinner and a teenage girl yelled back “Yeah!” like as if I was calling her. I stood there frozen… and then called him again, meekly. AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN! I hate ghosts! The thought that ghosts could be making me google stuff for them from behind is terrifying. My google searh history is disgusting, ghosts have some sick, sick problems.


    This was intriguing. I’ve had similar encounters and you are the first to experience it like me. Madame what is your secrete to having such a great audience?


    Whoaaaaaaaa, how trippy!!!


    The blue veil is strange. I think I live with a ghost, Weebs, so I don’t think any of this is too strange. This ghost is not always around, but he/she has played tricks with the light switches. Anyway, I don’t doubt any of this. Fascinating.

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