Most of my psychic experiences take place inside my head. I do not see ghosts with physical eyes nor do I hear voices. I think a question and the answer just comes. It is something between a thought and a voice.
My most memorable encounter was on the night of May 17, 1974. The news had been filled with accounts of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, and the many crimes attributed to the group. Being into peace, love and rock n roll, I only took a passing interest in the SLA, but on that day I came back to my apartment to find my house mates watching a house burn. They caught me up on the events so far. The LAPD had found the SLA hiding place and a shootout started. Tear gas thrown into the home had ignited the building. None of the SLA gang had survived. At the time of the broadcast the house was still in flames. Some of those in the house were named, but the big question of the evening was the whereabouts of Hearst. Nothing would be definite until the ashes cooled, the bodies were retrieved and identified.
Anyway, as I said, not really my thing. I ate dinner, did some reading and went to bed with no great amount of thought on the fate of the SLA. Then as I was drifting off to sleep a voice appeared in my head, saying "Hey, can I talk with you?"
Ok, I thought, I'll play. "Who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Camilla Hall."
My eyes popped open and I looked around the room. I was alone. I remembered the name from the news. "I don't want to talk to you. You're a terrorist. Go away."
There was a brief pause, then the voice said, "Please don't send me away," she said. "It is lonely and cold and dark here. I am afraid."
Still believing I was having an imaginary conversation with myself I decided I could afford to be self-righteous. "Live by the sword, die by the sword."
"Yes," she replied, "I was fine with that until it came down to the actual dying. Now I am lost out here and scared."
"So why me?" I asked. "I don't know you. I don't even like you. What on earth are you doing inside my head?"
"I heard your name spoken out here. You sound like a good person."
Great, I thought, my name is tacked on some bulletin board in the afterlife. And this gal didn't even need a dime to make the call. "Ok," I said, "I'll humor you, since I don't believe any of this is real anyway. Why do you need to talk to me?"
Camilla poured out how little she knew about what it all meant, that she was prepared to go down fighting and that would be it. She had no idea that after the IT there was going to be more -- and it was very dark. I was still feeling self-righteous, pointing out that she chose a way of life that was bound to end violently. She said she knew, but had never really thought about it, being caught up in the rhetoric of the SLA.
After listening to this for awhile, I asked her for something. "Seeing as how I believe this to be all in my head, can you tell me something or show me something that will prove at least to me that this is real."
There was a pause, then the voice said, "I can show you what I remember of my death." Then a movie played out in my head. Like my dreams it contained many inaccuracies, but just enough specifics to convince me I was not crazy. I saw a young woman kneeling at a window, firing what appeared to me to be a rifle. Behind her was another woman, whom I thought was named Natalie. Bullets ripped through this second woman and she fell to the floor crying out in pain. The woman at the window started to turn towards her and was killed instantly with a bullet between her eyes. Then the scene went dark but the movie had not ended. "What happened then?" I asked.
"They took me under the floor," Camilla answered.
The scene remained dark. "Into the basement?" I asked.
"No," she said. "The house didn't have a basement."
"Then what do you mean by under the floor?"
There was silence, then she replied, "I don't know. Just that I was under the floor."
I had had enough. It was time for me to sleep and it was time to get this crazy woman out of my head. "Ok, honey, I am done talking for the night."
"But what am I supposed to do?" She really was persistent.
"Look for a light," I advised. "Go into it and may you find peace." I rolled over and pulled up the covers.
"And if that doesn't work," she pleaded, "may I talk to you again?" Really persistent.
"Yes," I sighed, "but I rather you didn't." She thanked me and cleared out of my head. By morning it was all just a weird fantasy. I did not hear from her again and when I tried to conjure her, to recreate the conversation I found I could only replay the original.
That might have been the end of it except that details from the L.A.P.D. and L.A. Coroner Thomas Noguchi's office started coming out in the days that followed. The first to die -- Camilla Halll and Nancy Ling Perry -- had been shot outside the house. Camilla was shot between the eyes, just as I had seen, and was killed instantly. Nancy fell mortally wounded and her body remained where she fell. Camilla lay only an arm's length from the hole through which she had crawled out and it was through this hole that her friends pulled her body back inside, into an 18" crawl space under the floor where the rest of them died in the subsequent fire. Because she was hidden under a collapsed wall Camilla's body was not recovered for an additional 48 hours, leading to a miscount of the dead and various speculations. None of these specifics were known to me -- or to anyone for that matter -- when I saw them in my head on the night of the fire.
Since then I have had many conversations with the dead in my head. In these encounters I do not ask for proof as I did with Camilla Hall. I accept what I am told, neither believing nor disbelieving.