Our friend, Michael, collects old blues and jazz records from the early 1900’s, and newspapers from that same era. He especially loves comics sections from those ancient papers and tabloids. We met him and his lovely wife, Lila, recently in Toledo, Ohio, to visit the marvellous Glass Pavilion, which is part of the Toledo Museum of Art. During dinner that evening, Michael turned to me and said he’d bought a box of newspapers from the 1880’s that, even though they smelled like they’d been sitting in a musty attic for 100 years – and they probably were – the newsprint was still readable. Yet, Michael said, there was something a little strange about his treasures.

“One evening, I spread some of the newspapers on the floor in my work room so I could read the stories,” he said. “Suddenly, the newspapers seemed – I don’t know how to describe it – but they felt different. Then it seemed like I could feel the presence of all the people who had owned these newspapers before me. It was as if they were in the same room with me, looking over my shoulder and reading the newspapers that were once theirs. Yet I was alone, sitting on the floor.”

He was quiet a moment, then said, “Do you think I was imagining it?”

Michael is a jazz musician and, like many creative individuals, is very right-brained and highly imaginative. In other words, he could be susceptible to extra-sensory sensations.

“It’s quite possible you were picking up something,” I said, and briefly explained how psychometry might be at work. Basically, psychometry is holding an object and using your intuition to “read” information about the person who owned that object. This can be done because the object picks up the energy of its owner; this is similar to how a fingerprint left on an object can reveal whoever handled that object.

But psychometry doesn’t just involve physical items. When walking into an empty room that, many years ago, had experienced a violent event or had experienced negative energy, an intuitive person might pick up the feeling that something bad had happened there, and immediately want to leave.

Michael nodded as I talked. “So,” he said, “dead people aren’t going to come back for their newspapers?”

I laughed. “You’ve seen too many movies.”

Later, as I replayed the conversation in my head, I recalled stories clients had told me about how some items bought at antique stores or garage sales had turned out to have odd energies attached to them. It seemed especially true for jewellery. Oddly, old mirrors sometimes contained the psychic residue of their previous owners as well.

Several years ago, Cloris and her husband, James, bought an antique four-poster bed at an antique mall. They were refurbishing their Victorian-era house and figured the old bed would blend in perfectly with their décor. However, on the second night the couple spent in the bed, Cloris felt like she was being attacked. She woke up gasping for breath, and her arms hurt, as if they had been pinched. She looked over at her husband, who was sound asleep. She pushed herself out of bed and walked into the bathroom for an aspirin. From down the hall, she heard James’ contented snore. Convinced she had just had a bad dream, she went back to bed.

The next night, the same thing happened – she was rudely awakened from a deep sleep feeling like a block of stone was sitting on her chest, weighing her down. She tried to cry out, but her voice stuck in her throat. And just as suddenly as it had come, the feeling vanished.

And James slept peacefully beside her.

After Cloris told me her story in my office, I asked if she knew anything about the bed’s history. No, she said – who asks about a piece of furniture’s former owner? I centred myself and concentrated on the bed, and felt there was a female spirit attached to it that somehow felt threatened by Cloris’ physical presence in the bed. Interestingly, I sensed that if the bed had been bought for use by a single male, there would have been no problem.

Cloris said she wasn’t about to start sleeping in another room. That evening, she and James dismantled the bed, then carted the pieces to the city dump. Then they drove to a furniture store, bought a brand new bed – faux Victorian – and they’ve been sleeping like hibernating bears ever since.

I’m certainly not saying you should stop buying second-hand items – my husband, Benjamin, buys used books all the time and he’s never reported anything strange about them. (Though some of the mystery and horror novels he gets are pretty strange to begin with.) I’m just suggesting that you use your intuition when purchasing something previously owned – if you don’t feel right about the item, even if it’s a great bargain, then it probably isn’t for you. Because the last thing you want to buy is someone else’s troubles.

If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at mail @ And please visit me again!


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