Your paranormal stories, part 2.

More paranormal stories from you, dear readers and Instagram followers. More to come later.



I was around 8 or 9 and playing with my two best friends in the creek behind her house. Since it was a chilly fall day, we weren’t down in the creek, just on the banks.

We heard someone humming a made up jazzy be-boppy type song. So we started to call out: “Hello?!” And this person spoke back. He was a little boy. His name was Tyler. We tried to get him to come out where we could see him so we could play, but he kept insisting he was right in front of us and not hiding. He began his made up humming song again, and stopped responding to us talking to him. Slowly his voice moved down the creek. As a child I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t see him. I was not scared at all. My friends were baffled as well.

Then we heard someone walking through the leaves across the creek from us. “Hello?” we asked, “have you girls seen my son Tyler?” a woman asked. We answered emphatically that we had just been talking to him, and that he had walked away down the creek, but we couldn’t see him. “Where are you?” we asked, confused again because we could not see this woman, either. “I am right across the creek from you.” she replied. Again, as a child, I was not scared at all during this encounter. Simply confused about why we couldn’t see these people.

We heard her walking away – and then nothing. We were never able to find “Tyler” again even though we would his name every time we were at the creek.

Looking back as an adult, it scares me. But I never felt scared that day. I have tried doing research through old newspaper articles but have not been able to find anything about a missing boy. Because of this, it makes me wonder about the multiverse theory and perhaps this being some kind of touching point between two realities. I was just home again, visiting my family, and noticed a HUGE power station across the street, close to the area where this “meeting” took place. I wonder if there is a bunch of energy these spirits were able to draw from to have such a clear experience. If they are spirits.


As I was 5 or 6 I guess, it happened in Syria. I was staying that day at my auntie’s. It was 3 A.M. and I was sitting with my bigger brother (14) and my cousin (12). They were at the computers searching for creepy stories. I heard my brother come across the “Bloody Mary” legend. They wanted to try it.

My cousin took a candle and he lit it. They both started saying “Bloody Mary” in front of the mirror with that candle. Suddenly, the lights went out, and a red-orange light was in that mirror. I didn’t say a word, I just watched. Then suddenly I swear to God, there was someone in the mirror. I don’t know if it was a demon or “Bloody Mary”. I was too scared to think at that moment. I was hiding under a blanket and crying. I was really scared. My brother and cousin came in the room and the lights went back on. I asked them what had happened, but they just said that they were playing a stupid game. But how could they lie to me? I saw that thing in the mirror, and so did they, but they wouldn’t admit it. I always wanted to ask my brother about this, but I guess he is going to say that I’m crazy or something.


My husband and our 2 kids lived in an apartment for 12 years. One time, when my son was around 7, I asked him to take a shower. About 5 minutes later I saw a little shadow run from my room, where the shower was, to my kids’ room. I yelled for him to get into the shower, and about 30 seconds later I hear the water turn off and my son comes from my room. My daughter asked me who I was yelling at.

My husband and I also saw an older lady that would walk from my kids’ room to ours. We never saw her at the same time, except one night when we were laying on the couch watching TV. I saw her, sat up and looked at my husband. He responded: “Yes… yes, I saw her.”

One night when we were laying in bed, I heard something fall. I got up and turned on the light. I walked to the other side of the room and picked up a statue of a woman with her son that was given to me when my son battled cancer. That was what had fallen to the floor.  My son is still alive and the statue was at the BACK of my dresser, and it fell off te FRONT of the dresser.


Before I was born, my parents had another daughter, but she died when she was 1 years old. I’ve never met her. But when I was like 8 years old I woke up in the middle of the night, and I saw a girl in white walking downstairs. I tried to follow her but she was faster, and she was slowly disappearing while she was walking. Until this day, I still believe it was her.


This happened when I was around 20. My sister had died in 1985 when she was hit by a train. She in a wheelchair from a previous accident, and the train may have been a suicide. The year was 1991 and I was sleeping. I had an overwhelming feeling that someone was watching me. I opened my eyes, and next to my bed a person in a wheelchair was looking at me. It was dark, but I could see the outline of the figure and felt the presence. I was not afraid, but almost calm. I got out of my bed and turned on the light, and the figure was gone. Shortly after that I had a car accident I should have died in, but obviously lived. As a Christian I believe in the afterlife and spirits, and I’m not sure what to make of it after all these years.


About three years ago I had gone on a trip with an ex-girlfriend. We were on the way back just above a city called Lynchburg. We had to pass through this city on the highway heading towards another city called Danville. Now, Danville is about two hours south of Lynchburg. So as we get near Lynchburg I see a large highway sign for an exit, but the exit sign says to take it to enter Danville, the city that’s two hours in the other direction. I started thinking about how strange that is, and that it couldn’t be right. Suddenly I’m waking up as I’m driving. It reminded me of coming out of anesthesia after getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Everything slowly came into focus. We were driving on a completely different highway now, heading West whereas we were originally heading South. Neither me nor my ex-girlfriend could remember how we got there. We drove back to the highway and after ten minutes of driving we reached the same place, and now the exit sign is correct, simply indicating a routine exit.

My second story. I live in a very rural area. However, the local post office is about five minutes away. I had forgotten to drop off a package earlier that day and decided I’d do it after work. I drove up after dark that night to place the package in a drop box. After doing so I was headed to my car when I noticed something. There is an abandoned building about thirty yards behind the post office. I could see into the open doorway and saw a figure standing there. I though it was either some teens messing around or a drunk, so I decided to screw with them. I got in my car and drove a little closer. I was going to flick my beams into the building. When I moved a bit closer I noticed a feeling of dread in me, a horrible feel of doom – all the hair on my body stood up and it felt like electricity was coursing through me. I flicked on the lights and I will never forget what I saw. A figure was standing there, its skin was as pale as porcelain and its hair was jet black and very long. It wore a small faded dress, but it had no face – completely blank, just nothing.  I drove as fast as I could out of there, and I never went back after dark.

What it’s like to work in a Finnish prison. Interview with Adnan Balic.

Books, Bullets and Bad Omens continues its excursions into the darker outer fringes of Finnish society. This time: an interview with my old buddy Adnan Balic, one of the folks who stand between convicted prisoners and the rest of us, working to ensure that released prisoners have a better chance at re-integration back into society.


What’s your background? Tell us your story, in your own words.

I was born in ´84 in the Jugoslavian republic called Bosnia and Hertsegovina. To non-natives this area is mainly known for its bloody war in the ´90s and Sarajevo Olympic Games where Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen won two medals. I had a normal childhood before “big boys” destroyed it and had to move to a remote area called Finland in ´93. Nowadays I call myself Bosnian-Finn and I work in a prison a project called “Prison term as a possibility”! focusing mainly on foreign prison population.

Before starting your work in the prison, did you have any personal experience of the justice system?

Not really. I haven’t had any contact professionally with the justice system although I’ve heard stories about it throughout the years mainly for its “easy” reputation. Previously I’ve worked as a supervisor with refugees for over a year.

Walk us through a day at your job, from the moment you walk in through the gates!

I started in March this year so I´m quite at the beginning. My day starts usually from 7:00am to 8:00 am if I´m in Saramäki prison. Usually there are couple of days a week when I travel to some other prison or if we have some team training in the project. If my day starts at Saramäki prison then third of the day is some kind of contact making, third may be talking to a prisoner and the rest could be meetings and discussing with my work colleague and other workers or teams. Let me note that I have to open fourteen doors before I get to my office and start my day. Not exactly what one would call `a normal office`.

Prisons are known for all the various urban legends regular people attach to them: rapes, killings, gangs etc. How realistic are their ideas? Are some of these urban legends actually true?

I would say that TV-shows have a lot to do with these kinds of imaginations or thoughts. Most famous of these being maybe OZ. Nevertheless these are places where some of the most dangerous people are being held. Saramäki was built in 2007 so I don’t think that it has a reputation as the previous Kakola- prison. On the contrary Saramäki brands itself as a modern and well sectioned and well organized prison. I would say that occasional violence does occur but not really things mentioned above. Prison hierarchy on the other hand is true and it has different levels.

Are the prisoners dangerous, on average?

Some of them are. Of course there are violent prisoners and perhaps the most dangerous ones are those that are unpredictable. A prisoner may be dangerous if he´s had a bad day or something else is troubling him. Also mix users are can be dangerous. So on average not really but one has to remember that these are prisons where you don’t have to be afraid but healthy aware.

Are there any “famous” prisoners at Saramäki? Have you came across them?

“Famous” prisoners would be those that had a lot of media coverage at some point due to the crime they committed or maybe just being a legendary prisoner. I´ve seen paper clips from the ´60-´90s about these “legends” and read their stories. Some of them are very interesting. At the moment I´m not really sure if there are famous prisoners, there could be but I haven´t come across them at least not yet.  Or have I?

How do the prisoners spend their days? What do they do with all that time?

There is a lot that one can do in prison and there are a lot of different possibilities. You can work and there are couple of cell sections for workers. You can study and finish your second degree studies, and some high school courses. There are also different rehabilitation courses and for prisoners with violent history there are anger management courses. In Saramäki there is a church and a mosque, library so if nothing else one can read for the whole time spent in prison. Gyms of course are very popular in prisons. Inmates in closed sections have to be more creative because usually their cells are closed at 16pm. There are those who choose to serve their time quietly and mainly keep to themselves the whole time which is of course possible. In short, if you are active and have the will you can “do a lot” in prison.

What has been your most challenging moment in working at Saramäki?

When you start in a project the beginning is usually a bit challenging. The project has its own sets and goals the prison has its own house rules which you have to learn so you couldn’t cause any problematic situations. Since my job is to improve foreigners conditions in prison, that will be challenging mainly because there are over 60 nationalities in Finnish prisons but a bit less than that in Saramäki prison of course. There are inmates that speak only their native language so that can create misunderstandings between them and prison staff. One of my goals is to reduce this communication barrier and be some kind of cultural in-between person during these two years that I´m assigned to this position. In this project we need partners from organizations to volunteers with different culture and language knowledge. In ten years the amount of foreign prisoners has increased by 75% in Finnish prisons and this of course challenges prisons and the staff. Prison sentences do not only affect people that are in prisons but also their families during and after their penalties.

Do you think the Finnish prison and justice systems are fair? Should they be more harsh? Less harsh?

Maybe I wouldn’t use the word fair here, is it good? Certainly it is. On the average prison sentences in Finland are quite short. Adding to that is the staff from social worker to psychologist, pastor, dentist, doctor etc. Finnish justice system provides possibilities to inmates and if you compare this to some other European prisons one could easily note that being inside is easier than being outside. Evidence that supports this claim are Finnish open prisons which in and out of themselves are quite interesting. (You can´t “escape” from an open prison – you can leave without a permission) yet you are serving prison sentence. Of course to someone like me who´s been working in prison for only couple of months and to someone from the outside things might seem not that bad in Finnish prison but the fact is that prison is a place where your freedom is if not totally taken away at least reduced quite a lot..

Writing to a serial killer. A brief “memoir”.

For a suburban kid like me who grew up in a safe neighborhood surrounded by predictable events, evil occasionally seems so intangible. It feels like something that happens somewhere far away, and the only access I have to studying it are books, films and documentaries, flickering images on a screen or printed words on a page.

At one point around 2009, I was overcome with an almost obsessive need to have something “tangibly evil” in my hand. I suddenly understood fan girls who will rip the shirts off of their favorite singers just to get a piece of canvas, something physical to hold and touch. I sometimes wonder if they don’t go to such extremes in a desperate effort to somehow explain their obsession to themselves: “This piece of shirt/this autograph will help me explain what’s going on in my mind if I just meditate on it hard enough!

One thing is for certain, though: those were my thoughts in the Summer of 2009, when I picked up a pen and wrote a letter to serial killer Richard Ramirez.


For those of you who don’t know who he was, Ramirez was a brutal serial killer who murdered 14 people in California in the early 1980s. His modus operandi included breaking into his victims’ homes in the middle of the night and killing them – hence his famous nickname “The Night Stalker”. He was caught in 1985 and sentenced to death, but due to a long delay of some sort ended up dying of natural causes in prison in 2013.

Looking up his address on the internet was relatively easy – the guy had actually placed an ad for a pen pal on a site called His ad was easy-going and to-the-point, as though written by a surfer dude looking for other cool dudes and dames to hang out with over summer. If you had only read the ad without looking up the name of the person who had placed it, you may have believed the guy was in prison for some minor crime, like stealing a car maybe, or getting caught with marijuana in his pockets.

The first letter I wrote to him was a long, rambling biography of myself. I wasn’t particularly careful in relaying details of my personal life, but then again, if Ramirez would have managed to bust out of prison, it’s pretty unlikely he would have ended up in Finland… The letter was a fairly typical one for someone who hadn’t written too many letters before: a long monologue where one feels as though every single thing about everything needs to be told in that one letter; since then, I have grown much more patient, and more cognizant of the fact that the point of correspondence is longevity – everything doesn’t need to be written onto one letter. The back-and-forth nature of correspondence is part of the enjoyment.

Anyways, I put the letter in the mail, expecting homicidal psychopath Ramirez to be so enchanted by the details of my suburban student life that he would no doubt reply to my letter immediately.

Didn’t happen. A response didn’t arrive at all.

I’m generally not the kind of person who tries once and gives up. Quite the opposite, in fact: for me, a “No” is just a step on the way to a “Yes”. So I decided to do some research and write again.

I read Philip Carlo’s excellent book The Night Stalker with the mindset of looking for clues as to what might get a response from Ramirez. My initial plan after reading the book was to pretend to be a Satanist (which Ramirez himself was) and write a letter praising the Lord of the Underworld, and recounting all kinds of made-up evil deeds I had done. I sketched just such a letter, complete with inverted crosses and references to Milton’s Paradise Lost.

When I read the letter out loud to myself, I burst into laughter. It was hilarious. Hilariously stupid.

Though I had wasted my time drafting it (anybody with half a brain would be able to smell the phoniness from a mile away), it lead me to a pivotal realization: if you’re sitting in a cell 23 hours a day, surrounded by white tile walls, maybe it’s not text and talk you’re looking for from a friendly stranger in the outside world – maybe it’s pictures! As Hannibal Lecter says in that scene in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) where he dreams of a cell with a view:

I’ve been in this room for eight years now Clarice, and I know they’ll never let me out, not while I’m alive. What I want is a view where I can see a tree, or even water.

So I borrowed my wife’s camera and went to work photographing essentially anything and everything there was to see in my hometown. Parks, the river, trees, panoramic views, street scenes, etc. I also enclosed a photo of myself. Once I was done, I wrote a short introductory letter with greetings from Finland, and dropped the whole package in the mail.

A reply from Ramirez came within a few weeks.

As I said at the beginning, I had set out on a quest for something “tangibly evil”. and had believed I would be able to obtain something of the sort from a serial killer. I expected Ramirez’s letter to be filled with obscene talk (“I liked the photos of nature but can U send me photos of naked chicks covered in blood HAHAHAHHA?????”).

Not even close. The tone of the letter is chatty, cordial and polite. Instead of receiving a physical token testifying to the overt nature of evil, I had received a reminder of the very banality of it. Ramirez thanked me for the photos, told me about his favorite music and cars (and asked me about mine), and ended the letter with a polite request for more pictures.

That’s it?!” I thought to myself. I may as well have written my f**king grandmother! What a brilliant disguise, and what a waste of my time. Apparently, I was looking for evidence of evil under circumstances where it’s relatively easy to pretend to be something you’re not – in a letter.

But then I noticed something upon re-reading the letter. A strange question that, upon further reflection, stuck out like a sore thumb from the menial chit-chat:

“So… any nieces or nephews in your life?”

This was a strange question, especially following questions about cars, music etc.

I went to the Internet to research Ramirez’s letters to his other pen-pals, and contacted people who had received replies from him. That’s when I learned of a creepy pattern: Ramirez had, on several occasions, asked his pen pals for photos of children, particularly little boys – had I answered that question with a “Yes”, his next letter would have asked me for photos of those “nieces or nephews”…

I realized I was a hypocrite indeed: somehow, it had been “acceptable” in my mind that he had murdered and tortured people, but now I was outraged and disgusted by his pedo habits. That was the last letter I ever wrote to him.

If there is a lesson to be learned from this, I suppose it could be verbalized like this: don’t expect to know the extent of evil, and to thus be able to control your reaction to it. You think you “know”, for example, a serial killer because you’ve read about all his crimes, but you probably have no idea how deep the darkness goes.

None of us, not me or Philip Carlo or anyone, ever really knew Ramirez, despite our letters, our books and our late-night Internet browsing sessions.

Sometimes it’s better not to go digging. If you don’t believe me, ask Jason Moss.


Favorite Books and Films #2. Marko Lönnqvist

Marko Lönnqvist is a former member of Cannonball MC. He currently works as an author and personal trainer. He wrote a book about his experiences in Cannonball, entitled Elämäni gangsterina (“My Life as a Gangster”, Crime Time 2016).


Favorite books:

  • Elämäni gangsterina
  • Rahan metsästäjät by Jarkko Sipilä & Scott Stevenson.
  • Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Favorite films

  • The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013
  • The Lord of War, 2005
  • American Gangster, 2007


Your paranormal stories

Last week I asked my Instagram followers to submit their own scary stories. Here’s a selection; more to come later. Thank you to all those who contributed!

_jess__s_ :

Ok, so i think i was around 13, maybe 14, when my grade went on a hiking trip to the mountains. We stayed at a sort of hostel there. My friend and I decided to explore a bit, so we went up a in a forest on the mountain (off path). From the edge of the forest, you could see a few caves higher up in the mountain that were not accessible as it would have been a vertical climb.

We looked up and there was a dark figure standing at the edge of one of the caves. We both saw it, but neither of us believed in ghosts or spirits. We went further into the forest and we were alone when we heard twigs crack, like someone was coming closer to us. We started walking back down, when I turned round and saw the black figure standing further behind. My friend saw too and we started running, falling and sliding down the forest on the mountain. To this day we don’t know what it was.
_the_roar_ :
All my life, I have had people say that I visit them in the night. My mother used to wake to the feeling of someone standing near her.  She opened her eyes to a figure of me, in a long white gown hovering over the end of her bed. I never spoke, but once she was awake, she was sleep paralyzed. I would descend and walk from the room. This happened quite often. As a preteen, my brother’s friend had a similar experience. He was spending the night. During the night, he awoke to who he believed was me.
Pacing the long hallway outside of my brother’s bedroom.  I appeared taller, as if I’d been stretched. For some reason, he was not afraid and fell asleep.  The next day he asked if I was wearing a white nightgown? I never owned a tradition nightgown of any sort.
The last experience I will share happened in Canada at a family reunion. In our large family members would pile into bedrooms in the family cottage during reunions. My aunt asked me over breakfast, if I was ok in the night? I was puzzled. She explained that she was visited by me sometime during the night. I stood inside her door, in a long white gown, silent. When she awoke to me, she asked me if I was alright. The figure of me turned and slipped from the room. I was in the attached cabin. Asleep against the wall, with two cousins sharing the bed with me.
aichakyle :
So… As I was a little kid, 3-4 years old. I moved with my family into a house in Syria (I’m arab) and after 5-6 months of living there I started having nightmares with a little girl dressed in white. She had a long black hair and was sitting up. ( We had like a small basement) She was always sitting there and looking at me. And every time she was there something bad happend, I always waked up crying because I was so scared. I stopped having these nightmares with her when I was 8.
I actually forgot about her. But then… it started again. After that the war started, and I remember that I was in a taxi leaving to the airport. Then, when I looked behind it was that girl, she was there looking angry at me.. I couldn’t believe, I thought I was dreaming. Last year I dreamed her again… It’s happens every year.
historythenandnow :
When I was 15 I was talking on the phone in the dark in my bedroom. A few feet away I saw a small dot of orange light hanging in the air. I watched it for a few seconds before it slowly grew to the size of a basketball. It just floated mid air glowing but didn’t illuminate the room.
The entire time I was calmly describing what I was seeing to the person on the phone. It lasted maybe a minute.
This was the same day my mom’s friend died. 
Years later my mom said that she doesn’t ever want to see a ghost. I didn’t make the connection until then that it was her friend visiting me instead of my mom so she wouldn’t scare her.
sircharlesofsacto :
I was doing research on a Jane Doe while I was in college. Found the crime scene, and her unmarked grave. Police estimated she was murdered between 10 pm and 8 am. After I visited her grave, I went home and cleaned out some storage. During that time I found an old alarm clock with very old and corroded batteries in it. The night I found and visited her grave, the alarm clock went off at 3 am. It never went off again and I was never able to get it to turn on with those batteries in it after that.

My paranormal experience

Last week I asked for your “paranormal” experiences for this blog, and promised to start this little mini-series with my own experience. Time to act according to that promise. There are maybe 3 people I’ve told this story to before. For a long time, I felt ashamed of sharing it, for the usual reasons: ridicule, not being “taken seriously” again, etc. If you’ve lived your life learning you will notice that as you get older, you stop caring about crap like that. This actually happened – deal with it.

Back in 2005 I was 20 years old, and couldn’t wait to leave the small town I grew up in. There was nothing wrong with it, really: it was a perfectly nice, safe place to grow up in, with nature and rivers and lakes everywhere. But when you’re 19, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, so I was desperate to take off and explore the world.

I applied to three universities, and was accepted to all of them. I chose the University of Turku, as the city has a reputation for art, culture and history. A perfect town for a geek like me. Plus, Helsinki seemed too big at that point.

As the day of departure from small-town Finland neared, I found myself getting melancholy. Surprising feeling, considering how desperate I had been for years to get out.

I decided to do a kind of “tour” of my favorite places before going off to college, a kind of “montage” of the places I had enjoyed as a kid. I figured this would be a nice memory to take with me to the hustle and bustle of university life.

I made my way to a local dam, ate a sundae at my favorite ice cream stand, visited the local bookstore and movie theater, and finally made my way to my family’s summer cabin in Himanka, a nearby county. “This’ll suffice”, I thought, and decided to head back home to continue packing. It was getting late, and the darkness of the evening was beginning to set in.

On my way back, while driving a secluded country road, I decided I’d do one more stop at a small fishing dock. The dock was located at a kind of bend in the river, and to get there from the road you needed to walk through a forest. The dock was not in regular use, so the forest leading to it had grown thick. I parked my car and made my way there. The sight was worth it; I’ve always thought nature looks more beautiful in the dark than it does in the brutal blare of sunlight. The river was moving slowly but assertively, the water making a beautiful meditative sound as it flowed past me. What a beautiful moment and memory to meditate on whenever my studies would get hectic!

Though I still think back to that moment fondly, what happened next I’d rather not remember at all.

As I was walking back towards my car through the dense forest, I was overcome with a sense of terror I can’t describe with words. This wasn’t the kind of “oh my gosh, I’m alone in a forest” fear – I grew up in the woods, and was used to playing there with friends, hiking and fishing etc.

I cannot stress this enough: I WAS NOT (and still am not) afraid of a random patch of forest at night. I’m a country boy – I’m more afraid of walking through downtown Helsinki at night. Plus, I had just spent 6 months in the Finnish military, where I had frequently stood guard alone at night in the middle of the darkest woods Lapland has to offer.

But that night, I felt like I was in the presence of the source of all the evil in the world. This wasn’t fear – it was mortal terror, like I was about to die any moment, like something devastating was about to get me at any moment. I started running like I was running for my life, and all the way back to the road I felt like something was RIGHT behind me, right at my heels.

When I reached the road and my car, my pulse was pounding like crazy. The feeling of terror immediately subsided when I was out of the woods, but I was still feeling the after-effects. I’ve probably never had that much adrenaline in my blood. I looked around for some cause for this, a bear or something. Nothing.

I thought that was enough nature for the night, and got in my car to finally drive home. That’s when the last (and arguably the weirdest) part of this mindf*ck took place.

My phone started ringing with a ringtone I had NOT set to it. The phone was a Nokia 3210 and my ring tone was a basic old school ringing sound called “Low”. This was not it. I later went through the ring tones and found that the tone it was ringing with that night was called “Valkyrie”.

When I picked up the phone to answer it, the screen said “Unknown number” (or something to that effect). I answered it. Silence. Nobody at the other end of the line, not even the sound of breathing or some background noise. The call then cut off.

I put pedal to metal and got the hell out of there wayyyyy faster than the speeding limits allowed. I remember that when I got home, I took a picture of the screen of the 3210 from the page where the time and info of the phone call was visible. This was back before smart phone cameras, so I literally had to get that photo developed. I’m not sure if that photo is still somewhere in my childhood home, but then again even if it is, what am I going to do with it? I took that photo in the spur of the moment, having just returned home from that horrifying experience, thinking that the photo would later help me understand what had happened.

Alas, 12 years later I’m still wondering.

Around 2010 I read a book called Daimonic Reality by Patrick Harpur. The book’s subtitle states “A Field Guide to the Otherworld”, and that pretty much sums it up: in the book Harpur builds a kind of philosophical and phenomenological framework for strange experiences throughout the ages, from ghosts and UFOs to fairies and spirits. I decided to write to Harpur with my experience. His reply was pretty interesting.

He sent me an article called “Landscapes of Panic”. In a nutshell, the article deals with experiences similar to mine, and attributes them to a pagan god named Pan – hence, the article speculates, the word “PANic”. If I remember correctly, this pagan god supposedly protects the woods, and will occasionally induce this sense of fear in humans to drive them away from the woods.

While I’m not entirely convinced that I was driven out of the woods by an ancient pagan god (why hadn’t he/she/it driven me out of there before? Why now?), the memory of the experience is still vivid in my mind. Maybe it was a random panic attack, or maybe the forest is alive with things we don’t understand yet.

In any case, the experience has been a big factor in motivating me on my quest for mysteries of all sorts, and is one huge reason why I long to hear other people’s “paranormal” experiences.

Tomorrow, it’s time for your stories.



Favorite films and books #1: Erkki Tuomioja, Finnish politician

In this series I will present the film and book favorites of various interesting people. 

Erkki Tuomioja (born 1946), Finnish Member of Parliament, former Foreign Minister of Finland. PhD in Political Science. 

Favorite books:

I’m not too excited about short lists of books, as I feel that people should read all kinds of literature. Even bad books can teach you something

Favorite films:

  • The Trial (1962, dir. Orson Welles)
  • Die verlorene Ehre von Katharina Blum (“The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum”, 1975, dir. Volker Schlöndorff & Margarethe von Trotta)
  • The Third Man (1949, dir. Carol Reed)