Encounters with the Unknown
Did a Witch temporarily conjure up the dead?
by: Brent Raynes
Don Odum of Lewisburg, Tennessee, a retired state game warden and a man with interests in a wide spectrum of the paranormal, that includes UFOs and Bigfoot, recently allowed me to interview him about an incredible incident that he became involved with back around the summer of 1972, involving ghosts. Except in this instance, these ghosts were seemingly conjured up by a witch!
In his early twenties, Don had studied hypnosis under a master hypnotist who was also keenly interested in psychic phenomena. He told Don about an occult book store at the time in Greenhill, called the Bell Book and Candle Occult Book Store, where people gathered every Saturday night to discuss and explore various things like healing, tarot cards, astrology, etc. A self-proclaimed witch told people at one of these gatherings that she could conjure up ghosts. The master hypnotist was “pretty much a skeptic” and told her he didn’t believe it. She countered that there was a place nearby that she could take him where she could do this and the hypnotist replied that he’d like to see it done. So the master hypnotist, a tarot card reading lady and her 16-year-old daughter decided to go and see for themselves that night. Though Don was there, he had other plans for later that night – a decision he’d later regret.
The location was a short distance outside of Nashville, on the Granny White Pike, on a section of grown up property with an old white fence around it. Soon upon arriving, the “witch” began to chant and make incantations. “What I was later told from MC [the hypnotist], was that in just a few minutes these images began to appear of Confederate soldiers, some horses, and a young ghost girl…(who) was about the same age and size of this lady’s daughter.” Don recalled how impressed MC had been from his experience, and how he actually walked up to a gray horse that had been standing up beside the fence and he put his hand on it. He told Don that the horse had not been there when they first arrived.
“Apparently when they got ready to leave and go back to the book store, this young girl was kind of standing a little ways down the road, appearing to be having a conversation with this ghost of a girl that was on the other side of the fence. And when they got ready to go they called her name and said ‘Come on. We’ve got to go back.’ She didn’t respond and they called her again and she still didn’t respond. They had to kind of forceably go back, her mother and MC, and kind of took her under the arm and had to walk her back to the car. She kept looking back over her shoulder, not really resisting but she was reluctant to get back in the car and go with them. They thought that was kind of strange.”
The following Monday morning, the tarot card reading mother called Don and recounted for him what had occurred. She explained that when her daughter had gotten into the car she acted real strange and didn’t speak. She added that Sunday morning she didn’t come down for breakfast and when she went to check on her she found her daughter still sleeping. Thinking that she probably just wasn’t feeling good, she let her sleep. The mother also told Don that her daughter stayed in her room and didn’t interact with the family all day that Sunday.
But then Monday morning, when the mother tried to get her daughter up for school, things got really bizarre. “The girl had a distinctive different appearance – look to her face and what not – and also her voice,” Don remembered. “She was talking in a real, kind of a deep Southern drawl, a somewhat backward language if you want to call it that, and her mother said, ‘Come on, you’ve got to get ready to go to school,’ and the girl kind of snapped back at her and said, ‘You don’t tell me what to do. You’re not my mother!’ Obviously her mother was shocked at what she heard and got to be pretty distressed and noticed that all day Monday she was acting pretty strange.”
The mother then called the master hypnotist, MC, and he came over and soon released something indeed unusual was going on. He asked the young girl if he could hypnotize her, to determine what was going on. She refused to let him, but then stated that she would let Don do it. “It was kind of obvious, kind of being around her, that she kind of had a little teenage crush on me,” Don noted. MC called Don that Monday night, explained what had happened, and Don agreed to help.
On Tuesday night they met at the bookstore. “I recognized too that something was a little bit different about her,” Don stated. She agreed to be hypnotized and Don began with a relaxation exercise and found that she entered the hypnotic trance state “fairly quickly.”
“As I began to talk with her and question her, I asked her what her name was. She gave a name that was not her current given name and that surprised everybody,” Don explained. “Then I asked her to tell me her story. She was the daughter of a Confederate Colonel. She was 16 years old. She was married to the Lieutenant, who was only about 18 or 19 years old. They had a small detachment of twelve Confederate soldiers who had come up the Mississippi and were headed to Nashville for the Battle of Franklin or whatever. They got just outside of Nashville. It was getting dark and they found this empty two story log cabin.”
“On their way through Tennessee they picked up two orphan children – a little boy about 9 years old and a little girl about 6 or 7 – whose parents had died or been killed. She, her husband, her father and these two kids spent the night in the cabin and the twelve Confederate soldiers were camped around a campfire with their bed rolls. Sometime during the night they were discovered and attacked by a detachment of Union soldiers. She talked about how there was a lot of shooting, screams and yells and what not. But basically all twelve of the soldiers were killed and then they broke into the house, got her husband, shot her father the Colonel, drug her out of the house and set fire to the house. They basically raped her and during the event she was hit in the head and she died. But she said that the last thing she remembered before she went unconscious was hearing the screams of the two small children that they had hidden under a stairwell closet.”
“I was sitting there with my mouth open. I had never run across anything like that. For perhaps 30 to 45 minutes I tried to kind of identify with this girl. I said, ‘Do you realize what has happened to you? Do you realize that your father was killed, your husband was killed, and that you were killed?” And she said yes. Basically, I tried to explain to her that everything was okay and that there was no need for her to stay in the state she was in and just by her own volition she could move on. She didn’t really have the right to take over this other girl’s body, to interject her own spirit into this other girl’s body. Finally she agreed. Now whether she agreed to move on from the ghost like state they were in I don’t know, but she did agree to leave this other young girl’s body. When she finally did agree, and there was a period of silence for 3 or 4 minutes maybe – it seemed like an eternity at the time – and what I began to observe from the girl who was under hypnosis was a change in her facial features back to her normal self. From being a very tense looking facial appearance I could tell she was beginning to relax and there was no sense of terror about her – if you want to call it that.”
“I counted to 10 and I told her that when we reached the number ten she would awaken and she would be okay. And so we did and when she raised up from the couch and kind of rubbed her eyes a little bit and she looked around and she looked at me like what in the world am I doing here. We started talking to her and she was talking in her normal voice again. Not in this deep Southern drawl type voice. She did not remember anything that had occurred from the time they had gotten in the car at the bookstore until she woke up after that little session with hypnosis.”