More Tales From My Guests

gattino

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I may have hit the mother lode. The next few days will tell. But the american chap who's just arrived - already my favourite guest ever - casually mentions how spiritual he and his currently dying wife are. To cut to the chase he's indicated their home is an increasing hive of paranormal activity as the end approaches. I've held him back from telling me any stories till he's rested and i can properly interrogate him. But it looks promising.
 

gattino

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After that build up, I'm afraid its a bit of a disappointment. He constantly and cheerful alluded to "things like that" happening around him, and more specifically his wife, all the time, their home being full of "spirit" and how its increased dramatically in the last few weeks as she nears the end. But trying to get actual concrete detailed stories out of him was largely fruitless.

For what its worth I'll give the generality and the few specifics i could gleen.

I'll start by saying he's the most wonderful man. A living breathing (positive) cliche of vietnam era american liberalism. From trekking in the Himalayas and the Andes, volunteering his medical services in refugee centres in Greece, to making his home a refuge for Lgbt youth in the heart of religious Trump country - he's has a gay son who he's insanely proud of and wears the badges to prove it. The image of community minded campaigning and spiritual goodness extends to his wife who he describes in the most glowing terms and paints as a woman exuding spiritual light and calm and with whom he appears as bestotted as he was 30 years ago when he found her. She is currently at the end stages of an 8 year battle against ovarian cancer. He is over here on his own because they're both at peace with him doing so..he says they've had their "wake" already.

The impression he therefore gives of his wife is of a natural - though not self declared - earth mother and medium. His first indication of actual "stuff" in the fortean field was his assurance that were his wife here she would talk to me all about my (dead) mother..he's seen her do this so many times. He never used the word psychic or medium but he appeared to be describing such characteristics. Another claim of her uncanniness which was particularly intriguing since i read an account of precisely the same thing somewhere online last week, though can't remember where - was his assertion that she picks up 4 leaf clovers all the time without searching for them at all. Ie she hones straight in on them with unerring instinct wherever she passes.

So far, so vague. The closest i got to establishing what it is that supposedly happens all the time in their house centres around sounds and movements. In particular phantom footsteps going up the stairs. Other noises of life, activity and movement in the house (traditional haunting is ruled out on the basis their home has had no previous occupants). Objects disappearing and reappearing. And moving.. Things spontaneously rolling across the floor etc. The implication is that these and related things are so taken for granted as they've always been around them...or rather her. An interesting detail is that he himself was originally a university lecturer in the hard sciences, and has come to believe in and accept the whole world of "spirit" precisely because his disbelief has been worn down by such experience over many years with her.

The more specific claim still is that the activity in the house has multiplied greatly in the last few weeks since they were told she has only one final shot at chemo left. He - presumably they - see it as her ghostly friends gathering to welcome her over. Two specifics given were the noises the other day being (or being akin to, im not sure if he meant the literal nature of the sound or just the volume and intensity of it) like someone playing the drums - his wife apparently just turned and told "them" to be quiet - and him witnessing the cushions visibly depress and ripple as if someone invisible sat down and raised themselve from it. He asked hsi wife if one of her "friends" was there. She said yes.

I don't think I can get any more detail by detail accounts from him. As I say his responses to my questions on the matter are generally emphatic but in reference to all encompassing "stuff happening", rather than stand out specific moments.
 

Lizard King

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Not fortean but mildly odd . A columbian girl is booked to arrive tonight. She's just messaged me to say there's been a change of plan. It won't be her coming, it will be her identical twin.

:thought:
I don't know why I find that so amusing!
 

Lizard King

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I think it's the subconscious realisation that she could have saved herself the effort of telling me.
Haha that's it. How would you ever know any different if she had said nothing?I love it.Two of my best friends in school were identical twins and I used to love how much they used it to their advantage."It wasn't me sir it was my brother"
 

IbisNibs

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Not to be wet blanket, but I'm wondering about your American guest, Gattino. In no way do I want to demean his history of volunteer work—there are many (tho' not enough!) people who are as generous, courageous and benevolent as your description depicts him as being.

Your description, however, reminded me of people I've met through friends or acquaintances who were initially convincingly positive about their lives and themselves, but who turned out to be a little off the rails. He could be all he appears to be, a highly positive, spiritually tuned-in but somewhat inarticulate man at peace with how things are. Or he could be someone who is shielding himself from what he doesn't know how to face. Did he say why he was traveling so far from home? Did you have an opportunity to see/hear him communicating with his wife or others from his home?
 

gattino

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Oh any interpretations you may be putting on it are a failure of my description.

Let's me not mislead you. Talk of spiritual goodness is not meant to conjure up images of someone saintly or full of serenity..except in terms of trying to convey how he cheerfully and lovingly describes his wife. I include those descriptions and my own summary of his lifestyle in case they offer some potential insight into why their home and married life may attract more than a normal amount of uncanny experiences ( or else why he's so cheerfully matter of fact about it ) I

He's here because theyve travelled the world together - but also apart - and he's now her carer, so this is his respite break. He's become a big LFC fan so he's he here to see a match and check it off his own bucket list.

And yes , he was video chatting with his wife.
 
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Indrid Drood

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Not fortean but mildly odd . A columbian girl is booked to arrive tonight. She's just messaged me to say there's been a change of plan. It won't be her coming, it will be her identical twin.

:thought:
Neither do I..it's actually perfectly straightforward yet sounds like an ill thought out scheme or a part of a joke.
I know nothing about how Airbnb works, but wouldn't the proper (i.e. legal) procedure here be for her sister to book the space for herself? Presumably they would each have separate profiles with their own names, histories, etc. (Have you checked this out already?)

I wonder – if you were indeed being set up for some kind of scam via the identical twin ruse – what might be its nature/goal?
 

gattino

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No it's not unusual for someone to book for a spouse or other family member who isn't on Airbnb themselves. You don't have to accept them but it's never been a problem.
 

gattino

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Ok, now its looking a bit more spooky.

When the american was here in October his initial stay coincided with another unrelated guest, Tom, who was stopping over on his way between Scotland and Wales. There was conversation and interaction between them and the older man was very impressed by our young friend. When the young man returned for one night only later during his travels it coincided - literally by chance - with Tom stopping over again on his return journey. So he was here on both occassions that the American was.

48 hours ago the American and the thought of him turning up unannounced enters my mind.
24 hours ago the text message from someone thinking I was him, and trying to get in touch with him
Just now...a text message, again out of the blue as ive had no intervening contact, from Tom..saying he's passing this way again in a few days and do I have a room.

This is now downright freaky. 6 months after the sequence quoted above its happened again.
An indian guest yesterday mentioned he and his friend had originally planned to hire a car from the company SixT but his friend was just below the age, affordable car rental wise. This was exactly the same company and scenario as the aforementioned young american. So I told him all about the memorable boy (who its important to note ive had no actual contact with since he was here in October 2018)

24 hours later....ive just received a phone call from an unknown number. It was him.

Speaking of the devil may indeed be a thing....
 

gattino

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I'm getting bolder about raising the subject with the guests with next to no natural segue into it. Which always feels a bit risky as you can sound like a nut. However the guest in question today is a paramedic who had mentioned how blase she was about dealing with the dead as she deals with so many of them. So I asked the question...had she ever experienced anything 'unusual'. I did all the facial expressions and air quotes to clarify i meant spooky. She replied cheerfully enough that no she hadn't but she doesn't believe in any of that stuff..and maybe you need to believe in it to experience it.

You can't really follow on much from that. It's an indicator that nothing i could offer would impress. So when a little later she asked me if i had any paranormal experiences - perhaps interpreting my raising the subject as a longing to share - i passed it of as more a fascination with the fact my guests always had stories, and told her a couple of rthe shorter recent ones. And then she said well, in fact, there had been that one inexplicable incident....she didn't believe it was paranormal but it was a mystery what exactly it was....

In Cost Rica. Way out of town. On a balcony. Nothing but trees ahead. A very large (precise size wasn't given, but much larger than any glowing insects that flittered around the area) glowing "orb" descended straight down from the sky and then went straight back up again. She estimated its distance from her/them as about as far as her car is from my house. I didn't check if her car is immediately in front of my gate, or on the other side of the road, but if hte latter then we're talking a maximum 15 meters maybe. She repeated she didn't believe it was paranormal. But she has no idea what it was. Ball lighting came to my mind, but who knows. I asked about storms...she said there were none where they were. And that it certainly wasn't sheet lightning. It was an orb, a round light. It came down, and then went back up into the sky.

Even the people who never have experiences have experiences.
 
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gattino

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Another one, though something a little different this time. A 40 year old uk based chap from India. Again he provided the in by talking about energies and vibrations here and there in his conversation then saying the magic words that he is "spiritual".

His story is that in 2012, back in India, he went with some friends to some event - he gave the name but i don't recall it right now - in a southern city, wherein thousands gathered on the "darkest night of the year" (I don't know if he meant longest or literally the darkest) to do some all night meditation or induction thing by a mystic. He went along expecting to just have an amusing distraction looking at all these crazy people. He says there were vast thousands.. you had to walk miles from the car park. The guru in question is an internet phenomenon and easy to look up - you may have already seen him ,as he looks familiar from facebook memes. Sahdguru he's called. Anyway the gist of the account was that he got the crowds to do certain breathing techniques and postions in unison and he- probably my words rather than his - he sent this power, energy, whatever you call it into them. All he knew was he felt it, experienced something and was completely and physically and mentally energised all of the next day beyond his ability to explain it. He subsequently went to a 7 day induction course for the practice and the guru, not physically present, broadcast from a speaker when he did the key transfer of life force (again my words)..My guest says whatever the hell it was it hit him with sheer physical force.

What he appeared to be describing in my limited western secular conception of it is what the Chinese call Qi.
 

gattino

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Well im not sure im a magnet with these tales as most of them don't relate to me. I'm simply in a position to get into prolonged informal conversation with strangers. My contention is that "everyone" has a fortean story to tell and we just don't realise the fact.

New one tonight is not from a guest. But its second - indeed third - hand so it doesn't deserve a thread of its own as i can't supply or ask for additional details. My brother just messaged me this evening to tell what a friend of his reported and understood to be a ghost encounter at Speke Hall, the stately Tudor home just outside Liverpool. I can only repeat the account as passed on.

The lady in question and her boyfriend were visiting the attraction on a busy and hot summer's day. They walked around the quite packed hall and went upstairs and entered a room. Its here that a sense of the eerie developed as suddently there was no one else around. Thats to say despite the place being busy there were no other visitors in their vicinity and the whole place was quiet. They were in the room for a bit before "She suddenly saw an old man's head appear from behind a section of the room near a bed. He was small, thin, with white hair. He said to her you look like my dear old wife. He walked to her, put his hand on her face and told her boyfriend to look after her, she is special." (my brother on questioning elaborated that they had not seen him when they entered the room)

She felt a bit awkward so they left the room and went downstairs. Something made her stop and question who it was she'd just been talking to. They returned up to the room in question..no sign of him. Assuming from the silence and absence of other members of the public in the area that he must work there they went and asked about him at reception. They were told they have noone working there of that description and nor do they have staff sitting minding the rooms. They walked around the house and he was nowhere to be found.
 

IbisNibs

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An unknown, flesh and blood squatter?
Maybe he knows where the hidden passages are.
 

Eponastill

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Well im not sure im a magnet with these tales as most of them don't relate to me. I'm simply in a position to get into prolonged informal conversation with strangers. My contention is that "everyone" has a fortean story to tell and we just don't realise the fact.
I agree that you have good opportunities to talk to lots of people, but how exactly does the fortean element come up in the conversation, I was wondering? Is your house full of associated books / decorated in such a way that they know you'll be interested (potentially)? Or do you just straight up ask them? I want to know how to get these stories out of people! I know people like talking about themselves and it's not difficult to get them to do so. Perhaps I just need to be bolder and ask them about weirdness and not mind their reactions. (Recently I asked a friend/colleague what the strangest thing was that had happened to her when she was out walking in the mountains, something she does a lot. Actually she's super no-nonsense, and so I made a quick swerve to ask about Brocken Spectres and strange weather so she didn't think I was totally mad. Possibly I should pick my questionees more carefully).
 

gattino

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Ha..well i kind of indicate in most of the accounts here what the particular trigger was in each instance. The one time i just came out with it - the paramedic who saw the light in the forest - i did feel silly when she initially said she doesn't believe in any of that stuff. So no, i don't recommend just out of the blue changing the subject from the weather to life after death.


In most cases they will say something in their own general conversation which provides an "in" to the subject. Most commonly any reference to being "spiritual" . The other fruitful trigger point is them talking about a loved one who has died - "do you ever get the sense she's still around?" or "Did anything strange happen around the time of the death"? You can lessen the bluntness of the question by phrasing it in terms of your fascination with things other people have told you (in my case previous guests), so you're not outing yourself as some kind of nerdy true believer. If you've had any recent incidents of your own, even if its in terms of weird coincidences, bringing it up "something weird happened the other day...." will allow them to respond with their own tale if they have one. And so on.

I should say its only a small percentage of the guests i get into such conversations with. My only observation is that those with whom i do always have a story.

One of the guest rooms does have such themed books on the shelf, but i don't recall any of them drawing attention to the fact.
 

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That's great, thank you.
 

gattino

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With the lockdown i've been starved of guests to draw stories from, but now things are back up and running ive a couple to add.

The first is minor and seemingly easy to assume an explanation for (though worth including as assumptions may be wrong). The second is altogether more dramatic.

1) A middle aged lady and her 84 year old mother. The lady confided she was concerned her mum maybe showing signs of dementia. And its true that what she reported I recognise from my own late mother. Though its worth noting that the eerie aspect is the only sign she is apparently exhibiting at this point. There are no memory lapses or losing track of where she is or what she's doing. Yet. What has been noted by the daughter however is catching her mother talking to her dead siblings and other relatives, insisting they weren't a dream, and perhaps most intriguingly (though again i witnessed this at one point with my mum) on occasion pretending she's singing to herself when she realised she's been caught in one of these conversations, as though its a secret.
Emerging dementia or lonely withdrawal (she speaks no English) may be the obvious culprits, but as i say we're none of us doctors so it may be wrong to assume these aren't mediumistic experiiences.

2) An altogether more promising tale of the twilight zone. There is a construction worker staying here at the moment, The nature of his story invites discretion so i'll give no more personal details and the made up name "Michael". It's worth describing his personal traits a little though as the incident may be speculated to be either an example of them, or, who knows, the cause.
While he's perfectly sane and safe he's nonetheless very much on edge. Which is to say full of nervous energy, knee tapping as he talks and head swimming with worries relating to both his family and being cheated at work. I won't go into any more personal info than that but would summarise the things preoccupying him as a sense of frustration and injustice, perhaps even suspicions about certain things. It's not manifesting dramatically but he's a man with things on his mind is what im trying to say. Other than that he's a great bloke.

The tale he told cropped up when i told him i'd been watching the Exorcist tv series, and him saying he could never ever watch that. He mentioned having had sleep paralysis experiences before. When i indicated i had tales to tell he opened up about what happened when he worked in Saudi Arabia.......

He's lying in bed. He believes himself to be awake. A dark form/shadow/mist slips under the door way and assumed a large menacing humanoid shape. And...well..it basically tried to rape him. He himself used the word incubus having researched the matter afterwards. Paralysis came in the middle of the incident rather than at the beginning. He described himself being not scared but angry, furious, wanting desperately to fight this attacker and "waking" (if he had indeed been not awake) trying to furiously kick at it. I didn't ask the specific question but i'm sure your curious, and i didn't come from the story with the impression he'd been actually penetrated in this incident - real or imagined - but I don't know for certain.

You may at this point assume from my pen portrait of his current mental state that this was a purely psychological manifestation of a long standing inner turmoil. But hold your horses....

He was so perturbed by what to him felt very much like a real experience that he told the only co worker he was close with there. The friend in turn told him the extraordinary fact that one of the other foreign workers , "Dave", has reported the exact same experience a week earlier. Dave has made the mistake however of telling his colleagues collectively and had since had the piss ripped out of him mercilessly. "Michael" approached "Dave" and confided what had happened and they swapped stories and bonded over it. There was more. The day after Dave has his encounter he received word his father had died back home. Astonishingly a day after Michael's trauma HIS father was taken to hospital for a quadruple bypass and at one point briefly "died". He was at death's door until M returned home to see him at which point he started to recover.

"Michael" looked up all about incubi and succubi and was convinced he had experienced something real and evil. However eventually when he brought up their shared drama with"Dave" at a later point, the latter denied he had experienced the same thing, saying he'd merely had sleep paralysis, which is something he'd since read about. In short he saw a rationalist explanation and chose to cling to it once found.

And that's the story.
 

IbisNibs

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What has been noted by the daughter however is catching her mother talking to her dead siblings and other relatives, insisting they weren't a dream,
Another possibility: has her mother's medications been changed or otherwise modified lately?

Regarding "Michael's" story: in the traditional lore of the Arabian Peninsula there is a certain type of jinn called a ghul or ghoul, which can take the form of a man and eats people. This is from a wonderful book about jinn traditions called "Legends of the Fire Spirits; Jinn and genies from Arabia to Zanzibar" by Robert Leibing. It's fascinating and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in folklore and close encounters with the weird. He reports modern first hand accounts of a highly uncanny nature, and cites traditional lore within the historical context of the local area. It's very informative regarding a part of the world Westerners usually see in relation to ourselves and our priorities, not in relation to the people who live there.
 

gattino

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A slight but potential mirroring of post #27 above from July last year about the lost and anxious guest somehow going unnoticed on the same bus as me until I popped up as if summoned ( from her perspective rather than mine )

Guests due today about 3pm they said, adding for emphasis that if they arrive bed in the city early they'd look around a bit.

So having plenty of time and things I was running low on, I walked up to Aldi (50 minute round trip). Five minutes out of the door I realise, shit I've left my phone in the house.

Still, im not expecting any calls or messages, and anyone who might text me can wait 40 minutes for a reply. So I just shrugged and completed my journey.

I got to Aldi, did the shop, got in the queue , got to till, went to get my money ready...by which I mean my debit card...which I keep in my phone wallet...which I'd left at home.

I had the embarrassment of having to ask the cashier to keep the basket behind her til I went all the way home to start the whole return journey over again.

But there's a twist. Without phone I also had no idea of the time, so I naturally hurried home instead of dawdling so I'd have enough time to do it all again before the 3 o'clock arrivals. I turn into my street and they're parked in front of the house, getting out of the car, a full hour and a half early.


So was that an example of me having bad luck or them having good luck?

That at least was my first thought. But what elevates it potentially into more speculation about being an unwitting cog in some synchronistic process is that the guests , wrongly thinking that i was being apologetic for not being there , assured me that they'd literally only just messaged me to let me know they'd arrived. Well why that is interesting is no such message has arrived , nearly 2 hours later.

The guest has just checked for me and at his end it apparently says "failed to send", which he was unaware of.

So once again it has the sense of I was summoned and lo, I appeared.

If this is a thing I can't really suggest it's about meeting their desperate needs as it would hardly have been more than a minor inconvenience to them had I not shown up. Perhaps its more comparable to finding that one particular book on a park bench....
 

gattino

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Weirdness abounds. The incident above appears to have been the opening gambit in a psychic cluster. Its one of 5 fortean seeming incidents in the last 24 hours.

They are each appropriate to different or multiple threads. So I'll report the others elsewhere. The only other one directly relevant to my guests is this....

The couple who turned up early yesterday were, it transpired, meant to be on their honeymoon. Not at my place you understand, but rather their wedding was called off because of lockdown etc, but now they still have the time off work so they're in my spare room rather than Florida.

I outlined this wistful fall from glamour on my Facebook and joked "Perhaps I should leave a complimentary bottle of Lucozade in a champagne bucket in their room." I had hesitated briefly over the appropriate comedy substitute for champers before settling on Lucozade.

Perhaps two hours later an entirely different guest - knowing none of the above - told me an anecdote about his life in the hospitality industry. Basically how at a Premier League vip event thing he looked foolish/showed his age by assuming the orange draped bottles in the executive fridge were Lucozade, when in fact they were Cristal Champagne.
 

gattino

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Physiotherapist has been coming here a few days each week, working at the hospital.

I made the unusual move of just asking him out of nowhere about any paranormal experiences.

The more general was having been around many death beds he has seen ..and he really stuttered and stammered trying to verbalise or describe it .. something visibly leave the body at the moment of death. A mist is the closest term but he seemed unhappy with it. An astral form perhaps.

***
The more solid event was a number of years ago he had a very vivid dream involving a woman , a pub and a coal fire. He didn't elaborate on the plot at all but it was so vivid he wrote it down when he woke.

A short period later it's, 30th December, pitch dark at 7pm, he's done some shopping and is driving home when he's hit by the thought I don't want to go back to the house. Recently divorced, living alone, a cold and miserable night before new year, he found himself driving past his house and just carried on driving, having no idea where he was going. He ends up in the countryside, getting lost in the pitch black. Eventually he sees the light of a pub . He enters, dressed and feeling like a scruffy tramp. And there he meets a woman working behind the bar. They hit it off. When she takes him into the backroom he sees what he recognises as the fire from his dream in the pub from his dream with, one assumes, the woman he dreamt of. He says every detail was exactly as dreamt. He says they got into a relationship and it was the easiest he'd ever been in.
 

Jacket_Potato

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Physiotherapist has been coming here a few days each week, working at the hospital.

I made the unusual move of just asking him out of nowhere about any paranormal experiences.

The more general was having been around many death beds he has seen ..and he really stuttered and stammered trying to verbalise or describe it .. something visibly leave the body at the moment of death. A mist is the closest term but he seemed unhappy with it. An astral form perhaps.

***
The more solid event was a number of years ago he had a very vivid dream involving a woman , a pub and a coal fire. He didn't elaborate on the plot at all but it was so vivid he wrote it down when he woke.

A short period later it's, 30th December, pitch dark at 7pm, he's done some shopping and is driving home when he's hit by the thought I don't want to go back to the house. Recently divorced, living alone, a cold and miserable night before new year, he found himself driving past his house and just carried on driving, having no idea where he was going. He ends up in the countryside, getting lost in the pitch black. Eventually he sees the light of a pub . He enters, dressed and feeling like a scruffy tramp. And there he meets a woman working behind the bar. They hit it off. When she takes him into the backroom he sees what he recognises as the fire from his dream in the pub from his dream with, one assumes, the woman he dreamt of. He says every detail was exactly as dreamt. He says they got into a relationship and it was the easiest he'd ever been in.
Love your updates - things like this especially are very uplifting. Can't add anything but always read with interest!
 

gattino

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A couple of additional tales from the physiotherapist mentioned above.

On two different occassions he was with hospital patients who gave him unsolicited psychic readings.
In the first instance the woman in the bed simply started telling him all manner of things about himself. Its an age old tale..things which were so specific and accurate she couldn't possibly be accused of cold reading, but he struggled, sadly for the recounting, to recall specific examples when telling me.

The second was more anecdote worthy. He described a tiny little old lady of the Tweety bird and Sylvester variety. Out of nowhere she told him she sees things, she's always seen things. He was going to get a new job. And it was going to be very soon. They'll be coming for you, you'll see. Well he hadn't applied for any new job, and his colleague standing beside him started asking teasingly "what, are you leaving us?" He denied it. Later that day he received a phone call offering him a job elsewhere.
 
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