"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Automatic Writing

One link between the supernatural and writing is automatic writing. According to mediums throughout time, spirits are constantly trying to communicate with us. Automatic writing is writing allegedly directed by a spirit through a person's subconscious. Where did the concept "automatic writing" come from?

Automatic writing derived from the Spiritualist movement and made known by the Surrealists. Andre Breton, leader of the Surrealists, created the concept from Freud's theory of 'free association'. Freud developed this theory to uncover inaccessible memories. Breton believed automatic writing was the absence of critical intervention in writing. He also believed in a practice called Dedoublement where the mind and body separate. This concept would guarantee automatic writing is possible but it is only a theory. He went on to write a genuine automatic text called The Soluble Fish.

Mediums including Kate and Margarete Fox also helped develop automatic writing as a mainstream practice. After a séance involving a New York Supreme Court Judge named John Worth Edmonds, they gained public support from him. Helene Smith was said to have invented a Martian alphabet which she would translate to French. A famous American medium, Leonora Piper, felt her uncanny abilities came from a personality. Her medium abilities were considered the most authentic.

Spirits, of course, don't have a preference as to who they communicated with. Pearl Curran was an uneducated housewife from St. Louis who collaborated with a spirit named Patience Worth. Together they produced poems, books and plays. In England, Rosemary Brown, a widow with two children, composed musical compositions with a spirit named Franz Liszt. He introduced her to many famous composers including Bach, Chopin, and Mozart which led to more than 400 public performances.

Although automatic writing is more associated with the supernatural, it is also a technique used for writers block. For those who have ever suffered writers block, know how frustrating it can be. William Butler Yeats wife Georgie Hyde-Lee displayed her automatic writing techniques on their honeymoon. They combined their talents and wrote a book in 1925 entitled A Vision. A book about marriage therapy spiced with Occultism. Paul Bowles used automatic writing to find his way back to the written word after leaving it to pursue his taste in music. Want to try it for yourself?

This is the best method for a supernatural response: Find a nice quiet spot at a desk or table. Clear your mind completely. Touch your pen or pencil to paper and try not to write anything. Distract yourself by watching television or reading a book. Avoid looking at the paper as much as possible. Wait at least fifteen minutes to an hour before looking at the paper. Then, try to decipher what you have written. It may look like only scribble, but try finding words and letters or maybe pictures. You may even see messages from an unknown origin. I also caution you that some messages may be a bit disturbing. Don't attempt this if you're not prepared of the possible psychological dangers.

If you want an inspiration fix, this is the technique you should use: Sit at a table with a pen and some paper. Then, put yourself in a 'receptive' state of mind and start writing. Continue writing without concentrating on what your pen is producing and write as fast as you can. If you stop, leave a space and begin again by writing down the first letter of the next sentence. Choose a random letter and always use it for new sentences. Use this technique for as long as you feel is needed.

There are no guarantees that automatic writing will work for you. If you try it, your first couple of attempts may not be successful. Keep trying until something happens, or you get tired of it.

Skeptics believe automatic writing is nothing more than a parlor game to play at parties. They claim that those performing the writing influences their actions. The messages are coming only from the minds of the person holding the pencil. This is referred to as the ideomotor effect. Just the idea that it's possible to communicate with the dead is enough to make some people want to pursue it.


Supernatural is one of the WBs new shows premiering this Fall. The first episode aired on September 13th after the Gilmore Girls season premiere. After two episodes, Supernatural has proven to be an interesting show.

Supernatural is a show about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who lost their mother to some unknown entity when they were young. Since then, the brothers and their father searched for the thing that killed her until Sam decided to leave his ghost hunting life to go to college. As he was preparing to enter law school, Dean shows up unexpectedly with bad news that their father had disappear.

Despite a big interview concerning his future in law, Sam travels with his brother to a small town in California where their father supposedly disappeared at. During their investigation, they discover the town's paranormal secret. The ghost of a young woman who is said to be a woman in white is seen walking next to a road waiting for some unexpected guy to offer her a ride which turns out to be a deadly decision.

After "helping" the woman move on, Dean drove Sam back to his and his girlfriend Jessica's apartment and then, with his father's journal and a set of coordinates began going to the next stop. Meanwhile, Sam enters the apartment and lays on the bed thinking Jessica was in the shower. He soon found out that her life was to end much like his mother. This prompted Sam to continue searching for his father with Dean.

The special effects on this show are quite good a long with the storyline. I hope the rest of the first season is just as good.

The Exorcist-Part II

The exorcism began in the home of Robbie's relatives in St. Louis. After he went to bed, the priests began the ritual. He went into a trance. The bed shook. Welts and scratches appeared on his body. Over the next two hours, Robbie was branded and scratched over 30 times on various places of his body. Words such as "Spite" and "Hell" appeared often on the boy during the ritual. Robbie cursed and screamed in different tones from bass to falsetto. The ritual ended at dawn but they were far from being finished.

The ordeal continued for weeks. As time went on, the boy's responses became more violent. He spoke in Latin and different voices. He spit and vomited on the priest sometimes from great distances and with great accuracy. He slapped and punched the priests and witnesses. It is said that he belched and urinated constantly. It's also said that he taunted the priests with information about themselves that he couldn't possibly know. Though each morning, Robbie seemed quite normal with no memory of the nights events.

They continued reciting prayers each day though it seemed pretty useless. The next step was to ask for permission to instruct Robbie in the Catholic faith. They felt the conversion would help strengthen their fight. His parents consented to the conversion. He was transported to the rectory during the time of instruction. He was quiet and excited about learning the Catholic faith, but at his communion, he had to dragged into the church. The priests had never seen him that they remembered, in such a rage before.

On the night of April 18th, Father Bowdern put a chain of religious medals on him and a crucifix in his hand. After coming to an impasse, they had to go in a new direction. At first, Robbie was calm and asked questions about the Catholic faith but when Father Bowdern wouldn't comply, he went into a rage. Witnesses held him down as he continued to scream out "fallen angel." Bowdern continued with the ritual until Robbie identified in a deep male voice that he was "St. Michael the Archangel" ordering the demon to depart. Robbie went into contortions and spasms. Then fell quiet. He sat up and said "he's gone" in a normal voice. Then proceeded to tell Father Bowdern about a vision of "St. Michael." The exorcism was over.

Twelve days later, Robbie left St. Louis with his parents and returned to Maryland. In May of 1949, he wrote Bowdern telling him how happy he was and about his new dog. He only has dim recollections of what happened. Last reports suggest that he may still live in Maryland, a devoted Catholic and family man.

Since then, most of the buildings directly involved in the exorcism are now gone. The hospital room that Robbie occupied during the ordeal was sealed off. Later on the whole section in the hospital was closed. Many hospital workers believed something lingered behind after the exorcism. Some say the lights never would stay on and the heat didn't work properly. Sometimes foul odors would drift from beneath the room. In 1978, the wing was razed with difficulty. When the floor was taken off, members of the demolition crew claim they had difficulty controlling the wrecking ball. They also broke into the "exorcism room" when they were removing furniture that could be resold. They found it to be untouched since being sealed in 1949. A copy of the exorcism diary was found in the desk. But the strangest thing was that some crew members claim to have seen something emerge from the room moments before the wrecking ball destroyed it. They dismissed it as only being a cat or a big rat.

The case remains unsolved.

More info: or see the TLC special Exorcists: The True Story

*Taylor, Troy (2002). The St. Louis Exorcism Case: The Story that became The Exorcist! Retrieved on September 4, 2005 from the Prairie Ghost website:
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