That is unless you are like me. I have a strange kind of clairvoyance. I can “see” where people have died. Well, really, the best way I can describe it is somewhere between seeing and sensing the impression of a silhouette of a person who has dead. I call these “afterimages”.
You may be thinking that I should do consulting work with the police. And I do, sometimes. But you see my ability does have its limitations. The biggest being that I cannot tell exactly how or when a person died. Most of the time they could have died 72 hours ago from a gunshot wound or have been murdered three thousand years ago with a bow and arrow. Of course, context does sometimes provide clues as to the time and cause of death. I visited Ground Zero in NYC once and I knew that most of the afterimages were from people who had either been murdered or committed suicide. Once I was driving at night and I saw an afterimage hanging in the air, and by the position of his body I could tell that he had been crucified. Also, I can only “see” the after image in the geo-spacial position on earth where the person died, not where the person was buried, etc. Meaning that if I am on a cruise ship, I cannot tell what rooms people have died on, because the afterimages are out floating over the ocean. Likewise, I can only see afterimages in the positions in which they died, so if someone was shot in the head while standing up and died instantly, the afterimage would be standing, not sprawled on the ground as the police would find the actual body. And beyond all this, there is the simple fact that me telling the police that I can tell someone has died in a certain house due to my extra-sensory capabilities is not enough to get a search warrant.
I can, however, tell the approximate age of the victim when he or she died as well as the time of day that the death occurred during. I can also sense, but not really see, the facial expression the person had just before dying. But the most unsettling aspect of my ability is the fact that it only works at night. This makes nighttime drives rather creepy for me. In fact the most unpleasant drive I have ever had was along Route 66 at night for five hours. I really wish I didn’t have the ability, but it’s not a voluntary thing. I will see the afterimages whether I want to or not, even if I close my eyes. Have you ever been dining at a restaurant with your friends with an image of someone starring down at you through the window the whole time? Have you ever been on an airliner and looked out the window at night during the thunderstorm and seen the outline of a man floating outside? That’s how disturbing it can get for me.
During my childhood it was downright frightening. I first discovered I had the ability when I was a little kid because there was an afterimage in my bedroom. Now one thing you have to understand about all this is that terrain and elevation can change drastically over just a couple hundred years. A hill where someone was killed may not be there after not even that long. But the afterimage will be. I wanted more than anything to have a new room because night after night I there was this image of a man just hovering a few feet above my bed and starring down with an angry glare. Of course my parents didn't believe me when I said there was a dead person in my room, but after a couple years they finally agreed to let me move out, as I was outgrowing the room anyway. There was also an afterimage close to the playground at my elementary school. Telling my classmates about it certainly didn't help me make many friends.
Last summer I went to my vacation home to work on the book I am writing about my ability. When I arrived I immediately went to bed. The next morning I worked on one of the chapters. I ended up working until around 1:00 AM. I went out back to get some fresh air….
There were four afterimages in the back yard. From their profiles I discerned that they had been female, but their ages were unclear. They was suspended beneath a branch on the big tree. Probably hanged. I’ve seen many like it. But the most unsettling thing was that they appeared to not have actually died from hanging. They did have the ghastly look of surprised horror that many hanging victims who do not die by suicide do. But that wasn't all. Their arms and legs were missing. There would be no way for me to tell where they were since I can only see afterimages in the state that the bodies were in at the exact time of death. But most disturing of all, the afterimages showed that their entrails were hanging out at their times of passing. There was no way for me to know how long it had been there or even if it was there when I arrived or if they had been murdered while I was asleep.
I first took a flashlight and searched the yard for the bodies, with no success. There wasn't even any blood on the ground. However, I did see parts of the severed nooses hanging from the branch. I next contacted the police. I didn’t use “911” though. I never do. There are few dispatchers who would listen to my story about my life-long ability to see where people have died and take it seriously. The police did not find anymore evidence on my land, but they did tell me something interesting…
Four women had gone missing in the county within the first four hours after I arrived.