After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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Parting Glances: The Devil made me do it

By |2006-04-27T09:00:00-04:00April 27th, 2006|Opinions|

I don’t know what impulse possessed me to buy a copy of “The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America’s Most Haunted House,” by former owner Frances Kermeen (Warner Books; 2005).

It’s not my usual nonfiction fare. But over a week I managed to finish it (in various stages of undress and with a variety of midnight snacks). All 62 chapters, plus Prologue, Epilogue, and schematics.

Among the ghosts who wander in and out of its pages are two ante-bellum kids who peek in at windows, a lady dressed in black who waltzes in the French bedroom, a Confederate soldier who camps out in the Green Room (during May and June), and a one-eared, green-turbaned slave with candle who was once tortured by her master — “before she killed his wife and daughters with a poisoned cake.”

Ms Kermeen, who put up with these Southern diehards for ten annoying years before calling it quits (following the untimely and/or mysterious deaths of three friends and her dog, and the betrayal of her spooked-out husband, leading to divorce) includes in her paperback telling two real-life gay neighbors, and snide remarks about the uppity, status-conscious denizens of the Louisiana KKK county where the Myrtles Plantation is located.

Do I believe in Civil War ghosts? What can I say for $6.99 ($9.99 Canadian), the price of admission to Ms Kermeen’s twilight zone. Anything’s possible. Heaven knows there are enough people — straight, gay, polymorphous perverse — who believe in UFOs, alien abduction, the Loch Ness Monster (no relation to Fred Phelps) and ESP.

I have a lesbian friend — ‘Lady Sybil’ — who is herself a New Age guru and a medium in touch with those who roam the Great Beyond. Sybil claims that gay men, “because they are genetically ‘sensitive’ make the best psychics — unless they’re into leather or the gym.”

Years ago she invited me to sit in on her private circle of clairvoyants, ESP students, and would-be mediums. The format was predictable: hymns, an uplift sermon, Spirit World messages, followed by the requisite love offering on the way out.

“May I step into your aura?” was the permission request asked of me when it was my turn to receive a one-on-one message from the dearly departed. “Yes, yes,” said I, pleased that some relative on my maternal and/or paternal side still had my mundane interests at heart. “You will receive a lavender-scented letter in the mail,” the medium counseled me. “Do you know someone named Bruce? I get a last name beginning with the letter D. Darling? An ex-roommate perhaps?”

Over the next several weeks I received more messages of questionable accusation from Mr. D, who I was then convinced was probably a private eye, a sixth cousin obviously gay, not too swift.

There were two memorable lights-out seances, I witnessed. During the first tiny cascades of pink lights winked joyfully overhead. During the second — a session with a spirit trumpet — I helped things out a bit, herewith shamefacedly admitting for the first time to a living soul that I cheated.

That sitting there were a dozen present. The aluminum trumpet was placed dead center in our circle — hopefully to be raised by unseen spirit hands and spoken through by ethereal voices. On impulse — bored with the wait — I reached out and moved the trumpet.

When the lights came on somebody gasped. “Oh, my God. It moved!” Lady Sybil whispered, “You look white as a sheet — and beat red at the seams.” I never went back.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.