• Erin Montgomery

Unexpected Dinner Guest

A Medium's Experience

Never thought I would need to start an article with a disclaimer, but here it is:

Disclaimer: This is a true story, but the names have been changed to protect the departed, her family, and friends.

Not being trained can bring you danger in many different realms of life. I am not going to play around with motorcycles, chainsaws, CAD design programs, rattlesnakes, SCUBA gear, or airplanes because I know nothing about them. I don’t want to get hurt or possibly hurt others. Not understanding mediumship abilities can get you in trouble, too, if you don’t know what is going on. I have been able to communicate with spirits who have not crossed over since I was very young. I didn’t understand what was happening to me until I was in my 20s. During my 30s and now into my 40s, I write down their stories and help them cross over. After all these years of working closely with spirits, I know when they are close, talking to me, or trying to get my attention. It has taken me years to get to this point, and I am, in fact, still learning. This article is a testament to my ever-evolving understanding of the universe around me, the impact we have on those around us — even when we don’t realize it — and all the forms that true friendship can come in.

When I bought my first house here in Roswell, New Mexico at the beginning of May 2012, my oldest daughter and I were in the kitchen making our very first dinner in the new house. We were talking and laughing, enjoying the moment as, indeed, it was special. I even remember what we were making: chicken alfredo. We were alone in the house. Suddenly we heard a voice ring out, “Knock, knock!” The sweet voice of a young woman, very cheery, greeted us as if she was inviting herself in, eager to meet new neighbors. My daughter and I looked at each other, confirming that we both heard the voice and went to investigate. No one was in the living room. The front door was closed and locked. No one was outside. But, we both heard those two words, “Knock, knock!”

Activity Heightens

The rest of the evening passed without incident. The sound of the woman’s voice, though odd, wasn’t something that would shake my daughter or myself, as this isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary for us. But then the dreams started. Over and over I would dream of a young woman, not even out of her teens yet—beautiful, with a full life ahead of her. She would talk to me about her hopes and aspirations. She would cry and show me how scared she was. She showed me how she ran. She showed me how she was trapped in the back of a truck, tied up, covered in a tarp, being taken out into the woods. She showed me her body being dumped. She told me her name, but I only caught the first letter—B—but I had no other information.

A couple of months later, my oldest started to have her own strange experiences in the house. It was summer time, and she was out of school. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon one day, she decided to step into the shower. While the warm water spilled over her as she rinsed her hair out, she heard the bathroom door open. Distinct footsteps neared the shower door. Humming filled the small bathroom. “Hey, Mom, you’re home early,” she said. Hearing no reply, she peeked her head out of the shower and saw the bathroom door was wide open. “Mom?” She heard a giggle in response. Drying off as quickly as possible, she ran to her bedroom. 45 minutes later I got home from work.

Eventually, all three of us, myself and both of my daughters, had all heard the humming in the bathroom. It became so persistent that I knew I needed to help this spirit. She wasn’t hurting anyone; she was obviously attracted to us and our house, and I became determined to help her cross. But, how was I supposed to help this person that I couldn’t communicate with fully? Did I really need her name in order to address her?

No, It Can't Be...

It was at this time, around six months after we had moved into the house, that I happened to connect with some high school friends online. One of those friends posted a 20-year memorial for a classmate of ours who had tragically passed. Even though I was not aware that she had died, it all hit me like a brick, and lots of information came back to me in waves. I was returned to my first years of college, walking down the hall of the community college I was attending at the time to see a bulletin board full of missing persons posters. I never paid too much attention to them, not really, nothing more than a cursory, “oh shoot that is awful” type of thought that crosses my mind. But on that day, something caught my eye. And there she was, second from the left on the top row of posters. Hundreds of miles from my hometown I never expected to see a missing persons poster of someone I went to high school with, but there it was in black and white, Brenda missing since November of 1993. And now, in 2012, I found out that she was gone. Dead. Body found in the woods by a hiker two years after she disappeared. A serial killer behind bars, suspected in her murder.

The reality of the moment sunk in slowly, swirling around me like a whirlpool. The B name, the dream images of a woman dumped, dead in the woods, the friendly voice greeting us. I knew who was in my house. I could finally call her by name. I could help her find peace. And I did, I went into the bathroom, where so much of the activity was centered, and I had a conversation with Brenda. Told her about how I found out it was her, how I understand how she would be confused and that I could help her cross. And I was able to get her soul to cross over. And it was just so simple, right? Well, right?

The Story Continues

Five years passed since that night when I helped Brenda to cross over. I was actively searching out outlets for my writing. I happened across a Halloween ghost story contest by the local paper. I thought to myself, “Oh, I have a ghost story, I will write about Brenda.” And I did. Sent it off. Didn’t win. But I also didn’t delve into the truth behind it all. I became obsessed with the question, “Why me?” The more I thought about her, the stronger her presence became known to me again... and again and again I came back to why did this girl that I barely knew in high school come to me for help? I didn’t even really like her then. But she was right there, with me. Again. And I cried. There had to be more to the story than just a strange meeting in a new house, and why did I feel so emotional about this whole situation? I have listened to so many spirits and have helped so many people haunted by others, I would do it again. This time with Brenda—I had to know.

Sometimes the truth can be harder to deal with than any fiction story you may dream up. I knew I had abilities. I knew I had a calling to help spirits and the people in their lives. But, I had no idea I was haunted myself, and had been for over 20 years. Here is what Brenda said:

Brenda's Story

“I have been watching you for so long, Erin. I missed out on all these opportunities in my life, but in being with you I have learned the joy of living, even in those tough times. I have been trying for so long to get you to sit down with me like this. Oddly enough, I feel closer to you than I have felt to any of my friends when we were growing up. In a way, I think you got into dangerous relationships and situations because on some level you knew I was there. I won’t deny egging it on sometimes. I felt empowered that I could actually get you to hear me, but it wasn’t the contact with you that I was really needing.

Honestly, you didn’t even hardly register on my radar when I was alive. The images in your dream are exactly what happened. I showed it all to you. We don’t need to go back over that because I know how upsetting it is for you.

I just want to tell you about your light. It was your light that brought me to you. And yes, it was that moment that you saw me in that poster. Soon as you recognized me, it was like a portal opened and I saw you and felt such a relief and hope, and I ran to you. I didn’t know how to communicate with you for many years. Slowly I learned to move objects, you remember, and I did show myself to your second husband that once. (He had seen a woman leaning over me while I slept). I wanted to protect you but didn’t know how. It wasn’t until 20 years later that I was finally learning how to interact with the living world. Your house made it very easy. There is a portal here, and in you. Both. You always make things interesting. And honestly, I think the more people thought of me, the stronger I was and it was time to be known, which brings us up to the 'dinner guest.'

I have crossed, thanks to you, and can move freely back and forth, but I left a piece of myself here, in you, and in all fairness to you I need to own it and take it back. It is only hurting you now. Don’t worry. I will talk to you more and more. As you have become my closest friend, I am understanding that you are just waking up to this knowledge. I love you, you have saved me on so many different levels. You are my hero. And really, I will be here to help you as often as I can.”

The Aftermath

And then she was gone. I felt so empty. So alone. How do you lose a best friend that you didn’t even know existed until an hour or so before? I felt like I had lost another side of me. And to this day I am picking apart what was Brenda and what was me. The panic attack I had watching a documentary about a small town outside where I grew up—now it makes sense to me as that is near where her body was found. The descent into drugs and a violent marriage when I had never had an inkling in my life to use any illegal substance suddenly makes sense when I think about how addictions can transcend life and into death, having seen other spirits use people to get high. The fears of writing this article because of the judgement of the people from my hometown—completely unfounded on my part but would be something on the mind of a woman who was in trouble with drugs before she died. What are my emotions and what are hers?

Life—and death—hold more mysteries than we could ever imagine. Being aware of our surroundings and creating boundaries within ourselves is an important task that I have started teaching others about. This experience with Brenda has changed my outlook on what it means to have a spirit attached to you. I could dwell on what my life would have been like had she not been with me and influencing me for all of those years. I suspect she helped push me into the spiritual direction I have found myself, so without her I truly would not be the person I am today. And without her, I wouldn’t understand how deep and how far friendship can go. It can bridge eternity.

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