Living The Afterlife
By: Jenny Harker
As I sit here writing this article I can see
a shadow moving in the corner of my right eye, the shadow of a man. The man
has settled into an armchair. I can feel him watching me.
You know the feeling you get when a cat watched you from somewhere nearby only
you cannot see it? The hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Same thing
with me and the man.
Thing is I am the only person in the room.
I have no idea who or what the ghost is. He never speaks or does much of
anything after appearing. He simply sits in the chair and watches me write.
Occasionally he sits on the futon sofa in the other room, a shadow of a man
perhaps trying to find some peace and quiet.
Welcome to living the afterlife in Lompoc, California.
(Before I continue let me get the town name out of the way. Our town's odd
name is a constant source of disagreement even amongst the locals.
'Lompoc' is a Chumash Indian word meaning 'stale water'. Not glamorous,
perhaps, but suitable as the valley was once a marshland.
Most of the locals here, including me, pronounce the town name as 'Lom-poke'.
The original Chumash pronunciation of the word 'lompoc'is 'lom-pah'. No c. Use
either one. But if you come to Lompoc use the 'Lom-poke' pronunciation to
avoid being lectured on how to pronounce the name.)
I grew up in this valley of rolling hills, sea winds, and commercial flower
fields. Lompoc valley is my garden soul, my love, my one and only.
And it is choked to the hilltops with ghosts.
Lompoc is considered to be one of the most haunted areas in the United States.
From the many ghosts at La Purisima Mission, the lady haunting the chamber of
commerce building, the many lost spirits at Honda Point, to the many ghostly
visitors I receive in my home whether I want them or not-Lompoc is a hot spot
in the spirit world.
Being psychic has give me some insight into why this valley attracts so many
Lompoc valley is a weak spot in the veil separating our world from the
afterlife. Ghosts and other types of spirits slip through the veil and out
again as easy as you please.
In the other room, for example, is a corner through which spirits from the
cemetery next door come and go. The corner is always cold even when the rest
of the room is hot from afternoon sunlight.
It isn't only the ghosts of the dead who visit, but also other spirits as
well. And they're not always friendly.
But for this particular psychic (A silly word!) this weakened veil strengthens
my ability to see beyond the physical. I sense the shifts in atmosphere as the
world of life touches the world of the afterlife.
This delicate balance between the living world and not so living has given
Lompoc valley a serene atmosphere that heals the troubled mind and soul.
It's the sort of peace found when you sit alone on a grassy hilltop high above
the noise of the town, or while you sit alone in an empty church. You feel as
if you can see into forever, almost into the afterlife.
I realize I sound like a nutcase. You don't have to believe me. To do so is
your choice. What I'm talking about has to be experienced to be truly
The shadow man is moving into the other room. I admit I don't feel as
comfortable around him as I do my other visitors, so I keep my distance. But I
would like to find out who or what he is.
Or maybe I shouldn't.
Jenny Harker, 2005