When we were researching true stories for our book Real Miracles, Divine Intervention, and Feats of Incredible Survival (Visible Ink Press, 2009), we came across a number of fascinating accounts in which a ghost or spirit appeared to heal or to save someone’s life.
Many such experiences are included in the book, but here are a few accounts from our files that may one day find their way into other book of miracles.
We met Howard Geary after we had conducted a workshop on the paranormal in Los Angeles. He invited us to coffee after our final presentation and admitted that he had been very much a product of the scientific age--and he had been filled with preconceptions and misconceptions about the “impossibility” of making contact with ghosts or spirits.
"If anyone had told me a few years ago that I would be sitting in the front row of your workshop on angels, multidimensional beings, and ghosts, I would have told that person that he was completely nuts," Geary said, chuckling at his own reversal of prejudices.
According to Geary, he and his second wife, Virginia, had been married for only a few weeks when she came down with a bad cough and a fever.
"It's my third day at work on this new job,” she said, fighting back tears as she crawled into bed. "I've got to shake this nasty bug. I can't afford to be sick right now."
Geary tried to soothe his bride's concerns. "You just worry about getting better. If you have to take a couple of days off, your new boss will understand."
By now the tears were moving unchecked over Virginia's cheeks. "That's easy for you to say, Howie. You've had your job for seven years. I've just started mine. I can't ask for sick leave after three days at work. They'll probably just decide to let me go.”
"Bad things happen to good people," Geary said as he set a glass of water on the nightstand and shook two aspirin out of a bottle. "Here. Take these. And don't worry. You're good at your work, and your new bosses know it. They're not going to let you go because you caught a little flu bug."
Virginia shook her head at the proffered aspirin. "I've taken too many of those already. Oh, honey, this is no 'little flu bug.’ I really got sick at the office. I had a coughing jag and nearly passed out.
"Someone felt my forehead and loudly announced to everyone within hearing distance that I had a raging fever. Pretty soon everyone was asking if I wanted them to call a doctor, an ambulance, a priest.
"I've wanted a job like this in advertising all of my adult life. Now I've probably lost it on account of I have the bubonic plague or something."
Geary knew how important the job seemed to be to Virginia, but he was helpless to do anything other than offer moral support. She refused to go to a doctor for fear that she might learn that she truly was ill with some disease or other, so there seemed to be nothing to do until she asked for help.
The trouble was, Virginia appeared to be getting sicker by the hour. She alternated between a high fever and chills, and she seemed to have acute pains in her abdominal region.
Geary told us that he had set a deadline of midnight. If Virginia didn't seem better by then, he was carrying her off to the emergency room at the hospital, regardless of her objections.
"I lay down on the couch so I wouldn't disturb Virginia, and I flipped on television to watch one of the late-night talk shows to pass the time," Geary said.
"The next thing I knew, I was shaking myself awake before I slipped off the couch and fell to the floor. I had dozed off. And my wristwatch was telling me that it was nearly two o'clock. I had gone 'way past my deadline to decide whether or not to take Virginia to the hospital."
Geary struggled wearily to his feet and was about to check on Virginia in the bedroom when he had the eerie sensation that they were not alone in their apartment.
"As I stood in the doorway of our bedroom, I was startled to see a tall, heavyset man leaning over Virginia," Geary said. "My heart started pounding, and I looked around for some kind of weapon to defend us against this very large burglar.
"But then I noticed that the big man had placed a hand gently, lovingly on Virginia's forehead. By now I was really confused. If this guy was a burglar, then he was the most gentle one imaginable."
The intruder suddenly became aware of Howard Geary's presence. He turned slowly and smiled at him.
"Although he had appeared as solid as a rock when I had first seen him," Geary said, "I was now able to see through him. He was becoming transparent right before my eyes. In spite of that, I could see clearly that he wore a bow tie and had on a three-piece suit. He was probably six feet four and about two hundred and fifty pounds.
"Just before he disappeared, he nodded at me, as if to say everything was going to be all right. A weird, luminous glow outlined his body, and he looked for a moment like the negative of a black-and-white photograph. Then he was gone."
Geary hastened to his wife's bedside. To his astonishment, she appeared to be sleeping peacefully.
He felt her forehead and neck, and amazingly, all traces of fever seemed to have left her.
"I didn't know what was going on," Geary said. "I remember lying down beside Virginia to try to sort it all out--and then the next thing I knew it was morning. I could hear that Virginia was up early, cheerfully singing her version of selected rock and roll classics while she showered."
Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, Geary fixed them both some coffee, orange juice, and toast. The peculiar events of the night before were still very jumbled in his groggy brain.
"Gee, honey," she said solicitously, gratefully accepting a cup of coffee from his shaking fingers, "you look terrible. Maybe you should stay home from work today."
"That's very funny." Geary said, forcing a smile. "I had a really weird night last night-besides playing nurse to my ailing wife. Anyway, I'm really pleased that you experienced such a miraculous recovery."
Virginia nodded as she sipped at the hot coffee. "I had a wonderful dream that my father came to see me. When I was a little girl, Daddy was always so attentive to me when I was sick. He was an insurance salesman, but I told him that he should have been a doctor.
He really had a true healing touch. Whenever he would put one of his big hands on my forehead, I would feel better right away. Didn't matter what was bothering me--stomachache, headache, measles, mumps. Daddy's touch could always make me feel better.”
Virginia took a bite of toast, then continued sharing her memories of her father. "Daddy died of a heart attack when I was only eleven," she said.
"I was with him when he died. We had just been running an errand to the supermarket for Mom. With his dying breath he told me that he would always be with me, and if I ever needed his help, he would be there.
"I loved him so much I was traumatized by his death. I didn't even speak for eight months after he died."
Geary asked his wife to describe her father. When she finished, he told her quietly that he had seen the image of a man who fitted that description in their bedroom at around two' o'clock. He had seen the man put his hand on her forehead. And then he had disappeared. Like a ghost.
Virginia began to weep. She walked to a dresser, pulled out a small photo album, showed him a photograph of a tall, heavyset man holding a little girl. "Daddy and me," she said, her voice breaking. "I was five or six."
Geary nodded. It was unquestionably a picture of the ghostly gentleman that he had seen in their bedroom.
Geary took his wife into his arms and held her while she wept.
"I guess your father intends to keep his word never to leave you," he said gently. "Last night I saw him place his hand on your forehead and draw out the fever."
In concluding his fascinating account, Howard Geary told us that he was absolutely certain that he had not been dreaming when he saw the apparition of Virginia's father at her bedside. Then, of course, there was her miraculous recovery after the spirit's visitation.
"As I told you," he stated, "Virginia and I had been married for only a very brief time. It is the second marriage for both of us, and we had been seeing each for only six or seven months before we decided to get married. I knew that her mother lived back East in New Hampshire and that she had a brother somewhere in Michigan. She knew that my family was situated mostly in Colorado. We just hadn't had time to sort out relatives and so forth, so I had never even seen a picture of her father before I saw him that night in his etheric form.
"And now I'm hoping that he will visit again. He is obviously a very loving spirit."
Felicia Small of Jackson, Mississippi, told us about the distraught telephone call from her niece Judy Thorson just before eleven o'clock on a chill February night.
"Judy's six-year-old daughter, Carrie, had developed a fever that had gone sky-high, and her family doctor had decided to put her in the hospital," Felicia said. "Judy had called to ask if I could come down and sit with her. She had lost her husband in an automobile accident a few years before, and with her folks back in Chattanooga she's my brother Rex's daughter - I was her only kin in the city."
When Felicia arrived at the hospital room that little Carrie shared with two other sick children, she was shocked to seehow very ill she appeared.
"Lordy, Judy, why didn't you get that child to a doctor right away?" She scolded her niece. "That poor baby looks like death warmed over."
Judy, already red-eyed from crying and lack of sleep, told her aunt that she had done all that she had known to do.
"Carrie didn't take sick until around ten o'clock last night," she explained.
"I sat up with her all night. Didn't get a- wink of sleep myself. I must have sat in the doctor's office most of the morning, and he didn't put her in the hospital until to night.”
Felicia put comforting arms around her twenty-six-year-old niece.
"Hush, hush, baby. It's all right. I'm sorry your cranky old auntie growled at you. I just don't want anything to happen to your baby."
Felicia sat with Judy for more than an hour before a heavyset nurse with badly dyed red hair came in to check the other children in the room--who were both sleeping soundly--and to examine the desperately ill Carrie.
Both the girl's mother and great-aunt were disappointed with the cursory and gruff treatment afforded by the bleary-eyed nurse, who appeared herself to be fatigued, drained, and hovering on the brink of illness.
"When will the doctor be by to check little Carrie?" Felicia asked politely.
The nurse sniffed haughtily after first taking the time to blow her nose in a wad of tissue that she grabbed from Carrie's bedside stand. "If you see a doctor walking these corridors this time of night, you let me know. I'll want to alert the media so they can get it on the morning news.”
Felicia felt her cheeks redden with anger at the rude reply, but she controlled her emotions. "I was only asking because I am greatly concerned about the child's well-being."
The nurse softened one or two degrees. "Yeah, well, I'm sorry, but I'm all you've got until seven or eight in the morning.”
After the abrasive nurse had left them alone, Judy hugged Felicia and cried into her shoulder. "I'm so glad that you're here with me."
"I'm afraid that all I can do is offer you some moral support," Felicia sighed. "It is apparent that the milk of human kindness in this hospital has curdled."
About ten minutes later an older nurse, who appeared to be in her fifties, stopped by to look in on Carrie. Her manner was in sharp contrast with the former nurse's cold indifference.
"She's such a pretty little girl." she smiled at Judy. "She looks just like her mommy. Don't you fret now, honey. She's going to be fine."
"But her fever seems so high," Judy said, fighting to hold back her tears. "I'm worried half out of my head."
"Isn't there some additional medication that can be prescribed to help the child through the crisis point?" Felicia asked.
The kind woman shook her head as her fingers gently brushed a moist strand of hair away from Carrie's eyes, "You know that we nurses are not allowed to prescribe any medication," she answered in a soft, almost musical voice.
When the nurse turned her attention back to the women, they could see that tears had begun to form in her eyes. "I'm Nurse Elms. If there is anything I can do, please call me. The nurses' station is just down the hallway."
Felicia sighed, dropping her arms helplessly to her side after Nurse Elms had left the room: “We still don't have any help for poor Carrie, but at least we've seen that human decency in this hospital still manages to stay alive in the body of that dear woman."
Both Felicia and Judy were dozing a few minutes after two in the morning when a tall, youthful doctor in a navy blue three-piece suit walked into the room. He went directly to the foot of Carrie's bed, picked up her chart, and scanned it quickly.
He turned to face the women, as if noticing them for the first time. He appeared to be in his mid-to-late thirties, and his smile was broad and friendly. When he spoke, his voice was deep, rich, and confident.
"She's a pretty sick little girl. There's no doubt about that," he admitted. "But don't you worry. I have just the magic brew that will fix her up in no time."
"Thank you," Judy said, squeezing her aunt's hand in relief and joy. "Thank you, Dr.--"
"I'm Dr. Vanbuhler, ma'am. And there's no need to thank me. I'm just doing my job, don't you know."
Felicia began to relax for the first time since Judy's telephone call. "Well, I wish there were more people like you doing their job around this hospital;" she said to the doctor as he readied a syringe for an injection in Carrie's bottom.
Dr. Vanbuhler smiled and nodded.
"If only some of the other staff members would love their work as much as you appear to," Felicia said.
"There is no question that I truly do love my work," he agreed, then mumbled a bit more before he began to whistle some nondescript tune that sounded like his personal rendition of circus or parade music.
The cheery doctor finished giving Carrie an injection, gave her an affectionate pat on the bottom, and left the room after a hurried but courtly bow to Judy and Felicia.
"Now that's the doctor that I'm requesting if I am ever a patient in this hospital." Felicia laughed.
At five-thirty Carrie sat up and asked for a drink of water. Felicia stroked the child's forehead while Judy went to get Nurse Elms. To her layperson's hands, it seemed as though Carrie's fever had left her.
Within minutes a beaming Nurse Elms had verified Felicia's diagnosis with a thermometer.
When Carrie's physician, Dr. Watney, arrived at seven, he carefully examined the girl and said that he was pleased to declare that her fever was gone.
"Let's just keep her until late-afternoon discharge time, though," he said to Judy. "We want to be certain before we send her home."
Felicia reached for her coat and purse. "Unless you need me for anything, hon," she said to Judy, "I'll go on home. Praise God for Dr. Vanbuhler."
Dr. Watney looked up from the notepad on which he was writing and frowned quizzically. "Who is Dr. Vanbuhler?"
Felicia shrugged. "I guess he's the doctor on the late late shift around here."
"There is no Dr. Vanbuhler on staff, and there is no doctor on duty here after ten o'clock." Dr. Watney's smile had disappeared, and his amiable bedside manner was beginning to fade away into thinly veiled annoyance.
“Mrs. Thorson,” he demanded of his patient's mother, "does your aunt have a peculiar sense of humor?"
"Why, no, Dr. Watney." Judy protested his insinuation. "Dr. Vanbuhler stopped by the room around two last night and gave Carrie a shot. I'm pretty sure that it was that shot that made her better."
Dr. Watney's cheeks were becoming very red. "No one authorized any kind of injection for Carrie."
His impatient fingers flipped the pages of Carrie's medical chart "And there is absolutely no notation to indicate that she had any kind of injection or any medication other than that which I authorized."
Judy's glare defused any full-blown outburst from the doctor, and her voice was steady, measured, free of doubt: "We saw him. He was here. He gave Carrie a shot."
"Very well, then," he said, pushing the button near Carrie's pillow that would summon a nurse. "We'll just get to the bottom of this at once. I will not have anyone in this hospital giving unauthorized medication to any of my patients."
The cold and indifferent heavyset nurse, who truly appeared on the verge of collapse, together with the loving Nurse Elms, agreed with the stern-faced Dr. Watney that there was no Dr. Vanbuhler on the staff and that Carrie had received no injection of any kind, during the night.
"There was something about Nurse Elms's demeanor that caused both Judy and me to drop the matter and say that we must have dozed off and imagined the whole episode in some kind of dream,” Felicia told us. “Dr. Watney seemed relieved, and it was obvious that he just wanted to get on with his daily rounds."
A few minutes later, as Felicia was walking across the hospital parking lot toward her car, Nurse Elms caught up with her.
"I just want you two nice ladies to know that you aren't crazy or anything," she said. "You aren't the first ones that Dr. Vanbuhler has helped, but generally I get to them first so they don't say anything to any of the doctors on staff."
Felicia frowned and asked nervously if Dr. Vanbuhler was some kind of maverick M.D.
"No." Nurse Elms smiled. "Nothing like that. You see, Dr. Vanbuhler has been dead for nearly thirty years. A youngster like Dr. Watney would never have heard of him."
Felicia has always been open toward accounts of the paranormal, so she encouraged Nurse Elms to tell her more about the ghostly physician.
"He was truly a wonderful, caring doctor," Nurse Elms said.
"He was on staff when I first came to work here. I was only nineteen. Dr. Vanbuhler was in his mid-thirties, and I thought he was what an ideal physician should be. He was completely devoted to the healing arts and to helping his patients.
"Sometimes it is really difficult to understand God's ways, but that saintly young doctor was killed in the hospital late one night by a teenaged mental patient who had got hold of a scalpel and in his delusion thought Dr. Vanbuhler was the father who had abused him.
"I've seen his ghost walking the corridors of the hospital on three or four occasions," she concluded. “I think his spirit is given some kind of life force by his desire to help the sick. And every so often, as in the case ofyour niece's child, he manifests in physical form to continue his healing work. In my book, even though he's a ghost, he is still my ideal of what doctors should be."
Felicia told us that she heartily agreed. Later, she said, she prayed all the way on her drive home for the ghostly doctor’s eternal peace.
In his book Encounters with the Unknown, Colin Parsons relates an account of dramatic spiritual interaction when a mother's fervent prayers were somehow able to unlock the doors between worlds and summon miraculous assistance for her desperately ill little girl.
In September 1981 little Geraldine O'Rourke suddenly fell ill at the isolated rural home to which she had just moved with her parents. Helpless to prevent her condition from worsening, the O'Rourkes were dismayed when Geraldine's fever soon reached 101 degrees.
To make matters all the worse, the area was beset by a torrential downfall of rain, which prevented their taking her to a hospital, and their telephone was out of order, making a call for help impossible.
Just when the desperate parents' hopes were fast sinking in despair, Mrs. O'Rourke heard a peculiar rustling sound and looked up from her prayers to behold the figure of a man looking down at Geraldine on the bed. The mother felt no fear at the appearance of the phantom, and she immediately regarded the entity as one sent by God in answer to prayer.
The ghostly form led the amazed O'Rourkes to a hidden cache of medicines behind a panel in their living room. Trusting that the spirit entity had been sent by God to help them, they carefully followed the ghost's instructions regarding the proper administration of the medicines to their daughter.
As the astonished O'Rourkes watched, Geraldine became still and peaceful. The entity joined their vigil until dawn, then disappeared.
Later, after little Geraldine had fully recovered, the O'Rourkes did a bit of investigation and learned that their house had formerly been occupied by a doctor. Fearing that burglars would steal his drugs, he hid them in a secret compartment. But he had died so suddenly that he hadn't had time to leave instructions for their disposal.
The O'Rourkes will be forever grateful that the secret cache remained for the doctor's spirit to dispense to their daughter on that grim and stormy night. They have made a kind of shrine out of the compartment in which their helping hand from beyond had kept the medicines that saved Geraldine's life.
Can the dead return to help and to heal the living? Some researchers theorize that what appear to be ghosts are really angels, who utilize a familiar personage in order to more effectively work healing wonders upon those who call upon them for aid. For those individuals who have received healing from otherworldly beings, it is only the blessed result that matters.
Including more than 200 true, thought-provoking stories, this inspirational collection provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of unexplained phenomena and survival against overwhelming odds. A wide range of topics and circumstances is covered, including angelic interventions, surviving airplane crashes and cataclysmic natural disasters, medical miracles, amazing sea rescues, miracles on the highway, and near-death experiences. Remarkable stories include how a sky diver plummeted more than 4,000 feet and walked away with only a cut, how a mother and her children ride out a tornado atop an airborne mattress and survive, and how a group of dolphins rescued a swimmer from a shark attack.
Please buy it here now!
Steiger was born on 19 February 1936 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to a mother and father who were farmers. He claims to have lived "in a haunted house with thumps, bumps, doors opening and closing, and men and women walking around all night in period costume.
Steiger claims to have written his first book when he was seven years old, and has published 162 books with over 17 million copies in print, including the biography of Rudolf Valentino, later made into a feature film by British director Ken Russell. From 1970-1973 Steiger wrote a weekly newspaper column, The Strange World Of Brad Steiger. He has authored over 2000 newspaper columns.
Please also see: THE TEN MOST HAUNTED PARANORMAL BOOKS 2008
Brad Steiger Official Web Site Visit It Here Now: "www.bradandsherry.com"
Personal life and beliefs
Steiger is married to Sherry Hansen Steiger, a former model. He is a former high school teacher, and college instructor. He began writing when he was a school teacher in his native Iowa when he had writings published in Fate Magazine and other publications. Throughout the 1960s Steiger co-wrote 22 books with other writers. Steiger claims to be politically independent, and cynical of politics. He lists his political heroes, however, as Jonathan Swift, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. When asked about individuals he admired, Steiger listed Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, William James, Fredric W.H. Myers, Rudolf Steiner, Sir William Crookes, and Mario Lanza as those he would have liked to have met.
In an online interview with Dan Schneider, Steiger claimed to be an 'Emersonian transcendentalist,' and summed up his philosophy this way:
I believe humankind is part of a larger community of intelligences, a complex hierarchy of powers and principalities, a potentially rich kingdom of interrelated species, both physical and nonphysical. I believe that humankind’s one truly essential factor is its spirituality. The artificial concepts to which we have given the designation of sciences are no truer than dreams, visions, and inspirations. The quest for absolute proof or objective truth may always be meaningless and unattainable when it seeks to define and limit our Soul, which I believe is eternal, evolving higher, seeking to return to the Source from whence it came. I believe that technology plays a far smaller role in the lives of nations than the spirit, for the essence of humankind is its intellect and its Soul. Machines, associations, political parties, and trade balances are but transitory realities that must ultimately wither, decay, and come to nothing. The only lasting truths are Soul, imagination, and inspiration.
Steiger and his wife are also animal lovers and believers in animal rights. Steiger claims, "We are appalled by any mistreatment of animals—chemical testing, dogfights, rooster fights, bull fights. We must learn to respect all living things if we are to survive with dignity as a species. I doubt if I could live for any length of time without a dog. Fortunately, my wife and children feel the same. We are all dog owners. Dogs are our connection with nature and the Earth Mother.
Brad and Sherry Steiger