Ghost River – Postscript

November 2, 2006 at 8:16 pm (Ghost River)

As a longtime friend of John Hayes who has followed his work with some interest over the years, I feel now is probably as good a time as any to pick up a few of the pieces he never quite came to grips with in his narrative.

With the help of Lynn Alexander, I have been going through both John’s papers and those of his grandfather, William Hayes. There is still much to be accounted for, but I feel we are getting closer to realizing some closure on this matter.

To put it in vaguely chronological order:

Professor William Hayes moved to Stranger Creek in 1924, and assumed the Departmental Chair in Metaphysics at Linden College. That same year his daughter Caroline was born, the mother of John Hayes. His first few years in Stranger were happy and uneventful, but in the 1927 the infamous ‘rip in the fabric’ occurred. Exactly how this happened is still not clear. Evidence points to certain events during WWI and its aftermath that may be responsible, but the effect was that certain forces hitherto kept at bay, were allowed to penetrate our world, forces of a decidedly unwholesome nature. By the early 1930’s these forces had concentrated their energies sufficiently to affect global affairs in a profoundly threatening way.

Hayes and several other senior members of the Omaha Theosophical Society, realized not only what had occurred but the potential severity of matters if they were not properly addressed. He was directed to create a special Lodge that would begin to attempt a remedy, by no means an easy or assured proposition. Eventually he would create a cadre of a dozen members who began various occult experiments, not all of which were successful.

By 1939, both the Lodge and the larger Theosophical Society had collapsed, but Hayes and three of his more stalwart fellow experimenters achieved a notable breakthrough. Although they were unable to halt the growing intensity of archonic manifestation, they discovered a method to shift parts of the physical world to another dimension, in essence to quarantine the invasive elements.

This method involved creating an elaborate but alluring labyrinth, one that would divert daimonic attention long enough, for the shift to take place. With their eyes off the wheel, the direction of the karma could be changed. The final rite in a series of rites was set for February, 1941. Unfortunately, for reasons that are still not understood, the last rite failed, in fact, it failed rather badly.

All three of his colleagues disappeared entirely to places unknown, and Stranger Creek itself shifted out of this dimension, into a close but not contiguous space – like a door that becomes ajar and no longer opens or closes properly. By this slight shift of dimensionality, Stranger Creek vanished both in the memory and the maps of Kansas, hence the difficulty that has been reported, of trying to locate Stranger Creek physically.

This disaster broke Hayes completely. His wife and teenage daughter were away at the time, and after the shift had no way, or even thought of returning, to what was now apparently, nothing at all. The remaining citizens were, as you might imagine, not pleased, and the Town Council launched an investigation. This report I have not been able to find – it may be somewhere still in the Courthouse. William Hayes, died that Spring, by his own hand. The worst war in history soon followed.

A Council was formed to assess the situation and make recommendations. They eventually were able to find a way in which town residents could return to the world they left, which they called Kansas. Also, they realized that Kansans could also enter Stranger Creek. It was difficult, but on certain days, when the signs and stars were aligned, one could, by an exercise later called ‘seeing diagonally’, enter the town by following certain angles of oblique sunlight, and the spheres they created. One of these visitors, was John Hayes, William’s grandson, who accidently stumbled into Stranger Creek, one afternoon in 1954, when he was eight years old.

Over time it appeared that the experiments of William Hayes were not a total failure. This is something that we only recently realized. It appears now, that by his actions, the rip expanded, and conversely to expectations, this allowed a more diverse array of beings to enter into the world at large. This diversity allowed for an increased number of karmically possible outcomes, and for that reason was positive.

The rather large hole that now exists – something akin to the missing Ozone layer over the poles – is slated to close fairly soon – for reasons involving certain other forces that are hard to speak about. That date is said to be sometime in the fairly near future – possibly 2012. There is continual discussion in Stranger as to what will happen then. Possibly Stranger Creek will shift back into presence with the rest of Kansas, possibly Kansas will shift out of orbit and join Stranger Creek in its special space, or on the other hand, perhaps both dimensions will cease to appear, or appear somewhere else entirely. This is all still an open question. Of course, there are larger implications to all of this, considerably more disturbing than global warming, but being a small town, we naturally, are more interested in what might happen locally.

John Hayes bravely attempted to carry on his grandfather’s work, but it is not clear just what he accomplished. It appears he was seduced by a certain kind of luminosity that surrounds perimeters and edges. He also neglected I think to realize that the nature of a doorway is that it swings both ways. But this is just the near-term view – further away, things might look entirely different.

Fortunately, we have managed to close the opening John created. This will have some immediate consequences. Mr. Samdi, being on the other side of the door at the time, having gone back to retrieve certain ritual implements, will no longer be able to roam freely here in Stranger Creek. I know some of the students at the college will be disappointed, as he was gaining a popular and loyal following there.

The Council of Elders has put a moratorium on occult experimentation that will stay in effect through the remainder of 2006. New guidelines on properly methodology will be issued in the next few months.

Of course our town forum will once again need a new moderator. I am pleased to announce that Lynn Alexander will take over this task. As our librarian, she is one of our most wholesome citizens, and I’m sure her cheerful Stranger spirit will brighten our site.

I appreciate the patience of our residents and friends as we work through this latest series of events. Hopefully, with the coming holidays we can take our minds off our particular troubles, and celebrate the simple joys of life that are still available to us.


Dr. Douglas Oostenburg

1 Comment

  1. H.D. Gemson said,

    Bless you Dr. Oostenberg for setting the record straight on the recent events in our town that many have refused to acknowledge. Our mayor, the Honorable Harold Ben Hobbs takes the position that we should conduct ourselves as if nothing is wrong or unusual. I politely disagree. I think his view stems from not being able to successful navigate the “tween” as some call it back and forth between the two places, “Kansas” and here. Simply put Hobbs has been stuck in Stranger Creek too long to remember that there is a larger outside world other than what is shown on television. Of course, many of us can navigate the ‘tween simply by crossing our eyes and taking a deep breath and so we know the mysteries (and dangers) of places beyond the Creek such as Oskaloosa, McLouth, Winchester, and Boyle. I suspect that Bluebeard crosses the divide without thinking or noticing the change. He is only glad, as many residents are, that we don’t have to pay taxes and for cable tv anymore. Like so many residents he doesn’t want to ponder the reasons why. Who can blame him?

    In my mind the doctor’s comments makes commemorating the squirrel gathering of 1891 all the more significant given its proposed date of 2011, marking the 120th anniversary of said event, and one year before 2012 when such a celebration might well be an impossibility and would be one year later in any case.

    As for the Great Gathering being a “story” as some have termed it, I have a steroptic photograph of it in my possession which is one of only several evidences I am gathering. I am sure that Mr. Rice’s turn of speech was precisely that. I was fascinated by his own account of his cat whom I noted also made squirrel-like vocalizations (my choice of words), and I shall now watch carefully for that creature in my backyard.

    Thank you for your kind attention this day.

    H.D. Gemson
    2011 Squirrel Heaven, Founder and Executor President in Chief

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