Above is, apparently, a levitation photo of medium Colin Evans from 1938.
I’ve been thinking about psychics and psychic attacks since reading Heidi J’s intense and incredible novel, The Vanishers, about “mothers, daughters, and the psychic damage women can inflict on one another.”
It’s really made me look at the world in a completely different way and see the many ways we are drained or haunted by other human beings. It’s a must-read novel for sure.
There are a surprising number of sites devoted to thwarting or recovering from psychic attacks.
Here’s one site’s definition of what a psychic attack is:
“Psychic attacks are defined as the manipulation of supernatural energies and forces. Psychic attacks occur when dark and negative energetic vibrations are sent from one individual to another individual or place creating disturbances in the energetic and physical bodies of the person or place. This negative energy can be called a spirit, an entity, a thought form or a dark negative energy. Each of these energies can create harmful effects within the person receiving them.”
Here is a portion of the captivating opener from The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits:
Let me explain this in terms you can understand. People make people sick, it is not a stretch to claim this. What remains up for debate is the degree of malice involved when a person makes another person sick. Did your sister, for example, intend to give you her head cold? In most cases, not. We do not blame head colds on other people’s heads, we blame them on their bodies.
But what if your sister or girlfriend or roommate or coworker intended to give you a cold? What if, while you were in the bathroom, he or she coughed on purpose into your water glass?
And what if we’re not referring to people as carriers of disease but people as diseases? The self is a source of contagion, oftentimes an unwitting one. He makes me sick, you’ve said of your ex-boyfriend. She’s toxic, you’ve said of your boss.
And maybe he did, maybe she is. After you become afflicted, after the doctors finger you as the cause, it’s instinctual to blame others for your physical misfortune. But blame is lonely, and your loneliness is compounded by the fact that you’re scared to go outside. To be near others is to risk further exposure and, worse, humiliation. Even your best friend can’t help staring at the sores on your mouth.
In retaliation, to preserve whatever small amount of pride you still possess, you become the secret curator of the suffering of others. Homebound now, you do online searches for people from your past. You’re pleased to discover that your college roommate’s looks have been lost, that a former coworker’s start-up went bankrupt, that an ex-girlfriend’s Broadway dreams did not pan out. You spend your days monitoring demises. You become, over time, the connoisseur of downfall, a covert expertise that distracts you from your own decline.
You might realize, as I realized, that there exists one individual whose downfall over which you fixate, even obsess. For me that individual was a woman named Dominique Varga. She was a mother to me when no one else wanted the job. My own mother killed herself a long time ago. But your obsession might be a basketball coach, a softball coach, a graduate TA, a personal accountant, or a special, unlucky stranger you choose at random, as though from a police lineup, and falsely accuse. Why be fair? Nobody’s been fair to you. Monitoring this person’s disappointments functions as a course of steroids might, each new failure for her registering as an improvement for you. Her marriage implodes, your rash subsides. The economics of revenge. Your stock rises as hers declines. Perhaps you befriend her, and send the occasional e-mail. Otherwise you watch and harmlessly wait for your fortunes to reverse.
But what if you are not the only victim here? What if your daily online visits to this person whose ruin you’ve charted are not so benign? What if you are not a spectator to her demise? What if you’re to blame for her shitty life?
What if you are her disease?
In other words, this is not just a story about how you can become sick by knowing other people. This is a story about how other people can become sick by knowing you.
Run, don’t walk, to get this book.