Paranormal Events-Coincidences: Cassadaga, FL

January 12, 2012

In our investigations into the paranormal, my wife Barbara and have come to the conclusion that no events are truly coincidental. Having that belief is one thing but seeing it demonstrated in a highly dramatic way tends to really grab your attention. This is the recent story about such a happening.

The book Barb and I wrote about the paranormal was originally published by an imprint of Prentice Hall back in 1984. When we brought An Explosion of Being back to life through Old St. Augustine Publications in the fall of 2011, I began to wonder about the people who read that first edition. Did the book have any lasting effect on them? Did anyone actually keep a copy or did they just give it away? Questions like that.

Two days later, the phone rang. The caller ID said, “Cassadaga Camp.” Cassadaga? Barb and I hadn’t had any actual connection with that Spiritualist town just north of us since we went there for a psychic reading in 1979. In our book, we wrote about our visit to Cassadaga and the medium, Mae Graves Ward, but I couldn’t see how this phone call could relate to that in any way. Much to my amazement, I soon discovered how wrong I was.

It turned out that the caller, was Selene Green, the manager for the Cassadaga Camp Bookstore and Information Center. This is what she said: “You probably don’t remember me but I was the manager of the B. Dalton’s bookstore in Gainesville, Florida when you and your wife did a book signing there back in 1985.” She went on to say that she still had her copy of our book we signed for her at the time and she believed that it led her to her present position in Cassadaga.

Spirit Pond in Cassadaga, FL. Photo by Marla Chirnside

To say I was astounded doesn’t begin to explain how I felt. Before I had time to recover, Selene put another woman on the phone. “Hi Doug, I’m Marla Chirnside and I hired your wife to work in the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce back in 1985.”

My phone connection with Cassadaga was getting weirder by the moment. Marla’s name rang a bell in my startled brain and Barb had indeed worked at the Seminole County Chamber.

Left-Marla Chirnside, Right-Selene Green

“I know you won’t believe this,” Marla went on to say, “but I’m living in Mae Graves Ward’s house here in Cassadaga, the medium you and Barb visited. I’m also a healer and serve on the Board of Trustees for the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp.”

What a double-barelled surprise! Talk about getting your questions answered and making a point about there being no coincidences! A few weeks after that phone conversation, Barb and I went to Cassadaga and had dinner with both Selene and Marla. We had a wonderful time catching up on the intervening years, talking about what brought us all together again, and discussing the paranormal.

Enough said about that experience. I think it speaks for itself. If you want to know more about Cassadaga, see my two previous posts, one of which is a photo gallery. My next post will highlight the Cassadaga Bookstore and Information Center.

For more information on Cassadaga, click on any of the following links:

A Cassadaga Photo Gallery

Cassadaga, A Spiritualist Community

Cassadaga Bookstore and Information Center


If you are truly interested in all kinds of strange phenomena, you also might be like to take a look at my book, Carl Jung, Hauntings, and Paranormal Coincidences.  You can find it in most online bookstores. Listed below, however, are direct book links to some of the larger retail outlets in the English speaking world:

Amazon.comAmazon CanadaAmazon UKAmazon IndiaAmazon AustraliaBarnes and Noble, The Book Depository

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