Maplewood became a hotel from a horse barn in 1879, Lily Dale, NY. Haunted of course. I thought you all would love this memory.
ADVENTURES IN LILY DALE WITH DICK & TARA
Two weeks ago: Tara flew from LAX to Buffalo, NY, arriving at 3:36 PM. I arrived from Roanoke, VA three minutes later, and we met in baggage. “Not bad planning for Mercury Retrograde,” I said. Our baggage arrived in a timely manner. I rented a car. No snags. We were both hungry, so we stopped at a BBQ restaurant on the way out of town … and it took a long time to get our meal.
We were on our way to Lily Dale, NY (the town where everyone talks to the dead). We told a film crew from Norway that we’d be there about 6:30, and obviously we were not going to make it. Elaine Thomas, of Fellowships of the Spirit, was helping to coordinate this project for us, and when she called to see where we were, I explained and promised we’d be there at 7:30. That I knew we could do.
Tara was going to do her moon ritual and the Norwegians were going to film it as a segment of a reality TV show. We’d work with them for the next two days. Then, on the weekend, we’d conduct a “Life Force Activation” seminar at Fellowships. Elaine warned me that it was going to be very cold. It was freezing the previous night, and it had snowed a little this morning. I did not have winter gear with me, so I planned to put on two pairs of pants, two shirts, a hooded rain jacket and a snowboarder shell. I had cowboy boots and could wear two pairs of socks. That should do it.
We sped west on the freeway, and got lost in conversation. Tara wanted to know what I knew about the show. Very little. The Norwegians had contacted me wanting to know if they could film and interview us in Sedona this particular Thursday and Friday. I told them I would be in Lily Dale, NY and mentioned that most of the residents were mediums and talked to the dead. That intrigued them more than Sedona. They would follow me around and interview me. I was to come up with lots of interesting things to do and show them.
“You’re kidding,” I said. No, they were not kidding. “It will be a lot more interesting if you include Tara, since she’s a psychic and a shaman” they said. “Plus I added she’s good at demonstrating her abilities.” I didn’t mention that German and Swedish crews had filmed her conducting Moon Rituals in Malibu in the last few months.
Tara volunteered to do the full moon ritual. I told them, and they loved it.
Up ahead, on the freeway, there were toll collection booths I didn’t recognize. I pulled up to the window and asked how far it was to the Fredonia exit. The kid in the window laughed, “It’s about 25 minutes behind you.” Now I’ve driven this road dozens of times. I’d never missed the exit before. Damn, it was now feeling very much like Mercury Retrograde. I’d gotten lost in conversation and wasn’t paying attention.
Nothing rattles, Tara. “We’re fine, just breathe deeply and go for it,” she said. And I did. We pulled into the Lily Dale gates at exactly 7:30 and as we rounded the corner to our apartment, we came to a stop in front of a film crew of two women and four men. One man was hosting a large broadcast video camera and a bank of lights. Another man was taking still pictures as fast as his finger would snap. I muttered something about not believing it.
“Be cool, Richard. They’re just doing their job.” We got out of the car, apologized. A handsome man appeared to be the host and he shook my hand. The camera man had the camera looking up my nose holes. The lights were blinding. I tried to explain that we had to go in and get dressed for the cold weather. Ahhh, they agreed and followed us right into the apartment (the lower level of a beautiful 1800s house).
I went right into the bedroom and closed the door leaving Tara to fend for herself. I put on two of everything, which I realized was not going to be enough. Tara joined me. “Can you do this?” I asked. “Sure,” she said.
The ritual would take place on the lawn in front of the old Lily Dale Hotel on the edge of Lake Cassadega. Many stumps form a circle on the lawn, and the locals were already seated, dressed in heavy winter attire, waiting for Tara to begin. Elaine provided me with a pop-open chair (there were no more stumps). Tara began, asking each person to participate by talking about their fears.
Twenty minutes into the program, Elaine said she was freezing and had to go. But she left me with a big square of carpet to wrap myself in, along with a blanket. Two of my favorite mediums, Marti and Jessie, apologized for leaving, but they couldn’t take the cold.
I managed to wrap myself in the carpet and do a strange little body and head wrap with the blanket. Only my eyes could be seen. I was still freezing, but I was freezing comfortably. Tara remained sitting up on a stump in her light ski jacket going on with the ritual. Only problem, the moon was nowhere to be seen.
Well, there was another little problem. I needed to pee. I had not considered this possibility. With the blanket, carpeting, double coats, double pants, and no place to hide behind a tree, it was a logistical problem.
It was getting dark. I left the circle as quietly as I could, crossed the lawn to the hotel and walked a block back to the apartment.
Even in my home away from home, I had to practically get undressed. The whole process took 15 minutes. Making my way back to the circle, I realized all the Norwegians had stopped filming and gone back to their B&B. There was still no visible moon, although a glow appeared on the horizon. I wrapped myself in my carpet, adjusted the blanket and hunkered in.
Tara, pro that she is, continued on to finish the ritual for a few remaining locals. The female producer explained that it was just too cold (for the Norwegians) to keep filming. But maybe, after Tara had warmed up, and the moon was in the sky, if she was willing … they wanted her to come back out and film some more. (She did until 1 AM.)
This was the beginning of two days of fun and filming with the crew. The host, Ari Behn is married to the daughter of the King and Queen of Norway, so the world press follows all that he does. I found him to be a delight to work with. I regressed him into a past life, and he interviewed me … a lot. Tara performed psychically, did a healing, conducted a meditation and was interviewed as well.
Our hour segment is due to be shown in Norway, January, 2011. The show is called “Ari Og Per”.