Saturday October 1st 2022

Is there anybody there?

Spiritual author and writer Jane Cranmer poses some interesting questions and conundrums for seekers – and non-seekers.

About Jane
I am a forty-something mother of three grown up children, married to Mark for 25 years. Currently in the process of setting up my own publishing company. My first book, Ancestors & Angels will be out early next year, and a second and third book are already in the pipeline. I come from a long line of both psychics and sceptics, and as a result of this I am a student of Theosophy, I look at science, religion and the paranormal to find the common ground between them. Unravelling the mysteries of the Universe is the theme running through all my books. I have lived in Yorkshire all my life, and my greatest loves are reading, history, and travelling round Britain collecting weird and wonderful stories to re-tell. Visit my site :
This really is the eternal question isn’t it. Is there anybody there? As a first time blogger its an important question…does anything I have to say merit me even gaining an audience? If you’ve stumbled across me by accident feel free to come along for the ride and lets see what I have to say…I promise you it will be a surprise to both of us!
My name is Jane Cranmer, known to some on Twitter as JLCGhostwriter, not because I write for other people, but because I just happen to be a writer who writes about ghosts!
I would not be so bold as to proclaim myself an expert in this field, more a wildly enthusiastic amateur. The more I learn about the paranormal, the more I realise I have to learn. So far it has been a fascinating journey, and I really want to share it with you.
I was brought up in a rather unconventional family, raised by my aunt and uncle, while my grandparents lived next door but one with another uncle, and a whole host of other family members lived nearby, flitting in and out on a daily basis. My parents and brother lived in the next town, they did not abandon me, I hasten to add…at the age of two I made up my mind where I was going to live and who with, and that was that. I must have been the most stubborn, single minded infant in the history of mankind, because no attempts to persuade me or co-erce me to leave my beloved Aunty Mary would change my mind. So I lived where I wanted, and I visited and holidayed with my parents when it suited me!
We were not a religious family, churches were for weddings and occasionally funerals, and for the obligatory school carol concert. I did not realise that this was in any way unusual. One day I brought home a form from school, it required information such as next of kin, addresses, emergency contacts, and my religious denomination.
I remember the moment well, we were all gathered in the living room at Nana’s house, my parents, aunt and several uncles, grandparents, and my little brother Lee.
“What religion am I?” I asked.
This question stunned everyone into silence, I could see a bemused expression on the faces of every adult present.
“What do they want to know that for?” Mum asked, deflecting the question.
“It’s on this form!” I declared, waggling it under her nose, with the exasperated air of an eight year old, who believes she knows everything, except, apparently, what religion she is supposed to be.
“Well, you’re not any religion really” Uncle Lou, with a smile on his face.
“What do you mean…everyone is some religion aren’t they? It doesn’t give you the option to not be one!” me, getting agitated at the possibility of not being able to tick a box on a form.
“Give it here, let’s have a look.” Mum again, pacifying me, before I dissolved into a strop. I watched as she scanned the options available.
“Here,” she said, getting out a pen and ticking a box, “Church of England.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because we live in England, and everyone who lives in England is Church of England…Henry the eighth made it so, the Queen herself is the Head of it, so that will do.”
So now I knew, for the next twenty years if anyone should ask what I was, I would say “Church of England.” I knew nothing about this particular faith, or any other in much detail, but if it was good enough for the Queen…
The truth was, my family was divided into two camps, on the one hand total atheists, who’s protestations that God and religion was a fabrication used by man to control the uneducated masses, would have put them definitely in the camp of Richard Dawkins. On the other hand, we had a band of muddle headed mystics, who were not affiliated to anything in particular, and yet had a “knowing” way about them. They would make strange prophesies that had an uncanny way of coming true, were as likely to cast a spell to make it rain or thunder as check the weather channel, would bless the people they loved, and put a hex on anyone that crossed them, and did everything with a twinkle in their eye and a mischievious grin on their faces.
Who did I believe?
The clear headed logic of my head dictated my atheist Grandad and Uncle Jim were probably right. I had been very lucky in that, my family not embracing any particular Church, I had not been indoctrinated to believe anything in particular, so was free to make up my own mind. My heart, however, was a different matter. Although the rest of the family often came out with bizarre sayings and doings that would leave you to conclude they were all several sandwiches short of a picnic, they were often uncannily right about things. Furthermore, they were full of fun. Who cares if there really are fairies at the bottom of the garden? The suggestion that there may be provides whole fun-filled afternoons looking for them, just in case.
Of course, when I grew older I adopted the cynical viewpoint of my peers, of course there wasn’t anything out there. God was for schoolchildren, and people who didn’t know any different. I wasn’t an atheist exactly, but I was very sceptical, I decided my relatives must have been teasing me beacuae of my youth.
Imagine my surprise, when many years later, most of them now dead and gone (supposedly), the real truth of the matter began to reveal itself to me in a series of bizarre events and happenings, that would finally lead me on my own journey of discovery.

3 Comments for “Is there anybody there?”

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