I have always been intrigued by mystical places such as Stone Henge, The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Bermuda Triangle, Area 51, castles in Scotland, and the list continues. Places where phenomenons cannot be explained, deaths have occurred, and the energy of those who have passed linger on for centuries. While many believe it is all a bunch of embellished tales passed down by some very creative and talented storytelling elders, others, like myself, do not buy that mysticism is nonsense. Not everything has a logical explanation. Mystical places like Ajmer Sharif in India cannot be explained, but many flock to this location for spiritual blessings because their belief in the experience is far more real than any logic.
When those with strong belief in the spiritual world try to explain to self-proclaimed realists of their personal experiences with the mysticism, they are often looked at as bizarre, naive, and possibly half-baked on some really good marijuana. I used to tell of my erie experiences with New Orleans, Louisiana to many of my family and friends who would listen. New Orleans, known for being a party town that never sleeps with great cuisines and drive-thru liquor stores, it is also infamous for alleged voodoo rituals and summoning of spirits from the other side. I attended Xavier University my freshman year of college and rented a room from a middle-aged widow name Mrs. Verette. She took care of her bitter and mean mother-in-law Catherine who was approaching her 90s. A morning would not go by that Catherine did not sit on the edge of her bed with her rosary beads praying in Creole. Unable to understand the french dialect, I sometimes questioned if she was actually talking to God or performing some ritual because she was rarely at peace. When I arrived to New Orleans excited about the start of my college career, after my first semester with the Verettes, each day felt like a curse I could not get from under.
A series of unfortunate events occurred one after the other from being chased by a strange man who looked possessed, warning me he was coming to get me to hearing footsteps late at night and seeing shadows in the dark while everyone was asleep. Every time I took a flight into and from New Orleans, there were always issues with the plane I was on. One flight in particular took a nose dive during a very bad storm causing the passengers to scream in panic, holding onto one another praying. I explained to family, friends, and business partners that there was an energy on that city that I cannot explain and I feel something terrible was going to happen to New Orleans one day. I did not want to be there when it happened. They laughed at me. One year later Hurricane Katrina hit the Big Easy at 174 miles per hour, drowning the city, destroying homes, and taking many innocent lives. My family, friends, and business partners were no longer laughing at me.
Not every well-known mystical place has darkness attached. Ajmer Sharif in India are places where people gather for blessings and good fortune. Actors Adaa Khan and Arjun Bijlani recently paid a visit to the mystical site while filming Naaginn in Bikaner. Khan, who plays an evil character on the show, told India Times she remembers going to Ajmer with her mother before she passed and it always brought her peace and blessings that cannot be explained. Being one of the most holiest places in India, Khwaja Sahib is a spirit believed to have brought peace and harmony to those were suffering. Royalty travel across the continent to pay homage, praying for blessings upon those in need. The tomb of the saint is adorned with gifts every year to say thank you.
Those of us who can bear witness and give testimony of experiences, that even the most cynical cannot explain, will hold onto what we know to be real. Those that continue to laugh simply have not stumbled across their mystical place…yet.