Extremely patient, always watchful and faster than a heart beat the Grim Reaper has his eye on each one of us, he knows we will all have a turn at shaking his hand as he leads us to the river one day, after all there is no cheating death.
The Reaper is as old if not older than human kind, he has been assigned by the guy riding the pale horse to collect and guide us as we shed our physical selves.
He is not alone but one of an army of Reapers working just beyond our perception, shadowed in mystery and symbolism.
It was not until the 15th century that we started to paint a terrifying picture of what the Reaper has become known as, a skeletal figure in a long black cloak carrying a scythe and sometimes an hour glass, all symbolic of death and our own mortality. The skeletal image comes from a time when the plague ate its way through Europe and people associated death with rotting bodies, the cloak represents an air of mystery as death could come unnoticed at any time, the scythe to assist in reaping the souls for death’s harvest, and the hour glass shows us that our time here is finite and will with all certainty run out.
But are they out there?
After so many years of chasing the dead I have on occasion had the opportunity to run into people, albeit extremely rare, who have see and even spoken to a Reaper and have lived to talk about it.
Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting a gifted young man who had the ability to see and hear things that most of us can not. He had heard that I studied the paranormal and approached me to talk; he wanted to know if what he was experiencing was normal. We had long discussions on these topics; it was at this time when he told me about an experience he had recently lived through.
Michael always began his psychic episode with a migraine headache just like this particular day. Along with the pain in his head he felt a darkness descend around him. He sat at a window seat on a train heading to Toronto from out west, although there were many passengers seated around him he felt alone. Michael looked out of the window as the train lurched forward leaving the station, he peered down at the people going about their business on the platform below and instantly thought to himself “Lucky people.” Lucky because there were not riding this train.
As he nursed his headache he saw a scenario play out in his mind’s eye and he knew he would be okay. He leaned over in his seat to speak to a young woman beside him. He told her something was about to happen and not to worry as he would get her off the train. In retrospect Michael acknowledged that what he had said made him look crazy and must have frightened the woman, but at the time he didn’t care as he was focused on a solid black figure gliding along in the isle way towards the front of the train, he remembers as the train moved forward it rocked from side to side but this figure was not affected by the motion and moved in a perfectly straight line.
A few moments later all Michael remembers was panic as the train rolled onto its side, people and luggage being tossed everywhere. The young woman who had been sitting next to him landed on the windows on the other side of the train and broke her leg, Michael ended up carrying her to safety.
To add to the strangeness of this story I just happen to personally know the engineer who was driving the train that day. Afterwards I went to speak with him about the accident. He told me the trip started out like any other, he was driving the train and he had his assistant and a trainee with him in the engine. His partner told him to go take a rest and that he would show the trainee around. He agreed and relinquished his seat to the assistant and left the engine heading to the meal car. He arrived at a table for lunch and just as he sat down the train derailed twisting onto its side. Although there were many injuries the only fatalities were the assistant and the trainee in the engine compartment.
I met Dave almost 10 years ago, a distinguished gentleman who confided in me a story that disturbs him to this very day. Dave has a heart problem and had a pacemaker implanted, unfortunately the pacemaker failed several times until they replaced it with a newer more reliable version. Each time it failed Dave ended up going into cardiac arrest. His story involves one of these events. It was late in the evening and he was at home with his wife when the device failed, luckily the response of the paramedics was quick; they kept him alive and rushed him to the hospital where the doctors worked to restart his heart. It was at this point Dave had a near death experience. He could see his body on the table and the buzz of doctors and nurses around it, he could hear them talking and barking out orders on what to do next. While he was standing there observing a man in black approached him and told him he had to come with him as it was his time to go. Dave refused stating it was not his time and he needed to get back to his body.
While they were arguing, (Dave was and still is a stubborn person) another man dressed all in black appeared and intervened. He asked for Dave’s full name including his middle name, which Dave provided, at that moment Dave felt the rush of pain and opened his eyes to the caring faces of the doctors and nurses looking down on him. He drifted off and was sent to ICU to recover.
It was late the next day that Dave received news, it was unknown to him that his aging father who had been ill had been brought to the same hospital only moments before Dave had arrived by ambulance for his situation, while Dave was being saved his father passed due to his illness. Dave told me that they both shared the same first and last name the only difference was his middle name. Did death almost make an error? What may have happened had Dave not been so adamant on staying?
The sky was grey and the rain was turning to ice as it landed, John and Trish were heading home when John lost control of the vehicle on the icy road. The car plunged off a bridge tumbling to the ground below, the horrific accident was over in a blink leaving John dead and Trish badly injured. Trish somehow managed to crawl from the wreckage and find help. She told rescue workers that there was along with John another person in the car. They conducted there search to no avail, later confirming that John and Trish were the only ones in that vehicle. Could the other person momentarily perceived by Trish be a Reaper?
Trish has never wavered from her story that just before the accident there was another passenger in the car with them.
There isn’t a great deal of information on encounters with reapers, this stands as testimony to their efficiency, I am sure there are other stories out there, some have not been told in the public forum, some incidents may have never been realized and then there are those who do not believe in reapers but that’s okay because they believe in us and in the end that’s all that will matter, so, “*Come on baby….don’t fear the reaper.
“Don’t fear the reaper.”
1976 Blue Oyster Cult, Columbia Music.