As you may already imagine, as a little girl, I took a lot of interest in the deceased.
I wanted to learn about them as possible, understand everything I could about them, read books about them, and gobble up all things I could about people who had died.
On good days, my parents cultivated this interest.
Which is why, when I was around 10 years old, my father took me to the Mütter Museum in downtown Philadelphia, PA.
The Mütter Museum, as described on their website, is:
“America's finest museum of medical history, the Mütter displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century "cabinet museum" setting. The goal of the Museum is to help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body while appreciating the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.”
This museum is a collection of the skeletons, organs and body parts of people who have died.
Basically, my dad took me, a little girl, to the museum of death.
On my first visit, I had mixed feelings about it. Some of it, I found fascinating, but other parts of it, terrified me. There was entire room that I couldn’t even step into.
Now as an adult, I decided it was time to go back to the Mutter Museum and make peace with my true feelings about the place.
The Mütter Museum
After making the decision to give the Mutter Museum another try, my significant other, who had never been, volunteered to tag along. We swiftly made the next rainy day, an educational field trip.
We found a street parking spot around the corner and got two pieces of pizza before making our way over. At this point, we were just a normal couple, doing something a little nerdy.
At the museum, everything started out fine.
No ghosts at the entrance or anyone in the foyer. Check.
Then, I stepped into the first exhibit - it's central theme was the Civil War.
That's right - a body parts exhibit, depicting one of the bloodiest wars in America's history.
And suddenly a shiver ran up and down my body.
Turned my head to see someone Covered in blood out of the corner of my eyes.
I gasped in horror . . . and everyone in the museum turned to look.
There was blood on his face.
Blood on his shirt.
Blood dripping over his eyebrows.
So much blood, I thought he was actively bleeding.
Which is when I realized he was definitely dead - given the injuries and his slight translucence - neither of which occur on actively living people.
This was a ghost . . . with death injuries.
Before we continue, let me make something clear:
Dead people do not usually appear with visible physical injuries
A day in the life of me is not like the Sixth Sense movie where every Spirit you see is grotesquely injured, seemingly unaware they are appearing this way.
Most dead people I see, they look like respectable, living people in nice, flattering outfits.
Of course, depending on how long they’ve been dead, they wear clothing from other time periods. Outdated clothing, thankfully, is another indicator of a deceased person.
Most Spirits I see NEVER appear with injuries.
Why do some spirits appear with injuries, while most don't?
1. Not every dead person is aware they are dead
When people die of sudden, traumatic accidents or incidents, the experience is so shocking and abrupt, some of those people in Spirits do not realize they are actually dead for a little while.
In this state of confusion, they are appear to others in the exact same way they appeared at the moment of their death.
In contrast, people who are aware they are dead have learned that they can choose how they want to appear as a Spirit (because they no longer have a physical body to dictate that). For that reason, many choose to appear in the way they liked themselves best, often showing up in readings in ‘their prime’.
2. Dead people do not have access to a mirror
Without a physical body, seeing a reflection of yourself is kind of hard to do. Because of this interesting predicament, some deceased people actually just don't realize how they look.
If you run into a deceased person appearing with injuries, it can be extremely helpful to them to tell them how they look and to gently tell them they are scaring others (if that's indeed the case).
You can also ask this person please appear to you in another, less intimidating way (if it's someone you have to see or want to see more often, such as a relative). They will.
3. Some dead people relate to their moment of death as an identity statement
Life experiences define who we are and how we feel about who we are.
Death is a life experience.
Some of the dead define themselves by this experience. This doesn’t mean they are still physical suffering. By wearing your experiences on your sleeve, you are owning them as a part of who you are, and declaring how you want others to remember you.
4. Some dead people enjoy being spooky
We all have an uncle, a cousin, a brother or a friend who is a real fan of the distasteful, slightly foul and possibly morbid joke - depending on who you ask, that is.
When people die, these aspects of their character do not go away.
People are who they are and for some, who they are, is someone who enjoys playing jokes. Appearing to those you love and know with your injuries, for some deceased people, this would be a funny ha-ha joke.
These are just a few of the reasons why some deceased people appear to others with their injuries.
So, what did I do about the dead guy in the museum?
Well, once everyone stopped staring at me, I just asked him.
He said he was enjoying learning about the aspects of the war in the exhibit and dually, he was helping other people learn about and experience the war in another way.
With the presence of a real-live injured soldier at the Civil war exhibit - people could feel him, without consciously realizing it. Feeling the presence of an injured soldier, is a really great way to understand and get into how it really felt to be a civil war soldier at that time.
Since it was an exhibit at death museum - the whole idea of the exhibit itself was to help others understand how it might feel to have died of your injuries during the Civil war.
So, it was a perfect idea really.
He was there to add a sort of death-like ambiance to help people connect with the stories of the Civil war on a deeper level.
After the museum, we went out for happy-hour half-price wings and seasonal beers