STORY: CHRIS GERBASI PHOTO: RON VANDEVANDER
All things that go bump in the night are fair game for discussion at the Parapsychology Club of The Villages. Beware that after hearing some members’ tales, you may want to sleep with the lights on. Club leaders define parapsychology as “anything that falls outside the five senses.”
“That allows us to talk about anything we want to,” says Ina Anderson, who along with her partner, Bobbie Roberts, founded the club 12 years ago.
Ina and Bobbie, who live in The Village of Silver Lake, say they’ve been aware of otherworldly dimensions since an early age. Current membership numbers 200.
Ina has a doctorate in physiology, taught at the collegiate level, and studies reincarnation and other spiritual fields.
Bobbie is a medium and intuitive numerologist—creating charts for people based on numbers associated with their lives—as well as a high priestess in a Wiccan coven at Lady Lake. These backgrounds conjure images of séances, ghosts, and the occult. So where does the club draw the line between the serious and the superstitious?
“You have to remember, maybe some superstitions came from truth years ago,” Bobbie says.
“We don’t claim that anything we talk about is the truth,” Ina adds. “We present information and let everybody make up their own mind.”
Janet Marks recalled an eerie airline flight not long ago. The plane was about to land and Janet saw the runway from her window. She felt a shift into a different dimension. She turned and saw her deceased father, sister, and first husband standing in the aisle.
“They were smiling at me and welcoming me,” Janet says.
Suddenly, the plane veered, unable to land due to another plane on the runway. Janet believed her relatives were there in case something happened to her.
“It was a very nice, wonderful experience,” Janet says.
Cathy McMillan of The Village of Deaton talked about a mischievous ghost she heard while living in an old house in New Jersey. She researched and discovered the ghost was the niece of a former homeowner. The girl laughed, turned on water faucets, and opened windows, and Cathy’s dog growled at the sight unseen.
“My husband didn’t believe me until one night in the den, a Tiffany lamp with a chain was clanging,” Cathy says. “I said, ‘Hear that? Do you believe now?’ He believed.”
The club regularly invites speakers, and at the June meeting, members queried the Rev. Janet Reynolds, who teaches classes about spirit guides and dreams at The Villages Lifelong Learning College, and Jean McDoniels, an energy worker and healer at the Ocala chapter of the Monroe Institute, which explores human consciousness.
Along with Bobbie and Ina, the speakers instructed the group on meditation, karma, and energy. Not to worry. Those are spirits calling, the Rev. Janet says: “Spirits have a way of trying to help you through your day.”
The Parapsychology Club will host the 11th annual Parapsychology Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at Lake Miona Recreation Center, 1526 Buena Vista Blvd. The free event features lecturers, readings, and 65 vendors. For information, contact Bobbie Roberts or Ina Anderson at 352-205-6056 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to parapsychclub.weebly.com. The group meets at 2 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at Lake Miona Recreation Center.