My Belief In ‘The Other Side’

Shannon O'Donnell

I meant to submit a ghostly halloween blog last time, but with all of the thick and spooky fog we’re experiencing, I think the topic is still eerily appropriate.

Scott McGrew was remarking recently about a certain political hot-topic, and added, “well, I guess I’m not surprised given that 37% of Americans say they believe in ghosts.” Hey! I’m not ashamed to admit that I definitely belong to the part of the populace that believes in poltergeists. Well, mainly friendly spirits, really. But ghosts, near-death-experiences, dream communication with deceased loved ones… I don’t know, I think there’s something to it. Call me crazy!

My very first memory is that of a ghost, or at least one I saw on TV (note to reader: never believe everything you see on TV, except of course the weather report). I was about 2 or 3 and was watching That’s Incredible (I must have figured out how to flip it over from The Mickey Mouse Club), and the program featured ghost footage of a semi-transparent woman coming down a creaky old staircase. Hair-on-end and terrified beyond any previous toddler experience, I ran down the hall screaming for my Mother.

However horrifying (and fake) as this may have been, it began a ghost-fascination that is with me to this day. Everyone here at work knows I listen to my ‘paranormal show‘ (broadcast locally on 560 AM in the wee hours of the night) on my morning commute. One of my all-time favorite movie scenes is in The Sixth Sense, where the little boy is in the car with his mother and says, “Grandma comes to visit me sometimes…” It gives me goose bumps and brings tears to my eyes at the same time.

And I’ve just heard too many strange stories that can’t be explained. For instance:

* A friend’s sister was in an almost-deadly car accident, her car crushed almost completely. Barely conscious, she was helped by a woman who got into the passenger seat and soothed her, holding her hand and telling her that help was on the way. She assumed the woman was a nurse because she was wearing all white. Later, when she asked the firefighters “where the woman in white was,” they told her there was nobody else there, and they’d been the first on the scene at the accident. They also told her there was no way anyone could have been sitting next to her in the passenger seat, as that part of the car was completely crushed.

* Many people say they’ve experienced ‘floating above their body, looking back down on themselves’ when grimly injured or in surgery. While some people think this can be explained away as a psychedelic experience created by the brain due to pain or trauma, I just feel there’s something more to it. When highly-regarded members of our society, such as ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff, recount such experiences (his comments about his NDE while in Iraq during a Larry King interview), it lends legitimacy to the possibility that we are ‘spirits living in the material world’ (as Sting would say).

* Right before I lost my Mom suddenly last year, my good friend had a dream that she was gravely ill and called me to check in. I didn’t check the message until after my Mom was gone. Apparently, this friend has had this type of dream occur twice before, and in all cases the person passed away shortly thereafter.

I also had a dream the week before I lost my Mom… my Grammie (Mom’s Mom) was riding in the car with me in the country, and we were looking desperately for a doctor (at the time, I had absolutely no idea my Mom was so ill… we didn’t learn she had lymphoma until after she was gone). It was more vivid than almost any dream I’d ever had; I felt like I’d really spent time with my Grandma, who had died 8 years earlier. I even called my Mom and said, “I spent time with Grammie last night.” Looking back now, obviously now WELL aware that my Mom was so sick, it just seems very strange to me that I would have such an unusual dream, given the circumstances. I don’t know, I guess I’m just one of that oddball 37 percent of Americans!

Shannon O’Donnell
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist


5 Responses to “My Belief In ‘The Other Side’”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    How long until the next blog???

  2. John @ NBC11 Says:

    Ask and you shall receive… watch for new blog postings shortly.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    What happened to Shannon? Did she quit? Was she fired?? Is she DEAD??? Would be nice if the NEWS Station would report to the public the reason for her absence! What’s up????

  4. john @ nbc11 Says:

    Shannon moved to Seattle to be with her husband who is going to school there. We did report on her departure. You can watch the farewell here:

  5. James Says:

    Just saw Shannon on Northwest Cable News up here is Seattle. She looks great, I missed her when she left glad she is back.

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