In His Power
A stunning brunette, Nicole had everything going for her. Beautiful as she was on the outside, on the inside it was different, however.
No one could see her tormenting headaches, nor the physical pains in her back and neck which had troubled her since she was involved in a serious car accident a few years before. No physician had been able to help her. One day, in an act of desperation, she consulted a man named Andrew S., a self-proclaimed psychic healer living in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
‘The first thing he told me was that he could rid me of the pain,’ Nicole says, in the living room of her apartment, which she shares with her boyfriend Theo.
Sure enough, Andrew did what he promised, although his treatment was rather unusual. ‘He used crushed bones mixed with dirt, which he rubbed all over me. To my surprise, the pain went away and never came back.’
After this, Nicole trusted Andrew and she told him casually that she used to be into divination and this had given her a guardian angel, or so she believed. Andrew encouraged her to continue exploring this spiritual path, telling her that he could give her an even better guardian angel.
Nicole followed up on Andrew’s encouragement. But strange things began to happen. ‘I suddenly started seeing weird flashes of light, coming from nowhere. Another time I had covered my eyes with a cloth and that cloth moved by itself, although I was lying still and nobody was around me.’
When she told Andrew about these experiences, he urged her to see him immediately. Then he told Nicole that what she was experiencing were warnings of death.
She was shocked. Especially when Andrew told her that she was possessed by the devil.
Nicole believed him.
‘It was the little things that convinced me. My nose had always bothered me. According to Andrew, I was allergic, especially to my pets. Even just saying something like that would block my nose even more.’
Andrew offered to cast the devil out of Nicole. For this ritual, she had to be naked. He asked her to undress and lie still. Andrew then gave her nude body a scrubbing with cold earth; lighting candles as he ordered the demon to depart.
After this ceremony, Nicole felt better. ‘It seemed as if he had helped me again’ she explains.
Now that he had freed her from evil, Andrew told Nicole that their bond was growing stronger. ‘He saw me as his future assistant, all day and all night. I said, that’s not going to happen. I’ve got a boyfriend and I’m living with him. But Andrew told me he had foreseen that I would love him. I didn’t understand any of it. He is not an attractive man.’
Andrew accused Theo of cheating on her. Nicole didn’t believe it, yet the psychic had succeed in casting doubts. ‘He still had power over me. It’s so difficult to free yourself of that. And again it was the little things that raised the most doubts about my relationship. One evening Theo got a phone call from a woman. Just an innocent call. But because of my insecurities we had a terrible fight. It got to the point that I became convinced our relationship was doomed.’
Luckily in the end common sense prevailed. ‘Andrew said ever crazier things and at a given moment I just had enough of him. I shouted at him to leave me alone and I never wanted to see him again.’
That, however, was not the end of Andrew’s manipulative influence in her life.
Subsequently, Nicole’s apartment seemed to be haunted. ‘One evening, I was watching TV with Theo. Suddenly we saw a shadow across the ceiling, moving from one corner of the room to the other. There was nothing which could have produced that shadow. Another time I felt someone or something stroke my hair. But I was alone in the house. So I called Andrew and said, there’s something here and it’s touching me. Grinning, he replied, I know, it’s me.’
Seeking help to protect herself against the terror of Andrew, Nicole consulted another psychic, a woman named Sonya.
Sonya helped her to relax and meditate. But Andrew was a psychic too and knew that Nicole was seeing someone else. ‘The first few nights I heard him scream in my bedroom, like he was actually there, inches away from me. They were screams of rage.’
Andrew also slipped into her dreams. ‘In my nightmares I would look out of the bedroom window, to the parking lot behind our flat. There he would stand, alone. A dark shadow, staring at me.’
Sonya managed to put her mind at ease. She told Nicole that the dreams meant that Andrew was becoming more distant from her. Which was true, because in every new nightmare Andrew was standing a little bit farther away from the window. His control over Nicole was weakening.
This happened some time ago and Nicole is now freed from Andrew. ‘Now I think, how could I have ever believed him? But if you are insecure in yourself, people can do the strangest things to you. Thank God Andrew is out of my life.’
Evil has many faces. In my novels, I always like my villains to mess up my protagonists on a psychological level. I’ve done that in Pyrophobia, and I will do it again in my next novel (although the underlying story in that next novel will be completely different, of course). And I think the evil which haunts Flight 582 in Zone is doing pretty much the same to the passengers on board that airplane.
I like evil that wants to make you crazy.
That’s my cup of tea and I think I will go on exploring psychological horror. It’s so much more interesting (in my opinion and yes, agreed, that is very subjective) than your traditional whodunit crime stories.
Anyway, just read my books – really, it will be a sane decision J.