This blog was written by Luna Selas in 2018. It is truly one of the strangest things I’ve ever witnessed.
Aedyn Brooks is very blessed to have a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Both Celtic and American Indian, she inherited a double-whammy paranormal gift that includes seeing, hearing and interacting with spirits. Based on an experience in a secluded area high in a mountain, she may also have communicated with nature spirits known as “elementals.” Elementals are true to their specific forms, such as air, earth, water or fire. Other spirits and energies are confined to their respective habitats, which are typically in wild or secluded areas. Mountain spirits, for example, are well-known among many indigenous peoples.
I had the pleasure to interview Aedyn recently, and she shared with me one of the oddest experiences I have ever heard. The occasion was Memorial Day weekend, 1986. The setting was a mountainside in Washington State.
Aedyn’s then-husband, (I’ll call him “Tim”), was an avid hiker who enjoyed achieving demanding goals in tough terrain. That weekend, Tim chose a particularly challenging trail with the goal of reaching the mountain’s snowline.
Braving more than three of hours of switchbacks and treacherous 45-degree angles, Aedyn was questioning her earlier decision to accompany Tim. Not only that, but she also realized she had no interest whatsoever in seeing the snowline. Growing up in Chicago, Aedyn was not that enamored by snow. She had seen snow in abundance, and it had not required the skills and tenacity of a seasoned mountain climber.
The couple was up high, now, climbing through a fog bank that dampened both sight and sound. Aedyn’s range of vision was about three feet. The only sights were pine trees, rocks, and mist. Adding to the feeling of isolation, she and Tim had not encountered another person the entire afternoon. Tim estimated it would be another 15 minutes of climbing to reach the snowline, and Aedyn decided she’d had quite enough. It would be dark soon, but it would only take 30 minutes for Tim to reach and return from the snowline. Aedyn was confident she could wait a mere half hour by herself.
She told Tim to go on without her and settled down on a fallen log to wait. After her husband climbed out of sight, Aedyn began feeling uneasy. What if wild animals were coming out of hibernation? What would she do if a bear came down the trail? Would she be a bear snack? The usual forest sounds took on an ominous quality. Fearing an encounter with a wild animal, Aedyn began speaking loudly to scare away anything lurking nearby. Undeterred, a curious chipmunk stopped to investigate and share a granola bar with the nervous hiker.
Meanwhile, the fog bank grew denser, closing in on the hiker and further obscuring her surroundings. Aedyn’s heart pounded, and her breathing increased as she became more and more frightened. She wasn’t wearing a watch and had no idea how much time had passed since losing sight of Tim. She began shouting for him at the top of her lungs. Getting no response after a few minutes, Aedyn started swearing loudly. Sometime later, a family walked around a bend in the trail. Immediately embarrassed that the family (with young children) had heard her swearing, Aedyn played it cool. “Did you hear that person shouting swear words?” she asked. The family said they had heard something but weren’t sure what. They continued down the path and silence closed in around Aedyn once more. Afraid the other hikers might overhear, Aedyn kept quiet.
The fog bank crept closer and closer. From her logperch, she could no longer see the far side of the trail. The wind suddenly picked up, rifling her hair, and whipping past her ears. Startled, Aedyn noticed the wind did not move the leaves on the trees. Neither did it affect the fog bank. In fact, in such thick, dense fog, the wind seemed out of place.
As she sat on the log and curled into herself, she had the sensation of being watched. Odd as the situation was, spirits and nature elementals were not on Aedyn’s mind. Whatever the wind-like phenomenon was, it was extremely fast. Sheltering herself as best she could, she was unable to hold down her hair and simultaneously cover her ears. The feeling of being observed intensified, and she heard someone behind her speak.
She saw nothing in the fog. Even in the thick mist, someone that close to her would have been visible. The wind speed increased, and Aedyn felt like she was in a freezing wind tunnel. The speaker passed by her ear, quickly followed by a rushing stream of different voices, both male and female. Some voices rushed by her right ear and some by her left. Their speech was so foreign that Aedyn couldn’t guess what language they might be speaking. It was like nothing she had ever heard, and yet, the speakers were talking directly to her as they passed. She had no idea what they were saying, but she knew the speakers were using sentences and communicating directly to her.
Elementals or Ancestors?
She isn’t sure how long the experience lasted, but at some point, it stopped immediately and completely—as though it had never happened. Aedyn says the change was so jarring that for a moment, it felt as though she was suddenly in a different place.
What might Aedyn have encountered that day on the side of the mountain? Her Celtic ancestors might say she met sprites, elementals, or the fair folk. Aedyn’s indigenous relatives might suggest she was visited by the ancestors or the living spirits of the mountain. We will never know.