Being Haunted… A True Story in Time for Halloween

Being Haunted

Most think being haunted requires a creaky old house where a person died unexpectedly. The shock of a fall, suicide, or murder traps them between our world and the next. They believe these lost souls spend their days shackled to a place and a moment in time.

That’s not always how it happens.

My house wasn’t haunted. I was.

A while ago, a high school friend recounted her experience with shadowy ghosts in their turn-of-the-century home. I envied her. I thought it would be cool to see something so extraordinary. I wondered if I would scream and lay awake night after night knowing I was watched by sleepless souls.

Be careful what you wish for.

My own experiences started with a trip to Wisconsin around 2002. Since the drive back to Colorado would take eighteen hours or more, we planned to get an early start. My husband, Danny, set the alarm for 4:30 AM and we went to sleep in the twin beds in my parents’ Victorian home built in 1901. I woke up around 4:10. Since I had to get up in twenty minutes, I decided to stay awake. A thunderstorm brewed outside and lightning flickered. Then one of our kids opened the door to the bedroom. A dark silhouette of a child could clearly be seen against the hall light. Whoever it was walked into the room and between the beds. Something was very peculiar about this shadow. I tried to focus on a face, but couldn’t see one.

I sat up. “Who’s there?” I asked, “Kelly or Courtney?” As I reached out, the shadow disappeared. I looked at the space between the bed. Not even a child could fit between. I lay back down. My heart remained steady as I recounted what had happened. It didn’t make any sense. Someone was there and then disappeared. I hadn’t imagined it. I was wide awake when I sat up. I looked at the clock again. 4:20.

“Danny. Are you awake?”

“Yes.”

“I think I just saw a ghost.”

“I think you did too,” he said.

“Why? What did you see?” I turned toward him, fully awake now.

“When you asked if it was Kelly or Courtney, I saw light fly toward the window.”

Excited, my heart really pounded. Was it a ghost? What else could it be? I dressed and walked across the hall.

“I saw the door to your bedroom open and thought you were getting up,” said Courtney.

Crazy or what?

The other bed was empty. “Where’s Kelly?” My heart skipped a beat. I had seen enough horror movies to know what happens next.

Steps fell on the stairs behind me. My shoulders relaxed as Kelly joined us in the hallway.

“I couldn’t sleep, so I went downstairs,” he said. “I saw a light streak up the steps.”

We all experienced something strange that night. My brain couldn’t comprehend what I saw, so I wasn’t frightened. That would come later.

I assumed that would be the end of it until the next time we visited Wisconsin. My parents’ house had to be haunted. Not so.

Months later back in Boulder, I heard a shuffling in my bedroom and woke up. A woman dressed in black lace with a veil on her head stood on the other side of the bed and locked eyes with me. Her pale face wore a severe and angry expression. I sat up and yelled, “Danny! Look!” but she faded away.

A few nights later the same sound woke me up. I opened my eyes and gazed up at that woman’s scowling face looming above me. She stood right next to my bed. I could hear the crinoline shift underneath her skirt as she bent down toward me. I gasped and covered my head with the blanket.

These unexplainable occurrences always happened upon waking in the night because of a noise they made. Afterward, I would stare at the ceiling and wonder why me? My house couldn’t be haunted. We built it in 2000. We didn’t excavate an ancient Native American burial ground nor was a graveyard nearby.

Sightings would come in waves of three or four then there would be no activity for months up to a year. Then it would start up again. Doors would bang. Twice I saw bright orbs of light on the wall where none could reflect. A plant hanging from a hook would swing.

I continued to question what I was seeing until my night at The Stanley Hotel.

When my sister, Patty, her friends from Wisconsin, and I spent a night there on Friday the 13th, I told them nothing would happen. For one thing the date was so cliché. Come on. Friday the 13th! In the years I’d experienced ghosts, I could never summon them like they do on TV. When they wanted to be seen, they would wake me up. There was no way they would appear. Ironically, I was the only one who had seen them and the skeptic of the bunch.

There was a group from a ghost-busting TV show who also stayed at The Stanley that night. When I asked them what I was seeing if they weren’t ghosts, one of the hosts told me I was experiencing sleep paralysis. But I was neither asleep, nor paralyzed. A woman overheard us talking. After they left, she told me I was seeing ghosts and explained they are most often seen right after waking before we are fully conscious. I wasn’t sure what to think.

Everything that could happen in that haunted hotel did happen. Looking back, people probably held séances to summon the dead. It wasn’t sleep paralysis that pulled my coat down to the end of the closet or that banged overhead all night. It was unexplainable. Paranormal. Ghosts.

Days after my Stanley experience, someone pinched me when I lay down to go to sleep. It happened for the next three nights. I figured it was one of the ghostly children who ran the halls that night. In a photograph taken at the time, a huge orb appeared next to me. I’m still not sure how I feel about orbs in photos, but it’s there nonetheless.

At one point someone told me I should take classes to amp up my ability. What??? I was intrigued, but didn’t want to become obsessed. Nor did I want the responsibility of a medium. That was a life for someone else.

It was the banger who finally ended my interest in ghosts.

It, (I sensed it was a man) would bang on the dresser, the TV, then the ceiling. It had a peculiar sound to it. More like a snap than a tap. Danny said if he went to bed first it wouldn’t start until I came into the room. Yes. He heard it too. It would end after 11:00 then start up around 4:00 AM. I tried talking and then shouted at it to leave us alone and then gave up. This went on for almost three years. I even have a recording of the taps and knocks.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I really needed my sleep. I remembered something about salt. Armed with crystal bowls and a container of Morton’s, I placed several filled dishes around the bedroom. In two weeks the banger stopped. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?

At the Colorado Gold Writers Conference, I met someone who worked at a psychic center. I told him my book, The Foreboding, was based on some of my own paranormal experiences. He said I was in a minority of people sensitive to ghosts. Once I signaled my fascination and started to see them, I became a beacon to other entities. That explained why I’d several different ghosts over the years. Once I shut the door with the last ghost, they left me alone.

It has been almost three years since I’ve witnessed any paranormal activity. It occurred to me it should be considered normal. I didn’t hallucinate them, nor do I have sleep paralysis. Energy can’t be destroyed so where does it go when we die? I would say with some conviction sometimes it sticks around. We call them ghosts.

But remember what I learned. Trapped souls hunt those who can see them in the middle of the night.

Would you like to have a paranormal experience someday?

Be careful what you wish.

Have you ever seen or sensed a ghost?

110 thoughts on “Being Haunted… A True Story in Time for Halloween

  1. A great story, but one that does cause me to wonder if I’ve seen a ghost? I may have, but then again in the middle of the night, without confirmation who knows if I did. Be that as it may, I will say that I do not want to see a ghost, but if I must, please make it a friendly one like Casper.

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  2. Here I thought you were showing signs of being a medium! Fascinating stuff. I always thought it was curious that I couldn’t see any, but figured that the energy around me was just too strong, and that I was simply too well protected–hard to tell!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No way! I knew someone who tapped into people’s energy to find their runaway children. It worked, but it left her exhausted and sick. I wouldn’t want the responsibility.
      It’s hard to know why they appear to some and not others. When I really wanted to see them I couldn’t. You’re still pretty young, so it could easily happen later in life. I spoke to a woman yesterday who hit her head and then spoke to her deceased mother in a dream. She told her it wasn’t her time. I think there’s a lot we will never know about our existence. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my sleep!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love this post, Susie. I’ve always felt the presence of both my grandmothers. But the one vivid moment was the night my paternal grandmother died. She came to me around 4am, about a half hour after she passed. I was sleeping on my side and I just woke up! Eyes wide open. She was standing at the side of my bed, smiling and happy, holding my grandfather’s hand, who was also smiling and looking at me. (I had never met him; he died before I was born) And then they disappeared. Wondered if it was a dream, especially in the early morning when you’re half awake, and I usually tell people that. But it was so three-dimensional and clear….

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  4. I absolutely believe in the possibility of poltergeists. Just as I believe we are not alone in the universe. I have never had an otherworldly experience like yours, but I would love to have my dear late cousin Ralph visit. He still owes me 50 bucks!

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  5. I’ve had a few encounters or feelings I couldn’t quite explain, so I am definitely open to the idea that there might be truth in ghost stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

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    • Thanks for stopping by to share, Allie!
      Pay attention to those feelings. Ghosts are definitely lurking around those open to them. I’ve gone into homes and historical sites and felt weighed down and dizzy. Later I would find out the particular room was haunted. CRAZY!

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  6. October always feels like the perfect month to reveal these sort of things. What with the weather getting cooler, and the Autumn winds rising up, and leaves changing colors with the longer shadows in the dusk of an early fall evening, It seems unquestionably appropriate. Still, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to experience a haunting. Oh sure I feel it might go a long way towards providing some kind of affirmation that there are things that go bump in the night. But what kind of things? Is it life after death, or something more menacing? Either way, I can’t deny, that where there’s smoke, there’s fire, weather modern science wishes to accept that idea or not. However, the very possibility that something we accept as irrational and unexplainable could possibly exist in our world, always tends to create doubt and fascination. Just like a magic trick when performed to perfection will cause a rational person to say “Anything that defies the laws of physics is not really possible.” Yet—in most cases—we want to find out how it’s done. Every day completely logical, and rational human-beings are well documented as having witnessed some kind of incredible thing (UFO, ghost, or be it the Loch Ness Monster) that they simply can’t explain. WE DON’T KNOW IT ALL. And that’s what stirs our imaginations to look deeper for the reason why? Scary even though it may be we want to know, because to know is to believe. Fascinating experience, Susie. ;O)

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    • Thanks, Attic-man! Great to “see” you!
      I know what you mean about the unexplainable. Science has gotten close since there is a field of energy right above the Earth. It has weight and could be the dimension where ghosts exist. I often think of The Others and how they broke into each others worlds and freaked them out. I think that’s what happens! As far as proof, how about this story. A very disfigured man appeared to me and tried to talk. He looked like he went through a windshield. He was so disfigured, I covered my head. He appeared to me twice. When I went to book club, I told the story to my friend. She asked what he was wearing and his hair color. It was her brother. He died in a car wreck a couple of months before. Crazy!
      There is no explanation for some experiences.
      Keep a blanket handy to cover your head!

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  7. This is very similar to my blog post last week (The Mysterious Case of the Shattered Chandelier). I too had a ghostly encounter and I too am a skeptic. Nonetheless, something happened that I cannot explain. Actually, there was more than one experience (which I shall blog about at a later date), but it’s a little weird when it happens.

    I hope you manage to get some good sleep. At least mine didn’t keep me up. Keep the salt handy.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    • All of it ended almost three years ago when I put out the salt. I’m sure I still yelled at it too. Maybe it sensed I was upset over having cancer. Anyway, I totally believe they were ghosts. Now when I wake in the night, I never see anything, thank God! In an old house like yours, there has to be ghosts! You might need a 20 pound bag!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow – that is a multitude of spooky scenes and settings sufficient to unsettle most sceptics!
    Much Better Half and I shared a sighting of … something … and experienced a truly foreboding atmosphere. A few other times I have felt that atmosphere. It says, to me anyway, ‘Get out of here, FAST!’ On two occasions, different dogs with me have completely agreed.

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    • Dogs seem to know. When we had the banger, Roxy would get nervous. I bet you did see a ghost! I’ve never seen them during the day, but other crazy things have happened. Our back door to the garage used to slam at odd times. It used to drive Courtney crazy! I think that’s true that the atmosphere changes. At Winchester House, I got dizzy in one of the rooms. Later I mentioned it to the guide and she said she felt it too! So did Courtney! Danny didn’t feel a thing. Ha!

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  9. Fascinating post! I love reading about ghost stories, not so much experiencing them myself. Yes, I’ve seen spirits countless times since I was a child. We lived in a 100-year-old house. Even today we often have ghost experiences in our newish house. It can be very annoying when they wake you at night. I’ve even told them to “let me sleep!” A psychic friend of mine told me the same as you, that once spirits know you can sense them, they flock to you like moths to a flame. So we burned white sage in the house, but really what worked was simply telling whoever it was to leave. Spirits will normally get the hint. I’m like you in that I have no desire to be the next Maine Medium. Haha!

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    • Maine Medium! That would be AWESOME, though. I can’t believe I haven’t heard any distant moo’s, given that I live in what used to be a cow barn in the 1800s. The closest I’ve come to any ghost encounters is just that ‘chilling’ or ‘bad vibe’ sense I get in certain places. I’m not sure I could handle much more!

      This was so cool to read about, Susie, and can’t wait for your book!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much, Jules! I hope to find an agent or editor soon. *fingers crossed*
        I traveled to Wisconsin yesterday. No paranormal activity so far! I’ll keep my eyes and ears open…
        Those vibes are real!

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    • WOW! I’m so glad you’ve had your own relatable experiences. I think some of my friend think I’m nuts! I had considered burning sage, but during the day when I could’ve taken action, it never seemed as big of deal. Looking back, that lack of sleep may have contributed to my health issues. It’s all good now! We’ll have to exchange stories sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Knock-knock!
    Who’s there?
    Horatio!
    “Horatio who”?
    There are more thing in heaven and earth…. ;-]

    Great stuff! You always have great experiences to talk about! Magic blankets–they really do work!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, the Stanley! What a place (and if you don’t get “connected” there, you never will. We stayed there too, during kid’s and friends Steven King and horror story period)
    I think you were told right about some people being sensitive and easier to contact – and that there is a “slam the door” ability (good to learn that trick/control).
    It’s the shift of seasons and increasing darkness that seems to allow those tales to seep out right now – and we love all they mystery and spookiness!
    Great tale!

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  12. I will place the Stanley Hotel on my list of places to never, never visit. I’m open to the idea that there’s a lot we don’t know about death. Where does all that intelligent energy go?

    The theory that more ghosts would try and contact you once they became aware of your sensitivity does make sense. It’s the same with telemarketers.

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  13. What a fantastic set of experiences! Thank you for sharing them! Even though I see these sorts of things almost daily I am constantly fascinated by other people’s stories. You can turn the sensitivity on or off, or even learn to be more in control. But the process is not always…comfortable? I think that’s the word I want to use.

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    • I’m back in Wisconsin and became nervous last night when it thunderstormed. It’s much scarier when alone at night. Most of my experiences happened when my husband was in the room. Writing about it has set me on edge!!!
      That is cool how some can control it!
      So great to “see” you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Fascinating to finally read about your experiences. Thanks for sharing, Susie. Did you find that when you were being ‘visited’ you also experienced electrical issues in the home? Things like batteries and light bulbs burning out far too quickly? That irritates my husband more than anything. LOL. Salt can make a nice barrier. I sage my house when it starts to feel ‘heavy.’

    My sister was with me for years until I helped her with some unfinished business. I found that by opening myself up for her I opened myself up for others. It kind of freaked me out to see a man standing in my bedroom one night. I have since turned down my sensitivity. Unfortunately, I sense that someone (maybe that man) is still hanging around and I have had far too many disturbing ‘sleep paralysis’ occurrences.

    I have a friend who is extremely sensitive and it has caused her a lot of medical issues. So you’re right, we need to be careful what we wish for.

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    • That is so cool how your sister visited, but a bummer to have to deal with a strange man! I know that feeling. I never tried sage, but had heard about it. Hopefully, the paranormal activity is gone for good. That’s interesting that you have a friend who has related health problems. I’m back in Wisconsin and so far, no ghosts!!! I didn’t realize we could control how much we see. I still have no idea how to do that. 🙂
      Great to see you Debra! Like old times!

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  15. My Aunt grew up in a 400 year old house – when her parents died she inherited it, and renovated it – ripping the insides of the house out. No end of builders left the site because they were spooked by things happening. Then one night while watching TV in the semi-completed downstairs, a pot-plant slid slowly across the floor. Another time, my Aunt’s ex husband – who was sleeping in the shell of the house while working on it – heard marbles being rolled across the floor upstairs, and childrens laughter and foot-falls. The only problem? There was no upstairs – they had ripped it out that day.

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  16. Great post, Susie! I have had a number of photos taken of me at different times of my life and in totally different places. In each of these photos is an odd shadow or aura. It is almost identical in each of the pictures. I also often feel like something is brushing against me though there is nothing there. So, yes, I do believe!

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      • Not so much waking up to anything strange but I will lay awake or just fading off to sleep and could swear I hear music. I know there isn’t any playing in the house and the windows aren’t open but I hear it for sure. I have asked my husband and he doesn’t hear it. I thought at one time it was just my bipolar but that is in check and has been for years. Because music is something that soothes and calms me I do believe it is my guardian angel….guardian ghost?

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        • I LOVE it! I bet it is your guardian angel ghost. I’ve heard music too, now that you mention it! I drift off to sleep and then forget about it. 🙂 Now I’ll pay close attention. That would be a lot more soothing than a banger!

          Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I’m talking about! I thought for sure my dad would visit me. I’m back in Wisconsin right now. The one year anniversary of his passing is this Wednesday. So far, all is quiet!

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  17. Well done! Fascinating read and I believe you! I have a friend who was awakened in an old southern hotel. It was angry at her and loomed above her bed. She had just gotten to sleep when it made its presence known. She yelled at the spirit to leave her alone! She was tired and would not deal with it that night. It left. She is a shaman and has had many experiences, some scary, but many not. Thanks for a thrilling read.

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  18. That is so cool! I had no idea what I was seeing or how to control it. They came and went through the years. I am glad for the sleep I get without them, that’s for sure!
    I’m back in Wisconsin, but no activity….so far.
    Thanks so much for stopping by, Joy!

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  19. I have had my fair share of paranormal experiences so I am good for a while. The one rental we lived in came with a ghost (the man that previously lived there). He would open and close drawers and doors as well as bunch up throw rugs. He was very active in the Master Suite. My mother-in-law told us to talk to him to tell him we meant no harm. He was still there, but the activity decreased a bit. It was dangerous getting up in the night because a dresser or vanity drawer could be open, the door to the bathroom closed, a throw rug bunched up, etc. I enjoy a good ghost tale, but not one that is evil in nature.

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  20. Not personally, but my mother was sure her grandfather looked in on her and I when I was a baby. She was comforted by the sound of his footsteps on the stairs when we were alone in the house.

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  21. Not fun at all for you. Reminds me of the sort of stuff that Ouija boards invite in. I have had a class in communicating with spirit, and I have done it a few times, like when my Dad died. But I set very clear intentions and boundaries of only connecting to the specific person I want, and with only the highest of intention. I don’t purposefully connect with ghosts, but I felt someone sit on my bed when I was half asleep once. I’ve never seen spirit other than with the help of a camera, but when my son was younger, he could. Glad you found a way to shut that door. Mediumship, especially when you have some training for it, can be wonderfully healing for those left behind stuck in grief. I have photos of orbs and other spirit that showed up as whispy looking vapor (some intuitive friends told me what it was). And I have a photo of Archangel Michael; it looks like a streak of light until you zoom in on it and see that it’s a tight spiral of light. Anyway, you definitely do have a gift, and you can explore it or not. Totally your choice.

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  22. You had me absolutely enthralled and fascinated with this post SuZie and I admit, it also gave me massive goosebumps. I definitely believe there’s so much out there that we don’t know or understand.

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  23. Great recounting of your encounters there Susie 🙂 I love this line you wrote at the end “Trapped souls hunt those who can see them in the middle of the night”, it’s like a movie poster tagline. I remember reading an interview once with a person whose job it was to write those movie promotion taglines, I think it was the person who wrote the classic “In space no one can hear you scream” one for Alien. I just thought what a cool job! It had never occurred to me that someone had that as a job (I guess he probably had other things to do in his job too).

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    • Thanks Vanessa-Jane! Cameron Diaz had that job in “Holiday.” She would make up movie trailers in her head to correspond with her own life. Pretty funny.
      I may use a variation of that line someday for a trailer. It was actually a version of an opening 30 openings ago. Ha!

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  24. I never told you or anyone on public forms this’ but because I shared every detail of a being encounter I had as a small boy, and so stand by the trailed happening to this very day have a century after the event, that my Father and Step mother had me seeing a Child Psychiatrist’.

    ‘And as an adult because I shared in great detail one my two remote viewings with my wife, the close family of our close long time friend who died, and which the Assistant pastor of my wife’s Christian church, that I was announced by that Pastor and his wife as being both ‘Crazy and a ‘Witch.

    I am now so very careful whom I confide in and tell the details of my visions and of the Paranormal and psychic events of my personal life. Susie, if it had been any other century past’ I would have either been seized, tried and tortured’ or burned publicly as a witch. Be careful of who you confide in, and as a rule for my own self protection I always sign my blogs and writings as the Creative fictional writings along with my Pen Name(s) just to cover my own butt.

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  25. Eek! I’m glad I read this in the day. I actually do get sleep paralysis and it’s no fun. I have to sleep with a light on so my brain doesn’t create dark people shapes in the room. Great true story and I’m glad your getting your sleep again.

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  26. I’ve always believed in ghosts and enjoy reading ghost stories. Several years ago, shortly after my father died, I’m certain I felt his presence. I felt a cold chill upon me and I woke up quickly, calling out to him, but he was gone. A few years ago, my family and I visited Monte Cristo, Australia’s most haunted house. As we walked around the various rooms, I had some strange experiences and I believe one spirit followed me back to where we were staying until I told it to go away. I even managed to capture a photo of the original owner, which the current owners confirmed for me. I was more excited than scared and am looking forward to returning, this time for an evening tour. Thanks for sharing your experiences Susie and I look forward to hearing more. Seems like I’ll have to check out your book! 😉

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