TELEPHONE INTERVIEW / INTERVIEW — TAPE #15, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell Bell
D: Aida Takla O’Reilly (President, Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.)
I: Marie Todd (friend)
D: He said, “Put it in the mirror.” He held it in front of the mirror and saw that it meant something. Reading it the way it was didn’t mean anything but seeing it reversed in the mirror he read a word ‘zeaama’ that means leadership.
Q: Is it Arabic?
D: Yes. It’s Arabic.
Q: I first had thought it was in the language of the Dead Sea Scrolls and then somebody told me that it looked Arabic.
D: Well, that’s not the way Arabic is written. This was written letter by letter. You may want to have somebody look at it who knows Hebrew.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I THOUGHT THIS TRANSLATION WAS ADEQUATE SO I DIDN’T DO ANY FURTHER RESEARCH IN THIS AREA. THE NEXT RECORDED CONVERSATION IS WITH MY FRIEND MARIE AND WAS RECORDED ON OCTOBER 29, 1995. I REFER TO SOME NOTES I HAD MADE DURING THE INTERVIEW.)
Q: Okay, Marie, this is going to be our interview.
I: Cool. I like your T-shirt.
Q: I like your T-shirt too. (“IT LOOKS NEAT”) First, did they ever find out who took your money?
I: It was never revealed to me who did; however, when I had the ATM robbery no one had an ATM card or code but me. And I had no money left in the bank account at all.
Q: And that was right when I came back from Oklahoma. I was convinced that Michael had taken the money.
I: It had happened while you were away at the beginning of August. August first or something.
Q: It happened before I went to Oklahoma. (“NO”)
I: I got so spazzed that I didn’t tell anybody because the money just vanished.
Q: Did they ever tell you if somebody had withdrawn it or do you think it really was supernatural phenomena?
I: I just don’t even know because I had to fill out all these papers and I was put through a million questions. No one’s ever used my card and there’s only one. Nobody else knows my code and it didn’t make any sense. I couldn’t get any answers out of anybody except I had all the forms to fill out. And then I had to have a panic attack because they were supposed to have told me in ten days because that’s the way the banks are insured. So then in ten days the money came back but the original funds were just missing somewhere.
Q: Did you find it scary?
I: Yes. Because I felt like I really had no control of my life at all.
Q: Did you think that Michael was in control for a while?
I: Well, I didn’t know about him at that time.
Q: When I mentioned Him did you think that there was a definite connection?
I: Well, I felt there was some strange connection. I would have felt much better had somebody grabbed my bag and robbed me. Not that I should have a negative experience or anything but there was no concrete evidence of how this incident could have happened.
Q: Well, this happens every day to hundreds of people because people can spy and see your code or whatever.
I: I was told they watch with binoculars from the parking lot.
Q: Do you think that’s a possibility in this case?
I: It is a possibility but I don’t ever remember being very flamboyant and exposed in doing this type of transaction unless I was robbed from somebody internally at the bank.
Q: That’s always a possibility, isn’t it?
Q: Did you say other people had also experienced the same thing at that bank?
I: Yes. I was told that there were other people who had a similar experience and it was going on, I believe, on a national level.
Q: Well, Michael is awfully shy. Several times he’s tapped me on the leg while I’m in bed at night to remind me he’s around. Before the trip to Oklahoma I had always told myself that it was only some kind of muscle contraction. I think He has a problem with showing affection. I mean, He uses physics as an excuse when He feels like it. I mean, at least that 17th century Pavia townswoman, Hieronyma, felt herself being kissed once in a while and she was already married. But I would never want to happen to me what once happened to her. She was on her way to church when her clothes suddenly fell to the ground and disappeared in a gust of wind, leaving her naked. Well, what do you expect? It was September 29th. Michaelmas Day.
I: What does that mean?
Q: Well, in religious terms, that’s the day when Michael is celebrated.
Q: Michael also once tapped my brother on the leg when he was here in my condo. And remember that time when He tickled you?
I: It happened to me when I came to visit you to see your photos right after you came back from Oklahoma. It was in the summer — I believe in August. We looked at your photos and you were explaining your trip and the nature of it. I was sitting in this chair over here. And on my lower right leg in the front above my ankle — I didn’t realize I was being tickled. I reflexed because I pulled my knee all the way up toward my chest and started laughing. I was in shock and you started to laugh because I didn’t know what happened to me. (“JOKE”)
Q: When Michael did it to my brother, he said, “Oww!” And he sort of rubbed his leg.
I: Maybe he pinched him or something.
I: Because he flirted with me. (Laugh)
Q: He likes to flirt. But when He did it to my brother I said, “Well, that was Michael.” And he said, “It was just a muscle spasm.”
I: Does he have muscle spasms often?
Q: No. I felt the same way before I went to Oklahoma. I thought it was muscle contractions but then when He did it to me after I came back it solved the mystery. (“RIGHT”) At least that mystery. Once when I was being sarcastic with Him, He pushed me up against a car in my brother’s driveway. I liked the attention.
I: (small laugh)
Q: But what happened to your ring that night? I remember you told me a story about your ring. What was that all about?
I: I bought this marquisette and amethyst antique ring in San Juan Capistrano at a jewelry store next to the mission. A friend of mine was with me, Wendy, and she bought herself an antique marquisette ring also.
Q: Mark — isette?
I: ‘Mark — isette.’ (small laugh) I have a certain vibe about that type of jewelry. Anyway, I had this ring on my finger. There were two amethyst stones and it looked like an S-pattern. I could draw it but it’s kind of hard to explain. Anyway, I don’t even think I had it longer than a week when I was at the Sunset Junction Festival. I think it was a Saturday night and The Blasters were playing. I was there with my friend, Mike, and we were standing in the back. Then, they started playing that song “Marie, Marie” so we went up toward the stage and started dancing. He spun me around a few times and then my ring disappeared. So I quit dancing and had an attack. I said, “You took my ring.” (laughs) And he said, “No, I didn’t.” I said, “You fucking asshole, you took my ring. Give me the goddamn ring back right now.”
I: And then a couple of guys in the crowd said, “Yeah, give her the ring back.” And the band’s still playing. I started looking on the ground on the pavement in case it had been pulled off and rolled somewhere. And then all these other people started looking. We even waited — sitting there until after the gig was over. The ring just vanished. Disappeared.
Q: Did you ever get it back?
Q: (laughs) Do you want it back?
I: Yes. I want it back.
Q: Michael, give Marie her ring back.
I: (small laugh) And Wendy lost her ring too.
I: Hers vanished in less than a week also. She went downtown to the Music Center to hear opera. She was in the bathroom and she washed her hands and there was nobody else in there. She went to put the ring back on and the ring had disappeared. She had a fit. She was so flustered that she didn’t even stay to hear the show. She just left.
Q: Michael should give Marie’s friend her ring back too.
I: They both disappeared at music events.
Q: Well, if you ever get them back let me know.
Q: Now, what about the time when you told me about my pseudonym? I think that was after you visited me here at the condo or was that before?
I: Oh, it was after.
Q: Well, tell me what happened again about that.
I: I remember it was in the morning because I had flown to the East Coast for the weekend. I had just got back on Monday night and I think it was Tuesday morning I spoke with you. And you were telling me about the book, your information, your tapes and what was going on in your life. You felt that you needed to change your name or modify it in some way. After our conversation, I walked down to my mailbox on the corner of Sunset Boulevard. At Sunset and Laurel Canyon, I was crossing the street but I guess I didn’t pay attention to the light. I was lost in some kind of mental blur and the traffic was coming and it was “MARK RUSSELL BELL.” That was that. And then there was some guy pushing a shopping cart behind me and he said, “Hey, move it.”
Q: And then you called me right after that?
I: I called you right away because I ran back up the street and told you what dropped into my brain. It’s like I kind of lost touch with reality for a moment.
Q: Was the voice telepathic or did you actually hear it? Was it inside or outside? Internal or external? Or you don’t know?
I: I just don’t even know because I just felt like I lapsed from reality and it was right when I was crossing the street.
Q: You told me you went and immediately called me. And what did you see near the phone?
I: A Bell Telephone directory.
Q: That’s not unusual, is it?
I: No, that’s a common thing but it wasn’t at a telephone it was in the shopping plaza area laying on the ground across the street.
Q: I see.
I: You can never find a phone book at a pay telephone. They’re never there.
Q: It was on the ground. So that’s what really struck you?
I: On the sidewalk. Yes.
Q: Especially since the name you had just heard was Bell.
I: Yes. And this was right after our conversation () in the morning before I went down the street.
Q: I’m sure we had several conversations that week.
I: So I ran back up Laurel Canyon and called you immediately.
Q: I don’t remember exactly when that was, in terms of when I came back from Oklahoma, but I do remember on Wednesday, the second day following my return, I called Cheryl and told her I had to take a sabbatical from work because of the major supernatural phenomena I was experiencing. I explained, “Time and space mean nothing to It.” Him, I guess. Her. Whatever.
I: Well, you told me that too.
Q: Oh? See. I was feeling pretty dramatic at the time so I told her, “It has the power to destroy our world in an instant. And it just cleaned out Marie’s bank account.”
Q: (laughs) “Why me? Why me?,” I recall saying frantically. I explained how the Entity had proven It’s powers to me and she was sympathetic, saying that she is a believer. She good-naturedly reminded me that I was still her “womb-mate” because she was born on August 8th too. Unfortunately, she explained, she was late for a meeting with William Friedkin and I reminded her that he was the director of “The Exorcist.”
Q: I also suggested to Allison that maybe they both should check and see if they had any Bell ancestry in their family tree. You never know. As my mother once said to me, “A lot of black people are named Bell.” Marie, didn’t you get this new movie role soon after that? The Walter Hill movie?
I: It was the end of August. (“UH”)
Q: Do you think this is your best job yet or —
I: It’s my favorite job. (small laugh)
Q: And what do you play?
I: A town prostitute. (small laugh) It’s a 1930s Western. It’s exciting.
Q: And you haven’t finished filming yet?
Q: Oh great. What is the character’s name?
I: No name.
Q: You were telling me about one of your costumes that had feathers.
I: One of the lingerie outfits has marabou feathers.
Q: What do they look like?
I: They’re fluffy, sexy, feathery —
Q: I think Michael — well, being an angel — I think he would like the feathers. (“RIGHT”)
Q: Get it?
I: The wings.
Q: What are some of the other appearances you’ve made over the years? I remember there was that sitcom with a Halloween theme.
I: “Empty Nest.”
Q: And what was your costume? At the end, when your character was the winner of —
I: It was a Halloween party and the character’s name was Edith Fenton and she won a Halloween contest. She had a strapless black velvet gown and jewelry and gloves. The joke was that she won as the girl with the invisible man. They had this glove on my arm that represented her escort.
Q: And now you know who that was, don’t you?
I: I guess. (laughs)
I: I never thought of it at the time. I just thought it was a comical mystery character. (laughs)
Q: Well, now you know.
Q: There’ve been a few times in when I’ve noticed you on television when you were doing extra (“COMING”) work. What show was that where the elevator opened and you were there and then it closed and you were gone again? I guess you’ve done a lot of scenes like that over the years. Was that a “Twilight Zone” episode?
I: I can’t remember.
Q: What are some of your other film and TV credits?
I: I did Steven Seagal’s “Out for Justice.” I played Sammy’s girlfriend so I got to be the only girl in the bar during this big stunt scene with heavy action. I had a great time doing that. It was supposed to be Brooklyn and Sammy was Gianni Russo.
Q: And you’ve worked for Paramount movies in various capacities. Was one of them “The Addams Family”?
I: I did some stunt photo double work for the first one. I was tied up in vines and pulled into the house. And then for “Addams Family Values” I was one of the members of the Addams family at Fester’s wedding. I worked as a dancer in an episode of “Saved By The Bell.”
Q: “Saved By The Bell”?
I: Yes. (small laugh)
Q: Oh my goodness. You were also in an Oliver Stone movie but I guess they edited you out?
I: Right. It was called “Heaven and Earth.” I was Beverly who was the ex-wife of the male lead. And that was Tommy Lee Jones. That was the story of a Vietnamese lady named Le Lye Hayslip. She ended up coming into this country to marry him and he committed suicide. I was in a funeral scene with Debbie Reynolds and Conchata Ferrell. (“WE ALL DIET”) I was the ex-wife, Beverly, who showed up at the funeral and shed a few tears. (laughs)
Q: Haven’t we all?
I: Supposedly, my character had divorced him and taken his money and didn’t want anything to do with him.
Q: That was hardly type-casting, wasn’t it?
Q: My therapist would be mortified by all the connections I could be drawing between the titles of these films and TV shows. But it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? So many weird things have happened to me. Even in supermarkets and department stores. At the Mayflower Market on Hyperion, a fireplace log materialized near the cash register once while I was there.
I: That’s so wild.
Q: At an Echo Park store, the price of the Spirit brand drinking water didn’t show up on the scanner. When my brother and I were shopping at Nordstrom at the Westside Pavilion, the pianist began playing “Oklahoma.” Later that afternoon we went to see “Unzipped” at the Royal. I believed Mizrahi when he said he gets his fashion ideas from the Ouija Board. Also, on several occasions at my brother’s house, we have heard rattling of glass in the cupboard — just like Maxine mentioned she had experienced in Oklahoma. The last time I was waiting for my name to be called at a restaurant, the names called out before mine were Angela and Christian. There was also “Happy Birthday to You” sung to someone named Michael that evening. At a Hyperion gas station I was having a tire replaced after running over yet another nail and the paperwork suddenly disappeared. The clerk looked everywhere and couldn’t find it. I said, “Michael, give it back.” Then I saw the clerk put his clipboard down on the bare counter. When he picked it up again, the paperwork was there beneath where he had just put the clipboard. That would make a good scene in a movie. But just about everything that ever happened to me now seems like it could be a scene in a movie.
I: Well, I lost a watch — an old antique watch. I needed it because I had to wear it someplace and it was nowhere to be found anywhere. I tore apart my entire apartment, went through all my pockets and boxes and couldn’t find it. I kept looking and looking and looking. It was missing during the time span when you were in Oklahoma and afterward. And then about a month or so after that, it reappeared. I found it in a heart-shaped box in my bedroom and I had looked in there like ten other times for it. It came back.
Q: That’s happened to me too —
I: It probably happens to lots of people.
Q: — but I just misplaced my things. I know that wasn’t phenomena. I remember once I was doing a telephone interview with Alfre Woodard when she was suddenly visited by an enormous spider. She screamed and threw down her receiver and everything. One of my funniest phone conversations was with my brother when I told him I thought I was Jesus reincarnated. I told him to come over and discuss it with me but —
I: (small laugh)
Q: — he said he couldn’t because he had an important industry dinner party to go to. Everyone I called had pretty much the same response. Except you. Do you know how many people I called at Paramount? And not one person was even interested in finding out why I needed their help even though I don’t remember exactly what I said because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed at the time. I remember speaking to Steven Schuster to see if he had any connections at Simon & Schuster. I was looking for people who could work with sound on the microcassettes so I also called one of the people working on sound for the movie “Nick of Time.” I jokingly left the message, “Will you please call me in the nick of time?”
Q: I mean I really did think that I had three weeks to finish my book or Michael was going to bring about the Big Bang.
I: Well, I remember you were highly over-pressured and over-stimulated at the same time.
Q: So, anyway, I called all these people at Paramount and I don’t even remember who I called. I just tried to call people who might be able to help me under the circumstances. I don’t even know if their assistants gave them the message in the first place because you know how that works. When I need them for an interview or something for a press kit — fine. But if it’s something outside of that —
I: I think it’s just hard to get people to return phone calls anywhere.
Q: I know but these are people that I spoke to and I thought that I knew them.
I: Well, yes, everybody needs to have an exchange.
Q: I just thought it would be nice in my hour of need to talk to these people who could really help me.
I: Well, that’s the most important time to talk to anybody because people reveal a lot of things when they’re in that frame of mind.
Q: But I guess this is something I had to do for myself. “The path alone.” Now I know why I’ve always had a fascination for angels. In fact, I remember when Deborah Rosen, a previous Paramount publicity department head, and I were planning a visit to an exhibit of angel paintings in Santa Monica. Just at the time, her position was suddenly terminated. I heard she eventually executed her stock option one week before the stock doubled.
I: That’s frightening but it’s some kind of money thing because at that same time you were coming back from Oklahoma I was on my way over to my friend Charlene’s house and, anyway, I stopped at the middle of this intersection because I almost ran over something and I didn’t know what it was. I got out of my car in the middle of the intersection and saw that it was this black bag that looked like a man’s case. I looked around because I thought maybe it was a drop-off and somebody was going to pick it up. I didn’t know if it contained something illegal and somebody might shoot me or whatever, so I threw it in my car and went around the corner over by Cherokee and Melrose. I went into her house and said, “Charlene, Charlene, I found this guy’s bag — helwhatitisuauauauaua.” (small laugh) “I have to return this to this person. It’s my job. I have to get it back to them. I was sort of like babbling because it made me very nervous. We opened the bag and everything was intact so I found a check with this guy’s name and phone number on it. And it was somebody in Malibu. I called and it was his residence. Somebody named Jason answered the phone and they gave the message to him and he was working up the street at Hollywood Center Studios on some film. I think Atlas Pictures was the name of the production company. I left the phone number of Charlene’s house and I said, “Hurry up and get this bag back to him.” His house called him at work and within five minutes he had found his bag. When we were going through it before finding the check, we found this envelope full of a whole bunch of money. I guess it was the film company’s petty cash and all his credit cards — everything was there so I had to get it back. When I made the call, he was in shock because he had just realized a minute before that the bag was gone. I think his wife was the person that called him and told him to call us. And he came over and walked in and said, “You’re an angel.” And I’ve been able to say he was very happy to get it back. I don’t know how I found it.
Q: I guess most people would have kept it.
I: I felt it was my job to get it back to him because I didn’t really feel it was safe to take it to the police department because who knows what would happen to it —
Q: You’ve had your share of run-ins with police over the years.
I: Well, not so much run-ins with them — it’s like nobody can ever seem to do their job in these different bureaucratic systems so I just knew it would be a whole convoluted mess. I felt personally responsible to get this bag into this person’s hands because I’ve lost things before and it’s really a panic attack.
Q: Did anyone ever return something to you that you had lost before?
Q: Was it a bag or something?
I: Yeah. Last December I lost my black shoulder bag. It had my wallet, credit cards, I.D., money, contact lenses, make-up and my address book. Everything. And I didn’t even know I had lost it. I got out of the car to mail something and I got home and I didn’t have my handbag. I freaked out and went everyplace I’d been. I couldn’t find it anywhere and I just had a fit.
Q: And how did you get it back?
I: I called my protection company to get everything canceled and I was, of course, realizing, “What am I going to do? What’s happened? Now I have no identity.” I just freaked out and then several hours later this man called me and he said that he found my bag. I asked him where he found it and it had been right by the mailbox. He thought it was a camera case because the bag was black and it had silver studs. His son worked in the movie business so it reminded him of something an electrician would have.
Q: That was nice of him.
I: He told me, “Don’t worry” and that “You can come over and pick it up in the morning.” And I did.
Q: I think people are innately good.
I: Yes, I think there really are good people in the world. I think positive energy is stronger than anything else if people take the time to be bothered.
Q: Right. And didn’t you tell me that recently you were working on a science fiction film in downtown L.A.?
Q: Okay. Well, in the films and TV shows you’ve worked in, have you noticed people taking drugs ever?
Q: So you don’t — I mean — okay.
I: I don’t think everything in a creative world is drug-induced.
Q: Well, I know. It’s just that I want to make it clear to everybody that I, myself, have never or would never turn to drugs. Because most people would prefer to attribute my experiences to drug-inspired hallucinations.
I: Well, I think one of the problems with the world we live in is that creative people are terribly misunderstood. They’re just much more sensitive human beings as well as their stream of consciousness in the way they work is on a different energy level than others’. It’s more unstructured and most people that need a little routine and pattern in their life don’t understand a free form of energy or spirit or character or whatever and they have a little problem with understanding somebody else’s reality.
Q: Right. Because when I was in CPC Alhambra Hospital I told them my belief and then when I got my certification—whatever that means—it said that I had been hearing voices. And I never told them I’d been hearing voices.
I: There, again, it’s a limited capacity of understanding the world we live in.
Q: I’ve never heard voices in my head in any way except once during a dream when I heard someone say, “FATHER, I HAVE WAITED SO LONG.” And, of course, I found a parallel with this event in one of the newspaper accounts of the family’s experiences in Oklahoma. Once their family portrait of Jesus was found turned around backwards on the wall. When I returned home from Oklahoma, I contacted my Uncle Bob and asked him if there were any Bells in our family tree. He responded by saying, “That’s funny. How did you know that?” So I decided to do some research. He did send me some family tree pages but it seemed like there were some pages missing. I soon found at the Los Angeles Central Library a book relating to my Russell surname entitled Historical Memoirs of the First Race of Ancestry Whence the House of Russell Had Its Origin From the Subjugation of Norway to the Norman Conquest by J. H. Wiffen. This was published in 1833 by Carpenter and Son, Old Bond Street, London and reveals that the rise of the Russell surname synchronizes with the first usage of heraldic arms. The name Le Rozel became Russell eventually. There is a mention of the Isle of Man on page eleven — where a famous poltergeist once occurred with the spirit assuming the form of a mongoose named Gef. On page thirteen the book mentions Rogvald, someone who was aided by Turstain Tauda, nicknamed the Red, which just happens to be the nickname of someone who possibly sexually abused me as a child according to my father but who knows if that’s true or not?
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: AFTER THE TAPE ENDED DURING MY PREVIOUS PHONE CONVERSATION WITH PAUL, I CONTINUED TO ASK MY FATHER ABOUT POSSIBLE SEXUAL ABUSE AND HE RESPONDED BY SAYING “YOUR MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND RED, AND THE BOYS CLUB.”)
Q: Anyway, this character aided Rogvald in terrorizing Scotland. The Red’s brother, Sigurd, killed and beheaded a Scottish chieftain and the front tooth, however, of the jawbone inflicted a mortal wound upon him when it struck the hollow of his thigh while he rode on horseback. In 1814, John Bell was accompanied by his sons John Jr. and Drew while supervising the clearing of a plot of land when slaves discovered a mound of graves. John told them to work around the site, which he estimated to be an Indian burial ground. Drew and a friend, Corban Hall, returned to the mound with shovels to look for arrowheads and knives, yet on this day they found no relics among the skeleton. When they went back to the Bells’ house, Corban brought with him a jawbone and was sitting in the hallway when he impulsively tossed it against a wall. The action was observed by John Bell, who saw the bone fall against the floor, a tooth being dislodged to drop through a crack between the floorboards. Also in that book about the House of Russell, one of my favorite passages concerns one Prince Haquin who: “when he sank beneath the ocean floor was not borne like his ancestors through the wild barbaric portals of Valhalla but introduced by sea-nymphs into a sparry palace, where he still reclines upon a couch of coral and holds to his heart in an Elysian trance the fairest of the Anglo-Saxon maidens.” Another chapter describes an enormous serpent slain by one named Turstain, whose blows succeeded in dispatching it after his buckler had been entirely consumed by the fire proceeding from its jaws. He is stated, however, to have enjoyed his triumph but a few days, being fatally infected with the poison of its breath. That’s page sixty-four. On the following page is a passage that reads “. . . considering that the things which are seen are temporal, and that it is only those which are unseen that are eternal, to pass from the visible to the invisible world and from the shadows of time to the realities of eternity.” Across the generations, many of my relatives have been affiliated with the Methodist church. My ninety-six-year-old paternal grandfather—his first name is Paul which is also my father’s name—was an attorney for the U.S. government and also is an ex-secretary general for the Western Methodist Church. My great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Seth Russell, was a pensioner of the War of 1812 and a deacon in the Baptist church. One of my seventh generation grandparents was Peter Parker — no not Spider-Man but a lieutenant under George Washington. One of my third or fourth generation great grandparents was named Perry. Supposedly, the Perrys came into the country soon after the Mayflower landed in the 17th century. I am also at the beginning stages of researching my mother’s maiden name of King and her maternal family line. Let’s see. One of the weird things that happened to me as a child occurred after I was given an inoculation as part of a school health program. I may have been a little nervous about getting an injection, yet I passed out around a half hour afterward.
I: What was that for? Like a flu shot or something?
Q: I think it was for Measles. Anyway, upon regaining consciousness my first thought was so bizarre that I’ve never forgotten it — “The aliens have come back.” And aliens weren’t as popular at the time as they are now. I mean, it was unheard of. I didn’t know where the thought had even come from. But I guess I was laying on the floor and didn’t know what had happened and my thought was “The aliens have come back.” Ironically, pins and needles have always been facets in poltergeist and witchcraft chronicles since the darkest ages of mankind. And do you remember that old saying about needles, camels and rich people?
I: I hate needles. (small laugh)
Q: You too? I remember in Alhambra they wanted to take my blood and I said, “The thought of needles breaking my skin” was just — (“HELLO”) I joked about at the time but I’ve always definitely had a fear of needles after that first time I passed out.
I: I don’t like shots at all. You never know what they’re putting in you, either.
Q: Another early so-called supernatural event in my childhood included once hearing a lion roaring in the alley outside my second-floor bedroom in Pasadena one night. This was also experienced by Oklahoma family members. And my astrological sign is Leo. Also, some believe that the original Sphinx was, in fact, a lion.
I: It looks like it. It looks like that outside the Luxor in Vegas. You think so?
Q: I think so. I think a later pharaoh carved his likeness onto it after flood damage, which is what some experts believe. Marie, didn’t you once receive a scarab pendant? From a friend?
I: Oh, yes I did. A friend of mine gave me this scarab. I didn’t even know what it was. It was a piece of jewelry and it had this unusual scarab shape and the stone was malachite and — can’t remember. Anyway, I got this stone and it was rather large and heavy. I put several different chains with it and none of the necklaces I had were quite heavy enough to hold it. Just recently, I became aware that it’s an ancient symbol for the resurrection — fertility and resurrection. I think that’s what the scarab represents.
Q: How well I know that definition.
I: The stone was lapis and malachite.
Q: Well, didn’t I tell you that I had seen a beetle outside my hotel when I was in Oklahoma?
Q: Well, it looked just like a scarab.
I: I didn’t pick this out myself or want this or anything. It was just given to me and it was purchased from some artist in Hollywood.
Q: Do you still have it?
I: Yeah, I still have it and then I ended up finding the right chain to put on it. So it was a heavy silver necklace. I get a lot of compliments when I wear it. I ended up finding the chain for it when I was cocktailing at Gazzari’s one night.
Q: Tell me how you found the chain.
I: Well, I was working this one night and I just remember it was in summertime and it was hot and I was sent home early. I can’t remember who was performing. All of a sudden, water started dripping from the upstairs balcony onto the main floor and onto the main bar downstairs. What happened was the upstairs pipe burst and the water was going all over the place. And with all that electricity in there and all the amplifiers going we had to close because everybody could have been electrocuted or something. So we had to close right away and there was water pouring all over the place and most of it was in the bar area and main floor. I had to leave out the front door because I would leave always after work out the side door that would go to the parking lot. So, when I was on my way out the front door on the steps — on the right side of the steps — and there wasn’t anybody out there, I found this chain laying on the ground. I picked it up and there wasn’t anybody around anywhere so I took it. And it was the chain. When I saw it I said something like, “Oh my goodness. This is the size chain I need for that scarab necklace.”
Q: You felt that this chain was meant for you to have?
I: Yeah. Because I wasn’t looking for jewelry and I just wanted to leave. The water was going everywhere inside the club from (big gasp) all the pipes bursting and I just wanted to leave. Somebody said something. I can’t remember what they said and I stopped.
Q: Wait. Did you see the person who spoke or was this a voice you heard?
I: Somebody stopped and asked a question about what was going on or something.
Q: What did he look like?
I: It seemed like a silly comment. I can’t even remember. It’s just blank. (“NO”) And that’s why I stopped. When I was standing there chatting I looked down on the ground and there was this chain.
Q: I’ll tell you some more of my childhood events. Once, I was sleepwalking during a vacation with my family to Catalina Island and I remember I was conscious but not entirely and I said, “I want to go home.” I didn’t mean home to the suburbs. I think it was more in the line of E.T. phoning home then a child being eager to return to the suburbs. Now, the recurring fainting I experienced as a child made me desperately afraid of these occurrences. The fear of them often resulted in another episode. My last fainting spell was in my optometrist’s office after he had diluted my pupils. This was the second time I had this reaction to this procedure. Similarly, Betsy Bell in the 19th century Bell Witch case also experienced strange fainting spells.