A ‘Time Slip’ Tale: Mediaeval church music 1980s to 1990s

Everybody knows the secular holiday of Hallowe’en. But not everybody knows it derives from a holy day,  All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1, which is followed by All Souls’ day on Nov. 2.

The root word of Halloween – ”hallow” – means ”holy.” The suffix “een” is an abbreviation of “evening.” It refers to the Eve of All Hallows, the night before the Christian holy day that honours saintly people of the past. All Saints is a celebration of the communion of saints.

The religious connotation of today thus fits well with the third of my series of Uncanny  Tales. This time, I am offering what is only a fragment – but a very vivid, intermittently repeated fragment during approximately a decade of my life from the 1980s to the 1990s. I am curious to know whether any of my readers have had similar experiences  – vivid, but fleeting. Do tell!

St Paul on All Saints' Day
St Paul on All Saints’ Day

When Ian and I were on one of our walking trips up in Northern Scotland, driving in lovely remote places, or pottering about at home, plain chant religious music from around the mediaeval period would occasionally come on the radio, or Ian would be playing something of that type and period from his extensive music collection.

I would suddenly, without warning, experience a kind of consciousness “shift”. Feeling my bare feet on the stone flags of a big church or cathedral, I would actually be there, in some religious capacity, feeling deeply connected to the music and its spirituality. This “shift’ would last only seconds, then I’d be back in my own time.

When they came at first, these episodes were very vivid and ‘real’. But gradually they got wispier and less substantial over time, disappearing over a few years, never (so far) to be repeated.


This account is an extract from my memoir “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness” – an open-minded take on paranormal experience – now published as an ebook and available  HERE.

Dazzling Darkness
Dazzling Darkness

“…. I was immediately taken by the compelling nature of your words, the honesty, the authenticity and the simplicity…..Your work is incredibly important because you address these issues very clearly and simply and with grace…” ( charty at fablefoundation.com)


400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


9 thoughts on “A ‘Time Slip’ Tale: Mediaeval church music 1980s to 1990s

  1. i’ve never experienced a shift like that, but the music makes sense in playing a role in that nudge… this story balances well against the previous one and gives a bit of comfort – those elusive memories connect you to very positive moments in the past as well.

  2. Yes, that is a very good point. If these are indeed past life experiences, one would expect that as in current life, there would be the positive/negative mix in relation to what filters through to us in those unsettling flashes…

  3. I’ve had no experiences like that, and haven’t a clue what they might mean. What I will say is that certain early music — either sacred or secular, as we like to say — recommends itself for certain settings.

    For example, the middle of the night. I have a Pandora channel dedicated to plainsong, Renaissance motets, and such, because it’s the only music I know that doesn’t disturb silence. Instead, it seems to carry the silence inside itself, and spread it out into the world.

    One of my favorite groups is called New York Polyphony.

  4. Anne – I do believe everything about us, whether aural or visual,is associated with the deeply collective consciousness.The universal Akashic Record.

    Once on a lonesome road in an remote valley of Norway my friend and I drove past two nuns on a late Saturday evening. No houses or farms as far as the eyes could see, and we were alone on the road….in the middle of nowhere…Within our all Protestant country, their appearance did not make any sense at all (well, back in the 14th century Norway was a Catholic country of course). I believe this was one of “The Time-Slip” occurrences.

    When we stopped the car, the two nuns had disappeared. I do not believe they were ghosts….they appeared within another level of time.

    Cheerio, Inger Lise.

    1. Many thanks for this eerie tale, Inger Lise. I agree with your view of what occurred. And there are so many, many of us who have had those experiences – the kind that the reductionists insist do not exist….!

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