My James Dean Adventure by Scott Michaels


Back in Chicago 1987, I worked with a girl named Pam.  Pam was a very kind person, who was frankly, obsessed with James Dean.  Most dismissed her as crazier than a bag of hangers, and admittedly I did occasionally too, but I enjoyed listening to her stories of traveling to Fairmount, and meeting other Dean fans.  In any conversation, Pam would find some way to turn the subject to Jimmy.  It could be exhausting, but at times quite compelling.  Especially when started mentioning that she used a Ouija board.

Now the paranormal interests me to a degree, and I’m disappointed that I haven’t had an excellent experience with the supernatural, but Pam had them aplenty.  Pam could relate entire conversations that she had with Jimmy on the board, and often would ask us if we wanted to ask questions, and she would return the next day with answers.  Most of my coworkers thought it was a laugh, I was more curious.

Sensing this, Pam confided a story that happened in Fairmount recently.  She decided to spend the night at Jimmy’s grave, and Jimmy showed up, riding a motorcycle, and gave her a ride.  It was obvious to me that she was in love with him, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.  I rented a car one weekend, and asked her to introduce me to Jimmy.

On September 5, 1987, we arrived in Fairmount and went directly to Jimmy’s grave.  It appeared that Jimmy always had company, when one would leave, another would show up.  Little privacy for the Ouija, but Pam gave it a shot.  At 5:45pm Pam spoke, “Hi Jimmy, we’re here.”  The planchet spelled back HI PAM AND SCOTT.  “Is there a possible way of seeing you tonight?”  MAYBE I COULD “what would it take?” MAYBE YOU COULD LET ME COME YO YO (yo yo was apparently Jimmy’s nickname for Pam (stay with me) Pam replied, “You definitely have permission.”  LOVE YOU DO LET ME COME (and apparently James Dean was in love with Pam as well.  (stay with me).  At that point another car arrived, so we decided to have a look around town.  We perused the Dean museum, and grabbed food.  While finishing our meal, Pam asked if I would like to see the farm where Jimmy grew up.  “Sure!” was my quick response, and off we went.

We got to the white farmhouse, and as I slowed to pass, Pam told me to pull in the driveway.  I objected, stating that the people that lived there would certainly not welcome visitors, but she insisted.  As I pulled in, Pam hopped out of the car, and ran to the front window and knocked on it.  I. Was. Mortified.  Imagine my shock when people came out and greeted her with smiles and hugs.  Mark and Mary Lou, Jimmy’s cousin and wife asked us in.  For the next hour, we sat in the living room of the house James Dean grew up in, sipping lemonade, and watching America’s Funniest Pets.  It was all very surreal.  When Mark’s sons showed up, first thought that came to my mind was that they would make a killing in Hollywood, just as being the handsome cousins of James Dean – they even resembled him.   We stayed just long enough to be annoying, never daring to bring up their famous relative, whom they clearly had to know was the reason we were there.  We left to meet James Dean.

We arrived back at Jimmy’s tombstone and Pam brought out the board.  I’ve never been on a Ouija board seriously in my life, so I was anxious to give it a shot.  It was now 9:40pm.  Pam started again, “Hi Jimmy!”  While in contact with a celebrity spirit, the planchet on the board will rotate in a figure 8 while awaiting another question.  HI YO YO AND SCOTT came the reply.  I said, “nice family.”  THANKS.  Then I made some sort of remark about his family being annoyed with us, or me.  SCOTT I LIKE YOU.  I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU EVER DOUBTED IT DON’T BE PARANOID WITH ME NO REASON TO BE, came those oh so comforting words.  Pam says, “Will you come?”  MAYBE I WILL.  “Why maybe?” NEED YOUR HELP.  “How?”  CONCENTRATE Seconds later, a motorcycle pulled into the cemetery.

Scared shitless, I put the Ouija board into the grocery bag that Pam carried it in, and ditched it behind Jimmy’s tombstone.  This was probably the scariest moment in my real life.  Sitting here in the dark, waiting for James Dean to show up and in pulls a motorcycle.  It weaved its way through the tiny cemetery until it came to a stop directly behind us, with the light smack in my face so I was completely blinded.  A figure in black dismantled, and I can’t say I was relieved that it was not James Dean.  Some man in black, late 40’s, grayish hair, grayish beard, and head to toe in black leather.  “What are you kids doing here?” asked the smiling stranger.  “Just hanging out” was our reply.

He mentioned that he just came to say goodnight to his brother, and patted Jimmy’s tombstone affectionately.  Then he walked around to the other side of the stone, and found the bag.  He picked it up, removed the Ouija board, and asked what we used it for.  Pam replied, “We talk to Jimmy on it.”  Groan..

He snapped.  “You DON’T talk to Jimmy on this, you talk to LUCIFER!  Jimmy is seated at the RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER, and THIS is the DEVIL’S TOOL!” as he spat on the ground.  He went on a rant about the Bible, Satan and that lot, it was all very disturbing.  Pam sat there listening and I was preparing to shit myself, when he looked at me and asked, “What do you think of all this?”  “Well, truthfully” I replied, “I’m a little freaked out right now.”  “You are freaked out now?  Wait.”  He sat down on rock in front of me and placed the Ouija board on his knees, and balanced it on mine.  He then put his fingertips on the planchet and told me to do the same.  “You wanna get freaked out?  I’ll freak you out.”  “Um’ no.  Thanks.”  I grabbed Pam and we mumbled goodbye and took off for the 5-hour journey back home.

We didn’t say much on the way home.  When I dropped Pam off, I asked her to ask Jimmy, what the hell that was all about.  I saw her a few days later, and she came back with the reply, “Jimmy said that Jesus sent him.”

One thought on “My James Dean Adventure by Scott Michaels

  • May 3, 2022 at 9:02 am

    You seriously need to write an autobiography Scott. You have some of the most bonkers, yet entertaining stories!

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