A young elementary school teacher who miraculously survived being stabbed 16 times by her ex-boyfriend claims she was saved by the ghost of a woman who died in her hometown – and has seen ‘shadow people’ ever since the attack.  

During a dramatic podcast series, Eilish Poe, 25, who lives in Fort Collins, northern Colorado, opened up about her traumatic near-death experience – and the paranormal activity that has haunted her life since.

Poe was wearing pink flamingo patterned pajamas and matching slippers when she was stabbed in her neck, torso and arms during a rabid attack by her suicidal ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Crossley, on November 4, 2020. 

Crossley, 25, had broken into her home while she was at work and lay waiting in her crawl space for 26 hours before pouncing on her as she went to check on her pet bunny rabbit. 

But what Poe didn’t tell police was that during what felt like her final moments, she saw three ‘crystal clear’ ghosts of people who have died in her lifetime – and claims one of them helped her reach her phone as she struggled to stay alive.

Eilish Poe, 25, has revealed she was saved by a ghost after being stabbed by her ex-boyfriend at her home in Fort Collins, northern Colorado, on November 4, 2020

Eilish Poe, 25, has revealed she was saved by a ghost after being stabbed by her ex-boyfriend at her home in Fort Collins, northern Colorado, on November 4, 2020 

Jonathan Crossley, 25, camped out in Poe's crawl space for 26 hours before launching his near-fatal attack on her at her home on the 200 block of Tiger Cat Way

Jonathan Crossley, 25, camped out in Poe’s crawl space for 26 hours before launching his near-fatal attack on her at her home on the 200 block of Tiger Cat Way 

Crossley watched 'gory' YouTube clips from three horror/ thriller films while in the crawl space (pictured) - Parasite, Midsommar and Kill Bill - while conspiring to kill the elementary teacher

Crossley watched ‘gory’ YouTube clips from three horror/ thriller films while in the crawl space (pictured) – Parasite, Midsommar and Kill Bill – while conspiring to kill the elementary teacher

Crossley had brought a backpack full of snacks, water and books with him before jumping Poe as she walked down the stairway. 

He attacked without saying a word or showing the slightest expression, and hours later he threw himself 150 feet from a cliff edge. 

Poe previously told police that she had tried fighting back while frantically screaming at an Amazon Echo to call her roommate for several minutes as he slammed her head against a wall and stabbed her. 

As she lost dizzying amounts of blood and pleaded with Crossley to stop, her last resort was to play dead in the hope he would leave – and it worked. 

She lay crying in a pool of her own blood for several minutes until confident her ex had gone – and told officers she managed to find her phone and dial 911 despite having lost the ability to use her arms. 

This month, almost three years after the horrific incident and 10 surgeries later, Poe described her paranormal experience in a tell-all five-episode series of the Otherworld podcast hosted by Jack Wagner. 

Her story starts with the tale of how a three-month ‘summer fling’ with Crossley, two years her senior, turned into a near-death experience which she believes opened the door to ‘another world’ inhabited by ‘shadow people’. 

Poe, originally from Fate, Texas, said she first met Crossley two years prior when they were both working with children at a school summer camp. 

Crossley, an avid reader, film fanatic and aspiring history professor, moved to Spain for a teaching job shortly after – but they reconnected after he returned to live with his parents in the summer of 2020, ostensibly due to the Covid pandemic.

Their Colorado-based relationship was initially ‘light and fun’ but Crossley soon began demanding something more serious – which 23-year-old Poe was not ready for. 

Poe said she was ‘very upfront with him from the start’, but their relationship turned ‘sour’ with him yelling at her and his friends over trivial disagreements. 

But her troubles really began when she tried to break up with him at a Fort Collins brewery and he refused to accept their relationship had ended – constantly turning up at her house with chocolate and flowers. 

‘He wouldn’t leave… he kept leaving really intense voice messages saying ‘I love you, I’m not going to let you go,” Poe said. ‘I was scared.’

Poe tried to fight back and resorted to playing dead to make Crossley leave - which he did, before jumping 150 feet to his death from Arthur's Rock overlooking the city

Poe tried to fight back and resorted to playing dead to make Crossley leave – which he did, before jumping 150 feet to his death from Arthur’s Rock overlooking the city

She detailed her traumatic near-death experience - and the paranormal activity which has haunted her life since - during a tell-all five-episode series of the Otherworld podcast hosted by Jack Wagner

She detailed her traumatic near-death experience – and the paranormal activity which has haunted her life since – during a tell-all five-episode series of the Otherworld podcast hosted by Jack Wagner

After a few months, Crossley’s unwanted advances abated and Poe thought she was out of the woods. But on November 3, 2020, he texted her saying he still wanted to reconcile. 

Poe said. ‘I was like, how is he this persistent – why would you want to be with someone who really doesn’t want to be with you?’

What she didn’t know at the time was that Crossley was sending these messages while conspiring to kill her from a crawl space in her home, after managing to break in through a ground floor window. 

In episode two of Otherworld, Poe recalls his horrific attack while she in home alone 26 hours later.     

‘November 4 was a Wednesday,’ she said.  ‘I got home from work and realized the basement door was open, which was weird at first… but I really didn’t think it was too bizarre that it was open.  I just closed it, I really didn’t think too much of it.’

Poe said she changed into flamingo-patterned pajamas with matching ‘poofy and pink’ flamingo slippers in her home on the 200 block of Tigercat Way, and went to check on her pet bunny called Boomer. 

She then heard a noise and turned around to see  Crossley charging towards her. 

Her rabid ex attempted to put her in a chokehold. She fought back – striking him with her elbows and knees, aiming for the groin.  

‘He then pushed me down the stairs and I hit my back pretty bad – I still have injuries and trauma from that,’ she said. ‘He grabbed me by the back of my hair – it was really long at the time. He shoved my head into the wall five or six times.

‘After that he took out a knife, like a normal kitchen knife… it was like four inches long probably… he overpowered me.’ 

Poe said time slowed down at this point, and she screamed at Crossley in an attempt to make him stop. 

‘I tried to get into his head and I was being very specific with what I was saying – how could you do this to me, why would you want to hurt me – things like that, calling him by name, because he was so detached,’ she said. 

Poe said she then had ‘one of the most disturbing thoughts I’ve ever had’ which was: ‘I’m going to have to kill him’. 

She lunged for the knife, but grabbed the blade, which sliced her hand ‘to the bone’. 

Going for an alternative approach, Poe said she attempted to make emergency calls using her phone’s ‘Siri’ command, and using the ‘Alexa’ function on her housemate’s Amazon Echo – but to no avail.  

Poe loves flamingos and was wearing flamingo-patterned pajamas and matching bright pink poofy slippers when Crossley launched his vicious attack almost three years ago

Poe loves flamingos and was wearing flamingo-patterned pajamas and matching bright pink poofy slippers when Crossley launched his vicious attack almost three years ago 

Crossley attacked Poe without saying a word or showing the slightest expression. Poe previously told police that she had tried fighting back while frantically screaming at an Amazon Echo to call her roommate for several minutes as he slammed her head against a wall

Crossley attacked Poe without saying a word or showing the slightest expression. Poe previously told police that she had tried fighting back while frantically screaming at an Amazon Echo to call her roommate for several minutes as he slammed her head against a wall 

As Crossley continued to knife her, she resorted to her final maneuver – which would ultimately save her life. 

‘I don’t know how it came into my head, but I had within the last month listened to an interview – a podcast or documentary or something of survivors – and the person said the way they got out of that situation was by playing dead,’ she explained.

Poe said she stopped fighting and let her arms flop limply into her lap as she lay on her back defenseless.   

‘He stabs me one final time. This was the deepest one, directly under my right collar bone,’ she said. ‘It actually ended up puncturing my lung, I’d find out later.’

Poe said the puncture created a ‘big exhale’ sound as she rolled onto her side, which she believes convinced Crossley she had died.   

‘As quickly as he started he just stopped,’ she said. ‘He stared at me still on his knees. Time was so strange during this thing, it felt like five minutes, but realistically he probably just stared at me for like 10 seconds.’

With her eyes slightly open, Poe said she saw Crossley leave, letting the door hit her body on his way out.   

She then began a frantic search for her phone, but realized her left arm ‘didn’t work at all’ and she could only use the fingers on her right side. 

Her window of opportunity to survive felt like it was quickly closing.    

It was when she laid back helplessly feeling like she was at death’s door that her mind-blowing paranormal experience began.  

‘This is the part that I don’t normally tell a ton of people,’ she said. ‘But it’s when some strange stuff started happening.’

Poe describes seeing a ‘carousel of people’ appear in a bathroom doorway two feet from where she was lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs. 

She saw three ‘ghosts’ of people she had lost within her lifetime. 

‘My paternal grandmother was standing right there,’ Poe said. ‘She passed away in 2014. She was standing there just kind of quaintly smiling at me. She didn’t wave or anything like that. 

‘She was wearing like a navy sweater and gold necklace, like a chain necklace – my dad wears it all the time. It’s like an actual thing that she wore frequently.’

Poe said she felt ‘comforted’ and even ‘joyful’ to see her grandmother – Jeanie – who she never got to say goodbye to. 

‘Before she passed she had a lot of back issues, she was pretty hunched over, but she was standing tall, and just, there, so clearly there,’ she recalled. 

‘And then she wasn’t. She was just gone. And a second later, as if Jeanie faded out, the next person faded in.’

Poe, pictured in several hospital snaps, initially tried to fight back against her crazed ex, until he knocked her to the ground and pulled out a kitchen knife. She only survived by playing dead, prompting him to leave - and she said a ghost helped her reach her phone to dial 911

Poe, pictured in several hospital snaps, initially tried to fight back against her crazed ex, until he knocked her to the ground and pulled out a kitchen knife. She only survived by playing dead, prompting him to leave – and she said a ghost helped her reach her phone to dial 911

Poe describes seeing a 'carousel of people' appear in a bathroom doorway two feet from where she was lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs

Poe describes seeing a ‘carousel of people’ appear in a bathroom doorway two feet from where she was lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs

'My paternal grandmother was standing right there,' Poe said, describing her first encounter with a ghost as she lay in a pool of her own blood. 'She passed away in 2014'

‘My paternal grandmother was standing right there,’ Poe said, describing her first encounter with a ghost as she lay in a pool of her own blood. ‘She passed away in 2014’

Poe’s best friend from high school, who had taken her own life in February 2020, appeared in Jeanie’s place.  

She said the friend, Vicky, appeared with her hair tied up in a scrunchie, wearing a green sweatshirt and a choker.

‘It is a crystal clear image of what she was wearing, and she was also just standing there, and the same as Jeanie she had this comforting smile on her face,’ she said. 

‘I felt so f***ing happy to see her, because she committed suicide. I am still grieving for her three years later, but it felt like a bonus time, even just for five seconds, or however long it was, to see her and be near her again.’

But the third and final ghost Poe saw was somewhat less comforting. 

A woman in her hometown named Alyssa Burkett, who was murdered aged 32 by her ex-boyfriend who wore ‘blackface’ as he stabbed and shot her ‘in broad daylight’ just a month before. 

‘When I saw her I felt no comfort, I felt just an overwhelming sense of urgency, of she is here to warn me – do not let this be you, this can’t be you,’ Poe said. 

‘She had on a tight purple t-shirt. I don’t even know when the last time I saw her in person was or had a real conversation. She was there for a reason, she was there to get me out of there. 

‘The other two were smiling and happy, but when I saw Alyssa her eyes were like bulging out of her head, she looked frantic, it was urgent.’ 

Poe said Alyssa ‘pushed the air’ with her hands. ‘When that happened it felt like her energy was passing through me,’ she said. 

‘The next thing I know, she literally pulled me up, and I was sitting upright, and I hadn’t been sitting upright on my own, the entire time.’  

She said that this action saved her life. 

‘A lot of people have been like: ‘that was just your brain surviving, or an angel’ – but what I am telling you is it was as real as seeing an alive person in the room, it wasn’t ghostly,’ she said. 

‘They were there. I really do feel like maybe we all have access to this stuff and we don’t see or experience them until we’re in a time of need. 

‘I think Alyssa was there to help me live, she was there as a warning.’

After being ‘lifted up’ by Alyssa, Poe stopped seeing the ghosts and began scrambling for her phone once again. 

Poe' also saw her best friend from high school, who had taken her own life in February 2020. She said the friend, Vicky, appeared with her hair tied up in a scrunchie, wearing a green sweatshirt and a choker

Poe’ also saw her best friend from high school, who had taken her own life in February 2020. She said the friend, Vicky, appeared with her hair tied up in a scrunchie, wearing a green sweatshirt and a choker

The third and final ghost Poe saw was somewhat less comforting. A woman in her hometown named Alyssa Burkett, who was murdered aged 32 by her ex-boyfriend who wore 'blackface' as he stabbed and shot her 'in broad daylight' just a month before

 The third and final ghost Poe saw was somewhat less comforting. A woman in her hometown named Alyssa Burkett, who was murdered aged 32 by her ex-boyfriend who wore ‘blackface’ as he stabbed and shot her ‘in broad daylight’ just a month before

It turned out the device had been in her vest pocket the whole time as she was ‘getting weaker and weaker’, and she ‘tried five ways to get it out’ with numb fingers. 

She heard a ‘thunk’ as it finally fell to the ground. 

‘Thank God it landed face up,’ Poe said. ‘I tried to type in the emergency button on the iPhone and my fingers were so soaked with blood that I couldn’t type anything, it wasn’t sensing my touch on the screen. 

‘I ended up – and you can try this if you have an iPhone – I used my knuckles and I pushed in the volume and the lock, and then it appeared – Emergency SOS. 

‘I tried to slide it but it wasn’t working.’  

Desperate Poe tried using her nose instead. 

‘I slide my little nose across the screen and clicked my nose again on the speaker button and then I hear ‘911 what’s the address of your emergency’ and I just rolled onto my back so relieved,’ she said. 

Audio from police bodycam footage shows the moments Poe told officers ‘I was stabbed by my ex boyfriend so many times… please hurry’, before they turned up to her home seven minutes later, with EMTs arriving after another five.  

Almost three years later, Poe is convinced the ghosts she saw that day were real – and she has seen a new kind of phantom since. 

‘People have a lot of opinions on what it really was, what they think it could have been,’ she said. ‘But in reality, they weren’t there. They don’t know.

‘I was not unconscious, throughout this whole thing I’ve been coherent, and probably the most awake I have ever been in my entire life because I’m literally trying not to die – you’re pretty wired in that situation.’

In the days that followed her life-changing ordeal, Poe said she learned her ex had died by jumping 150 feet from Arthur’s Rock, a precipice which overlooks their hometown. 

While the first two ghosts Poe saw were comforting, the third - a woman named Alyssa from her hometown who died the month prior in a horrific stabbing incident by her ex-boyfriend - appeared 'frantic' and pulled her up so she could reach her phone

While the first two ghosts Poe saw were comforting, the third – a woman named Alyssa from her hometown who died the month prior in a horrific stabbing incident by her ex-boyfriend – appeared ‘frantic’ and pulled her up so she could reach her phone

Almost three years later, Poe is convinced the ghosts she saw that day were real - and she has seen a new kind of phantom since

Almost three years later, Poe is convinced the ghosts she saw that day were real – and she has seen a new kind of phantom since

In the days that followed her life-changing ordeal, Poe said she learned her ex had died by jumping 150 feet from Arthur's Rock, a precipice which overlooks their hometown

 In the days that followed her life-changing ordeal, Poe said she learned her ex had died by jumping 150 feet from Arthur’s Rock, a precipice which overlooks their hometown

Months later, she began seeing what she describes as ‘shadow people’, which no-one else around her can see.  

‘I started seeing these shadowy figures, they used to only be in the corner of my eye,’ she said. 

‘Then it kind of escalated to seeing them in front of me as clear as can be, but also not clear because it was a staticky type person, a figure always in the shape of a human. 

‘I’ve seen them probably between 50 and 100 times – like a lot.

‘They never approach me apart from one specific time, and the second I start to walk towards it or acknowledge it, it’s just gone.’

She said the ‘most prominent’ shadow-person she saw came while she was sitting in her car after leaving a coffee shop in downtown Fort Collins. 

‘I am in my car, just sitting there, I hadn’t even turned the engine on, and I hear three loud knocks, as clear as day, on the window. 

‘Of course I freaked out – I’m alone and nobody’s there. Then I look over and there’s a shadow figure in my car – that had never happened before. 

‘I freak out and I open the door. When I opened the door, it was gone.’

Poe said she spoke about the paranormal encounter with her therapist later that day, and a clearer vision of the phantom came to her as she retold the experience. 

‘When I was telling her about it – eyes closed – instead of a shadow figure next to me I could see a middle-aged woman with straight black hair probably just past her collarbone in length, dark brown eyes. 

‘She was just staring at me and smiling at me, then she was gone.’

Poe has dismissed the idea that these visions are purely down to PTSD.  

Poe believes her near-death experience opened a gateway allowing those who are passing between this world and the next to enter her life

Poe believes her near-death experience opened a gateway allowing those who are passing between this world and the next to enter her life

Crossley even replayed a scene which involves an elderly person jumping to their death from a cliff in the horror film Midsommar 'eight times' while in the basement

Crossley even replayed a scene which involves an elderly person jumping to their death from a cliff in the horror film Midsommar ‘eight times’ while in the basement

‘I think it’s more due to having a near-death experience and literally tasting death,’ she said.

‘I think because I almost crossed over, because it was so close, maybe those shadow people are people who are in the between of crossing over and they’re in the middle somewhere, maybe that’s why I can see them.’

‘I feel like I have evidence that something happens,’ Poe said, adding she now believes in an afterlife of some form. 

Poe also said that when she returned to her home, the spot where he attacked her felt physically ‘cold’ – not just to her but to visitors too. 

‘In the exact spot where everything happened it would feel cold,’ she said. 

‘And it wasn’t just for me, it was for several people. I brought several people, and two people didn’t know where it happened, but they could feel it too. 

‘The energy was so powerful that they could feel that’s exactly where it went down…

‘I think that on some level, he’s tethered there. I think his soul is tethered to that house, because the energy is so so off there.’ 

Poe revealed she has even become slightly ‘psychic’ since the ordeal, predicting her co-workers pregnancy to the exact 10-week term after feeling like she had been punched in the abdomen randomly while showering. 

She even foresaw that Crossley had committed suicide before being told by police, and narrowed it down to two possible locations when quizzed by detectives in hospital – one of which was Arthur’s Rock.  

Poe also said she has started feeling ‘energy’ from old objects in antique and thrift stores, sometimes so strong she feels like she will throw up. 

‘A lot of things like that happen to me where I’m talking to somebody and it feels like a kind of cloud over me,’ she said. 

‘I’m not sure I would want to call myself a psychic, because It’s not something I can control, it just kind of happens. 

‘Sometimes it feels very dark and disturbing and extremely uncomfortable. Or it feels nostalgic. Going into a store and literally feeling a darkness over an item, that’s new.’

Poe said she has always been ‘open to the idea of something paranormal’ or ‘something out there after death’, but she is ‘even more open to it now’. 

In the podcast discussions, Poe also gives toe-curling details about how her ex spent his 26 hours in her crawl space. Police found horror books, granola snacks and water he brought with him. He also watched horrific stabbing clips from films on YouTube while he lurked there

In the podcast discussions, Poe also gives toe-curling details about how her ex spent his 26 hours in her crawl space. Police found horror books, granola snacks and water he brought with him. He also watched horrific stabbing clips from films on YouTube while he lurked there 

While in the crawl space, Crossley watched clips from Oscar-winning film Parasite - which follows the story of a poor South Korean family secretly living in the basement of their unwitting wealthy employers, and involves a graphic stabbing scene

While in the crawl space, Crossley watched clips from Oscar-winning film Parasite – which follows the story of a poor South Korean family secretly living in the basement of their unwitting wealthy employers, and involves a graphic stabbing scene

‘I definitely don’t have it figured out, but I think seeing two of my favorite people in the entire world, in that really really dire moment opened up everything more, and made me feel like people and souls are out there for us in ways that we don’t understand,’ she said. 

The elementary teacher added that when she was released from hospital and slept in her roommate Megan’s room – unable to return to her own as the place she last saw Crossley before he attacked her – she began having vivid dreams about him. 

Around four times a week, Crossley would appear in her dreams ‘just staring’ at her and expressionless like the day he launched his attack. 

She would yell at him and one time he responded to her question: ‘Why did you do this to me?’

‘He asked the question,’ how can you not see it?’ I said, ‘see what?’ He said ‘I did this because I’m still in love with you, I’ll always be in love with you’.’

‘It was one of those things where it was like, if I can’t have you, no-one can,’ Poe surmised. 

She said her father also stayed in Megan’s bedroom for a time after the stabbing, and while sleeping there, he had near-identical dreams about Crossley.

In the podcast discussions, Poe also gives toe-curling details about how her ex spent his 26 hours in her crawl space. 

She said he watched clips from three movies on YouTube – all films they had seen together while dating. 

They included the Oscar-winning film Parasite, which follows the story of a poor South Korean family secretly living in the basement of their unwitting wealthy employers – and involves a graphic stabbing scene. 

Crossley also watched ‘the Kill Bill scene where the bride is fighting like 80 people with a sword’.

Flamingo-loving Poe was checking on her pet bunny rabbit Boomer when Crossley launched his near-fatal attack on the stairwell

Flamingo-loving Poe was checking on her pet bunny rabbit Boomer when Crossley launched his near-fatal attack on the stairwell 

A scene from Parasite - one of the three horror/thriller films which Crossley watched clips from in the basement before pouncing on Poe

A scene from Parasite – one of the three horror/thriller films which Crossley watched clips from in the basement before pouncing on Poe 

Crossley even replayed a scene which involves an elderly person jumping to their death from a cliff in the horror film Midsommar ‘eight times’. 

Police also found two horror books by Joe Abercrombie – Best Served Cold and The Blade Itself – in his rucksack. 

Poe said she is now ‘angry’ that Crossley’s friends did not tell her he had a history of violence against women, including him beating up his high school girlfriend. 

She said she believes his evil streak comes from him ‘romanticizing’ life like in the literature and films he consumed to such an extent that he could not deal with reality. 

‘The reason he handled rejection was so poor was because he rehearsed things a different way in his head,’ she said. 

Poe said as she recovers from the mental and physical scars of her horrifying ordeal, the ‘shadow people’ have been haunting her less frequently. 

She theorizes that this is because they entered her psyche as she sat on the precipice between life and death, and they are beginning to fade from view as she grows further from this point in time. 

Her physical reality means she faces constant hospital fees for surgeries – having had 10 operations so far since the stabbing. 

A fundraiser established for the survivor has so far raised more than $66,000.  

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