It sounds bizarre, but crayon artist Doug Jack says that for the past few months, mysterious faces have been showing up in his paintings and staring at him.
The faces aren't intentional. Jack says they pop up inexplicably in his works, which he creates by melting crayons on pieces of glass with a torch using MAPP gas and a lazy Susan.
"Two months back, I started using a new technique where I score the crayons before melting them," Jack told AOL News. "The color blending is fascinating, but then I started noticing distinct images such as two eyes, lips, nose and a body line."
This was especially significant to Jack because of his past.
Before he started creating art 2 1/2 years ago, Jack was considered one of the pre-eminent "stadium artists" in the world, and his specialty was choreographing the giant shows seen at sporting events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics.
In fact, he has directed/choreographed six Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, seven Super Bowl halftime shows and a World Cup field show, and he even won an Emmy in 2002 for his work at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
As such, he says he has developed an eye for two things: creating order out of chaos and the ability to read a body line.
"The body line is the silhouette, and I can read joy or sadness in a body," he said. "So when I started seeing silhouettes and vignettes of people, I knew I was on to something."
Jack, who prices his works in the three-figure range, makes each piece spontaneously and has no preconceived idea in mind beforehand. So he is as surprised as anyone that faces he's never intended are appearing when the wax dries.
"I, and other people, are noticing these people in these paintings are wearing period costumes and clothes, but they look otherworldly," he said. "It's very ethereal, almost like a sci-fi movie."
The first drawing had the face of a little child, and Jack says the faces have been getting more sophisticated.
"It's kind of interesting," he said. "Most artists show you what they want you to see. In this case, the painting is telling people what it wants to see. It's not my intention. I'm just putting the colors down."
The strange faces and the vibrant colors were two selling points to art lovers like Raymond Shelter, who recently purchased one of Jack's works.
"I was blown away," said Shelter, a Dallas-based producer. "I am very into color, and they are so colorful and playful that I responded immediately.
"I saw the faces totally, and they make it that much more interesting. That's what makes it art -- it's what comes through unexpectedly when you're doing the work.
As the faces started appearing more and more, Jack started noticing themes and devised little stories for them.
"For instance, I look at a picture and I'd think that the person in the painting lived in London with three daughters and I'd get a flash that she had a mother who was an identical twin," he said. "I started writing these stories down."
One painting stuck out in particular: A very garish red painting he calls "Mykonos Sun," which has a figure that looks like the grim reaper that Jack feels "documents a morbid dark energy."
"He's got a confident swagger," Jack said. "Like he regards anyone who looks at him as a lesser being. This painting just gave off a weird vibe. People react to it. I had a woman from Canada in the gallery and she just stepped around it. She didn't want to go near it at all."
She's not alone.
Jack said that one of his friends, a budding clairvoyant, contacted him without ever seeing the painting to warn him that it represented a being from another dimension.
"My friend, Evan, is clairvoyant and she lives in Los Angeles, and I was talking with her about something else when I brought up the painting in passing," he said. "She felt it had something to do with my brother, who was a motorcycle cop who died 20 years ago.
"She mentioned something about the guy in the painting molested me when I was 8. She was wrong about me, but, it turns out, she was talking about a friend of mine who was in the room at the same time."
Even though Jack's friend, Evan Grey, noticed the energy from 150 miles away, she is still surprised at the painting's power.
"The amount of dark energy was very surprising," she said. "Even more than all the images appearing in the other works. It was that energy that helped me pick up that Jack's friend had been a victim of incest."
Hearing all of this made Jack decide something had to be done.
"I said to her, 'I have to destroy it, huh?' and she said, 'Yeah.' So I asked her, 'Do I toss it in a dumpster?' And she said, 'No, by fire.'"
"We tossed it into the fire and it literally exploded," Jack said. "All you could hear for an hour was this crackle."
The malevolent painting is now destroyed, but Jack still has pictures of it. And faces keep popping up in many of his new works.
"To be honest, today was the first day that faces haven't appeared in my works," he told AOL News.
To be fair, not everyone's impression of Jack's work is colored by the mysterious faces. Some can't see them at all, such as gallery owner Max Lightbender, who recently started exhibiting Jack's paintings.
"I don't see the faces at all," Lightbender admitted. "I'm color blind, and what struck me at first is all the color he uses. It brought me back to my childhood. Still, there is a 'wow' factor that everyone who views them notices right away."
But while the faces may have stopped, the mystery as to what they are and why they are showing up is just beginning.
"I believe they might be from another dimension," Jack said. "They weren't spirits of dead people. It's almost like a veil has been lifted from another place."
However, Jack doesn't feel qualified to investigate that possibility, but he hopes that getting his painting out in the world inspires someone to do the research.
Meanwhile, New York-based psychologist Dr. Joseph Cilona, who has never spoken or treated Jack, says that, generally, someone who sees meaning and significance like a face or other recognizable objects or figures in an apparently random pattern could have a condition known as apophenia.
"The critical issue here is that there is no readily identifiable meaning in the pattern or stimuli," he said. "A type of apophenia know as 'pareidolia' often refers to seeing familiar images like faces or figures in a vague or random stimulus like a cloud or, in this case, abstract art."
Although the presence of apophenia is sometimes considered an indicator of some mental illness or brain injury, Cilona says apophenia and pareidolia are often an indicator of someone who is extremely creative.