I should have listened to the signs. Someone didn’t want me to go to the Haunted Victorian Mansion.
Throughout my life, I’ve come to realize that very little happens by accident. Nearly every situation, ever conversation, every chance meeting leads you to another place in your life. If you look back and track these things, they become very apparent, almost like dominoes tipping over onto one another.
I’ve been strangely drawn to the Victorian since the first time I saw it. I knew that a house in Gardner had been on the paranormal television show, Ghost Hunters, but since I seldom visited the town, I didn’t know where it was. Then as if by chance, I started dating a local guy who showed me a shortcut to Staples. It was a shortcut that led me directly past the huge Second Empire Victorian Mansion.
The first time I saw it, my breath was taken away.
That’s the house, I thought to myself with a sense of awe.
I wanted more in an instant. I wanted to walk inside of it and see the beautiful architecture. I wanted to know if it was really haunted. I wanted to know why it was for sale. I kept my eye on it for several years, making excuses to drive past. When fate intervened again, I had an opportunity to investigate there through a public ghost hunt.
I was mesmerized by what I saw. The house was even more grandiose on the inside than I expected, after seeing the rapidly deteriorating exterior. The rooms inside were garnished with elaborate hand-carved woodwork. Every door was a work of art; every doorknob was a slice of history. I tried to imagine how many people had put their hand where my hand was, how many lives passed through these doors, and how many of them never left.
Over the course of a year, I would investigate there three more times. When I overheard the owners talking about a Halloween Haunted House tour, I quickly volunteered to help. I spent several evenings at the mansion, helping to decorate, and then fought a surprise October blizzard to be there for the seven hour tour. For the next few years, I would find ways to be there, whether it was to help with investigations and tours, or to help the caretaker shovel snow, or walk through periodically during the long winters when the mansion was closed. In all honesty, it became an obsession to me.
Being intuitive, I had a deeper connection with the spirits at the house than was probably healthy. I felt bad for them, having to go through investigation after investigation, and would have conversations with invisible people, hopefully comforting them with the thought that the funds raised were going into the house repairs. I began helping with fundraising events and connected the owners to a friend of mine who did websites, I found a contractor who’d donate his time to do some of the repairs. I blogged about my experiences there, even including a chapter in my book, The Soul Collector. I defended them when they were under attack from several members of the paranormal world. I never turned down a chance to be there, even after I moved over an hour away.
My friend, Sandy, saw it and worried about me. “You need to make a break from that house. It has an unnatural hold on you,” she told me.
I didn’t disagree, but I was like an addict, needing a fix. “You are probably right,” I’d tell her, and then make plans to be there the following weekend. Even after my friend MJ had a strange dream about me, warning of future trouble, I still didn’t heed the warnings. She saw me working in the nursery, while a ghost in the room told her that I wasn’t allowed to leave, that I belonged to the house now. Most people would have listened to something as potentially prophetic as that, but not me.
One October afternoon, I’d promised MJ that I’d bring her to see the house. She’d always wanted to see the inside, but couldn’t manage the investigations with small children at home. By this time, I was writing a book for the owners about their experiences, so I wanted to stop by for another interview.
The day started fine, but the closer I got to the event, things started happening to prevent me from arriving. First I started getting a migraine. When I staved it off with massive amounts of migraine relief, the next thing happened: my GPS didn’t recognize her address. When I worked around that, I inadvertently drove for ten minutes the wrong way on Route 2, before realizing my mistake. And then, I didn’t have a key and the owner was going to be late. And through the entire afternoon, my ears were ringing, ringing, ringing.
Being clairaudient, I can hear ghosts and spirits. A ghost makes a sound that immolates static or white noise. A spirit, someone who has crossed over into the white light, has a pure high pitch. One bothers me and the other comforts me. This tone was high-pitched, making me wonder who was with me. Was it a spirit guide? A relative who had passed on? I didn’t know, but it gave me the impression that it wasn’t happy with me.
I’ve been told that we all have spirit guides or guardian angels who look after us. I could imagine mine pretty clearly. Protecting me would be a job nobody would want considering the places I always seemed to visit. I could imagine them with their heads in their hands, saying, “not again!” This one wasn’t any different.
When we finally arrived at the Victorian, everything grew silent. The ringing grew quiet and I completely forgot about it. We had an enjoyable evening sitting around the kitchen table talking with the owner and friends of the Victorian. A group had booked the mansion for an investigation, so we tried to stay out of their way out of respect for their evidence, knowing that when someone is walking around, it causes contamination on the audio and video recordings. MJ and I waited until they broke for dinner and made a mad dash to the master bedroom for an evp session.
We spent about fifteen minutes there, speaking almost freely to several ghosts in the room, before moving to the third floor Billiards Room. I made the mistake of calling the male ghost forward to talk. He didn’t seem very happy, responding with a derogatory comment.
As I left that night, I could hear the sounds of several tones in the car with me. None of them were spirits. They were all ghosts. It was enough to make my skin crawl.
“You need to go back to where you came from,” I demanded several times. Being appropriately cautious, I’d taken the normal precautions of burning sage, saying prayers, and carrying my special totems with me to help keep me protected. None if them worked though. I had a car full.
Since moving, I was pleased to have my bedroom all to myself. Gone were the constant feelings of being watched and everything else that goes along with a haunting. But over the course of the next few days, I’d see my sunny bedroom become dark, as though the light were being sucked away into a vacuum. The ghost tones would come and go, causing my cats to watch invisible shapes move around the room. On Wednesday night, as I was taking a bath, one of my kittens yelped from outside the door. When I found him cowering on the stairs, I carried him to my room, where he refused to leave my side. The other cats kept coming up to sniff him, as though something were wrong. Seldom do I turn on ghost hunting equipment in my own house, but I needed to know if it was paranormal or not.
“What happened to my cat?” I asked the Ovilus.
“Sqeeze” it said. I got chills from head to toe.
I woke the next morning with the feeling of someone lingering very close. The sound of ear ringing was so loud, I couldn’t hear anything else. Suddenly, I felt something grab both sides of my head and squeeze. The sensation wasn’t painful, but it was alarming. I jumped up and told it to stop.
“Just leave me alone!” I told it, wanting to get another few minutes of sleep. It was bad enough that the cats were frequently waking me up before my alarm, wanting breakfast, but now ghosts? The reprieve only lasted a few minutes before it was repeated.
After I’d had my coffee, I knew I needed to do something. I tried to convince them to cross over into the light. I’ve had success in doing this in the past, but this time they weren’t budging. It was time to call in the reinforcements. I put a message out to Barbara Williams.
Barbara is a psychic medium who lives in Maine and is director of New England GHOST’s Maine branch. She’s helped me many times before and she’s someone I trust fully.
She did something very interesting, and if I hadn’t witnessed it myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. She set up a remote cross-over session. She connected with two other mediums, as well as myself, and set a specific time to help the ghosts move on.
As the time grew near, I could feel the ghosts moving closer to me. I don’t always get psychic impressions of what’s around me. Usually I just hear the tones and try to figure it out by the register of the pitch, but this time it was very clear to me. I had a woman, a man, and a child. There were also two others there as well, souls that had been with the house I’d moved to.
I stood in the middle of my room, feeling foolish as I usually do when talking to invisible people, and closed my eyes.
“It’s time,” I told them. “You need to move on.” I told them about the white light and how it is a place of peace and serenity. Why stay here in a world where you don’t belong? Why be miserable when you can find the harmony and tranquility you deserve? After several minutes I could feel them cross. I was a little troubled though. I could still hear the sound of one lingering.
I just let it go for the moment. The female had stayed behind.
I saw her very clearly in my mind. She was in her early forties, with long dark hair. She wasn’t thin, but she wasn’t heavy. She carried the weight of the world in her eyes. If she were alive, we could have probably been great friends. She didn’t seem threatening. I’ve been around malevolent entities before, so I know how that feels, and she wasn’t giving me any of the same bad vibes. I felt like she just wasn’t ready. She seemed sad. Maybe she had some unsolved issues she needed to attend to. I went back to my Ovilus.
“What do you want to tell me?” I asked.
The Ovilus spoke almost instantly. “Cancer,” it said. It then spit out several other words that were seemingly random and didn’t make any sense, but then repeated the word “cancer” again two more times. After a few days, I contacted Barbara again and told her I still had one left that I needed help with.
Barbara promised to help me and moments later I heard the tone begin to fade. After several seconds it was gone for good. I reached out to Barbara again, hoping to gain more insight. What she told me was very thought provoking. Being a very talented medium, Barbara was able to talk with the woman. She told her that she died of cancer, but wanted to stick around to watch over her family. She’d found me by happenstance, following me home hoping for help. No one is sure how she ended up at the Victorian, since she is more contemporary, and she didn’t seem to know the answer herself. Maybe she followed another intuitive person, hoping for help, and ended up there by accident. It’s something we’ll never know for certain. What we do know is that she finally crossed after being reassured that she could come back later to watch over her family. It was good to know.
My new house is no longer haunted and my nights are my own again. I don’t understand why this is all happening to me, but it’s helping me learn so much more about this mysterious amazing world we live in.
Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as a free-lance writer. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. For more information about the author, please see her website: Jonimayhan.com
The Soul Collector – The true story of one paranormal investigator’s worst nightmare
Angels of Ember trilogy – After a devastating virus nearly wipes the world clean of people, 16 year-old Ember Pain grows tired of running and hiding from the bad men who hunt her and her younger sister, Elizabeth. Fighting back becomes a necessity, even if it threatens her very life.