I knew the moment I walked into the room that someone was waiting for me.
It had been a long day and a long night already. It was just after midnight and we’d just come from a four hour presentation. Lorraine Warren, the celebrated medium, had hosted an event in nearby Monroe, Connecticut. My friend, Sandy, and I had made the two-and-a-half hour drive down from Massachusetts to be a part of it. Since driving back two-and-a-half hours wasn’t an option, she had reserved a room for us at the Curtis House Inn, in Woodbury.
Built in 1735 by Anthony Stoddard for his son Elikim, the house would open its doors as an inn in 1754. Originally, the house contained two stories, with the second floor sporting a massive ballroom. The ballroom was eventually converted into individual rooms, with a third floor being added in the early 1900’s. It has the honor of being the oldest continually opened inn in Connecticut.
Our room was in the carriage house, which is connected to the main house by a charming footbridge. Four rooms had been carved from the structure, with the main floor being used for storage. While the main house is known to be haunted, no one had reported any activity in the carriage house.
I was tired when we got to the room. Thoughts of investigating were far from my mind. I actually hadn’t given the accommodations much thought. I’d reserved our tickets for the Lorraine Warren event, while Sandy had handled the overnight reservations. A friend had recommended the inn because of its relative proximity to the Warren event.
It didn’t dawn on me that we were going to a haunted inn until I walked in the door. It was as if the room was filled with invisible guests already.
As an experienced and enthusiastic paranormal investigator, finding a haunted venue is usually very exciting to me, but at that moment it was the last thing I needed. I just wanted to change into my pajamas, read a little from the new book I’d just purchased at the event, and then close my eyes for seven or eight hours until I was properly rested and ready for the next day. Dealing with ghosts wasn’t on my agenda.
It was then that I realized Sandy had mentioned we would be staying at a haunted inn. I guess in the back of my mind I’d thought we could wander the grounds and inn to do a few EVP sessions, before retiring to our room. What I hadn’t considered was the fact that we’d be hosting a pajama party for the paranormal realm.
The room had two twin beds, so I quickly claimed the one nearest the door, and then retreated into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and to change into my sleeping attire. I’d barely closed the door when I realized I wasn’t alone.
Being clairaudient, with a dash or two of clairvoyance thrown into the mix, I can hear and sense ghosts and spirits. I hear an audible tone that drifts around the room, allowing me to identify the location of the entity, as well as the gender. My clairvoyant abilities, which are still developing, provide me with more information. This entity was a ghost, not a spirit who’d crossed over into the next realm. While spirit tones usually don’t bother me, the sound of a true ghost always gets my attention. You never really know what a ghost is capable of.
This ghost was a young female, possibly a maid from the early 1800’s, who’d worked and lived at the inn. I saw her in my mind as thin, with long dark hair that she wore in a bun under a white cap. She wore a pale blue dress with a large white apron over the top of it. She didn’t mean me any harm, but was curious about me.
It’s my understanding that anyone with mediumistic abilities, the ability to communicate or sense ghosts and spirits, is instantly identifiable to the afterlife. I don’t know if we emit a certain glow, or they are just able to sense our abilities, but they definitely know we’re there and that we can feel them as well. Maybe she was looking for help, or to pass a message on. She might have just been seeking a human connection with someone who could feel her, after being ignored for the better part of two-hundred years. I’ll never know because my abilities don’t extend that far.
“I know you’re here, but I can’t communicate with you,” I told her. “I’m not a true medium. I can feel you and get an idea of what you look like, but I can’t communicate like a real medium can,” I told her. Most mediums won’t bother to say this out loud. They will talk telepathically with the ghosts or spirits. It often makes me feel inapt, not being able to do this. If I want to talk with them, I have to use my ghost hunting equipment.
After getting somewhat settled, I returned to the room to find Sandy already in her pajamas with her digital voice recorder in her hand. Also being a budding clairvoyant, she must have gotten a similar message while I was in the bathroom.
“This room is wall-to-wall ghosts,” she told me.
Normally an investigation has more of a formal feel to it. We gather our equipment, including our meters to measure electromagnetic energy, and our beloved Spirit Boxes, and conduct a session. It usually starts with one of us sweeping the room with a Mel Meter, to see if there are any electromagnetic spikes that would cause our equipment to alert us. A false spike could often be caused by faulty electric wiring, or devices like clock radios, that usually emit high levels of energy. We didn’t even bother this time. The room was full of ghosts and we knew it. All we needed was a way to record them.
We turned on our recorders and began asking respectful, gentle questions of our invisible guests. As we began, we started sensing the others as well. One entity was male, and was joined by several other females. I didn’t like him as much. He felt controlling and a bit hostile. We asked them general questions about where they lived, how old they were, and why they were still lingering at the inn. We even pulled out a Spirit Box to see if we could get a response, but the ghosts just weren’t talking. We didn’t record a single EVP.
By this time, I was getting really tired. I’d been up since seven that morning and had worked a full day before making the two and a half hour trek south to Connecticut. All I wanted was some nice REM time to recover my energy. As I’d soon find out, it wasn’t going to happen.
The minute I turned out the light and rolled onto my side, I felt them swoop in. The feeling is very similar to the sensation of a person walking very quietly into a room. Sometimes I just know they’re there. I can feel the displacement of air, the sense of their energy behind me. Added to this was the very loud buzzing in my ears. By the sound of it, there were at least a handful of ghosts trying to get my attention.
I’ve been taught to surround myself with white light and then inform the entities that they are not allowed to come near me for the duration of the night, so I did this. I envisioned the light as being very bright, radiating from my body like a solar flare. As it would turn out, it would be like a bug light to a flock of moths.
One touched my hair, pulling it back from my face. Even though I’ve had this happen numerous times, it still unnerves me. I don’t like to be touched, especially by people I can’t see.
“Stop touching me!” I said, probably jarring Sandy out of early sleep stages in the bed across the room. I closed my eyes again and tried my fail-safe method of counting backwards from 21. Usually, all I have to do is think the number “21” and I’m well on my way, but this time it wouldn’t work because someone touched my leg. It felt like a cold hand being placed on my ankle. I pulled my knees up into a fetal position, wondering if I would ever get to sleep.
“Are they bothering you?” Sandy asked.
“Yeah, they keep touching me,” I told her. She sighed, feeling bad for me. She could feel them as well, but they usually gave her a wide berth when she told them to stay away. For some reason this never works for me. The more I resist, the closer they come.
I tried reciting the Lord’s Prayer in my mind, something that usually calms me, but before I could get to the “amen,” I was jolted off my pillow in pain. It felt as though someone reached into my eye socket and grabbed a handful of eyeball.
I started to sit up, when the pain moved to my chest. The hand lunged into my chest and grabbed onto my heart. It almost felt as though I were having a heart attack before the feeling eased and then moved to my leg. I was under attack.
I jumped up from bed. The room was dark, with just a gentle glow from the street lights filtering through the window. While I once loved sleeping in total darkness, I just can’t do it anymore. After experiencing what I did with a negative demonic entity that I wrote about in my book, The Soul Collector, nothing would ever be the same for me. I’m not afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of what’s hiding in the dark that I can’t see.
“Do you mind if I turn on the lamp?” I asked.
“No, go ahead,” Sandy said.
I have to give Sandy credit. Being my friend comes with a very large burden. While she also is coming into her own abilities, mine seem to be far more disruptive.
I turned on the light and then turned around to consider my bed.
“Maybe I can sleep in the car,” I mused.
Sandy laughed. “I think they’d find you there just as easily.” It was a truth I didn’t even need to respond to. If I was in the vicinity, a ghost would be sure to find me. I have a very hard time sleeping in hotels for this reason. If there is even one lingering around the building, it will hone in on me within minutes of my arrival, promising me a night of restless sleep. It’s another reason why I’m still single. Some baggage is okay, but mine would be difficult to handle for most people.
I went back to bed with a determination of finding some sleep. We had a big day planned for the next day. Our friends had invited us to investigate at the abandoned Sterling Opera House in nearby Derby. I’d seen photos of the building and was eager to experience it for myself.
I curled back on my side and with a dire determination, finally fell asleep. I’d be woken up minutes later by someone again grabbing my ankle. This would go on the entire night. The minute I’d fall asleep, I’d either be poked or touched until I woke back up again. Several times the touch would come with a strong smell. Once I smelled cigarette smoke and another time the very foul smell of a dirty animal nearly made me choke. What little sleep I would manage was interlaced with dreams of people I didn’t know, trying to urgently tell me things they wanted me to hear. When I woke up the next morning, I felt as tired as I had when I walked into the room at midnight.
I don’t have any wild stories to tell about furniture being thrown across the room or the contents of my travel bag being dumped on the floor. All I have is the personal experiences that prodded and pulled at me for a solid nine hours.
If you invite me to go somewhere that involves overnight travel and I hesitate, please don’t be offended when I decline the invitation.
Being a sensitive in a world filled with ghosts isn’t always easy, but it’s all I know. Maybe one day I’ll learn to handle it, but for now I’m just doing the best I can.
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.