“Don’t tell me if I have a ghost in my house,” my date told me as we walked into his house.
We’d only been dating for several weeks, and I’d barely given him the Joni 101 presentation on my affinity for dead people, but it didn’t matter. He found out soon enough. My life is an open book, literally.
In 2011, I experienced a terrifying experience when a demonic attachment latched onto me and wouldn’t let go. After two years of struggling with the decision, I finally decided to share my story. When The Soul Collector came out, it was well received and continues to remain in the top ten in its genre on Amazon.com. It helped me make a name for myself in the paranormal literary world. I’ve sold several thousand copies of this book, have been on more than a dozen radio shows, am invited on many very cool paranormal investigations, and have made some wonderful friends. In writing that book, I’ve also helped countless others, but what started as a way to share my experience with sensitives like me who attract the unwelcomed attention of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, ended up as being my own little horror show.
Google my name. Go ahead. I dare you.
Several hundred links come up about me. Many are links to my books, but there are also links to my blog, my website, and best of all, all the radio shows I’ve been on. Listen to five minutes of any one of the shows, and you’ll hear me talk about how I hear ghosts as they swoop into a room. Do a Google image search of me and you’ll see dozens of photos of me, including the cover of The Soul Collector, where I’ve adorned my own face with a nice fat drip of bright red blood. Intrigued yet? Wanna go out with a woman who frequently has dead people floating above her bed at night?
I am a sensitive. It’s not something I asked for or something I even wanted. Somewhere, somehow, somebody decided that in addition to the normal five senses, I was given a sixth sense: the ability to detect and sometimes communicate with ghosts. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you’ll know that I don’t always seek out these lost souls. I can’t just stop ghost hunting. They find me at movie theaters, restaurants, and at the homes of my friends. They stalk me while I’m pushing a cart down the aisle at the supermarket, and they pounce into my car while I drive along the highway.
It wasn’t always that way. For a good portion of my life, I suppressed the ability, managing to keep myself off the ghostly radar, but once I began delving into paranormal investigations, the ability grew stronger. So…imagine bringing someone else into the mix. Imagine dating someone who doesn’t even believe in ghosts.
When I start dating a new guy, the cat is out of the bag once I tell them my last name. As soon as I go from Joni to Joni Mayhan, all they have to do is search for me on Google and they’ll know more than they bargained for. Most men would go running for the hills. Judging by my track record over the past several years, most already have. If I have any secrets left, they are sparse. Someone told me that I am quickly becoming the Taylor Swift of the writing world. After one book, detailing my failed relationship prior to my demonic attachment and a blog discussing a recent date, I can’t say I blame them. Sometimes it’s just hard to keep a lid on it. If some of you are honest, you’ll admit that you’re glad I didn’t. It makes for interesting reading, providing you aren’t the guy in Chapter 7.
It’s like an evil recipe. Dating in 2014 isn’t easy to begin with. Add in the fact that I just turned fifty and my odds of meeting my Prince Charming are even slimmer. Stir in a pinch of the paranormal – okay, a bucket full of the paranormal – along with a heaping spoonful of I-can-tell-if-you-have-ghosts-in-your-house and we have one motley batch of I’m-just-going-to-adopt-fifty-more-cats-and-be-done-with-dating.
Case in point was the last guy.
“Don’t tell me if I have a ghost in my house,” he told me as we walked into his house.
I tried to suppress the images that popped into my mind, but there was no denying the ringing in my ears, a sign that more than one ghost was present. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t push them away. They were gleeful to have someone recognize them, for better or for worst.
The first one I encountered was an older man. He was balding with glasses and was on the chunky side. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was picking up on about him. He seemed distracted, not completely tuned into the world around him. He was confused and kept turning away as if searching for something. Later, when I saw a photo of new-guy’s late father and heard the story surrounding his death, it wasn’t difficult to put two and two together. He died with a brain injury, which often accompanies the soul into death. The confusion and distraction were signs that he died without realizing it. He will need to be helped by a talented medium, someone who can gently guide him into the light and onto the other side. I don’t bill myself as a talented medium. I’m just a sensitive who is still growing into her abilities, but I can cross over lost souls. I’ve done it many times before. I feel bad because I could have helped this man, but new-guy ran for the hills after learning of my abilities. Go figure.
The other ghost I encountered wasn’t one I wanted to spend much time with. In fact, I’m thankful she didn’t attempt to follow me home. She was a woman in her fifties or sixties with a long face and jet-black hair. In some ways, she reminded me of the actress Anjelica Houston. When she realized I knew she was there, she turned with an evil gleam in her eye and stared me down. I didn’t get as clear of an impression on where she came from or why she was still there. She deliberately kept that information from me. I worry about what she will do going forward. She was very powerful and very angry.
Something about the upstairs also bothered me. Sometimes I feel inhuman spirits, like shadow people or demonic beings, differently than earth-bound ghosts. They linger in the shadows, hiding in places where people won’t immediately see them. It reminds me of the “monster in the closet” or “monster under the bed” from my childhood scenarios. Some beings are happy to remain hidden. They feed off the living, pulling energy from them to provide them with more ability. People who are affected often feel drained, even though they’ve had enough sleep. They wake frequently at night and can’t get back to sleep. They have horrific nightmares. If they begin to have personality changes on top of all of this, it could be a sign of possession, the very worse-case scenario.
So, if you were my new-guy, would you want to know all of this was happening in your home-sweet-home, or would you rather leave the monster to continue hiding under the bed? It’s actually a pretty easy answer, at least it is to me. Just because they haven’t alerted the living to their presence doesn’t mean they won’t. When things truly begin to go bump in the night, wouldn’t you want someone with answers close at hand? Taking this a further step, wouldn’t you want access to someone who knows paranormal specialists, demonologists, and experienced psychic mediums?
I would, but that’s just me.
So, as for my future in the dating world… The new-guy went AWOL and I’ve pulled my profile off the online dating site. I’m hoping to one day run into someone else of my kind, someone who will understand the struggles and embrace my obsession with the paranormal world. Stranger things have happened, especially in my world.
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.