Sweetheart’s Ghost Hunt Evidence Review – 2/10/18

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What better way to spend Valentine’s Day weekend than go on a ghost hunt? This was our intention as we hosted a Sweethearts Ghost Hunt at the Ribeyre Gymnasium in New Harmony, Indiana.

The Ribeyre Gymnasium was used during the filming of the 1992 film A League of their Own (see screenshot on the screen in the photo above) and is home to many of New Harmony’s festivals, including Christmas in New Harmony. It also has a fairly dark history.

After a F-5 tornado swept through the area in 1925 and nearly wiped out the nearby town of Griffin, Indiana, the gymnasium was used as a temporary morgue to hold the bodies. Since that time, strange occurrences have been reported at the gymnasium. Phantom children have been seen racing up the bleachers, footsteps and strange sounds have been heard, just to name a few.

(to learn more about Ribeyre Gymnasium, read my recent blog: A Haunting at Ribeyre Gymnasium)

Our first Sweethearts Ghost Hunt was quite memorable. Every single person in attendance had some sort of strange experience they couldn’t explain. Some of them were quite profound.

27973705_10216835326294882_3167437900094006380_nAfter a delicious lasagna dinner and a history presentation by your’s truly, we divided up into two groups to explore the building.

My group consisted of my friends from the Vincennes Animal Shelter in nearby Vincennes, Indiana. My sister Leah works at this shelter and I frequently visit her and paint murals of animals on their walls, so I know the ladies there well.  In that group were: Angie Stanley and her husband Bill. Angie’s daughter, Samantha Monroe,  her husband Chris, and fellow co-worker Kim Geheb. Shannon DeLap, my local friend who helped me with the event, also joined our group.

The second group was led by Meagan Patterson. Many may recognize Meagan from Community House #2, where she assists Amanda Bryden who is the Site Manager. Meagan and Amanda have co-hosted several events with Haunted New Harmony at their State Sites. Meagan’s group consisted of Eric and Rachel Maurer, who joined us in October at our Community House #2 investigation, and Dina Reid, along with her husband Dustin. Paula Bundy, my lifelong friend who helped me with the event, joined their group, as well.

The Annex Building

My group started in the Annex portion of the building.

The Annex building is connected to the gymnasium but is separated by a wall. It is often used for community events and festivals. It’s always a happy space, filled with laughter and entertainment. It is long and narrow with floors that are tiled in a checkerboard pattern. At the very end of the room is a bar and doorway that leads to the kitchen. Further beyond that are two bathrooms.

We had barely sat down when we heard a strange sound. It almost sounded like something banging into something else. When I reviewed the audio, I realized that the sound also came with an EVP. I can hear a man’s voice saying “I want.”

We brought out the Spirit Box and began getting more responses. When someone asked if we were talking to a boy or a girl, a male voice said, “Jehovah.”

We continued to get strange responses. When someone asked if they were alone, someone said, “Something talk.” When some asked why they were there, we got a response from the same voice said, “Checkpoint.”

I was sitting with my back to the door, facing the bathrooms. As I watched the bathroom doorways, I saw a small head peek out from the doorway and then pop back into the bathroom. It’s so rare to actually see the ghosts; I was amazed to have actually experienced what I was feeling.

I decided to break things up and took a small group up to the second-floor attic area to the left of the stage.

While I was gone, they started realizing that the chairs we vacated began ticking all of a sudden. The sound they made was the same sound the chair makes when someone sits down. They began asking if someone was sitting there.

“Are you here?” someone asked. A voice on the Spirit Box responded, “Right here.”

After a few minutes of silence, Angie said, “Just let us know you’re here.” The same male voice said, “Let me see,” as if he needed to check with someone first.

Angie had a lot of responses to her questions. She’s very easygoing in nature, so this didn’t surprise me. Ghosts usually pick their favorites and Angie was it. When she asked if they had any kids, a male voice said, “There’s more.”

Angie had another strange response to her questions. She asked “What’s your name?” A male voice said, “Repatine.” If anyone knows what this means, please let me know. I looked it up and couldn’t find any information about it.

While Shannon was sitting with the group, she felt someone push her chair. It was enough to propel her forward, almost to the point of pushing her right out of her chair. Everyone in the group witnessed it and was a bit unnerved by the experience.

Not long after that happened, Angie felt someone tap her shoulder several times. She turned, expecting to find someone behind her, but no one was there. As she turned around, she swore she saw something move in the corner, but it disappeared too quickly for her to make it out.

When my group came down from the attic, I immediately noticed the chairs making the same ticking sound, so I started using it to determine if the sound was coincidental or paranormal. You never know when you’re in a haunted building. The ghosts often choose their own methods of communicating.

When I asked if they were a male, there was no response. When I asked if the ghost was a woman, the chair immediately ticked.

I was elated, but still a bit skeptical. We continued to ask questions and the chair would make the same sound instantly after the question was asked but remained quiet otherwise. We learned that we had two females with us, one was a child and the other was a woman. The child said she went to school in New Harmony and had gym classes in the building. The woman didn’t respond when we asked if she was a parent or teacher. She did tell us she had brothers and sisters but wasn’t married. We asked if they played sports here and the child responded with a tick. When we went through all the sports, she said she played soccer, which was surprising. I didn’t think soccer was popular back then. I will have to check with several town historians to see if this is accurate or if we had a trickster on our hands.

Meagan’s group also saw someone peeking out of the bathroom and kitchen doorways. Nearly everyone in the group witnessed it and was astounded to actually see something paranormal. They played music from the 1920’s era in hopes of getting a response but didn’t have any luck. They also noticed the chairs ticking and thought it was strange, but didn’t attempt to communicate.

I’m always careful to not tell the new group anything that happened to us before they have a chance to experience it for themselves. I’m glad I didn’t because Dina and Dustin also saw the ghost poke its head out of both the bathroom doorway and the kitchen doorway. Both of them were astounded by what they saw. Getting to actually see an apparition isn’t something that usually happens on investigations. I’ve been on hundreds of them and have only had this happen to me four times in total.

They turned on the Spirit Box for a round of questions but had technical difficulties. Unfortunately, I neglected to fully explain the placement of the Spirit Box. It ended up too close to the digital recorder so I couldn’t pull any clear EVPs from the recorded audio. We’ll make sure we get this right the next time. Despite the technical difficulties, the group all had profound experiences in the Annex building.

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Attic #1

I brought a small group (Sam, Chris, and Kim) up to the first attic. As soon as we sat down, we started hearing taps on the window. At first, I thought it might just be the wind, so I started testing it.

“If it’s you tapping on the window, can you do it again?” I asked. There was an immediate tap on the window.

The window remained silent until we asked another question. I asked if it was okay for us to be up there and received an immediate response.

The heater clicked on almost as soon as we got started. The sound cut out most other sounds in the small space.  Soon after, the other heater clicked on and the sound was almost deafening. If we captured any EVPs during this time, they were washed out by the ambient sounds of the heaters.

Some asked if they could tap on the window again. The window had remained quiet up until that point but we got an immediate tap.

I turned on my iOvilus and after a few minutes, it spit out the word “object.” It had no relevance to what we were talking about, so I dismissed it as being a random word.

Sam asked how many of them were in the building and the iOvilus said, “Legion.” This was a bit startling for me because the word “Legion” typically signifies demons, as referenced in the Bible.

“You can knock that right off,” I said. I knew there weren’t any demons in the attic. Sometimes nasty ghosts will say things like that to scare us but it wasn’t working with me.

“Come,” it said next. Legions come? That sounded a little more frightening than I was comfortable with. It didn’t scare me because I knew there weren’t demons there. Demons feel far different to me than human ghosts, which was what we were dealing with. Was it just random words being spit out by a phone app or was it someone trying to frighten us? I wasn’t sure, but with the heaters on, we weren’t really able to fully communicate anyway, so I ended the session and we returned to the Annex building to rejoin the rest of the group.

I left the recorder running and sat it on a chair. It took the next group several minutes to make their way up to the attic. Nothing was recorded during the absence of investigators except for the heaters.

The next group came up with the Spirit Box to see if they could get any communication. This group was led by Shannon. Angie and Bill joined her. They asked if there was anyone with them and a voice responded, “I’m home!”

Meagan’s group also had some interesting experiences in Attic #1.

As they climbed the short flight of stairs, none of them felt like they could breathe. Several people in the group felt the same way the entire time they were up there. That struck me as interesting because I felt the same way when I was up there. I blamed it on a winter full of inactivity and the fact that I’m out of shape, but others felt the same way. Dina said they actually felt more uncomfortable the longer they were up there.  Rachel agreed that it was very difficult to breathe.

Something else happened that was unexplainable. As soon as they sat down, the bare bulb on the ceiling flickered on briefly before turning back off. The light was turned off, so this was a bit surprising for all of them.

They did a Spirit Box session in the attic. Dustin asked if they would tell him their names and a low voice came through. What’s interesting was that the sound wasn’t caught by the digital recorder even though everyone in the room heard it.

As the group was leaving the attic area, Rachel and Eric were in the back of the group. As they reached the first landing, they heard the distinct sound of the chairs continuing to tick. It sounded like someone was sitting in the chair, making it move.  They stood at the bottom of the stairs and listened to it. They left a digital recorder on the steps for a few minutes to see if they could capture anything. They will let me know if they do and I’ll post it here.

27655212_10216835256573139_255128775635955861_nThe Basement

Meagan’s group spent an hour in the basement. The first thing they noticed was the abrupt temperature change as they came down the stairs. They were thankful they remembered to bring jackets with them.

The basement is divided into four rooms. There is a small room at the base of the stairs that leads to two more rooms of equal size. They are separated by large hanging doors. Jutting off the middle room is the main basement area. We called this the “dirt-floor room” during the investigation because it has a dirt floor. The temperature in that room was substantially warmer too.

The bodies from the Griffin tornado were stored in the dirt-floor room, so we were expecting this to be the most active room in the entire building. While we did have some experiences, it wasn’t as haunted as several other spots in the building, which surprised me.

They did an EVP session in the first room, at the base of the stairs, but didn’t receive any EVP responses. They did have several interesting things happen though. They kept hearing a chirping sound and commented on it several times during the session, even though it wasn’t something that was picked up on the digital recorder. Rachel kept hearing the sound of fabric shifting, which wasn’t caught on the recorder either.

Dustin and Dina kept hearing sounds in the other room. It almost sounded like someone moving around, banging into things, but when they went to look, no one was there. It felt like the ghosts were there, but were hanging back.

After fifteen minutes, they brought out the Spirit Box and began asking questions. They didn’t get a single response, so they moved to another spot in the basement. While they were sitting there, they felt a sudden temperature change.  The room suddenly grew substantially colder. Eric measured it on his handheld temperature recorder and confirmed the temperature drop.

They moved into the dirt-floor room. They didn’t get any responses, neither on the Spirit Box nor through EVP. They all felt as though they were being watched the entire time. Several of them thought they saw movement at the other end of the room. At one point, they were being buzzed by an insect, which is interesting since the temperature in the basement was chilly.

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Meagan had a laser grid set up so it pointed down into the dark areas of the basement. A laser grid looks like one of those laser cat toys, with the exception that it has dozens of lights instead of just one. The theory behind it as a paranormal device is that it allows investigators to see movement in dark areas. If something walks across it, they will break the light grid and become more visible. As they sat there watching it, they noticed some substantial movement at the far end of the basement.

After an hour in the basement, they came upstairs and joined my group for a quick break.

When our break was over, my group went to the basement to see what we could find. We started out in the room at the base of the stairs, which I think was once used as the coach’s office.

Basements are almost always creepy. The visual effects of cobwebs and open rafters is enough to make most people anxious. In my experience, it’s usually a fairly haunted space. The dead often attempt to retreat from the living and basements provide the perfect spot for hiding.

I pulled out my flashlight to see if we could get any interactions with it. There is some controversy regarding using flashlights for paranormal investigations. The battery can arc and turn the light on randomly, which is why I always use a “cold” flashlight. I also watch the responses. If the flashlight seems to be coming on randomly, I stop using it. In this case, it was clear we were talking to someone. The light only came on after a question was asked.

As we introduced ourselves, the flashlight came on when Chris said his name. We decided to see if it was a response or not. We asked a series of questions and received no responses. When Chris asked if the ghost’s name was Christine, the light came on.

By experimenting with the method, we continued to ask her questions and learned that she was a teacher at the school and that she taught sports. She enjoyed coaching and was married. She was also happy we were there talking to her. We circled back around and asked if we were still talking to Christina and received a positive response.

After a while, we stopped getting responses, so we moved onto another piece of equipment. I pulled out my iOvilus. Normally, I don’t trust phone apps. Most of them simply spit out randomly generated words, but I’ve actually had good results with my iOvilus app.

The first time I used it was in my kitchen in my old house. As I turned it on, my cat George went to the back door and began meowing to get outside. The iOvilus spit out two consecutive words: George beg. I was fairly blown away by the response and have had positive results with it ever since.

I turned it on, but it remained silent for nearly ten minutes. Finally, it spit out the word, “salaran.” I didn’t know what that meant and had to look it up later. It means “drainage.”

After a few minutes, it said, “recuse,” which means to take back.

Then it said, “measure hundred.”

The responses didn’t make sense to me, so I’m not convinced it was paranormal, but wanted to mention it here in case it is relevant to someone who knows the history of the building.

After about twenty minutes, I decided to switch things up. I moved half the group to the big area in the basement with the dirt floor and left the other half of our group in the room right outside the doorway. Neither group received any responses in the room outside the door to the dirt-floor room.

In the dirt-floor room, we did receive several responses on the Spirit Box. When asked if they remembered the sinking of the Titanic, we heard a male voice say, “I did.”

We asked quite a few more questions without hearing any responses, so Angie asked if they were shy. The same male voice said, “yes.”

When someone asked if they liked horses, the same male voice said, “I do.After a few more minutes, the clocktower bells rang, signaling the end of our basement session. We gladly made our way up the stairs to warm up.

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The Gymnasium

After another brief break, we moved to the gymnasium. I had set up several divination methods at various stations around the room for everyone to try. Divination tools have been used for centuries to communicate with spirits and spirit guides. Included in my collection were pendulums, Runestones, and a scrying mirror.

While everyone branched off to experiment with the Divination tools, I had several smaller groups investigate the stage, while others investigated the second attic area.

 Attic #2

The second attic is located to the right of the stage and is used for storage. I wasn’t even aware the room existed until the night of the investigation and was eager to explore it. Like basements, attics are often the places where the ghosts retreat to in order to get away from the living. We weren’t disappointed by what we found.

The first group brought the Spirit Box up with them. The digital recorder was placed too close to the Spirit Box, so it was difficult for me to hear the questions that were asked (as a note: always keep the digital recorder six feet away from the Spirit Box).

Some of what I was able to make out:

  • They were talking to a male who liked basketball.
  • He didn’t have kids
  • When they asked if he liked being there, he said, “I do.”
  • They asked if there was a kid up there. He responded “Just me.”
  • Someone doubled back and asked if he liked basketball again. “Yes,” he said.
  • Someone asked if he liked candy. He said, “Yes.”
  • They asked how old he was and he said, “fifteen.”
  • When they asked if he had a girlfriend, he said, “sure.”

Another group went to the second attic in a team led by Shannon Delap. They had some interesting interactions that went along with the same responses as the first team. When Shannon asked if there was anyone there, a male voice said, “I’m home.” Angie seemed to get the most responses. She asked if it was okay for them to talk to them and a male said, “I would let you” or “I’m gonna get you.” Listen to the recording below and tell me what you hear.

She followed up by asking him if he liked basketball and he said “yes.” When it was Shannon’s turn again, she asked if he liked being there and he said, “I do.”

 

For the last thirty minutes, we sat in a circle in the middle of the gymnasium and conducted a group session. I turned on the Spirit Box and we went around the room and asked questions. Some of the responses were funny.

I told them they could walk around the room and show themselves if they wanted to. A male’s voice said, “no,” in a way that made us all laugh.

I asked him if he could tell us his name and he didn’t respond. This is typical of a normal investigation. It seems to be the favorite question for investigators to ask but is one that usually goes unanswered. I’ve often wondered about this. Are they not supposed to tell us their names? Or have they been gone so long they’ve forgotten?

As these thoughts were going through my mind, someone else asked the same question again (we were all getting tired at this point) and a man’s voice said, “I’m Herman.” It was warbled and not as clear as I would like to hear, but it was understandable. Who was Herman? Was he a student there or just someone who wandered in from somewhere else?

Someone asked what he did for a living. A woman responded, “living.”

I turned off the Spirit Box, mostly because the noise becomes grating after a while. We set up several EMF detectors and a flashlight in the middle of the room, but they wouldn’t touch them. I added a pinwheel to the mix, but they didn’t touch it either.

It was clear that the ghosts were growing tired, but I still had a half hour with the group and didn’t want to just sit around and stare at each other. I decided to move one of the helium balloons that were used for table decorations into the center of the circle. It definitely moved and began spinning in a slow circle, but it was difficult to determine if it was paranormal or just normal. The ceiling fans were spinning and the air current was moving around the room fairly steadily.  The other balloons that were still on the tables were moving too, but not as erratically as the one in the middle.

I told them if they could make the balloon drop to the ground, they would probably cause a few of us to pee our pants. As soon as I said that, the flashlight came on, making everyone laugh.

We did another round of questions but didn’t receive any responses on the gadgets I had in the middle of the floor, so I pulled the Spirit Box back out.

Several people asked questions that went unanswered. Then, Angie asked if they ever went to dances at the gym. A female voice said, “I’m coming.”

After a few more minutes, I turned it back off and asked everyone to tell me their most interesting moments of the night. Everyone had something to contribute.

Most of them agreed that the most active areas were the Annex building, Attic #1 and the first room at the base of the stairs in the basement.

The bell went off at midnight and we all jumped, even though we should have expected it after hearing it mark the hours all night. The evening was over but the memories will remain with us for a long time.

I want to thank everyone who came out to the event. Special thanks goes to Meagan Patterson, who led a group, and to Paula Bundy and Shannon DeLap, who helped me throughout the event.

 

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The Haunting of The Ribeyre Gymnasium

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(Above) The Ribeyre Gymnasium – 603 Main Street, New Harmony, IN

 

No matter where you are in New Harmony, you can hear the clock tower on the Ribeyre Gymnasium mark the hours. The resounding rings echo through the town, paying homage to the passage of time. Even if I’m aware of the time, I still find myself pausing to count the rings. In some ways, it feels like a moment of unity because no matter where we are when it chimes, we are all focused on the same thing.

The Ribeyre Gymnasium was built in 1924 to provide the local school with a facility for sporting activities. It was extensively renovated within the past ten years, with the renovation budget topping over a million dollars. It is a bright sun-lit space with gleaming golden floors and soaring ceilings. It is the site of many weddings, banquets and receptions, having the capacity to seat 600 people. It was even used for filming several scenes of the 1992 movie A League of Their Own.

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(Above) A scene from the movie A League of Their Own

 

When you walk into the space, it brings you back to an earlier era, but beneath the happy façade lingers a horrific memory.

The gymnasium was barely a year old when it became used for something no one would have imagined.

On Wednesday, March 18th, 1925, a massive category 5 tornado cut a 219 mile path through three states. It completely demolished the town of Griffin, which is located several miles away from New Harmony.

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(Above) A sign in nearby Griffin, IN, documenting the tragic events of the past

 

The storm seemed to come out of nowhere, catching the residents by surprise. Some of them attempted to seek shelter in nearby homes and businesses but were crushed by the rubble as the buildings collapsed all around them. Children on their way home from school on the school bus were also victims of the tragedy, as the bus tumbled end over end, becoming airborne at one point. All in all, fifty-two people died that day, with many more seriously injured.

Bodies were pulled from the debris and carried to wagons and carts. Since the entire town was flattened, residents looked to nearby New Harmony for help.

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(Above) The Griffin Tornado was documented in the documentary, The Griffin Tornado, as well as the book Death Rides the Sky by Angela Mason

 

The brand new Ribeyre Gymnasium seemed to provide the perfect location to store the bodies until they could be identified and collected by their families. In several cases, the injuries were so severe; it was difficult to determine if the person was living or dead. One woman was carried down into the basement to be laid out with the rest of the victims. As they placed her on the ground, she began moving.

In my years of investigating the paranormal, I’ve found myself in some very unnerving locations. I’ve been in abandoned mental hospitals, old prisons and even inside empty crypts, but nothing could have prepared me for what I felt in the basement of the gymnasium.

It’s difficult to describe how energy feels to someone who is sensitive to it. We are all energetic beings and everything around us is composed of energy. When you feel the energy, it almost feels like you can detect the mood of an environment. In this case, the mood was desperately somber.

gymnasium.jpg(Above) the Ribeyre Gymnasium in its early days. Photo courtesy of Workingmen’s Institute

 

The space was long and broad. It had a dirt floor and dusty rafters, showing the passage of time. Even though the upstairs was bright and cheery, the basement provided a clear glimpse into the building’s past.

I brought my psychic medium friend, Crystal Folz, with me and she had the same reaction. Neither of us could handle being in the space for more than a few minutes. If there was a haunting there, it was lost in the overwhelming sadness that lingered in that space.

I walked around for as long as I could handle it before I said a prayer for the lost souls and left. Coming up the stairs to the sunlight was like coming up from the depths of a deep dark lake for my first breath of air.

Stories surrounding the gymnasium often involve the appearance of children. Several people have actually witnessed them walking across the gymnasium floor. They’re also known to turn the lights on and off.

gym basement.jpg(Above) The basement of the gymnasium

 

This story was confirmed by Benton Frisse, who grew up in the town and shared several other stories with me.

During high school, Benton did a film project called “Haunted New Harmony”. He went around town and interviewed people about their experiences.

One of the stories he heard about involved the gymnasium.

Before the gymnasium was renovated, the old tower clock would often malfunction. A local man would go to the gym at all hours of the day and night to fix it.

He would have to climb up a rickety old ladder to reach the clock tower. “The ladder going up to the clock tower was scary. You couldn’t have paid me a hundred bucks to climb that ladder,” Benton told me.

Late one night, the man went to fix the clock. He was halfway back down the ladder when something caught his eye. He saw two children race across the bleachers.

The children looked three-dimensional, with the exception of having a slight glow. He watched them race up the bleachers and then disappear as they reached the top. As time went on, he saw them more and more. They were dressed in outfits from the 1930’s, making him wonder if they were victims of the tornado.

Another local resident named Rita also had an experience at the gymnasium. She used to teach rug hooking classes at the annex building, which is connected to the gymnasium.

“Close to the time we were going to be leaving, I looked up at the clock and it started spinning,” she told me. Both the minute hand and the hour hand were spinning around the dial, as though being pushed by invisible fingers.

She was amazed because the clock had been operating normally during the day. As they all stared in wonderment, the clock slowed down and began operating normally again.

She later asked the man who maintained the building about the clock. He told her there was no reason why the clock would do that. There weren’t any power surges in the area and the clock has never done that before.

Could it have been the work of the children? While it does seem like a prank a child might pull, it’s difficult to determine. So many lives passed through the building, it could have come from any number of sources.

used to be where gym is now.jpg(Above) An undated photo of the building that once stood on the lot where the Ribeyre Gymnasium was later built. Photo courtesy of Workingmen’s Institute

 

Another occurrence happened to former resident, Cathy Powers, who once owned Country Cottage Restaurant. Cathy now helps the endeavors of Posey County Pound Puppies.

When New Harmony sponsors events and festivals, Cathy often sets up a table at the Ribeyre Gymnasium to promote the cause.

“I always tell vendors the place is haunted,” she said. One of her friends told her she often saw people standing on the old platform that used to be near the front door. She would catch them out of the corner of her eye, but when she turned to look at them, they would disappear.

One time, Cathy was at the gym setting up for an event and she began hearing a strange noise coming from the speakers.

“This was probably before your time, but it was like the sound the old stand-up console radios made when they were looking for a station,” she said and then demonstrated the noise. If I was expecting her to emulate a static sound, I was mistaken. The high-pitched sound she made nearly resembled aliens descending. It was enough to make the hair on the back of my neck rise.

Cathy attempted to seek out the source of the sound, but couldn’t find anything to explain it. The system wasn’t even turned on.

Rick Johnson spent many years at the Ribeyre Gymnasium. As a long-time teacher in the New Harmony school system, he was also a coach for the basketball team.

A room had been set up in the basement of the building for the coaching staff. When he was down there, he often heard noises and voices coming from the other rooms in the basement.

Every time he would get up to check, he would find the basement empty. It didn’t necessarily spook him, but it gave him an uneasy feeling nonetheless.

IMG_2172.JPGIf you find yourself in the Ribeyre Gymnasium, pay attention to the area near the bell tower and the edges of the room. It’s possible you might catch sight of the little boy who roams there.

 

The article above is an excerpt from Joni’s book Haunted New Harmony.

 

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Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 17 paranormal books. To learn more about New Harmony’s haunted history, check out her latest book Haunted New Harmony or attend one of her many Haunted New Harmony events.

 

 

Click HERE to learn about Joni Mayhan’s books

Haunted New Harmony cover  Dark and Scary Things cover  Ghost Magnet handprint cover Signs of Spirits front cover 400ppi

 

 

 

 

Grounding & Shielding – How to Protect yourself from Negative Energy

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Negative energy is all around us. Whether it comes from the supernatural world or from the land of the living, we all encounter it on a daily basis.

Naturally, the best way to protect yourself from negative energy is to avoid it, but this isn’t always possible. Sometimes it has a way of finding us despite our attempts to distance ourselves from it.

Forms of Negative Energy

  • Psychic Vampires – Some people have a unique gift of pulling energy from us while filling us with their negative energy. Many aren’t even aware they are doing it. It’s just part of their makeup. They are the kind of people who always complain about everything and attempt to pull others into their drama.
  • Excess Energy – While this isn’t necessarily negative energy, too much of anything isn’t good. If you are empathic and are able to feel the energy of others, you could become quickly overloaded. A prime example of excess energy is what you find at the shopping malls during the Holiday Season. There are so many people with a plethora of anxiety who are sharing the space with you. If you spend too long here, you’re bound to become overloaded.
  • Negative Ghosts – If people were truly aware of how many ghosts roam around the world, they would probably lose their minds. As someone who can sense and interact with ghosts, I can tell you that the number of ghosts who are earthbound is probably much higher than you think. Ghosts are much like the living. There are good ghosts and bad ghosts. They often pull energy from the living in order to sustain themselves.

The first step in protecting yourself is learning how to ground yourself.

beyond-the-ground-an-esoteric-lesson-in-groundingGrounding

When we hear the term “being grounded,” we often think about people who are easy-going and are fully present in their lives. This isn’t far from the truth, but being grounded goes even deeper than what you see on the surface.

If you consider us energetic beings, which we are, you can compare this to how electrical energy flows through a circuit. It has to be grounded before the energy can move fluidly through the channels. It’s almost like turning off a light switch. The energy only travels to the point where it’s shut off. When we ground ourselves, we allow the energy to flow freely and move the excess energy to a place where it won’t impact us. I use it frequently during the day to help me remain calm and focused.

If you think about it, you’ve probably been practicing some form of grounding for most of your life. When we get frustrated with a situation, we often sigh. A sigh is a shortened version of the grounding process.

When I find myself in crowds of people, especially during the holidays, I make sure I’m grounded and protected before I even leave my house. All that erratic energy bounces around the building and you can’t help but get caught in the web. By grounding, I can reduce the effects.

Signs that you are ungrounded:

  • Feeling disoriented and overwhelmed
  • Having a strong need to get away from other people
  • Finding yourself daydreaming and losing touch with reality
  • Being agitated or feel a sense of anxiety
  • Craving sugar and starches
  • Inability to focus

How to Ground Yourself

Learning how to ground yourself is one of the easiest metaphysical practices to master. It might take you a little time to figure out what works for you, but once you get the hang of it, the results are worth the effort. Here is the way I ground myself.

  • Imagine a white light above you.
  • With every breath, pull the white light into yourself, through the top of your head.
  • As you exhale, imagine the white light pushing negative energy down through your feet and into the ground. Some people visualize themselves as trees with deep roots going into the ground when they do this.

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Other methods of grounding:

  • Trees can be helpful for grounding, as well. Many people ground themselves by hugging or leaning against trees and imagining the negative energy sinking into the ground beneath them, being swept away by the roots.
  • Walking barefoot outdoors often helps some people to ground. Having the direct contact with the earth seems to be helpful in removing the toxins.
  • Meditate and ask your Spirit Guides to remove the negative energy. Imagine yourself being purified with every breath of air you take until you feel light and happy.
  • Burn sage and allow it to cover every part of your body, including the soles of your feet. Imagine the smoke clearing away all the negative energy, replacing it with clean, fresh joyful energy.
  • Grounding stones such as hematite, black tourmaline, tiger eye, onyx, jasper, green aventurine, just to name a few, are helpful to assist you in grounding yourself.
    • Hold the stone in your hand and envision it empowering you.
    • Take deep breaths, focusing on the stone in your hand.
    • Imagine the stone absorbing all the excess emotions.
    • Carry the stone in your pocket during the day and hold it when you feel the need to ground.
  • Find a Youtube video that works for you. There are many great guided meditations and instructions for the process of grounding. Sample several of them and pick the one that resonates with you.

Learning this technique can make a positive impact on your overall well-being. Practice it often until you are able to master the ability. The benefits are endless. You’ll regain your energy and retain your inner strength. Once you’ve learned how to ground yourself, work on learning how to protect your energy through the process of shielding.

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Shielding

Shielding is the practice of creating a bubble of protective energy around you to safeguard yourself from negative energy. While there are many ways to do this, I found the following method to be effective.

Imagine an energy ball forming at your solar plexus (your upper abdomen near the diaphragm).

Pull it up and around you like a bubble and visualize yourself filling it with white light. I do this every day, asking for it to protect me for 24 hours. If you don’t time it, the shield will only last for several hours.

Other methods of shielding

Instead of a bubble of light, build your shield with mirrors that reflect the negative emotions back towards the sender. Sometimes I imagine myself surrounded by a giant disco ball. The visualization helps me hold the shield in place longer.

Another thing you might try is to imagine that your shield is coated with Teflon or sprayed with a clear slick-resistant substance (I imagine Pam cooking spray) that causes the energy to slide off.

You might also fortify your shield with protective stones such as black tourmaline, onyx, tiger’s eye. I place them in all four corners of my house to create a physical spiritual barrier and sometimes carry them in my pocket for extra protection.

In this day, with all the negative energy floating around, it’s important to learn how to prevent it from affecting you. Give it a shot and see if it helps.

 

For more information about Grounding and Shielding, along with paranormal protection methods, check out my book Dark and Scary Things – A Sensitive’s Guide for Protection

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