About jonimayhan

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of true paranormal best-sellers, Bones in the Basement, Devil's Toy Box and The Soul Collector. Check out her website: Jonimayhan.com

My Favorite Book

One question I always get asked is, “What is your favorite book that you’ve written?”

When I get asked that, I think back to a famous author’s book signing. Someone asked her that very question and, without missing a beat, she said, “The one I’m currently promoting.” From a marketing standpoint, that made sense, but it’s not an honest answer. I think we all have favorites, but we’re hesitant about sharing that information for fear of losing sales on the newest book we’re trying to sell.

I don’t have to think hard to come up with an answer. While I should be more marketing-savvy and promote my current new book, I tend to respond with a more honest answer: my first published book Lightning Strikes.

Like many other authors, I wrote several “practice books” before writing one that was good enough to be published. Lighting Strikes might have been my first published book, but it was actually the sixth book I wrote. The others still sit in boxes on my bookshelf, paying homage to my early learning curve.

When I wrote Lightning Strikes, my life was far different than it is now. I hadn’t pigeon-holed myself as a paranormal writer. I was able to write about whatever I chose to tackle. In this case, I took a potentially real-life situation and wrapped it around the concept of how I would have handled it at the tender age of sixteen. I still think about it frequently. What would I do if the world suddenly came to a grinding halt?

In the case of Lightning Strikes, a bio-engineered virus is accidentally released into the world, killing 90% of the population within weeks. A group of radical extremists jump on the opportunity and attempt to gain control of the world, going door-to-door with assault rifles and gas masks. This would be a horrible situation for any of us to survive, but imagine going through it when you were only sixteen years-old and had a young autistic sister you need to protect. The story follows Ember’s journey as she deals with the hardships and terror, while subsequently enduring the reality of being sixteen.

Lightning Strikes gave me the opportunity to present a better version of myself. Like many other authors, I usually dig deep into my own past to create my characters. Ember is the closest thing to myself that I’ve ever written. I just removed some of the pimples and awkwardness of my sixteen year-old self and gave her more courage and fortitude than I possessed at that age. I envisioned a world where all the grown-ups were gone and my own survival depended on my own decisions. Would I curl up and hide or would I fight back? And how would this change me as a person?

Sadly, the book never took off. It got outstanding reader reviews. It has 63 reviews and maintains a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. Many of the people who read it wrote to me, telling me how much they loved it. Ember felt real to them, like someone they knew or wanted to know. It just got lost in the influx of post-apocalyptic novels and never found its own footing.

In my sales reports, I can see when a book is sold, but I don’t have information regarding who it was sold to. I just see the sale. Whenever I sell a copy of Lightning Strikes, I become fixated on my reporting for the next few days, waiting to see if they also buy book two in the trilogy, Ember Rain. This week, I was elated to see someone buy all three books in a one week period. To me, this meant that someone became as entranced with this storyline as I was when I wrote it. One sale of this book means more to me than hundreds of sales on any of my other books. Is it because Lightning Strikes was my first-born book child? Maybe, but I think it goes deeper than that. Lightning Strikes contains more of my soul than any other book I’ve written.

So, if you ask me which one of my books that I like the most, I’ll probably be honest with you. Give it a shot. It’s only $2.99 on Amazon.com and will keep you mesmerized for 400 nail-biting, heart-tugging pages. Click HERE to learn more.

Lightning Strikes cover from Google

 

My Window Nemesis – A Non-Paranormal Post

kitchen window.jpgI wasn’t exactly thrilled to be moving into a mobile home. I know I should count my blessings, and this was a big one, but just the mere thought of moving into a trailer made my stomach curl up on the edges.

I didn’t have a lot of choices though. After losing my house to foreclosure, I needed a place to live. My credit was pretty crappy and my resources ranked in the slim-to-none category. When my step-father offered to purchase this little treasure for me, I was relieved. It was a place to go, somewhere to bring my houseful of cats and my collected treasures. Even more so, it was a place to heal.

I knew that complaining about the fireballs that life throws at us doesn’t change anything, so I made the best with what I was given. I read somewhere that if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back and a roof over your head, you’re richer than 75% of the world’s population. I had all those things, I just needed to stop comparing myself to all the people on Facebook who were living in mansions and vacationing in Europe. I made this choice, along with the mistakes and decisions that brought me to this point. This was what I had to work with, so I got busy.

I hired a contractor to fix all the rotten floors. I power-washed the exterior to make it a bit brighter (and less trailer-y), stained the porch and painted all the walls with colors that soothed my soul. I tossed out all the cast-off possessions the last owners so lovingly left me, even the old sample bottles of shampoo and used toothbrushes. The last thing I needed to work on was the windows.

Typical of trailers built in the 1980’s the windows left something to be desired. Every ounce of heat from the sun managed to seep through them in the summer. When the weather turned colder, the drafts were like artic blasts. I pulled out my handy ladder and caulk gun and set to work trying to stop the drafts, but there wasn’t much I could do about the sun.

I tried to hang blinds, but bear in mind that I also have cats. They look at those plastic strips that hang from tiny screws and see them as a gymnasium. They went to work on them quickly. It wasn’t long before every blind in my house had gaps along the sides where the cats pushed through to get a gander at the world outside, if they didn’t pull them down entirely. This presented several problems: privacy and sunlight.

Every time I turned on my kitchen light, I broadcasted my activities to the world outside. Granted, my town is small and the street isn’t busy, but I still didn’t want to stumble into the kitchen in the middle of the night for a drink of water and show my neighbors my ratty old pajamas. I remedied this by simply not turning on the light, but it didn’t help me with the sunlight issue.

During the morning, the sunlight streams through my kitchen window like a mega-watt head lamp. The house quickly heats up, which requires my aging air conditioning unit to summon up its strength to punch the time clock, providing me with some wonderful $200 electric bills.

After nearly killing myself by balancing precariously on a kitchen chair to measure the window width, I ran off to Walmart, which is a half-hour drive in itself, to purchase a mini-blind. That lasted three days.

My cats nearly cheered in unison as I balanced on the kitchen chair again and hung it up. Predictably, it was pooled up in a pile on the windowsill soon afterwards. I attempted to hang it again, but the soggy wood around the window cried “uncle” and wouldn’t support another screw. I moved onto Plan B.

I would hang a curtain over the window. I scurried back off to Walmart and quickly discovered that they don’t carry curtains to fit my window. After some serious hemming and hawing, while listening to the melodious sounds of a child screaming in the next aisle, I grabbed a cafe curtain, hoping to make it fit. I didn’t measure and I didn’t plan it out accordingly. I just grabbed it and attempted to put as much distance between me and the screaming child as possible. When I got home, I discovered my error. It was too short to cover the entire window, but too long to hang it from the center. Onto Plan C.

I pulled out my ancient sewing machine and blew off the years of dust. My cats were quite excited by this venture. As I attempted to shorten the curtains, I had my own personal cheering squad to root me on. They pawed at the material as it zipped under the needle and attempted to thwart my progresses at every turn. By the time I finished, I was too worn out to actually hang the curtain, so I saved it for the next morning.

cats sewing.jpgAs I balanced on the kitchen chair again, attempting to hang the brackets that would hold the curtain, I began to wonder if the window was out to get me. The bracket set that I purchased only came with one bracket, which meant I needed to dig through several boxes to find another set, which were actually meant for a much bigger window. The screw gun slipped several times, resulting in several very sore fingers and I had to fight off five curious cats in the process.

All in all, the process of simply blocking out the light took me far longer than I imagined, but I was determined. I might not have accomplished anything major in most people’s eyes, but to me it was monumental.

I conquered my window nemesis.

Sample of Ghost Magnet

Excerpt from Ghost Magnet – coming October 15th

 

A Ghost in My House

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I didn’t notice the ghost for several days. I was so caught up with my busy work schedule, it took some time for the reality to sink in, but the truth was undeniable. Something had followed me home from the cemetery.

Several days after our cemetery excursion, I came home from visiting stores in Rhode Island, my mind filled with work issues. One store didn’t have enough pet groomers and was using a cashier to bathe all the groomer’s dogs, which was a company violation. Another store wasn’t offering dog training classes, something I was getting beat up by my supervisors about. It was as though I was expected to wave a magic wand around and make all the issues disappear. All I wanted to do at that point was to change into my sweat pants and t-shirt and plop down on the couch for several hours of thought-free TV and allow my mind to unwind.

My dog Ripley met me at the door with other ideas. She was a mix of so many breeds, it was difficult to determine her parentage, but she looked and acted much like a border collie. With her high energy level and adept motivating skills, she had me well trained. Part of our evening ritual involved a long walk after dinner and she wasn’t letting me get out of it.  I held her at bay until I could scarf down a quick bowl of cereal and then grabbed her leash.

Our normal walk took us down a two-lane blacktop road near my house. Traffic was fairly steady, so I kept her on a leash for the duration. She always stuck close to my side, only veering off track when something especially smelly caught her attention and she needed a minute or two to investigate it.

By the time we got home, I had worked up a good sweat and had purged away most of my work stress. I loved the therapeutic benefits of walking. It gave me time to process my thoughts. I didn’t necessarily solve all my problems, but I usually found a way to deal with them by the end of the walk.

As I came through the door, ghosts were the last thing on my mind, but I heard the tone immediately. It was almost as though he was waiting at the threshold for me. I let Ripley off her leash and closed the door behind me, feeling a sense of discomfort wash over me like a cold bucket of water.

For once, I was thankful I didn’t have my 14 year-old son that night. He stayed with me four days out of the week and spent the remainder of the week with his father. Given the circumstances, I was glad he wasn’t there.

How would I explain these things to him?

He wasn’t the kind of kid who was even remotely interested in the paranormal world. If he came into the room while I was watching a creepy show, he would pivot on his heels and walk back out again unless I changed the channel. I wasn’t sure if it scared him or if he just wasn’t interested, but I wasn’t going to let it interfere with our time together.

I took a deep breath to steady myself. I needed to handle this now.

“If someone is here, you are not welcome. You need to leave immediately and go back to where you came from!” I said in a strong voice, knowing it sometimes worked for other people.

The tone didn’t falter. If nothing else, it grew louder. I could almost feel him laughing at me. Unlike the other ghosts that were in my house, this one was strong. If I was able to ignore the others and pretend they weren’t there, he wouldn’t give me that option. I could all but see him.

As I walked down the long hallway to my bedroom, I could hear him right on my heels. I paused when I got to my bedroom, uncertain what to do. Normally, I would shower and then put on comfortable night clothes, but this didn’t seem like a smart decision. Having an invisible intruder beside me in my own home, a place where I should feel safe, made me feel violated.

Could I really just undress and shower knowing that someone was watching me?

“Don’t show any fear,” I reminded myself, not wanting to give this monster any more ammunition to use against me.

I took a deep breath and tried to slough off the anxiety.

I turned on the shower, fully aware that the hitchhiker was still following me. If he had been a living person, I could have called the police to have him arrested, but they couldn’t do anything about a ghost. I’d have to try something different.

I read somewhere that if you ignored them, they sometimes grew bored and went away. Even though he completely creeped me out, I decided to give it a shot. I undressed quickly and took the fastest shower known to man and then put on my night clothes.

I plopped down on the couch and turned on the television. I found that if I cranked the volume up to a high setting, I couldn’t hear his tone. Despite the overwhelming sensation of being watched, I was able to get through the evening. Bedtime was another matter though.

After nearly twenty years of marriage with a partner who preferred to sleep in total darkness, I had grown out of my need for a nightlight. I kept the room as dark as the inside of a tomb, even going as far as hanging light-blocking curtains and blinds over the windows so I didn’t wake with the first blush of dawn. Things were different now though.

As soon as I turned off the light, I could feel him closing in on me. He drifted beside my bed and hovered close to my body. I could see him in my mind’s eye, grinning with rotten teeth, savoring the impact he was having on me.

I could sense his energy beside me as though he was made of skin and bones. He took a deep breath and let it out directly in my face, making my hair move with the current. The smell of rotting flesh filled my nose.

I couldn’t prevent the terror that spiked through me.

“Oh God!’

I reached out and snapped on the nightstand lamp, fully expecting to see him standing there.

Nothing.

The room was empty.

I let my arm fall back to my side. Why was this happening to me? Hadn’t I been through enough over the course of the past few years with the divorce and the move?

There was no way I could just close my eyes and fall asleep. That would be like sleeping beside a knife-wielding serial killer. What was he capable of? Could he kill me in my sleep?

I retreated to the living room where my two cats were stretched out on the sofa. They gave me slow, sleepy blinks as I turned on the lamp.

“Why are you guys hanging out here?” I asked them, as if expecting a response. I actually already knew the answer. If I was aware of the dead guy in my bedroom, they probably were too. They were just smarter than me and didn’t even try going into the room.

I turned on the television and was a bit horrified to find it already tuned into a paranormal show. I gasped and hurriedly switched  it to something a bit less frightening.

As I mindlessly watched an old sitcom, I thought about all the paranormal shows I had watched over the years. Being sensitive to the energy of the dead often left me yearning for more information. Unlike true psychic mediums, I didn’t get the full picture. I only got bits and parts.

I read as many books as I could find and watched the shows as though hoping for a road map. Unfortunately, the information I was getting was only serving to make me more apprehensive. I began to wonder if I was making things worse for myself.

Was it possible that I was igniting some sort of internal beacon when I watched paranormal shows? I had to wonder.  I often sensed them drift into the room while I was watching something spooky. There was so much I needed to know.

Somehow, I managed to fall asleep on the couch and woke up several hours later, feeling as though I had slept on  bare concrete. Every joint in my body was stiff and sore.

“This is ridiculous.”

I pulled myself off my couch and marched back to my bedroom. I wasn’t going to let some invisible dead guy ruin my day tomorrow because I was too groggy and sore to function.

I climbed into bed and yanked the covers up to my neck, trying desperately to ignore the buzzing sound. Instead of turning the room into its normal dark cave, I left the nightstand lamp on and rolled over onto my side.

Sleep must have found me because the next thing I remember was a thump at my bedroom door. I opened my eyes in time to see a dark shadow person dart across my room and disappear into my closet.

With a shriek, I sprang out of bed and ran into the hallway. I slammed the bedroom door behind me, ready to race out of the house in my night clothes. My heart pounded in my chest as my mind filled with pure panic.

I paused in the hallway and looked back at my bedroom door, expecting to watch it open.

“Oh my God,” I whispered to myself.

What would I do?

Who would I call?

I wanted to jump in my car and drive as far as I could, but where would I go? I didn’t have any friends or family nearby and couldn’t afford a hotel.

My mind raced as I stood there, not knowing what to do.

Was it a ghost, a real intruder or just a dream?

If I called the police and they didn’t find anything, I’d be embarrassed. With my heartbeat thumping in my temples, I edged back to the bedroom door.

If someone was in my bedroom, they had nowhere to go. There wasn’t another doorway and the only windows were blocked by furniture.

I pressed my ear to the door to listen.

It was quiet.

As I was pulling away, something scratched on the inside of the door. I nearly came unglued and let out another shriek, only to hear the scratching followed by my dog’s woeful whine.

“Oh, Ripley…” I had forgotten that she was in the bedroom with me. If someone was in there, she would have been barking and growling. That left two other possibilities. It was either a dream or a ghost.

Ripley whined again, pulling me out of my indecisiveness. Either way, I couldn’t leave her in there alone.

I dug deep and gathered every ounce of courage. I had to be brave. I yanked the door open and flipped on the overhead light.

The room was empty.

My body trembling, I looked in the closet and under the bed, finding nothing. I wasn’t sure what to do, but one thing was certain. I wasn’t sleeping in that room.

I spent the rest of the night on the couch, not even daring to close my eyes for a second. I watched one cheesy sitcom after another until it was time to get ready for work.

I left the house by 9am and visited some of my local Massachusetts stores, not having the energy to venture very far away. By the time I made it back home, my head was spinning with work related issues. As I put my key in the keyhole, I was greeted by the buzzing sound.

I should have been terrified, but anger took the lead instead.

This was the last thing I wanted to deal with after having a day from hell. It was intrusive and disruptive, almost like having a homeless person move in and take over my house.

I’d like to say that I am brave, and maybe I am to some extent, but this was a case where I was pushed to become braver than I felt.

Without even changing out of my work clothes, I stomped into my bedroom and dug through my dresser until I found a stick of sage. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any more effective than the smudging that Sandy and I did at the cemetery, but I wasn’t putting up with this any longer.

I lit the sage and proceeded to walk around all the rooms in my house, filling it with light and love.

“I fill this space with light and love. I ask for my angels and spirit guides to remove any negative energy that lingers here. This is my house and I take it back!” I said in each of the rooms. By the time I finished, the house felt a bit better.

The ringing sound had faded to a point where I wasn’t certain who was still there. The tone was similar to what I had been hearing before the new ghost made his arrival, so I took some measure of comfort in that.

That night, my cats joined me in the bedroom again, which made me feel immensely better. I did make one change to my nighttime routine though. Instead of sleeping in pitch darkness, I dug out an old nightlight from a box in the closet and plugged it into the wall.

If I was going to live with the possibility of having ghosts in my house, I wasn’t going to do it in the dark.

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Transitions

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I feel as though I’ve lived a thousand lives.

I’ve been someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, a teacher and an author. I’ve been someone’s best friend and a stranger to others. I’ve been an aunt, a mentor, a boss and an employee. I’ve been a celebrity and I’ve been nobody. I’ve been someone’s almost-love and someone else’s almost-enemy. I say almost because I ran from both.

I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. I’ve been angry and I’ve angered. I’ve loved and I’ve hated, but I’m still the same person in the same body, which is little worst for the wear.

I’ve moved a thousand miles away, running from a me I no longer recognized. I thought I saw her here, in the place where I left her thirty years ago, but I was mistaken. When they say you can never go back home, they are right. Not even if you leave and come right back again.

My problem lies in knowing where home is. I’ve never had a home I was allowed to keep. I look at the pictures hanging on my new walls and remember them hanging on other walls in other lives. These homes were just resting places until the next home came around.

I’m also not allowed to keep people. The closest I’ve come to having people I could keep was with my children, but now they’re grown and gone away too. People, homes, emotions and roles all flash by my eyes like spectators at a carousel ride. I’m not on the horse I wanted because it was already taken, but I’ve learned to settle for what I’ve been granted. Getting to actually choose always goes to other people, people who are somehow better or maybe just luckier. People who don’t know what it’s like to pretend to be happy. People who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. People who don’t know sorrow, at least not on a first name basis.

I know I’ll settle into this new life like sand sifting through stones until it finds a bottom, but the sifting part is always hard for me. I’ll reinvent myself as someone else, someone new people will get to know without knowing the other me’s who lived before this one. We’ll laugh, love, hate and cry like I’ve done with the other lives, with the other people, but somewhere deep inside me lies all the other lives, piled one upon another like dead bodies in a receiving vault, waiting for the frozen ground to thaw so the bodies can be buried. Unfortunately, it appears that winter will be long and agonizing. Sleet will pelt the windows with a fury that seems to last forever before the first thaw of the season. Until then, I’ll wait and I’ll live the life I’ve found myself in while I’m enduring this new transition.

 

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 15 paranormal books. She currently resides in southern Indiana with her menagerie of pets.

Being Spiritual

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Many people believe that being spiritual means being happy. We know that’s not true. As human beings, we play host to a variety of emotions. We can’t simply chose one and claim it. We must feel all of them.

It’s human nature to feel angry when someone wrongs us or to feel sad when our feelings are hurt. We might feel envy when we see someone leading a seemingly perfect life while we struggle just to put food on the table. We also might feel regret when we’ve made a decision that greatly impacted our lives. This is normal. It’s what we do with these emotions that truly counts.

Being spiritual means that you understand and appreciate the emotions that you feel and turn them into something positive. You acknowledge the anger and sadness, but realize that it happened because it is part of your journey. If you didn’t experience sadness, would you still be able to appreciate joy to its fullest?

I believe that we have all lived many lives. Each life is a learning lesson and once we’ve accomplished what we need to, we move on and then return to live another life with another lesson. If you feel as though your life is filled with constant challenges, maybe this is the lesson you were sent to learn. When you see someone who appears to live a charmed life, perhaps they lived a more difficult life their last incarnation and have earned a breather. Or, maybe they just hide the pain better than other people and celebrate their wins more than they announce their losses.

The next time you experience a life challenge, look at it differently. Instead of being angry at the life you were given, look at how you react to the challenge. Do you attempt to remedy it with the same methods you’ve always employed?  Sometimes these challenges continue to come to us because we refuse to embrace them and learn from them. Try to do something different the next time it happens. See it as an opportunity to grow and learn and then let it go. Don’t hold onto it, using it as a blueprint for the rest of your life. Focus instead on the things that actually went right in your life, the things that made you stronger and brought you joy.

Once you do this, you raise your personal vibration and begin attracting other high vibrational emotions and people. Like attracts like. If you embrace joy and abundance, that is what will come to you.

I truly believe that most things in life happen for a reason. Once I adopted that mentality, I began to see the intricate network of life lessons being served to me. They didn’t come written on a chalkboard, they came as moments. How I chose to handle them determines my fate.

Live. Believe. Be happy.

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 15 paranormal books, including her newest book Signs of Spirits – When Loved Ones Visit. Click on the photo below to learn more about this book

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A Different Kind of Paranormal Investigation

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When I first started doing paranormal investigation, I stuck with the current trend of conducting a “scientific investigation.” My friends and I spent tremendous amounts of money on paranormal equipment and used them for every investigation. We set up cameras in all the known hot-spots and used meters and devices to measure and record the energy in the room in the hopes of capturing evidence of paranormal activity.

As I became more experienced, the traditional investigations began to bore me. I was so tired of the concept, of asking all the same old questions and then listening to hours of recorded audio in my hopes of capturing a ghostly voice. I was also worried. While we were capturing evidence, we weren’t doing anything to solve the issue. This especially bothered me with private investigations.

When a homeowner asked us to come in because they were experiencing something they couldn’t explain, they were often frightened by the activity. When footsteps are heard in the middle of the night or voices drifted through the house when no one was home, they often thought the worst. And who can blame them?

Most people’s perception of ghosts is based on what they see in the media. Nice ghosts exist, but they don’t sell out movie theaters. Instead, Hollywood invests in the darker side of the paranormal world, largely excluding the majority of the paranormal arena. I have probably contributed to this personification as well by writing about my horrific experiences in dealing with darker entities. The fact is: the paranormal world is far more complicated.

There are a mixture of good and bad ghosts, along with entities that were never human. In some cases, they already have a system set up, one that doesn’t require human involvement to keep it continuing. It’s the humans who need to be schooled, not the ghosts.

As my abilities as an intuitive medium expanded, I found that I was able to connect directly with the ghosts in residence. I no longer needed a digital recorder to hear their voices. I could now go directly to the source. This changed everything for me.

Now, when I go on a private investigation, I don’t bother with most of my equipment.I bring a high quality electromagnetic frequency (EMF) meter that I use to rule out high levels of energy that might be impacting the living. Sometimes, a malfunctioning electrical device can emit high levels of EMF, which can cause people to react in the same way they might if a ghost were present.

To explain this further, high EMF often makes people feel as though they are being watched. An example would be a house we investigated where the owners felt as though they were being watched while they sat in their living room. A quick sweep with the EMF meter revealed two air purifiers that were situated at opposite ends of the room. They were both old and outdated and were pouring high levels of EMF into the room. Once they were removed, the feelings of being watched disappeared altogether. To read more about the effects of high EMF, click HERE to read a previous blog post.

When I investigate private homes now, my most valuable tools are my friends and teammates. I bring like-minded people with mediumistic abilities. Together we’re able to identify what is causing (or not causing in some cases) the haunting and put together a plan to resolve the issues.

During a recent investigation, I was invited to the home of a friend who had just purchased a house. He hadn’t necessarily experienced any activity that would put him on Paranormal Witness, but he was uncomfortable in his home all the same. It had a bad vibe. It didn’t feel right. It was as though he wasn’t welcomed there. I stopped him before he could go into more details that might impact our walk-through of the property.

I brought two people along with me who I knew could help me get to the bottom of the haunting: Ken Murray and Barbara Niles. Sandy MacLeod often joins us, but was unable to attend this time.

Ken Murray is a talented psychic medium who has blown me away with his abilities and Barbara Niles is far more talented than she gives herself credit for. I met both of them through the Paranormal 101 classes I used to teach in the town of Gardner, Massachusetts. Sandy’s abilities are similar to mine. We are somewhere between Ken and Barbara. We both get distinct impressions when a ghost is nearby.

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(Above) My Dream Team L-R: Joni Mayhan, Sandy MacLeod, Ken Murray and Barbara Niles

As we came into the house, I warned the homeowner to stay silent about the activity he had been experiencing. We wanted to go in completely cold, not knowing anything about the haunting or the history of the house that might taint our impressions. As a medium, this is very important. We are filtering any messages we might receive through our human bodies. If our brains are already thinking about the dark shadow he often sees at the end of the bed, we’ll be looking for dark energy. It might even lead us to mix our own impressions with the information we’ve been told, changing it completely.

We started on the third floor in an area that we later learned had once been servant’s quarters in the massive Craftman-styled house. Armed with notepads and writing utensils, we split up into separate rooms and allowed the energy to speak to us.

Being clairaudient, I alway hear tones that are similar to ear ringing. Once I tune into the sound, I am able to connect with the soul attached to it. In the first room, I picked up a tone that I identified as a young female. As I allowed the connection to grow, I saw her in my mind’s eye and began to hear her words. The first thing I saw was long light-brown hair that trailed down her back. As she turned, I saw a bit of her face. She was young, probably in her late teens or early twenties, and she was sad. As I studied her, I learned that she was an Irish immigrant, brought to this country to work for an American family, possibly as a nanny or housekeeper. “I just want to go home,” she told me.

Knowing we still had a lot of house to cover, I moved into another room on the third floor. I then connected in similar fashion with a heavy-set older woman with dark hair that was pulled into a knot on the back of her head. She struck me as motherly and matronly. She felt like a housekeeper to me, someone who took care of the family, as well as the rest of the staff. I saw her folding laundry, humming while she worked.

I moved onto a third room as Ken and Barbara switched rooms too. During this time, we didn’t say any more to one another than deciding on what to call the rooms so we could discuss them later. We decided on Room 1, Room 2, Room 3 and Room 4. Room 1 was where I felt the girl. Room 3 was where I felt the older woman. In Room 4 I got an impression of children and saw a child’s sailboat. I didn’t connect with any energy, except for the younger woman who was following me. I quickly moved onto Room 2 and discovered the reason for the haunting.

I didn’t need to listen for the tone. The impression came to me immediately. I saw a tall man with ramrod straight posture and dark hair. He had an air about him of importance, but the word that rose in my mind was “butler.” He felt he was better than everybody else. We were all beneath him. I saw him actively trying to disturb the living, making them as uncomfortable as possible.

Once everyone was finished, we moved through the rest of the house, feeling the energy and quietly writing down our impressions. By the time we made our way to the basement, I had also connected with a woman from the 1920’s. I saw her as tall and fashionably thin, wearing a pale beige silk dress with fringe along the hem. She was worried about something, but I couldn’t pick up on the source of her discontent until we got to the basement.

Basements are often my favorite places in haunted location. Not because they are creepy and dark, but because they seem to be the place where ghosts go to hide when the living impede upon their space. This basement was different though.

It was brightly lit and freshly painted. If you saw a photo of it, you wouldn’t immediately think it was creepy, but the energy said otherwise. It felt as though the air itself was sizzling with electricity. It was hard to breath, feeling like the air was thick and heavy. I did a quick sweep with the EMF detector, not finding anything amiss.

Soon, an image rose in my mind of wooden cases filled with glass bottles. I felt myself being drawn to a far corner of the room that had been sectioned off in a closet to house the well pump. “This is where they hid it,” a voice said in my mind. I identified the source of the voice as coming from the fashionable 1920’s woman and realized that this was the reason behind her anxiety. “Flowers cover up the scent,” she told me.

Scent? I looked around, trying to make sense of what I was being told and then it dawned on me. Alcohol. Instinctively, I knew that the house was used during the prohibition days to hide alcohol. While she was worried about it, her husband was almost glib. “Don’t worry about it. We won’t get caught,” he told her.

Once Ken and Barbara were finished writing down their own impressions, we reconvened outside on the porch steps to discuss our findings.

This is always a worrisome moment for me. I often doubt the impressions that I feel, wondering if my highly active imagination was simply manufacturing all the information. It made sense that I would identify the third floor as servant’s quarters. Most old houses were set up in that fashion and the staff I saw were traditional roles that were often employed in wealthy households. The 1920’s woman fit the time period that I had established in my mind, which also fit the style of the house. Was this nothing more than a nice story?

“Ken, why don’t you start,” I suggested, waiting with baited breath to hear what he was going to say. Ken has impressed me over the past year with his findings. He’s almost alway dead-on in his impressions, helping us solve many cases.

“I felt an older woman on the third floor, who I feel was a maid or a nanny,” he said and went onto describe her exactly as I saw her myself. Being a far better medium than I’ll ever be, he also added details, such as the color of her dress and the jewelry she was wearing.

He also picked up on the younger woman and the butler, adding in more layers. He thought the young woman’s name was Anna and saw her with her hair pulled up in a bun. Barbara’s notes revealed similar impressions.Because she is still in the beginning stages of her spiritual advancements, her encounters were less detailed. She identified the older woman, the younger woman and the man. Neither of them picked up on the 1920’s woman, but they both felt children present, which went along with my feelings about the bedroom with the sailboat.

Our only disagreement came in the basement. Ken saw a fight between two men that led to one of the men being stabbed. He also felt that the younger woman was having an affair with the former male owner of the house, something that might have contributed to the fight. He didn’t get any impressions about alcohol, but thought it made sense as he listened to me talk. Barbara also felt alcohol was involved, but felt like it was stolen.

All three of us agreed that the source of the haunting was the male butler. Ken felt as though he probably stood at the end of the homeowner’s bed and presented himself in shadows.He also thought the homeowner might feel as though someone was watching him while he was in the shower and that the bathroom door might occasionally pop open on it’s own.

We also all agreed that while the butler was an angry soul, he wasn’t powerful enough to do anything more than rattle doorknobs and create shadows. The older maid kept him in check, preventing him from attempting anything truly frightening or dangerous. Ken also felt that she liked the current homeowner and would work to keep him protected.

At that point, we took our findings to the homeowner and learned more history of the house. As it turns out, the house across the street had a hidden tunnel that led from the basement to the garage, something that the current owners suspected was created during the prohibition days. Was this connected?

As we thought about it, it began to make sense. Even though we were all different in our findings, they fit an overall story. If the people across the street had an illegal still or were bringing in alcohol for the sake of reselling it, it would make sense that the man in the house we investigated might have been a part of it, perhaps even breaking into his house to steal it and then hide it in his basement. If he were caught by his neighbor, a fight could have broken out. Even though we were forcing the pieces together, they fit.

In the end, we decided not to do anything about the haunting. Sometimes this is the best method. The dead have worked out a system of checks and balances. Often, we join hands and create a sacred circle where we envision a white light above our heads. We then encourage any lost souls to go through it, bringing them to a place most people call Heaven. While this is usually successful for us, it wasn’t the right thing to do in this case. If we attempted to cross over one or more of them, we might end up doing more harm than good. The heavy-set maid might have crossed over, leaving the angry butler there alone without anyone to prevent him from going after the living. It wasn’t worth taking the chance. It was better to leave it as we found it.

The only one I felt bad about was the younger Irish immigrant woman. She had been following me all night and was nearby as we spoke to the homeowner.

Mentally, I connected with her and told her about the white light, showing her an image of her floating towards it and finding her way to Heaven, where her family was waiting for her. I felt her acknowledgement and knew that she would go when she was ready.

Once we explained our findings to the homeowner, he felt better about the situation. Being a person who is involved in paranormal events, he was well-versed in the ways that ghosts often function. The reason why his house didn’t feel warm and welcoming was because the butler was impacting his emotions.

“Ask the maid to help you. Ask her if she will keep him away from you,” I suggested.

“You might also make an offering to the male butler, to appease him in a sense,” Ken said. “I see a decanter of liquor, possibly bourbon. Put it on a shelf in the dining room and tell him that it’s for him,” he said.

“And flowers for the maid,” I added, somehow knowing that she’d enjoy them.

Ken also gave the homeowner a stick of palo santos wood, which we often use in place of sage to “cleanse” the air to make the energy more positive and instructed him on how to use it. “Light it and then let it smolder in a small fire-proof bowl and then allow the smoke to fill the air in the rooms,” he told him. “When you finish, it will feel much lighter in here.”

After we said our goodbyes to the homeowner, we gathered by our cars and chatted about the evening. All in all, we felt good about what we did. We didn’t remove any energy or cross over any weary souls, but sometimes that’s the best thing to do. We simply went in, evaluated the situation and made a decision. I know that some mediums will disagree with what we did, but that’s to be expected. Everyone has differing opinions and we did what we felt was best for this case. If the activity picks up or becomes threatening in any way, we can always go back and do something different. Sometimes it’s better to just leave things as you found them.

 

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigation and the author of 15 paranormal books. She also teaches a popular online Paranormal 101 class.  For more information about Joni or her books or classes, click HERE .

 

 

 

Exploring Your Sixth Sense

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People often ask me how they can develop their sixth sense and it’s not an easy question to answer. Everyone’s abilities are unique. Not everyone feels it the same way.

When I was a child, I had frequent ear ringing. Instinctively, I knew I was hearing the sound of a ghost. When I would hear the random ringing, I would feel as though someone was standing beside me. It wasn’t something I could easily explain. I just knew.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I decided to embrace my abilities instead of run from them. After a lifetime of having paranormal experiences, I knew there wasn’t anywhere I could possibly run that they couldn’t follow me.

I started by researching all the possible types of mediumistic gifts. I learned about the “clairs.” There were clairvoyants – people who had clear seeing and would see mind images. Some people were claircognizant. They simply knew things they shouldn’t have had access to. Others were clairsentient and felt physical symptoms when a ghost was nearby. My gift was clairaudience. I had clear hearing.

I quickly learned that most people with my ability don’t hear ear ringing. They hear voices or music or sounds. At the time, I didn’t have a mentor to work with so I had to figure it all out on my own. Thankfully, a friend of mine was also embracing her sixth sense, so we helped each other through it.

Sandy is clairsentient. While some people with this ability feel nauseated when a ghost is nearby, others feel a tightening in their chest or feel the hairs on the back of their neck stand at attention. For Sandy, her ability also didn’t follow the norm. She felt a tingling on her head, as though her scalp was crawling.

Together, we worked on our abilities. If I heard a ringing, I asked her if she felt a tingling. Using each other for validation was a tremendous bonus. We were able to eliminate all sense of doubt when we both felt our sixth senses come to life at the same time.

Like all muscles, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Soon, we both began getting other signs that the dead were nearby. As soon as my ears would ring, if I honed in on it, I got a “mind picture” that popped into my head. Sandy soon began getting the same thing. Then, I simply began knowing information that I shouldn’t have known. Was it possible that my clairaudience led to clairvoyance and claircognizance as well?

In the years since I began working on my abilities, I’ve learned that this is something that happens to most sensitives. Once you master one ability, it’s as though you were given an upgrade. I can now read energy from photographs or from talking to someone on the phone. Information floods my mind in ways I couldn’t imagine.

If you feel that you have a six sense you’d like to develop, begin searching for others who are in the same boat. They aren’t actually hard to find. Just start talking about it to the people you know. People often hide their gifts because they’re afraid people will think they’re crazy. If you can’t find it there, look for mediums in your area who are willing to work with you. And most of all, read everything you can get your hands on. Knowledge is power in the paranormal world. You can never know too much.

I will be hosting an online class Tuesday, August 2nd about Exploring Your Sixth Senses. For more information, please check out my website Jonimayhan.com.