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.

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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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Haunted New Harmony Evidence Review 9-23-17

 

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We had a record amount of people attend our September event. The group was a mixture of experienced paranormal investigators, family members, neighbors and people experiencing their first ghost hunt. It wouldn’t be a night anyone would forget anytime soon.

IMG_9154.JPGAmanda and I gave a presentation about the history and hauntings. Before we even finished, we experienced our first paranormal encounter. The entire group heard the distinct sound of footsteps on the floor above us. It sounded like more than one person walking. My two assistants for the night, Paula Bundy and Crystal Folz, ran upstairs to check it out. As can be expected from this haunted house, they didn’t find any explanation for the sounds.  We then split up into two groups. One group came with me to the Fauntleroy Home and the other group stayed at Community House #2 with Billy Miller from Southern Indiana Paranormal Investigations (SIPI).

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The Fauntleroy Home Investigation

I spent the duration of the night, leading both groups through this fabulously haunted building.

The first group to the Fauntleroy Home was led by Megan Patterson and assisted by Crystal Folz. Because the group was larger than normal, I split them up. I had four people go into another room with Crystal to see if they could get the pinwheel to move. As we were getting ready to divide up, someone noticed that the Mel Meter was showing signs of activity.

The Mel Meter is an electronic device that measures the Electromagnetic Energy in an area. It will pick up on electrical devices and can sometimes detect the presence of ghosts. Every time we’ve investigated the Fauntleroy Home, the Mel Meter has stayed firmly at zero, but now it was moving upwards. When it was brought to my attention, it was at 1.4 milligauss and swiftly climbed to 2.7. For the remainder of our session, it varied between 2.4 and 2.7. This was odd to me because we knew there was nothing electrical in the area that would normally set it off. Was it a ghost? And why now, all of a sudden?

As we settled in, I decided to do a quick EVP session to see what we could get. Someone asked Mary Emily what her favorite color was. The response was “Chancy,” which didn’t really make any sense.

We decided to do a Spirit Box session because I’ve always had good luck with it there. We began hearing what we thought were responses, but weren’t clear enough to make out.

Someone asked how many children she had. The response was “ten.” This was odd because Mary Emily never had children. Were we speaking with someone else?

When someone asked what they did for fun, the response was “dinner.” This would make sense if we were speaking to a Harmonist. They worked from sunup to sundown, so meals were their one of their few sources of enjoyment.

Someone asked what her favorite time of the year was and we received a clear response of “June.”

When asked if she played the piano, the response was “no.” This was something that was resonated with Meagan. While Mary Emily often played the harp, she didn’t think she played the piano, even though she had one that was passed down in her family.

I asked about the allegations regarding Mary Emily’s brother Homer. According to the stories, he was known to be a bit too fond of children, to the point where people knew to not leave their kids alone with him. A male’s voice responded, “it’s true.”

Several people in our group began feeling ill. One man reported feeling nauseated, while two others experienced strong headaches. One woman’s headache was so strong, she left shortly after we ended our session at the Fauntleroy Home.

After a while, we went upstairs, but the energy felt much different than it has before. It felt lighter. I turned on my Ovilus and we kept getting the words “shoes” and “strange.” It came through twice, but I couldn’t make any sense of it until one member of the group told us that he had on toe shoes, the kind that encapsulates each of his toes separately. It was enough to make us all laugh. The ghosts probably couldn’t understand the strange shoes the man had on.

As usual, the alarm was set off again. This has happened every time we’ve investigated there but never happens at any other time. We think that this is Mary Emily, telling us to leave.

The second group, led by Amanda Bryden, was a bit larger than the first. In Community House #2 it’s not an issue because the rooms are oversized and can accommodate a larger group. This isn’t the case in the Fauntleroy Home. I decided to do a Spirit Box session with everyone in attendance before I split them into two groups.

People began asking questions and we really didn’t get relevant responses. When someone asked if the ghost was male or female, the response was “heavy.” What did that mean? I wasn’t sure.

When someone asked Mary Emily, one of the known ghosts, if she decorated her home, the response was, “That was one.” That didn’t make any sense to me either.

I didn’t feel as though we were getting any responses that were worth pursuing further, so we divided into two groups. I brought 8 people upstairs and left 7 people downstairs with Amanda. I gave Amanda my Spirit Box and digital recorder.

I brought dowsing rods and my K2 meter upstairs. My group had fun experimenting with the dowsing rods and seemed to get some relevant responses from the resident ghosts.

Amanda’s group used the Spirit Box downstairs. Her group asked questions with few responses until someone asked if she had any children. “Yes,” came the response, which was actually an EVP. It didn’t come through the Spirit Box but was spoken close to the recorder. Additional follow-up questions regarding the names of her children went unanswered.

Someone else asked if they had social gatherings in the home. “I did,” was the response.

Perhaps the best EVP response of the night came when someone asked if they had a garden out back. “I grow lettuce,” was the response. The way it was phrased was interesting to me. He didn’t say, “I GREW lettuce,” he said, “I GROW lettuce.” Does this mean he still lives in his former reality? It was also interesting to me how relevant the response was. It wasn’t a random word or phrase like we sometimes get. It was an intelligent response to a question.

They switched from the Spirit Box to dowsing rods with varying degrees of success. When someone asked if someone was there with them, the rods responded with a “yes” response.

My group upstairs wasn’t having the same sort of responses. It felt as though the room had grown flat. A ghost would drift into the doorway and then walk away again. I tried playing nineteenth-century music on my phone for them and we used the dowsing rods with varying degrees of success.

Amanda and I switched groups and I brought the second group upstairs. I asked a few questions, trying to get the flashlight to respond. Nothing happened until I asked if they wanted us to leave. The flashlight on the mantle came on immediately.

I am always skeptical of using flashlights during investigations, so I always use a cold flashlight, one that hasn’t been used during the night. This way, I can eliminate false-positive responses from when a warmed up flashlight’s battery arcs, causing it to turn on randomly.

I then turned on the Spirit Box. I was explaining one of my EMF meters to the ghosts, telling them it wasn’t hot or cold and that it wouldn’t hurt them. I got a response of, “I hear you.”

Someone asked if she was the mean looking lady in the picture that I showed at the presentation. The response was appropriate for the question. “Demon,” the female voice said. Was she calling him a demon for asking the question in that manner? I think she was. The question was a bit on the aggressive side and I don’t blame her for her response.

I often like to test them to see if they can actually see me, so I held up three fingers. “How many fingers am I holding up?” I asked. “One, two, three,” was the answer.

I then asked if any of them remembered my name. A different voice came through and said, “Joni,” very faintly. It was a female voice that I hadn’t heard before. She sounded young.

I was curious about the alarm situation, so I asked who keeps turning on the alarm. One voice came through and said, “Martha,” and then another voice said, “I do.” I didn’t know at the time that at that exact moment, the alarm went off.

Someone asked if they were happy there. A male replied, “Yes.”

The same man who asked if she was the mean looking lady in the picture asked if she was a mean person. A female responded (different voice from before) and said, “The devil.”

I turned off the Spirit Box and said, “I can only handle so much of that.” As soon as I said it, the flashlight came on.

I played music for them. I played the song “Rock of Ages.” I asked if they liked that song and the flashlight came on.

My recorder cut out and completely stopped at that point.

Afterwards, I brought each group out to the Harmonist Cemetery to walk around. I always suggest that they turn their flashlights off and allow their eyes to adjust to the darkness. Since the cemetery is relatively flat and there aren’t any headstones to trip over, this provides them with a better chance of actually seeing something, if something paranormal were to happen.

My friend Duane, who drove down from Iowa for the event, had a strange encounter. As he was coming back to the gate, he saw someone walk past him as though he was walking further into the cemetery. When he got to the gate, he told me that we needed to wait for the othe person. After a quick head count, we realized that everyone was accounted for. Who was the extra person? Had Duane witnessed his first actual ghost sighting? We weren’t sure but it was enough to make us scratch our heads.

Community House #2

The Community House #2 Investigation

Billly Miller’s group started with an EVP session on the first floor. They received zero responses despite asking some very good questions about the history and lifestyles of the former inhabitants. Halfway through their session, they heard the distinct sound of the door opening. They got up and checked it out, but the door was locked and no one was anywhere near it. According to Amanda, the locks on the doors are older styled locks and make a distinctive sound when they are opened or closed.

For most of the night, they experienced another strange happening. The elevator kept moving from floor to floor. This isn’t something that happens frequently. Amanda got up and sent the elevator to another floor. It usually stays there, but this time it didn’t. It kept moving from floor to floor.

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(Above) Crystal Folz talking with several group members

Strange things have been happening with the elevator since it was installed years ago during the renovations. The lights inside the elevator burn out much more frequently than they should. Amanda has talked to the elevator technicians who come to inspect the elevator and they don’t understand why it’s happening. According to Amanda, they have to replace the bulbs monthly, if not sooner, which is odd for an elevator that isn’t in operation very frequently. When the elevator isn’t in use, the lights turn off, so there is no reason for the bulbs to burn out so quickly. One of our theories is that the ghosts in the building are using the energy from the lights to be able to become so active.

The group moved to the second floor and began talking with George Gerard, the man who supposedly killed himself in the mid-1800’s after expected money didn’t arrive. Amanda asked if George was waiting for money and we received an EVP that sounds like it says “Micah.”

They used the dowsing rods to ask questions on the second floor with some measure of success. Everyone had a chance to use the rods to see how they work. They received confirmation that George hung himself and which room he did it in.

As the session continued, they stopped getting responses from George and began getting answers from a child who went to school there.

During the session, two of the women were watching a paper flyer that was hanging on the wall move back and forth. They told Amanda about it but no one couldn’t find an explanation for the movement.

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(Above) Billy Miller with two of his SIPI teammates, Katie McGregor (left) and Natalie Doris-O’Daniel (right). This photo was unabashedly lifted from Katie’s Facebook page 🙂

During one of the sessions, Billy felt as though his muscle was being squeezed. Another person thought he saw a light move from left to right across the doorway. Billy also saw a shadow move. During the last EVP session, they were hearing small sounds in the corner of the room.

Amanda had to go downstairs to let someone back into the building. While she was walking with the digital recorder in her hand, it captured a strange EVP. It sounds like it’s saying, “He’s bad as a rule,” to me, but I’m curious what other people will hear.

During a session on the third floor, Meagan was asking if they knew the Golden family. The Golden’s were a famous acting troupe who performed at Thrall’s Opera House. The response she received didn’t make any sense. A male voice said, “I’m not ready to go, lady!” This response was not heard at the time it was recorded, making it a true EVP.

Everyone was a bit disappointed that the pinwheel didn’t spin on its own accord like it did for the last investigation, but the other experiences made up for it. They enjoyed getting full access to the historic buildings and the overall adventure of being a part of a paranormal investigation.

We have two more sold-out investigations for the season and are looking forward to seeing what the ghosts have planned for us. Although the night seemed fairly quiet on the surface, the ghosts hadn’t gone anywhere. They were chatting with us on our devices, becoming more comfortable sharing their secrets. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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(Above) Me with a ghost. Thank you Katie McGregor for thinking of this and not getting mad when I completely stole your idea and took my own ghost selfie :)Thank you to Amanda Bryden and Meagan Patterson for being such great hostesses and team members. Thanks also to group assistants, Crystal Folz and Paula Bundy for helping out. And of course, immense thanks to Billy Miller for leading the groups through Community House #2 and sharing your decades of paranormal investigation experience with everyone.

Thank you to Amanda Bryden and Meagan Patterson for being such great hostesses and team members. Thanks also to group assistants, Crystal Folz and Paula Bundy for helping out. And of course, immense thanks to Billy Miller for leading the groups through Community House #2 and sharing your decades of paranormal investigation experience with everyone.

And thank you to everyone who joined us! I’m so glad everyone had a good time and am looking forward to the next adventure!

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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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 .

 

 

 

Sneak Peak of Ruin of Souls

Ruin of Souls coverRuin of Souls back cover

Ruin of Souls will be released on December 5th on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, but I thought I’d give you a preview. Here is the first chapter.

Chapter 1

Something pinned Tracy Gudeman to the bed.

She couldn’t move, not even an inch, as invisible fingers ruffled through her hair, taunting her. All around her, the sounds of the night kept a maddeningly normal cadence. The crickets chirped outside her bedroom window and the clock in the living room ticked steadily. She could hear the sound of a car passing by on the street outside, the sound momentarily silencing the crickets.

What was happening?

After a few agonizing moments, the pressure eased and Tracy was able to move again. She pushed herself up to her elbows, listening intently to the sounds of the house.

Was it gone?

Nothing changed in the house. It was as though nothing had happened. She heard her daughter roll over in bed, which should have eased her mind, but it didn’t. She still got up to check.

She tucked a strand of long dark hair behind her ear and reached for her glasses on the nightstand. Petite in stature, she was no match for an intruder, but she wasn’t sure that would matter if her suspicions were correct.

As she pushed open the door to her daughter’s room, she was greeted by the sweet smell of the toddler’s bedroom. It smelled of baby powder, Playdough, clean laundry, mixed with an underlying tang of urine. Gracie was two and had moved into a big bed, leaving the crib in the corner vacant and ready for her new baby sister, who would be arriving in a few months. Potty training a two-year-old was often hit or miss, something she was dealing with on a daily basis. She checked her daughter’s sleep diaper, the one that prevented overnight accidents, and then planted a soft kiss on her daughter’s forehead, feeling a tug of emotions sweep through her.

Being a mother was one of the most rewarding things she’d ever done, but it was also one of the most exhausting. When she thought of having children, she didn’t realize she’d be doing most of the child-rearing herself. With her husband in the military and her family so far away, she was almost always left to her own devices.

She glanced around each room to make sure nobody had broken into the house before making her way back to her bedroom. Everything looked exactly the same as it did when she went to bed earlier. With a sigh, she climbed back into bed and pulled the covers up to her chin despite the warmth of the night, hoping she’d be able to finally get some sleep. She closed her eyes, wishing she could pretend it had just been a dream. Under normal circumstances, she would have brushed it off as a nightmare or just her imagination, but too many other things had happened to allow for that.

Tracy was thirty-seven when she moved into the house in Rutherglen, Virginia. Shortly after moving into the house, strange things began happening to her and her family. At first, she blamed it on the hassles of moving and the sadness of missing her family, but it wasn’t long before she realized it went beyond normal anxiety.

Tracy always knew there was something different about her. Ever since she was a small child, she could pick up on other people’s emotions, sometimes feeling the same sensations they felt. It often left her feeling drained and confused, but it wasn’t something she could talk about. People would think she was crazy.

Needing to supplement her family’s income, Tracy took a babysitting job for a family in town. The first day Tracy babysat for three-year-old Chloe, she knew something was wrong. The little girl refused to sleep or play in her bedroom, telling Tracy there was a shadow man in her room. Chloe drew chilling pictures of the man, showing an entity with a dark face and scary eyes.

“What’s the matter, honey?” Tracy asked, leading the girl into her bedroom.

The toddler pointed to her closet, holding tightly to Tracy’s hand.

Tracy sat on the child’s bed and something strange happened to her. Her chest tightened up and she couldn’t breathe. Her heart began racing with anxiety and she couldn’t move or speak. Pictures began popping in her head of a man. He was dressed in the uniform of a Confederate soldier. Tall with dark hair, he stared at Tracy in her mind’s eye, glaring at her menacingly. She managed to break the spell and launched herself out of the room. She and Chloe spent the rest of the day playing in another room.

What happened in that room?

The thought wouldn’t leave her. Were the girl’s stories true? Was there something hiding in the closet in that room?

When the little girl’s mother came home, Tracy filled her in on the day’s events. The woman was shocked. Tracy’s description was identical to what Chloe had already told her. Something triggered in Tracy’s mind as she made a connection. There was a small cemetery near the family’s house.

Could the two be linked?

She took a walk to the cemetery before heading home, feeling the bite of the January wind against her face. The landscape was bleached of color, leaving the landscape trapped in varying shades of brown. Above her, the sky churned with turbulent grey clouds. If the sun was up there, it was hiding in the darkness.

She felt a sense of uneasiness as she approached the cemetery. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but something felt wrong. It was almost as if eyes were watching her from somewhere in the distance. She turned and looked around, but saw nothing more than the quiet street behind her.

The cemetery appeared to be a family plot, the kind that people once put on their land. There were only a handful of graves and the plot was overgrown and forgotten. She found herself drawn to a specific grave. It was as though she was being pulled there by an invisible string. When she stopped in front of it, she gasped.

It was the grave of a Confederate soldier.

Could this be the same soldier who lurked in Chloe’s bedroom? She looked around, getting a distinct impression that someone was watching her. The feeling was so strong, she spun around in a slow circle, studying the landscape around her. Nobody was there, at least nobody she could see. Another shiver climbed her spine, but she shrugged it off and started back towards her car.

The experience wasn’t over yet, though. As soon as she got home, more strange things began happening. Items started disappearing in her house and then reappearing in strange locations. She initially blamed it on her daughter, but as the events continued, she had to reconsider. Sometimes the items were left in places where her daughter couldn’t possibly reach. When she started hearing footsteps and having horrific nightmares, she began to wonder if it was something paranormal.

The nightmares came on quickly. She saw images of a dark man, similar to the one Chloe described. The man presented himself to her in shadows. She couldn’t make out any details of his face but could feel the sense of anger that radiated from him. In her dreams, he approached her bed, looming over her with evil malice. The nightly advances swiftly turned to attacks of terror as invisible hands climbed up her body.

As the days progressed, she began losing track of time, finding herself zoning out for long moments. One afternoon, she found herself sitting in front of the mirror with no knowledge of walking there. When she checked her watch, she saw that nearly an hour had passed since she was last aware of her surroundings.

Things soon got worse. Tracy became despondent, never wanting to leave the house. Even her husband began noticing a difference in her. Being a career Marine, John wasn’t prone to flights of fancy, especially those broaching on paranormal topics, but he couldn’t explain what was happening to his wife.

He dug out an old family Bible and showed it to her, curious to see her reaction. She immediately retreated from him, a strangled growl coming from deep within her chest. Something was wrong, but he wasn’t sure what to do about it.

He knew that Tracy’s life hadn’t been easy. After being sexually abused by her own step-brother as a child, she had a difficult time trusting people. Before they met, she attempted to take her own life over a failed relationship. Allowing other people into her private thoughts wasn’t something that came to her easily, so he didn’t push her initially. He just kept an eye on the situation and kept the worry to himself.

They needed help. That much was clear. As the days passed and the issues became more urgent, he knew they needed to find someone to help them. He was losing her day by day. Sometimes he’d find her just sitting there, staring into space, while the rest of the world moved around her. He would touch her arm and she would look at him as though she’d never seen him before. This wasn’t like Tracy.

“Let’s see if we can find someone to help us,” he suggested, but she balked at the idea. Bringing other people in made it more real somehow. It turned it into something that might have happened into something people would whisper behind her back about. She really wanted to fit into her new community. What would the neighbors think if they saw a troop of paranormal investigators tromping into her house, armed with cameras and paranormal equipment?

John refused to let it go. They couldn’t continue to pretend it wasn’t happening. Every time they looked the other way, things got worse. Besides the attacks on Tracy, they also had a child to consider. If this entity was attacking Tracy, it might also come after their daughter and they couldn’t let that happen. After much discussion, they reached out to a local paranormal group, who promised to come to their house to help.

The group arrived several days later, accompanied by a minister. Tracy told them the story about the mirror and the missing time periods, as well as the experience of being pinned to the bed. The minister pulled out his Bible and said a prayer for her. When he asked her to recite it back to him, she couldn’t do it. She could feel the words tangling up in her mouth, but she couldn’t release them. She began getting hot flashes, feeling as though her skin was being seared off her body. She felt the strongest need to flee the room, as a sense of anger filled her soul.

The minister pulled a chair over in front of her. He was an older man with balding hair and kind eyes.

“Sit down here,” he told her.

She held his gaze for a long moment, wondering how something like this could be happening to her. She was born and raised in a small town. Ghosts weren’t something her family ever discussed, but here she was, just the same.

Reluctantly, she sat on the chair, tucking her feet beneath her.

As the minister pulled another book out of his bag, the energy in the room seemed to change. The air felt thick and unbreathable, as though it was weighted down with sand. She took a deep breath and tried to steady her nerves.

Hopefully, this would all be over soon.

The minister flipped the book to a specific page and began reading passages from it. She would later learn that he was doing a deliverance, which was the layman’s version of an exorcism. As he continued praying, he called on the entity that was inside her, demanding that it gave its name.

“Tell us your name!” he said in a stern voice.

Tracy stiffened in her chair.

“Tell us your name!” he said louder.

Tracy’s face began to change, the skin molding over features that were no longer hers. The energy in the room grew intense, transforming into something forceful and strong, like an invisible cyclone. She was swept into it, feeling her thoughts fade away to nothing.

A picture flew from the wall and crashed to the floor, followed by the howl of wind against the windows. The room became filled with sounds, as though every entity in the house was smashing against the walls.

Tracy suddenly stiffened in her chair.

“If they go, I go with them,” she said in a deep, grating voice that wasn’t her own.

Everyone in the room paused, casting fearful glances at one another over the top of her head.

John felt his stomach clench into knots.

What was going on?

The minister pulled a bottle of holy oil from his bag and attempted to anoint her, but she struggled away from him, sending her chair flying halfway across the room. They tried to hold her down, but it took all five of them to manage it, despite the fact that she only weighed a hundred pounds.

John could feel the adrenaline pumping through his body. Something wasn’t right and he knew it. The longer they held her, the more visibly upset she became. He worried that the stress was more than her body could take.

He released his hold on her and sat back on his heels.

“We need to stop,” he told the others.

They exchanged worried glances, all of them thinking similar thoughts.

If not this, then what? What would it take to make this all go away?

As the others released her, the energy in the room softened, like a storm that lost its power. They pulled themselves off the floor and subconsciously retreated away from her, feeling a sense of relief that would later turn to guilt.

The minister stood up, wiping the sweat from his brow. It was clear that this was much more than he was prepared to handle. The group hurriedly gathered their gear, shoving it into their silver cases with an urgency that was undeniable. John watched them rush out the door, feeling a sense of overwhelming helplessness overcome him.

“What now?” he called out to the minister who was halfway to his car.

The man turned to meet his eyes, the expression on his face a mixture of fear and relief.

“I don’t know,” he said simply.

John felt the first pangs of panic come over him. As a Marine, this wasn’t an emotion he was comfortable with. “Will you come back to finish this?” he asked.

“Yes, we’ll be in touch,” the minister said, pushing through the door.

He stood at the door, watching them pile into their vehicles as though they were retreating from a murder scene. He had a feeling this was the last time he’d see them, something that proved to be true.

As the days progressed, Tracy’s emotional well-being became more and more disruptive. Not only was she still losing track of time, finding herself with tremendous gaps in her memory, she was also watching her personality change. Through a mutual friend, they learned about a man named Michael Robishaw who lived nearby in Alexandria, Virginia. Maybe he could help.

Ruin of Souls is available on Amazon.com

 

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 13 paranormal books. To learn more about her, visit her website http://jonimayhan.com

Click on the cover to learn more about each book.

Dark and Scary Things- A Sensitive's Guide to the Paranormal World cover Bones in the Basement front cover 3 devils-toy-box-cover-small The_Soul_Collector_Cover_for_Kindle

 

Debunking Paranormal Evidence

My blood boiled as I saw the photo being passed around social media. It came with a caption, “My friends were taking pictures of their house that they just bought  – look what ghost appwas captured in the picture….” In the picture is the figure of a ghost. It’s so obviously a fake, I was surprised anyone would fall for it. When I clicked on the photo, I was flabbergasted at the plethora of comments, most of them congratulating the photographer for the capture.

As technology increases, so does the capacity to provide false information. As a paranormal investigator, I see it time and time again in photos. With the invention of “ghost apps” anyone with a cell phone can create a seemingly paranormal photo in minutes.

Beyond the obvious faked photos are the photos that aren’t altered, but probably aren’t paranormal either. Many people fall for these as well.

As humans, we are programmed to find faces. We see them in clouds and in reflections on windows. The truth is: some people want to find something in a photo. Every time I post a picture of the Haunted Victorian Mansion online, someone finds a face in the window. Chances are, it’s just a reflection. Clouds and bushes have a tendency to look like faces. Everything isn’t a ghost. In fact, most things aren’t paranormal. If you look hard enough, you’ll find the explanation.

Another huge topic regarding ghost photos is the subject of orbs. Are they true ghost pictures or just dust or moisture? This is quite a controversial topic that I plan to handle as gingerly as possible. People are either “orb believers” or they aren’t. There truly isn’t much grey area when it comes to people’s opinion about orbs.

My opinion is that the majority of the orb pictures you see are nothing more than dust or moisture that is catching the light from the flash and making it reflective. The bigger the orb, the closer it was to the camera when the photo was taken. If the orb is a different color, it’s reflecting something nearby that is the same shade. All you need to do to test this yourself is to walk across a room and then snap a picture with the flash on. You’ll see all the orbs you care to capture.

My first experience with orb photography came during a haunted walking tour in Nashville, Tennessee. The guide guaranteed that we would capture a ghost on film. It was even printed in the brochure.

I was intrigued by this, being a brand new investigator. I wasn’t sure how they could guarantee I’d get a paranormal picture, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt to see what happened.

They brought us to the street across from the haunted State House building. The guide waited until the light turned red and then instructed everybody to start snapping pictures. Even as a newbie, this was enough to make me roll my eyes. You could see the dust swirling in the air, kicked up from all the traffic. As it settled, people were getting hundreds of orbs in every picture. The guide congratulated them and they walked away thinking they actually captured something paranormal.

It does make sense that a ghost would take the most conservative shape, which would be an orb-shape. It’s aerodynamic and can move easily around the room. As someone who is sensitive to ghostly energy, I can tell you that ghosts don’t simply walk through the doorway and stand in a corner. They move around the room rapidly, something my cats track as they watch them zipping around. However, with that said, the only way I will believe that an orb photo might be a legitimate ghost is if the photo is taken without use of a flash or if it is captured on video maneuvering around in a manner that separates it from dust and moisture.

mosquito

I have dozens of photos that look ghostly. Case in point is the photograph above. I once investigated with a team who had a similar photo. They proudly displayed it on their website as proof of fairies. I nearly laughed when I saw it, because it is clearly a mosquito caught in the flash.

Don’t believe it because you want to believe it. Only believe it after you’ve ruled out everything else it could be.

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The photo shown above was taken in at the Haunted Victorian Mansion, the subject of my 2014 book Bones in the Basement – Surviving the S.K. Pierce Haunted Victorian Mansion. It was snapped by an investigator from Conscious Spirit Paranormal. I know these ladies personally and know they wouldn’t fudge a photo, which gives it more validity in my eyes.

The photo supposedly shows a portal in the Copper Room. I’ve been in this room many times. In fact, I’ve slept there several times. I can assure you, there’s nothing physical at the foot of the bed that would cause a photo to look like that.

My first thought about the photo was that it was a camera strap hanging down into the photo. Below is a photo of a camera strap in a photo. You can see the ridges of the straps. The images, while not exactly the same, are similar. The only real difference is the fact that the Victorian photo’s vortex image ends before the top of the photo. If it were a camera strap, it would continue through the top of the photo. Just always bear in mind that photos can be misleading. Always take a series of three photos when you’re in a haunted location. That way you can rule out a reasonable explanation.

camera strap

I think most of us want to find something paranormal in our photos from investigations. After all, that’s the primary reason why we’re taking them, besides to document the investigation. In the photo below, a fellow investigator, Pam Howell, took this photo of us standing near my car during a break. There appears to be a strange mist above us. I was quite excited when I saw it, until I realized that I was holding my E-cigarette in the picture. Many argued that an E-cigarette couldn’t produce enough smoke to create that mist, but I still had to throw it out as possible evidence. If there is a possible explanation, then it can’t be used.

Pam's picture of me

Paranormal audio captures, also known as EVPs also have room for debunking, as well. Modern digital recorders are very sensitive. Even the smallest of noises will be recorded and could be misconstrued as a ghostly response.

When I conduct an EVP session, I employ the utmost care. I keep the group small (under 5 people, if possible) and everyone remains seated. I can be quite a dictator during these sessions, but it’s important to monitor the session as closely as possible. No one is allowed to drink beverages, chew gum, snap photos or, God forbid, whisper during one my sessions. If someone’s stomach inadvertently growls or a car drives past, one of us always says aloud “stomach” or “car” so we’ll know later when we review the audio. If you aren’t careful during a session, you might come across something that seems to be paranormal but isn’t. Below is a good example of someone whispering during a session.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/kitchenette-example-of-whispering

When you listen to it, you’ll hear the faint sound of a voice speaking over mine. What you won’t hear is me saying “whispering” afterwards, while giving the investigator a hard look.

I have a rule that I always follow: when in doubt, throw it out.

I believe that we owe it to the field to only submit the most valid evidence possible. This means keeping the EVPs that might or might not be another investigator burping, and the photos of smudged mirrors to ourselves. We don’t grasp for straws, we just keep trying until we find something worth sharing. I truly wish all investigators followed this rule as well.

For more information about EVPs, please check out my new book Ghost Voices, available on Amazon.com for Kindle or paperback.

Ghost Voices cover

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 13 books. Click on any of the covers to learn more about each book.

Dark and Scary Things- A Sensitive's Guide to the Paranormal World cover Devil'sToy Box  bones-in-the-basement-cover-small  The_Soul_Collector_Cover_for_Kindle

Hidden Sixth Senses You Should NOT Ignore

Sixth Sense Image

Many people possess metaphysical abilities but aren’t aware of them. They chalk them up to a strong sense of intuition or lucky guesses, when in fact, they  are truly gifted. Some of these abilities come to us for a reason, helping us interpret messages we need to hear.

  • Have you ever heard the phone ring and knew instantly who was calling?
  • Do you ever have dreams that come true?
  • Do some people give you strange vibes?
  • Do you know when someone is ill?
  • Does the hair on your arms ever stand up for no apparent reason?
  • Do you know when someone is lying to you?

Below are a few of the common mediumistic and psychic abilities along with their lesser known indicators.

Clairaudience – Some people hear the sound that ghosts make. It doesn’t necessarily involve hearing disembodied voices. Sometimes it could be as innocuous as having your ears ring. Ghosts are tuned into a different frequency than we are, but some gifted people are able to hear their tones. If you think you might be hearing a ghost, try turning your head to see if the sound is localized to a certain spot in the room. If it is, you might be hearing a ghost.

Another lesser known gift of some clairaudients is the ability to detect high electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) being emitted from electrical devices. For some, the sensation is similar to pushing through a wall of heavy energy. High EMF fields could point to an electrical hazard. When devices push out high levels of EMF, it could be due to faulty wiring, creating what paranormal investigators call a “fear cage.” Symptoms of high EMF fields could be frequent headaches, the feeling of being watched or actual hallucinations. If you feel this, inspect it closer with an EMF detector. You could save a house from burning down.

Clairsentience – That tightening you get in your chest or the goose bumps that raise on your arms could be a sign that a ghost is nearby. People with this ability often feel a physical sensation when something paranormal is in the room with them. When you hold certain items, do you instinctively know who it once belonged to?

Clairsentients can often tap into an ability called Psychometry, which is the ability to pull information from items. This is an important ability if you frequently purchase antiques. Well-loved items, such as tools and toys, could contain a spiritual attachment. Unless you want a ghost in your house, you’ll want to insure the item you’re bringing home doesn’t have anything paranormal attached to it. If you suspect you have this ability, find an experienced psychic medium to work with. Validating your sensations is important for better understanding your abilities.

Empathy – Empaths often find themselves tuning into other people’s feelings. They are also excellent lie detectors. Don’t attempt to lie to an empath and plan to get away with it. Empaths are easily overwhelmed by large groups of people and need to spend ample time alone. They are good listeners, but have a tendency to feel emotion deeper than most people. Empaths also have an uncanny ability to know when other people are sick or emotionally off. Using this gift could easily save a life, if trusted and used.

To survive as an empath, you must learn the basics of grounding and shielding your energy. Empathy is actually a type of clairsentience. If you feel you have empathic abilities, try your hand at Psychometry, as well.

Clairvoyance – If the phone rings and you see a picture the person on the other end of the line in your head before you answer it, you might have the ability of “clear sight.” Other aspects of this gift could include having dreams turn into reality days later, or seeing the image of a ghost in your mind. You could be tapping into the thoughts of other people or even find yourself communicating with the spirit world.

People with this ability often have prophetic dreams. Often the information comes without a timeline or location, but paying attention to these signs could prevent someone from going through a horrific situation. If you get these types of dreams, look for identifying cues, such as calendars, clocks or street signs to help you narrow down when and where it will happen.

Claircognizance – People with this ability simply know information they shouldn’t know. Like a clairvoyant, they might know who’s calling them without looking at the phone, but the information will come to them differently. They’ll just “know.” If you’ve lost your favorite ring, they often point you in the right direction. Do you ever get strong hunches about accepting a new job or knowing which route will be the fastest? You might be tapping into the thoughts of your Spirit Guide or your Higher Self to get this information.

People with this ability often predict danger ahead of time. They might get strong feelings that something is about to go wrong. Find validation when you can, if you have this ability, or at least dig deeper into the premonitions you’re getting. Listening to your gut instincts could save you from a dangerous situation.

Clairalience – With this ability, you will be able to smell things others can’t smell. Whether it’s the scent of your deceased aunt’s perfume or the sharp tang of fear emanating from another human being, some people have unusually well-developed senses of smell. Most people with this ability, don’t realize they’re doing it. They may even be detecting other people’s pheromones.

People with serious illnesses often smell different from well people. While most people can’t detect this, someone with a finely tuned clairalience ability might pick up on it and be able to alert the person to a potentially dangerous health situation.

Many people have gifts they don’t understand. Unless they’ve compared their experiences with other people, they often just assume that everybody feels this way. Understanding your abilities is the first step to developing them. Research as much as you can and search for someone to help you work with what you have. Trusting in your abilities comes with time and validation, but it could make a tremendous impact in your life and is worth pursuing, especially if it saves a life.

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, author, and the teacher of a popular Paranormal 101 class. For more information about her, check out her website Jonimayhan.com

Click the book covers below to learn more about Joni’s paranormal books, available on Amazon.com.

Dark and Scary Things- A Sensitive's Guide to the Paranormal World cover Devil'sToy Box  bones-in-the-basement-cover-small  The_Soul_Collector_Cover_for_Kindle