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 .

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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Hidden Sixth Senses You Should NOT Ignore

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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.

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Nine Shocking Places Where You Might Find a Ghost

shower ghost

Whether you like it or not, ghosts are practically everywhere. They don’t just haunt old mansions or lurk in the shadows at cemeteries. Often, they loiter at places that gave them the most comfort when they were alive.

  1. Restaurants – Restaurants are places where enjoyable memories are created, so it shouldn’t be surprising that a few regular guests still pay a visit to their favorite haunt in the afterlife. They are drawn to the influx of energy and the swells of laughter and delectable aromas of their favorite foods. Habits are hard to break, even after death. If a man always brought his wife to their favorite restaurant on Friday nights, he might still pop in to reminisce.
  1. Movie Theaters – Everything has energy, including ghosts. While they can no longer eat to refuel themselves, they still need energy to survive. Sometimes they pull this energy from our batteries or electrical devices, but other times they get it from us directly. What better place to get a recharge than at a suspenseful horror flick or action adventure movie where emotions run high? My local cinema has several resident ghosts and they always seem to find the movies where they’ll get the best pay off.
  1. Hospitals – Why anyone would remain at a hospital after he or she has died is beyond comprehension, but it happens. Perhaps after death, they get lost at the place where they took their last breath and don’t know where to go, or maybe they enjoy the steady stream of people coming in and out of the buildings. Either way, hospitals are often quite haunted. Ask any medium and you’ll get your confirmation.
  1. Nursing Homes – This falls under the same basic category as hospitals, but for other reasons. Nursing homes are often filled to the brim with lost souls. Some might be confused, preferring to remain in a place they are familiar with instead of facing a greater unknown. Others might be hanging around to help a friend or loved one pass over. Health care workers have supported this theory over the years after experiencing situations they can’t easily explain.
  1. Police Stations – If you were murdered and you wanted to tell someone who did it, where would you choose to haunt? You could spend your time chasing after your murderer, or you could hang around the police station, hoping an alert officer will detect your presence.

Watch the video below of a ghost caught on camera at an Espanola, New Mexico police station.

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  1. Churches – Many lost souls hang around our plane of existence because of guilt over a past deed. If they feel their sin is great enough, they might balk at crossing over into the light for fear of where it will bring them. By dwelling at a church, they might feel closer to God and hope to find redemption for their sins. Churches are also frequently used for funerals, especially in bygone eras, so it might be the last place they remember being, as well.
  1. Amusement Parks – What better place to spend your Hereafter than a theme park? Energy is plentiful, with hordes of happy people coming in and out of the park all summer long, and the fun is never ending. Another reason for the frequent hauntings is something you might not have considered. A recent article in The Ghost Diaries points to a creepier reason. Click the link to find out why and to watch a video of a ghost captured on camera at Disney World.
  1. Antique Stores – think long and hard about bringing home a turn-of-the-century hand tool or child’s toy. Objects with a strong emotional attachment in life, could have a connection in death, as well. Objects such as paintings, mirrors and jewelry were often passed down through families and could have a sentimental value to someone who has died. If you purchase one of these items and begin hearing bumps in the night, you should know why.
  2. Hotels – Road weary travelers are often if for a surprise when they check into their hotel room for the night. Something doesn’t seem quite right. They might get the feeling they are watched and wake up the next morning feeling tired and drained. Ghosts often hang around old hotels for an assortment of reasons. It might have once been a comforting place for them or it could have been the last place they visited while they were alive. Hotels won’t tell you this, but suicide victims are sometimes found in hotel rooms. A despondent soul might have checked into a hotel room so his body would be found by the hotel staff instead by his family. After dying, he might have panicked, fearful of going to Hell, like he learned in church, and inadvertently remained in our plane of existence.

You might not be aware of the ghosts lingering at these locations. In many cases, they would rather be left alone. Sensitives and mediums, such as myself, know better. We encounter them in many places people would never expect to be haunted.

The next time you’re eating at your favorite restaurant and feel a cold breeze on the back of your neck, you might blame it on the wind, but it might be something else altogether.

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

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Cleansing Spiritual Energy

BathingGhost

Since the recent popularity of my paranormal true story books, The Soul Collector and Bones in the Basement, I’ve been flooded with requests to check out people’s houses for ghosts. While I’m quite adept at determining if there is a ghost present, if you’ve read The Soul Collector you’ll already know that I can’t do much about the haunting.

Ghosts are often deeply embedded into a home. Some have been there for decades, if not centuries. It will take more than a sweep of sage and well wishes to move them out of their comfy digs. Others have an agenda they can’t abandon simply because their presence is inconvenient to the living. In my opinion, only a talented psychic medium can evict them against their wishes.

That doesn’t leave much for the rest of us to work with, but I do have a few suggestions.

1. Start by calming the energy. Purchase white sage from your local metaphysical store. It can be mixed with cedar or sweet-grass for good effect. You should know that sage isn’t a cure all. You can’t just walk from room to room burning it and expect it to remove all the ghosts. Think of it more like ghost Valium. It calms down the spiritual energy, making them more willing to abide by your wishes. As you burn it, walk from room to room, covering every inch of the space, from ceiling to floor. Say aloud, “I cleanse this room with positive energy. No negative energy may remain.” Start from the top of the house (if there are multiple floors) and work your way down, from back to front. Once you are finished, crush the sage out on the sidewalk.

2. Now the true counselling begins. Imagine yourself as a ghost therapist. Talk to the energy and tell them about the white light. It opens up when we die and we are supposed to cross through it to get to the other side. Some people call this place on the other side Heaven or the Kingdom. It is a wonderful place, filled with all their loved ones and relatives who have passed on before them. Tell them it’s okay to cross over.

3. It is helpful, but not necessary, if you know the history behind the haunting. Often, souls balk at crossing over into the light at the time of their death. They begin to wonder if they were good enough in life to earn passage, fearing they will take an elevator directly down to fire and brimstone instead. This isn’t the case. Everyone is allowed to cross over. While they might not like the ramifications of their misdeeds, they aren’t sent directly to Hell. Some misdeeds aren’t misdeeds at all. They are considered a human condition. Suicides are a good example of this. Many churches tell their parishioners that if they commit suicide, they are condemned to Hell. When the time comes to cross over into the white light, they freeze fearfully and miss their chance to cross. Tell them they are forgiven, that God loves them and welcomes them.

4. Urge them to find the light to cross over. They can call out to their ancestors to help pull them through or to look for someone else’s white light to pass through. Funeral homes and churches are good places for them to look. Most souls linger around to attend their own funeral, perhaps checking out the attendance, and won’t cross until the service ends.

5. Don’t investigate your own home. I’ve been called to several homes only to discover the homeowner is actually pleased with the haunting. It’s almost as though they are showing it off to me. If this is the case, please don’t call me. I see enough ghosts on a daily basis to last me a lifetime. I don’t need to meet yours too. If you continue to talk to them and try to get them to provide you with a great EVP or photograph to show your friends, they aren’t going to go anywhere. They might like the attention and decide to stay on for an extended period.

6. Change your life. Dark energy attracts dark energy. If your life is in shambles and you live each day dreading the next, you are likely to attract more than you bargained for. Negative entities love nothing more than feasting on your misery. Get out of your house and go for frequent walks. Open the blinds every day and let the sunlight in. Find good reasons to live your life and make changes so it becomes second nature.

7. Ignore the energy. People who know me, know that ghosts often follow me home. This is another reason why I’m not keen on doing house cleansings. All I have to do is walk into your house and walk back out again with an extra passenger in tow, despite all precautions. When I do get an unexpected house guest. I sage my house, do some therapy work with them about crossing over, and then I ignore them. Unless they pop up in my face, I don’t pay any attention to them. I pretend I don’t see the cats staring at the spot above my bed. I dismiss the rapping sounds on the walls I refuse to give it any energy, which ultimately feeds it and gives it more ability to continue. Usually, they grow bored with me and drift away.

8. If all else fails and you’ve tried steps one through eight with no results, find a good psychic medium to help you. Professional house cleansings aren’t always free because it requires a great deal of energy to remove the entities, but it is worth it in the end.

In conclusion, please understand that not all ghosts need to be removed. If they aren’t causing any harm and are simply former home-owners hanging around, tell them you know they are there and to stop scaring you. Sometimes this is all you need to do and life goes on as normal. Life with the paranormal isn’t always easy, but rest assured, it’s never boring.

Joni Mayhan

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as the author of 13 books. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. Click on any cover to learn more about her books.

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Dating the Paranormally Challenged – Part 2

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“Don’t tell me if I have a ghost in my house,” my date told me as we walked into his house.

We’d only been dating for several weeks, and I’d barely given him the Joni 101 presentation on my affinity for dead people, but it didn’t matter. He found out soon enough. My life is an open book, literally.

In 2011, I experienced a terrifying experience when a demonic attachment latched onto me and wouldn’t let go. After two years of struggling with the decision, I finally decided to share my story. When The Soul Collector came out, it was well received and continues to remain in the top ten in its genre on Amazon.com. It helped me make a name for myself in the paranormal literary world. I’ve sold several thousand copies of this book, have been on more than a dozen radio shows, am invited on many very cool paranormal investigations, and have made some wonderful friends. In writing that book, I’ve also helped countless others, but what started as a way to share my experience with sensitives like me who attract the unwelcomed attention of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, ended up as being my own little horror show.

Google my name. Go ahead. I dare you.

Several hundred links come up about me. Many are links to my books, but there are also links to my blog, my website, and best of all, all the radio shows I’ve been on. Listen to five minutes of any one of the shows, and you’ll hear me talk about how I hear ghosts as they swoop into a room. Do a Google image search of me and you’ll see dozens of photos of me, including the cover of The Soul Collector, where I’ve adorned my own face with a nice fat drip of bright red blood. Intrigued yet? Wanna go out with a woman who frequently has dead people floating above her bed at night?

I am a sensitive. It’s not something I asked for or something I even wanted. Somewhere, somehow, somebody decided that in addition to the normal five senses, I was given a sixth sense: the ability to detect and sometimes communicate with ghosts. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you’ll know that I don’t always seek out these lost souls. I can’t just stop ghost hunting. They find me at movie theaters, restaurants, and at the homes of my friends. They stalk me while I’m pushing a cart down the aisle at the supermarket, and they pounce into my car while I drive along the highway.

It wasn’t always that way. For a good portion of my life, I suppressed the ability, managing to keep myself off the ghostly radar, but once I began delving into paranormal investigations, the ability grew stronger. So…imagine bringing someone else into the mix. Imagine dating someone who doesn’t even believe in ghosts.

When I start dating a new guy, the cat is out of the bag once I tell them my last name. As soon as I go from Joni to Joni Mayhan, all they have to do is search for me on Google and they’ll know more than they bargained for. Most men would go running for the hills. Judging by my track record over the past several years, most already have. If I have any secrets left, they are sparse. Someone told me that I am quickly becoming the Taylor Swift of the writing world. After one book, detailing my failed relationship prior to my demonic attachment and a blog discussing a recent date, I can’t say I blame them. Sometimes it’s just hard to keep a lid on it. If some of you are honest, you’ll admit that you’re glad I didn’t. It makes for interesting reading, providing you aren’t the guy in Chapter 7.

It’s like an evil recipe. Dating in 2014 isn’t easy to begin with. Add in the fact that I just turned fifty and my odds of meeting my Prince Charming are even slimmer. Stir in a pinch of the paranormal – okay, a bucket full of the paranormal – along with a heaping spoonful of I-can-tell-if-you-have-ghosts-in-your-house and we have one motley batch of I’m-just-going-to-adopt-fifty-more-cats-and-be-done-with-dating.

Case in point was the last guy.

“Don’t tell me if I have a ghost in my house,” he told me as we walked into his house.

I tried to suppress the images that popped into my mind, but there was no denying the ringing in my ears, a sign that more than one ghost was present. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t push them away. They were gleeful to have someone recognize them, for better or for worst.

The first one I encountered was an older man. He was balding with glasses and was on the chunky side. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was picking up on about him. He seemed distracted, not completely tuned into the world around him. He was confused and kept turning away as if searching for something. Later, when I saw a photo of new-guy’s late father and heard the story surrounding his death, it wasn’t difficult to put two and two together. He died with a brain injury, which often accompanies the soul into death. The confusion and distraction were signs that he died without realizing it. He will need to be helped by a talented medium, someone who can gently guide him into the light and onto the other side. I don’t bill myself as a talented medium. I’m just a sensitive who is still growing into her abilities, but I can cross over lost souls. I’ve done it many times before. I feel bad because I could have helped this man, but new-guy ran for the hills after learning of my abilities. Go figure.

The other ghost I encountered wasn’t one I wanted to spend much time with. In fact, I’m thankful she didn’t attempt to follow me home. She was a woman in her fifties or sixties with a long face and jet-black hair. In some ways, she reminded me of the actress Anjelica Houston. When she realized I knew she was there, she turned with an evil gleam in her eye and stared me down. I didn’t get as clear of an impression on where she came from or why she was still there. She deliberately kept that information from me. I worry about what she will do going forward. She was very powerful and very angry.

Something about the upstairs also bothered me. Sometimes I feel inhuman spirits, like shadow people or demonic beings, differently than earth-bound ghosts. They linger in the shadows, hiding in places where people won’t immediately see them. It reminds me of the “monster in the closet” or “monster under the bed” from my childhood scenarios. Some beings are happy to remain hidden. They feed off the living, pulling energy from them to provide them with more ability. People who are affected often feel drained, even though they’ve had enough sleep. They wake frequently at night and can’t get back to sleep. They have horrific nightmares. If they begin to have personality changes on top of all of this, it could be a sign of possession, the very worse-case scenario.

So, if you were my new-guy, would you want to know all of this was happening in your home-sweet-home, or would you rather leave the monster to continue hiding under the bed? It’s actually a pretty easy answer, at least it is to me. Just because they haven’t alerted the living to their presence doesn’t mean they won’t. When things truly begin to go bump in the night, wouldn’t you want someone with answers close at hand? Taking this a further step, wouldn’t you want access to someone who knows paranormal specialists, demonologists, and experienced psychic mediums?

I would, but that’s just me.

So, as for my future in the dating world… The new-guy went AWOL and I’ve pulled my profile off the online dating site. I’m hoping to one day run into someone else of my kind, someone who will understand the struggles and embrace my obsession with the paranormal world. Stranger things have happened, especially in my world.

 

 

 

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as a free-lance writer. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. For more information about the author, please see her website: Jonimayhan.com

The Soul Collector – The true story of one paranormal investigator’s worst nightmare

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Angels of Ember trilogy – After a devastating virus nearly wipes the world clean of people, 16 year-old Ember Pain grows tired of running and hiding from the bad men who hunt her and her younger sister, Elizabeth. Fighting back becomes a necessity, even if it threatens her very life.

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm