Are Spirit Boards Dangerous?

IMG_1486Judy wasn’t happy when her friend brought a Ouija Board to her slumber party, but she didn’t want to be a spoiled sport. All the other girls were excited, gathering around the board, waiting for their turn to talk to the dead. At first, they began getting interesting responses to their questions, but after a while, the responses turned darker. Instead of telling them the names of their next boyfriends, it began answering all the questions with terrifying words like:  kill, murder, and maim. Judy insisted they put the board away, but the event was far from over. Days later, Judy began hearing footsteps in the empty house and loud thumps on the walls. Had they conjured an evil entity through the board?

Is it a board game or a divining tool for the devil?

As I set out to write this blog, I quickly learned that there are few grey areas when it comes to people’s opinions on Ouija Boards. They either love them or they hate them. Messages began pouring in the minute I posted a question on Facebook about them.

So, what’s the fuss all about?

I probably don’t need to describe an Ouija Board to anyone. We’ve all seen them in horror flicks and paranormal reality shows. For those who have been living under a rock for the past hundred years or so, a spirit board is a game board that is marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers zero through nine, the words “yes” and “no”, and typically the words “hello” and “goodbye”. Users rest their fingers on a triangle or heart-shaped game piece, often called a planchette, while an unseen entity supposedly moves the indicator to spell out a message. Many people consider spirit boards to be a form of automatic writing, a practice that allows ghosts to convey messages by spelling out words on paper. They gained popularity in the late 1800’s as the boards became easily obtainable and can be currently be found in most department stores or online shopping sites, sitting side-by-side with family favorites like Candyland and Monopoly.

For many people, the question is simple. Why would an Ouija Board be any different than any other form of paranormal equipment? The answer is a bit more complex.

When we conduct  paranormal investigations, we use many different pieces of equipment to elicit responses from the spirit world. Tools of the trade vary. A popular device is the Ovilus, an electronic device that is pre-programmed with several thousand words the spirit world can utilize to sound out messages. Others use Spirit Boxes, which use a modified radio that scans quickly through the stations to capture spirit voices. K2, EMF meters, flashlights, and digital audio recorders are also frequently used as communication devices. The one thing that separates these devices from a spirit board is the conduit. While the other equipment allows the entities to communicate through the device itself, a spirit board requires a host to convey the messages. For me, that makes all the difference.

In my book Ghostly Defenses: A Sensitive’s Guide for Protection, I don’t recommend investigators to invite a ghost to touch them or use their energy. Personal contact can lead to a multitude of unexpected complications including a paranormal hangover, where an investigator is drained of energy, as well as spirit attachment, where the entity actually follows you home from the investigation. Maintaining a safe distance is often essential in keeping yourself protected. It only takes one wrong move to turn your life into a living hell. I say this from personal experience. I wrote the book The Soul Collector after I ran into a very nasty negative entity that brought me to the brink of disaster.

With that said, it won’t surprise anyone that I have mixed feelings about spirit boards, especially when they are used by inexperienced people. In some cases, it could be the equivalent of handing a loaded gun to a person who has never seen a gun before. The results could be fairly predictable.

A friend who wishes to remain anonymous shared the following story with me. They lived in a haunted house and frequently used an Ouija Board to communicate with the resident ghosts, but the sessions eventually grew precarious. While the house had always been active, it intensified greatly after they began using the board. The ghost began to focus on the twenty-year-old daughter. It knew things about her personal life that she hadn’t shared with her family and began spelling them out with glee. The activity soon grew physical as the entity began taking control of her body. Something began moving her arms, making them tremble and point in a specific direction. At times, her arms would twitch and shake beyond control, something her father could feel by touching her. The family quickly stopped using the spirit board. While the activity in the house continued, the entity ceased the physical attacks.

Others have different takes on the boards.

Frank had also had a life altering experience using a Ouija Board. While his sister and her friends used the board at a slumber party in the family’s basement, he sat at the edge of the room, watching them. He had a crush on one of his sister’s friends, but at fifteen-years-old, he was too shy to do anything about it. One of the girls asked the board if it had something it wanted to tell them. It promptly spelled out “Frankie loves Bonnie.” Frank was mortified and ran upstairs in embarrassment, but the message served its purpose. Frank and Bonnie are now married with two children, having been together for twenty-one years.

Is this really possible? Can a piece of cardboard and a game piece really conjure up the dead?

Many skeptics believe that the spirit board responses are due to ideomotor responses, where users are unknowingly moving the planchette. In his book Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, neurology professor, Terence Hines, states the following:

“The planchette is guided by unconscious muscular exertions like those responsible for table movement. Nonetheless, in both cases, the illusion that the object (table or planchette) is moving under its own control is often extremely powerful and sufficient to convince many people that spirits are truly at work… The unconscious muscle movements responsible for the moving tables and Ouija board phenomena seen at séances are examples of a class of phenomena due to what psychologists call a dissociative state. A dissociative state is one in which consciousness is somehow divided or cut off from some aspects of the individual’s normal cognitive, motor, or sensory functions.”

Heidi’s story conflicts with this theory. While in junior high school, she used one with a friend. Nothing happened in the beginning, but soon the experience changed. An entity came through, telling them he was the father of a classmate who had died. They began asking him questions to validate the response, and he provided them with accurate information. They asked him the name of his boat, and he answered with the name “Princess.” Heidi’s friend thought the information was incorrect. She remembered the name to be “Canasta.” They ceased communication at that point, afraid that another entity was pretending to be the friend’s dead father. Later that summer, when Heidi went to the camp where the boat was docked, she happened to see his boat and was shocked at what she saw. The name on the back of the boat was “Princess,” like the spirit board told them.

The stories go on and on. I was shocked at how many people contacted me.

Psychic medium, Memie Watson contacted me after reading my post on Facebook, providing me with the following information.

“As a child my mother worked at Parker Brothers in Salem, Massachusetts, where they made Ouija boards. They are not the traditional ones from the Egyptian times. We got one as a gift and played with it all the time. We called in spirits and asked them questions. As children, we are more susceptible to having an open mind to spirits.

We never have had anything bad happen to us at all. To this day, I still have the original one my mother gave us hanging up on the kitchen wall.

Spirit boards and Ouija boards are the same as Table Tipping as they all put you in direct communication with spirits; they are a form of divination as well as the pendulum and dowsing rods etc. Also, psychic mediums contact the spirit, so we must also be protected and cleansed. We always cleanse and consecrate any magickal tool, including ourselves, prior to spirit contact. Upon finishing, we cleanse ourselves as well, as we don’t want Sprits hanging around.

Yes, these tools are part of the Occult. While the word has a bad connotation to some, it really only means the unknown or something hidden.

They do work and will not bring any ill harm to you unless you believe that they will.

What I recommend to others starting out is to respect the board and the spirits and no harm shall come. Never mock them and laugh at them. They are not tools of the devil, as in our belief system there is no such thing as the devil, as it is purely a Christian belief.

So any form of communication with the other world is knowledge into the occult, the spirit realm,” she told me.

Others have much stronger opinions of Ouija Boards, suggesting they created portals for darker entities to utilize.

Tara from Tara Haunted Tours in Savannah, Georgia, recommends caution when dealing with the boards. While she has witnessed professionals utilizing the board without issue, she’s seen far more people get into trouble with them. She believes that when inexperienced people use Ouija Boards, hoping to sense a ghost or conjure their departed loved ones, other darker entities can come through instead, pretending to be the loved one. “They go in, extremely unprotected, thinking they are talking to dead ‘grandma’. Evil poses in many forms. Leave the board alone!” she recommends.

My friend, Michael Cram, shares a similar belief. Michael’s history in the paranormal started in childhood. His mother was an Irish witch, someone who often helped others with their problems. A talented medium himself, Michael spent over thirty years in the field investigating claims of hauntings. He also works with the Catholic Church, helping them investigate reports of demonic activity prior to exorcisms.

After the owners of the Haunted Victorian Mansion found a handmade Ouija Board in their house following a paranormal investigation, the activity in the house became far more prevalent. They asked Michael to come in for a house cleansing and he quickly identified the entity as something that was brought into the house.

“You don’t want to mess with those,” he told Edwin, pointing towards the Ouija Board. “If the wrong person is using it, they could open up more portals, and invite things that you don’t want here. It’s like leaving your front door wide open and allowing anyone to come in.”

He went on to tell Edwin that the types of entities who communicate through Ouija boards were from a lower astral plane, the type you don’t want to welcome into your home. Once you ask for a physical confirmation, such as a knock on the wall or a flicker of a candle, you are essentially opening a portal, allowing them in. Once they come through, they don’t always leave. Michael completed his cleansing, but the entity would prove difficult to remove.

Personally, I’ve avoided Ouija Boards, fearing I would create a situation I couldn’t control afterwards. Being a sensitive, I already contend with ghosts following me home from investigations and haunted establishments. The last thing I needed was to create a doorway inside my own house for them to come and go as they wished. I decided that a call to Barbara Williams was in order.

Barbara Williams is a very talented psychic medium from Casco, Maine. After meeting her at an investigation at Parsonsfield Seminary, another very haunted location, I began reaching out to her to learn more about the paranormal world. She’s since become my mentor, my go-to person for paranormal questions.

She feels that a spirit board is a tool, no different from a camera, a pendulum, or an Ovilus. An experienced user will know how to properly open and close a session, like they would do for any paranormal investigation, but since Ouija Boards are sold as toys, they often end up in the wrong hands.

“Most people’s first experiences with spirit boards come when they are adolescents. As you know, adolescents are usually very volatile emotionally. They have very strong kinetic energy and are most likely to create poltergeist activity,” she said. She went on to explaining the importance of conducting the session correctly.

She feels that safeguards must be put into place. The spirit board must first be cleansed of any lingering energy. If someone else has used it, it could still hold that energy, good or bad. While Barbara doesn’t use spirit boards, she feels that opening and closing a session is vitally important. She recommends beginning every paranormal investigation with a prayer and a blessing, asking for protection from the guides and guardians who protect the users. They should always make the intent very clear, instructing only spirits from the light to come through and preventing dark energy from emerging.

Closing the session is just as important as beginning one. After the session ends, whether it is for an EVP session or a spirit board session, the connection must be closed. “Otherwise, it’s like living in the woods in a cabin. If you walk away and leave the door open, you’re going to end up with a lot of bugs,” she said. “If you open a vortex, you must close it as well,” she added.

As for the girl named Judy in the beginning of the article — her name was really Joni.

My advice to you about spirit boards is to be cautious. Will I use one in the future? It’s highly doubtful, but I am curious by nature. If the right situation presented itself, under the best possible circumstances, I might be tempted.

Certainly, it is far more than a board game, but is it a divining tool of the devil? I’ll let you make that decision.

 

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

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Ghostly Defenses: A Sensitive’s Guide for Protection

Being a sensitive isn’t always easy. While we can sense that ghosts and spirits are present, we aren’t always prepared to handle them. This guide is a starting point for sensitives, giving them direction on how to harness their abilities, while staying protected from negative energy.

This guide discusses the various methods for protection from dark energy, including prayers, medallions, and gemstones, as well as step-by-step directions for protection before, during and after paranormal investigations.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Defenses-Joni-Mayhan-ebook/dp/B00IYOB40E/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399115123&sr=1-2

trilogy photoAngels 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 existence.

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

Ghosts at the Opera House

DSCN3311It didn’t surprise me that the Sterling Opera House in Derby, Connecticut, was haunted. Since opening in 1889, the massive Italianate Victorian theater has hosted many famous guests, including Lionel Barrymore, Harry Houdini, Red Skelton, and Amelia Earhart. It has also functioned as a town hall, with a police substation, complete with six jail cells.

When I was invited to investigate at the opera house with Creepy Places of New England and Rise-up Paranormal, I jumped at the chance. I had the opportunity to tour the building last year when NE POST conducted a paranormal investigation, but I wasn’t able to stay for the investigation due to scheduling conflicts. Getting a second chance seemed like destiny. It was a night I won’t soon forget.DSCN3312

According to Rich DiCarlo, the Chairman of the Derby Cultural Commission, the title “opera house” was a generic term for a theater. “This was a vaudeville and burlesque house more than an opera house. You saw jokes and dancing girls here,” he said during our tour of the building. The theater closed in 1945 and became the town hall until the mid-1960’s. During that time period, there were three confirmed deaths, two heart attacks and a suicide in the jail cell, after a man consumed rat poison, but oddly enough, none of those souls haunt the building.

We started the evening with a full tour of the building. Although the outside of the building was renovated, the interior remains the same as it did when it closed in 1945. The theater seating is still in place, covered in decades of dust. When you stand on the massive stage and look out at the audience seating, compete with two tiers, you feel as though you traveled back in time. Typical of the era, the best seats were on the bottom floor, most of which have been removed. The second tier offered slightly lesser seats, while the third tier seats were only six inches wide. Servants sat at the back of the third tier on folding chairs.

10169174_10203966044250874_8357065243800065571_nThe Lady in White is frequently seen on the second tier balcony, sitting to the right of the second column. No one knows who she was. Although she’s periodically seen, she refuses to provide any clues to her identity. Was she a fan of the theater? Or was she a lovelorn patron, drawn to the building to watch the man she loved perform? No one knows for certain.

Another entity known to haunt the building is the Lady in Green. We know that she was a woman from Brooklyn named Heddy and was in charge of the female troop of dancers. Although she didn’t die in the building, she must have returned after her death, preferring it to a peaceful afterlife somewhere else. According to Rich, she often follows investigators down to the jail cells, warning them to be careful.10292463_10203966044930891_3949798804174449676_n

Andy is another entity who haunts the building. No one knows his story, since there isn’t a documented child’s death in the building or surrounding area, but he has made his presence known to many investigators. He often responds on EVPs, singing and talking. He also enjoys rolling a ball on the stage.

A mysterious stagehand is also seen in the building. No one has recorded his voice on audio, but he’s been witnessed on occasion, wearing an ill-fitting brown suit. As the room grew darker, I snapped a photo of the stage area. After lightening it, one of my eagle-eyed friends commented on the mysterious man in the photo. While there is a real live investigator in the photo, there does appear to be another person there who wasn’t part of the investigation. It’s possible it’s just pareidolia, the human knack for finding faces in random objects, but I’m not ruling it out without further on-site analysis.stage manager

Our group consisted of members from Creepy Places of New England, who also maintain a video blog. Founders, Steven Moreau and Charles Reis, were joined by fellow teammates, Heidi Neuschuez and Cynthia Mattison. Joining us from RiseUp Paranormal was Tara Melendez.

We conducted our first EVP session as a group on the stage. Halfway through the session, I began hearing a tone. Being clairaudient, I hear a sound similar to ear ringing when a ghost is nearby. I followed the sound to the wings of the stage, where I sat down for a moment. The ringing grew louder, as if something was coming closer to me. I just happened to look up in time to see a white mist drift over my head. I was stunned. I’m not the sort of person who often sees ghosts during investigations. In fact, this was only my second time out of more than 200 investigations to see something. I didn’t have time to photograph it before it was gone, but it left a lasting impression.

I moved back to where the group sat. Heidi pulled out her dousing rods, something I’ve always found intriguing. As she asked questions, she began getting very distinct responses. We learned that the Lady in Green was with us, as well as Andy the boy. After a few minutes, we decided to use my SB-7 Spirit Box to see if we could capture any verbal responses.

The Spirit Box scans quickly through the radio stations, allowing the ghosts to use the white noise to generate speech. I don’t post them unless they scan through several channels and are appropriate responses, ruling out stray radio voices. This one scanned through at least four channels. You can click on the links below to hear the recorded responses.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/arent-people-different

When we asked for their names, this fellow quickly responded:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/im-michael

Here’s another interesting one:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/is-that-the-captain

The next one was compelling because the old police station once used the end of the stage as a shooting range. There are bullet holes on the wall. Shortly after we captured this, we heard a siren go past the building, making it even more appropriate.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/it-was-a-policeman

The last Spirit Box response I’ll share was fairly appropriate, considering where we were. A female voice asked if it was the sixth major. I looked it up online and learned that the sixth major refers to a musical interval. Here’s a link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_sixth

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/was-it-sixth-major

We then ventured down a flight of stairs to the area under the stage. The area is divided into two sections: the dressing areas for performers and the old town hall offices. We were drawn to two distinct rooms: the Junkie’s Room and the Casting Office.DSCN3315

The first room we investigated was referred to as the Junkie’s Room by fellow investigators. While the building sat abandoned, derelicts often broke in and used the rooms as shooting galleries. Tara Melendez has investigated at the opera house dozens of times and said that a man was found there passed out from a drug overdose. She felt that he was a twenty-seven year-old male, telling us that her group often gets “crazy responses” in there. The room had a decided heavy feeling.

As we stood there, asking questions, we became aware of a tapping sound. It seemed to correspond with our questions. “Is that you tapping?” one of the investigators asked, and was rewarded with another tap. I asked if he could tap once for “yes” and twice for “no,” and received two taps in response. We decided to continue anyway. I also captured an EVP, which I didn’t realize until later when I reviewed my audio recording.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/knock-for-usno

The room suddenly seemed to grow even darker as the responses grew clearer. I’ve never experienced tapping responses as clear as these. To hear the two sessions, click the links below:

Part 1: https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/knocking-responses

Part 2: https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/knocking-part-2

We then headed to the Casting Office. Our first few questions revolved around what happened on the casting couch. We weren’t really expecting an answer. After the heaviness of the Junkie’s Room, we needed to lighten the moment. Apparently, the ghost in residence found our humor amusing. He said “woo” in the middle of a question, something we all heard at the time, making it a disembodied voice.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/woo

I left shortly afterwards for my two hour drive back home, but the experience will remain with me for a long time. If you’re looking for ghosts, the Sterling Opera House is the place to go. The building is full of them and they are eager to communicate.

 

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

The Haunting of Slater Mill

Image

I love investigating historic locations, especially places that nearly vibrate with residual energy. The buildings at the Slater Mill campus in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, fall soundly in this category. The minute I stepped onto the five-acre property, I could feel the layers of history piled upon one another.

Built in 1793, Slater Mill was the brainchild of Englishman, Samuel Slater. At the age of 25, he immigrated to America and recreated the Arkwright system, which used a water-powered mill to spin cotton yarn, turning Slater Mill into the country’s first textile mill. President Andrew Jackson deemed him “The Father of American Industry.” The English call him Slater the Traitor for bringing their English ingenuity to America.

The evening’s events included a tour and ghost hunt of the three buildings on the property, led by Carl Johnson, with assistance from his brother Keith. Most people recognize the brothers from their years on the hit paranormal series Ghost Hunters. Others know them from their vast contribution to the paranormal field. While their presentation of the property’s history and hauntings was educational, their personable delivery made it even more intriguing.

10155900_10203924977064220_8327710243247541266_nSlater Mill

The Slater Mill building stands two stories tall, casting an ominous shadow on the raging Blackstone River behind it. Painted a sunny yellow, the architecture speaks volumes of colonial times, when purpose was more monumental than appearance, especially for a mill that was first of its kind in our country.

Stepping inside the building is like time traveling to another era. Thanks to the efforts of the Old Slater Mill Associate, which purchased, restored, and preserved the building back in 1921, the mill looks like it did in the 1800’s. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to visualize the machinery roaring to life and the room filling with workers bustling around the various machinery.

We started our tour in this building. Being a sensitive, I immediately detected several ghosts in the building. I felt them lingering at the edges of the room, casually watching us. It almost reminded me of going to the zoo, but in this instance, we were the captive occupants being observed, instead of the other way around. It made for an interesting experience.

As the group paused near the middle of the building, Carl plugged in a plasma ball, which produces a lightning-like current of electricity inside a plastic globe, to increase the energy in the room. He also turned on a black light, explaining that ghosts are often more visible in ultra-violet lighting. He then told us about the children who haunt the building.

Attitudes regarding child labor were far different in the1800’s than they are today. Children were expected to work, whether it was on the family farm or in a factory environment. When Slater Mill first opened, the primary employees compris10246772_10203925068306501_8809772713773532553_ned of entire families, including children as young as seven. They worked long hours, typically from dawn until dusk, for as little as a dollar a week in a hostile environment that was freezing during the winter and sweltering during the summer. While the machines were simple to use, accidents still happened and children were frequently injured, if not killed. The photo to the right was taken at Slater Mills during its heyday.

During our tour, one of the women asked if the little boy was still there. Apparently, she took a tour years ago and saw a small boy run across the second floor. He appeared as real as a live boy. She didn’t think much of it until she realized there weren’t any children on the tour. The staff searched for the illusive boy but never found him. Had she seen a ghost? It’s highly probable. The disembodied voices of children have been heard time and time again at the mill.

Carl asked if anyone would be willing to give the ghost child a hug. In the past, people who have entertained this gesture have felt the distinct sensation of a cold, tingling presence returning the hug. When no one volunteered, he asked if I would try it. I was happy to comply.

At first, I was focused on the people surrounding me, watching me foolishly hug the air, but as I relaxed, I began to feel something else. The air inside my arms grew cooler, and I began getting the sensation of pressure. I had my mouth open to tell them that I was indeed feeling something when someone put a K2 meter near me, which immediately began flashing. K2 meters record high electro-magnetic pulses, often signaling the presence of a ghost. Unfortunately for us, they can also triggered by smart phones or walkie-talkies. I’m normally diligent about turning off my phone prior to investigations, but had forgotten, resulting in the false positive response. By the time I turned my phone off, the moment was lost.

A man is often seen walking through the building as well, by both staff and visitors. People frequently witness him moving through the rooms. Could this be Samuel Slater, overseeing the property that bears his name? Or is it a worker who spent time at the mill? Theories abound, but no one is certain of his identification. It’s one of the mysteries that keep investigators returning to the mill. We spent a few minutes walking around the building before moving to the next building, the Wilkinson Mill.

10155822_10203924977464230_430008164393097845_nThe Wilkinson Mill

After the success of the Slater Mill, the Wilkinson Mill was added in 1810, increasing the factory’s production and improving upon the design. Built of stone to prevent fire, which plagued Slater Mill twice in its history, the Wilkinson Mill is an impressive presence on the banks of the Blackstone River. Substantially larger than its sister mill, the Wilkinson Mill looms over the river as a testament to the once prosperous industry that dominated the area.

The main floor contains a machine shop, stocked with many of the machines used during the era. We were treated to a tour of the basement, where the massive ten-ton waterwheel is located. The room is cavernous, with sounds echoing freely around the granite walls and water pool. Since stone and water are known to absorb energy, It wasn’t difficult to imagine the spirits drifting among us. The ghost of a small boy is often seen here, as well as a mysterious shadow person.DSCN3291

During the tour, Carl invited several people to experience the area at the base of the stone stairs, where the shadow person is often seen. I offered to accompany two groups. As I descended the stairs, I could feel a heaviness in the air. The young women who went with me also felt it, one of them claiming to see the shadow of a person. Using my digital recorder, I invited them to ask questions of the entity, but no responses were captured.

DSCN3223Sylvanus Brown House

If you stare at the windows of the Sylvanus Brown house long enough, you might find a small face in an upstairs window staring back at you. This happened to several observers years ago. Upon notification, the caretakers of the property searched the building, finding the door firmly locked and the building vacant.

Being the smallest building on the property, it was the also the most fascinating for my friend Sandy and me. We immediately felt the presence of several ghostly inhabitants. While we both felt there was a male and a female entity, Sandy also thought there was a female child in residence. Little did we know how accurate we were. Investigators over the years have determined that the property is haunted by a woman, a man, and a girl, reportedly named Becca.

The Brown House, which is the second oldest house in Pawtucket, was built in another area of town, but was relocated to its current location when the highway project threatened its existence. Since Samuel Slater was a guest at the Brown house during his first few days in Rhode Island, moving the house to the Slater Mill property was a logical choice.

The parlor room had a peaceful feeling to it, which is no surprise since it was a room typically used for happy events, like entertaining guests, celebrations, and weddings. Befitting the period, it was probably also used for funerals and wakes, lending it a slight sense of sorrow. After playing haunting music on a music box, to pull Becca into the room, Carl demonstrated the use of dowsing rods. Several of the guests experienced responses to their questions and were delighted with the results.

The evening quickly ended and the property was left to itself once more. As we drove away, I could almost imagine the ghosts drifting to the windows to watch us leave, entertained by our foolish endeavors.

While I didn’t experience any paranormal phenomena or capture any evidence on my audio recorder, I found the three-building location resonating with history as well as a sense of intrigue. I plan to return at some point and rent the facility for a private investigation to uncover more of the property’s hidden past.

Slater Mill offers museum tours, while also offering a gift shop and exhibition gallery space. The Jenks Educational Conference Center and rental hall provides rental space for corporate conferences, special events, and even weddings. The next Mills and Mysteries: A Ghostly Experience paranormal investigation/tour will be held May 17th. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.slatermill.org/

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(L-R) Joni Mayhan, Carl Johnson, Keith Johnson, Sandy MacLeod

 

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

The Ghost in the Corner

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The ghost hovered in the corner of my room, ever vigilant.

I could feel him standing there watching me. His anger was powerful, radiating from his center like a smoky black aura, filling the room with hostility and rage. If there was ever a time in his life when he was a good man, I couldn’t feel it. All I could detect was the darkness that had leached into his soul like a parasite, turning him into an ever-hating entity.

He didn’t hate me for any particular reason. He hated everyone. He despised the life he’d once lived, and brought his hatred into the afterlife with him, allowing it to consume him whole. And there he was, hovering in my bedroom corner, watching me with narrowed eyes.

I first became aware of him after dining at my favorite restaurant. I don’t know how he came to be there. I don’t think he even knew. He just followed the trail of energy to a place where he could find nourishment before he finally latched onto me.

Being a ghost takes a great deal of energy. Despite popular belief, many people feel that ghosts can’t pull energy from the electricity or batteries we use to power our electronics and machines. They need the kind of energy that only a living being can provide. It’s one of the reasons why you seldom find ghosts at cemeteries. They might stop by to visit their grave and make sure it’s being kept up, but they won’t hang out there for long because it isn’t a good feeding ground. There aren’t enough people around.

Investigators often flock to haunted venues, needlessly paying tremendous amounts of money to hunt for a ghost, while passing several dozen ghosts on their way to the door. Ghosts are everywhere. You’ll find them lurking in places where you find groups of people. Shopping malls and movie theaters are prime locations, as are restaurants, hospitals, and churches. Most of the time the ghosts are happy to remain there, but every occasionally they find one human they feel is worth following. For reasons that escape me, I am very desirable in the spirit realm.

I can’t go anywhere without picking one up. They must see me and consider me as someone who can provide them with constant nourishment. More than likely they recognize me as a sensitive, someone who might provide them with the added bonus of communication, something many of them long for in the spirit realm.

The guy in my corner wasn’t exactly a chatty one, though. He didn’t want to talk to me. He just wanted to use me for as long as he could. Since I had no real means of driving him away, he probably would have stayed for an extended vacation, growing fat and happy off the energy he pulled from me.

Strange things began happening to me during this time. At first, I just thought I was having a spell of horrible luck, but as it went on, I grew suspicious. My son’s truck broke, putting us down a vehicle, something that caused us both undue stress as he worried over fixing it. Then, my car registration was suddenly revoked, due to the insurance bills that somehow never made it to my mailbox. Household appliances stopped working without explanation.  I became clumsy, stubbing my toes into every corner, banging my elbow against my desk as I rose, bruising myself on the corner of a table so frequently it became painful. Then the worst possible thing happened. My elderly cat went into seizures and had to be euthanized.

My friend Sandy, who is also a sensitive, came to pick me up for a movie several days later. Just before we left, I asked her to go upstairs and see if she felt anything. I didn’t tell her anything about the haunting, but from prior experience being my friend, she knew what she was looking for. She came down a few minutes later, pale and drawn.

“You have a really bad one up there. He’s really strong,” she told me.

It confirmed what I already suspected.

Over the course of the week, I worked with my mentor, trying everything she suggested. I burned sage and used salt around the doorways and windows. I took a cleansing salt bath every night. I worked on building a strong shield around myself, but nothing seemed to work. As soon as I drifted off to sleep, I felt him move towards me, blanketing me with his energy. I would then feel a palpitation, almost as if my bed was vibrating beneath me. I came to realize that this sensation was probably him pulling energy from me.

After Sandy’s visit, something strange happened. He began bouncing back and forth between the two of us. While we found it to be anything but amusing, we began documenting the bounces. As soon as I felt him come back, I marked the time and did the same thing when I felt him leave. Sandy did the same thing. When we compared notes after a few days, the times matched up perfectly.

I needed to get rid of him. I was getting only a few hours of sleep each night. Every time I started to drift asleep, he’d jump on me, waking me up. I contacted my mentor, begging for help, and she agreed to see us.

We got in my car and made the three hour drive to Maine to see her. During the drive, Sandy told me a little about our ghost. She saw him as 50’s era. He was a tough guy, kind of like James Dean with a bad attitude. When we got to Maine our mentor, confirmed this.

“1953 is the year I’m getting,” Barbara told us. She also saw him as a person who wasn’t very nice in life. “Okay, let’s cross him over,” she suggested.

We stood in a circle, like we always do. Barbara opened up a white light, where he could safely pass through to the other side of the veil. While I’ve experienced this many times, it still takes my breath away. It’s a powerful moment, filled with velocity and emotion. In some ways, it’s almost like giving birth, except it feels more like freedom and release.

I felt him slip up and through it the second the white light was opened. A cold chill started at my ankles and worked its way up my body and through the top of my head, signalling his release. And then it was all over, leaving me breathless in the wake.

“That was fast,” I remarked.

“Yes. He was ready to go,” Barbara confirmed.

We held the circle for another minute and to our surprise, another soul crossed through. I had no idea where this one came from, but I was happy to comply. Every soul deserves the right to cross over to the next realm.

My house grew quiet again for several days until the next one came along.

This one is a female. She wants help, but won’t cross over. Something holds her back.

Like the male, she waits until I am nearly asleep before she pounces on me.

I’m not ready to make another trip to Maine, but am working on keeping her at bay. Even though these earth-bound souls are draining, I always learn something in the process. With her, I’ve learned to push energy in her direction. It’s not an easy thing to maneuver, considering it’s an invisible and not always reliable solution, but it seems to be working. If nothing else, perhaps she’ll eventually tire of the battle and move onto greener pastures.

Insomnia has become a way of life for me, but I’m still thankful. There might be a ghost in my corner, but at least it’s not the same hateful entity who had once been there. This one just wants help.

I just need to learn how to give it to her without losing a piece of my own soul in the process.

 

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

 

Paranormal Hangover

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The day after a paranormal investigation is often a wasted day for me. I am often so bone-deep tired, all I can consider is spending the day on the couch watching television until my eyes glaze over. The first time I really noticed this was after investigating the Houghton Mansion in North Adams, Massachusetts.

The mansion has been featured on many paranormal television shows and stands out as one of the most haunted venues on the East Coast. I’ve investigated there four times and have never walked away without either an amazing personal experience or a dozen or more EVPs. The last time I was there, I saw a partial apparition in the basement.

There are very few locations that can offer the same results. Most of the time when we go to an investigation, it’s a hit or miss situation. Sometimes we capture evidence, but sometimes we don’t.

Another place where I always capture a plethora of evidence is the Haunted Victorian Mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts. It has also been featured on many paranormal television shows and is also one of the most haunted venues on the East Coast. I didn’t make the connection between the two until I wrote an article about ghosts and energy. Then, I realized the similarities. Both places give me amazing evidence, but they also give me horrible paranormal hangovers.

Why does this happen?

There are many theories. Some people think it’s due to a change in our sleep patterns. Instead of going to sleep at our normal times, we stay up all night for a ghost hunt. Others feel it is due to physical exhaustion or from subjecting ourselves to excess temperature ranges.

I think it’s due to energy thieves.

Ghosts need energy to communicate and we are nothing more than big nine-volt batteries. At most locations, the ghosts haven’t figured out how to take it from us, but not at these two locations. The ghosts are advanced and they’re very clever. They nearly drain me dry as soon as I step through the doorway.

There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Always thoroughly ground yourself before and after each investigation. Allow the negative energy to flow through your body and into the ground. This leaves you in a better position to protect yourself.
  • Shielding is very important during investigations. It prevents ghosts from getting too close to you. If you find that you are still feeling weak and exhausted after an investigation, this might be a sign that your shields aren’t working to full capacity. Work on your visualizations of building a protective white light around you. I’ve found that working with a psychic medium is also incredibly helpful. They can see what you need to improve on and help guide you in the right direction.
  • Protection prayers are important as well. If you are feeling drained, ask for help. Whether it is a religious prayer or a conversation you are having with your guides or guardians, ask them to help keep you shielded from energy vampires.
  • Never tell the ghosts they can use your energy and never invite them to touch you. You are only asking for trouble when you do this. If you don’t end up with an unwanted attachment, you’ll probably find yourself depleted of energy the next day.

Recovering from a paranormal hangover is actually fairly similar to recovering from an alcohol induced hangover. Here are some tips:

  • Get enough rest afterwards. If you stayed out until four in the morning and didn’t get to bed until six, then it stands to reason that you will need to sleep until one or two in the afternoon. Many people just can’t do this since it interferes with their internal body clocks. The best thing to do is to sleep as long as you can and then get up and make the best of it.
  • Keeping yourself fully hydrated will help as well. Even though you might crave coffee or energy drinks, stick with water until you’re fully hydrated. Caffeine can act as a diuretic, causing you to dehydrate even further.
  • Get out and stay busy. When faced with a paranormal hangover, most people just want to vegetate on the sofa in front of the television set all day. While it does help kill the time, it won’t help you recover. Get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
  • Eat a balanced diet, but make sure you load up on protein. Our bodies crave protein when we are energy depleted. Proteins, such as lean meats, nuts, and eggs can help us recover.
  • Stay away from refined sugars and processed, salty foods. I always crave soda and chips when I’m feeling energy depleted, but neither serves to help me regain my energy. Wholesome foods, like green leafy vegetables, fruits high in Vitamin C, and plenty of water are our best allies for regaining energy.
  • I also find that an investigation often disrupts my normal sleep pattern, leaving me off schedule for days later. I combat this by taking a melatonin supplement before bedtime on a daily basis. I’ve found that 5 mg works well for me, but always check with your doctor to find out the correct dosage. This will vary from person to person.
  • Go to bed at your normal time the day following an investigation. Fight the urge to nap during the day. This will only prevent you from getting to sleep later when it’s your normal bedtime. Avoid watching television or using a computer for several hours prior to bedtime, as well as staying away from caffeine. Everyone is affected differently by caffeine. I’ve found that if I avoid it after two in the afternoon, I’m usually fine by the time I retire for bed at ten in the evening.

Being a ghost hunter often comes with a price, but I’m not willing to sacrifice an entire day for one night of fun. Not even for a good EVP.

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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Preview of Ghostly Defenses

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Being a Sensitive

I was born with a gift that scared me. I knew when ghosts were nearby.

It started when I was six years old. I would lay in my bed after my mother had tucked me in, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness. I looked around my room, watching the shadows move at the corners of my room. At first, it didn’t scare me because I didn’t know what I was looking at. It was just something I had always seen. It was normal.

Then, I began hearing a ringing sound that accompanied the moving shadows. The sound swooped in, as if carried on the wind. It swirled around the room, coming closer and closer, until it zoomed away from me again. I wouldn’t understand what it was until I was seven.

That was when I saw my first ghost

It approached my bed, not stopping until it was mere inches away from me. I was so scared, I couldn’t even scream. All I could do was look up at it with terror, feeling the anger radiate from it like something I could see and touch. After a few minutes, I finally found my voice and screamed for my mother, chasing it away.

When I told my parents about what I was seeing and experiencing, they told me it was just my imagination. “There is no such thing as ghosts,” they said.

I experience ghostly activity throughout my life, never fully trusting what I was sensing was true. Was I really feeling ghosts? I didn’t tell anyone for fear they’d think I was crazy. I kept the information to myself until I met like-minded people, people who were sensitives like me.

I happened upon them in the usual way. I was drawn to the field that had held me captive for forty years. I joined a ghost-hunting group. Through them, I met friends who were also able to sense and feel ghosts and I began to learn more about my abilities.

One thing I didn’t count on, though, was the fact that nothing would remain the same. Once I tuned in to this ability, it grew and developed, much like a well-exercised muscle.

Opening that doorway changed everything in my life. I no longer suspected that ghosts and spirits were nearby, I knew it as clearly as I knew the sky was blue. The more I trusted my gift, the better it became, making me more desirable to the spirit world. They began following me home from restaurants, stores, and even from the homes of friends. I had to get a hold of this gift before it got a hold of me. Unfortunately, I walked into a very bad situation I wasn’t prepared for.

I wasn’t protected.

I was like a lamb, leading myself into a den filled with lions. I didn’t understand the impact my ability had in the spirit world, and how vulnerable it made me toward darker energy.

I wrote this guide to help those like me. When I first started out, I had no idea where to turn to. Please consider this a starting place to help you get to where you want to be.

Sometimes we all need a little push in the right direction.

Thank you for reading this preview of my new paranormal guide, Ghostly Defenses. This book can be found on Amazon.com by following the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Defenses-Joni-Mayhan-ebook/dp/B00IMUUDZC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393338740&sr=1-3&keywords=joni+mayhan

Joni Mayhan

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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Paranormal Hitchhikers

Aside

ImageSomething followed me home again.

It happens quite a bit, more often than I admit. This one came from the house that I’m currently writing about, the Haunted Victorian Mansion.

I went there for a photo shoot on Monday and encountered a very strong male energy in the Red Room. He had a very distinctive tone and when I came into his space, he made my body feel as though it were vibrating from the inside out. It’s a very strange sensation. It’s almost like being nervous, without the emotion to go along with it. It’s also a bit unnerving.

Strong ones do this to me for some reason. With normal ghosts, I will hear a tone, similar to an ear-ringing sound. It’s taken me years to figure it out, with the help of my mentor, Barbara Williams. A ghost tone is lower in register and isn’t pure and ringing. It almost sounds like that static white-noise that television sets used to make before the rise of cable. A ghost is a human who has died, but didn’t cross over into the white light. Some are trapped, but most are here of their own free will. They feel as though they have something they need to do before they cross on. When they make my body vibrate, they are insistent that I listen to them.

A spirit is a pure sound, like the sound a wine glass makes when you tap it with a fork, except the sound just continues on and on. It can be maddening at times, but I’ve learned to tune it out enough that it doesn’t drive me crazy. And besides, a spirit tone is good. It means that one of my guides or protectors is nearby. Sometimes when I hear the sound, I know it’s an alert that trouble might be brewing. That’s what happened to me at the Victorian on Monday.

After I heard the strong ghost tone in the Red Room, I promptly left the room and went downstairs to the kitchen, where everyone else was talking. As I stood there, I heard a spirit tone swoop in, loud and urgent.

“One of my guides just swooped in,” I told them.

Marion, my friend who is also the caretaker for the Victorian, grabbed my arm and smiled. “Good, maybe she can protect me too,” she said. As it turns out, my guide wasn’t enough.

As soon as I got home later that day, I heard the male tone return. My body began trembling again from the inside out. I took immediate measures; something my mentor has taught me. I surrounded myself with a white light that radiated from my core. I said out loud, “this shield of white light will protect me from any energy that is not my own.” And then I timed it. “It will last for twenty-four hours from now,” I added.  I then went upstairs and took a nice bath with sea salts, which act as a cleanser and a purifier. I also cut my cords.

As Barbara describes it, when we come in contact with ghosts, and even other people, we create a cord that attaches us. When I leave a haunted location, I always cut this cord, using my non-dominant hand, and tell them that they cannot follow me. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t work.

As the evening continued, I would feel and hear the ghost grow louder and stronger. Sometimes I can’t handle these things on my own, so I reached out for help. I messaged Barbara, and also my friend Sandy, who is going through similar issues. Sandy, unlike me, has pretty much mastered the ability to shield.

While her shield is Teflon-coated steel with diamond plated reinforcements, mine feels more like crumpled tinfoil with Scotch-tape and Band-Aids holding it together. Sandy responded to me first.

I knew she’d done something because as I sat in my bed reading, I could hear the sound fade and the trembling ease up until it was completely gone.

“Somebody must have helped me,” I said to myself, reaching for my IPhone on my nightstand. I logged onto Facebook and sure enough, there was a message from Sandy.

“Is that better?” she asked.

I took a deep breath. It was much better, but it only lasted for a few minutes. I’d later learn that she threw a shield over me from afar, something that seemed more like Star Trek than reality, but something I felt with my own body. It seemed to keep him at a slight distance, but he was still there. I’d need Barbara to finish the deed.

Last night was almost unbearable. The ghost tone was so loud, I couldn’t hear myself think. I’d occasionally hear the sound of a spirit tone swoop in. I imagined my protectors doing an invisible battle in my bedroom as I listened to the tones fade in and out as they moved around the room. My cats were acting as though they were watching an imaginary tennis game. Their heads were swiveling back and forth, trying to keep up with the things they could see. Needless to say, it took me a long time to get to sleep and when I did; my dreams were riddled with nightmares.

Barbara reached out to me today and took care of it. What she told me was very riveting. I guess I shouldn’t be so interested because my interest could feel like an open invitation for them to trample towards me in herds, but I can’t help it. Five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at anyone telling a similar tale. I might have even suggested they seek mental counselling. But here I was, living through something that was both horrifying and fascinating. There is a great deal going on around us that we can’t see.

Being a sensitive isn’t something I would have willingly chosen for myself. While it is intriguing to know if there is a ghost or spirit present, it comes with a very large price. Until I’ve learned to cattle-prod them away from me, they will follow me just like I am prone to following them. In theory, it’s kind of amusing. The ghost hunter is being hunted by ghosts. In reality, it’s something else – something perfectly awful.

Barbara told me that he was angry and scared. He was worried that my book about the Victorian was going to draw more people to the house. He hates the people walking in and out of his room, asking him to answer silly questions. He just wants to be left alone to live the life that he lives. People are distracting. They pull him away from the world that he sees himself in, a world similar to the one he lived in when he was alive. When she told me he was a drinker, I knew who he was.

He was the man who burned to death in the master bedroom, a man by the name of Eino Saari. I protested when she told me. I always thought of him as a nice guy who’d met a tragic end.  Unfortunately, he also has a dark side. He’s angry. He’s tired of all the commotion. He just wants us to all go away, something we’ve been hearing on evps for a while now. For my part, I’d promised to stop bothering him. I didn’t even bring my digital recorder on Monday. I just oversaw the photo shoot, gave the people who attended a quick tour, and then left. Apparently that wasn’t good enough.

I enjoyed about ten minutes of quiet before he came back again.

Dear God.  I had just purchased an episode of Breaking Bad, my latest guilty pleasure, and I wanted to sit on the couch and watch it. Instead, I messaged Barbara again, giving her the news. She pulled him off of me and suggested several extra measures. She wanted me to bless water and spray it on every wall and window of my house, and then follow it up by putting sea salt around all the doorways and windowsills. I accomplished this in a matter of minutes. I’ve never attempted to bless water before, but I trust Barbara like I trust no one else. If she tells me to do something, you can bet that I’m going to do it.

So, it’s been an hour and all is still quiet.

One thing that lifts my mood is the solitary thought of my book. If they feel the need to intimidate me to prevent me from publishing it, maybe they know something I don’t know. Maybe they know that this might be the book that finally brings me the success I’ve been longing for.

And then I feel guilty for it. Am I just standing on their shoulders to climb to my dreams?

My hope is that the book does well, that the house remains closed for investigations, and the money it brings will help them to do the repairs that are so desperately needed, while keeping me out of debt as well. Is that a lot to ask for? Probably, but it’s all I have right now.

I can’t stop now. So much depends on this.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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Haunted Objects

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Things were moving around in the house while no one was there.

A loaf of bread flew across the kitchen. Doors were opening and closing by themselves.

When Kim Huertas and her team were called in to investigate, they had no idea it would be as simple as removing a painting.

It was their very first investigation as a team. A friend of a friend asked them to come in to help, knowing of Kim’s abilities as an empathic medium. When they arrived, they saw some of the paranormal events with their own eyes.

Kim’s son took a picture of a mirror, catching himself in the frame. When they looked at the photo, they were surprised by what they saw. An enormous shadow person was looming directly behind him. Handprints would be found on the mirror shortly after, much too large for anyone in the house. The activity was escalating.

When Kim came into the kitchen to talk to the homeowner, the woman just stood there, looking at her with eyes that were deader than dead. Something was wrong with her, but Kim wouldn’t understand the extent of it until she opened her mouth to speak.

“How would you like it if I poked your eyes out with an ice pick?” she asked.

Kim backed out of the room slowly, never letting the woman out of her sight until she was a safe distance. She returned later with another group and together they began putting together the pieces of the puzzle.

Every time they tried to take photos in one specific room, the photos wouldn’t come out. Kim looked around, her gaze landing on a painting.

“Where’d you get that?” she asked.

The homeowner glanced at it, all memory of the ice pick threat long gone from her mind. “Oh, my ex-boyfriend sent it,” she said, as if it didn’t matter.

Kim would dig and learn that the painting was actually painted by her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. As it turns out, her mother practiced voodoo. The painting had a very powerful spell placed on it. Once it was removed from the household and the house was thoroughly cleansed, all the strange activity ceased, and life went back to normal.

When it was all over, the woman’s son told Kim something she’d never forget. “He hates you,” he told her, glancing towards the window. “You made him fly out the window, so he hates you now.”

All because of a painting.

This is why I’m very, very careful of what I purchase. I love going into antique shops and looking around. In fact, my friend Sandy and I play a game we call “find the haunted item.”

We will split up and walk the store until we find something with a hidden attachment, and then we’ll send the other one into the room to see if she can find it.

Being clairaudient, it is actually fairly easy for me. I just follow the sound of the tone. As I come into the room, I can hear it very faintly. I’ll play a game of warmer/colder, until the sound grows louder and I’m directly in front of it. Then, I put my hand on it, feeling for vibrations. Sometimes an image will pop into my head and I get an impression of who owned the item. Sometimes it doesn’t.

“It’s this lamp,” I told Sandy and she nodded. She’d felt it too in her own way.

We’re actually getting fairly accurate with it. It has helped us hone our sensitivities and has prevented us from bringing home haunted items.

My mother once shared a story with me about an old wardrobe cabinet her grandmother had in her bedroom. She was just a young girl, visiting her grandmother Carter in Louisville. She remembers being frightened every time she went into Carter’s bedroom.

“The boogeyman lives in that closet,” Carter told her.

She’d give it a wary glance and retreat out of the room. If Carter sent her into her bedroom for something, she’d stare at the wardrobe the entire time she was in the room, fearful something was going to jump out at her.

As an adult, my mother looked back at the memory and laughed.

“Carter probably just told me that to keep me out of her wardrobe,” she told me.

“But, what if she didn’t?” I asked, knowing there was more to the story. After Carter died, my mother was supposed to gain possession of the bedroom furniture, but it didn’t happen. Another relative came in before she could get there and took the wardrobe. My mother was furious. It caused a rift in the family that would never be repaired. It took thirty years for it to make any sense to her.

All it took was a question.

“Did you ever think that maybe Carter was protecting you from it?” I asked.

She stared at me, as the wheels and gears spun behind her eyes.

It’s possible, even probable, that the wardrobe wasn’t haunted. It could have just been chance that another relative grabbed it before my mother could get to it. But what if it wasn’t? She would have brought home a very haunted cabinet where her children lived, including one who was a budding sensitive, something Carter must have suspected. If Carter knew there was a boogeyman in the cabinet, then she must have had some ability herself.

I never heard what happened to the wardrobe. The rift it created separated the family, never to be repaired. Most of the people who were involved have long died and the furniture probably made its way into another home or an antique shop, perhaps.

These things happen more often than you’d think.

A beloved possession can be hard to let go of.  It’s no different than a beloved house. A rocking chair, a walking cane, a mirror on the wall – they’re all potential items.

My advice to you: be careful when purchasing anything that once belonged to someone else. If your instincts tell you something’s amiss, it very well might be. If the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as you touch it, let it go. If you have dreams about it after seeing it for the first time, resist the calling. And by all means, if you bring it home and doors start opening and closing of their own accord, get it out.

Antiques can be lovely. They can be valuable, historical, and even cherished.

Just be careful they aren’t also haunted.

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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Teaser – Bones in the Basement – Haunted House for Sale

Aside

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Here’s the first chapter of Bones in the Basement – surviving the S.K. Pierce House. Soon to be published.

Haunted House for Sale

The house was waiting for them.

The three-story Victorian Mansion sat vacant for two full years, looking every bit the haunted house. People drove past slowly, staring up at the empty windows, wondering if the rumors were true. The house was supposed to be haunted.

The Victorian was built in 1875 by Sylvester Knowlton Pierce, a wealthy furniture magnate in the town of Gardner, Massachusetts. The Second Empire Victorian mansion was considered to be a modern marvel of its time. It had two cisterns that once collected rainwater from the slate roof, providing the occupants with running water, something unheard of in the late 1880’s. The house was outfitted with gas lighting, speaking tubes and electric bells for communication throughout the house, and even boasted a dumb waiter which reached three floors. The hand-carved moldings and cornices spoke volumes of a time when houses were built carefully and lovingly. It had 26 rooms, with 4 bathrooms, and a tower with a circular staircase leading to a widow’s walk, providing sweeping views of South Gardner.

The massive doors were nine-feet tall, constructed of solid black walnut and weighed well over five-hundred pounds apiece. Every inch of woodwork was elaborately carved, signifying the status of wealth and opportunity. No detail was overlooked. No cost was too great. The house was simply a masterpiece.

In its 133 year history, the house had lived a variety of lives. After providing a home to the Peirce family for over fifty years, it would also become a boarding house and an artist’s retreat. Legends surrounded it a plenty. Stories of death, destruction, and murder tainted its history, making people wonder about the rumors.

Children gave the house a wide berth at Halloween, crossing the street as they approached, so they wouldn’t get too close. People who lived in the area whispered stories to one another. Some saw faces at the windows or heard strange noises; others had more personal stories to share.

When the house was vacant during the 1980’s and 1990’s, children would slip through the basement window and wander through the house, daring one another to explore the massive structure. Furniture still remained in most of the rooms, dusty and faded, harking back to a time long past. As the children played hide-and-go-seek, one child hid in a closet on the second floor that had once been part of a dumbwaiter. As the child crouched in the darkness, he felt hands clasp around his shoulder. He bolted from the closet, turning to see the smiling apparition of a child smirking back at him. The image would remain with him for decades.

When the house went onto the real estate market in 2006, many people were interested in seeing in. By this time, it had been featured on the SyFy Channel’s paranormal reality show, Ghost Hunters. It was now more than a local novelty. It was famous, but nobody could buy it.

It’s as though the house were waiting for the right people to come along.

Prospective homeowners flocked to the massive Victorian, armed with cameras and wide eyes. Offers were made, but every one of them fell through. After a while, the realtor began screening the viewings, not allowing anyone to bring cameras into the house, wary of all the would-be ghost hunters.

The house was haunted. Everyone knew it except for its future owners.

They would find out soon enough though.

The house was waiting for them and it wouldn’t let go of until it had fulfilled its darkest desires. And once it did, it would expel them from its depths, running for their lives.

Joni Mayhan

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

To read more about the S.K. Pierce Mansion, please check out Joni’s book Bones in the Basement.

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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Paranormal Debunking

ImageOrbs or dust?

Clouds reflected in the window or ghostly apparitions?

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 Class C EVPs that may or may 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.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of questionable photos and audio recordings being shared on Facebook. One look and it’s clear to me that, while it looks like a good catch on the surface, there are far too many variables to consider it true evidence. When in doubt, throw it out.

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.

Orb photos? I have hundreds of them, but you’ll never see them presented as evidence. While it truly makes sense that the most practical shape for a ghost to take is a round circle, most of what you see is dust and moisture reflected against the flash. The bigger the orb, the closer it was to the camera when the photo was taken. The only exception I will make is if I actually saw the orb, or light anomaly, with my own eyes. Below is an example of this.

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I captured this photo at the Haunted Victorian Mansion, my favorite haunted house. In 2012 I brought my sister and her kids for a quick tour when they were in town visiting. My niece, Lily, sat on the stairs for a photo. Right before I snapped the photo, I saw a ball of light move across the front of her. Considering this location is highly active, I would consider this interesting, but I still wouldn’t consider it evidence. There are too many variables that could come into play. Could it have been a flash of light coming through the window? Could it have been a glare from someone’s flashlight? I don’t think so, but it’s still possible.

The photo below isn’t one of mine. I found it on Google images. Is it an apparition, reaching through the frame to touch this young man’s heart? No. It’s a camera strap. You can determine this by the weaved pattern of the object. Stray hairs have a similar appearance in photos.

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Do you see a face in the window in the photo below? Our eyes are programmed to look for faces. It’s called pareidolia, or more commonly known as “matrixing.” This is the same phenomenon that causes us to see faces in clouds, or the man on the moon. It’s also very popular with amateur ghost hunters. Many times, the face will be circled so it can be easily seen.

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The same theory should go for EVPs as well. We are always careful during EVP sessions. If someone’s stomach growls, one of us will say “stomach” out loud, so we’ll understand later and not confuse the sound with a demon roar. Whispers are also marked, as are traffic noises, and chair squeaks.

While we were at Rose Island Lighthouse investigating, we recorded the sounds of seagulls in nearly every session. If you listen closely, it sounds like a person crying or a baby saying “mama”. And yes, that was a deliberate dig to a popular ghost hunting show who presented that very sound as evidence.

If a door is known to slam on its own, test it. When we investigated the Concord Colonial Inn, it was reported that the door in Room 24 often closed on its own. The same ghost hunting show also presented it as evidence. We quickly found out that the doors are actually hinged to close on their own for security reasons.

Using your EMF detectors, scan the location for high electromagnetic spikes. Common household appliances, such as microwaves, alarm clocks, and ceiling fans have been known to throw a ton of electromagnetic energy into the immediate vicinity. If someone spends ample time there, they will probably feel the effects, which include paranoia, the feeling of being watched, and hallucinations.

As a field, we owe it to the world and to each other to be as accurate as possible. When we post things that are questionable, we cast a shady light on everyone else who investigates the paranormal.  We aren’t in this to get the most “likes” on Facebook or to have our stories told on a television show. We are here to find answers, to help people, and to help the ghosts as well.

My second rule of thumb? Do no harm.

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381464557&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=angels+of+ember+trilogy&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Aangels+of+ember+trilogy

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