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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

My Last Victorian Experience

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The vibe inside the house was different from what I’ve always felt.

Usually they are happy to see us. They know us. They speak our names on our digital recorders and share some of their secrets. They’re usually very cordial. This time was different.

From the minute we walked through the doorway, we could almost feel them sigh at the sight of more people. It was as if they just wanted to be left alone.

Tina Aube and I had spent the day in Gardner, split between the public library and the local museum, collecting research about the mansion. Much of the history of the house has been misconstrued over the years and we both have a burning need to unravel the stories.  Since I’m writing a book for the owners on their experiences, I wanted to make sure I had all the facts correct.

We found out a lot, but there are still so many stories left untold.

We’d hoped to uncover a few. We’d recently learned more about Mattie Cornwell, the nanny who resided in the house, caring for the Pierce children. Evidence that she’s still in residence continues to this day. When Tina spent the night there with me over the summer, she captured an evp of someone telling Mattie to stop it. At the same time, Tina felt a finger press down on her face. This time, Mattie was nowhere to be found, but the others were present and accounted for.

I felt them swoop as we stood in the kitchen. Some of them were happy to see us after being alone for several weeks, but some of them felt otherwise. We immediately went up to the second floor landing, where we’re usually well received by the resident ghosts.

I was excited to talk to Eino Saari, the man who died of smoke inhalation in the 1960’s. His story is one that has been told incorrectly over the years. Having a record of his death certificate and a copy of his obituary, we now know that he died of smoke inhalation after a mattress fire and not of spontaneous combustion, which has been the lore for decades.  We also knew the names of his parents and siblings and wanted to tell him that information.

When I asked him if his father’s name was Matti, he responded on the Spirit Box with “Matti”. Click on the link below to hear the actual evp.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/einos-fathers-name-matti

I have been having a hard time getting more information about Ellen Pierce, so I went to the source and asked the resident ghosts.

“What kind of person was Ellen,” I asked.

The response blew me away. “Nellie,” a woman said. Most people don’t know that Ellen’s nickname was Nellie.

Click below to hear the actual response:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/second-floor-landing-gb-what

I asked who was there with us and got a strange response. I’m including it here, because it is so strange. There are actually two layers to this response. There’s a woman’s voice that goes through multiple stations, saying something like, “The Bellaney’s boys are here now,” and beneath it, you can hear a child’s sing-song voice.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/whos-here-the-belaneys-boys

The next evp is the most compelling. I told them that the reason I was there was because I was writing a book about the Victorian and I wanted to get their stories right. The response was very clear. A male voice said, “Edwin.” People are always dismissing the Spirit Box, saying it’s just picking up stray radio voices. I think this response really puts that theory to rest. What are the chances of them saying an uncommon name like Edwin?

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/get-your-story-right-edwin

We continued up to the third floor and the energy up there was very different. We both felt as though they didn’t want us up there. They’ve seen a lot of investigators over the course of the past few years, not to mention the tours we’ve led through for fund-raising efforts.

We went into the cistern room first and almost immediately got this response.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/cistern-room-gb-getting-you

We didn’t hear the response at the time. It was spoken aloud on the Spirit Box, but we didn’t catch it until later when we listened to the audio recording. If we had, we might have left right away. Instead, we decided to move to the Billiards Room for one more quick session.

While we were sitting there, the feelings became so strong.

“We need to leave. I just feel it,” Tina told me.

I was getting a similar feeling, so we were packing up to leave when all hell broke loose. Water started dripping from the ceiling, faster and faster, until it was pouring buckets. We honestly thought we were going to witness a ceiling collapse. We raced for the stairs and then called Marion, who called the owners to alert them.  We did walk back in a few minutes later and were reassured that the ceiling was still intact.  Here’s the response, capturing our horrifying moment. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a ghost voice telling us to “get out” at .10 in the recording. Were they warning us to get out before we couldn’t?

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/billiards-room-when-the-water

After that, we packed up and left.  It was a sad moment for both of us.

The house needs a new roof, badly. I don’t know how much longer it will have before it’s too late to fix it. It might already be too late.

One thing is for certain. I’m not going to be standing underneath it when the ceiling finally decides to go.

It makes me sad because I love that house.

We all do.

We need a miracle.

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

Image

 

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

Image

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm