Haunted New Harmony

Haunted New Harmony LogoNew Harmony is famous for its two Utopian experiments and its diverse beauty. It is also incredibly haunted. Join us as we investigate the paranormal side of this quaint Southern Indiana town and communicate with the souls who dwell here.

We will investigate not one, but TWO of New Harmony’s most haunted buildings from 6pm until midnight.

Community House #2Community House #2

First, we will visit Community House #2. This three-story brick building was completed in 1822 and housed members of the Harmonist group. After the town was sold to the Owen society in 1824, the building was used for a variety of functions, including a print shop, a school for children on the first floor, housing on the second and third floors, as well as a variety of businesses throughout.

Over the years, visitors and tour guides have experienced phantom footsteps and voices in empty rooms. One tour guide reported seeing a woman dressed in 1800’s period apparel walk up a staircase. On another occasion, a caterer inadvertently snapped a photo with an apparition sitting beside a brick fireplace.

This building is handicapped accessible and has an elevator.

Fauntleroy House portraitThe Fauntleroy Home

The second location we will investigate is The Fauntleroy Home. Built in 1822 by the Harmonists, this house has undergone many incarnations in its 193 year existence. It was first used by the Franz Pheil family during the Harmonist period and later became home to various members of the Owen society. In 1840, it was purchased by Robert Fauntleroy and his wife Jane Dale Owen Fauntleroy. The home is known as the birthplace of The Minerva Society, the nation’s first women’s club.

This house is considered by many to be the most haunted building in New Harmony. Visitors and tour guides have experienced a variety of paranormal encounters, dating back to the first documented ghost sighting in 1848. Shadows have been seen flitting across walls, doors open and close on their own accord and many have had unsettling experiences near the staircase.

The first floor of this two-story home is handicap-accessible, but the second floor must be reached by a flight of stairs.

The Investigation

The event will begin at 6pm with a meet-and-greet, followed by a presentation on the history of the locations, as well as instructions for the investigation. Experienced paranormal investigators will lead each team through both buildings, using a variety of paranormal equipment to communicate with the souls who inhabit the space. We will conclude the evening with a group discussion on our findings.

This is the first time buildings in New Harmony have been available for public paranormal investigations. We are limiting each investigation to a maximum of 20 people, who will be broken into teams of ten. This event includes physical activities, such as climbing stairs and walking several blocks to the second location. We ask that you bring a small flashlight, which will help you navigate through the darkness.

Breakdown of the Event

6:00 – 7:00           Meet & Greet/Orientation Presentation

7:00 – 9:00           Investigation

9:00 – 9:30           Break

9:30 –11:30          Investigation

11:30- 12am        Sharing Information

Breakdown of the Investigations

Community House #2 (30 minute sessions):

  • First floor Kitchen
  • Second floor (Shadow Hallway & Dormitory Rooms –divide group)
  • Third Floor Main Room
  • Third Floor Printer’s Shop

Fauntleroy House (30 minute sessions):

  • Base of staircase
  • First Floor
  • Second Floor Master Bedroom
  • Outside building near Rappite Cemetery

The price for this event is $50 per person. Half of all proceeds go directly to the historic locations we’re investigating. Tickets must be purchased in advance by clicking the links below. If you have issues with PayPal, you can also mail a check to Joni Mayhan at PO Box 363, New Harmony, IN 47631. If, by chance, we need to cancel the event, full refunds will be distributed; however, no other refunds will be honored within two weeks of the scheduled event.

Click the date below to purchase your ticket.

Saturday, July 15
Saturday, August 12
Saturday, September 23
Saturday, October 21
Saturday, October 28

 

Haunted New Harmony

 

I moved to New Harmony in May of 2016. Like many others before me, I felt drawn to the town, almost as though the move was part of a greater plan, not one of my making.

New Harmony isn’t a normal, everyday kind of town. While it’s rich with a colorful history and embedded with a creative culture, there is something underlaid beneath the façade, something many people feel but can’t explain. It’s a town with a pulse.

I felt this pulse as I walked down the streets after first moving here. The sensation is elusive and fleeting, here then gone again before you can properly latch onto it. It’s as though every footstep you take is layered atop a thousand other footsteps as your DNA becomes mixed with the DNA of those who were there before you.

As someone who is highly intuitive, I also felt the presence of the dead lingering heavily in this small town. Every store and building I walked into had a ghost or two. Many of them were reclusive, not wanting to give away their hiding spots, but others were more forthcoming. They greeted me at the door like welcoming hosts.

I have felt this sensation once before, at a haunted mansion in Massachusetts. It was a place that called to me and many others, drawing us in like moths to a candle. It collected people like some people collected stamps. Once you visited there, you felt the overwhelming urge to return, over and over again. The pull was so strong; I eventually wrote a book, telling the story of the house and all who lived there. In some ways, I feel the house pulled me in for that very purpose because once the book was written, the urge diminished. I was able to walk away and start anew. I felt this same sensation when I visited New Harmony in 2015, a year before I decided to move here.

New Harmony wasn’t a stranger to me. I grew up in Posey County and graduated from high school in the next town over. As a child, I sat in the backseat of my parent’s car and marveled at the town as we passed through. I begged my parents to let me run through the Harmonist Labyrinth. I remember buying trinkets at the old Five & Dime store that is no longer in existence. My mind spun over the stories about the angel’s footprint that is embedded in stone and I attended weddings at the Roofless Church. My great-grandparents had a house here decades ago and I have fond memories of visiting them as a young child. In some ways, it’s always been a part of my history, of my genetic makeup, but it didn’t call to me until I was ready to truly embrace it.

I felt the initial pull in 2015 during a visit to my home state to visit my family. My father and my step-mother brought me on a historical tour of the town. Even though I already knew some of the history, I suddenly became more interested in it. I bought several books to bring back home with me, along with a labyrinth necklace that I couldn’t seem to remove. Something clicked during that trip. After roaming the northeast, making temporary homes in a dozen different towns, I felt as though I had finally found a place where I could be content. It felt like home.

A year later, I would find myself packing my multitude of pets and possessions into my car and making the thousand-mile trek, leaving behind my grown children and close friends to start anew.

I settled in quietly, wanting to get a grasp on what I was feeling before allowing anyone to know who I was. I didn’t want people to immediately begin associating me with my paranormal background. I wanted them to see me more as a long-lost daughter who had returned to her roots. In some ways, I fantasied about putting the paranormal world behind me and returning to conventional fiction. I would write normal books, ones my parents could proudly pass along to their friends, ones that wouldn’t set me apart so dramatically. Unfortunately, the dead wouldn’t let me.

As I explored the town and immersed myself in the history, I became aware of the undertone that swirls around New Harmony. I came to realize that the entire town was haunted and that my purpose here was already set in stone. I needed to write a book about it.

As I began researching, I came to realize there was nothing scary in New Harmony. Even though it is filled with spirits, most of them are former residents, many from the 1800’s when the town was part of two separate Utopian societies. Some of them simply want their story told and others feel the need to communicate with the living. Through their voices, I began learning more about the town’s fascinating history.

My book won’t be filled with chills and thrills. It will be about the personal accounts the living have experienced with the dead, as well as my quest to learn more about the souls who are haunting the buildings. Through this, I’ve learned intriguing details about the lives that transpired here, something that makes me want to dig deeper. Who better to ask about the history than the people who once lived here?

As I walked into places like the Arbor House on Main Street and the famously haunted Fauntleroy House on West Street, I had personal experiences right away. As I explored old basements and places that tourists don’t have access to, I began to understand more about why the town was haunted.

The veil is definitely thinner here in this small gem of a town. The dead walk side by side with the living, something most people aren’t aware of. I will dig until I uncover as many of the stories and secrets as I can. Then, I will share it with you.

My newest book Haunted New Harmony will be coming out by September 2017 and I hope to have several public paranormal investigations and ghost walks ready for this summer.

Stay tuned…

 

Joni Mayhan is the author of 16 books, most of them dedicated the the paranormal world. After living in Massachusetts for 30 years, she recently returned to her home state of Indiana. To learn more about her, check out her website Jonimayhan.com

Sample of Ghost Magnet

Excerpt from Ghost Magnet – coming October 15th

 

A Ghost in My House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How would I explain these things to him?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh God!’

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

Nothing.

The room was empty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This is ridiculous.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh my God,” I whispered to myself.

What would I do?

Who would I call?

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

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

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

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

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

I pressed my ear to the door to listen.

It was quiet.

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

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

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

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

The room was empty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Transitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Being Spiritual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live. Believe. Be happy.

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

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A Different Kind of Paranormal Investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Exploring Your Sixth Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on exploring your sixth sense, check out my book Dark and Scary Things – A Senstive’s Guide to the Paranormal World

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The Necromancer

As many of you know, I spent the past week in Gettysburg, PA, with a group of friends. What started off as a way to get together and explore a national park with a tragic history ended up being something altogether different. It changed my entire life.

I almost died on my way home.

It didn’t happen due to a car accident or medical emergency. It happened because I am a lightworker. When we allow ourselves to become intertwined with the paranormal world, we also must acknowledge the fact that we are bringing danger into our lives. Not all of the ghosts are demons who want to bring torment to our lives but then again, they aren’t all grandmothers rocking quietly in their chairs either.

When I wrote Ruin of Souls, the story about Shaman Michael Robishaw’s amazing feats in the paranormal arena, I also learned that there is far more evil roaming around the world than I first imagined. I was of the belief that demons were few and far between and that the ghost shows on television were just amping up the drama for ratings by labeling everything they came across as demonic. In the past few months, I’ve learned differently and the last one nearly cost me my life.

Evil roams the world in abundance. Sometimes we see it and recognize it for what it is, but other times it is far more elusive. When a madman goes on a bloody rampage, most of us don’t even consider a paranormal angle. When someone we know goes through a dark period, we ply them with medications and give them a condition that may or may not apply. We only look at what we can see and often miss a darker underlying reason for it.

A friend of mine recently contacted me because her daughter had been going through a dark depression. It was so unlike her that her mother worried. She stopped doing all the things she loved and shut herself inside. After reading Ruin of Souls, her mother began to wonder if something else was at work and she asked me to connect her with Michael.

Michael Robishaw has the ability to astral project to locations. He also has a deep connection with his Spirit Guides, one of whom is a practiced warrior. Together, they can see beyond what most people see and root out the evil that is causing the issues. In my friend’s case, her suspicions were correct. Her daughter had three negative attachments. They were ghosts who were pulling her energy and impacting her thoughts. After Michael removed them and banished them to a place where they can no longer hurt the living, her daughter’s condition improved dramatically. It was almost as though a dark cloud had been lifted from around her. She began painting again and visiting family. Where there were scowls and angry words, there was now laughter and joy.

I’ve always felt that there was a bigger purpose for my involvement in the paranormal world. It went beyond investigating and documenting the activity. There was more to it than recording an amazing EVP that I could share with my friends. I wanted to help. One of my mentors, a wonderful psychic medium named Barbara Williams, taught me how to cross over trapped souls.

The first time I felt them pass over into Heaven, my eyes filled with tears. I tried to imagine how beautiful it must be for them to finally find peace and salvation, after having wandered around lost and alone for decades, if not centuries. I envisioned them reunited with their loved ones, celebrating their reunion.

I began teaching a Paranormal 101 class in 2015. Many of my original class members have now grown into close friends. As a group, we have crossed over dozens during the course of the past year. Members of my group became as adept at it as I was, several of them surpassing me in their abilities. It felt wonderful. We were actually helping. What I didn’t realize was that by helping lost souls, I was also painting a large target on my own back.

It caught up with us this week when we went to Gettysburg and we crossed paths with a soul collector.

Just the word “soul collector” sets my teeth on edge. I experienced a demonic attachment back in 2011 who also collected souls and documented it in my 2013 book Soul Collector. Meeting another one wasn’t part of my life’s goals.

But there we were, on the battlefields of Gettysburg, helping weary souls find release and redemption when we came across something that had been holding them in place. It followed us back to our campsite and terrorized us for two full nights, angry that we removed some of his collection.

As I drove home last night, I didn’t realize he was in the backseat behind me. I also didn’t realize what he planned to do to me once darkness settled across the land. Thankfully, I had Jose Prada and Michael Robishaw. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have survived it.

So many other things happened this week that brought this all to a head.

I included the full story in my book Ghost Magnet, available on Amazon.com

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Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and author who recently relocated back to her home state of Indiana after spending the past thirty years in New England. For more information about her books, click on any of the photos below.

Signs of Spirits front cover 400ppi Ruin of Souls cover  Dark and Scary Things- A Sensitive's Guide to the Paranormal World cover

Bones in the Basement front cover 3 devils-toy-box-cover-small  The_Soul_Collector_Cover_for_Kindle

 

Ghost Magnet handprint cover.jpg

Ghost Hunting Equipment That Might Save Your Life

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Mel meter

Miranda always felt uneasy in her basement, especially near the doorway that linked the two rooms together. When she stood there, she felt as though someone was watching her, causing the hairs on the back of her neck to rise. After a while, she avoided the basement as much as possible, believing she had a ghost lurking down there.

When she called me, I was happy to help. As a paranormal investigator, that’s what I do. If I find signs of a haunting, I attempt to document the activity and then work with several psychic mediums to help me alleviate the anguish that is causing the haunting. The very first thing I do though is look for normal, natural reasons for the activity.

Many people in the field call this process “debunking.” While many investigators are eager to capture evidence they can share with their friends, serious investigators always rule out everything else before they label it “haunted.” In Miranda’s case, not only did I debunk the haunting, but I might have saved her life in the process.

As someone who is sensitive to paranormal energy, I can tell in a matter of moments if a house is haunted. I hear a tone that is similar to ear ringing that alerts me, which is often followed by a clairvoyant “mind picture” that gives me more information. In Miranda’s case, I came up empty. I wasn’t picking up on anything supernatural to be causing her to feel the way she did.

I’m not one of those investigators who carries a suitcase full of equipment with me to investigations. I have a few carefully chosen pieces of equipment that I like, and I carry them in a small camera bag that I can slip over one shoulder. My favorite device is an EMF meter. I think of it as my debunking tool.

An EMF (Electromagnetic Field) detector is a device that measures electromagnetic energy, which is a type of low frequency energy that radiates from electrical and electronic devices. Paranormal investigators believe that ghosts can manipulate this energy as a sign of their presence and often use it as a communication tool. While I have seen this phenomena first-hand, my primary reason for using an EMF meter is to determine if the haunting is caused by something more dangerous than a ghost.

There are various manufacturers who make EMF meters. Some people prefer the Tri-fold Meter, because it measures a wider array of electromagnetic energy. Others like the ease of using a KII meter, which has lights instead of numbers to show the levels. I prefer my Mel Meter.

There is a touching story behind the creation of the Mel Meter. After Gary Galka’s daughter Melissa died in a tragic automobile accident, his family began receiving signs that she was still nearby in spirit form. Already an accomplished engineer and the owner of D.A.S. Distribution, he designed a meter that he could use to communicate with her. He continues to donate a percentage of his profits to bereavement groups to help others get through the heart-breaking process of losing a loved one. This, along with the excellent customer service and equipment quality, makes me a loyal customer. I often think about Mel as I use my meter, wondering how many other lives she’s saved through the device her father invented.

As I moved around the basement, the level on my Mel Meter stayed at zero, which means it wasn’t detecting any electromagnetic energy fields, ghosts or otherwise.

“Good so far, “ I told her.

“Check near that doorway,” she told me from the safety of the other room. It was obvious from the expression on her face that she was still frightened of the basement.

I moved to the doorway, watching in surprise as the numbers on my meter spiked upwards. By the time I got to the doorway, my EMF detector hit 200 mg (milligauss).

“Oh wow!” I moved around the edge of the doorway and found myself in front of an electrical panel. I didn’t really need an EMF meter to see that it had been sloppily wired. It looked like a box of worms all screwed together. I called her over to show it to her.

“You need to get this fixed immediately. It’s a fire hazard,” I told her. It was amazing that the house hadn’t already burned down.

Most people don’t realize that electronic and electric devices that emit high levels of EMF energy can impact your health and well-being. People who are sensitive to the energy will often feel uneasy, as though they are being watched, and could even develop headaches and hallucinations if the EMF levels are high enough. Furthermore, EMF energy has also been linked to serious health concerns, including cancer, birth defects, Alzheimer’s and depression, just to name a few.

Common items that frequently emit high levels of EMF waves include alarm clocks, refrigerators, microwave ovens and even Wi-Fi units. Research also suggests that EMF affects the pineal gland, which regulates the secretion of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates our sleep, as well as being a natural cancer fighter. People with reduced amounts of melatonin are more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma cancer. It has also been connected to issues with depression and even suicide.

How to Reduce Your Risk of High EMF

  • Check your house with a EMF meter and either remove or repair any issues you find.
  • Insure that all electronic and electric devices are at least 3 feet away from your bed. This includes alarm clocks and cell phones.
  • Make note of places in your home that make you feel uneasy. Inspect those areas for potential problems.
  • Don’t stand in front of the microwave while warming up food. The photo above was taken in front of my own microwave oven, which is only a year old. Older units will probably throw off even higher levels of EMF.
  • Avoid using electric heat blankets unless you have tested them for EMF levels.

Another friend who suspected a haunting, had two faulty air purifying units in her living room. Each one emitted over 100 mg of EMF and were situated at either end of the room. After we discovered them, she removed them and the sensation of being watched went away immediately, as did her frequent headaches.

If you suspect that something in your house is generating high EMF energy, check it out immediately. The health concerns are far too great to ignore it.

 

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 17 paranormal books. To learn more about her, check out her website jonimayhan.com.

 

Click on the pictures below to learn more about her books.

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Sneak Peak of Ruin of Souls

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

Chapter 1

Something pinned Tracy Gudeman to the bed.

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

What was happening?

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

Was it gone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happened in that room?

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

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

Could the two be linked?

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

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

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

It was the grave of a Confederate soldier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sit down here,” he told her.

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

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

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

Hopefully, this would all be over soon.

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

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

Tracy stiffened in her chair.

“Tell us your name!” he said louder.

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

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

Tracy suddenly stiffened in her chair.

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

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

John felt his stomach clench into knots.

What was going on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know,” he said simply.

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

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

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

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

Ruin of Souls is available on Amazon.com

 

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

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