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.

Ruin of Souls cover Bones in the Basement front cover 3 Dark and Scary Things- A Sensitive's Guide to the Paranormal World cover

Ghost Voices cover soul-collector-cover-small Devil'sToy Box

 

 

 

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Sneak Peak of Ruin of Souls

Ruin of Souls coverRuin of Souls back cover

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

Chapter 1

Something pinned Tracy Gudeman to the bed.

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

What was happening?

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

Was it gone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happened in that room?

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

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

Could the two be linked?

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

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

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

It was the grave of a Confederate soldier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sit down here,” he told her.

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

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

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

Hopefully, this would all be over soon.

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

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

Tracy stiffened in her chair.

“Tell us your name!” he said louder.

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

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

Tracy suddenly stiffened in her chair.

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

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

John felt his stomach clench into knots.

What was going on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know,” he said simply.

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

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

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

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

Ruin of Souls is available on Amazon.com

 

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

Click on the cover to learn more about each book.

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

 

Keeping Yourself Protected in the Paranormal World

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Like many others, I dove into the paranormal world head first. Like a foolish cliff diver leaping off a ledge, I didn’t look before I jumped. I just  took the plunge and paid dearly for it later by picking up a negative attachment.

Paranormal investigating isn’t a fun hobby, something you do with the same irrelevance as bowling or playing a round of golf. In many ways, it should be considered more like social work in a very bad neighborhood.

When we go into haunted locations, we are dealing with an assortment of invisible entities. Some could be elderly ladies trapped in a world they can’t escape, while others might be pedophiles and rapists looking for their next victims. The problem is: you can’t immediately tell the difference. This is why it’s so important to keep yourself protected. You wouldn’t skydive without a parachute, so why would you tackle unseen entities without some sort of protection?

Beyond picking up a paranormal hitchhiker, there are other factors you might face. Entities often use our energy like fuel. If you aren’t protected, you might find yourself with a Paranormal Hangover, (click the title to read more about this) which could leave you drained for days.

Below are some of the methods of keeping yourself protected:

A Strong Mindset

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We are made of vibrations. In fact, everything in our world vibrates. Some things vibrate at a high speed, while others vibrate much slower. When you are feeling down, your vibration is low and your resistance is diminished. This completely jeopardizes your entire defense system. Make sure you are at the top of your game before you take on the paranormal world. You might be coming in contact with something quite powerful, so be prepared.

As a sensitive, I am prone to getting paranormal hitchhikers. They see me and understand in an instant that I can sense them too, so they follow me. Sometimes, I think they just want to experience the comfort of human companionship, but other times they have darker agendas in mind.

My journey into the paranormal world started in 2009 when I began working on my mediumistic abilities. I knew I could communicate with the dead and began working on it in earnest. By 2011, I was advancing in my abilities and became even more visible in the paranormal world. After a heartbreaking break-up, I found myself in a depressed state of mind. Someone invited me to go on a ghost hunt and I went, thinking it would improve my mood. As a result, I picked up the worst attachment I’ve ever encountered, which I document in my book The Soul Collector. When I tell you to have a strong mindset, I’m talking from experience.

A Healthy Body

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Since we are vibrational creatures, it’s important that we maintain our physical bodies. Eating healthy foods, getting enough exercise and rest are important for us. If your body isn’t strong, it often affects your mindset, weakening your defenses. If you’ve come into contact with a negative entity that follows you home, the first thing it does is isolate you from other people. This often diminishes your access to sunlight, lowering your defenses even further. Taking Vitamin D supplements helps, as well as insuring you are getting outside for ample periods of time. Vitamin B complexes often helps with mood and attitude too, but can’t compare to eating a diet filled with plenty of leafy greens.

Grounding

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Have you ever been around someone who simply radiates negativity? After you walk away, you might feel a residue of that hostility clinging to you, dragging you down too. The truth is: we often absorb other people’s energy. Whether they mean to or not, they spread their discontent around like someone scattering seeds. If some of it lands on you, you begin sprouting the same bad emotions. The best way to get rid of this unwanted energy is to learn how to ground yourself.

How to Ground:

There are many methods for grounding, but my favorite way is to imagine myself as a tree. I close my eyes and envision a pure white light radiating above me. With every breath, I pull this white light into my body through the top of my head. As I exhale, I push the black negative energy downward into the ground where it can be reclaimed and recycled by the earth. In the beginning, it might take you a few minutes to master this technique, but after a while it will become second nature.

Other methods of grounding: take a shower and imagine the water washing away all traces of the negative emotion or hug a tree and allow the powerful energy of nature to cleanse you.

Shielding

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Most paranormal protection practices rely heavily on visualization. Most people don’t find this to be easy to do. It takes a lot of practice. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t give up. For many of us, this ability takes weeks, if not months to master.

The principal of shielding involves using your own body’s energy to form a protective barrier around you. Make this shield so strong that nothing can penetrate it, keeping you cocooned inside, safe and sound.

How to Shield

Methods vary from person to person, but this is how I create a shield. I envision a warm golden ball of light that burns with the intensity of the sun. I hold it between my hands and allow it to grow larger and larger until it encapsulates my entire body. Once it is large enough, I say a prayer, asking that this shield keeps me protected for the next twenty-four hours. Some people have better success with this by watching a Guided Meditation. You can find many of these online.

The video below takes a slightly different approach, but I’ve found it to be helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17uTmUBxhnU

Talismans

Some people carry religious medallions or gemstones with them when they encounter the paranormal world. While they do carry metaphysical properties that can assist in your protection, they also act as “touchstones.” When you touch them, it gives you a sense of comfort, often activating the abilities you already possess. You think, “I am protected,” and the intent of your thought sends a message out into the Universe, making it happen.

Gemstones for Protection

I often carry a combination of gemstones, depending on what I feel I will need. Any of the stones listed above act as protection stones. You might also combine them with healing stones, such as Amethyst or Rose Quartz to extend their abilities.

Being safe while delving into the paranormal world could change your life. All it takes to ruin everything is one bad situation, one moment when your guard is down.

This is just a sampling of paranormal protection. More methods can be found in my book, Dark and Scary Things – A Sensitive’s Guide to the Paranormal World.

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 17 paranormal books. To learn more about her, visit her website http://jonimayhan.com

Click on the cover to learn more about each book.

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

    

The Power of Thoughts in the Paranormal World

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Julie was intuitive and could feel the energy long before she walked into the haunted building. Someone told her that the entity might be demonic, so she steeled herself, trying to work up the nerve to go inside. She knew that demons weren’t something she should mess with, but she was excited to experience it firsthand. She just hoped it wouldn’t hurt her.

Does this scenario sound familiar? As more and more people delve into the world of the paranormal, they often find themselves in situations they aren’t prepared to handle. I experienced this first hand when I investigated a location that was known to have negative energy. I ended up with a negative attachment that stuck with me for months and was the subject of my book The Soul Collector.

Most people aren’t aware of how powerful their thoughts are. Just thinking something fuels it with power and gives it the momentum to become a reality.

Think about it in regards to your everyday life. When you roll out of bed on a Monday morning, do you groan, dreading the day ahead of you? If you do, you will probably have the day you envisioned. Your mind latches onto this conception and turns a thought into reality. You will probably have a rotten day.

If you roll out of bed and see the day as a blank canvas, filled with opportunities, looking past the obligations and requirements you must fulfill, your day will go much better. Much of this is due to the Law of Vibration and the Law of Attraction. Everything in this world is made of vibrations.The chair you sit in, the floor you stand on, even the thoughts that ramble through your mind all vibrate. When you put a negative thought out into the Universe, it acts like a blueprint. Everything else will be built on top of it and you will draw in more negative things. If you aren’t grateful for everything the Universe has given you, why would it give you more?

In the paranormal world, thoughts are compounded by the fact that the entities often know what you are thinking. Yes, they can hear your thoughts. That’s how they communicate with one another and, often, with us as well.

Imagine walking up to a school yard bully and telling him that he is strong and unbeatable. It will pump him up and make him feel even stronger than he actually is. This is the same concept as walking into a haunted location and believing it is infested with demonic activity. Chances are, the entity inside is just a human soul who has a bad attitude. When you give him the title of “demon” you infuse him with power. You give him ideas and the free will to do what he would like. If you fear that he might follow you home, it acts like an invitation.

Fear is a tremendous motivator in the paranormal world. It feeds them, acting like super-powered rocket fuel. Allow yourself to be afraid and you are giving them the ability to scare you even more. Promote them with a higher ranking title, like “Demon” and you are empowering them to be stronger. Give them ideas, like following you home or hurting you, and you are giving them a to-do list of things to accomplish.

Most of the strongest methods of paranormal protection revolve around your thoughts and intent. You can carry as many crucifixes and gemstones as you want, but if you don’t believe they are protecting you, you are doing nothing more than carrying useless objects. Protection items, if fully empowered by your beliefs, act like touch stones. You touch them and it reminds you that you are safe, which means that the real catalyst behind the protection comes from inside you. The stones and medallions don’t protect you, YOU protect you.

In Julie’s case, if she is fearful of the location and believes demons loom inside the haunted location, she shouldn’t go inside. She should start with some locations that aren’t as volatile, places where she can learn slowly. Jumping into the fire will only get her burned. In addition, her fear will fuel the entity inside and could make it a dangerous situation for everyone else on the investigation. It will act like a snowball rolling down a hill. As soon as the entity understands that it has so much power, it will get stronger and stronger until someone ends up getting hurt.

Paranormal protection isn’t something anyone should take lightly, especially if you are sensitive to their energy. They know this too. They see you shining brightly. Your energy is like nectar to them. They will do anything for a sample. They might even follow you home.

Keep this in mind during the October season especially. The veil is thinner this time of the year, giving the dead a freer range to inhibit our world. Be safe, be smart, and keep your thoughts positive. It will make a difference. Trust me.

You can find more information about paranormal protection in my book Dark and Scary Things – A Sensitive’s Guide to the Paranormal World.

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 17 paranormal books. Click on the cover to learn more about each book.

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

Paranormal Hangover

imageThe 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 and the author of 17 paranormal books. Click on the cover to learn more about each book.

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Winter Woods – The Spirit Board

Many people have messaged me, telling me how much they’ve enjoyed my true paranormal stories, but most of them aren’t aware that I also have two fiction trilogies as well. I’d like to introduce you to Winter Woods. Here are the three chapters.

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Chapter 1

In my dreams, I’m not paper white.

I’m golden brown like my twin sister Summer with hair the color of my mother’s wedding band and eyelashes that flutter like black butterflies above storm cloud eyes.

I can run in the golden sunshine with the tall green grass whispering at my ankles without worry that I’ll develop second-degree burns. I can see without benefit of thick ugly glasses and can tilt my face to the heavens without my insides exploding like shattered mirrors.

My waking life is a bit different.

My skin is as pale as my long white hair. People say that I have delicate features, which really means they think I’m as weak as my color, a tepid cup of tea that is missing its constitution. What they don’t know about me is that the outside doesn’t match the inside.

Inside I am fierce. I am a silent warrior, steadily seething bit by bit. The only thing that holds me back from total rebellion is the glimmer of hope that finds me when I am at my darkest. It soothes the rough edges, always making me search for the bright side of things. In this way, I am like a tornado. Cold and hot blowing together, swirling and pushing. Sometimes I think it won’t take much to push me over the edge one way or another.

A flash of movement catches my eye. I glance up as a black crow lands on the tombstone beside me.

I want to move away, because he’s too close for comfort, but I find myself rooted to the ground nonetheless. I’ve never been a big fan of birds, not since my old neighbor’s cockatiel tried to remove a chunk of my finger, but something about him is mesmerizing. I couldn’t look away if I wanted to.

“Hey buddy,” I say to him.

He eyes me boldly, fluttering his wings as though he wants to tell me something.

“What?” I ask him.

The cemetery is always full of crows, but he’s not like the others I’ve seen. While his feathers are the same glossy black, his eyes are pale blue, almost the same color as mine. He continues to stare me down.

Despite my mistrust of birds, I find myself reaching out, hoping to touch him, imagining him climbing onto my wrist like a pet.

He tilts his head sideways like a puppy and continues to watch me, unmoved by my gesture.

At first, I think he’s probably never seen a girl with white hair that matches the color of her skin, but then I realize he’s looking at the silver bracelet dangling from my wrist.

It has a small cross on it, something my mother gave me on my seventh birthday. Summer has one that’s exactly the same, except hers is gold instead of silver. I wear it out of habit, but if the truth were known, it means nothing to me. It’s just another reminder of our differences.

I unclasp it and toss it on the ground in front of me.

He watches it fall, the excitement almost vibrating off him. I’ve read that crows love shiny things, and he is no different. After a few seconds, he flutters down to the grass to see what I’ve offered him. His inky feathers ruffle in the breeze as he hops over to the bracelet.

“You can have it,” I tell him.

He stares up at me, as if he’s trying to figure me out. Intelligence swirls below the surface of his gaze. Something about him makes me think he is more than merely a bird.

Finally, he snatches the bracelet off the ground and takes flight, leaving me alone again.

“You’re welcome!” I call after him.

I watch him until he disappears into the distance, feeling the loneliness fill all the empty spaces around me once more.

I sigh, wishing for more.

I pull myself off the ground and tuck my Diary of the Dead under my arm. If I don’t leave the cemetery by dark, people will think they’ve seen a ghost.

Chapter 2

I find the spirit board quite by accident.

My bedroom is dark when I come into the house, the shadows knitted together into one black mass, turning my room into a place of unknown truths.

There could be a monster standing in the corner or a ghost sitting on my bed. In the darkness, anything is possible. I switch on my nightstand light and chase the fantasies away, almost disappointed to find my room the same as normal.

Something is missing in my life, and I yearn for it, even though I don’t know what it is. I just feel like there should be more to my existence than this unending trail of boring daily routines. I want, I want…

I sigh and flop down on my bed.

I don’t know what I want, but it isn’t this.

I look around my room, bored with everything in my life. I thought that moving to a new town might bring some excitement to my life, but Harmony is as dull as the last city my family lived in.

I stretch out on my stomach with my chin propped on my hands and watch the cemetery for a moment. It shares a hill with the caretaker’s cottage where we live, giving me a perfect view. I love the way the moon glints on the stones, making them look like headboards, a final place for people to rest their weary bones. If I’m patient, sometimes I can see hazy shapes moving between the stones, but nothing is stirring tonight.

I give up after a few minutes and reach for my Diary of the Dead.

I started the diary a month ago when my family moved to Harmony, Indiana. After spending the first seventeen years of my life in Massachusetts, the move was difficult. I needed to find something to occupy my mind. The cemetery provided me with an easy hobby.

When I get bored, which is pretty much every waking moment of my day, I sometimes meander around the graveyard and study the stones. If one captures my attention, I copy the name from the tombstone and then research it at the library, learning everything I can about the person. Most people would probably think I’m off my rocker, but I don’t care. It gives me something to do.

Today, I’ve jotted down two names that seem interesting. One is a woman named Mary Davis who died in 1920 at the age of twenty-five. Another is a man named Frank Jeffries who died in 1978 at the age of eighty-nine. Frank’s was fascinating because his epitaph read, “I lived a good life, but I’ve had enough,” making him sound like someone I would have liked. I love the weariness in his words, the way he was ready to hang his hat and move on.

My mother appears at my doorway, frowning when she looks around my messy room.

“Winter, please put away that last box. It’s been a month. You’ve had plenty of time,” she says, as though the world might end because of my clutter, and then disappears again before I have a chance to protest.

I groan, looking at the box. It’s filled with board games and old photo albums, things I didn’t need right away. If I’m truly honest, if I haven’t needed them in a month, then I probably don’t need them at all, but I’m too lazy to figure out what else to do with them. The only empty place left to put them is in my closet.

I try to slide a box onto the shelf in my closet, but it catches on something, refusing to budge.

“Great,” I say with a sigh.

I drag my desk chair across the room and climb up. Even on my tiptoes the shelf is still too high to see, so I run my hand across it, immediately finding something square pushed up against the back. It feels like the panel for a board game. I pull it down and carry it to my bed. When I unfold it, I can’t help but smile. It’s a spirit board. Maybe things won’t be so boring in Harmony after all.

“Holy cow.”

Summer hears me and pops her head through my doorway.

“Everything okay?” she asks.

“Check out what I found,” I tell her, my thoughts as happy as Christmas morning. My sister doesn’t seem quite as enthused.

She tucks her hair behind her ear and walks over to get a closer look. The way she looks, one good “Boo!” and I might have to peel her off the ceiling.

“Is that one of those spirit boards you talk to ghosts with?” she asks.

“I think so, but I can’t find the triangle piece,” I say. I return to the closet to feel around for the missing planchette, but don’t find it. I look around the room, my gaze landing on the penny jar on my desk.

I unscrew the lid and draw an arrow on the top with a permanent marker. I’m a wiz at improvising a situation. I once unfroze my mother’s car lock with hand sanitizer. Making a homemade planchette is a piece of cake.

“There. This will work. Wanna give it a shot?” I ask.

Summer takes a hesitant step backwards, her blue eyes widening. She’s dressed for bed in an oversized navy jersey, making her tanned legs look even longer than they already are. We are similar in height and weight, but everything looks better on her. Sometimes I imagine us being items in a catalog, offered in two different colors and I can’t blame anyone for choosing Summer over Winter. I’d do the same thing if I had a choice.

“I don’t know if this is a good idea, Winter,” she says, retreating to the doorway. “Let’s play Monopoly instead,” she suggests, but I make a face at the suggestion. Monopoly is for losers and kids under the age of ten.

I climb onto my bed and sit cross-legged in front of the board. “Just try it for a minute?” I ask, using my sweetest voice, one Summer can never resist.

She holds my gaze for an eternity, fear rising to the surface of her face.

“Are you sure about this?” she asks. “I’ve heard of people getting possessed from these things.”

I roll my eyes at her. I don’t know how I became the braver twin, especially given our profound differences, but I’ve always been the risk taker while she takes the safe route.

It’s something my parents have commented on since we were babies. I was always the adventurous twin, the one who tried to climb the stairs repeatedly, while Summer was content to sit back and watch me. As we grew older, it extended to more dangerous venues, like exploring the abandoned house down the street from us, or approaching stray dogs that wandered onto our lawn. Summer would stand back and watch as I took the lead, time and time again.

“We’ll be fine. Don’t worry so much,” I scold her.

She bites her lip, like she does when she’s teetering on a decision. Finally, she pushes away from the door and joins me on my bed.

“I don’t like it, Winter, but I’ll try it for a minute,” she says.

I place the jar lid on the board and rest my fingers lightly beside the black arrow. Summer does the same on the other side. If something paranormal is supposed to happen, I can’t feel it. Maybe we need to set the mood.

“Hang on a second.”

I jump up and flip off the overhead light, plunging the room into darkness. Before Summer can protest, I grab a Mason jar candle off my desk and light it with a match. It sends an amber glow around the room, making the shadows dance on my wall like apparitions. I return to the bed and resume my position.

“What do we do now?” Summer asks.

I stare down at the board, looking at our fingers on the lid. “I don’t know. I guess we ask a question and see if anything happens.”

“Is there anybody here who wants to talk to us?” Summer asks, surprising me.

The lid doesn’t budge.

“Can you give us a sign that you’re here? We won’t hurt you…it’s okay,” I say.

After a second, I feel the slightest nudge on the lid. It sends a chill down my spine. I look around the room, examining the shadows.

“Did you do that?” Summer asks.

“No.”

My breath catches in my chest as I watch the lid. The candlelight quivers for a moment, as if caught in an invisible breeze. I feel a tingling in the air, as though it is filled with sparkles of electricity. I don’t know whether to be afraid or excited.

“Can you spell out your name?” I ask.

Something changes in that minute. The slight flicker of electricity in the air becomes a massive surge, making every hair on my arm stand up.

The candle flickers and sputters, drawing a gasp from my sister. She looks at me, seconds away from pulling her fingers away, when the lid scoots halfway across the board, stopping on the letter S.

“Did you do that, Winter?”

“No. Of course not,” I tell her, and then look back down at the board. “Can you give us a second letter?”

The lid slides back to the left, stopping on the letter A.

“Thank you. S-A…can you give us the next letter?” I ask.

The lid slides to the right again to the R, then makes a quick turn back to the A, before stopping at the H.

“Sarah,” Summer says, pulling her fingers from the lid. “That’s enough for me. This is creepy.”

She slips off my bed and wrings her hands, as if trying to wash off the spirit energy. “I don’t like this, Winter. I don’t think it’s a good idea,” she says. She toys with the cross on her bracelet for a minute before retreating to her bedroom.

“Good night,” I call after her, but don’t hear anything in response. A few seconds later, she pops back into my room and flips on my overhead light, her face consumed with worry.

“Winter, please don’t do that again. Plain and simple. That’s not right. You don’t know what you’re messing with. I read that demons will pretend to be little girls to get you to talk to them. Just because it spelled out the name Sarah doesn’t mean that’s who it really is,” she says.

My mother comes up behind her and looks over her shoulder at me.

“What are you two doing?” she asks.

Summer shifts over, giving my mother room to pass through the doorway. As soon as she sees the board on my bed, her eyes narrow.

“Where’d you get that?” she asks.

I nod my head towards the closet. “I found it in my closet.”

She walks over to the bed and touches the lid that I’ve marked with an arrow. “One of my friends had one of these when I was a teenager. They always made me a little nervous. They remind me of Pandora’s Box. You never know what’s going to happen when you open it,” she says, eyeing me, knowing instinctively that I was the instigator.

When we were little and something showed up broken, she never even glanced in my sister’s direction when she asked what happened.

“We asked if there was anyone here and we got the name Sarah,” I tell her, hoping she will catch at least a small trace of my excitement. “How cool is that?” I say, but she shakes her head.

“I don’t want that in our house. Give it to me so I can throw it out,” she says, her eyebrows arched in a way that defies argument.

“But, Mom…”

“Winter, don’t test me,” she says firmly.

I scowl under my breath, but I close the board anyway and hand it to her.

“This isn’t something you want to mess with,” she tells me as she grabs the board and leaves my room. Summer follows her out, giving me an “I told you so” glance over her shoulder at me as she leaves. I breathe out a sigh as their footsteps trail down the hallway.

I don’t understand their irrational fears. I found the entire experience to be perfectly exhilarating.

I was actually communicating with the dead.

I think about all the mysteries and unanswered questions I could solve if the dead were willing to share their secrets with me. I could find out what happens to us after we die, and if there’s such a thing as a soul. I can’t imagine not using it.

I turn off the light and climb into bed.

I listen to the sound of my mother walking through the kitchen to the back door. The door opens with a squeak, and is followed by the thump of something being tossed into the metal trash can.

Something fierce rises up inside me. I don’t care what they think. I’m going to try it again. I have a lot of questions I want to ask.

I wait for thirty minutes, until the house grows quiet, and slip out of the bed to retrieve my spirit board. I tuck it back onto the top shelf of my closet where it belongs. If my mother finds it, I’ll profess my innocence and tell her that it must have moved all by itself.

The thought makes me smile.

As I roll over onto my side, I glance around my dark room, wondering if the ghost is still with me. The shadows on my wall remain the same, giving me nothing to work with.

“Good night, Sarah,” I whisper, just in case.

I think I hear something in return, but I can’t be certain if it’s real or only my imagination.

Sleep finds me in an instant.

Chapter 3

At midnight, I’m jarred awake by the sound of tapping at my window. I roll over onto my side and try to make sense of what I’m hearing.

Before I can figure it out, something white sweeps past the window. I reach behind me and snag my glasses off the nightstand, but by the time I have them on, it’s long gone.

I sit up in bed and stare out the window, wondering what it was. Did a ghost come to visit? Was that who tapped on my window? I think about the name from the spirit board.

“Sarah?” I whisper.

I push open the white framed window, allowing the aroma of fresh-cut grass and lilacs to fill my room. I study the darkness outside, but all I can see is the occasional flicker of fireflies in the shadows.

The moon is high and full, hanging in the clouds like an omen. I pop the screen out on my window and slip outside.

I feel as though I’ve escaped into a fairytale landscape. The languid moon paints the cemetery in shades of sapphire and indigo, making it feel magical and surreal. The crickets and cicadas sing from the shadows.

I tiptoe barefoot across the soft green clover, feeling the edge of my pale pink nightgown brush against my knees as I make my way to the old oak tree that separates our yard from the cemetery.

“Hello?” I call softly.

The crickets grow silent for a moment, as if frightened by the sound of my voice. The night engulfs me, making me feel like I’m standing in a bubble.

I pause at the tree, putting my hand on the firm, rough trunk as if steadying myself. I look upwards, taking in the weighty branches that reach up to the heavens. I’ve been drawn to the tree since the moment we moved in. I sometimes bring a book here in the pretense of reading, but my attention is always stolen by my surroundings. I sometimes imagined being agile enough to climb the boughs all the way to the top, hiding among the leaves while I take in the glorious view of the world below me.

Tap, tap, tap.

I pull my hand away from the tree and stare into the darkness, trying to will it into better focus.

“Who’s there?” I whisper.

I strain my eyes to see, but nothing stands out. All I can see is the picturesque view of the cemetery, backlit by the bright night sky.

I take a step forward, leaving the shelter of the tree, my heart hammering in my chest.

The larger tombstones standing beneath the cover of the tree are nothing more than black obelisks against the blazing stars, casting dark shadows behind them like the train of a black gown. They stare up at the moon, reminding me of a silent army gathering on the hillside.

Without warning, a dark shape flits down from the oak tree and lands on a tombstone.

I step backwards, wanting very much to retreat to the safety of my bedroom when I realize what I’m looking at. It’s a crow. My crow.

“Oh, dear God…”

I find my way to where he landed, stopping several yards away so I don’t frighten him, curious why he would be here at night. I kneel down, feeling the short prickly grass poke into my knees.

“Why aren’t you home in your nest?” I ask him.

He cocks his head at me like he did before, making me laugh. I spent some time earlier researching crows online. I don’t know everything there is to know about them, but I know more than I did before.

“You are a member of the Corvus family,” I tell him. “Judging by your blue eyes, you are probably a Jackdaw.”

He regards me silently. The moonlight glints on his inky feathers, bringing out the sheen of blue. Some of the folklore suggests that finding a dead crow is considered lucky. Others think of crows as bad luck or a sign of impending death.

“A crow in the thatch, soon death lifts the hatch,” I tell him, reciting what I read online.

He tips his head again, making me smile.

“That’s okay. In Tanzania, people kill albinos like me because they think it brings them good luck,” I hold out my arm to display the long stretch of white skin. “A body like mine could bring in as much as two-thousand dollars. Not bad, huh?”

The crow regards me for several seconds, before tapping his beak on the tombstone. The sound is softer than before, but still recognizable as the sound I heard earlier.

“Were you tapping at my window?” I ask him.

He regards me with his pale blue eyes.

“What should I call you?” I ask. It doesn’t seem right to keep calling him The Crow.

He taps on the tombstone again, as if in answer. I squint at the name on the stone. The letters are large and bold, spelling out the name Edgar.

“Edgar?” I wrinkle my nose. “How about Poe instead, as in Edgar Alan Poe?” I ask.

He eyes me steadily.

“Of course that would be your name. Why would I have thought any differently?” I say, amused.

He taps on the stone again and then flies to another stone, apparently not a fan of my humor.

Tap, tap, tap.

His beak hits the stone. It’s almost as if he wants me to follow him.

I glance behind me at the caretaker’s cottage. It’s small and squat with a wide front porch and dormers on the second floor. My parent’s bedroom window flickers with a faint blue light, but is otherwise quiet. My father often falls asleep with the TV on. Sometimes he pops his head into both of our rooms to check on us before going back to bed, which means I’ll need to be back before he wakes up.

“I don’t know, Poe. It’s late and I should be in bed,” I tell him.

He taps on the stone again.

I smile and shake my head.

“Seriously, Poe. You need to work on your patience. I’m coming!” I tell him.

As I reach the next stone, he taps again and flies a little further ahead to another stone. The ground is soft beneath my feet, something that has always unnerved me a little. I know the bodies are buried in concrete boxes at least four feet beneath the soil, but it still makes me squeamish. I imagine dead people reaching their hands through the soil to grab my ankle as I walk past. The thought makes me move a little faster.

A gust of wind blows across the cemetery, causing a floral grave topper to sail through the air. It bounces across the dark lawn, coming to rest in front of another gravestone. I think about the filmy white thing I saw pass by my window and wonder if it was merely something caught in the breeze. Before I can ponder the thought further, Poe flies to another stone.

I look back at the cottage again, not comfortable being so far away. If something happened, will my father hear me scream? I study the darkness around me, not confident that he can. My mind begins playing games with me, bringing up every possible worst-case scenario. What if the crow is actually someone’s trained pet and they are luring me away from the house?

“I don’t know, Poe. This is creeping me out a little,” I tell him.

He holds my gaze before tapping on the stone.

“Maybe we can play again tomorrow, in the light of day,” I suggest, but the bird doesn’t waver. He continues to stare at me. I watch him for a full minute, while my curiosity battles with my common sense. Why am I following a crow through a dark cemetery? What could he possibly want with me?

The only problem with this line of reasoning is that I’ll never find out unless I follow him. Chances are, he’s simply moving further away from me, and it has nothing to do with him attempting to lead me somewhere. My overactive imagination has gotten the better of me again.

“Okay. I’ll go a little further, but not into the dark part,” I tell him, eyeing the bottom of the hill where the tree line hugs the edge of the cemetery, creating a ring of shadows that terrifies me to the tips of my toes.

The crow cocks his head and lets out a sound before flying to the next stone. Instead of tapping his beak, he flutters to the ground in front of the stone and stares at me.

I feel silly for following him, but I can’t leave until I know what’s going on.

“What is it Poe?” I ask.

He waits until he knows I’m watching and then hops over to the stone to tap on the front. As I approach, he flies up to the top of the stone, seemingly unconcerned by my close proximity.

“What?” I ask him.

He stares at me with his pale eyes.

I run my fingers across the front of the stone, feeling the engraved letters, but it’s much darker here in this part of the cemetery. There’s no way I can read the words in the moonlight. With my poor eyesight, I’ll barely be able to make them out in broad daylight. I sigh and look up at the heavens for inspiration.

“This is crazy. I’m following a crow that I’ve named Poe through a dark cemetery in the middle of the night.” I start to get up to head back to my house when an idea comes to me. I rip off a strip of fabric from my nightgown and wedge it into one of the engraved letters. Chances are, the wind will blow it away by morning, but I don’t know what else to do. I’ll come back when the sun comes up and see if there’s something on the stone that seems important.

“All right, Poe. I’m going back home. I’ll see you tomorrow if you’re still around,” I tell him.

As I start back across the cemetery, I glance back to take one more look at the bird. What I see nearly makes me faint. Standing directly in front of the crow is the filmy white shape of a man.

I finally remember to breathe again as I bolt towards the cottage.

If you’d like to read more of Winter Woods – The Spirit Board, please click the photo below.

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The Dangers of Ghost Hunting

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It looks like fun, something entertaining to do on a boring Saturday night. You imagine calling a few friends and heading out to the closest graveyard to see what it’s all about. The truth is: paranormal investigating can be dangerous.

I know this firsthand. After making several beginner’s mistakes, I encountered several low vibrational entities that followed me home and made my life a living hell for months on end. Had I known what I know now, I would have done things much differently.

A paranormal investigation shouldn’t be treated like a fun night out. It should be planned with the same care and respect that you’d use if you decided to start cave diving. You certainly wouldn’t just go out and purchase scuba equipment and head to your nearest cave. You’d spend months, if not years, learning how to dive first to prevent yourself from getting lost and drowning inside a cave. You’d then research and train with someone who knew how to cave dive. You would also bring a map, as well as a companion who knew the cave well.

The biggest danger with paranormal investigating is the unknown factor. Ghosts come in many varieties. Like people, there are harmless ones and there are dangerous ones. Unlike people, ghosts are invisible and you might not be able to tell the difference until it’s too late.

People who are sensitive to spiritual energy have far more to worry about than non-sensitives. Not only do ghosts see us and recognize the fact that we can also detect them, they might grow curious enough to follow you home. Once they’ve attached to you, they will attempt to get your attention. This could include moving items around your house or making sounds that you can detect. If the entity is negative in nature, they will probably attempt to pull your energy, something they will use to grow stronger. The footsteps and misplaced items will quickly escalate to more serious dangers. They might turn on burners on your gas stove, something I’ve had happen before, or they might push you when you walk down a steep flight of stairs. If they think they can get away with it, they might even attempt to take you over.

We often think demonic entities are the only entities that can possess a person, but this isn’t necessarily true. There are some very high-powered human ghosts who have the same capabilities. Beyond even demonic or earth-bound ghosts is the possibility of entities from other dimensions. The problem is, when they cause your EMF meter to spike at an investigation, they all look the same.

Sensitives should be well-versed in paranormal protection before they actively put themselves in harm’s way. They need to study the various protection methods until they find one that works for them. As they start out, they should always investigate with a mentor who can help keep them safe.  Here are some tips to help you stay protected:

Grounding and Shielding

Learn how to ground and shield yourself. Grounding is the process of removing all negative energy from your body. My favorite technique for this is to imagine a ball of pure white light above my head. As I inhale, I visualize this white light filling my body, while simultaneously pushing the negative energy down through me, where it can sink deeply into the ground. Some people visualize themselves as trees with deep roots as they do this. To shield, you build a bubble of white light around you, and then set a time limit on it. I usually set my shield daily, infusing it with the intent that it will keep me safe from any energies that aren’t mine for 24 hours, the maximum time amount. If you don’t set a time, your shield will only last for several hours.

Protection Touch-stones

Many people carry gemstones in their pocket, such as black tourmaline or tiger’s eye, which have protective properties. Other people wear crucifixes or religious medallions. While these items will help you stay protected, they also serve as a reminder. Many people believe that you already have everything you need to keep yourself protected inside you. By touching the stone or wearing the cross, you reinforce your internal belief that you are protected.

External Assistance

Whether you are praying to a higher power or calling in your Spirit Guides, you should always utilize this extra assistance. It’s like having a posse of warriors who will run defense for you. Without them, you are vulnerable to attack.

Keep Your Vibration High

Everyone and everything vibrates with frequency. When people are feeling good and everything in their lives are running smoothly, they vibrate at a high rate. When they are feeling depressed or are physically ill, they’re vibration decreases. Ghosts vibrate at different rates too. A positive entity will vibrate at a much higher rate than a negative one. They can only attach to you if your frequencies are similar. If you don’t feel well or have had a horrible fight with a friend, don’t go on the investigation, especially if you are a sensitive. You will be much more vulnerable to picking up an attachment.

Some other tips:

  1. Never antagonize the dead. Provoking comes with a heavy price considering you don’t know what you’re truly dealing with. You could be screaming at a lost child who has been trapped in our world for centuries or you could be taunting something inhuman, who considers your insults an invitation. Tread lightly and be polite.
  2. Unless you have several years in the field, always investigate with a mentor, someone who can help keep you protected. If you are a sensitive, find an experienced medium who is willing to take you under his or her wing. They can not only alert you to possible dangers, but they can help you advance your own abilities.
  3. Stay away from unknown factors. This includes cemeteries, old prisons, old hospitals and location where humans have suffered. Start out with public events at locations that have been fully investigated before. It might initially seem like driving with training wheels, but you should always learn in a somewhat safe environment. With that said, still employ caution. Ghosts often come in with other investigators and decide to camp out at new locations.
  4. Don’t attempt private investigations at people’s homes until you have several years of experience under your belt. Yes, you do need to learn the craft of investigating sometime, but don’t learn at the expense of a homeowner. Any mistakes you make will be left for someone else to deal with. Private events are also risky because you don’t know what you’re dealing with until you investigate the location, which puts you at risk, as well.
  5. NEVER investigate your own home. If you have a ghost in residence, call in someone else to help, preferably a medium who can communicate directly with the entity. If you do EVP sessions and frequently try to capture the ghost on a camera, you are giving it more fuel to stay. The attention you provide it with acts as an invitation, which will make it much harder to remove later.
  6. Do not give ghosts permission to touch you or use your energy. Essentially, what you’re doing is inviting them inside the shield you’ve carefully constructed, giving them an opportunity to connect to you. If they use your energy, you will probably find yourself on the brink of exhaustion the next morning, making you more prone to illness.
  7. When you leave the location, I recommend doing a closing ceremony. Basically, this entails telling the ghosts that they must remain at the location and cannot follow you home. We will often burn sage and do a smudging of each participant before they leave, as an extra measure. You should also cut your cords. Entities, and even people, connect to one another with invisible energy cords. Cut these with your non-dominant hand, envisioning the ethereal cords breaking in half. Then imagine white light filling all the holes where the cords were once located. Once you’ve done this, leave. Don’t stand by your car and talk. This gives the dead more opportunities to attach to you.
  8. Cleanse yourself when you get home. I recommend taking a bath infused with sea salt and lavender. This cleanses the spiritual energy off you and also serves to relax you after an eventful investigation. Eat something healthy, as well. It’s recommended to eat foods that will help you ground. Nourishment that comes from the earth is usually the best. Nuts, grains, root vegetables and even chocolate are good for grounding.
  9. Ground and shield yourself before you begin reviewing your evidence the next day. If you didn’t fully cut your cords to the entities at the investigation, you will re-attach yourself to them when you begin listening to your audio recordings or combing through your photos or video captures.
  10. Never cut corners. Even if you are in a rush, always take the time to protect yourself before, during and after an investigation. The investment could end up saving you a lot of pain and suffering after the fact.

As an author and investigator, I’ve encountered dozens of scenarios that you will not want to experience. Ghost hunting is not fun and games. Sometimes it can be deadly. If you would like to learn more about the ins and outs of being a sensitive or would like to explore other avenues for paranormal protection, please check out my book Dark and Scary Things – A Sensitive’s Guide to the Paranormal World.

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 13 books, including Dark and Scary Things – A Sensitive’s Guide to the Paranormal World,  Devil’s Toy Box, The Soul Collector and Bones in the Basement, all available on Amazon.com, as well as Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords. Click on any of the covers below to learn more about the book.

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