Spiritual Intervention Part 2


I should have listened to the signs. Someone didn’t want me to go to the Haunted Victorian Mansion.

Throughout my life, I’ve come to realize that very little happens by accident. Nearly every situation, ever conversation, every chance meeting leads you to another place in your life. If you look back and track these things, they become very apparent, almost like dominoes tipping over onto one another.

I’ve been strangely drawn to the Victorian since the first time I saw it. I knew that a house in Gardner had been on the paranormal television show, Ghost Hunters, but since I seldom visited the town, I didn’t know where it was. Then as if by chance, I started dating a local guy who showed me a shortcut to Staples. It was a shortcut that led me directly past the huge Second Empire Victorian Mansion.

The first time I saw it, my breath was taken away.

That’s the house, I thought to myself with a sense of awe.

I wanted more in an instant. I wanted to walk inside of it and see the beautiful architecture. I wanted to know if it was really haunted. I wanted to know why it was for sale. I kept my eye on it for several years, making excuses to drive past. When fate intervened again, I had an opportunity to investigate there through a public ghost hunt.

I was mesmerized by what I saw. The house was even more grandiose on the inside than I expected, after seeing the rapidly deteriorating exterior. The rooms inside were garnished with elaborate hand-carved woodwork. Every door was a work of art; every doorknob was a slice of history. I tried to imagine how many people had put their hand where my hand was, how many lives passed through these doors, and how many of them never left.

Over the course of a year, I would investigate there three more times. When I overheard the owners talking about a Halloween Haunted House tour, I quickly volunteered to help. I spent several evenings at the mansion, helping to decorate, and then fought a surprise October blizzard to be there for the seven hour tour.  For the next few years, I would find ways to be there, whether it was to help with investigations and tours, or to help the caretaker shovel snow, or walk through periodically during the long winters when the mansion was closed. In all honesty, it became an obsession to me.

Being intuitive, I had a deeper connection with the spirits at the house than was probably healthy. I felt bad for them, having to go through investigation after investigation, and would have conversations with invisible people, hopefully comforting them with the thought that the funds raised were going into the house repairs. I began helping with fundraising events and connected the owners to a friend of mine who did websites, I found a contractor who’d donate his time to do some of the repairs. I blogged about my experiences there, even including a chapter in my book, The Soul Collector. I defended them when they were under attack from several members of the paranormal world.  I never turned down a chance to be there, even after I moved over an hour away.

My friend, Sandy, saw it and worried about me. “You need to make a break from that house. It has an unnatural hold on you,” she told me.

I didn’t disagree, but I was like an addict, needing a fix. “You are probably right,” I’d tell her, and then make plans to be there the following weekend. Even after my friend MJ had a strange dream about me, warning of future trouble, I still didn’t heed the warnings. She saw me working in the nursery, while a ghost in the room told her that I wasn’t allowed to leave, that I belonged to the house now. Most people would have listened to something as potentially prophetic as that, but not me.

One October afternoon, I’d promised MJ that I’d bring her to see the house. She’d always wanted to see the inside, but couldn’t manage the investigations with small children at home.  By this time, I was writing a book for the owners about their experiences, so I wanted to stop by for another interview.

The day started fine, but the closer I got to the event, things started happening to prevent me from arriving. First I started getting a migraine. When I staved it off with massive amounts of migraine relief, the next thing happened: my GPS didn’t recognize her address. When I worked around that, I inadvertently drove for ten minutes the wrong way on Route 2, before realizing my mistake. And then, I didn’t have a key and the owner was going to be late. And through the entire afternoon, my ears were ringing, ringing, ringing.

Being clairaudient, I can hear ghosts and spirits. A ghost makes a sound that immolates static or white noise. A spirit, someone who has crossed over into the white light, has a pure high pitch. One bothers me and the other comforts me. This tone was high-pitched, making me wonder who was with me. Was it a spirit guide? A relative who had passed on? I didn’t know, but it gave me the impression that it wasn’t happy with me.

I’ve been told that we all have spirit guides or guardian angels who look after us. I could imagine mine pretty clearly. Protecting me would be a job nobody would want considering the places I always seemed to visit. I could imagine them with their heads in their hands, saying, “not again!” This one wasn’t any different.

When we finally arrived at the Victorian, everything grew silent.  The ringing grew quiet and I completely forgot about it. We had an enjoyable evening sitting around the kitchen table talking with the owner and friends of the Victorian. A group had booked the mansion for an investigation, so we tried to stay out of their way out of respect for their evidence, knowing that when someone is walking around, it causes contamination on the audio and video recordings. MJ and I waited until they broke for dinner and made a mad dash to the master bedroom for an evp session.

We spent about fifteen minutes there, speaking almost freely to several ghosts in the room, before moving to the third floor Billiards Room. I made the mistake of calling the male ghost forward to talk. He didn’t seem very happy, responding with a derogatory comment.



As I left that night, I could hear the sounds of several tones in the car with me. None of them were spirits. They were all ghosts. It was enough to make my skin crawl.

“You need to go back to where you came from,” I demanded several times. Being appropriately cautious, I’d taken the normal precautions of burning sage, saying prayers, and carrying my special totems with me to help keep me protected. None if them worked though. I had a car full.

Since moving, I was pleased to have my bedroom all to myself. Gone were the constant feelings of being watched and everything else that goes along with a haunting. But over the course of the next few days, I’d see my sunny bedroom become dark, as though the light were being sucked away into a vacuum. The ghost tones would come and go, causing my cats to watch invisible shapes move around the room. On Wednesday night, as I was taking a bath, one of my kittens yelped from outside the door. When I found him cowering on the stairs, I carried him to my room, where he refused to leave my side. The other cats kept coming up to sniff him, as though something were wrong. Seldom do I turn on ghost hunting equipment in my own house, but I needed to know if it was paranormal or not.

“What happened to my cat?” I asked the Ovilus.

“Sqeeze” it said. I got chills from head to toe.

I woke the next morning with the feeling of someone lingering very close. The sound of ear ringing was so loud, I couldn’t hear anything else. Suddenly, I felt something grab both sides of my head and squeeze. The sensation wasn’t painful, but it was alarming. I jumped up and told it to stop.

“Just leave me alone!” I told it, wanting to get another few minutes of sleep. It was bad enough that the cats were frequently waking me up before my alarm, wanting breakfast, but now ghosts?  The reprieve only lasted a few minutes before it was repeated.

After I’d had my coffee, I knew I needed to do something. I tried to convince them to cross over into the light. I’ve had success in doing this in the past, but this time they weren’t budging. It was time to call in the reinforcements. I put a message out to Barbara Williams.

Barbara is a psychic medium who lives in Maine and is director of New England GHOST’s Maine branch. She’s helped me many times before and she’s someone I trust fully.

She did something very interesting, and if I hadn’t witnessed it myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. She set up a remote cross-over session.  She connected with two other mediums, as well as myself, and set a specific time to help the ghosts move on.

As the time grew near, I could feel the ghosts moving closer to me. I don’t always get psychic impressions of what’s around me. Usually I just hear the tones and try to figure it out by the register of the pitch, but this time it was very clear to me. I had a woman, a man, and a child. There were also two others there as well, souls that had been with the house I’d moved to.

I stood in the middle of my room, feeling foolish as I usually do when talking to invisible people, and closed my eyes.

“It’s time,” I told them. “You need to move on.” I told them about the white light and how it is a place of peace and serenity. Why stay here in a world where you don’t belong? Why be miserable when you can find the harmony and tranquility you deserve? After several minutes I could feel them cross. I was a little troubled though. I could still hear the sound of one lingering.

I just let it go for the moment. The female had stayed behind.

I saw her very clearly in my mind. She was in her early forties, with long dark hair. She wasn’t thin, but she wasn’t heavy. She carried the weight of the world in her eyes. If she were alive, we could have probably been great friends. She didn’t seem threatening. I’ve been around malevolent entities before, so I know how that feels, and she wasn’t giving me any of the same bad vibes. I felt like she just wasn’t ready.  She seemed sad. Maybe she had some unsolved issues she needed to attend to. I went back to my Ovilus.

“What do you want to tell me?” I asked.

The Ovilus spoke almost instantly. “Cancer,” it said. It then spit out several other words that were seemingly random and didn’t make any sense, but then repeated the word “cancer” again two more times. After a few days, I contacted Barbara again and told her I still had one left that I needed help with.

Barbara promised to help me and moments later I heard the tone begin to fade. After several seconds it was gone for good. I reached out to Barbara again, hoping to gain more insight. What she told me was very thought provoking. Being a very talented medium, Barbara was able to talk with the woman. She told her that she died of cancer, but wanted to stick around to watch over her family. She’d found me by happenstance, following me home hoping for help. No one is sure how she ended up at the Victorian, since she is more contemporary, and she didn’t seem to know the answer herself. Maybe she followed another intuitive person, hoping for help, and ended up there by accident. It’s something we’ll never know for certain.  What we do know is that she finally crossed after being reassured that she could come back later to watch over her family. It was good to know.

My new house is no longer haunted and my nights are my own again. I don’t understand why this is all happening to me, but it’s helping me learn so much more about this mysterious amazing world we live in.

Joni Mayhan

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

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Spiritual Intervention


Something didn’t want me to go to the Haunted Victorian Mansion on Saturday.

The first indication came at noon. I was supposed to leave at two o’clock to pick up my friend Mary-Jane, aka MJ, who’d never been to the Victorian before. She was aptly excited after hearing about all my adventures there, which I can’t blame her for. The house has a way of pulling us all in.

I’d been bustling around the house catching up on housework, putting things away that I’d hastily stowed in random places during the hurried pace of the week. I swept, mopped, changed litter boxes, and was starting to gather my ghost hunting gear, when a migraine headache came out of nowhere.  Usually they come on slow, building ever so slightly until my head feels like it’s caught in a vice grip, but this one was instant. It was as though someone latched onto my head, held me by the temples and squeezed with all his might.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve been down the migraine road far too many times. I began getting them at the young age of eight, resulting in years of cat scans, MRIs, X-rays, and other procedures of the seventies and eighties. I have to wonder if some of these tests, especially the ones that sent magnetic rays into my brain, might have triggered my ability to sense ghosts, but that’s another blog for later. I quickly swallowed some extra-strength pain relief, heated up my lavender-infused rice pack, and found a quiet spot to rest until it abated.  By two o’clock, I was feeling substantially better.

I had MJ’s address from earlier in the week, and had even typed it into Google Maps to make sure I knew the general vicinity, but when I plugged it into my GPS, it didn’t recognize it, even though my GPS also uses Google Maps. MJ says this is pretty common for her area and we worked around it, inputting another town that borders on hers. By this time, I was already fifteen minutes late in leaving.

All the way to MJ’s house, my ears were ringing. This isn’t usually a good thing. Being clairaudient, I can hear the sound ghosts and spirits make when they move into my space. A clear bell-like tone signifies a spirit, someone who is usually helpful, like a spirit guide or a guardian of sorts. A static sound is the sound a ghost makes, which is something I don’t like to hear, especially after having lived through a horrible ghost attachment several years ago. When I hear the sound, my first reaction is to bolt. Thankfully, this one was a spirit, but it worried me none the less. It almost felt like someone was sending me an urgent plea to turn around and go back home.

I didn’t have another situation arise until after I picked MJ up. Even though I knew we would need to travel on Route 2 east to get to Gardner, I started driving west.  Maybe it was the lingering effects of the migraine, maybe it was my seasonal allergies acting up, or because MJ and I were chatting. I don’t know, but I drove for ten minutes in the wrong direction before it dawned on me and I turned around.

As I’m in route, I got a call from the owner, telling me he’d be late and asked if I could unlock the door for the ghost hunting group who was arriving that night. I readily agreed, until I remembered that I no longer had possession of a key. I called Marion, the caretaker of the mansion, and made a brief detour to Hubbardston to pick up my key. By the time we pulled up at the door, I was twenty minutes late.

A car was at the curb waiting for me. A friend of the Victorian’s, who saw my post on Facebook, had wanted to meet me at the house to purchase one of my books.  As I was signing books for her and her friend, another car pulled up, asking if I could take them for a tour. This was truly no issue for me. I love giving people tours through the beautiful mansion, watching their faces as they take it all in. By the time we’d finished, the ghost hunting group had arrived, as well as the owner. MJ and I would end up waiting until 10pm before being able to sneak off to do a quick EVP session.

A ghost hunting group had booked the mansion for the night. While the house was large enough to support multiple groups, we didn’t want to be in the way. We waited until they took a meal break and then headed to the master bedroom on the second floor.

The master bedroom is the place where a Finnish immigrant, Eino Sauri, supposedly self-combusted in 1963. I’ve seen his death certificate, which lists the cause of his death as “smoke inhalation from careless smoking”, but I’ve also heard the stories. One thing that has always bothered me was the pronunciation of his name. Initially, we thought he was Portuguese, but later learned from a relative that he was actually from Finland. I asked him about the pronunciation and got a fairly clear response:


The previous night, Marion and Tina, another of the Victorian’s caretakers, had reported seeing curtains move during the night. I was very impressed, but a little disappointed that nothing of that magnitude has ever happened to me. I’ve collected many evps, but have never actually seen anything paranormal happen there. As I asked for them to move the curtains for me, they complied quickly. A curtain near the fireplace began frantically wiggling back and forth for about fifteen seconds. I tried to debunk it by feeling for a draft, but couldn’t get it to be repeated. Here’s the evp I captured during this time.


I sat back down and asked a few more questions. One thing that was on my mind was how the ghosts felt about me. While I thought they generally liked me, I wasn’t sure. So, I asked them if they remembered me. The response was quite shocking. Two of them repeated my name in a five second period. I ended up getting it one more time as well. I still don’t know if they like me or not, but at least I know they’re aware of me.


We only had a few minute before the team who was investigating finished with dinner, so we hurried up to the third floor to do one more Spirit Box session. I’ve always gotten great responses there. One man in particular always talks to me.  Other known spirits and ghosts on the third floor are a child, and possibly a woman who helped care for the house.

I felt someone come into the room. To me, the tone was consistent with a ghost child.



Shortly afterwards, I felt a much heavier energy come into the room. It felt dark and intense, not necessarily angry, but not something you wanted to mess with either.  The other ghosts tried to warn me he was there.


I started talking to him, trying to draw him out. He’s usually fairly pleasant, if not a bit sarcastic. He was apparently in no mood to be messed with though. When I asked if he was there, he responded with “f#k no!” Then, he made a typical comment, telling the others that they “got some weirdoes here.”



At this point, my ears were ringing with a very high pitch like they had in the car, as though my guardian or spirit guide was trying to get my attention. It was clear she was getting tired of protecting me when I kept putting myself in such imminent danger. I decided to pack up and leave the third floor.

We spent a few more hours at the Victorian so I could interview Edwin about his experiences at the house. I’m writing a book for him and wanted to get more details for the next few chapters. We left before midnight and made our way back to the western part of the state. As I drove, I began hearing the signature tone of ghosts in the car with me.

I brought something home with me.

More than one, as it turned out.

(to be continued…)

Joni Mayhan

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

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


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


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My Victorian Guardian


If you didn’t think I was crazy before, you might after reading this post.

I hung onto this story for well over a month, going back and forth on whether to post it or not. In the end, I decided to share it in hopes that it might help another budding medium.

For those who have read my book The Soul Collector, you know that I’ve lived through a very terrifying paranormal experience. The aftermath was fairly predictable. I became afraid of investigating. I only visited places where I thought I’d be safe, and I took protection to heart, sometimes going to great lengths to prevent another ghost from attaching to me.

The truth is: ghosts follow me. Being a sensitive, I must just emit a different energy than non-sensitives. Perhaps they think I can help them pass along a message or cross over to the other side, which makes perfect sense. If I possess the ability to sense them, then it would stand to reason that I might be strong enough to help them as well.

Unfortunately for them, I’m not to that stage yet. I’m not sure I ever want to get to that stage. After having a very malevolent attachment, I’m afraid of letting anything paranormal get too close to me. Unfortunately for me, they don’t always know this. They follow me anyway.

They find me in restaurants, in grocery stores, while driving in my car. I pick them up at my friends’ houses, at doctor’s offices, and while walking my dog through the woods.  It all starts with a sound. I hear a tone move through the air, growing louder as it gets closer to me. Sometimes I get a mind picture to go along with it, but sometimes I don’t. No matter what I do or say, they often follow me home.

This happened to me in August. I don’t even remember where I picked her up at. I just remember hearing a tone that I identified as a female ghost, and I got a mind picture of a young woman with long dark hair and angry, angry eyes. I did what I usually do in these situations- I ignored her.

I’ve tried smudging the house with sage, saying prayers, and firmly telling them to leave. They just laugh at me as they settle in for the long haul. I’ve found, through trial and error, that ignoring them usually makes them go away faster. They grow bored and impatient with me and eventually move onto better targets. This one was different though.

It started one Monday morning with the smell of gas. I woke up and made my way to the kitchen, where I planned on making a pot of coffee while surfing the Internet before work. I was stopped short by the overpowering smell of propane gas. It didn’t take long to discover the source. One of the gas burners on my stove was turned on.

It was a curious moment for me because I was home alone. In order to turn the burner on, you have to press the button inwards and then turn it. In my eight years in the house, it was something that had never happened to me. My pets lacked opposing thumbs, so I knew they couldn’t have turned it on. I hadn’t cooked anything in days either. I just shrugged and busied myself opening doors and windows to clear out the potentially dangerous fumes. The thought that it might be paranormal never even graced my mind.

Two days later, something else would happen to make me question it. I was walking past the bathroom and noticed that the toilet paper roll was missing. The entire silver cylinder was also gone. I looked around in all the rooms, but couldn’t find it. I initially blamed it on the cats. Even though they’d never done this before, it was within reason. I figured I’d find it later under a bed or behind a dresser. What I wasn’t expecting was to find it back in place an hour later.

I walked past the bathroom again, on my way to refill my coffee mug, and just happened to glance in the bathroom. I stopped stock-still, just staring at the impossible sight I was seeing. The toilet paper and cylinder were right back in place, as if they were never gone.

I took a deep breath and looked around me. I didn’t see anything, but the signature tone I’d been hearing all week was louder than before.  Nothing of this magnitude had ever happened to me before. I’ve had the occasional item disappear, only to reappear somewhere else later, but it was never this obvious before. Usually, it would be something I could blame on myself, like finding my keys on the coffee table instead of in my purse where I swore I left them. There was always a possible explanation. This time, there wasn’t one.  Toilet paper rolls just don’t simply disappear and then reappear.

As I stood there, trying very hard not to allow fear to overcome me, I couldn’t help but wonder. What else was she capable of? If she could move toilet paper, could she also move knives? Could she push me down the stairs or harm one of my pets? It was then that I remembered the gas incident from days before. Was she responsible for that as well?

From previous experience, I knew not to allow myself to be afraid. Fear simply feeds them, gives them a deep-dish serving of the energy they need to do more. I probably don’t have to explain how hard this is to do. Fear is our first natural reaction to unsettling incidents. Running and screaming would be the second and third reactions. I took another deep breath and continued down the hallway to refill my coffee, trying not to think too much.

Over the course of the next few days, I began feeling her stronger. Her anger was so powerful, it was almost visible, radiating with spiked thorns every time she was near me. I tried to quiet my mind and ask her what she wanted, but all I got was that sense of overwhelming anger. She was either really mad at me, or I reminded her of someone who’d done her wrong at some point. I tried to reason with her, but she just wouldn’t go away.

As it turns out, we had a meet-up event at the Haunted Victorian Mansion that weekend. People tease me, telling me it’s become my “home away from home,” which isn’t far from the truth. I am drawn there for reasons I don’t fully understand. But one thing is certain – I always feel very comfortable there. I have a sense that the ghosts at the Victorian like me. They’ve seen me in there dozens upon dozens of times and know that I am one of the Victorian Helpers – someone who comes in to help with events, shovel snow, and visit with the owners. They’ve even seen me lean out the third floor window after a hurricane to pull a piece of loose flashing back into place.

I had a small group of mostly newbies that night. I led many EVP sessions, bringing my group to various rooms in the house. When I got to the Red Room, I did a session, and then waited while everyone packed up and moved to the next room before I spoke to them.

“I always feel comfortable here and I get the sense that you like me. I need help though. I have a very negative ghost in my house that might be trying to kill me. Can one of you help me get rid of her?” I asked.

I immediately heard a high pitched tone swoop in and settle near me. Through working with a very talented psychic medium, Barbara Williams, I’ve learned that the very high pitched tones aren’t just female, they are spirits. As Barbara explains it, spirits are ghosts who have crossed over like they’re supposed to do. Sometimes they still come to visit, and are even know to help on occasion. They are the grandmother, or mother who passed away, but return for visits. Or they are the spirit guides who travel with each of us. Regardless of what it really was, it was a tone I was comfortable with. I felt nothing but a prevailing sense of peace and love, an invisible hug and a promise that everything would be okay. The moment was so profound for me, I found myself with tears in my eyes.

“Thank you,” I whispered into the air.

I left a few hours later, having the tone remain with me the entire evening. She was with me when I walked out to my car. She was with me on the thirty-minute drive to my home. I could hear her as I walked up my sidewalk. I could feel her love wash through me. Be strong, she encouraged me.

In my mind I saw her as young and blond, dressed in a very plain white dress with an apron. I thought her name was Anna, or Emma, or possibly even Annie. In the end, I called her Emi, after a character in Ember Rain, one of my earlier books.

I walked down the dark hallway to my bedroom, trying to still the fear in my heart. My bedroom was always the place where they were the strongest. I seldom slept through the night without being woken up by something. It had gotten so bad that even my cats wouldn’t venture in there any longer, even though it had always been their favorite place to sleep.

I quickly dressed for bed and slid under the covers, saying a small prayer before closing my eyes. At first the room was very quiet, then I could hear the negative woman’s lower pitched tone move into the room, almost as though she had a trip-wire alarm set up, alerting her when I was in my room. I pressed my eyes together tightly and began counting down from twenty-one, something I’ve done for years to help me relax enough to fall asleep. Before I got to ten, I could hear Emi’s higher pitched tone whoosh into the room. In seconds, the tones began swirling around the room, as though they were chasing one other.

The sounds would grow louder, then softer. I opened my eyes, fully expecting to witness a battle, but there was nothing. Just my room. I fell asleep shortly after, somehow. When I woke up the next morning, all I heard was Emi. She’d chased the negative woman away.

She stayed with me for several weeks afterwards, almost as if standing guard in case the woman tried to come back. In time, she left completely. I was sad at first, but then realized the valuable lesson she’d taught me. I now know how to protect myself.

When I hear the lower static-sound of a ghost or negative entity, I reach out with my mind and ask for help. Soon, I hear the faint sound of a high-pitch, growing louder and louder as she moves closer. Within moments, the lower-pitched tone disappears, and I feel the warmth and love from my guardian. I don’t know if it’s Emi or someone else who is watching over me. All I know is that my faith in love and spiritual intervention is stronger than it’s ever been. For every negative entity, there is a positive one who will come to my rescue.

I know this is a bizarre story. I know it’s difficult to believe. If someone told it to me, I’d probably arch an eyebrow, wanting to check their medicine cabinet later, but I can assure you that I am completely sane and always have been. Strange things just seem to happen to me and I often share them with the world. Maybe it’s my gift, my destiny.

My strange paranormal life.

Joni Mayhan

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

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


Angels of Ember trilogy – After a devastating virus nearly wipes the world clean of people, 16 year-old Ember Pain grows tired of running and hiding. Fighting back becomes not only a necessity, it becomes a battle of good over evil.



 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

Paranormal Unity and a Dollar


The first time I heard the term “Paranormal Unity” I had mixed feelings.

First, I thought  back to my Girl Scout days, when we’d sit around a camp fire singing Kumbaya, feeling a togetherness I haven’t felt since. We promised to always have one another’s backs and help each other succeed in the world. I saw us as this unstoppable force that could change the world. I imagined the paranormal world embracing this attitude; sharing information and helping us understand the unknown a little better.

Then, I just shook my head and thought, yeah right

This could never happen in the paranormal community, mostly because we aren’t a community at all. We are nothing but a bunch of islands scattered in a vast sea. Some of us play well with others, reaching out to various teams for support and to share ideas, but most of us don’t. There is more bickering between the teams than ever before.

I’m not sure I even got into the field for the right reasons. So many people claim they investigate because they want to help people or help ghosts find their way to where they’re supposed to be. I got into it because I was curious. It’s as simple as that. I had several experiences that I couldn’t explain and I wanted to know more. Once I dipped my foot into that ocean, I was hooked. I wanted to know more and more and more. If I helped people or ghosts along the way, that was even better.

Now I’m reconsidering this field. You can’t go on Facebook without seeing someone bashing someone else over how they investigate, or whether a house was even haunted. People open their homes or businesses up for investigations and other people get on social media or radio shows, telling the world they are frauds or thieves, or whatever strikes their fancy. I find myself defending people – defending my friends. And then I find myself under attack for standing up for my friends. Seriously?

I had a very bad experience two years ago that truly scared me. It made me question everything I’d ever heard about ghosts. It made me believe in demons and angels and spirit guides, things I would have rolled my eyes at a decade ago. It was a very humbling experience for me. It made me realize that everything isn’t always as it seems. And that bad things can and will happen, even when you’re as careful as you can be. It makes me understand why a homeowner could flee their house, but still love the house enough to not want to give it up.

In the aftermath of my own experience, I’m still strangely curious about the paranormal. I still go on the occasional investigation if it intrigues me. I try to keep myself protected and I only go to places where I think it’s safe. I don’t go to old prisons or old TB hospitals any longer. I don’t go to cemeteries, because who knows what you’re going to find there? I’ve gotten some flak over it. While most people understand, others will try to discredit my story, telling me that someone who went through what I endured would never willingly step foot in a haunted location again. I don’t know what to tell these people except that it did happen and I am still intrigued. I’m just more careful now.

When I do go on investigations, I try to help out as best as I can, knowing the most I can do is collect data. I’m not certain how much this helps anyone. Is knowing really better? Are psychic mediums the only ones who can help trapped entities? Is that even possible? I’ve been told there is no such thing as trapped ghosts. I’ve been told that ghosts are literally everywhere, but don’t usually bother people unless they are upset. I’ve been told things that directly conflict with other things I’ve been told. And every single person who told me these things held firm in their convictions that they were right and the naysayers were wrong. So, who’s right?

Honestly, nobody knows for sure. I’m sorry. I don’t care who you are and what you do; you can’t truly know these things until they happen to you. There might be a light we all go to. There might not be. There might be a demon in the basement. There might not be.  There might not even be such a thing as demons. Who knows? All we do know is that something happens to us when we die because we’ve collected enough evidence supporting this. The best thing to do would be to make it a group effort, pooling our resources.

And stop hurting each other.

Paranormal Unity and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee. That’s about all. While I love the concept, it just will never work in this field. You just have to find people who you enjoy spending time with, and who won’t hate on you the moment you turn your back, and just do what you do. Or maybe we should just all leave well enough alone. We could all be doing more harm than good, despite our best intentions.

When it comes right down to it, the only ones we’re truly hurting with our negativity is ourselves and our field. The more we bicker, the more we discredit everything we’ve collectively done. We tear down each other’s evidence, we point fingers, we say snide things when we don’t agree with what we’ve heard. And through that, we make ourselves look foolish. We make people outside our field scratch their heads, wondering if we’re all just a little crazy.

I’m not going to say anything bad about anyone else. People come to the place they are because they’ve lived through things that shaped them that way. I’m not perfect either. I just try to stay away from the bullies and find the people like me, who just want to learn more. And I write books about it, because that’s what I do.

I will go on to protect my friends, because that’s also what I do. I’ll help people who need my help, if it’s something I’m capable of helping with. I’ll tread lightly, trying not to do more harm than good.

But just know, that inside when I hear you talking badly about one another, I will shake my head sadly.

We’re all people, having a human experience. We should help one another, at least a little.

And we should stop all the hating. It doesn’t help anyone.

Joni Mayhan

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

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



Angels of Ember trilogy – in this post-apocalyptic thriller, follow sixteen year-old Ember Pain as she fights for survival in a world that has become dark and deadly, fighting against all odds to prove that good truly does conquer evil.



 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

Defending a Mansion


I am normally a very laid-back person. If something bothers me and I can’t fix it, I take a tip from my dog. I kick a little dirt on it, after marking it for later reference, and then move on.

Some things are harder than others to move on from, though. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who go out of their way to bring a little gloominess to everything they touch. When I encounter them, I try to remember that negative people are simply that: negative. They’ll find fault with anything and everything. I can usually just do the dog-thing and kick a little dirt on the situation and move on, but not when it comes to friends or family.

If you know me, you’ll probably remember that I am very passionate about the Haunted Victorian Mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts. I visit any chance I get. I am peculiarly drawn there. I just can’t seem to stay away.

A lot of my fixation involves the house itself. Built in 1875, the Second Empire Victorian style mansion is beautiful in detail and rich in history. The nine-foot tall mahogany doors lead to a luxurious interior that was state-of-the-art for the late 1800’s. The house boasts two cisterns that once collected rainwater from the slate roof, providing the occupants with running water. The hand-carved moldings and cornices speak volumes of a time when houses were built slowly and lovingly. A sophisticated call-system was wired through the house, allowing people on one floor to communicate with those on other floors. Famous people frequented the mansion back in its heyday. Minnesota Fats played pool there. The likes of Bette Davis, PT Barnum, and Norman Rockwell were frequent visitors. President Calvin Coolidge even spent time there. Walking through the doors is like traveling back in time.

The house is owned by two of the nicest people I’ve ever known. Edwin Gonzalez and Lillian Otero are very warm and welcoming. From the first time I met them, and they greeted me at the door with hugs, I knew they were special people. Over the years, they’ve collected a group of friends, who fondly refer to themselves as the Victorian Mansion Groupies. We help out with investigations and fund-raisers, and anything else that needs time and attention. Heading up this group is Marion Luomo, the Victorian Mansion Caretaker. She tirelessly tends to the house while the owners are away, checking to insure the house is in good order, and often opening up the house for investigations and tours. She is often joined by Tina Aube, who is just as addicted to the Victorian Mansion as I am. Our friend, Sandy MacLeod joins us on occasion, as does NE POST founder, Christopher Cox, and co-founder, Christina Treger Achilles, who are pooling resources for repairs to the house.  Together, we all have a mission: to save the Victorian.

The Victorian has fallen on tough times. 138 years of freezing and thawing, pigeons, hurricanes, and blizzards, has taken its toll on the house. The gables are pulling away from the building, and the slate roof has been leaking for many years, threatening the entire structure. Chris Cox brought in a contractor for an evaluation, and the news wasn’t good. If the house isn’t repaired, it might not last another year or two.

Anyone who owns an old Victorian knows they can be money pits. When Edwin and Lillian first moved in, they spent money hand-over-fist, fixing the plumbing, trying to get the fireplaces to work safely, updating the electrical, and a host of other repairs. Any money they received from tours and investigations went almost directly to the repairmen. When the house became too paranormally active to live in, they were forced to move closer to Boston, where they share a small space at Lillian’s sister’s house.

At this point, they could have sold the house. They could have put it on the market and taken a financial hit for all the money they’d already invested into it. But, like many of us, the house had a hold on them. They loved it and wanted, if nothing else, to save it from total ruin. They just couldn’t walk away and leave it up to fate.

Nearly every penny they receive from investigations and tours goes right back into the house. Besides the expensive repairs, they have to pay the mortgage, the electric bill, town taxes, and insurance. They do this for a house they can’t even live in, while maintaining a separate residence nearly fifty miles away. When the house appears on a paranormal show, it brings more interest. More people want to tour it or investigate it, bringing more money for the repairs that are desperately needed.

And some people have criticized them for it.

They say they’re exploiting the spirits, while raking in tons of money and enjoying their fame and fortune. Those people have never seen Edwin and Lillian drive up to the event in their old Honda, or understand that they now live in a room that is smaller than any one room in the mansion they own, but can’t live in. They’ve never seen them break down in tears when talking about the events that led them to flee from their own house. They’ve never seen the love in their eyes as they talk about their beloved Victorian.

As Edwin recently said, “Who would do that? Who would buy a house they couldn’t live in?”

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course. Some say the house is filled with ghosts, while others proclaim it to be ghost-free. If you lived it from the inside-out, you would probably have a different take on the matter. Imagine being pinned to your bed with invisible hands, waking up to find a woman standing by your bedside crying. What would you do if your doors slammed on their own accord, while you listened to footsteps walk around your bed while you tried to sleep? What if you were overtaken by something you couldn’t explain, waking up days later with little knowledge of what transpired? Would you really want to stay there?  I’ve spent the night there twice, and I can tell you that it wasn’t a pleasant experience. While I love the house dearly, I’d never want to live there. If I had the opportunity to seek help, or at least have some of my questions answered, I too would turn to people who could possibly offer assistance. The problem is: who do you believe?

Not all the people invited to the mansion are there to investigate. Some have been called in to help. Multiple people have blessed and cleansed the house. Others have offered answers to some of the questions plaguing the owners. In the paranormal field though, answers are never cut and dried. Since there aren’t any rule books on the subject, all of the information being provided to the owners has been varied, and not always helpful. Some have caused more harm than good. Others have tried to fix this, only to make it worse. For the moment, the house is much calmer than it’s been in years, but that isn’t guaranteed to last. As we all know, change often happens quickly and without warning.

So, please…be more considerate. Remember that this is a house that needs help. Sponsoring paranormal events brings money which is needed to fix the house. If the house isn’t repaired, it has only a few years left before it will fall into a swift decline. It is a piece of Gardner history, a treasure that is precariously hanging by its last hope. If having it featured on paranormal television shows helps this house stick around another hundred years, what harm is it doing to you?

If you have ideas that could help Edwin and Lillian, by all means, please share them. We all love that house and want nothing more than to see it transformed back to its former beauty.

Now, I’m going to kick some dirt over this and move on. I have another book to write.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

Angels of Ember trilogy

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm


For more information about the SK Pierce Haunted Victorian Mansion, please see their website: hauntedvictorianmansion.com or find them on Facebook.


My First Paranormal Experience


I was six years old when I had my first paranormal experience, but I still remember it like it happened yesterday.

I grew up in a little log cabin that sat across the lake from my grandparent’s house. It was every child’s paradise. Being the first grandchild, I was very spoiled by both of my grandparents. My grandfather, who I called Poppy, let me follow along as he checked his traps in the woods. He’d always bring me a package of caramel creams, and we’d sit on a log and enjoy a snack halfway through. While I was very close to Poppy, my heart really belonged to my grandmother, Nanny.

My memories of her are actually very clear, despite how many years it’s been since I last saw her. She babysat me in the afternoons, meeting me at the bus and walking me down her long lane to her house, where we’d sit in her chair and watch Dialing For Dollars, an old show that aired back in the early seventies.  She had a pink bedroom, with a pink telephone, and a little dog named Skipper, who adored her.  She hung elves on her Christmas tree every year, and let me play with them, even after I broke one. Every day with her was a gift.

It came as no surprise when Nanny died when she was only fifty-five years old, which is only six years older than I am today. She had scarlet fever as a child, which weakened her heart. She’d been to countless doctors over the years, but the medical world couldn’t do anything to help her ailing heart. One morning, she simply didn’t wake up. All of us were aptly saddened. Nanny was a special person, with an embracing sense of warmth. She’d just tuck me into her lap and the world suddenly felt like a better place. The night after she died, I had a dream about her.

In the dream, my mother and I were going to her house to pack away some of her clothes for the Goodwill so Poppy wouldn’t have to contend with it. As we came into her living room, I was shocked to see Nanny siting on the couch, smiling at me.

I ran and jumped on her lap. “Nanny! I thought you died,” I said, filled with awe that she was actually here with me.  I looked for my mother to show her that she was wrong. Nanny didn’t die! My mother was already in Nanny’s bedroom, pulling clothes out of her closet. How could she have walked right by Nanny without seeing her?

Nanny turned to me, and I could feel the love pour through her.

“I did die, sweetheart, but I couldn’t leave without telling you goodbye,” she said. I hugged her with all my might, and then woke up from my dream.

That story still causes goose bumps to rise up on my arms, because I know it was true. Nanny looked out for me for many years. I don’t know if you’d call her my guardian or my angel, but she was there for me many times in my youth.

I started experiencing clairaudient experiences soon afterwards. My ears would ring when a spirit was near, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Should I find it scary or fascinating? I wasn’t even certain what it meant. One of the reasons why it took me so long to figure it out was due to Nanny. She’d nudge me when I was making a bad decision, or if I needed help. I remember literally having my hand in the cookie jar right before dinner, when my ears began ringing loudly. I pulled my hand out quickly, startled by the sound, just as my mother walked into the kitchen. She did it again when a man tried to break into our bedroom a few years after that. My ears began ringing, and I knew I needed to run to get my mother. It would happen again and again, saving me more times than I could count.

Years later, Nanny would actually save my life.

I was eighteen-years-old and was driving back from a job interview on a busy two-lane highway. My old Pontiac Grand Prix was a monstrous beast, but when I put my foot on the pedal, she could almost fly. I enjoyed the sensation of driving fast with my windows open, music flowing through the speakers as freely as the wind blew into my windows. I was approaching seventy miles per hour, singing along with Journey on my eight-track stereo, when I saw Nanny’s face in my mind.

Slow down! She warned me, her face white with fear.

The image was so abrupt and clear, I couldn’t help but listen. I took my foot off the gas and moved it to the brake pedal, slowing down until I was down to forty. At that precise moment, my front tire blew out.

Had I been going seventy, I probably would have had a very serious accident, possibly even flipping the car in the process. Since I was only going forty, I was able to coast to the side of the road, safe and sound.

I haven’t felt her near me in years. I think she knew that it was time to let go and let me make the mistakes I needed to make to become the person I am today. I miss her, but I’m so very grateful for the time she spent with me, both living and in spirit form.


Joni Mayhan

Please check out my new book, The Soul Collector, available on Amazon.com.





The Soul Collector – Part 2

I was at a very bad place in my life.  I’d been unceremoniously dumped by my boyfriend of two years, my family was a thousand miles away, and a very negative spirit had attached himself to me.

I wouldn’t learn how bad he was until I made the trek to Maine to spend Thanksgiving with my paranormal friends. The minute I walked into the house, the psychic of our group told me that I had a spirit with me and that he was bad.

Really bad.

He was a soul collector.

She said that when she looked at me, she saw hundreds, if not thousands, of spirits behind him. They were lined up, row upon row, following this spirit everywhere he went. And they looked sick, as if they’d died of some sort of tragic disease.

My blood turned to ice.

The place we investigated was the site of an old tuberculosis hospital.  How could this have happened?

I am always very respectful of spirits when I investigate. I always ask them if they need help and never, ever provoke them just to get a response. Why would one of them follow me? It made no sense. Surely there were other people out there who were far more interesting.

That’s when I began to learn my fate in life.

I am a beacon.

People who are “sensitives” are able to sense spirits. Some just feel them move into the room, others have physical cues like a tingling on the back of their necks, or goose bumps that rise up on their arms. For me, the cue is actually physical. I hear them. I am clairaudient.

The tones move in, almost swooping down upon me. Some tones are high, some are low. As they move farther away, the tone grows softer. I’ve dealt with this ability all my life, but had recently been working with it on investigations. It was like having a new toy.

Unfortunately, like any muscle, once you begin flexing it and working with it, it grows stronger. It literally made me grow brighter in the spirit world. I must stand out like a bug light to a flock of moths.

She promised to help me with it and sent me on my way. It was a long drive home, hearing his signature tone in the car with me. I began to almost panic. How could I live like this, knowing someone very evil was lurking over my shoulder? How would I even begin to lie in bed and close my eyes? I was terrified.

I researched the subject as much as I could, learning that negative entities could actually collect other spirits. In some cultures, they are known to do this in order to achieve a higher rank in the spirit world.  I slept very little, often retreating to the couch in the living room, where it felt a little safer. One thing was for sure: my bedroom was a hotspot for spirit activity.

Every time I went in there, my ears would ring like crazy. I could feel the sensation of eyes glaring at me, could see the movements out of the corner of my eyes. I would feel soft touches on my face, feel my hair being gently caressed. Sometimes the covers would be pulled off of me. My cats got to the point where they would flee from the room with their ears flattened. I tried to pray. I burned sage. I recited the Saint Michael’s Prayer. I recited The Lord’s Prayer.  And I cried a lot.

Why me?

Seriously… This guy could have picked on any number of people. The place where I went to was popular with the paranormal world. Investigators were in and out of there on a regular basis. I touched base with the psychic again and she told me that it might have something to do with my overall well-being at the time of the investigation. When people are depressed, they are more susceptible to spirit attachments.  Great.  There’s nothing like being kicked when you’re already down.

The days passed by slowly. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t talk about it. My teenage son lived with me four days a week and I didn’t want to scare him with what was happening to me. But, on the other hand, I didn’t want to endanger him either.  What was I going to do?

The psychic told me that the soul collector wanted me. That he wasn’t ever letting me go.

Mine. He told her.

She said that he stood behind me constantly, whispering in my ear.

“Can you hear him?” she asked me.

Thankfully, I couldn’t. I could just hear the ear shattering buzz that followed me through all the hours of my day. Knowing that he was with me nearly sent me off the deep end. He followed me into the bathroom, was always lurking close as I showered and dressed, he hovered over my bed all night long, just inches away from my face. He wasn’t letting me go.

He wanted to cut me off from everyone and he started with my electronics. I suddenly began having issues with my internet connection, and then my cell phone. I would call someone and the line would become filled with static. Sometimes it wouldn’t work at all. My phone would be dead and nothing short of rebooting it would get it to work again. Not only was I terrified, I was being systematically cut off from the rest of the world – cut off from the help I desperately needed.

I kept reaching out to the psychic, asking if she could come to my house, offering to pay her way, offering anything I could think of to get this spirit off of me. Unfortunately, she was going through issues of her own with family and her job. She kept telling me she would help me, but as the days went by, I began to lose hope. I fell into an even deeper fugue that I just couldn’t emerge from.

I’ve always been a “bounce back quickly” kind of person. I’ve never suffered from depression or had anything truly get me down for more than a day. I usually wake up the next morning, determined to conquer what is ailing me. This time, there didn’t seem to be any hope.

I’m thankful I had great friends as I was going through this. Since they were also ghost hunters, I didn’t have to prove to them that I wasn’t crazy. They knew that what I was dealing with was real. They listened to my stories, offered me couches and spare beds to sleep on, and tried to help me figure it all out. But, no one had an answer for me.

And it just kept getting worse.

The ear ringing grew to a level where it nearly drove me insane. I started hearing louder thumps on my walls, and the nightmares intensified, leaving me on the brink of insanity.

One day while I was working, I could feel him looming over my shoulder, but I tried to ignore him as usual. “Don’t give him anything,” the psychic had warned me. But, he found other ways to get to me. Very suddenly, my cell phone came on and began playing music. I sat stock-still, just staring at it. In order to turn my phone on, I had to push and then slide a button. To get music to play, I would have had to scroll through the apps to find the music icon. The worst part of all of this was the song choice.

“Addicted” by Saving Abel.  It’s a song about a man who is emotionally and sexually addicted to a woman.


It’s not the kind of song I wanted a soul collector serenading me with.

It hit me on two levels too, something I’m sure he was well aware of.  I used to burn my ex-boyfriend CDs, selecting songs that made me think about him. This was one of the songs on the last CD I burned for him and it brought me back to a place where I didn’t want to go.

Emotionally, I was simply shutting down. I didn’t sleep more than a few hours a night. I stopped eating. I lost fifteen pounds, which wasn’t something that has ever been easy for me, and I started smoking again. I’d given it up years earlier, but here I was lighting up again. I was quickly moving from depression to oppression, something I wouldn’t understand until I reached out to another friend, Michael.

Michael is a paranormal investigator and a friend. He’d been studying with the Catholic Church on exorcisms. He is now the investigator the church calls when they have a report of a demonic possession. He goes in to check it out. If he feels it’s a true possession, he calls in the church to perform an exorcism, which he also participates in.

Michael, his wife Nancy, and friend, Steven, were at my house the day after my call. They literally dropped everything to help me.

Michael’s background in the paranormal field is complex. His mother was an Irish witch, who helped many people during his childhood.  Besides being an experienced paranormal investigator, Michael is also a medium. He has the ability to sense and communicate with the spirit world. He walked around my house with his eyebrows raised. I knew he had found something, but he wasn’t telling me everything.

“You definitely have something here,” he told me. “But, we’ll deal with it.”

He burned sage, recited prayers, and sprayed holy water on every wall, window and mirror. He even blessed my pets. He told the spirit to leave, and then planted Saint Benedict medals at the four corners of my property. All was well for several days.

I got some of my energy back and began feeling like myself again. I was working on the first book of my paranormal trilogy, Lightning Strikes, at that time. I was down to the final edits and began making some real progress with it. I felt like I had my life back until he came back again.

The next time would prove to be even worse than the last.

He had me in his sights and he wasn’t letting me go.

Lucky me.

Joni Mayhan

Many of my experiences with the soul collector ended up in my paranormal trilogy, Angels of Ember. Lightning Strikes, the first book in the series, is available on Amazon.com for Kindle for only $2.99.