Ghost of the Week Club

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Sometimes I feel as though somebody enrolled me into the Ghost of the Week Club.

I am what they call a Beacon. For whatever reason, ghosts are drawn to me like a moth to a bug light. Many of them follow me home, hoping for a number of things. Some just want the human companionship, while others are hoping for help. Still others just want to draw my energy, like they do with many of the living.

As a sensitive, I always know when a ghost is present. I was blessed/cursed with an ability called Clairaudience. I hear them. They make a sound that is similar to ear ringing. They swoop around the room and the sound goes in and out, growing fainter as they move away from me and closer as they approach me. If there are several ghosts in the room, I can hear their unique tones move in and out of one another. At times, my room feels like it’s in the middle of spiritual warfare.

Three weeks ago, I picked up one of the worst entities I’ve ever experienced at an investigation. I knew there were several dark entities present the moment I stepped onto the property. I should have turned around and walked away, but I didn’t want to ruin everyone else’s evening since I was the driver. We drove nearly two hours for a fundraising ghost event and everyone was excited to be there. For many of them, it was their first investigation. I put my energies behind keeping them protected.

When we first arrived, I gathered my group in a circle and said a prayer to Saint Michael the Arch Angel, asking for protection. We were respectful and left areas when we received a response of “Go away!” on the Spirit Box. One ghost in particular seemed to be following me throughout the evening. I could feel his distinct energy and hear a tone that was deeper in pitch that helped me identify him. We called him “The Bad Guy in the Basement.” He was grumpy and angry, answering our questions with roars, while getting so close to us we could feel the hairs rising on the backs of our necks. As it turns out, it wasn’t the Bad Guy in the Basement I should have been worried about. It was the Ancient One down the lane.

I didn’t encounter him until right before I left. I walked outside with another group to conduct a quick EVP session near an old lane. Jeff, the caretaker of the property and an old friend, told us there were several powerful entities lingering on the property. He felt they were ancient, possibly not even human. I never even felt it drift close to us.

Some of the older, more advanced entities can mask their appearance, making them not only invisible, but undetectable. It wasn’t until I got home later that I realized something had come home with me.

As I slipped into bed, weary from a long night and an equally long drive, I felt him come near. He didn’t make a sound like the others do. Instead, I felt a deep vibration rumble through me. I felt as though I were lying on a metal grate with a train roaring past me overhead. It was so strong, it made the bed rattle with the vibration. My cats took one look at me and fled the bedroom with pinned ears and arched backs. As the night progressed, I began feeling electric fingers grasp onto my head, pushing and pushing as though my head would explode. In my mind, I got a picture of a watermelon exploding and knew this was what he was trying to do to me, as well.

I felt the same dismay I always feel when this happens. Why me? I am a experienced student of paranormal protection. I’ve even written a book about it. I had protective stones in my pocket, a Saint Benedict’s medal around my neck, and had built a shield of energy around me that felt strong and sturdy. Still, he got through my defenses.

The last time I experienced one this strong was when I came in contact with the Soul Collector. Not having any viable resources at the time, I had to endure his wraith for several months before someone could pull him off of me before he could claim me as one of his own. This time things were different. I had Michael.

Michael Robishaw is a Shaman from Alexandria, Virginia. I met him at an investigation at the Haunted Victorian Mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts, several years ago and maintained a friendship. I didn’t realize he had amazing abilities until later when something followed me home and he offered to help me. He said he would send in his guides to pull the entity out of my space and he did.

The results were so outstanding, I wanted to praise his abilities, but he was hesitant to allow the information to become public knowledge. People would talk. They would roll their eyes, thinking he was nothing more than a snake oil salesman, pretending to have magical powers. Reluctantly, I kept the information to myself, but I still called on him when I needed him.

After spending an entire night riveted to my bed, afraid to even close my eyes, I contacted him the next morning. He promised to send his guides in that evening at 11pm. As the time grew near, I sat in my bed reading, hoping to experience the extermination of this entity. I wasn’t disappointed. At 11pm on the mark, I heard a high-pitched tone sweep into the room. Soon, it was joined by others. They swirled around my room like a chorus of angels, their tones so pure in pitch, they sounded like the ringing of bells, but the vibration of my bed continued.

Several hours later, I heard another tone come in. It was so loud, I nearly had to cover my ears. It almost sounded like lasers zapping through my room. The high-pitched sounds retreated to the edges of the room as though they were watching something so spectacular, they wanted a front row seat. The laser sounds continued for nearly an hour before the room grew silent and the bed stopped vibrating.

Gone was the feeling of someone lumbering over me, sending angry energy though every cell in my body. The room was silent. As a Clairaudient, the sound of silence is amazing. It meant there weren’t any ghosts in my room.

I followed up the next morning by lining my doorways and windowsills with sea salt and spraying Holy Water onto every wall and window. When Michael contacted me later in the day to deliver the news, I wasn’t surprised. He told me it was an Ancient One. He said it was so strong his guides couldn’t budge it so he called in Arch Angels Michael and Raphael to assist. They bound and banished it, sending it to a place where it could never bother another human soul.

As can be expected, I was curious about this. I told Michael that at times, I could feel electric fingers digging into my head as if it was trying to get inside of me or possibly make my head explode. Michael confirmed this.”He was trying to get inside of you. He had been weakened and was trying to draw enough energy from you to take you over. It’s a good thing you contacted me when you did,” he said.

I felt as though I had dodged a bullet. I was so thankful that Michael had been there to help me. After going through what I did with the Soul Collector, I wasn’t keen on experiencing another more powerful entity. While it might have made a great book, I wasn’t sure I could have survived this one.

I left shortly afterwards for a trip to Indiana. I had a nice visit with my friends and family over Thanksgiving, but was eager to get back home to get back to my life and my writing. I always break the sixteen-hour drive into two days, since I’m the only one driving. By the eighth hour of my first day’s drive, I was getting tired. My back was hurting from the confinement of the seat and my eyes were growing road weary. I had just started looking for a hotel to stop at when I felt something swoop into the car.

Great. I tried to gather my energy to push it away. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. Stronger mediums are able to do this without batting an eye, but I can’t always get a good grasp on it, especially at the end of an eight-hour drive. By the time I finally found a hotel, I was beyond beat. I logged onto Facebook and saw I had a message from Michael. “You picked up a hitchhiker along your way,” he said. “But, I’ll have my guides pull it off of you later.”

At 11pm, I heard the high-pitch sound swoop into my room, pushing away the deeper rumble of the unknown entity. The spiritual battle continued long into the night and into the morning. By 3am, my room was quiet again. While Michael’s guides were able to handle this one without the aid of Arch Angels, they had a difficult time. Negotiations had been dismal. The entity refused to leave me. I saw him in my mind as a young man with sandy brown hair and a cocky sneer on his face. Wanting to confirm my visions, I asked Michael what he looked like and he confirmed it, down to the smirky sneer on his face. The battle wasn’t easy and the entity wouldn’t move on, so his guides had to bind and banish another one for me, sending him to a place where he couldn’t cause more havoc.

I’ve always wondered what the reason for my gift/curse was. Surely there was a deeper meaning for it or at least a purpose. After working with Michael over the years, I’ve began to wonder if this is it. Am I the beacon who calls them in so that Michael can attend to them? It seems like a pretty small mission, compared to all the meandering ghosts out there in the world. It will take us an eternity to move through all of them. I tucked the thought away in my mind, not having any clear answers, as usual.

I only had a few days of respite before the next ghost found me. Michael cautioned me to stop ghost hunting for a while and work on clearing my aura, so I did. I turned down several investigations in favor of sitting at home with my cats, watching TV and writing. I only left the house to shop for groceries and to teach my weekly Paranormal 101 class. I became aware of Ghost #3 as I was getting ready to retire for bed.

This one was different. I felt the energy immediately. I could hear an actual tone with her, identifying her as a female. Since the tone wasn’t pure and bell-like, it also identified her as an Earth-bound soul, someone who wanted help. I tried to talk to her, counselling her like I sometimes do to find the white light and cross over, but my words fell on deaf ears. She hovered over my bed all night, keeping me awake with her frantic energy.

Michael sent his guides in the next night and she was gone by 1am. When I contacted him the next morning, he told me she was a lost soul. She was frightened and confused. He couldn’t get much information from her, but he was able to cross her over into the light, bringing her where she needed, and wanted, to be.

For months now, Michael has been my secret weapon. I’ve wanted to talk about his amazing gift and how profoundly he has helped me, but he’s been hesitant to let the news get out. I was thrilled when he finally gave me permission.

In February of next year, I plan to travel down to Alexandria, Virginia. We are going to write a book together about his amazing experiences as a Shaman. If nothing else, I am excited to learn more about the things he’s seen. I’m also hoping he can help me figure out how to help myself.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to be unenrolled from the Ghost of the Week Club. But, if another ghost shows up, I am beyond relieved to know I have a savior to rescue me one more time.

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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Preview of Ghostly Defenses

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Being a Sensitive

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

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

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

That was when I saw my first ghost

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wasn’t protected.

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

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

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

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

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

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

 

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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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

My Last Victorian Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to hear the actual response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It makes me sad because I love that house.

We all do.

We need a miracle.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

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

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

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

Secrets from the Grave – The Haunted Victorian Mansion

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The Haunted Victorian Mansion has many secrets.

As I began writing a book for the owners, unanswered questions began piling up, one by one, making me realize there is a lot we still don’t know.  Finding the answers has proven to be very daunting because all of the residents are long deceased, and the historical trail they left behind is filled with gaps.

Here’s what we do know:

After becoming one of the wealthiest men in the county, furniture magnate, S.K. Pierce decided to build a house that matched his stature. He hired two hundred men to work around the clock for a year and a half . When the house was completed in 1875, it was a marvel to behold.

Standing three stories tall, the Second Empire Victorian boasted twenty-six rooms, including four bathrooms, two cisterns for running water, and a tower that provided grand views of South Gardner.

It wasn’t a happily-ever-after kind of story, though. Soon after the house was build, S.K.’s wife Susan died of a very painful bacterial infection that literally ate her flesh. He remarried two years later to Ellen, a woman who was barely older than his son Frank.  S.K. and Ellen had two more sons between them, Stuart and Edward.

By all accounts, the rivalry between the oldest son, Frank, and his step-mother was legendary. After his father’s death in 1888, the house passed down to Ellen, not to the eldest son, which was more customary of the time period.  His brothers Stuart and Edward left the furniture business to invest in car dealerships.

When Ellen died, the house was passed down to her three sons, who squabbled and fought each other in court for many years. The youngest son, Edward, ended up with the house and lived there with his wife, Bessie, and their daughter, Rachel. He turned it into a boarding house.

Tragedy descended upon the Pierce family once more, when 2 year-old Rachel died from Influenza. When Bessie died in 1951, the house fell into quick decline. The boarding house began developing a seedy reputation. There were reports of gambling and prostitution. When Edward allegedly lost the house in a poker game, a man named Jay Stemmerman became the new owner.

Jay was a wealthy man by his own right and would bring another layer of intrigue to the Victorian. After he abandoned the house in the 1980’s, the house sat empty for nearly twenty years. When the next owners purchased it in 2000, some of his odd paintings still graced the walls. Portraits of half-woman/half-beast, as well as full blown orgy scenes were depicted on the canvases. Due to the graphic nature of the paintings, many people wondered what else transpired during that time period.

The current hauntings only make the story more complex.  Having so much of the history at our disposal, we thought we’d be able to identify the ghosts who still linger there. Unfortunately, there are many we can’t identify.

Like, who is the little boy who has been seen in the windows and on the grand staircase? There aren’t any reports of a young boy dying in the house? We’ve asked many times, getting different responses.  Here’s one response we received while doing an EVP session in 2012.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/sb-little-boys-name-franklin

And who was the full body apparition who appeared at Edwin’s side as he worked in his home office? Was it the ghost of Eino Sauri, the Finnish WWII veteran who died in the house in 1963, some say by self-combustion? Or was it the man who died of a heart attack at the pizza place across the street just before the ghost appeared?

And who is the evil entity in the basement?

Some psychics feel it’s Frank, the eldest son, who battled with his step-mother. Others say it is Edward, the youngest son, who lived in the basement after losing the house. Still others feel it’s a demon, brought in by an investigator with an Ouija Board. What does the house say?

Listen to the EVP by clicking on the link to find out.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/billiards-room-ghost-box-1

We have asked this question numerous times, getting different responses many of the times. While in the basement, here’s another response we received.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/name-of-sks-son-im-different

Probably the biggest mystery of all revolves around the tunnel in the basement. Why would S.K. Pierce build a tunnel to his factory across the street? I’ve spoken to two separate people who have confirmed that the foundation of the building across the street has an identical blocked off opening. Although the original factory burnt to the ground in 1938, it was very likely that the new building would have been built on the existing foundation. If there was a tunnel, it has long been collapsed. Only the entrances remain.

What was the tunnel used for?

As I reached out to various people who have investigated there while researching my book, I heard various opinions. While tunnels of this sort were typically used for home heating, capturing the steam from the factory, opinions differ. Almost every psychic feels like it has something to do with children. Several have voiced an opinion that children were often used to work in the furniture factory across the street, which would make sense considering child labor was legal in the late 1800’s.  Another psychic suggested something even worse happened to children in the basement, alluding to physical and sexual abuse. Still another psychic thought that dark magic was practiced in one of the rooms at the factory across the street and that the tunnel was used to spirit them across unseen. Much of this will probably go undiscovered. Even if we were able to track down descents, no one will willingly provide this kind of information if it did indeed happen. The only hope we have is for the ghosts themselves to finally tell us.

One thing is for certain: some of the Victorian ghosts want help.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/help-me-help-me

And we won’t stop digging until we find the answers.

Joni Mayhan

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

To read more about the Haunted Victorian Mansion, check out Joni’s book Bones in the Basement. Click on the photo below to learn more about Edwin and Lillian’s harrowing experience in the S.K. Pierce Haunted Victorian Mansion.

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Living in the Moment

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Take a deep breath. Allow the air to fill your lungs, and just let your mind go still. What are you missing? What is really important in life?

Once you know what this is, latch onto it with every ounce of your being and let it become the priority. Life will go on. Change is inevitable. Bad things will happen. Good things too, if you let them.

For me, it’s all about living in the moment.

I don’t worry about the things that will happen tomorrow and I don’t fret over the mistakes I made yesterday. As long as there’s a tomorrow, there will be another chance to make things right. I refuse to sacrifice this precious moment in front of me for anything else. Like the artist who lingers inside of me, I capture it in my mind and hover over it, protecting it with all my might.

There is a quiet hush in the air as a storm slips in. It is coming in agonizingly slow, stealthily almost, as if it’s trying to sneak up undetected. The day started with an overcast canvas. The flat grey sky highlighted the black bare limbs of the November trees. Everything was utterly still, as if holding its breath, waiting. There wasn’t a squirrel or bird in sight. As I sat by my window watching, I imagined them tucked snugly into warm nests, dreaming of warm days and sunshine.

Life has a resounding element to it, as if nothing happens by accident. The stir of the breeze ruffles the last of the dry brown leaves, sending them scuttling across the hard-packed ground, uncovering an acorn that might be discovered later by a hungry squirrel.  The flurry of the day sparks my imagination, prompting me to grab pen and paper, spilling my imaginings into a place where they will be captured, like a photograph, so I can revisit them later.

Somewhere, not far from my quiet window, the world hustles and bustles, like it usually does. People fight traffic in their cars, noticing the color of the stop lights, but missing the color of the sky. They worry about jobs, money, and unfinished tasks, things that won’t matter at the end of their lifetimes when they are looking back, wondering what they missed.

Life is a series of events. We have no means of dictating most of them. The sun will rise and it will set. New lives will be created, while others are ended. People need to work to pay the cost of simply existing. The things that are in our control often spin away from us just out of reach. We struggle to change the tumbling direction of our lives, but we have no more control of this than we do the wind that blows from the heavens. Just breathe and let it happen.

There is a purpose. You have to trust that. Everything will be okay.

On our deathbeds, will we wish we’d beaten the Main Street stoplight, made a better presentation, or change the mind of a person filled with hatred?

Probably not.

We will wish that we’d spent more time with the ones we loved, enjoying them for the sake of just being together with no expectations. We will wish we’d treated ourselves with more quiet times, allowing our minds to slowly unfurl, appreciating the beauty around us, enjoying all these moments that were practically handed to us with gift wrapping.

The joy isn’t in the results. The outcome isn’t always the goal. Focus too much on the trivial things and we’ll miss the tranquil moments, the times when the world presents itself to us full and whole, ripe for the picking. Eat an apple and feel your teeth sink into the skin, as the juices trickle down your chin. Hug a child, feeling her small hands squeeze you back. Pet a cat and listen, really listen, to the sound of the purr. Delight is just a concept, a creation of our own making. Happiness is where we find it.

I sit in front of the window, watching, taking notice of the world outside. I am living in the moment, as I usually do.

I refuse to waste a single second.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

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

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

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

Altered Destiny

ImageDo you ever wonder about your choices?

Sometimes I think life is nothing more than a path filled with forked roads. You find yourself at a cross-road and have to make a decision. Do I go left or right? Just that one simple decision could alter your entire life.

I narrowly missed being involved in a horrific traffic accident once. It really made me stop and wonder about it. I’d misplaced my keys that morning and spent a few extra seconds looking for them. Had I walked out the door at my intended time, I probably would have been killed. Those three or four seconds were life altering.

It made me really consider the concept of destiny. Every second of the day leads to the next second. What we do in those seconds dictates what comes next. Sometimes I don’t feel it’s entirely accidental. It feels like there must be a mastermind behind some of the planning, or at least I hope there is.

For me, my life turned on a dime when I was seventeen years old.

I had no direction in my life. I had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated from high school. I didn’t have any passions or dreams. I just meandered from one thing to the next.

Then, one night everything changed.

I had a horrific fight with my mother, which led me to move out of her house and into my father’s house. This meant that I had to also change schools in my junior year of high school. The entire move to a new school was devastating and I didn’t know where to fit in. At my old school, I’d fallen in with a crowd who enjoyed partying, and I became a very devout rebel. When I walked into my new school, I saw in an instant that this just wouldn’t work any longer.

North Posey was literally in the middle of a corn field. The kids who went there were the kind of kids you see on sitcoms, American apple pie and sunshine. Future Farmers of America was a big club in the school, and nearly everybody in town went to the football games each Friday. A party girl from Mt. Vernon, who smoked and drank wasn’t going to last long there.

I tried to fit in. I really did. I hid my smoking and gave up the rebel attitude and tried to find my mid-western roots somewhere deep inside me, but I still just didn’t fit in. I’d changed schools in the middle of a school year, in the middle of my second-to-last year of high school, where friendships had long been established. I wouldn’t find my place friend-wise for nearly a year, but I found my lifelong dream in a classroom.

I didn’t know I was a writer until a teacher showed me that I was.

Mrs. Hunt was always smiling, but she could be tough when she needed to be. She assigned us small writing projects and then helped us improve our technique. I felt as though I’d finally found my calling. It felt like walking into a dream for me. I was mesmerized by the process of putting words on paper and creating something whole. As our projects got larger, I began to really stretch and grow. Mrs. Hunt didn’t let this escape unnoticed. She took my stories and read them to our class, as well as her other classes too. I couldn’t have been happier.

I took what she taught me and expanded on it. I majored in English in college for two years, and after dropping out to join the workforce, took creative writing classes on the side. I joined a writer’s group, wrote short stories, and just kept at it until I’d finally written something worth publishing. I wrote six books before one would be published. Lightning Strikes was actually my sixth book. The others were just practice books.

When I published Lightning Strikes, I wondered what had happened to Mrs. Hunt. I wondered if she knew of the impact she’d had on my life. I decided to find her. I reached out to a friend who still lived in the area and mailed him a copy of my book to give to her. A month later, I received a letter that made me cry.

She had fallen on hard times. Her husband was very ill, and she’d become bedridden. She said she once loved reading, but had given it up years ago. When she got the copy of my book and saw the dedication I wrote to her on the very first page, she cried. It meant the world to her to know that what she had done – the countless lessons she’d taught, had changed someone’s life. That letter was worth more to me than any amount of money in the bank.

If I hadn’t had that fight with my mother, prompting my move to a new school, would I have ended up as a writer? And what consequences did I set into motion when I found my old teacher and thanked her for inspiring me?

In the end, it all counts. Every bad decision, every stroke of luck, every lost key changes your destiny, at least a little. It’s one of the reasons why I always try to do the right thing. I’ve seen people with less integrity find greater success, and I’ve seen Karma look the other way, when she should have shot daggers instead. I’ve never had it easy. Nothing has ever fallen into my lap. I’ve had to fight hard for everything I have, but in the end I’m thankful it was difficult.

It all came together to make me the person I am today.

I’m not perfect, but I’m okay with that.

I’m me. I’m here, and I’m happy.

And I’m a writer.

Life is good.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

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

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

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 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

The Haunting of the Purple Head Bridge

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The Purple Head Bridge is a narrow one lane bridge that connects Indiana to Illinois, spanning the Wabash River with barely a hope and a prayer. Driving across it is fairly precarious. While it’s structurally sound, it’s also only one lane wide. Drivers alert one another by flashing their headlights from the other side.

It’s also incredibly haunted.

Ghost stories abound, but pinning the legend down to just one story is difficult. It depends on who you ask. Some say that a man tried to commit suicide there, but something went horribly wrong. When he jumped from the bridge with a noose around his neck, he inadvertently decapitated himself. The sight of his floating “purple head” can be seen bobbing around the bridge. Others say Ku Klux Klan activity from the 1960’s causes the disturbances. Some blame it on fierce Native American battles as they defended their land. I’m not certain what the cause is, but the area is definitely creepy. I had one of my most frightening and perplexing paranormal experiences there several years ago.

It all started with a trip to Indiana. My entire family, outside of my children, resides in this mid-western state, scattered mostly in the southern tip. When I return for a visit, there is almost always a ghost hunt set up and waiting for me.

Initially my family and friends were taken back by my ghost hunting, but after hearing about my adventures and sampling some of my tantalizing EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena, aka spirit voices) they wanted to experience it for themselves. Through this, I’ve gotten to investigate at several locations I would have never dreamed of pursuing on my own. The Purple Head Bridge is a good example.

Our group was fairly small, consisting of my younger sister, Leah, my old high-school friend, John, and his wife, Melinda. Leah had been ghost hunting with me before, but it would be John and Melinda’s first time. While Melinda was a firm believer in the paranormal, John was decidedly on the fence. He’d have to see it to believe it, which I can appreciate.

It was a muggy summer evening and the cool breeze from the Wabash River was a welcome relief. It had taken us several wrong turns to find the bridge, but once we did, we just stopped at the end and took it all in.

By all accounts, it looked like an old train bridge, but my sister assured me that it sees plenty of traffic since it is the only bridge in the area linking the two states. She told us that we were supposed to drive out to the middle of the bridge and turn off the headlights. If we were lucky, we’d see the purple head floating somewhere near the bridge.

As this turns out, it was nearly impossible and actually quite dangerous. As soon as we drove out onto the bridge, a car appeared at the other end, waiting its turn. Sitting in the middle with no headlights would be a very good way to get rear-ended by an unsuspecting vehicle. So, we moved onto Plan B.

We’d park on the other side and hike down to the river’s edge. Surely if the head floated near the bridge, we could see it from our vantage point below. The only problem with this was the bonfire and party going on nearby. Apparently the bridge is a local hang-out for teenagers in the area. So, we moved onto Plan C.

Being an avid Geocacher (go to Geocaching.com for more info, if you don’t know what this is), my sister knew of a location just ahead where a Geocache was hidden near a single-grave cemetery. She didn’t know if it was haunted or not, but it was worth a shot. We continued down the narrow road. The trees grew in a canopy across the road, providing a dark tunnel for us to navigate through. As we drove, the moon winked through the trees, setting the mood.

We found the area and pulled off the side of the road to park.  We stood for a moment and read the marker. The memorial park was set up for a man named James Johnston, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Militia, serving in the Revolutionary War.  He apparently survived the battle and lived out his final years in the Indiana/Illinois area. A sign directed us towards a long dark pathway, which would lead us to the memorial park.

The dirt path trailed deep into the forest, providing a perfectly chilling backdrop to what we would soon experience. We walked single-file down the trail, the light from our flashlights bobbed out ahead of us, illuminating swatches of the deep underbrush and the slip of trail that parted between it. A cadence of crickets and cicadas chirped from the depths of the darkness. An occasional car whished past on the main road, just to our right, making us giggle with thoughts of people reporting strange lights in the forest near the haunted bridge. Our smiles soon faded as we reached the end of the path.

The area was no larger than a standard-sized living room. It consisted of a park bench and a single grave, surrounded on all sides by the deep, dark woods. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. The trees barely stirred in the breeze and even the crickets quieted down as we arrived. It was as though the very woods itself was holding its breath, waiting to witness what would happen next.

I sat down on the bench, while the others stood nearby.

“I’m going to do an EVP session, so I need everyone to stand very still,” I said. “I’ll ask a few questions and then wait for a response. Then I’ll turn it over to the next person,” I told them. We’ve found that the best way to do an efficient EVP session is to set guidelines in advance. The first person asks as many questions as they want, before passing it to the person on their left. By taking turns, we never talk over one another, and it gives everyone a chance to participate.  I turned on my recorder.

Before I could begin to speak, I began hearing the sound of voices nearby. I paused, and asked the others if they also heard it. I wouldn’t know until later, but I recorded a very poignant EVP.

“I hear voices. Does anyone else hear that?” I asked.

During the break between my sentences, a ghostly voice says, “I hear annoyed.”

(click the link to hear the actual EVP)

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/vincennes-revolutionary-1

We all sat quietly for a minute, but couldn’t hear anything. After a while, I pulled out my flashlight. While I’m not a huge fan of using a flashlight as an investigating tool, I will admit that it has its advantages.  Sometimes it comes on instantly when a question is asked. It also gives everyone something to focus on during the EVP session, keeping them both entertained and quiet as they watch the light.

“If there is anyone here with us, can you turn on the light?” I asked.

Almost immediately, I felt something whoosh in from the forest behind me. It felt like a small comet of cold air, blowing into me with a force that sent my hair flying in front of my face.  I jumped up from the bench, startled. As everyone goggled at me, I laughed, embarrassed to be so easily alarmed. Some fearless ghost hunter I was.

“Was that a bug?” my friend Melinda asked.

“No, I just heard something behind me,” I said, embarrassed at my jumpiness. What I didn’t realize, was that I had a very good reason to jump from my seat. The whoosh I felt wasn’t a cold breeze, it was a ghost. And he had a message for us.

“Go away!” he hissed, right before I jumped up from the bench.

(click on the link to hear the actual EVP)

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/vincennes-revolutionary

After composing myself again, I sat back down and asked  a few more questions, which went unanswered. I turned it over to the next person in the group, and sat quietly until everyone had a chance to ask questions. No more EVPs were recorded until we got up to move to the grave.

According to the psychic mediums I’ve spoken with, people are supposed to move into a white light when they die. The ones who chose not to cross over are often confused. Some don’t even know they are dead.  I knew there was a ghost nearby, because my ears were ringing, like they do when I feel a ghostly presence.

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I began talking about the white light. As my words came out, they almost sounded like a prayer. I told them that the white light was a place of peace and love, and that their families were waiting for them with open arms. I encouraged them to look upwards to see if they could see the light, and to then pass through it to find the solace and redemption they deserved.

As I finished, I promptly stepped backwards and nearly fell in a hole.

When I’m nervous, I can’t always count on my emotions to follow the rules. Sometimes I laugh when I’m afraid, and this was one of these times. As I giggled, you can hear a very distinct response. The most interesting thing about it is the accent. It sounds like it comes from someone with a very strong Southern dialect.

“I’m gonna get the light,” he says.

(press the link to hear the actual EVP)

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/vincennes-revolutionary-2

We spent a few more minutes there, paying our respects to the fallen soldier before heading back up the path to our cars. The full surprise of what we witnessed wouldn’t present itself until later, when I listened to the EVPs. Then, the full story was told.

I think there were two distinct entities in the woods that night. One wasn’t happy we were there. He swooped in from the very woods to deliver two messages he hoped would chase us away. The other was from a very kindly voiced man, who we hope took our advice and moved into the light.

Was the angry ghost the one who is known to haunt the Purple Head Bridge? It’s not something we’ll ever know for certain. As I left Indiana and headed back to my home in Massachusetts, I spent a lot of time thinking about it.

I hope they both found peace.  I really do.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

Image

 

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

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

Image

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm