A Different Kind of Paranormal Investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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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Dating the Paranormally Challenged – Part 2

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“Don’t tell me if I have a ghost in my house,” my date told me as we walked into his house.

We’d only been dating for several weeks, and I’d barely given him the Joni 101 presentation on my affinity for dead people, but it didn’t matter. He found out soon enough. My life is an open book, literally.

In 2011, I experienced a terrifying experience when a demonic attachment latched onto me and wouldn’t let go. After two years of struggling with the decision, I finally decided to share my story. When The Soul Collector came out, it was well received and continues to remain in the top ten in its genre on Amazon.com. It helped me make a name for myself in the paranormal literary world. I’ve sold several thousand copies of this book, have been on more than a dozen radio shows, am invited on many very cool paranormal investigations, and have made some wonderful friends. In writing that book, I’ve also helped countless others, but what started as a way to share my experience with sensitives like me who attract the unwelcomed attention of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, ended up as being my own little horror show.

Google my name. Go ahead. I dare you.

Several hundred links come up about me. Many are links to my books, but there are also links to my blog, my website, and best of all, all the radio shows I’ve been on. Listen to five minutes of any one of the shows, and you’ll hear me talk about how I hear ghosts as they swoop into a room. Do a Google image search of me and you’ll see dozens of photos of me, including the cover of The Soul Collector, where I’ve adorned my own face with a nice fat drip of bright red blood. Intrigued yet? Wanna go out with a woman who frequently has dead people floating above her bed at night?

I am a sensitive. It’s not something I asked for or something I even wanted. Somewhere, somehow, somebody decided that in addition to the normal five senses, I was given a sixth sense: the ability to detect and sometimes communicate with ghosts. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you’ll know that I don’t always seek out these lost souls. I can’t just stop ghost hunting. They find me at movie theaters, restaurants, and at the homes of my friends. They stalk me while I’m pushing a cart down the aisle at the supermarket, and they pounce into my car while I drive along the highway.

It wasn’t always that way. For a good portion of my life, I suppressed the ability, managing to keep myself off the ghostly radar, but once I began delving into paranormal investigations, the ability grew stronger. So…imagine bringing someone else into the mix. Imagine dating someone who doesn’t even believe in ghosts.

When I start dating a new guy, the cat is out of the bag once I tell them my last name. As soon as I go from Joni to Joni Mayhan, all they have to do is search for me on Google and they’ll know more than they bargained for. Most men would go running for the hills. Judging by my track record over the past several years, most already have. If I have any secrets left, they are sparse. Someone told me that I am quickly becoming the Taylor Swift of the writing world. After one book, detailing my failed relationship prior to my demonic attachment and a blog discussing a recent date, I can’t say I blame them. Sometimes it’s just hard to keep a lid on it. If some of you are honest, you’ll admit that you’re glad I didn’t. It makes for interesting reading, providing you aren’t the guy in Chapter 7.

It’s like an evil recipe. Dating in 2014 isn’t easy to begin with. Add in the fact that I just turned fifty and my odds of meeting my Prince Charming are even slimmer. Stir in a pinch of the paranormal – okay, a bucket full of the paranormal – along with a heaping spoonful of I-can-tell-if-you-have-ghosts-in-your-house and we have one motley batch of I’m-just-going-to-adopt-fifty-more-cats-and-be-done-with-dating.

Case in point was the last guy.

“Don’t tell me if I have a ghost in my house,” he told me as we walked into his house.

I tried to suppress the images that popped into my mind, but there was no denying the ringing in my ears, a sign that more than one ghost was present. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t push them away. They were gleeful to have someone recognize them, for better or for worst.

The first one I encountered was an older man. He was balding with glasses and was on the chunky side. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was picking up on about him. He seemed distracted, not completely tuned into the world around him. He was confused and kept turning away as if searching for something. Later, when I saw a photo of new-guy’s late father and heard the story surrounding his death, it wasn’t difficult to put two and two together. He died with a brain injury, which often accompanies the soul into death. The confusion and distraction were signs that he died without realizing it. He will need to be helped by a talented medium, someone who can gently guide him into the light and onto the other side. I don’t bill myself as a talented medium. I’m just a sensitive who is still growing into her abilities, but I can cross over lost souls. I’ve done it many times before. I feel bad because I could have helped this man, but new-guy ran for the hills after learning of my abilities. Go figure.

The other ghost I encountered wasn’t one I wanted to spend much time with. In fact, I’m thankful she didn’t attempt to follow me home. She was a woman in her fifties or sixties with a long face and jet-black hair. In some ways, she reminded me of the actress Anjelica Houston. When she realized I knew she was there, she turned with an evil gleam in her eye and stared me down. I didn’t get as clear of an impression on where she came from or why she was still there. She deliberately kept that information from me. I worry about what she will do going forward. She was very powerful and very angry.

Something about the upstairs also bothered me. Sometimes I feel inhuman spirits, like shadow people or demonic beings, differently than earth-bound ghosts. They linger in the shadows, hiding in places where people won’t immediately see them. It reminds me of the “monster in the closet” or “monster under the bed” from my childhood scenarios. Some beings are happy to remain hidden. They feed off the living, pulling energy from them to provide them with more ability. People who are affected often feel drained, even though they’ve had enough sleep. They wake frequently at night and can’t get back to sleep. They have horrific nightmares. If they begin to have personality changes on top of all of this, it could be a sign of possession, the very worse-case scenario.

So, if you were my new-guy, would you want to know all of this was happening in your home-sweet-home, or would you rather leave the monster to continue hiding under the bed? It’s actually a pretty easy answer, at least it is to me. Just because they haven’t alerted the living to their presence doesn’t mean they won’t. When things truly begin to go bump in the night, wouldn’t you want someone with answers close at hand? Taking this a further step, wouldn’t you want access to someone who knows paranormal specialists, demonologists, and experienced psychic mediums?

I would, but that’s just me.

So, as for my future in the dating world… The new-guy went AWOL and I’ve pulled my profile off the online dating site. I’m hoping to one day run into someone else of my kind, someone who will understand the struggles and embrace my obsession with the paranormal world. Stranger things have happened, especially in my world.

 

 

 

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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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

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

The Haunted Amos Blake House

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Photo by Frank Grace (TRIG Photography)

Terri Harlow was on her hands and knees, cleaning a section of the floor in the front parlor when she realized she wasn’t alone. A small cat approached her, twitching its tail in a manner that made her believe it wanted to be petted. Before she could even reach for her camera, the cat disappeared before her eyes.

As the curator of the historic Amos Blake house in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, as well as the founder of Conscious Spirit Paranormal, a local paranormal investigative group, Terri has witnessed more paranormal phenomena than she can fit into a conversation. Every room in the 1837 house has a story.

“There are eleven confirmed ghosts here, not including the cat,” she said with a sly smile, as she led us from room to room in the white clapboard building.

When I was invited to tour the building with local photographer extraordinaire, Frank Grace, and his father (also named Frank), I jumped at the chance. Frank told me that we’d be meeting Terri Harlow at the museum, but I didn’t put two and two together until she opened the door and greeted us. I met Terri years ago at an event at the Haunted Victorian Mansion and was thrilled to see her again. After we had a chance to do some catching up, she took us on a tour of the building, explaining each room as we went along. It was quickly apparent that the house doesn’t whisper with history – it screams with it. Every room in the perfectly preserved house is filled with antiques and artifacts from the days when Amos Blake walked the land.

Amos Blake was a prominent man in Fitzwilliam in the mid-eighteen hundreds. Besides being a lawyer, he was also a community leader and state legislator. He purchased the house in 1865 and used one of the front rooms as an office for his law practice. When he died in 1925, his son Leroy transferred his insurance business to the home and assumed residence.

While Amos was a pillar of the community, his son Leroy was better known as a ladies’ man, as well as a hoarder. “When he died in the 1960’s, this room was filled with stuff. There were paths through all of it,” Terri told us as we walked into the kitchen area. “Most people think hoarding is something that only happens today, but it happened back then as well,” she added.  Leroy Blake was proof of that.

We continued on to the front parlor, where Terri once saw the ghostly cat, and then to Amos’s original office space, outfitted with his original desk and furniture. I was amazed at how much of his original possessions remained with the house. It was like stepping back in time. His desk sat in front of the window, outfitted with tools from the trade. An old telephone sat beside an old ink well, items that actually once belonged to the Blake family.

Terri then took us up to the second floor, which was once divided into apartments. Each room was a treasure, filled with antiques from the era. One room was filled with old toys. Cribs with creepy life-like dolls occupied the space, along with a glass showcase filled with delicate old play things.

“A man from New Jersey donated these two bears,” Terri said, showing us two elderly teddy bears in the glass case. “He comes by on occasion to visit them. Isn’t that the sweetest thing? I love it,” she said with a smile.

“Has anything paranormal ever happened in here?” I asked her.

Terri got a gleam in her eye as she showed us the mantle above the fireplace. “I put several toys on the mantle and came back a few hours later to find them way over there on the floor,” she said, pointing to an area nearly six feet away. Considering she was alone in the building at the time, this was interesting information. Other items in the house move as well. A catnip toy brought in for the ghost cat is frequently found in various places in the house, as if a cat had been playing with it. A shadow person was also photographed in this room in the corner. When the paranormal television show Ghost Hunters came to shoot an episode there in 2009, a chain in the current country store moved on camera. While several people have debunked the phenomena, stating it was caused by an investigator walking through the room, Terri was quick to tell us that it’s something that has happened many times since. The building is haunted. It’s no surprise that items often move on their own.

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Joni with Terri Harlow  Photo by Frank Grace (TRIG Photography)

Knowing it was a haunted location, I had my digital audio recorder running for the duration of the tour. As we stepped into the hallway, I got my first EVP. An EVP is a ghostly voice that is captured on a recording device but isn’t heard at the time it was recorded. Capturing one or two during a standard investigation is good. Finding one during a daylight tour of the facility was like hitting a jackpot for me.

A voice said, “behind you.” Click on the link below and it will take you directly to my Soundcloud page where the EVP is located.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/behind-you

The next room we walked into was a room dedicated to a local doctor. Dr. George Emerson practiced medicine in the town for many years during the earlier part of the last century. After he died in the late 1950’s, his son donated his equipment to the museum, including an old wheelchair, medical instruments, and medicine bottles, including several labeled snake oil, and liver pills. An odd doll was propped up on a shelf. I asked Terri about it, and she explained that it was used to teach new mothers how to care for their babies. I captured an EVP during this time, as well.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/history-behind-dollcommon-or-come-in

Terri showed us a room set up as a bedroom, with old-fashioned stenciling on the walls and an antique rope bed centered in the room. Frank marveled at it, telling us that is where the phrase “Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite,” came from. Before bedtime, they would tighten the ropes on the bed to make the mattress firmer. I attempted to conduct an EVP session in the room, but was later dismayed to learn that my recorder was mysteriously turned off three seconds into the recording.

Another room on the top floor was a costume room, with beautiful dresses and outfits from every era of the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds. Terri would like to make the room into a girl’s bedroom and is looking for a historic canopy bed. If anyone has one they’d like to donate, she’d be delighted to take it.

We also toured a room dedicated to the Fitzwilliam Band, with various instruments and uniforms displayed around the room. Terri caught my attention when she said that the band traveled all around New England and had visited Gardner, Massachusetts frequently. Since I’m currently writing a book about the S.K. Pierce Mansion in Gardner, it made me wonder if the band every played there, as well.

Next door was the military room, with artifacts and uniforms from the various wars, including the Revolutionary War, Gettysburg, and World Wars I and II. In the corner was a cape that was worn by a general to George Washington’s commemorative service in 1800, one of the oldest artifacts in the building.

One of the most interesting rooms was the schoolhouse room. Over the course of the past decades, the museum has collected an assortment of old school desks and antiques, including a photo of George Washington, an old wall clock (placed at the back of the room so the children wouldn’t be preoccupied by it), and a teacher’s desk. It wasn’t difficult to imagine children from the past sitting at the desks, watching the teacher write the day’s lessons on the chalkboard. Once during a tour, Terri heard sounds coming from the room and returned to find several lines drawn on the chalkboard.

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Joni doing a Spirit Box session in the old bedroom  Photo by Frank Grace (TRIG Photography)

After the tour was concluded, I excused myself and wandered off by myself up to the attic. According to Terri, the attic is a hot spot for paranormal activity. I soon found this out firsthand. Being a sensitive, I had been picking up on the resident entities during the majority of the tour. I pointed them out to Terri, who is also a medium, for confirmation. In the attic, I felt there was a man, a woman, and several children. She later confirmed that a grumpy man is known to linger in the corner near the stairs, and that a woman who loves to dance is often heard there, as well. I turned on my Spirit Box to see if any of them were willing to talk to me. For those of you who don’t know what a Spirit Box is, it’s a modified radio that scans quickly through the stations. The theory is that the ghosts can use the white noise to speak. Some controversy surrounds this piece of equipment. Critics feel the responses are due to stray radio signals. While I agree that there are often bits and pieces of radio voices that come through the speakers, I’ve captured several responses that are far too relevant to be coincidence. Here is one of them:

I asked them who their favorite tour guide was. Here is the response:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/someone-you-like-bestterri

After I finished up in the attic, I wandered back down to the second floor. While Terri and tour guide, Jennifer, sorted through old clothing in the office area, I sat and chatted with them. Little did I know that I’d capture another EVP. They were looking at an old hanger, trying to figure out how it worked when I recorded this voice. I can’t quite make out what it’s saying in the beginning, but it says “come look at that.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/kitchen-mans-voice

The Amos Blake House was a treasure trove of historical artifacts. I highly recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for history and/or the paranormal. The tours are free and full of fascinating information. They are open the first and last Saturdays of the month from 1-4pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day), and are open every Tuesday from 3-5pm for research or scheduled tours. Twilight tours can also be arranged. For more information, please visit their respective links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fitzwilliam.historicalsociety?fref=ts

Website:  http://www.fitzwilliam.org/index.html.

 

 

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

 

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

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

Haunted State

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When  Jessica Freeburg asked me to help promote a project she’s supporting, I did what I normally do. I researched it to see if it was something I also wanted to support. What I didn’t expect was to become fully absorbed in the research. Haunted State is a documentary, digging into the haunted locations in Wisconsin. The production company is currently raising funds to expand the documentary, with a release goal of fall 2014. The teaser follows the investigation of the Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Built in 1859, the Stone Cellar Brewpub is a very haunted location. Patrons and employees have witnessed a plethora of paranormal activity, including hearing phantom footsteps, objects falling, voices, and apparitions. Please take a moment to read the following blog written by Jessica, and then watch the 30 minute webisode. You’ll soon be as mesmerized as I was.

Take it away, Jessica!

Haunted State: Whispers of History Past is a unique documentary about the state of Wisconsin that has never before been told. The film focuses on the history and folklore surrounding the state, seeking to answer questions that have been asked for generations.

This story takes place in Wisconsin, a quiet Midwest state that is often associated with Cheese & Beer. It’s also a state that has 166 years of history & possibly the most folklore of any state in America. In the film, history is uncovered with an exclusive look inside several well-known locations in the state (some as old as the 1840’s). The historical revelations will keep you interested and the explorations into the paranormal claims will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s a documented journey through Wisconsin history, the paranormal, and of course, Wisconsin state pride!

It’s been said by a popular Wisconsin folklorist, Robert Guard, that “Wisconsin has the most ghosts per square mile versus any other state. It’s the most Haunted State”.  The crew filming Haunted State set out to see if that claim is true.  Based on their findings, they’re inclined to believe it.

The group has filmed in several well-known Wisconsin locations; including, one of the largest breweries in the world, Pabst Brewery which was built in 1844, four years before Wisconsin was even recognized as a state.  Other locations include, the First Ward School House (formally known as Irving School; established in 1896), the Octagon House in Fond du Lac (established in 1856, which was used to hide slaves from the south), the Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton (which dates back to 1859 and was allegedly used by Al Capone in the 1920’s), as well as other locations.

With a scheduled release for fall 2014, crew is currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund the final phase of production.  “This money will help cover things like insurance, permits and travel expenses.  Right now, we’ve got a good movie.  We want a great movie,” said Michael Brown, the film’s Executive Producer. Take a peek at their website www.hauntedstate.com for more details and information the film, or go directly to their IndieGoGo page at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/haunted-state-whispers-from-history-past/x/7256993 to see how you can become a part of this innovative historical, paranormal film!

Contact Info:
@920MichaelBrown
https://www.facebook.com/920MichaelBrown

Film Contact Info:
http://www.HauntedState.com
http://www.Facebook.com/HauntedState
http://www.Twitter.com/WiGhostHunters
#HauntedState

 

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

Trilogy banner

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

Are Spirit Boards Dangerous?

IMG_1486Judy wasn’t happy when her friend brought a Ouija Board to her slumber party, but she didn’t want to be a spoiled sport. All the other girls were excited, gathering around the board, waiting for their turn to talk to the dead. At first, they began getting interesting responses to their questions, but after a while, the responses turned darker. Instead of telling them the names of their next boyfriends, it began answering all the questions with terrifying words like:  kill, murder, and maim. Judy insisted they put the board away, but the event was far from over. Days later, Judy began hearing footsteps in the empty house and loud thumps on the walls. Had they conjured an evil entity through the board?

Is it a board game or a divining tool for the devil?

As I set out to write this blog, I quickly learned that there are few grey areas when it comes to people’s opinions on Ouija Boards. They either love them or they hate them. Messages began pouring in the minute I posted a question on Facebook about them.

So, what’s the fuss all about?

I probably don’t need to describe an Ouija Board to anyone. We’ve all seen them in horror flicks and paranormal reality shows. For those who have been living under a rock for the past hundred years or so, a spirit board is a game board that is marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers zero through nine, the words “yes” and “no”, and typically the words “hello” and “goodbye”. Users rest their fingers on a triangle or heart-shaped game piece, often called a planchette, while an unseen entity supposedly moves the indicator to spell out a message. Many people consider spirit boards to be a form of automatic writing, a practice that allows ghosts to convey messages by spelling out words on paper. They gained popularity in the late 1800’s as the boards became easily obtainable and can be currently be found in most department stores or online shopping sites, sitting side-by-side with family favorites like Candyland and Monopoly.

For many people, the question is simple. Why would an Ouija Board be any different than any other form of paranormal equipment? The answer is a bit more complex.

When we conduct  paranormal investigations, we use many different pieces of equipment to elicit responses from the spirit world. Tools of the trade vary. A popular device is the Ovilus, an electronic device that is pre-programmed with several thousand words the spirit world can utilize to sound out messages. Others use Spirit Boxes, which use a modified radio that scans quickly through the stations to capture spirit voices. K2, EMF meters, flashlights, and digital audio recorders are also frequently used as communication devices. The one thing that separates these devices from a spirit board is the conduit. While the other equipment allows the entities to communicate through the device itself, a spirit board requires a host to convey the messages. For me, that makes all the difference.

In my book Ghostly Defenses: A Sensitive’s Guide for Protection, I don’t recommend investigators to invite a ghost to touch them or use their energy. Personal contact can lead to a multitude of unexpected complications including a paranormal hangover, where an investigator is drained of energy, as well as spirit attachment, where the entity actually follows you home from the investigation. Maintaining a safe distance is often essential in keeping yourself protected. It only takes one wrong move to turn your life into a living hell. I say this from personal experience. I wrote the book The Soul Collector after I ran into a very nasty negative entity that brought me to the brink of disaster.

With that said, it won’t surprise anyone that I have mixed feelings about spirit boards, especially when they are used by inexperienced people. In some cases, it could be the equivalent of handing a loaded gun to a person who has never seen a gun before. The results could be fairly predictable.

A friend who wishes to remain anonymous shared the following story with me. They lived in a haunted house and frequently used an Ouija Board to communicate with the resident ghosts, but the sessions eventually grew precarious. While the house had always been active, it intensified greatly after they began using the board. The ghost began to focus on the twenty-year-old daughter. It knew things about her personal life that she hadn’t shared with her family and began spelling them out with glee. The activity soon grew physical as the entity began taking control of her body. Something began moving her arms, making them tremble and point in a specific direction. At times, her arms would twitch and shake beyond control, something her father could feel by touching her. The family quickly stopped using the spirit board. While the activity in the house continued, the entity ceased the physical attacks.

Others have different takes on the boards.

Frank had also had a life altering experience using a Ouija Board. While his sister and her friends used the board at a slumber party in the family’s basement, he sat at the edge of the room, watching them. He had a crush on one of his sister’s friends, but at fifteen-years-old, he was too shy to do anything about it. One of the girls asked the board if it had something it wanted to tell them. It promptly spelled out “Frankie loves Bonnie.” Frank was mortified and ran upstairs in embarrassment, but the message served its purpose. Frank and Bonnie are now married with two children, having been together for twenty-one years.

Is this really possible? Can a piece of cardboard and a game piece really conjure up the dead?

Many skeptics believe that the spirit board responses are due to ideomotor responses, where users are unknowingly moving the planchette. In his book Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, neurology professor, Terence Hines, states the following:

“The planchette is guided by unconscious muscular exertions like those responsible for table movement. Nonetheless, in both cases, the illusion that the object (table or planchette) is moving under its own control is often extremely powerful and sufficient to convince many people that spirits are truly at work… The unconscious muscle movements responsible for the moving tables and Ouija board phenomena seen at séances are examples of a class of phenomena due to what psychologists call a dissociative state. A dissociative state is one in which consciousness is somehow divided or cut off from some aspects of the individual’s normal cognitive, motor, or sensory functions.”

Heidi’s story conflicts with this theory. While in junior high school, she used one with a friend. Nothing happened in the beginning, but soon the experience changed. An entity came through, telling them he was the father of a classmate who had died. They began asking him questions to validate the response, and he provided them with accurate information. They asked him the name of his boat, and he answered with the name “Princess.” Heidi’s friend thought the information was incorrect. She remembered the name to be “Canasta.” They ceased communication at that point, afraid that another entity was pretending to be the friend’s dead father. Later that summer, when Heidi went to the camp where the boat was docked, she happened to see his boat and was shocked at what she saw. The name on the back of the boat was “Princess,” like the spirit board told them.

The stories go on and on. I was shocked at how many people contacted me.

Psychic medium, Memie Watson contacted me after reading my post on Facebook, providing me with the following information.

“As a child my mother worked at Parker Brothers in Salem, Massachusetts, where they made Ouija boards. They are not the traditional ones from the Egyptian times. We got one as a gift and played with it all the time. We called in spirits and asked them questions. As children, we are more susceptible to having an open mind to spirits.

We never have had anything bad happen to us at all. To this day, I still have the original one my mother gave us hanging up on the kitchen wall.

Spirit boards and Ouija boards are the same as Table Tipping as they all put you in direct communication with spirits; they are a form of divination as well as the pendulum and dowsing rods etc. Also, psychic mediums contact the spirit, so we must also be protected and cleansed. We always cleanse and consecrate any magickal tool, including ourselves, prior to spirit contact. Upon finishing, we cleanse ourselves as well, as we don’t want Sprits hanging around.

Yes, these tools are part of the Occult. While the word has a bad connotation to some, it really only means the unknown or something hidden.

They do work and will not bring any ill harm to you unless you believe that they will.

What I recommend to others starting out is to respect the board and the spirits and no harm shall come. Never mock them and laugh at them. They are not tools of the devil, as in our belief system there is no such thing as the devil, as it is purely a Christian belief.

So any form of communication with the other world is knowledge into the occult, the spirit realm,” she told me.

Others have much stronger opinions of Ouija Boards, suggesting they created portals for darker entities to utilize.

Tara from Tara Haunted Tours in Savannah, Georgia, recommends caution when dealing with the boards. While she has witnessed professionals utilizing the board without issue, she’s seen far more people get into trouble with them. She believes that when inexperienced people use Ouija Boards, hoping to sense a ghost or conjure their departed loved ones, other darker entities can come through instead, pretending to be the loved one. “They go in, extremely unprotected, thinking they are talking to dead ‘grandma’. Evil poses in many forms. Leave the board alone!” she recommends.

My friend, Michael Cram, shares a similar belief. Michael’s history in the paranormal started in childhood. His mother was an Irish witch, someone who often helped others with their problems. A talented medium himself, Michael spent over thirty years in the field investigating claims of hauntings. He also works with the Catholic Church, helping them investigate reports of demonic activity prior to exorcisms.

After the owners of the Haunted Victorian Mansion found a handmade Ouija Board in their house following a paranormal investigation, the activity in the house became far more prevalent. They asked Michael to come in for a house cleansing and he quickly identified the entity as something that was brought into the house.

“You don’t want to mess with those,” he told Edwin, pointing towards the Ouija Board. “If the wrong person is using it, they could open up more portals, and invite things that you don’t want here. It’s like leaving your front door wide open and allowing anyone to come in.”

He went on to tell Edwin that the types of entities who communicate through Ouija boards were from a lower astral plane, the type you don’t want to welcome into your home. Once you ask for a physical confirmation, such as a knock on the wall or a flicker of a candle, you are essentially opening a portal, allowing them in. Once they come through, they don’t always leave. Michael completed his cleansing, but the entity would prove difficult to remove.

Personally, I’ve avoided Ouija Boards, fearing I would create a situation I couldn’t control afterwards. Being a sensitive, I already contend with ghosts following me home from investigations and haunted establishments. The last thing I needed was to create a doorway inside my own house for them to come and go as they wished. I decided that a call to Barbara Williams was in order.

Barbara Williams is a very talented psychic medium from Casco, Maine. After meeting her at an investigation at Parsonsfield Seminary, another very haunted location, I began reaching out to her to learn more about the paranormal world. She’s since become my mentor, my go-to person for paranormal questions.

She feels that a spirit board is a tool, no different from a camera, a pendulum, or an Ovilus. An experienced user will know how to properly open and close a session, like they would do for any paranormal investigation, but since Ouija Boards are sold as toys, they often end up in the wrong hands.

“Most people’s first experiences with spirit boards come when they are adolescents. As you know, adolescents are usually very volatile emotionally. They have very strong kinetic energy and are most likely to create poltergeist activity,” she said. She went on to explaining the importance of conducting the session correctly.

She feels that safeguards must be put into place. The spirit board must first be cleansed of any lingering energy. If someone else has used it, it could still hold that energy, good or bad. While Barbara doesn’t use spirit boards, she feels that opening and closing a session is vitally important. She recommends beginning every paranormal investigation with a prayer and a blessing, asking for protection from the guides and guardians who protect the users. They should always make the intent very clear, instructing only spirits from the light to come through and preventing dark energy from emerging.

Closing the session is just as important as beginning one. After the session ends, whether it is for an EVP session or a spirit board session, the connection must be closed. “Otherwise, it’s like living in the woods in a cabin. If you walk away and leave the door open, you’re going to end up with a lot of bugs,” she said. “If you open a vortex, you must close it as well,” she added.

As for the girl named Judy in the beginning of the article — her name was really Joni.

My advice to you about spirit boards is to be cautious. Will I use one in the future? It’s highly doubtful, but I am curious by nature. If the right situation presented itself, under the best possible circumstances, I might be tempted.

Certainly, it is far more than a board game, but is it a divining tool of the devil? I’ll let you make that decision.

 

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

Soul Collector banner for FBThe 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


Ghostly Defenses: A Sensitive’s Guide for Protection

Being a sensitive isn’t always easy. While we can sense that ghosts and spirits are present, we aren’t always prepared to handle them. This guide is a starting point for sensitives, giving them direction on how to harness their abilities, while staying protected from negative energy.

This guide discusses the various methods for protection from dark energy, including prayers, medallions, and gemstones, as well as step-by-step directions for protection before, during and after paranormal investigations.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Defenses-Joni-Mayhan-ebook/dp/B00IYOB40E/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399115123&sr=1-2

trilogy photoAngels 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 existence.

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

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

 

 

Ghosts at the Opera House

DSCN3311It didn’t surprise me that the Sterling Opera House in Derby, Connecticut, was haunted. Since opening in 1889, the massive Italianate Victorian theater has hosted many famous guests, including Lionel Barrymore, Harry Houdini, Red Skelton, and Amelia Earhart. It has also functioned as a town hall, with a police substation, complete with six jail cells.

When I was invited to investigate at the opera house with Creepy Places of New England and Rise-up Paranormal, I jumped at the chance. I had the opportunity to tour the building last year when NE POST conducted a paranormal investigation, but I wasn’t able to stay for the investigation due to scheduling conflicts. Getting a second chance seemed like destiny. It was a night I won’t soon forget.DSCN3312

According to Rich DiCarlo, the Chairman of the Derby Cultural Commission, the title “opera house” was a generic term for a theater. “This was a vaudeville and burlesque house more than an opera house. You saw jokes and dancing girls here,” he said during our tour of the building. The theater closed in 1945 and became the town hall until the mid-1960’s. During that time period, there were three confirmed deaths, two heart attacks and a suicide in the jail cell, after a man consumed rat poison, but oddly enough, none of those souls haunt the building.

We started the evening with a full tour of the building. Although the outside of the building was renovated, the interior remains the same as it did when it closed in 1945. The theater seating is still in place, covered in decades of dust. When you stand on the massive stage and look out at the audience seating, compete with two tiers, you feel as though you traveled back in time. Typical of the era, the best seats were on the bottom floor, most of which have been removed. The second tier offered slightly lesser seats, while the third tier seats were only six inches wide. Servants sat at the back of the third tier on folding chairs.

10169174_10203966044250874_8357065243800065571_nThe Lady in White is frequently seen on the second tier balcony, sitting to the right of the second column. No one knows who she was. Although she’s periodically seen, she refuses to provide any clues to her identity. Was she a fan of the theater? Or was she a lovelorn patron, drawn to the building to watch the man she loved perform? No one knows for certain.

Another entity known to haunt the building is the Lady in Green. We know that she was a woman from Brooklyn named Heddy and was in charge of the female troop of dancers. Although she didn’t die in the building, she must have returned after her death, preferring it to a peaceful afterlife somewhere else. According to Rich, she often follows investigators down to the jail cells, warning them to be careful.10292463_10203966044930891_3949798804174449676_n

Andy is another entity who haunts the building. No one knows his story, since there isn’t a documented child’s death in the building or surrounding area, but he has made his presence known to many investigators. He often responds on EVPs, singing and talking. He also enjoys rolling a ball on the stage.

A mysterious stagehand is also seen in the building. No one has recorded his voice on audio, but he’s been witnessed on occasion, wearing an ill-fitting brown suit. As the room grew darker, I snapped a photo of the stage area. After lightening it, one of my eagle-eyed friends commented on the mysterious man in the photo. While there is a real live investigator in the photo, there does appear to be another person there who wasn’t part of the investigation. It’s possible it’s just pareidolia, the human knack for finding faces in random objects, but I’m not ruling it out without further on-site analysis.stage manager

Our group consisted of members from Creepy Places of New England, who also maintain a video blog. Founders, Steven Moreau and Charles Reis, were joined by fellow teammates, Heidi Neuschuez and Cynthia Mattison. Joining us from RiseUp Paranormal was Tara Melendez.

We conducted our first EVP session as a group on the stage. Halfway through the session, I began hearing a tone. Being clairaudient, I hear a sound similar to ear ringing when a ghost is nearby. I followed the sound to the wings of the stage, where I sat down for a moment. The ringing grew louder, as if something was coming closer to me. I just happened to look up in time to see a white mist drift over my head. I was stunned. I’m not the sort of person who often sees ghosts during investigations. In fact, this was only my second time out of more than 200 investigations to see something. I didn’t have time to photograph it before it was gone, but it left a lasting impression.

I moved back to where the group sat. Heidi pulled out her dousing rods, something I’ve always found intriguing. As she asked questions, she began getting very distinct responses. We learned that the Lady in Green was with us, as well as Andy the boy. After a few minutes, we decided to use my SB-7 Spirit Box to see if we could capture any verbal responses.

The Spirit Box scans quickly through the radio stations, allowing the ghosts to use the white noise to generate speech. I don’t post them unless they scan through several channels and are appropriate responses, ruling out stray radio voices. This one scanned through at least four channels. You can click on the links below to hear the recorded responses.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/arent-people-different

When we asked for their names, this fellow quickly responded:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/im-michael

Here’s another interesting one:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/is-that-the-captain

The next one was compelling because the old police station once used the end of the stage as a shooting range. There are bullet holes on the wall. Shortly after we captured this, we heard a siren go past the building, making it even more appropriate.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/it-was-a-policeman

The last Spirit Box response I’ll share was fairly appropriate, considering where we were. A female voice asked if it was the sixth major. I looked it up online and learned that the sixth major refers to a musical interval. Here’s a link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_sixth

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/was-it-sixth-major

We then ventured down a flight of stairs to the area under the stage. The area is divided into two sections: the dressing areas for performers and the old town hall offices. We were drawn to two distinct rooms: the Junkie’s Room and the Casting Office.DSCN3315

The first room we investigated was referred to as the Junkie’s Room by fellow investigators. While the building sat abandoned, derelicts often broke in and used the rooms as shooting galleries. Tara Melendez has investigated at the opera house dozens of times and said that a man was found there passed out from a drug overdose. She felt that he was a twenty-seven year-old male, telling us that her group often gets “crazy responses” in there. The room had a decided heavy feeling.

As we stood there, asking questions, we became aware of a tapping sound. It seemed to correspond with our questions. “Is that you tapping?” one of the investigators asked, and was rewarded with another tap. I asked if he could tap once for “yes” and twice for “no,” and received two taps in response. We decided to continue anyway. I also captured an EVP, which I didn’t realize until later when I reviewed my audio recording.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/knock-for-usno

The room suddenly seemed to grow even darker as the responses grew clearer. I’ve never experienced tapping responses as clear as these. To hear the two sessions, click the links below:

Part 1: https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/knocking-responses

Part 2: https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/knocking-part-2

We then headed to the Casting Office. Our first few questions revolved around what happened on the casting couch. We weren’t really expecting an answer. After the heaviness of the Junkie’s Room, we needed to lighten the moment. Apparently, the ghost in residence found our humor amusing. He said “woo” in the middle of a question, something we all heard at the time, making it a disembodied voice.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/woo

I left shortly afterwards for my two hour drive back home, but the experience will remain with me for a long time. If you’re looking for ghosts, the Sterling Opera House is the place to go. The building is full of them and they are eager to communicate.

 

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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