The town of Standish, Maine, is ripe for a ghost story. Surveyed in 1750 by two captains, hoping to create a place for their men to settle, it would go through an evolution of changes before it became the quaint New England town it now is.
A fort was constructed in the place where the center of town now stands. A large red church was build, as was a house for the town’s first minister, Reverend Thompson. The original church was torn apart by the towns people, but a second church was built later for a Reverend Merritt. Our investigations would bring us to both the Old Red Church and the Thompson House, now known as the Maine Street Grill restaurant.
We met up with Barbara Williams, who runs a paranormal group in Maine, and who is also one of the most talented psychic mediums I’ve ever met. While we were intrigued by the locations, my friend Sandy and I primarily went to this investigation for the opportunity to spend some time with Barbara.
The first thing Barbara would probably want me to tell you about her is that she is NOT the psychic medium from Maine in my book The Soul Collector. I met Barbara shortly afterwards, as she helped me rid myself of another ghostly attachment.
I actually met Barbara while I was finishing the edits on my first book Lightning Strikes. She was doing a cleansing on me, pulling off all cords and attachments, leaving me feeling much lighter and freer than before. As she was working on me, she asked me if I had just written a book. I was a bit floored. She really had no way of knowing this about me. It wasn’t something I brought up and we weren’t yet friends on Facebook. I must have nearly jumped out of my seat before answering her question.
In the calm way she does everything, she quietly told me that I should get it published soon. That it would be a good time for it. She also alluded to the fact that my books would be very well received, and that she would one day be able to say she knew me before I was famous. I’m still holding onto this hope.
Since that time, she’s become my most trusted mentor. As I struggle to understand the clairaudient and clairvoyant abilities that I was born with, she’s been there to provide answers and confirm my suspicions. She’s taught me so much, but I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what I can learn from her.
We started with dinner at the restaurant. As we ate, Sandy and I could feel several of the resident ghosts drift into the room. We often will get mind pictures of what they look like and use each other to confirm our suspicions. We are usually eerily similar. This time, we both picked up on a male and a female who were once brother and sister, possibly the children of an early home owner. While this was interesting, it wasn’t evidence.
We wouldn’t be able to investigate at the restaurant until after they closed. As soon as we finished eating, we headed across town to the Old Red Church to kill some time.
The Old Red Church first opened in 1804 after being granted to the proprietors of The First Parish Meeting House for service to King George during the war of 1754. A second floor was added in 1848 to be used for the Standish Academy. It would later be used for the Standish High School before becoming a Historical Landmark. Originally painted brown, sun and weather oxidized it to a reddish hue, giving it the name.
The church portion of the building was set up in a very Puritan manner, with wooden sectioned-off areas for families. The families would purchase these areas for Sunday worship. After spending a few minutes on the hard wooden benches, you begin to understand more about life in the early 1800’s. You weren’t supposed to be comfortable. It was part of the process of worshipping. We conducted an EVP session in the downstairs level, but the acoustics of the church made it difficult to capture any responses.
We meandered up to the second floor and took a tour of the school area. The room was set up like an old-fashioned classroom, complete with period desks and books. A mannequin, representing the teacher, stood at the front of the room. We spent a few minutes just taking it all in before the cold started getting to us. As I walked back down the stairs, I tried to imagine what it must have been like back in the days before central heating. I thanked my blessings as I got into the warm car to head back to the Maine Street Grill.
By 11pm, the restaurant had closed and the last of the bar patrons were leaving. It was finally time to investigate!
Our team headed down to the basement for our first session. The basement has been known to be a very active location. Other investigators have experienced growls and loud noises, and often feel uncomfortable in the space. We set up in a storage room at the very end of the building.
Joining us were six other people. Keith Glen is an old friend of mine. We used to investigate together on a regular basis, but hadn’t seen each other in almost a year. He came to the event with his girlfriend, Deanna, a paranormal enthusiast herself. Also joining us were Brad and Breanna. It was their first investigation and they were enthralled to be there. Two other men, known to us as “the dentist and his brother” were also part of our group for the basement, but left shortly afterwards. They didn’t stay long enough for me to catch their names.
We’d barely gotten started when I had an experience that would send me flying off the step-ladder I’d been sitting on. I felt the very distinct feeling of someone running a finger down my back.
I turned, fully expecting to find someone standing behind me laughing, but the back of the room was empty. Everyone else was in front of me. It really set the mood for the rest of the session. I would continue to look over my shoulder for the duration.
While we were down there, we captured several relevant responses.
The first came when Keith Glenn asked if the spirits were allowed to go to other parts of the house. There is a very soft whispered response of “yes”.
The second response came through the P-SB7 Spirit Box, which scans through the stations on a radio at a rapid rate, only landing on each station for a fraction of a second. The theory is that ghosts and spirits are able to use this to formulate words. We always enjoy using the Spirit Box because we get an instant response to our questions. While a true EVP is much more formable, we have to wait until we listen to our audio to receive the response.
I asked if there was anything in the basement we needed to be afraid of. The response was quick. “Oh boy,” it said.
After about thirty minutes, we moved onto our next location, which wouldn’t provide me with any EVPs or Spirit Box responses. I wouldn’t get anything else until we stopped at the bar area on the third floor. Here, I received so many responses; I had to narrow them down and choose my favorites.
(there seems to be a mist forming at the left side of the photo)
The first is an EVP, which is a ghost voice that wasn’t heard at the time, but was captured on my digital recorder. I was trying to get my Spirit Box set up and was having difficulties.
The next one is another EVP, captured after Brad asked if they could tell us their names. The response is a very soft whispered “Yes.”
I had to laugh when I listened to this response. We didn’t understand what it said at the time, but thankfully I recorded the session and heard it later. “They sell beer!” someone says enthusiastically. The New England accent is undeniable. Beer sounds more like “beah”.
I’m hoping they weren’t talking about me on this next one. “That woman is evil!” This was from the Spirit Box.
The last one is interesting because of the content. This is also from the Spirit Box as one of the ghosts informs us that “Jesus is coming.” Interesting.
We ended the night by spending ample time with Barbara, talking about our abilities. Being a sensitive is often very frustrating. We know a ghost is there, but aren’t able to gather much more information. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a mind picture to go with it, but most of the time it’s just the cue and nothing else. For me, I hear a tone, similar to an ear ringing. Sandy feels a tingling on her head. Both of us also feel a sense of someone coming up behind us. Barbara helps us narrow it down.
All in all, it was a great night. It came with very little sleep, like most of them do, but it was enjoyable and rewarding all the same. We got to spend time with some old friends and met some new ones as well.
Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as a free-lance writer. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. For more information about the author, please see her website: Jonimayhan.com
The Soul Collector – The true story of one paranormal investigator’s worst nightmare
Angels of Ember trilogy – 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.