The Haunting of Slater Mill

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I love investigating historic locations, especially places that nearly vibrate with residual energy. The buildings at the Slater Mill campus in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, fall soundly in this category. The minute I stepped onto the five-acre property, I could feel the layers of history piled upon one another.

Built in 1793, Slater Mill was the brainchild of Englishman, Samuel Slater. At the age of 25, he immigrated to America and recreated the Arkwright system, which used a water-powered mill to spin cotton yarn, turning Slater Mill into the country’s first textile mill. President Andrew Jackson deemed him “The Father of American Industry.” The English call him Slater the Traitor for bringing their English ingenuity to America.

The evening’s events included a tour and ghost hunt of the three buildings on the property, led by Carl Johnson, with assistance from his brother Keith. Most people recognize the brothers from their years on the hit paranormal series Ghost Hunters. Others know them from their vast contribution to the paranormal field. While their presentation of the property’s history and hauntings was educational, their personable delivery made it even more intriguing.

10155900_10203924977064220_8327710243247541266_nSlater Mill

The Slater Mill building stands two stories tall, casting an ominous shadow on the raging Blackstone River behind it. Painted a sunny yellow, the architecture speaks volumes of colonial times, when purpose was more monumental than appearance, especially for a mill that was first of its kind in our country.

Stepping inside the building is like time traveling to another era. Thanks to the efforts of the Old Slater Mill Associate, which purchased, restored, and preserved the building back in 1921, the mill looks like it did in the 1800’s. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to visualize the machinery roaring to life and the room filling with workers bustling around the various machinery.

We started our tour in this building. Being a sensitive, I immediately detected several ghosts in the building. I felt them lingering at the edges of the room, casually watching us. It almost reminded me of going to the zoo, but in this instance, we were the captive occupants being observed, instead of the other way around. It made for an interesting experience.

As the group paused near the middle of the building, Carl plugged in a plasma ball, which produces a lightning-like current of electricity inside a plastic globe, to increase the energy in the room. He also turned on a black light, explaining that ghosts are often more visible in ultra-violet lighting. He then told us about the children who haunt the building.

Attitudes regarding child labor were far different in the1800’s than they are today. Children were expected to work, whether it was on the family farm or in a factory environment. When Slater Mill first opened, the primary employees compris10246772_10203925068306501_8809772713773532553_ned of entire families, including children as young as seven. They worked long hours, typically from dawn until dusk, for as little as a dollar a week in a hostile environment that was freezing during the winter and sweltering during the summer. While the machines were simple to use, accidents still happened and children were frequently injured, if not killed. The photo to the right was taken at Slater Mills during its heyday.

During our tour, one of the women asked if the little boy was still there. Apparently, she took a tour years ago and saw a small boy run across the second floor. He appeared as real as a live boy. She didn’t think much of it until she realized there weren’t any children on the tour. The staff searched for the illusive boy but never found him. Had she seen a ghost? It’s highly probable. The disembodied voices of children have been heard time and time again at the mill.

Carl asked if anyone would be willing to give the ghost child a hug. In the past, people who have entertained this gesture have felt the distinct sensation of a cold, tingling presence returning the hug. When no one volunteered, he asked if I would try it. I was happy to comply.

At first, I was focused on the people surrounding me, watching me foolishly hug the air, but as I relaxed, I began to feel something else. The air inside my arms grew cooler, and I began getting the sensation of pressure. I had my mouth open to tell them that I was indeed feeling something when someone put a K2 meter near me, which immediately began flashing. K2 meters record high electro-magnetic pulses, often signaling the presence of a ghost. Unfortunately for us, they can also triggered by smart phones or walkie-talkies. I’m normally diligent about turning off my phone prior to investigations, but had forgotten, resulting in the false positive response. By the time I turned my phone off, the moment was lost.

A man is often seen walking through the building as well, by both staff and visitors. People frequently witness him moving through the rooms. Could this be Samuel Slater, overseeing the property that bears his name? Or is it a worker who spent time at the mill? Theories abound, but no one is certain of his identification. It’s one of the mysteries that keep investigators returning to the mill. We spent a few minutes walking around the building before moving to the next building, the Wilkinson Mill.

10155822_10203924977464230_430008164393097845_nThe Wilkinson Mill

After the success of the Slater Mill, the Wilkinson Mill was added in 1810, increasing the factory’s production and improving upon the design. Built of stone to prevent fire, which plagued Slater Mill twice in its history, the Wilkinson Mill is an impressive presence on the banks of the Blackstone River. Substantially larger than its sister mill, the Wilkinson Mill looms over the river as a testament to the once prosperous industry that dominated the area.

The main floor contains a machine shop, stocked with many of the machines used during the era. We were treated to a tour of the basement, where the massive ten-ton waterwheel is located. The room is cavernous, with sounds echoing freely around the granite walls and water pool. Since stone and water are known to absorb energy, It wasn’t difficult to imagine the spirits drifting among us. The ghost of a small boy is often seen here, as well as a mysterious shadow person.DSCN3291

During the tour, Carl invited several people to experience the area at the base of the stone stairs, where the shadow person is often seen. I offered to accompany two groups. As I descended the stairs, I could feel a heaviness in the air. The young women who went with me also felt it, one of them claiming to see the shadow of a person. Using my digital recorder, I invited them to ask questions of the entity, but no responses were captured.

DSCN3223Sylvanus Brown House

If you stare at the windows of the Sylvanus Brown house long enough, you might find a small face in an upstairs window staring back at you. This happened to several observers years ago. Upon notification, the caretakers of the property searched the building, finding the door firmly locked and the building vacant.

Being the smallest building on the property, it was the also the most fascinating for my friend Sandy and me. We immediately felt the presence of several ghostly inhabitants. While we both felt there was a male and a female entity, Sandy also thought there was a female child in residence. Little did we know how accurate we were. Investigators over the years have determined that the property is haunted by a woman, a man, and a girl, reportedly named Becca.

The Brown House, which is the second oldest house in Pawtucket, was built in another area of town, but was relocated to its current location when the highway project threatened its existence. Since Samuel Slater was a guest at the Brown house during his first few days in Rhode Island, moving the house to the Slater Mill property was a logical choice.

The parlor room had a peaceful feeling to it, which is no surprise since it was a room typically used for happy events, like entertaining guests, celebrations, and weddings. Befitting the period, it was probably also used for funerals and wakes, lending it a slight sense of sorrow. After playing haunting music on a music box, to pull Becca into the room, Carl demonstrated the use of dowsing rods. Several of the guests experienced responses to their questions and were delighted with the results.

The evening quickly ended and the property was left to itself once more. As we drove away, I could almost imagine the ghosts drifting to the windows to watch us leave, entertained by our foolish endeavors.

While I didn’t experience any paranormal phenomena or capture any evidence on my audio recorder, I found the three-building location resonating with history as well as a sense of intrigue. I plan to return at some point and rent the facility for a private investigation to uncover more of the property’s hidden past.

Slater Mill offers museum tours, while also offering a gift shop and exhibition gallery space. The Jenks Educational Conference Center and rental hall provides rental space for corporate conferences, special events, and even weddings. The next Mills and Mysteries: A Ghostly Experience paranormal investigation/tour will be held May 17th. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.slatermill.org/

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(L-R) Joni Mayhan, Carl Johnson, Keith Johnson, Sandy MacLeod

 

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

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The Ghost in the Corner

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The ghost hovered in the corner of my room, ever vigilant.

I could feel him standing there watching me. His anger was powerful, radiating from his center like a smoky black aura, filling the room with hostility and rage. If there was ever a time in his life when he was a good man, I couldn’t feel it. All I could detect was the darkness that had leached into his soul like a parasite, turning him into an ever-hating entity.

He didn’t hate me for any particular reason. He hated everyone. He despised the life he’d once lived, and brought his hatred into the afterlife with him, allowing it to consume him whole. And there he was, hovering in my bedroom corner, watching me with narrowed eyes.

I first became aware of him after dining at my favorite restaurant. I don’t know how he came to be there. I don’t think he even knew. He just followed the trail of energy to a place where he could find nourishment before he finally latched onto me.

Being a ghost takes a great deal of energy. Despite popular belief, many people feel that ghosts can’t pull energy from the electricity or batteries we use to power our electronics and machines. They need the kind of energy that only a living being can provide. It’s one of the reasons why you seldom find ghosts at cemeteries. They might stop by to visit their grave and make sure it’s being kept up, but they won’t hang out there for long because it isn’t a good feeding ground. There aren’t enough people around.

Investigators often flock to haunted venues, needlessly paying tremendous amounts of money to hunt for a ghost, while passing several dozen ghosts on their way to the door. Ghosts are everywhere. You’ll find them lurking in places where you find groups of people. Shopping malls and movie theaters are prime locations, as are restaurants, hospitals, and churches. Most of the time the ghosts are happy to remain there, but every occasionally they find one human they feel is worth following. For reasons that escape me, I am very desirable in the spirit realm.

I can’t go anywhere without picking one up. They must see me and consider me as someone who can provide them with constant nourishment. More than likely they recognize me as a sensitive, someone who might provide them with the added bonus of communication, something many of them long for in the spirit realm.

The guy in my corner wasn’t exactly a chatty one, though. He didn’t want to talk to me. He just wanted to use me for as long as he could. Since I had no real means of driving him away, he probably would have stayed for an extended vacation, growing fat and happy off the energy he pulled from me.

Strange things began happening to me during this time. At first, I just thought I was having a spell of horrible luck, but as it went on, I grew suspicious. My son’s truck broke, putting us down a vehicle, something that caused us both undue stress as he worried over fixing it. Then, my car registration was suddenly revoked, due to the insurance bills that somehow never made it to my mailbox. Household appliances stopped working without explanation.  I became clumsy, stubbing my toes into every corner, banging my elbow against my desk as I rose, bruising myself on the corner of a table so frequently it became painful. Then the worst possible thing happened. My elderly cat went into seizures and had to be euthanized.

My friend Sandy, who is also a sensitive, came to pick me up for a movie several days later. Just before we left, I asked her to go upstairs and see if she felt anything. I didn’t tell her anything about the haunting, but from prior experience being my friend, she knew what she was looking for. She came down a few minutes later, pale and drawn.

“You have a really bad one up there. He’s really strong,” she told me.

It confirmed what I already suspected.

Over the course of the week, I worked with my mentor, trying everything she suggested. I burned sage and used salt around the doorways and windows. I took a cleansing salt bath every night. I worked on building a strong shield around myself, but nothing seemed to work. As soon as I drifted off to sleep, I felt him move towards me, blanketing me with his energy. I would then feel a palpitation, almost as if my bed was vibrating beneath me. I came to realize that this sensation was probably him pulling energy from me.

After Sandy’s visit, something strange happened. He began bouncing back and forth between the two of us. While we found it to be anything but amusing, we began documenting the bounces. As soon as I felt him come back, I marked the time and did the same thing when I felt him leave. Sandy did the same thing. When we compared notes after a few days, the times matched up perfectly.

I needed to get rid of him. I was getting only a few hours of sleep each night. Every time I started to drift asleep, he’d jump on me, waking me up. I contacted my mentor, begging for help, and she agreed to see us.

We got in my car and made the three hour drive to Maine to see her. During the drive, Sandy told me a little about our ghost. She saw him as 50’s era. He was a tough guy, kind of like James Dean with a bad attitude. When we got to Maine our mentor, confirmed this.

“1953 is the year I’m getting,” Barbara told us. She also saw him as a person who wasn’t very nice in life. “Okay, let’s cross him over,” she suggested.

We stood in a circle, like we always do. Barbara opened up a white light, where he could safely pass through to the other side of the veil. While I’ve experienced this many times, it still takes my breath away. It’s a powerful moment, filled with velocity and emotion. In some ways, it’s almost like giving birth, except it feels more like freedom and release.

I felt him slip up and through it the second the white light was opened. A cold chill started at my ankles and worked its way up my body and through the top of my head, signalling his release. And then it was all over, leaving me breathless in the wake.

“That was fast,” I remarked.

“Yes. He was ready to go,” Barbara confirmed.

We held the circle for another minute and to our surprise, another soul crossed through. I had no idea where this one came from, but I was happy to comply. Every soul deserves the right to cross over to the next realm.

My house grew quiet again for several days until the next one came along.

This one is a female. She wants help, but won’t cross over. Something holds her back.

Like the male, she waits until I am nearly asleep before she pounces on me.

I’m not ready to make another trip to Maine, but am working on keeping her at bay. Even though these earth-bound souls are draining, I always learn something in the process. With her, I’ve learned to push energy in her direction. It’s not an easy thing to maneuver, considering it’s an invisible and not always reliable solution, but it seems to be working. If nothing else, perhaps she’ll eventually tire of the battle and move onto greener pastures.

Insomnia has become a way of life for me, but I’m still thankful. There might be a ghost in my corner, but at least it’s not the same hateful entity who had once been there. This one just wants help.

I just need to learn how to give it to her without losing a piece of my own soul in the process.

 

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

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Paranormal Hitchhikers

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ImageSomething followed me home again.

It happens quite a bit, more often than I admit. This one came from the house that I’m currently writing about, the Haunted Victorian Mansion.

I went there for a photo shoot on Monday and encountered a very strong male energy in the Red Room. He had a very distinctive tone and when I came into his space, he made my body feel as though it were vibrating from the inside out. It’s a very strange sensation. It’s almost like being nervous, without the emotion to go along with it. It’s also a bit unnerving.

Strong ones do this to me for some reason. With normal ghosts, I will hear a tone, similar to an ear-ringing sound. It’s taken me years to figure it out, with the help of my mentor, Barbara Williams. A ghost tone is lower in register and isn’t pure and ringing. It almost sounds like that static white-noise that television sets used to make before the rise of cable. A ghost is a human who has died, but didn’t cross over into the white light. Some are trapped, but most are here of their own free will. They feel as though they have something they need to do before they cross on. When they make my body vibrate, they are insistent that I listen to them.

A spirit is a pure sound, like the sound a wine glass makes when you tap it with a fork, except the sound just continues on and on. It can be maddening at times, but I’ve learned to tune it out enough that it doesn’t drive me crazy. And besides, a spirit tone is good. It means that one of my guides or protectors is nearby. Sometimes when I hear the sound, I know it’s an alert that trouble might be brewing. That’s what happened to me at the Victorian on Monday.

After I heard the strong ghost tone in the Red Room, I promptly left the room and went downstairs to the kitchen, where everyone else was talking. As I stood there, I heard a spirit tone swoop in, loud and urgent.

“One of my guides just swooped in,” I told them.

Marion, my friend who is also the caretaker for the Victorian, grabbed my arm and smiled. “Good, maybe she can protect me too,” she said. As it turns out, my guide wasn’t enough.

As soon as I got home later that day, I heard the male tone return. My body began trembling again from the inside out. I took immediate measures; something my mentor has taught me. I surrounded myself with a white light that radiated from my core. I said out loud, “this shield of white light will protect me from any energy that is not my own.” And then I timed it. “It will last for twenty-four hours from now,” I added.  I then went upstairs and took a nice bath with sea salts, which act as a cleanser and a purifier. I also cut my cords.

As Barbara describes it, when we come in contact with ghosts, and even other people, we create a cord that attaches us. When I leave a haunted location, I always cut this cord, using my non-dominant hand, and tell them that they cannot follow me. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t work.

As the evening continued, I would feel and hear the ghost grow louder and stronger. Sometimes I can’t handle these things on my own, so I reached out for help. I messaged Barbara, and also my friend Sandy, who is going through similar issues. Sandy, unlike me, has pretty much mastered the ability to shield.

While her shield is Teflon-coated steel with diamond plated reinforcements, mine feels more like crumpled tinfoil with Scotch-tape and Band-Aids holding it together. Sandy responded to me first.

I knew she’d done something because as I sat in my bed reading, I could hear the sound fade and the trembling ease up until it was completely gone.

“Somebody must have helped me,” I said to myself, reaching for my IPhone on my nightstand. I logged onto Facebook and sure enough, there was a message from Sandy.

“Is that better?” she asked.

I took a deep breath. It was much better, but it only lasted for a few minutes. I’d later learn that she threw a shield over me from afar, something that seemed more like Star Trek than reality, but something I felt with my own body. It seemed to keep him at a slight distance, but he was still there. I’d need Barbara to finish the deed.

Last night was almost unbearable. The ghost tone was so loud, I couldn’t hear myself think. I’d occasionally hear the sound of a spirit tone swoop in. I imagined my protectors doing an invisible battle in my bedroom as I listened to the tones fade in and out as they moved around the room. My cats were acting as though they were watching an imaginary tennis game. Their heads were swiveling back and forth, trying to keep up with the things they could see. Needless to say, it took me a long time to get to sleep and when I did; my dreams were riddled with nightmares.

Barbara reached out to me today and took care of it. What she told me was very riveting. I guess I shouldn’t be so interested because my interest could feel like an open invitation for them to trample towards me in herds, but I can’t help it. Five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at anyone telling a similar tale. I might have even suggested they seek mental counselling. But here I was, living through something that was both horrifying and fascinating. There is a great deal going on around us that we can’t see.

Being a sensitive isn’t something I would have willingly chosen for myself. While it is intriguing to know if there is a ghost or spirit present, it comes with a very large price. Until I’ve learned to cattle-prod them away from me, they will follow me just like I am prone to following them. In theory, it’s kind of amusing. The ghost hunter is being hunted by ghosts. In reality, it’s something else – something perfectly awful.

Barbara told me that he was angry and scared. He was worried that my book about the Victorian was going to draw more people to the house. He hates the people walking in and out of his room, asking him to answer silly questions. He just wants to be left alone to live the life that he lives. People are distracting. They pull him away from the world that he sees himself in, a world similar to the one he lived in when he was alive. When she told me he was a drinker, I knew who he was.

He was the man who burned to death in the master bedroom, a man by the name of Eino Saari. I protested when she told me. I always thought of him as a nice guy who’d met a tragic end.  Unfortunately, he also has a dark side. He’s angry. He’s tired of all the commotion. He just wants us to all go away, something we’ve been hearing on evps for a while now. For my part, I’d promised to stop bothering him. I didn’t even bring my digital recorder on Monday. I just oversaw the photo shoot, gave the people who attended a quick tour, and then left. Apparently that wasn’t good enough.

I enjoyed about ten minutes of quiet before he came back again.

Dear God.  I had just purchased an episode of Breaking Bad, my latest guilty pleasure, and I wanted to sit on the couch and watch it. Instead, I messaged Barbara again, giving her the news. She pulled him off of me and suggested several extra measures. She wanted me to bless water and spray it on every wall and window of my house, and then follow it up by putting sea salt around all the doorways and windowsills. I accomplished this in a matter of minutes. I’ve never attempted to bless water before, but I trust Barbara like I trust no one else. If she tells me to do something, you can bet that I’m going to do it.

So, it’s been an hour and all is still quiet.

One thing that lifts my mood is the solitary thought of my book. If they feel the need to intimidate me to prevent me from publishing it, maybe they know something I don’t know. Maybe they know that this might be the book that finally brings me the success I’ve been longing for.

And then I feel guilty for it. Am I just standing on their shoulders to climb to my dreams?

My hope is that the book does well, that the house remains closed for investigations, and the money it brings will help them to do the repairs that are so desperately needed, while keeping me out of debt as well. Is that a lot to ask for? Probably, but it’s all I have right now.

I can’t stop now. So much depends on this.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

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Haunted Objects

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Things were moving around in the house while no one was there.

A loaf of bread flew across the kitchen. Doors were opening and closing by themselves.

When Kim Huertas and her team were called in to investigate, they had no idea it would be as simple as removing a painting.

It was their very first investigation as a team. A friend of a friend asked them to come in to help, knowing of Kim’s abilities as an empathic medium. When they arrived, they saw some of the paranormal events with their own eyes.

Kim’s son took a picture of a mirror, catching himself in the frame. When they looked at the photo, they were surprised by what they saw. An enormous shadow person was looming directly behind him. Handprints would be found on the mirror shortly after, much too large for anyone in the house. The activity was escalating.

When Kim came into the kitchen to talk to the homeowner, the woman just stood there, looking at her with eyes that were deader than dead. Something was wrong with her, but Kim wouldn’t understand the extent of it until she opened her mouth to speak.

“How would you like it if I poked your eyes out with an ice pick?” she asked.

Kim backed out of the room slowly, never letting the woman out of her sight until she was a safe distance. She returned later with another group and together they began putting together the pieces of the puzzle.

Every time they tried to take photos in one specific room, the photos wouldn’t come out. Kim looked around, her gaze landing on a painting.

“Where’d you get that?” she asked.

The homeowner glanced at it, all memory of the ice pick threat long gone from her mind. “Oh, my ex-boyfriend sent it,” she said, as if it didn’t matter.

Kim would dig and learn that the painting was actually painted by her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. As it turns out, her mother practiced voodoo. The painting had a very powerful spell placed on it. Once it was removed from the household and the house was thoroughly cleansed, all the strange activity ceased, and life went back to normal.

When it was all over, the woman’s son told Kim something she’d never forget. “He hates you,” he told her, glancing towards the window. “You made him fly out the window, so he hates you now.”

All because of a painting.

This is why I’m very, very careful of what I purchase. I love going into antique shops and looking around. In fact, my friend Sandy and I play a game we call “find the haunted item.”

We will split up and walk the store until we find something with a hidden attachment, and then we’ll send the other one into the room to see if she can find it.

Being clairaudient, it is actually fairly easy for me. I just follow the sound of the tone. As I come into the room, I can hear it very faintly. I’ll play a game of warmer/colder, until the sound grows louder and I’m directly in front of it. Then, I put my hand on it, feeling for vibrations. Sometimes an image will pop into my head and I get an impression of who owned the item. Sometimes it doesn’t.

“It’s this lamp,” I told Sandy and she nodded. She’d felt it too in her own way.

We’re actually getting fairly accurate with it. It has helped us hone our sensitivities and has prevented us from bringing home haunted items.

My mother once shared a story with me about an old wardrobe cabinet her grandmother had in her bedroom. She was just a young girl, visiting her grandmother Carter in Louisville. She remembers being frightened every time she went into Carter’s bedroom.

“The boogeyman lives in that closet,” Carter told her.

She’d give it a wary glance and retreat out of the room. If Carter sent her into her bedroom for something, she’d stare at the wardrobe the entire time she was in the room, fearful something was going to jump out at her.

As an adult, my mother looked back at the memory and laughed.

“Carter probably just told me that to keep me out of her wardrobe,” she told me.

“But, what if she didn’t?” I asked, knowing there was more to the story. After Carter died, my mother was supposed to gain possession of the bedroom furniture, but it didn’t happen. Another relative came in before she could get there and took the wardrobe. My mother was furious. It caused a rift in the family that would never be repaired. It took thirty years for it to make any sense to her.

All it took was a question.

“Did you ever think that maybe Carter was protecting you from it?” I asked.

She stared at me, as the wheels and gears spun behind her eyes.

It’s possible, even probable, that the wardrobe wasn’t haunted. It could have just been chance that another relative grabbed it before my mother could get to it. But what if it wasn’t? She would have brought home a very haunted cabinet where her children lived, including one who was a budding sensitive, something Carter must have suspected. If Carter knew there was a boogeyman in the cabinet, then she must have had some ability herself.

I never heard what happened to the wardrobe. The rift it created separated the family, never to be repaired. Most of the people who were involved have long died and the furniture probably made its way into another home or an antique shop, perhaps.

These things happen more often than you’d think.

A beloved possession can be hard to let go of.  It’s no different than a beloved house. A rocking chair, a walking cane, a mirror on the wall – they’re all potential items.

My advice to you: be careful when purchasing anything that once belonged to someone else. If your instincts tell you something’s amiss, it very well might be. If the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as you touch it, let it go. If you have dreams about it after seeing it for the first time, resist the calling. And by all means, if you bring it home and doors start opening and closing of their own accord, get it out.

Antiques can be lovely. They can be valuable, historical, and even cherished.

Just be careful they aren’t also haunted.

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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Teaser – Bones in the Basement – Haunted House for Sale

Aside

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Here’s the first chapter of Bones in the Basement – surviving the S.K. Pierce House. Soon to be published.

Haunted House for Sale

The house was waiting for them.

The three-story Victorian Mansion sat vacant for two full years, looking every bit the haunted house. People drove past slowly, staring up at the empty windows, wondering if the rumors were true. The house was supposed to be haunted.

The Victorian was built in 1875 by Sylvester Knowlton Pierce, a wealthy furniture magnate in the town of Gardner, Massachusetts. The Second Empire Victorian mansion was considered to be a modern marvel of its time. It had two cisterns that once collected rainwater from the slate roof, providing the occupants with running water, something unheard of in the late 1880’s. The house was outfitted with gas lighting, speaking tubes and electric bells for communication throughout the house, and even boasted a dumb waiter which reached three floors. The hand-carved moldings and cornices spoke volumes of a time when houses were built carefully and lovingly. It had 26 rooms, with 4 bathrooms, and a tower with a circular staircase leading to a widow’s walk, providing sweeping views of South Gardner.

The massive doors were nine-feet tall, constructed of solid black walnut and weighed well over five-hundred pounds apiece. Every inch of woodwork was elaborately carved, signifying the status of wealth and opportunity. No detail was overlooked. No cost was too great. The house was simply a masterpiece.

In its 133 year history, the house had lived a variety of lives. After providing a home to the Peirce family for over fifty years, it would also become a boarding house and an artist’s retreat. Legends surrounded it a plenty. Stories of death, destruction, and murder tainted its history, making people wonder about the rumors.

Children gave the house a wide berth at Halloween, crossing the street as they approached, so they wouldn’t get too close. People who lived in the area whispered stories to one another. Some saw faces at the windows or heard strange noises; others had more personal stories to share.

When the house was vacant during the 1980’s and 1990’s, children would slip through the basement window and wander through the house, daring one another to explore the massive structure. Furniture still remained in most of the rooms, dusty and faded, harking back to a time long past. As the children played hide-and-go-seek, one child hid in a closet on the second floor that had once been part of a dumbwaiter. As the child crouched in the darkness, he felt hands clasp around his shoulder. He bolted from the closet, turning to see the smiling apparition of a child smirking back at him. The image would remain with him for decades.

When the house went onto the real estate market in 2006, many people were interested in seeing in. By this time, it had been featured on the SyFy Channel’s paranormal reality show, Ghost Hunters. It was now more than a local novelty. It was famous, but nobody could buy it.

It’s as though the house were waiting for the right people to come along.

Prospective homeowners flocked to the massive Victorian, armed with cameras and wide eyes. Offers were made, but every one of them fell through. After a while, the realtor began screening the viewings, not allowing anyone to bring cameras into the house, wary of all the would-be ghost hunters.

The house was haunted. Everyone knew it except for its future owners.

They would find out soon enough though.

The house was waiting for them and it wouldn’t let go of until it had fulfilled its darkest desires. And once it did, it would expel them from its depths, running for their lives.

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 S.K. Pierce Mansion, please check out Joni’s book Bones in the Basement.

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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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Paranormal Debunking

ImageOrbs or dust?

Clouds reflected in the window or ghostly apparitions?

I have a rule that I always follow: when in doubt, throw it out.

I believe that we owe it to the field to only submit the most valid evidence possible. This means keeping the Class C EVPs that may or may not be another investigator burping, and the photos of smudged mirrors to ourselves.  We don’t grasp for straws, we just keep trying until we find something worth sharing. I truly wish all investigators followed this rule as well.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of questionable photos and audio recordings being shared on Facebook. One look and it’s clear to me that, while it looks like a good catch on the surface, there are far too many variables to consider it true evidence. When in doubt, throw it out.

I have dozens of photos that look ghostly.  Case in point is the photograph above. I once investigated with a team who had a similar photo. They proudly displayed it on their website as proof of fairies. I nearly laughed when I saw it, because it is clearly a mosquito caught in the flash.

Orb photos? I have hundreds of them, but you’ll never see them presented as evidence. While it truly makes sense that the most practical shape for a ghost to take is a round circle, most of what you see is dust and moisture reflected against the flash. The bigger the orb, the closer it was to the camera when the photo was taken. The only exception I will make is if I actually saw the orb, or light anomaly, with my own eyes. Below is an example of this.

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I captured this photo at the Haunted Victorian Mansion, my favorite haunted house. In 2012 I brought my sister and her kids for a quick tour when they were in town visiting. My niece, Lily, sat on the stairs for a photo. Right before I snapped the photo, I saw a ball of light move across the front of her. Considering this location is highly active, I would consider this interesting, but I still wouldn’t consider it evidence. There are too many variables that could come into play. Could it have been a flash of light coming through the window? Could it have been a glare from someone’s flashlight? I don’t think so, but it’s still possible.

The photo below isn’t one of mine. I found it on Google images. Is it an apparition, reaching through the frame to touch this young man’s heart? No. It’s a camera strap. You can determine this by the weaved pattern of the object. Stray hairs have a similar appearance in photos.

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Do you see a face in the window in the photo below? Our eyes are programmed to look for faces. It’s called pareidolia, or more commonly known as “matrixing.” This is the same phenomenon that causes us to see faces in clouds, or the man on the moon. It’s also very popular with amateur ghost hunters. Many times, the face will be circled so it can be easily seen.

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The same theory should go for EVPs as well. We are always careful during EVP sessions. If someone’s stomach growls, one of us will say “stomach” out loud, so we’ll understand later and not confuse the sound with a demon roar. Whispers are also marked, as are traffic noises, and chair squeaks.

While we were at Rose Island Lighthouse investigating, we recorded the sounds of seagulls in nearly every session. If you listen closely, it sounds like a person crying or a baby saying “mama”. And yes, that was a deliberate dig to a popular ghost hunting show who presented that very sound as evidence.

If a door is known to slam on its own, test it. When we investigated the Concord Colonial Inn, it was reported that the door in Room 24 often closed on its own. The same ghost hunting show also presented it as evidence. We quickly found out that the doors are actually hinged to close on their own for security reasons.

Using your EMF detectors, scan the location for high electromagnetic spikes. Common household appliances, such as microwaves, alarm clocks, and ceiling fans have been known to throw a ton of electromagnetic energy into the immediate vicinity. If someone spends ample time there, they will probably feel the effects, which include paranoia, the feeling of being watched, and hallucinations.

As a field, we owe it to the world and to each other to be as accurate as possible. When we post things that are questionable, we cast a shady light on everyone else who investigates the paranormal.  We aren’t in this to get the most “likes” on Facebook or to have our stories told on a television show. We are here to find answers, to help people, and to help the ghosts as well.

My second rule of thumb? Do no harm.

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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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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Is Your House Haunted?

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Have you ever come down with an illness that starts slowly? The first symptoms are very subtle. You might feel tired and run-down. Days later, it might evolve to a sniffly nose or a cough. If you’re like many of us, you’ll be in denial for the first stage of the cold. You’ll attribute the tired feeling to not getting enough sleep; the sniffles could just be allergies. Like illness, a true haunting seldom comes without signs and symptoms

The first thing you might notice is a feeling of being watched. It’s that sensation you get when someone comes into a room quietly and just stands there. Sometimes it might take you a moment to realize they’re there and you’ll turn around with a gasp as you see them. A ghost might give you the same sensation.

You might also notice that items left in one place inexplicably show up somewhere else.  Or a light you turned off suddenly turns back on again.  You might also hear sounds that aren’t normal to the house. Sometimes the haunting will never progress beyond this, but other times it will escalate. Being aware and then taking action is important during the beginning stages.

The first thing you will want to do is rule out normal explanations. If you’re hearing footsteps in the attic, go up and look for signs of an animal. Has a squirrel broken through a vent? Do you see mouse droppings or chewed insulation? If you feel like you’re being watched, rule out high electromagnetic energy, which can often make a person feel paranoid, even leading to hallucinations. Bedside alarm clocks are often big culprits, as are ceiling fans, microwave ovens, or faultily wired electrical outlets or circuit breakers. If you don’t own an EMF meter, which most normal people wouldn’t, you can begin by narrowing down the area that affects you. Do you feel the sensation of being watched only while you’re in your bedroom? Try moving or unplugging items to see if it alleviates the sensation. If all else fails, an inexpensive EMF meter can be found on the Internet for under $50, or you could simply call your electrician.

If you’ve ruled out all normal explanations for the signs of a haunting, the next step is to figure out why your house is haunted.

  • Did you just move in? Chances are the house has been inhabited by an earth-bound ghost for a long time and is just letting you know they’re there. I don’t feel it’s ever okay to live in a house with a ghost. Even if it’s dear old grandma, she’s not in a place of rest and she needs to find her way to the next dimension (aka Heaven or The Other Side).
  • Did you just start a renovation project? This often will trigger a ghost to come out of hiding. Imagine being so attached to your house that you didn’t want to leave it after dying, and then watching some numb-skull rip out the beautiful kitchen cabinets you spent eight months building from scratch. You might jump in to complain too.
  • Have you been dabbling in the paranormal? Did you go on a ghost hunt and attempt to communicate with the dead? Something might have taken you up on this and followed you home. If you investigate, you should always, always, always protect yourself during investigations. I cover this in the last chapter of my book The Soul Collector.
  • Are you a sensitive? People who are able to sense and even possibly communicate with ghosts are more at risk for having ghosts follow them home. In the ghost world, sensitives stand out. A ghost might recognize you as someone they can communicate with and will follow you home. If you’re curious if you’re a sensitive, I wrote a blog called “Do you have a Sixth Sense?” that might help you.

The truth is:  ghosts are all around us most of the time. Being a sensitive, I can tell you that I’ve sensed them at restaurants, movie theaters, and at other people’s homes. While I was interviewing someone for my latest book project, I captured three very clear ghost voices on my digital recorder. One helpfully asked us if we’d remembered to turn off the light.

Opinions will vary on how to eliminate the haunting.  Here are the top suggestions:

  • Claim ownership of your space. Let them know that you live there now and that they need to move on. Tell them to look for the white light, which is a doorway to the other side, or to call for a family member who has passed on to help them. Being dead on our side of the veil isn’t a pleasant experience. They’ll be able to see and hear the things we do, but will have very limited abilities. If this doesn’t work, move onto the second tip.
  • Do a house cleansing. You can do this in a number of ways:
    • Ask your minister or priest to do a house cleansing.
    • Contact a trusted psychic medium to do this. How do you find this person:
      • Many metaphysical shops will have a list of psychics in the area.
      • The Internet – research this person thoroughly before inviting them in.
    • Do it yourself. Purchase white sage mixed with sweet grass from your local metaphysical shop or purchase it online.
      • Be calm, but firm as you do this.
      • If you have connected with your spirit guides or guardians, ask them to help you. Everyone has spirit guides, but might not have connected with them. Ask anyway. You never know who is listening.
      • Open a few windows in the house as you do it.
      • Light the sage and fill every room in your house with the smoke, starting with the outermost corner and working your way to the front of the house. Let the sage smoke cover every inch of space in every room, from floor to ceiling. Some say the smoke is calming to them, helping them transition to the next plane.
      • As you burn the sage, tell them you are filling the house with light and love and that no negative energy may remain. Tell them this is your house and you’re taking it back. Encourage them to find the peace and love they desire through the white light. Tell them it’s time for them to go.
      • When you’re finished, stub out the sage stick on the front walk.
      • Some people will follow this up with a ring of sea salt around the border of the house, or on the windowsills and doorsteps.
      • Others will also take a warm bath filed with sea salt and lavender, ridding their body of the energy.
      • Cut your ties. You can do this physically, as well as mentally. Cut the cords that connect you to this energy and then move on. Don’t think about it. Shove it out of your mind. Thinking about it could actually draw them back in, so avoid this as best as possible.

What do you do if your house is still paranormally active after all these measures have been taken? Some ghosts are going to be resistant about moving on. Typical measures aren’t going to work with them. You’ll have to move into a second phase.

  • Contact an established and highly recommended paranormal group to help you. Be forewarned that this will often increase the activity, but if the group is able to help you, it will be worth it in the end. When you reach out to them, ask for references from other clients they have assisted. A good group will not charge you for their services. If they do, you should probably run the other way. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer them a donation for the time and money they’ve spent helping you. Many won’t accept it, but others will. Offer anyway.
  • Contact a trusted psychic medium. Talk to your local metaphysical store for references. Ask for references of clients the medium has helped. A good medium will be able to remove the middle man and talk directly to the ghost, helping them to move to the other side much more effectively. Many mediums will charge for their services, but some will not.
  • Move. I don’t like this last option, because you are only leaving the problem for someone else to deal with. Or worse, you go through the effort of moving, only to discover the ghost has followed you.
  • Research the history on the house.
    • Go to your local town hall and research the census records and death records to find out if it’s a former home owner. Sometimes a tragic event could have caused them to stay behind. Or maybe they’re just attached to the house. Sometimes just knowing who you’re dealing with helps in moving them on. Talk to them by name. Tell them you understand why they’re there, but it’s your house now and you promise to take good care of it. Then, do the cleansing.
    • Go to your local library and read back issues of the newspapers. Find out if something tragic happened. Sometimes all they want is for someone to acknowledge what they lived through. Follow it up with a cleansing.
    • Do nothing. Allow the energy to calm down on its own. Don’t acknowledge them, don’t be fearful. Just go about your life as usual. Sometimes this simple thing makes a difference, but sometimes it just makes it worse.

All of these suggestions are just suggestions. Ghosts were people too, and not everything is going to work with everyone. The more resistant a ghost is, the harder they will be to move along. But always start at the beginning of the list and rule out normal explanations first. You will save yourself a lot of time and stress. When I went through this myself back in the 1990’s, I wasn’t sure what to do and resources weren’t as prevalent as they are today. I ended up moving out, leaving the energy for someone else to contend with. I later heard that the house was sold five times in five years and it made me feel very guilty for not pursuing it further.

Whatever you do, do it with a purpose and remain calm. Fear is never a good tool for working with ghosts and neither is anger. Most hauntings are human in nature and a sense of compassion will be your best ally.

What if the haunting isn’t human? Signs of a non-human haunting will range from foul smells in the house, to finding unexplained scratches on your body. If you suspect this isn’t human, find a professional to help you, whether it’s a member of clergy, a trusted paranormal team, or a good psychic medium.

And always believe it will work.

Faith and a firm sense of belief will carry you much further than doubt and fear.

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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Ghosts and Electricity

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I’ve often wondered about the correlation between hauntings and electricity.

As paranormal investigators, we know that ghosts can manipulate our electronics. We’ve seen it happen over and over again. Cell phone settings get inexplicably changed during an investigation and radios or television sets get turned on and off, just to list a few. But, what if ghosts can actually pull energy from these devices?

One of the most standard pieces of paranormal investigation equipment is the EMF meter. Simply stated, an EMF meter measures the changes of the electromagnetic field in a given area. There are various units, some more precise than others, but I prefer the Mel Meter, manufactured by D.A.S. Distribution Inc., because it is easy to use and also measures the ambient room temperature. If you hold one near a source of electricity, the reading on the meter will often increase. Electrical appliances such as alarm clocks, ceiling fans, and microwave ovens will cause an EMF meter’s readings to spike upwards. So, what does this have to do with ghosts?

Everything around us is made of energy, even our own bodies. When we die, where does that energy go? Does it get released into the atmosphere around us? Or does it stay encapsulated?

Theories abound. Since energy is neither created nor destroyed, it remains. Many paranormal investigators and psychics alike believe that the energy remains with the spirit. This is one of the reasons why investigators use EMF meters, hoping to detect the presence of a ghost. It’s not why I use one, though. I use it primarily to debunk a haunting.

We were called to investigate a house where the owners felt there was a ghost in the basement. They brought us to one particular doorway, telling us they always felt as though they were being watched when they stood there. It took me about five seconds to figure it out. Beside the doorway was a very large electrical box. I put my EMF meter near it and immediately got a very high reading.

High EMF readings can affect the human body in various ways. One thing it can do is give the person the feeling of being watched or the sensation of being fearful. People who have experienced high EMF over a period of time sometimes report hallucinations as well. Health-wise, it isn’t good either as it has been linked to cancer and sleep disorders, since it could reduce the melatonin levels in the brain, which is the hormone that stimulates sleep. It can also point to a very dangerous electrical situation. The owners were advised to contact their electrician immediately to prevent a catastrophic house fire. After they fixed the electrical issue, all the sensations of a haunting stopped entirely.

Whenever I stay at a haunted inn, I will walk around with my EMF meter and check the levels. In one inn, we discovered that a faultily wired ceiling fan was causing a high EMF reading, giving the people in the bed below it the sensation of being watched. Bedside alarm clocks are also prone to emitting high levels. Correcting these man-made issues will often eliminate the feelings of a haunting, so it’s always worth looking into.

But, what if there is already a haunting and the ghosts are just using the electricity like a feeding station? Most of us have encountered something similar in the field.

We call it “battery drain.” Prior to an investigation, we always check our batteries to make sure they’re fully charged.  Sometimes though, we’ll discover that our new batteries become instantly drained the minute we walk into a haunted establishment.

Many enthusiasts feel this is a ghost’s way of powering up. They will drain the batteries, and sometimes even the energy of the investigators themselves, in order to communicate or manifest. After living in a haunted house for 13 years, I can tell you that there is some validity to this theory.

Our house sat under high tension power lines. When we sold it in 2000, I knew nothing about electromagnetic energy. I just knew our house was haunted. Items moved of their own accord, footsteps could be heard in empty rooms, and writing once appeared on a wall. I’ve lived in several other locations with ghostly presences, but have never had the same level of activity. Do the ghosts feed on the extra electromagnetic energy, giving them more energy to manipulate their environment? While it doesn’t explain every haunting, I think it’s worth considering.

Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany, New York, is one of the most paranormally active locations I’ve ever been to. I’ve personally seen shadow figures wandering the hallways, heard footsteps and unexplained noises, and had the pleasure of having a ghost pass right through me. Every time I’ve investigated there, I’ve come away with countless class-A EVPs. I’ve also witnessed my EMF meter’s numbers rise on request. Why would one location be so much more active than many others?

Locations are usually haunted for a variety of reasons. If numerous deaths occurred there over a period of time, it would stand to reason that there would be more opportunity for a haunting. But what if there is another explanation?

I recently had a conversation with Sharon Coyle-Farley, owner of Rolling Hills Asylum to inquire about this theory.

Directly across the street from the facility is a power grid. Is it possible that the ghosts from Rolling Hills are using that energy to help them manifest and manipulate their environment?

Here’s what Sharon said:

“I hadn’t taken a reading from the power grid in ages so I went over to it. Its directly opposite the east wing (you can google earth it – 11001 Bethany Center Road, 14054) a 2 lane road – approximately 24 feet from the start of my land – and approximately 20 additional feet to the building itself (so approximately 44 – 48 feet away). The strongest hit is at the gate of the grid – varies with what I imagine to be power surges between 11.0 & 17.1 on the Mel. As soon as I take two steps in either direction – right, left or behind me it immediately subsides down to 3.0 to 4.0 on the Mel and by the time I am at the tall Cypress at the edge of my property (close to the road) it flat lines at 0.0 on the Mel. Which means – which is what I always knew (just couldn’t recall the stats) – that the power grid does NOT leak EMF into my building – which is why we get flat line readings of 0.0 on the Mel everywhere in the building -unless at a live power source – such as when the microwave in the green room is operating. So – the hits we are getting within RHA are true EMF spikes caused by spirit activity. Do I think the grid is an energy source for them – I sure do. I think they draw from it – feed from it – like going through a McDonalds for lunch – they come and go to it and it also draws other entities to it which in turn brings more entities/activity into RHA.”

This doesn’t explain every haunting, but it is something worth thinking about.

It could explain the “paranormal hangover” I always experience the day after an investigation. I’ve spoken to others who have felt the exact same way. I am just exhausted. Even if I’ve had enough sleep the night afterwards, I will always wake up the next morning so tired I can barely function. Depending on the location, it might take me days to build my energy back up.  Since I’ve learned the valuable lessons on how to properly ground and shield myself, some of this has lessened, but not completely. Are the ghosts using my energy to do the things I’m asking them to do? Does every EVP come at a cost?

Part of my fascination with the paranormal field revolves around the “why” factor. I’m interested in learning more, which will hopefully help me and others better explain the experiences we continue to have as we investigate haunted locations.

If you have a theory you’d like to share, please let me know.

Working together will help us answer some of the questions we all encounter.

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.

Bones in the Basement front cover 3