Is Your House Haunted?

Image

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

Image

 

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

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

Image

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

Advertisements

The Haunting of Standish, Maine

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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”.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/basement-sb-do-you-go-to-other

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.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/basement-sb-anything-we-should

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.

Image

(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.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/bar-room-trying-to-get-the

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.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/tell-us-your-names-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”.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/sb-theyre-selling-beer

I’m hoping they weren’t talking about me on this next one. “That woman is evil!” This was from the Spirit Box.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/sb-that-woman-is-evil

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.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/sb-jesus-is-coming

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.

Happy hauntings.

Joni Mayhan

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

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

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

Image

 

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

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

Image

 Lightning Strikes

Ember Rain

Angel Storm

Can Pets See Ghosts?

Image

The dogs knew the house was haunted long before the owners did. Wendy and Nina, two tiny white Maltese dogs, would stand at the bottom of the grand staircase at the Victorian mansion and growl.

Edwin Gonazalez and Lillian Otero had purchased the gothic looking Second Empire Victorian mansion, also known as the S.K. Pierce House, months earlier and were eager to move into their beautiful home. Reports that it was haunted didn’t bother them, because they weren’t believers. This would change in a matter of months, but the dogs were one of the first indicators.

“They would wake up in the middle of the night, growling at the hallway, absolutely fixated on something I couldn’t see,” Edwin said. He’d open his eyes to scan the dark hallway, afraid of what he might find. On several occasions, he saw a black shadow mass move across the doorway, blocking out the lights in the hallway.

Can our pets actually see ghosts?

Christina Tregger Achilles, co-founder of New England Paranormal Observation Science Technology (NE POST), had a similar experience at the S.K. Pierce House with her dog Sierra, a tiny fawn-colored pug.

“Our friend Ben caught her on camera, reacting to things that were happening upstairs. She would be sleeping soundly, then would wake up and stare at the third floor stairs just before something would bang or bump,” she said after touring the mansion with co-founder, Chris Cox.

“She continues to sense things. I catch her watching something as if she’s watching a tennis match,” she added.

Are they seeing or hearing something we can’t? While there aren’t any hard facts to support the concept that dogs and cats can see ghosts, it has been documented that they do have much keener senses, making one wonder what they are capable of picking up on.

While it’s not proof, their vision is very different from ours. It is geared towards movement to assist them in hunting, also allowing them to see better in low light situations. Cats also have a better grasp on colors at the red end of the spectrum, allowing them to differentiate between blues and violets better than we can.

Also consider the use of full spectrum cameras on paranormal investigations. Researchers using these cameras, which photograph a broader array of the color spectrum than what can be seen with human eyes, often capture strange shapes and anomalies in the photos. Is this what our pets are seeing?

And they can also hear better than we can, lending more truth to the concept.

A dog can detect sounds that are well beyond the spectrum of human hearing. While humans typically hear sounds from 12Hz to 20,000 Hz, a dog can hear nearly four times greater, in the 40Hz to 60,000 Hz range. If you don’t believe this, just blow on a dog whistle or download an app for your smart phone and test it yourself.

When I tried this, I was dismayed to discover that I could only hear up to 12,000 Hz. But when I pressed the button at the 20,000 Hz range, every pet in my house sat up to look at me. Is it possible that spirit communication transpires in a frequency that is either above or below the range we can hear?

It has long been speculated that ghostly phenomena exists at a different plane of existence. Researchers collecting EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomena) will often record spirit responses on digital recorders that cannot be heard by human ears at the time they are recorded. A true EVP response will not be heard at the time the question is asked, but will be captured on a digital recorder, suggesting that spirit communication is conducted at a higher or lower range of the audible spectrum, something we as humans cannot hear, but our pets might be able to.

People have been reporting this occurrence for years.  Nick Mantello, co-founder of the Berkshire Paranormal team, is one of the caretakers for The Houghton Mansion. Located in North Adams, Massachusetts, the three-story mansion has been featured on many paranormal shows, such as the SciFi Channel’s Ghost Hunters, as well as the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. When he visits the mansion for routine visits, he often brings his dog Kronk with him.

Kronk often stares at the corner in the Masonic Temple, a building that is still used by Freemasons of the Layfayete-Greylock Lodge. Kronk often stares and then barks in areas of the mansion where paranormal activity has been captured. One of his least favorite areas is a corner of the Lodge in the Masonic Temple.

“I’ve told people this story about the corner of the Lodge. The dog just don’t like it,” he said. He captured Kronk’s reaction on the video link below.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151817479741042

The stories are endless. Sandra Chase, an avid paranormal enthusiast had an experience she recently shared with me. Her husband passed away in 2007. He was fond of playing computer games and would often pet their dog while he was playing.

“About three months after he passed, the dogs and I were in the living room. Rags was sleeping on the rug. All of a sudden, she got up and went over to the computer chair, put her head under the arm, and started wagging her tail,” she said.

Is this proof of paranormal activity?

Unfortunately it’s not, but it’s something pet owners will continue to pay attention to. Until dogs and cats are able to tell us what they’re seeing, we’ll always be left guessing. Some of us don’t need proof to understand what is happening.

“They just know,” Lillian Ortero said.

I have a tendency to agree with her.

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of The Soul Collector, which is an account of her most terrifying paranormal experience.  Find this book and her others on Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Collector-ebook/dp/B00EIHG90Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382818028&sr=1-1&keywords=joni+mayhan

Image

The Soul Collector – Part 3

Image

The Soul Collector – Part 3

In the fall of 2011, I wasn’t in a good place. With my head still reeling from the sudden break-up of my two-year relationship, I was a thousand miles away from my family, and I’d picked up a negative spirit attachment.

He haunted me during the day, lingering over my shoulder. And he haunted me at night, whispering in my ear as I tried to sleep. Sometimes he even found his way into my dreams, sending me chilling nightmares of decomposing bodies and bloody sacrifices. A psychic medium told me he was a soul collector, a negative spirit who collected souls in the hopes of elevating his status in the spirit world. I wouldn’t have believed her if I hadn’t been living it from the inside out.

As a clairaudient, I could hear his signature sound when he got close to me. I could feel literal waves of negative energy. It was like being in a room with someone who was shouting at you, with one exception. I could feel him and hear him, but I couldn’t see him.

After not having any luck getting assistance from the psychic medium, I reached out to another friend who was an investigator and a medium. Michael showed up at my house the day after my call, bringing his wife Nancy, and his friend and fellow investigator Steven. They cleansed and blessed my house, leaving it quiet for a few days. But, then the spirit came back, angrier than before.

During this time, I was also going through some personal issues as well. I’d been dreading December first. It was the date my ex-boyfriend and I had planned a trip to Florida. We would go to Orlando and watch his son participate in a Disneyland parade with his high school band, and would stay with my father and step-mother in nearby Lake Wales, where they owned a winter home. After the break-up, I changed my ticket date to later in January, which set me back an additional three-hundred dollars.

I thought about him and our failed relationship that entire week, wondering if he regretted his decision. He had never been a big fan of my ghost hunting and gave me the ultimatum of “quitting or he would leave.” Honestly, I don’t feel anyone should get to choose anyone else’s hobbies. I offered a compromise, but he wasn’t interested. He made fun of my clairaudient ability, telling me he was worried about me because I thought I had “super powers”. I had to roll my eyes at that. If I truly had super powers, I would have chosen to shoot flames from my eyes, leaving him hairless and crispy. Several weeks later, one of his family members posted photos on Facebook of his trip to Florida without me and I was heartsick to see that he’d taken another woman in my place. I recognized her from a wedding we attended just before our breakup. I promptly deleted all of his family from Facebook, cried my eyes out, and just tried to move on.

Life has a way of throwing you curves though. As if the breakup and the negative spirit attachment weren’t enough, I finally got word from the literary agent I’d been working with for my book, Lightning Strikes. After sending her draft upon draft, making the changes she suggested for nearly a year, she said she was going to pass on my book.  She wished me good luck and turned me loose.

If there’s ever been a time in my life when I’ve been close to a complete emotional breakdown, this was it. I’ve never been the kind of person to wallow in my sorrows, but this just went beyond anything I was capable of dealing with.  I became even more despondent, wanting nothing more than to crawl in a hole and just stay there until the world became nice to me again.

Thankfully, my friends wouldn’t let me hide myself in my pit of despair.  They forced me to get out.  Where did we go? Ghost hunting, of course.

A lot of people didn’t understand why I would dare go ghost hunting when I’d had such a horrible experience. The answer was very simple and was two-fold.  I needed to get out of my house and I needed help. What better place to go to seek help?

I asked question upon question, hoping to find someone who had the answer to my problem. How do you get rid of a negative spirit attachment? Everyone had a different answer. Burn sage, have a house blessing, ask a psychic medium to help you, pray.  The list just went on and on. I didn’t rule any of them out, but most were things I’d already done to no avail. In the meantime, the haunting had gotten so bad, I was afraid to even walk into my bedroom where he seemed the strongest. Items started disappearing and reappearing in other places, strange knocks could be heard on the walls, lights would mysteriously turn themselves back on, and the ringing in my ears became nearly deafening.

Frantic for help, my friend Sandy and I drove to Maine to spend time with the psychic medium who had first identified this spirit attachment. I’m not mentioning her name on purpose. While she was helpful at the time, we’ve since parted ways and I don’t want to stir up any trouble.

We met her at her house and talked about the soul collector. She told me he was presenting himself as being very tall and thin, with dark hair, and piercing black eyes. She said he reminded her a little of the person in the “Scream” painting, because he liked to open his mouth very wide, as if screaming. And yes, he was still lurking over my shoulder, whispering in my ear, claiming me as his own.

She had a conversation with him, telling him he needed to leave me alone.

He told her he wouldn’t. That I was now his.

We drove in separate cars to have lunch at a diner. While Sandy and I followed her, the ear-ringing completely went away. I was elated until we pulled up at the diner and I heard it return as the psychic medium got out of her car.

“Well, that was interesting,” she told us. “He said that no matter how much praying Charlotte and Mary did, it would never be enough to drive him away.”

I was chilled to the bone. My mother’s name is Charlotte and my grandmother, who’d passed away several years prior was Mary. She had no way of knowing this. It’s not something I made public to anyone at that point. My mother was aware of my situation, although I’m not certain how much she believed me at the time, and my grandmother was dead. Was she praying for me on the other side?

Then the psychic medium told me something that nearly sent me over the edge.

“Do you have a daughter?” she asked.

“Yes,” I answered, feeling my gut clinch appropriately.

She looked down, dismayed at this information. “I’d try to stay away from her at this point,” she said.

I felt the world literally crumble at my feet. My relationship with my daughter had been strained since my divorce from her father and we were finally starting to make some head-way on rebuilding it.

“Why?” I asked, dreading the answer.

“Because he’s telling me that if I won’t let him have you, that he’ll take her instead.”

The Soul Collector – Part 2

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

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

Really bad.

He was a soul collector.

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

My blood turned to ice.

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

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

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

I am a beacon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why me?

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

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

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

Mine. He told her.

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

“Can you hear him?” she asked me.

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

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

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

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

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

And it just kept getting worse.

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

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

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-ChyVXzbjA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucky me.

Joni Mayhan

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

http://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Strikes-Angels-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0085Q6SCK/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

The Soul Collector – part 1

I was warned to never talk about him.

Never write about him.

I was told to completely erase him from my memory. If I didn’t, there was a very good possibility that he could come back to find me again. I held onto this story for several years, trying to do what they told me to do, but I just couldn’t.

I needed to tell my story.

I wasn’t in a very good place when he found me. I was at the end of a two-year relationship with someone I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. When he walked away very suddenly, it left my whole life in shambles.

With my entire family living a thousand miles away, I didn’t have anyone to turn to. After spending weeks locked inside my house with the curtains drawn, I finally decided to get out and do something. People told me that staying busy was the best cure for a broken heart. So I tried.

I had been ghost hunting for several years and found it to be a fun, exciting way to pass the time. By this time, I’d already developed a true knack for getting EVPs, Electronic Voice Phenomena. When I turned on my digital voice recorder and asked questions during an investigation, the spirits spoke to me. I didn’t understand why they singled me out, giving me very clear responses to my questions. I was just happy to be successful at something. My entire life up to that point felt like a near miss.

I’d spent twenty years trying to find my way as a writer, only to be shot down by countless agents and publishing houses. I tried to open my own pet store in the early eighties, but was stopped short due to financing issues. I was married for nearly twenty years, but found myself divorced and all alone at forty-two. After the failed relationship that ended with a blindside, I needed something to cling to, something I could claim as my own. So I dove deeply into ghost hunting.

At first it was just pure entertainment. I was invited to explore creepy places where I had the opportunity to speak with actual dead people. As I got more confident, I became fearless. I would be the first person who dared to go into the darkest, scariest places. I’d crawl into basements, sit by myself in a totally dark room and invite the spirits to touch me and communicate with me. It was an adrenaline rush, a way to push my life to the edge, a way to feel something other than misery. And I became good at it.

I booked investigations at the creepiest locations I could find. Sometimes I had two ghost hunts in one weekend. I was completely captivated.

Imagine: actually speaking to the dead.

I asked questions I’d always wanted to know the answers to, and I began getting very clear responses. They told me that Heaven was beautiful. They told me they were lonely, that they enjoyed talking with us. They told me their ages, the places where they lived, the reasons why they still clung to their homes.

I began to really tune into the way my ears began ringing when I was on investigations. I started learning that each spirit had a different tone. I could track them around the room, knowing immediately where they were. And they spoke to me on my digital recorder. I didn’t understand why all this was happening to me until I came far too close to one.
We investigated at a location I won’t name. I don’t want other thrill-seekers to go there and try their luck. I’ll just say that it was a place where very bad people once resided, a place I had no business visiting.

Nothing exceptional happened during the investigation. We sat in the dark, asking questions and marveling at how our equipment was responding. When I got home, I had a strange feeling that just wouldn’t leave me. My ears were ringing with a strange tone, and I had the almost constant feeling that someone was standing right behind me. When I listened to the audio I had recorded the night before, I heard something that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

“Who are you?” I had asked.

“John,” was the answer, spoken directly into my recorder. It was an intelligent response!
(I deleted many files after this experience, so I don’t have a copy of this evp.)

I was elated. People were always trying to debunk my evps, telling me it was just the wind, or someone clearing their throat. But, there was no denying this very clear response. Someone had answered my question.

Then, a woman began talking to us. She told us she was back in.

And another told us that it was cold in there.

I listened some more, hoping for something more. What I heard nearly made my heart stop.

“What do you want us to do?” I had asked.

“Fall,” came the answer.

“What are you doing here?” I asked again.

The answer came swiftly. “Following.”

I tried to shake it off, but the feeling of being watched was so strong I couldn’t ignore it. My ears started ringing even stronger and I began to get mental images of a very scary man frowning at me, looming over my shoulder. My moods became dark. I lost track of time, finding myself sleep walking at night. I became jumpy. The least little thing scared me. I stopped being the first person to crawl into dark places during investigations. I spent a lot of time glancing over my shoulder and I hardly slept at all.

My bedroom became a torture chamber for me. The minute I walked in, I could feel something there, standing in the corner. I started seeing movement out of the corner of my eye. Strange sounds began to happen throughout the house. Suddenly ghost hunting didn’t sound like such a great idea. What had I messed with?

It just got worse. My cats began watching things come into the room and drift over the top of my bed. They both stared with the same intensity that they would watch a housefly, except it was winter and there weren’t any bugs. I tried to debunk it. I looked for any possible explanation, but there weren’t any. I had picked up an unwanted hitchhiker.

Being a paranormal investigator with a few years under my belt, I knew about sage and the process of cleansing a house. I did this frequently, filling my house with the rich smell of burning herbs. I followed up by telling the spirit to leave. I prayed, asking for protection. I recited the Saint Michael’s Prayer. I did everything I could think of, but nothing worked. He hovered over my shoulder, making my life miserable.

Probably the worst part was having to keep all this to myself. If I started talking about having a ghostly attachment, people would surely think I was crazy. I tried to maintain a normal existence and continue living my life as if nothing horrible was happening to me. I posted happy, silly things on Facebook, worked feverishly on my first book, Lightning Strikes, and spent time with my nearly grown children. I wouldn’t understand what was truly happening to me until I began spending time with a very powerful psychic.

Thanksgiving was a very depressing holiday for me. With my family a thousand miles away and my promising relationship having hit the rocks, I had nowhere to go. My two children were spending the holiday with their father’s family. I didn’t want to spend the holiday by myself.

I put out a very needy plea on Facebook, asking if anyone had room at their table for me and my wish was quickly granted. I was invited to spend the holiday with several of my ghost hunting friends in Maine.

I made the trek, trying not to think about all that I had lost, but I couldn’t help it. After nineteen-years of marriage, I had spent five lonely years trying to find my place in the world. I thought I’d finally found it and had embraced all the opportunities, only to find myself completely alone again. I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge. Having to spend a family-oriented holiday with near strangers seemed like the end of the world to me. And then it got worse.

Much worse.

The minute I walked into the door, the psychic took one look at me and said four words that nearly rocked my world off its axis.

“We need to talk,” she told me.

That was when I learned that my suspicions were right. I did have a negative spirit who was following me around. What she said next would leave me with nightmares for months.

“It’s bad. Really bad,” she told me. “He’s a soul collector and he has his sights set on you.”

The next six months would be the worse months of my life.

…to be continued

Joni Mayhan
Many of my experiences with the soul collector ended up in my paranormal trilogy, Angels of Ember. Lightning Strikes, the first book in the series, is available on Amazon.com for Kindle for only $2.99.
http://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Strikes-Angels-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0085Q6SCK/ref=cm_cr-mr-img