Ghost of the Week Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joni Mayhan

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

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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 Hangover

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The day after a paranormal investigation is often a wasted day for me. I am often so bone-deep tired, all I can consider is spending the day on the couch watching television until my eyes glaze over. The first time I really noticed this was after investigating the Houghton Mansion in North Adams, Massachusetts.

The mansion has been featured on many paranormal television shows and stands out as one of the most haunted venues on the East Coast. I’ve investigated there four times and have never walked away without either an amazing personal experience or a dozen or more EVPs. The last time I was there, I saw a partial apparition in the basement.

There are very few locations that can offer the same results. Most of the time when we go to an investigation, it’s a hit or miss situation. Sometimes we capture evidence, but sometimes we don’t.

Another place where I always capture a plethora of evidence is the Haunted Victorian Mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts. It has also been featured on many paranormal television shows and is also one of the most haunted venues on the East Coast. I didn’t make the connection between the two until I wrote an article about ghosts and energy. Then, I realized the similarities. Both places give me amazing evidence, but they also give me horrible paranormal hangovers.

Why does this happen?

There are many theories. Some people think it’s due to a change in our sleep patterns. Instead of going to sleep at our normal times, we stay up all night for a ghost hunt. Others feel it is due to physical exhaustion or from subjecting ourselves to excess temperature ranges.

I think it’s due to energy thieves.

Ghosts need energy to communicate and we are nothing more than big nine-volt batteries. At most locations, the ghosts haven’t figured out how to take it from us, but not at these two locations. The ghosts are advanced and they’re very clever. They nearly drain me dry as soon as I step through the doorway.

There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Always thoroughly ground yourself before and after each investigation. Allow the negative energy to flow through your body and into the ground. This leaves you in a better position to protect yourself.
  • Shielding is very important during investigations. It prevents ghosts from getting too close to you. If you find that you are still feeling weak and exhausted after an investigation, this might be a sign that your shields aren’t working to full capacity. Work on your visualizations of building a protective white light around you. I’ve found that working with a psychic medium is also incredibly helpful. They can see what you need to improve on and help guide you in the right direction.
  • Protection prayers are important as well. If you are feeling drained, ask for help. Whether it is a religious prayer or a conversation you are having with your guides or guardians, ask them to help keep you shielded from energy vampires.
  • Never tell the ghosts they can use your energy and never invite them to touch you. You are only asking for trouble when you do this. If you don’t end up with an unwanted attachment, you’ll probably find yourself depleted of energy the next day.

Recovering from a paranormal hangover is actually fairly similar to recovering from an alcohol induced hangover. Here are some tips:

  • Get enough rest afterwards. If you stayed out until four in the morning and didn’t get to bed until six, then it stands to reason that you will need to sleep until one or two in the afternoon. Many people just can’t do this since it interferes with their internal body clocks. The best thing to do is to sleep as long as you can and then get up and make the best of it.
  • Keeping yourself fully hydrated will help as well. Even though you might crave coffee or energy drinks, stick with water until you’re fully hydrated. Caffeine can act as a diuretic, causing you to dehydrate even further.
  • Get out and stay busy. When faced with a paranormal hangover, most people just want to vegetate on the sofa in front of the television set all day. While it does help kill the time, it won’t help you recover. Get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
  • Eat a balanced diet, but make sure you load up on protein. Our bodies crave protein when we are energy depleted. Proteins, such as lean meats, nuts, and eggs can help us recover.
  • Stay away from refined sugars and processed, salty foods. I always crave soda and chips when I’m feeling energy depleted, but neither serves to help me regain my energy. Wholesome foods, like green leafy vegetables, fruits high in Vitamin C, and plenty of water are our best allies for regaining energy.
  • I also find that an investigation often disrupts my normal sleep pattern, leaving me off schedule for days later. I combat this by taking a melatonin supplement before bedtime on a daily basis. I’ve found that 5 mg works well for me, but always check with your doctor to find out the correct dosage. This will vary from person to person.
  • Go to bed at your normal time the day following an investigation. Fight the urge to nap during the day. This will only prevent you from getting to sleep later when it’s your normal bedtime. Avoid watching television or using a computer for several hours prior to bedtime, as well as staying away from caffeine. Everyone is affected differently by caffeine. I’ve found that if I avoid it after two in the afternoon, I’m usually fine by the time I retire for bed at ten in the evening.

Being a ghost hunter often comes with a price, but I’m not willing to sacrifice an entire day for one night of fun. Not even for a good EVP.

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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Captain Sibley’s Haunting

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Riverside Cemetery is nestled in a forest at the end of a one-lane dirt road in the heart of a ghost town. It is both haunting and haunted, two traits that make it hard to forget.

My friend Sandy and I stumbled across it almost by accident several years ago as we explored the dirt roads that laced through the woods just outside Barre, Massachusetts. Somewhere in the wooded acreage, the remnants of the lost town of Coldbrook Springs could be found. We hoped to find an old foundation, but what we found instead was a piece of encapsulated history.

Coldbrook Springs was once a bustling town with two hotels, a bowling alley, a blacksmith shop, post office, billiard hall, a box mill, school, and nearly 35 houses. It was removed in the 1930’s as part of the Quabbin Reservoir project. The state bought all of the buildings and demolished them to provide a clean watershed for the Ware River, which flows into the Quabbin Reservoir and provides drinking water to Boston and its suburbs. People were relocated to nearby towns of Oakham, Barre, and Hubbardston, and the town simply ceased to exist.

Besides a few foundations, the cemetery is virtually all that remains of the old town. We walked the grounds, taking in the mixture of old and new headstones. Birds chirped in the distance as the wind rustled through the tops of the tall pines. At the back of the cemetery we found a monument to the Naramore children, who were killed by their own mother in 1901.  We spend a quiet moment reading the inscription.

Poverty stricken and living with an abusive husband, Elizabeth Naramore went to the town for help. When officials visited the residence, they determined that the children would need to be put into foster homes. Before they could do that, Elizabeth killed them, from oldest to youngest, and then attempted unsuccessfully to commit suicide. A monument was erected in the 1990’s to remember the lost children. It’s hard to stand there and not feel a rush of emotion. Over time, the stone has gained a collection of toys and small cars, left by saddened visitors.

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As we walked back towards the entrance, I was drawn to a group of three tombstones.

They were old and faded, the words difficult to make out on the worn slate stone. The first stone listed the name of a Catherine Sibley, who lived from 1805 to 1874. Beside her grave was the grave of her husband, Captain Charles Sibley, who lived from 1808 to 1849. And sadly, beside his was the grave of their four children. This was what caused me to pause.

They were listed, one after another, telling a heartbreaking story.

  • James died on October 9th,1843, at nine months old.
  • Catherine died on September 19st, 1847, at 6 years, 5 months.
  • Mary died the day after her sister, on September 20th 1847, at the age of 2 years, 7 months.
  • Charles died the day after Christmas on the same year, December 26th, 1847, at the age of 12 years, 7 months.

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We just stood there, taking it all in, trying to wrap our minds around the tragedy of losing four children, two of whom died within a day of one another.  How did they die? Was there a horrible disease that swept through the area, taking their children one by one, teasing them to believe that one would survive, only to have him taken from them the day after Christmas? My heart went out to their parents.

I am always very respectful of the dead, and with this comes a sense of compassion. As a paranormal investigator, I know that not all of the souls pass on like they’re supposed to. When faced with a tragic death, some lose their way and become earthbound. We wanted to make sure this wasn’t the case. We pulled out our digital recorders and conducted a short EVP session.

“Captain Sibley, are you still here?” Sandy asked.

The response was heart wrenching. “Yes, Heaven won’t take me.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/captain-sibley-yes-take-me

The EVP is faint and must be listened to with headphones on high volume. For reasons I can’t explain, the audio has faded over the years, perhaps from being transferred too many times, or possibly for other reasons. Maybe I was the only one meant to hear it.

After listening to it, I couldn’t stop thinking about this poor family and the possibility that the father was still lingering around his grave over one-hundred and sixty years later. I went back to his grave the following week.

In the quiet of the cemetery, I sat beside his headstone and just talked to him. I didn’t know if he was listening or not, but I wanted to help him if I could. I told him about the natural process of what happens to us after death.

“When we die, we’re supposed to cross over into the white light, moving to the place where we’re supposed to go. Some people call it Heaven,” I said. I looked around at the quiet bank of trees, wondering if he was there, or if I was simply talking to myself. I had to continue though.

My voice sounded like a prayer as I began speaking again. “Look for the white light. It’s right above you. All your family is waiting for you. Call out to them to help you cross through.” I took a deep breath and then added something I hoped would help. “God loves you and welcomes you with open arms. Go find the peace and serenity you deserve.”  And then I cried.

I went back several weeks later to see if he was still there. I turned on my digital voice recorder and asked again. “Captain Sibley, are you still here?” Later when I listened to the recording, all I heard was the sound of birds chirping in the background. If he was still there, he wasn’t responding.  I hoped he’d listened to my advice and found the peace he so deserved.  For insurance, a year later I brought a psychic medium to the cemetery and he crossed over five souls. My hope was that if Captain Sibley hadn’t crossed over initially, that he’d gone when the psychic medium gave him another opportunity. Either way, I truly feel he finally found his way.

The story would have ended there if I’d been able to let it go. Thoughts of the Sibley family haunted me. I couldn’t get them off my mind. I reached out to a friend who has a knack for researching and she was able to provide me with more information.  She filled in many of the details for me, fleshing out the bare-boned tragedy and giving it life.

The Sibleys had a long history in Massachusetts. They arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1629, quickly becoming a very prominent family. They boasted statesmen and soldiers of the Revolutionary War, as well as being prosperous business owners.  An early relative of Charles Sibley’s was Mary Woodrow Sibley, who allegedly showed Tibuta and Indian John how to make the urine cakes used to test for witches during the Salem Witch Trials.

Nearly two centuries later, Charles Sibley was born in 1808, the youngest of five siblings. The family relocated to Barre, Massachusetts while he was a child, setting up a homestead just outside of Coldbrook Springs. When he was 25 years-old, he married a woman named Catharine Brigham who was three years his senior. He was listed as “Captain Sibley” on his gravestone, but no information could be found about any military services. In colonial times, this was often added to the name because of the family’s past military service.

They were married for two years before having their first child, a son they named Charles, after his father. Three years later, they would have another son named Nelson. Daughter, Catherine, was born two afterward, named after her mother. The following year, they would add another son, James, to the family, but he would die of whooping cough before his first birthday. In 1845, they would have a second daughter they named Mary. And in 1848 they would have their last child, who they would also name Charles.

They would lose all but two of their children soon after to dysentery.

Dying of dysentery was a very horrible way to go. An inflammation of the lower intestines would lead to a high fever and painful, never-ending diarrhea. Left untreated, the victim would become dehydrated and eventually succumb to the infection. It is often caused by consuming contaminated food or water, or from poor hygiene.  Charles himself would die two years later from Typhoid Fever, after being sick for eight straight days.

Charles’ wife, Catherine would live to be sixty-nine, dying in 1874 in Boston. Her death certificate listed paralysis as the cause of death, although I’m sure there’s more to the story. Sons, Nelson and Charles (the second) would survive both of their parents. Nelson married in 1870 and died in 1900. Charles married in 1882 and died sometime after 1930 in Highgate, Vermont. His occupation was listed as a paper carrier.

There is still so much I don’t know about the Sibley family, and I’m certain this won’t be the last time I’ll think of them.  One thing is certain, I feel as though I was led to his grave for a reason. Maybe it was just to remember them, like they should be remembered.

Or maybe it was to help.

Either way, I’m happy this family found their way into my life.

Heaven will take you, Captain Sibley. You just have to ask again.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Many thanks go to Marian King for her valuable research. You gave me some much needed closure.

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

Surviving as an Empathic Sponge

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I was in my mid-forties before I realized I was an empath.

I was at the doctor’s office for a routine check-up. The nurse came into the room to take my blood pressure. As she was taking my vitals, I kept getting very clear images of her basking in the sun on a resort island with friends and family. I narrowed my eyes, wondering where that was coming from, and then the vision expanded. I saw her with a group of people who were family members, but not immediate family. I somehow knew she was single and didn’t have any children. The people she went with might have been siblings. I’d been getting impressions like this all my life, but never had the courage to confirm them, so I took a deep breath and asked her about a necklace she had on. It was a gold sea shell on a chain.

“Oh, yes. I got this when I was on vacation last week. I went to the Bahamas with my sister and her family. It was so nice there,” she told me, then frowned as my blood pressure sky-rocketed.

I walked out alternating between smiling and shaking my head. How had I known that? Had I been a psychic all my life and hadn’t known it? It happened to me all the time, but I had always attributed it to my excellent imagination. What if it was more? When I got home, I started doing some research and learned about empaths.

An empath is someone who basically feels what others are feeling. Most true empaths will feel both emotion and pain. If someone shows them a bad cut on their arm, the empath will feel a searing pain as well.  Being around negative people nearly drives them to the ledge. And they sometimes know things they shouldn’t know about other people.

As I read through the check-list of empathic traits, I felt like they were describing me word for word. I’d never enjoyed being in large groups of people. Places like shopping malls and airports were nightmares to me for reasons I couldn’t put my finger on. I’d feel the bristling, bustling energy and it would give me a feeling similar to claustrophobia. All I wanted to do was escape. I’d find myself avoiding excursions like Black Friday shopping, and tried my best to find a quiet place in airports to retreat to when I was forced to fly. I just assumed everybody felt this way, but I was wrong.

After the experience with the nurse, I began truly testing this concept. When I got an impression, I tried to validate what I was feeling. While this sounds simple on the surface, it’s sometimes easier said than done. My next opportunity was a difficult one. A friend told me a lie.

I don’t know how I could tell she wasn’t telling the truth, but I knew it with every cell in my body. Someone was passing a story around about something she denied doing. I knew in an instant that she was guilty of this misdeed, and was lying to cover her tracks. There wasn’t an instant way of proving or disproving my impression, but I tucked it away in the back of my mind. Years later, more stories circulated that she’d done something similar once again. It wasn’t confirmation, but it was enough for me. She instantly went on my “do not trust” list.

At first, I thought this build-in “truth meter” was just a physical cue I was picking up on, that I was simply reading the other person’s body language. When people lie, they often will provide “tells”. Their voice might change, going a pitch or two higher, or they might touch their face often. Some people fidget, or look to the left frequently. Honestly, I can never remember which direction they look at, and wouldn’t know a lie-inspired fidget from normal behavior, so I realized there must be more to it.

For a long while, I just avoided the places that made me uncomfortable and narrowed my friends down to a handful of positive-minded people, but that wasn’t always possible. There are many times when an empath is forced to be in crowded places, or fly on airplanes, or find themselves in tears when someone shares a sad story. I can’t look at pictures of abused animals and children that people often post on Facebook without feeling it on a deeper level. And headaches? If you have one, then so do I. It got to a point where I had to do something about it.

The first thing I learned was how to ground myself. Grounding is a method of releasing all that excess emotion and energy into the ground. The visualization that helped me was to imagine myself as a tree with roots sinking deep into the soil. With every breath I’d take, I’d imagine a white loving light shining on my head, pushing the black, negative energy through my body, and eventually deep into the ground where it could be absorbed. Being in the shower as I did this was very helpful in the beginning because I had the physical sensation of water raining down on me. Now, I can do it anywhere with no more than a cleansing breath.

The next thing I learned was how to shield myself from the energy. Similar to the way I visualized a white light shining down on me, I imagined this white light surrounding me, radiating from my core. I saw it repel negative energy, pushing it back towards the sender. As I would part through a crowd of frantic people trying to get to their gate, I imagined myself safe inside my white light bubble, parting through the sea of energy, untouched and unscathed.

Others feel that meditation helps them. I haven’t had much luck with this technique. My mind wanders away from the serenity at hand and pretty soon I’m plotting out my next book, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for other people. Look for guided mediation on the Internet. There are plenty of them to be found.

Something else that helps me is to give myself little pep talks while I’m going through it. I was recently shopping at a very busy Wal-Mart. The place was packed to the gills with people who’d just gotten out of work and wanted to get home. Unfortunately, there were at least three screaming toddlers, and four cashiers on duty to handle the herd of impatient, angry people. I didn’t have to eavesdrop to hear the grumbling. It was coming at me from all directions. I felt myself getting tense and my heart began racing. It almost felt like a panic attack or what I image claustrophobia to feel like. I took a deep breath, grounded myself, shielded myself, and then began to reassure myself that it would be over soon. There are only eight people ahead of me. I should be through the line in less than twenty minutes. I pulled out my phone and began browsing through Facebook to see what everyone else was doing. Pretty soon, I was next in line and the ordeal was over. I wasn’t overloaded with other people’s energy and didn’t allow it to put me in the same sort of mood. Mission accomplished.

There is a flip side to this. Being an empath can actually be wonderful, if you know how to use it correctly. I am able to tune into other people’s emotions and help them with situations. I’ve been told I’m a very good listener, which is also an empathic trait. Animals love me and I love them as well. I can tell when one of them isn’t feeling well or is out of sorts about something going on in the house, and then solve the problem before it becomes an issue.

And…it makes me a writer. I tune into other people and then mirror their emotions on paper.

If you feel the same way, do some research. There are plenty of “are you an empath” quizzes on the Internet. While many of them are very generalized, allowing you to conform yourself into the category fairly easily, use your best judgment. If you feel it, you feel it. You can call it what you want, or not call it anything at all.  By all means, I am not an expert on this. I can only tell you how I feel and how I deal with it.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation like I described earlier, take the time to ask the question or make a comment. “That’s a pretty necklace,” was all it took for me to get the confirmation I needed.

And remember to take a deep breath.

In with the positive energy, out with the negative.

It helps. It really does.

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