The purpose of this page is to enlighten, discuss, educate and communicate our continued exploration into the paranormal realm. Please bring your opinions and thoughts with you and comment as you see fit. While we invite everyone visiting the page to leave us a message, we will not tolerate any crude comments or rude behavior here. This journal is for everyone prepared to explore the paranormal with an open mind...
Click here to access our case files.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Villisca Axe Murder House *Just for Laughs*

So we lived through the night, and decided to tell our tale... The next day, after a not so restful evening we where moving slowly through the house in Iowa known mostly for the brutal Axe murders that took place in 1912, and at this time we were gathering our things in order to leave. Between our trips to and from the vehicle, I noticed that Wendy was engaged in a conversation with a local gentleman. He was apparently giving her his version of the historical events that took place on the premises of which we just endured a very uneasy evening... 

At which time he decided to let us know that he watched us throughout the evening from his front row seat across the street and had also taken something from inside the house a very long time ago he believes would have been integral in convicting Rev. Kelly... Now I'm not an expert on people, though I felt like this one was taking us for a ride. I am still not exactly sure if he was A. just looking to scare us, B. become a part of our story or C. hear about our encounters in the house first hand. However all three options apply at this time.

Here is the video we made just after we were safe and sound, and back inside the murder house after our unusual conversation with this man... I might add that the only time we felt safe and sound inside this house was at this time, and the time that occurred when we first arrived. Just before the sun set...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

To Smudge or not to Smudge...

Using a sage smudge to cleanse your surroundings is a belief that has been around for a long time. Traditionally the Native Americans used sage to purify or to bless people and places, now many believe that burning a bundled stack of sage leaves while reciting a prayer or spell will clear their environment of any negative feelings or undesirable spiritual forces. This belief continues to be widely practiced today, and for many who feel that they are at the mercy of an unwanted or dark entity, smudging has become their only hope when seeking an answer for removing them.

Though there is no old fire station equipped with a basement vault full of previously removed negative energies, it would seem as if this belief has become our modern day version of Ghost Busting. This idea that smudging removes spirits and cleanses your property is a unique one and should raise many questions among the paranormal community. In theory, smudging acts the same way a bug repellent does with mosquitoes. You won't actually see them being repelled by the smudging, instead you will feel when the spirits have moved on, which is the desired effect for many in need of help. Some say that the most promising method to remove a negative energy is by smudging regularly. Even though the effects from smudging may not be permanent, you should be aware that in some cases the negative energy can return and has sometimes worsened.

No one has been able to say with certainty why smudging is so effective for this purpose, and I doubt that we will ever fully understand it. However you choose to practice this belief is your preference, just be sure to proceed with caution. As a paranormal investigator I am left at a crossroads when trying to argue that the idea of pushing those lingering souls out should come before discovering the reason why they remain here in the first place.  The question remains, are we really trying to learn about the paranormal or are we just trying to make our own situations more comfortable? To smudge or not to smudge? A question we should be asking ourselves before assuming that the risk is greater then the reward. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lizzie Borden B&B - EVP

Lizzie Borden's Bed and breakfast was high on our list of  "must investigate places" for so long, that when we finally made it there we just wanted to visit the place first. We didn't start investigating immediately as we had originally discussed, instead we casually paid for the guided tour and tried our best to contain our excitement as we followed the guide! Soaking up every inch of each room as if we were tourists in Graceland, we fell behind the tour group intentionally so that we could linger in the rooms of this infamous house as long as possible.

Even though we had not even begun our investigation it was clear that the spirits in the house had already noticed us. I started to record the tour just as our guide introduced himself, and ended up recording the entire tour. Really, my intention was to just to record it so that I could listen to the history lesson he gave us again later as I was too psyched to actually pay attention while on the tour. I had no idea that we would record any communication during this time but sometimes the dead want to speak even when your not asking...

Monday, July 3, 2017

Villisca Axe Murder House - Spirit box session

Receiving a response on a spirit box is usually a very exciting experience. 
Though I remember when we started receiving answers on our Spirit box 
at Villisca IA, both Wendy and I felt that this was actually quite negative 
in nature. Our emotions where a bit jilted to say the least, due to the overall 
feelings in the house. We were excited receiving this communication but 
also unnerved. We tried for a very long time that night to communicate 
with any of the spirits there that would answer through the spirit box, 
however only a dark presence made its way through. 

During this session we asked for the voice to identify itself. The name that
 we received sounded like "Sarah," which is a females name? I was 
confused because the voice is very clearly, a man's voice. I wasn't sure 
at that point of what I had actually heard, and you will hear me struggling 
with those thoughts in this clip just before we receive an additional 
response identifying who was responsible for that sessions communication 
with us. So now I am left with the question, why would he have been 
identifying himself as Sarah?  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

God, Ghost, and the Rebirth of Life

Throughout my years as a paranormal investigator, I've had the opportunity to share my experiences with so many people. My willingness to speak openly with others about my findings and beliefs seemed to pull the veil back on some rather intense ideas that I've encountered. Though many seem to embrace some form of belief of life after death, many more refuse to believe that religion can and does co-exist with the paranormal. Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, when it comes down to it, I want to clarify that my intention for this entry is not to argue whether I feel that your beliefs are right or wrong or even different from my own. While I am interested in learning about everyone's ideas and religious beliefs, in this article, I am only focusing on the views that I have been taught and understand today. I've met many that have completely supported the belief that religion explains a great deal of how some paranormal events are possible. Of course, this is more widely embraced when either demonic encounters or angelic experiences are the topic in the discussion. Though the open debate often falls apart the moment you start talking about ghosts, and ghost hunting...

As a Christian, I grew up believing that you would be judged on all of your actions in death. If you were deemed a good person in life, your spirit will be returned to God. However if in life you choose to not live by God's word then your spirit would descend into hell. Pretty simple, straight forward instructions: Be good and you’ll go to heaven, whatever heaven may be. Being a huge fan of the movie “What Dreams May Come” and its depiction of heaven, I embrace the idea of heaven being the place where you would enjoy spending the rest of your days, and with whom. That is of course, if you can find your way there and believe in such a place for yourself. Not only do I believe in the paranormal, but I am also accepting of all religious beliefs as I feel that this is your own personal choice. But because of my paranormal interests however, sharing stories of the things I have witnessed and documented with fellow Christians, sometimes generates either an immediate look of confusion or disgust. I’m sure they're thinking to themselves "that’s impossible; their spirits can’t still remain on earth if they believed in the Lord.” I don't doubt that some have even questioned my faith for believing in such things.

Please don’t think that I'm saying this is the only reaction I ever encounter, it is not. Though this is something that bothers me, and I want to address it. I've been in situations where, that confused look I get that I mentioned before, is confessed to have been brought on by guilt and that the person I am sharing my stories and pictures with is actually unsure about whether or not it is sinful to partake in viewing my findings. There are even people that are very close to me that have expressed their own concerns regarding the subject, and have even implied that God would not think highly of me for attempting to interact with those from the other side. However a few weeks ago in church my pastor explained death in a little more detail that opened my mind to just what may be happening here, the mystery of how or why “ghosts” exist and that it may just be all in God’s plan after all. She, my pastor, stated that in the Old Testament the body is said to be made of four parts: the flesh, the breath of life, the soul (translated in Hebrew) or psyche (translated in Geek), and your spirit. She explained that your flesh returns to the earth, your breath ends, and your spirit returns to God…Uh Hello? What about the soul? Either I spaced out for a moment, which I doubt because I was pretty intrigued by this topic, or the Old Testament just doesn’t explain where your soul/psyche goes...

Per my pastor, Heaven and Hell are not even discussed in the Old Testament, so I’m not surprised that we are left with questions. She went on to preach about how we should prepare our spirits to return to God and how great that’s all going to be and yes I did kind of stop following the lesson at this point unable to break my focus from that unanswered question…Where does your soul go after you die? I mean the soul is a pretty big part of the body I would think, to just go missing. In my religion, the soul can be described as the free will God gave you, the choice he allowed his people to have. So if the body returns to earth by way of the dirt or fire, the breath comes to an end as your body dies, your spirit returns to whatever higher being you believe in, so then is it possible that your soul or psyche that has freedom of choice would go wherever it likes? Again with the movie “What Dreams May Come” they depict heaven to be where you would want to live eternal life with no image of God involved in this depiction. So, is it maybe less about heaven and more about what your soul envisions heaven to be? Is it just where your mind strongly believes that you will go after death? Can it be that it is much like a dream that you never wake up from? Or even more realistically, do you remain right where you where before expiring?

So why can’t we all just communicate with whomever we want to that has passed on. My thought is, first of all, maybe they aren’t connected with that physical world; they are in that dream state that they have imaged as their personal heaven. Second thought is that it’s said we all have psychic abilities but not everyone is in tune with their abilities on the same level. So to break through to the “other side” it takes a certain level of mental preparation. Think Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost. In that movie it was explained that in order to communicate with the living, you had to develop the ability to do so. I believe the stronger the connection with your soul the better your chance will be to have control of it once you have lost physical control of your body. I realize to some this may be old news, many in the paranormal world already believe that “ghosts” are souls that want to stay in the physical world due to unfinished business or the inability to accept their death. As a Christian though my understanding of the separation between the spirit that belongs to God and your soul that may seek out another path, is more than just eye opening to me especially after having confirmation from a section of the Bible. 

A while ago, at a neighborhood party, a woman asked me about my paranormal adventures as if she was genuinely interested. I shared numerous exciting stories as she sat listening quietly. After I finished she blankly replied only to tell me that she felt that I was "doing the devils work." It quickly became clear that she had only been waiting for her turn to share her disgust with what I was doing no matter what I told her. I was stunned by her comment, and attempted to recover from her wolf in sheep's clothing approach by explaining my beliefs in heaven, the return to God and “ghosts” all in the same breath. I had to try and explain my gut feeling type of belief, without having a textbook answer. My conviction that a higher being gave all living things the breath of life and as a gift we were given the freedom to be our own persons. We all have the ability to make choices and to change and to evolve. This right forms our souls and once we die our psyche may make the choice to wander wherever. Maybe even just waiting for the day that it may be useful again and God returns it to our spirit for a new life. I've listened to many voices regarding their beliefs on the subject, and what I've learned is that not all Christians are cut from the same cloth. Fearing the outcome and not assuming by labeling is important to opening your mind and seeing what is not always explained to you. There are those of us that believe in God, ghost, and the rebirth of life. Therefore the pursuit will continue. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Old Burying Yard

The Old Burying Yard in York Maine is beautiful, historic and above all, haunted. Residing on a small corner lot along a main road, the cemetery dates all the way back to the 17th century. This site contains 75 marked grave sites of some of our first settlers and is also said to be the final resting place for hundreds that brutally lost their lives during the Raid on York in 1692, also known as the Candlemas day Massacre. On that day, a large group of natives where led into the small town of York. Murdering the men and taking women and children as their hostages, the site was left blazing from the fires set to destroy what remained of the town. Forcing their 80 hostages to walk in the snow to Canada, it is said that all of the captives perished during that harsh, cold journey. Though you will not find any grave markers for the victims of the raid, the historical society has erected a monument in their honor as they have been laid to rest in areas that are unknown.

While the savagery of that attack will forever be imprinted in history, it has also left many believing that this area is haunted by those that died suddenly and horribly during that time. And even though that event marked a very tragic time for York, it is not the main draw for visitors to the cemetery. The Old Burying Yard has gained interest from the paranormal community primarily for one grave site. Entering the cemetery on a snowy day it may be a little difficult to find, though it is there. A six foot granite slab lay along the ground where the deceased Mary Nasson was interred in 1774. While it is true that these types of large stones where intentionally placed throughout New England to keep roaming cattle and pigs from damaging graves, it was also rumored to have been placed on top of Mary's grave with the intention of keeping the witch buried.

Mary Nasson was a beloved wife and mother. Her husband, morning her passing, had her likeness carved into her gravestone. He also had a very loving message to his wife engraved under the image however I won't go into what it said. I believe this day and age it seems more creepy then loving, but who am I to judge? Mary has also been mentioned as being an effective herbalist, and some have speculated that she had the ability to rid your house of unwanted spirits. The rumors that formed of Mary being more than just your average Puritan wife and mother also appealed to the historical society. They have included the mention of the "witch's grave" on a burial plaque that sits outside of the cemetery. Whatever the intent was behind the creation of these stories, Mary has since been deemed the White Witch of York Maine. However, if the stone slab that rests atop of her burial site was actually an attempt to keep Mary from returning as many claim, it didn't really do that good of a job.

Many have claimed to see Mary roaming the lot, and other countless sightings from children reporting to have been pushed on the swings from a friendly woman that disappeared when they were done. The swing sets and park have been removed in recent years, I assume due to the peeked interest of those hoping to encounter Mary. Also there accounts of a woman that vanishes just after she places a bunch of wild flowers in your hands. If Mary was such a threatening character, it would seem that she has completely changed her ways in the afterlife. Since Mary is the one many claim to encounter, I tend to believe that there must be some credence behind the rumors. Just not the part about her engaging in any dark arts rituals. I've been unable to uncover any information about how she passed on, but typically during that time period, had she been a witch I doubt she would have been given a proper burial inside a church yard. The tales linked to Mary Nassons' deposition are mysterious, and we are left with one incredibly unique grave marker and a story. One that has aided in keeping Mary Nasson quite relevant over 200 years later.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Moundsville State Penitentiary EVP

This recording was quite alarming for us to hear, and even now as I listen to it I am reminded of how chilling this clip really is. We were deep inside the Moundsville Penitentiary, and 4 hours into our investigation when this was captured. Wendy and I made our descent into the prison and suddenly Wendy calls out that something hit her on her head. But because the cells are very much open to the elements, her initial thought was that it may have just been a bug. We discontinued our journey deeper into the jail so that we could investigate this and ensure that it was not a paranormal experience that we may be passing on. We looked for bugs, water spots from a possible leak in the ceiling, or anything that she may have just walked into however, we found nothing to validate that it was something with substance. Just to further validate our suspicions we attempted to communicate with anyone that might have touched Wendy. This creepy EVP was captured during this attempt, and to us it sounds like "Let me go, I will kill you..." 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Haunted Franklin Hotel

If you've had the chance to read our full case on the Franklin Hotel, you might have picked up that my overall non-investigation experience was a negative one. I've had some time to think about how that write up may have influenced your first impression of this place, and I realize now that months have gone by, that I owe it more then just my bias review. It's true that I felt there was an extreme disregard towards our presence here, which was more then just a little disappointing especially after having such an interesting investigation. And at the time I reviewed it I wasn't able to sit and reflect on it reasonably because I felt so put out by the staff. Honestly, we had expected a little more out of this town that seemed barely kept alive by its locals. But, as I look back I think they know and possibly understand this place way more then we ever could have in one evening. Now that I've had the chance to fully consider all of the events that transpired that night with a more objective mind, I feel that they might be trying to protect the hotel's secrets from the people they think are just out seeking a thrill...

Having said all of that, I need to point out that not everyone at this location treated us this way. Actually, of all the unlikely people to be friendly to us, Jennifer, the lady tending the bar that night was very open and welcoming. In fact, the group hanging out at her bar that evening was also excited to meet us. Before you ask, No, we were not drinking that night, though our earlier events led us to consider it! We stopped in, hoping to meet some reasonable people wanting to share their own personal experiences... Well we hit the jackpot! Seemed like all the towns "outcasts" believed in the spirit world, and just happened to be there ready to tell all as if we were reporters preparing to break open a huge case. What had started out as an uncomfortable evening was now beginning to turn around for us. When the guests finished telling their personal paranormal stories, the bar tender asked us if we would like a tour of the basement. Unfortunately the basement is kept under lock and key so we did not have full access to it throughout the evening. So, yes of course, we quickly accepted her invite, hoping that she wasn't taking us down there to lock us away for the evening.

The basement was amazing,  if your into those creepy dark places... The exposed brick was dimly illuminated by the tiny windows leading to the street. We heard some of the bar's patrons exiting the building. As they stumbled down the dark empty road, their long shadows cast ghostly images across the brick walls and their muffled exchanges grew increasingly more faint with every footstep. Jennifer pulled down on the light bulb chain hanging from the ceiling, and finally the basement glowed. Though it didn't change the heaviness we expected to dissipate as the light filled the room. She led us around and explained how there was always a  man down there watching her. She felt that it was a previous resident, the man famous for naming the spirit of the lingering prostitute Lily. Though she never felt any harm would come from him, she knew he was always there, even recalling the times and areas she had seen him. It was extremely eerie down there, I wont lie. I have my own basement and, you know, their no fun. Basements are cold, dark and there's cobwebs, but my basement is just a gross old basement. This one had a feeling, and it was the type that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. 

Given the chance we would have stayed down there all night. At this point, if Jennifer had slammed and locked the door behind us, we would have welcomed it. The basement was looming with energy, something or someone was down there, and we wanted so badly to stay and investigate it. Having been led back up to the main floor and parting with our unexpected tour guide, we moved into the banquet room where we suddenly felt as though something was trying to get away from us. The moment we walked onto the platform both Wendy and I felt uneasy. Startled by a blast of cold air that pushed past us, I surprised myself by depressing the shutter on my camera in that exact moment. Most of the time I freeze and instead of snapping into action like I should, I tend to try to live in that moment as long as I can.  Maybe it was the experience from the basement that did it, or the sudden emotional charge that both Wendy and I instantly recognized. Whatever the reason I'm happy for it, because I managed to capture something unexplainable. As I look at it again I'm immediately reminded of how it appears to be someone there, holding up an arm and waving at us. Was it just that? And if she was waving, was she saying hello or goodbye?   

This was not the last of the strange occurrences that we encountered that evening though I have to stop here. The night became increasingly more interesting for us, and even though I was incredibly upset by our earlier encounters, I do owe a little credit to the registration clerk/waitress that we met upon our arrival. As we were being denied the room we reserved months in advance, she told us something that should have stood out more then it did at the time. She scoffed at us as we explained that we only booked that room because of the haunting we planned to investigate. Casting a cynical half smile on her cracked lips she dryly argued "Don't worry about that, every room here is haunted..." We departed this location realizing that this building was quite unique. Though unable to fully investigate it as we would have preferred, we still had many profound experiences that night. I'm left wondering why everything about this case was so different from every other location. Also what has drawn the man in the basement and Lily to remain inside the walls of this old hotel after all these years? Many questions remain unanswered. And based on just our experience with the hotel group, I don't think their very eager to give up the answers to these secrets any time soon. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Provocation vs. Interrogation

Provoking in everyday speech is defined as the act of annoying someone deliberately; a negative behavior that most people would choose to avoid. However for Paranormal Investigators, provoking is a common tactic used to motivate activity. While I can’t deny that I agree with using provocation in investigations, how some choose to provoke activity is where I have an issue. I was shocked after reading articles where provocation was described as the act of using foul language, making obscene comments, or demanding physical action from whomever you may be trying to contact. I'm sorry, what? I mean if you were going for deliberately annoying, you definitely hit the mark, but how is that an effective tactic?

What great advancements in paranormal research do you mean to discover by pissing off your main subject? I suddenly felt embarrassed by every moment that I had asked other group members if they were comfortable with me using provocation and thought how disappointed they must have been with my mild actions that followed. Sorry no wild yelling, rude remarks or threatening unseen forces happening here. I always saw provoking simply as being a bold interaction between you and the spirit or entity you’re investigating. If you are at a location where there have been claims of attacks by an entity, this should definitely motivate you to ask that entity to explain themselves. Ask them to show you what they can do even, but I feel like this tactic is to only be used when the location calls for it. Not just as an attempt to make the night more thrilling.

Not to mention you always want to be respectable and ask permission by the owners and other group members before using these methods. Paranormal investigating is like taking a trip into the unknown, anything could be possible. You should understand that you are taking on a greater risk by bringing up heated topics. It’s a risk Chris and I accept when we encounter locations with a complex past or secrets to uncover. We are willing to push buttons to get to the bottom of the story. We enjoy researching those locations and drawing our own theories based on the history and our findings. I guess you could say that  we pull out our detective hats when it comes down to it.

During our investigations, both Chris and I use different methods of interrogation to engage communication. I think it's safe to say Chris is the good cop and I'm the bad cop. Meaning she usually leads the conversation during EVP sessions with typical questions touching on the history of the location. However when there seems to be a lull in feedback from her technique, I jump in with questions that could be a bit uncomfortable. Take for example, one of our recent locations, the Villisca Ax Murder House. This location holds a sinister story of an unsolved murder in which the whole family and two overnight guests were all bludgeoned to death. After such a horrific crime, this once sleepy little town became fully aware of the wild accusations and rumors surrounding the murder victims who otherwise appeared as normal everyday citizens. In the end there were no solid leads and these poor families never received the justice they deserved. So, how could you not take the opportunity and attempt to solve a 100 year old cold case? 

I quizzed Mr. Moore on the brutality of his unsolved investigation. Asking him if he knew why his family may have been the target of such heinous acts. Did he in fact have a quarrel with the owner of a rival farming equipment store in town? Did he have an inappropriate relationship with another woman that ultimately led to his and his families demise? I want to note, after that comment I did apologize immediately and stated that I never truly believed those rumors, but yeah, I was an ass and went there. When we were at the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis I asked William Lemp if he felt guilty for possibly leading his children down the same dark path he chose to take by ending his own life? I feel like these are fair questions to ask even though I personally have no connection to the stories. Even though I am an outsider, it seems necessary to cross the line when it comes to reaching out for answers to things that I shouldn't have any knowledge of.. I truly feel these are the same questions anyone close to them would want answered, and I am fascinated by the potential opportunity to receive an explanation straight from the source and essentially gain closure for some of those mysteries that have been left unsolved for years

Another place we felt provoking would encourage some hidden truths was at Lizzie Borden's B&B. Many believe that Lizzie Borden viciously murdered her own father and step mother, though she was never convicted of the crimes and again, these murders went unsolved. Many remain convinced that it was Lizzie that had committed these crimes, and the people from Fall River felt that there was more to the story then just an epic failure of justice by the local government. Most believe Lizzie and her sister, Emma, didn’t want their step mother to gain the family fortune once their father passed on, however there have been reports from psychic medians that believe Lizzie was in fact molested by her father for years and only murdered him to put a stop to her abuse. On the night of our investigation at the Borden residence I was eager to use this opportunity to ask Mr. Borden about these rumors. Though as I tried to communicate with him I suddenly felt ill. For the first time ever I witnessed how dangerous provoking could be.

Before I could even finish my question to Mr. Borden my stomach suddenly turned. It was hard for me to speak as a sourness climbed up the back of my throat, I felt like I was going to be sick. I was attempting to ask him if he would like to speak out against the rumors and tell his side. I was actually giving him the benefit of doubt here, and not trying to be rude. But as I became overwhelmed with this feeling I could not continue with my inquiries.  I alerted Chris and she immediately changed the subject to a lighter topic, giving me the chance to collect myself. I began feeling better shortly after, and decided to pick up right where I left off. I announced to whom I believed to be Mr. Borden, that he couldn't scare me that easily. I was determined to understand the mystery surrounding the events that occurred at this location all those years ago. Certain instances just call for more than investigating the paranormal. Even if  its just by a small chance that you have to uncover the truth behind the rumors of the past. How else could you attempt to do that without a little properly used provoking? Detectives don’t just ask nicely than give up, so why should we?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sedamsville Rectory - Basement Creeper

As we started our investigation for the evening inside the infamous Sedamsville Rectory we headed straight down the steep staircase into the musty basement. This area seemed to be very active for a lot of  people so we were eager to get down there and check it out for ourselves. This happens to be one of the very first photographs taken at this location. Though it is hard to see, there appears to be a shadowy cloaked figure trying to hunker down and hide itself in the darkness. At the time this image was captured I was using a full spectrum light which was seated on my Canon DSLR camera. I was actually trying to take photographs without the use of a flash, hoping that the full spectrum light would aide in total darkness while not causing my poor partner to suffer through blind spots as I flashed away.  

However you can clearly see here how my experiment only seemed to illuminate one half of the basement in this picture. I have several pictures just like this, again I was trying a new technique here. Even though I feel that my test failed to completely illuminate the entire room for the purpose of documenting the entire scene, I think that I was still able to capture something unique and possibly paranormal here. We didn't really sense anything down in the basement, which was strange given all the stories we heard. However all the other ghost hunting equipment, cameras and alarms scattered throughout the basement set up earlier by the owners clearly led us to think that they must be preparing for something to happen. Was this what they were looking for?

I zoomed in on this last image so that you can make out the dark figure that I've captured a little more clearly. Even though we were in total darkness attempting to take pictures with a camera that is meant for use with a flash and instead chose to only illuminate the area with our full spectrum light, I feel this is still an image worth mentioning... Would I have captured something easier to identify had I used my night vision camera? Possibly, but there is also a chance that  I wouldn't have captured anything at all...  You have to try different techniques and equipment while in the field because in the end you never know what is going to aide in your attempts to make contact. I can say that in the basement there was a dog cage and even a metal dog bowl sitting out there on the floor. The image that appears as a person shrouded in the darkness was not a live person. In fact the area all around the dog kennel is pretty much wide open. While I'm not able to determine exactly what was captured here, I am able to say that my attempt to try something different was not a complete failure either. What do you think?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Did I see my Doppelganger?

I've mentioned before how I've had otherworldly experiences as a child. This time I stepped even closer to something with a very frightening significance, all though I was completely unaware at the time. As a teenager I remember a time that I was woken abruptly from my sleep. I sat up in bed looking around the room, stopping only as my eyes met the mirror above my dresser. I was taken back as I realized that I did not completely recognize my reflection. It was my face however the skin that clung to my skull was noticeably pale. Deep, dark circles formed under my eyes and my hair, which is brown, now appeared to have changed to red... I was confused, it appeared to be my reflection, but everything was different about the image staring back at me. I felt detached from this image as if there where really two faces, my own and this stranger. I sat there, wiping at my eyes expecting the image to adjust or change. It had to be that my eyes where just playing tricks, right? But that cold, pale face just kept staring back at me with profound empty eyes. I slowly lowered myself back into bed, but I could not fall back to sleep. That night I laid there, awake with wonder.

At the time this happened to me I had no way of understanding what may have taken place that night. It would be many years later before being introduced to the term doppelganger and even then I didn’t connect the two. By definition doppelganger means a look alike or "a double" of a living person. I first heard this term while investigating at Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Our senior tour guide, Michael, explained that many people had reported witnessing him wandering the empty halls. Refusing to speak to anyone, and ignoring when they called out for him. In fact, they had complained about his rude behavior. However Michael states the image they reported could not have been him as he was with other groups on different floors when these events took place. He firmly believes his doppelganger roams the halls of the sanatorium and stated that he is in no rush to meet his clone. Which is understandable given accounts of individuals over the years meeting their maker after these alleged encounters. The legend of the doppelganger is an old one, and believed to be a sign of bad luck. Some have referred to it as an unfortunate omen with a terrible outcome usually ending in death...

One famous account is that of Percy Bysshe Shelley, an English poet and husband to author Mary Shelley. Percy told Mary he had seen the figure of himself on the terrace of their home and it spoke to him asking "How long do you mean to be content?" Shelley reported that he had often seen these figures while ill, and one of these moments had even been witnessed by a friend, Jane Williams. Some months later, Percy drowned in the Bay of Spezia with no real known cause. So my understanding of a doppelganger was that they appear as full body apparitions, or a figure of one’s self and not something you should be excited about experiencing. A lot less like 5 Michael Keatons working hard to complete all your home improvement needs and more like your outer psyche giving you a heads up that life is about to turn south. I never thought of my ghostly mirror image as a doppelganger because it was a reflection from a mirror and not a figure standing there with me in the room. That was until I heard a story on a very popular podcast called Lore. If you haven’t heard this podcast yet, you should definitely check it out. It’s a collection of amazing true stories weaved into tales from folklore, and the eerie connections between the two being told in beautiful 30 minute segments. The particular story that gave me flashbacks of my own personal experience was that of non other than our 16th President, Abram Lincoln.

In November of 1860, he had returned home after a long day, tired, and in need of a short rest. He settled himself in an arm chair and closed his eyes for a few moments, then opened them for just a moment and in that glance saw a horrifying image in the mirror across from him. He later told his wife, that he recalled seeing two faces staring back at him. One face was very much like his own and the other was his face, but pale, almost sickly looking. His wife was understandably concerned. Having an Irish background she believed strongly in folklore and thought this to be a bad sign. Five years later, Lincoln was shot and killed while attending a play with his wife at the Ford Theatre. Hearing of an experience so much like my own, minus the death of course, got me thinking…Did I see my doppelganger? I had never thought that was how they worked, and most importantly (I say this while knocking on wood, I too have an Irish background) I’m still alive. My experience was around 20 years ago. I’m pretty sure if I died tomorrow no one would believe it was because I saw something unexplainable in a mirror as a teenager. So now I ask if it wasn’t my doppelganger, what could it have been?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Creatures of the Night - Life and the Paranormal

We are investigators of the paranormal. We wear all black and carry around heavy equipment bags. We creep around cemeteries after hours, and sit in the darkness hoping that we receive answers to our questions by the light of the moon. That's right, every cliche that comes to mind when you think of ghost hunters... Well that's us. We pay to investigate locations with our hard earned money, and we then devote every spare moment of our time divulging very personal experiences to complete strangers. We are real people, with real lives, and over 7 years ago we decided one cold New Years Eve that it meant a lot to both of us to learn as much as we could about the afterlife. 

Though the purpose of this entry is not to discuss our findings, in fact it has nothing to do with any of our past cases. Because ghost hunting has become such a serious craft for so many and yet it remains a complete joke for others, I thought it was about time to let you all know that we are just a couple of regular people with regular full time jobs. We're not psychic mediums, clairvoyants, witches, fortune tellers or soothsayers. We don't practice the dark arts in our basements or have intentions to summon any evil spirits. We have a deep interest in the paranormal and continuously struggle as a couple of moms pursuing our journey into the unknown ... 

With all of that said I want to point out how long the journey is for us most times. We are on the road a lot! And by a lot I mean exactly that. We have found ourselves faced with lengthy 8 hour road trips just to reach our long awaited paranormal hot spot. And at the end of our exciting all-night investigation, we pack up, drink an extra large coffee or red bull, or both, and drive straight home. We choose not to stay over at a hotel afterwards, even though we could. We feel obligated to get back home, and back to our families. We have to prepare dinner and get our little ones ready for school and ourselves ready for work. Just like any other regular mom would do...  

We enjoy every minute of it, and I tend to think that is the general attitude of most people within our paranormal circle. Unfortunately there are others that are unfamiliar with the idea or have never had an interest in investigating the paranormal that seem to have formed a negative image of the type of person that goes ghost hunting. I am here to tell you generally speaking, we're all pretty much extremely ordinary. I wanted to write this down for anyone that felt like we're all just a bunch of silly kids... Well, we're not. We are raising our own families, paying bills and we pursue leads of haunted activity during our spare time...

I am very lucky to have had these unforgettable opportunities venturing out and exploring the unknown. This was always a deep interest of mine though I never imagined I would find myself all geared up, in the middle of the night seeking out those answers in some of the most terrifying locations across the US. We've had the chance to bond over these crazy, unexplained experiences. And after all of our road trips, we've come to know each other very well and now have a deeper understanding of what we are both still searching for... I am fortunate that through these adventures I have found my paranormal soul sister! I never would have made it this far, or have even attempted to investigate some of these places without her. Yes, I would still have my regular life! I would still be making diner each night and helping my husband with the dishes afterwards... But at least I can say that because Wendy and I share this bond and common interest in the paranormal, my life will never be boring.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Woodruff Fontaine House EVP

This whisper was caught in the tower of the Woodruff-Fontaine house in Memphis TN. Our friend from the paranormal group Expedition Unknown hosted a tour of the house, and at the end of the evening she allowed Wendy and I into the tower to investigate it alone. This was a privilege as the tower is usually off limits. It remains locked during tours because the stairs can be dangerous to people walking around in the dark unfamiliar with the design.

Only Wendy and I were in the tower at the time that this voice was recorded, but that's not the only reason it is unique. We hear a women asking "Shall we sit apart?" Because the tower was so small and cramped, Wendy and I had to sit opposite of each other in order to fit comfortably, otherwise sitting apart. It's as though someone else was there and was very politely asking either myself or Wendy, to sit with her...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ashmore Estates - Lost Souls

We set out early one Saturday morning in 2012 for our much awaited journey to Illinois. The destination was none other then the notorious Ashmore Estates. This location had been added to our list of must visit places since we started investigating the paranormal two years prior. And as you've probably already guessed by the picture, we were pretty excited to be here!  

It seemed like we had been driving down the long dusty country road for hours. Every minute that passed by I grew increasingly more concerned that we had taken a wrong turn. One thing about visiting these old abandoned buildings that I've learned, they are sometimes hard to locate. It's also not likely that you 'll be able to stop and get directions, so be sure to pack a lunch and keep your navigational device fully charged! We finally found the huge old building and were shocked to discover that it looked like it could fall down any minute. We managed to arrive a little early too, and as we sat eating our broccoli salads, we witnessed the sun setting slowly behind the old manor.

If I wasn't already familiar with the haunting history within the building, I would have become aware in this moment. The building, though eerie during the day, took on an ominous glow as the sun finally disappeared. The shards of broken glass in the windows appeared to be reflecting images of people, though none were inside. And the overwhelming feeling that you were not welcome would not dissipate. In fact I remember feeling as if I had been caught trespassing on private property. That feeling only became more intense as the shadows of the night grew darker. We prepared for our investigation no longer worried that this location would fail to live up to its claims. 

Moving into the dark building we were guided down the winding hallways by our friends from the tour group, though once the tour was over we were left to linger in the building to conduct our own investigation. Knowing the claims of previous investigators being touched and having experienced this for ourselves we decided to remain on the first floor and make contact using the Spirit box. This proved to be a good decision as the voices not only came through clear and concise but also directly answered our questions. As we attempted to leave the first floor we continued to receive voices, though this time they seemed to beg us to not leave. We heard "don't leave" and "help" as we tried to move on. Because of the extensive history at this location we hoped that any voices we would catch during our session would point us towards a residual haunting. Though the replies and comments seemed to imply that the spirits here were intelligent.

In another area of the manor we set up green and red laser grids facing opposite directions. We sat on the floor watching the lights along the walls. Like little stars filling up the night sky, it was calming sitting there looking at the beams of light illuminating the dark halls of the manor. Suddenly some type of a mass appeared within the lights, and the beams of light surged and sparkled. It reminded me of light piercing through water. The light beams glimmered and seemed to dance. We watched as a pattern formed in one corner of the room, moved away from us and crossed into the hall. It either passed right through the wall or just out of sight of the grid. Either way, it disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared. 

In January 2013, just 5 months after our successful visit to the estate, Ashmore was impaled by a fierce storm. Straight winds with speeds up to 100 miles per hour tore through the vast countryside, and nearly destroyed Ashmore Estates. The roof had been ripped clear off of the building and the support gables completely demolished. The director of Coles County deemed the building to be damaged beyond repair. When we learned about the destruction caused by those storms, we hoped that would aide in moving those unsettled ghosts on to a better place. So that they could finally find peace. We felt that we had encountered so many spirits here that just seemed misplaced or cast out. While our investigation that night was truly amazing, it was also sad realizing the number of souls that where left to linger inside this empty old building.  Ashmore Estates has received repairs over the past 4 years and is now currently back open for investigations, which leads me to believe the spirits are still there. Trapped...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Moundsville Shadow Person

While investigating the Moundsville Penitentiary in West Virginia, this image was captured using a regular DSLR camera and flash. I was the only one taking pictures at this time as my group had lingered in the cafeteria hosting a successful EVP session. I had an overwhelming sensation that someone or something was just beyond the fence and gate. Maybe it was the spirit that my team was communicating with? I removed myself from the group hoping to obtain more evidence. I snapped picture after picture in an attempt to catch whatever it was that I felt was back there...

Suddenly I noticed this image in the lower left of the picture. I see a shadow of a person that is blocking the fence, however it couldn't have been my shadow.  If it were myself, someone would have had to have flashed a light from behind me, causing a shadow to appear against the fence. Though the only light in this image is from my camera because, as I said previously, I was the only one taking pictures at this time. In addition, had this been my shadow, wouldn't my arms also be visible since I was holding the camera up to my face? Have you captured any similar pictures? I would love to get to the bottom of this, please share your experiences!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ernestine and Hazels - Memphis TN

When you walk in the front door it becomes imminently clear that you've stepped into the past. The moment you enter into 531 South Main Street, you feel the transformation take place. You've just left the cold, unfriendly street. The trolley screeches past as you close the door behind you. Blinking your eyes to adjust to the dim light inside the burger joint, you can't help but notice that the atmosphere is so much more inviting in here. I've never had any feelings of danger or fear while at this location. It always felt friendly and fun, and at times, bewitching. Even though the main level is thriving and exciting, the truth is, I couldn't wait to go upstairs...

Ernestine and Hazel's is not only a great place for amazing burgers it is also known to be a local paranormal hot spot. The building has lingered there since the late 1800's, and has seen just about everything. Originally built with the intention of being a church, later it became a sundry store, pharmacy and even a brothel. From what I've read, the pharmacy coexisted along side the brothel, which must've brought in quiet the variety of interesting customers... 

Some say the sisters, Ernestine and Hazel, still see to making their customers happy. The piano and jukebox come alive and play music all on their own. Many witnesses have claimed that the tunes emanating from these musical time pieces seem to be hauntingly appropriate for the mood. What accommodating spirits this place has! If you are in the area, you should check it out. It is a great little slice of Memphis history and these days, not many places like this still remain. Even though we felt that it was very peaceful and unfortunately did not make much contact during our investigation, many others have had amazing experiences while visiting.