Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blessed Be

I don't want to jinx myself here, but I just have to say....things have been really, really quiet at home since the paranormal investigators visited us again a couple weeks ago.  My overactive imagination has a theory as to why.  My theory is that the spirits in my house finally did what they needed to do- shared what they needed to share and said what they needed to say.  Whatever it was that was making them so crazy....they handled it, the results of which will turn up in the evidence the investigators are still reviewing.

You've seen scary movies.  That's how it works, right?  Ghosts act all crazy because they have some message to pass along from beyond the grave, and once they do that, they go peacefully into the light.  Right?  We shall see.

Another possible reason for the calm in our casa is a little simpler, but equally Hollywood.  Unlike during the first investigation, one of the investigators blessed our house this time, as well as The Hubs and myself.  (Turns out, he was an ordained minister.)  He also left a blessed candle that he used during the investigation burning on our dining room table.

I lamented over that candle so much during the four days it took to burn itself out.  I HATED leaving it burning during the day while we were gone.  I would leave it in the kitchen sink with just the slightest trickle of water running, just to be safe.  The investigator/minister said it would help to calm the spirits, maybe even "draw them into the light."

And I have to admit....our house has been calm.  Probably calmer than it's ever been.  (As I type this, I'm knocking on wood.)  Is it weird that I'm a little sad about the idea that our spirits might have left us?  Still waiting on the results from the investigation.....STAY TUNED....

The blessed candle on day two of its four day life.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Morning After

It's the morning after our second paranormal investigation.  Okay, so it's more like mid-afternoon now, but I'm still in my pajamas, so it's still morning to me.  I've been trying all day to put my thoughts into words, but they've been so scrambled until now.

You might think that I shouldn't be surprised by anything that happens at my house anymore.  You might think that I should be "used to" our ghosts by now.  And you might even think that us allowing the house to be investigated again was completely frivolous.  So let me explain.

The initial investigation last fall was just that- an initial investigation, the purpose of which is to establish whether or not there is activity at a certain location.  We got that established pretty quickly the first time around- within the first half hour.  Subsequent investigations delve into the whos, the whys, and the wheres; and those are the questions that have been driving me crazy.

So last night, we shipped the kids and the dogs off for the evening, went out to dinner, and then came home to get ready for the ghost hunters.  While the house has to be as empty as possible, I did invite one friend over during the investigation- just about the only friend I have that I knew for sure wouldn't get scared and freak out.  Don't get me wrong, she got scared- she just didn't freak out.

The Hubs and I getting ready for the ghost hunters to arrive.

My biggest misstep of the evening was my plan to livestream a video chat during the investigation.  I was able to get the video feed up and running, but there was no sound.  The harder I tried to fix it, the worse it got.  Video started going in and out, then cut out altogether.  Then the internet itself started acting up.  If I didn't know better, I'd say our ghost friends didn't want to be broadcast to the world.

It was just as well, though.  It was dark, we had to be quiet, and a lot of what happened wouldn't have translated well over webcam.  Unlike the first investigation, there was no radio station crew this time.  Unlike the first investigation, where we had three teams of investigators, there was only one, Marter Paranormal.  There were six people- three who were here for the first investigation, and three whom I'd never met.  They arrived around 8 pm and started bringing in cases full of equipment.

One of the new investigators, as it turns out, is also an ordained priest.  So before the investigation started, he performed a sort of ritual just outside the back door.  He lit a candle to be "the light," a symbol of the Lord that is meant to attract spirits.  He poured a glass of rum and lit a cigar as gifts for the spirits from their "former lives," almost as a reward for cooperating during the investigation.  He left a glass of water out for the spirits to quench their thirst.  (I guess I never realized spirits got thirsty.)  And he left a strange looking tiki/voodoo head statue, for what reason I honestly don't know.  The items sat outside for the duration of the investigation.

A strange ritual....

Cameras and static detectors and motion detectors and all sorts of Ghostbusters-looking devices were placed methodically around the house.  And then the investigation began.  Joe, the investigator that picked up the voice of the little boy in the chicken coop during the first investigation, was anxious to get back outside.  Three investigators started in the master bedroom, where several EVPs were recorded last time.  The other two started upstairs.  Because we weren't broadcasting live over the radio or the internet, The Hubs, my friend and I decided to get a little liquored up to calm our nerves.  It definitely added a fun element to an already crazy evening.

The lights are off, the drinks are poured, and the investigation is underway.  This is a shot of the master bedroom with the door closed while investigators were inside.

Unlike the first investigation, during which we had the opportunity to listen to EVPs and review evidence on the spot, the investigators were pretty tight lipped about what they found.  It's the company's policy to review all evidence before reporting any of their findings, which usually takes about three weeks.  But we were able to catch little bits and pieces of what was going on here and there.

One investigator claimed to have had an entire conversation with a little boy in the master bedroom, who he called Bobby (not sure if it was because of the story I told them about Bobby, or if the spirit somehow confirmed for the investigators that that was his name.)  Joe was able to obtain several "pieces of evidence" in the chicken coop again.  And it sounded as though a team of investigators caught something on video in the master bedroom while talking to "Bobby," although I have no clue what.

One of the pieces of equipment the investigators brought this time that they didn't have last time was an EMF detector along with a short wave radio, the idea being that if they were able to pick up a freestanding EMF, or electro magnetic field, (essentially a spirit in physical form), they could use the short wave radio to pick up its frequency, and the spirit could communicate with them through that. One of the investigators was using the equipment upstairs, and we were able to hear him talking to "something" and that something talking back.  It was reaaallly creepy.  We later found out that after investigating upstairs for a short while, he detected a freestanding EMF and began talking to it.  When he asked it where it had been hiding all night, it said "bathroom."

Pictures were taken, notes were written down, data was collected.  We drank our margaritas and beer, sneaked around and listened outside of closed doors, and tried in vain to pick up any information we could from the conversations the investigators had amongst themselves.  It was a crazy, scary, fun night.  Unlike anything else.

We ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!
Probably the strangest thing that happened all night was when the entire team of investigators was upstairs.  I'm not sure what happened, but SOMETHING happened.  And the upstairs became the focus of the investigation, which was a bit unexpected because the upstairs turned up no evidence at all during the first investigation.  They turned the lights on, were videotaping, and one investigator started reading "Where The Wild Things Are" out loud.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But I can't wait to find out.

While most of the investigators were packing up and getting ready to leave, the ghost hunter/minister (who is also a Navy veteran and an avid biker) went downstairs to talk to the "grumpy old man" everyone had been referring to all night.  He came back up after a few minutes and announced that the old man isn't grumpy, he just wants me to clean up the basement.  (Which....not happening.  Even if our basement weren't haunted, it's still scary and gross and I never go down there.)

Before the investigators left, the minister blessed the house, blessed The Hubs and me, and then brought in the candle that had been sitting outside all night.  It's still burning, and will continue to burn for several days.  It is meant to be comforting to the spirits and to help protect our home.

The night following the first investigation was awful.  I didn't sleep and kept hearing noises and kept feeling like things were touching me.  I woke up the following morning violently ill, and was sick the whole day.  I was so worried about it happening again this time, I almost didn't sleep at home last night.

But I was too tired to leave.  So I drank a tall glass of water, took a couple ibuprofen and took one of my anti-anxiety pills (yes, they're prescribed....I don't self medicate) that has the added bonus of making me sleepy.  I left all the lights on, turned on the TV, and fell asleep on the couch.  (Our living room is part of the addition, not part of the original house.  So I've convinced myself that it's less haunted than the rest of the house.)

Until I fell asleep, I heard noises.  Lots of them.  But once I fell asleep, I slept HARD.  And I woke up with a headache, but that's it.  I suspect the headache was more because of the tequila than anything else.  I spent the majority of the day home alone.  I wasn't scared.  Nothing happened.  Okay....that's not entirely true.  Maybe the doorbell rang around 3:00 and maybe there was no one at the door when I went to check.  But that's it.

So now we wait.  For how long?  About three weeks, according to the investigators.  Sit tight, all.  I know I will.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


If you've ever been to my house, I don't have to tell you what the creepiest room is.  Aside from the basement (which we essentially pretend doesn't exist), the room that freaks people out the most is our downstairs bathroom.  Why?  Who knows.  

Last weekend, we had some friends over.  One of my especially-afraid-of-ghosts friends took her two year old daughter into the bathroom to go potty.  They came running out a few seconds later.  Apparently, my sweet little toddler pal started talking to someone named "Bobby" while she was  in there, causing her mom to have a panic attack.

A few hours later, her teeny tiny bladder was full again.  She had to go potty.  Again.  So, with reluctance, her mom took her into the bathroom.  Again.  After about ten seconds, she was yelling my name.  I ran into the bathroom to find her wide eyed and shaking.

"She started talking about Bobby again and I can't handle it," she told me.  "So you have to stay in here with us."  I looked at my little princess seated on her porcelain throne.  She was smiling.

"Is Bobby in here?"  I asked her.  She smiled and nodded.  "Where?"  She pointed to the bathtub.  My friend started backing out of the bathroom slowly, torn between her fear of ghosts and her motherly instinct to protect her daughter.  I walked over to the shower and opened the curtain.  Nothing.  But she seemed to see something.  "Do you see him?" I asked.  She nodded again.  "In here?"  

She smiled, hopping down off the toilet, then waddled her naked baby booty to where I was.  She looked into the bathtub, then made the cutest little gasping noise as she appeared to watch something rise up slowly out of the bathtub, to the ceiling, then hover above the sink.

"Is Bobby up there?" I asked.  

"Yeah," she whispered.  With that, her mom grabbed her and fled, using the kitchen to clean her up and wash her hands.  Huh.  Bobby.  That's a new one.

A couple of things you should know- my friend's two year old has no clue that people think my house, the bathroom, especially, is haunted.  Also, my landlord's name is Bob.  And he lived in the house back in the 90's.  He's still alive, obvi.....but what if there was once a Bob Jr., or, Bobby????  Things that make ya go...