Hello and welcome to my new little spot on the web. I’m certainly not new to this neck of the woods, having spent the better part of my teens and early twenties designing and writing for blogs, but I’ve never had my own. I have started this blog at the request of friends who have an interest in my research as a paranormal investigator. I have spent most of my life researching paranormal activities all starting in my own home. I joined a professional group when I was 22 but after 4 years I recently left the group. I am continuing my research on a much smaller scale these days as my career as a writer and a very demanding toddler now take up most of my time.
I was born in the town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas where even the trees are haunted if you ask the locals. Living in Eureka Springs taught me to be open to all aspects in life and people. Main Street was home to the religious shops where you could buy any sort of I Love Jesus shirt you were looking for while the side streets were filled with people claiming to be psychic and tarot card readers. If that wasn’t enough of an eclectic mix of people; you didn’t have to look far to find the gay district with the waving rainbow flags.
When I was eight years old I was uprooted from the small tourist town to an even smaller town in Central IL. I was an outsider from the beginning, with my strong Southern accent shining like a spotlight. Teachers and students alike not only viewed me as the new kid, but as someone they couldn’t possibly understand them or be understood. When the entire grade school has only 400 students, the idea of someone moving in from a new state where they spoke differently wasn’t something they saw very often, if ever.
My parents bought a large Victorian house, the largest house in town, although we didn’t have much money. My father was a deckhand working down on the boats at the riverfront making minimum wage. The house was very cheap, the asking price dropped several times because it couldn’t sell. My parents never asked why, desperate for a place to live.
A year went by in the house and I slowly began to make friends in the small town. My father was able to get a raise and because of this my parents decided to start repairs to the house. It wasn’t long after this that the house seemed to take on a life of its own.
I have never been much of a sleeper, often staying awake until the early hours of morning and because of this my parents bought a TV for me to have in my bedroom. Late one night I heard voices drifting out of the floor vent that lead to the living room below. With a house so old, sound traveled easily, especially through the vents. There wasn’t much that was a secret in that house. I turned on the TV and flipped through the channels trying to match the voices with what my parents were watching. Unable to do so, I decided they must be watching a movie and went downstairs to see if I could watch it with them. Instead, I found the downstairs dark, my parents having gone to bed. This was my first experience with something paranormal though I didn’t know it at the time.
As the days of renovating wore on, we discovered hidden rooms in the house. The half bath downstairs had a fake wall directly behind the toilet and behind the wall was a shallow cement room. Downstairs there were several places where the bricks could be removed and small storage spaces were found. Upstairs in my bedroom closet we found that the wall actually slid away and entered the large hall storage closet. The closet always had a lock on the inside of the doors and we could never figure out what the purpose of that would be until that day.
Always a bit of a research nerd, I quickly found myself at the library researching anything and everything I could find about the mysterious house I lived in. I was able to find that the house had been a generation house, passed on from family member to family member until the last family member that wished to live in the house died in 1980. I was never able to find the reasons for the secret rooms and any attempt I’ve made at contacting family members in regards to the house since then have never returned my phone calls or emails.
For years the voices drifting up through my vent seemed to be the only thing going on in the house. There could have been more, but I was an active kid with little time to consider the odd happenings going on in my house. But eventually the activity became so obvious, it couldn’t be overlooked.
First there was the strong smell of cigarette smoke in the upstairs hall. No one in my family smoked and with my dad now a pilot on the boats he was gone for several weeks at a time. My mother would accuse me of smoking but the smell was only in the hall, never drifting to the bedrooms. Soon after the smell of smoke came the unexplained banging. It would sound as if something heavy had fallen or was thrown but we were never able to find anything. The banging was rare but the smoke and voices were starting to be a daily thing.
One evening I had a friend spending the night. We were in my room watching TV when the door handle on my door rattled as if somebody was having trouble turning it. Thinking it was my mother; I opened the door only to find that nobody was there. I walked down the hall thinking my mother might have moved on to another room before coming back but was unable to find her upstairs and there was no possible way she could have made it down the steps without us hearing her, not in that old house anyway.
Through all of this I was never scared although I should have been scared out of my wits! I couldn’t explain it then and to this day I still can’t explain why I wasn’t scared. I knew there were ghosts in my house but the idea seemed more interesting than scary to me. I also never spoke of what was going on in my house to any of my friends. It had taken me 5 years to stop being the outsider and starting to be accepted, imagine if I was the crazy kid with the haunted house!
One day while watching The Travel Channel they had a show on about ghosts and I stopped to watch. On the show they had paranormal investigators who walked around houses with fancy gadgets asking for the spirits to communicate with them. From there, I was determined to find, and communicate, with who or whatever was in my house.
The next night found me armed with my parents’ video camera on night vision and an RCA cassette tape recorder. It wasn’t exactly like what I had seen on TV, but it was certainly better than just a flashlight and hoping for something to jump out at me. My “investigation” lasted all of thirty minutes before I rushed to my room eager to see what I had found. Of course I found absolutely nothing but that didn’t stop me. Instead, the next night I put the tape recorder downstairs in the room we had found in the half bath. It was now filled with our holiday decorations so I simply left it on top of our Christmas tree box and went the bed.
In the morning I woke up early and hurried down to get my tape recorder. I found it on the floor next to the box and saw that the tape had only recorded half way through. I quickly rewound the tape and sat in my bedroom listening wide-eyed to voices, hearing the occasional word that could easily be made out. I didn’t have audio editing equipment back then, I didn’t even know it existed, but what I did have was evidence that I wasn’t just hearing things at night. I had caught something, and I wanted more.
When I was 14 my parents got us a computer and a few months later came the internet. Most of my friends were surfing web sites about boy bands while I was surfing sites about paranormal research. I learned that I was not alone although it still felt that way. Nobody I knew talked about ghosts, especially living with them. I felt as if I had this secret that I couldn’t tell anybody and I was starting to retreat from the friends I had tried so desperately to make. They couldn’t possibly understand something that was such a big part of my life that I felt as if I wasn’t able to really connect with them.
When I was 16 my internet surfing lead me to sites about cleansings and I decided that I was going to do one in my house. With no one to guide me in the right direction I found myself reading about tortured souls and that all ghosts needed to “cross over” or move on. Within days of finding my first cleansing site I felt that I was educated enough, and prepared to do one in my house.
Until the day I did the cleansing, nothing in the house had bothered us. The house was a mix of living people and people who had yet to accept that they were dead. While I knew they were there, I doubt that they knew of us. Using the instructions of a random website claiming to be the number one experts in cleansings, I sat up my candles and sage stick and went to work while my parents were out one night.
For a few days, nothing happened, the house returning to silence. I was a little sad that the activity I had grown so use to was gone, but I felt positive the cleansing had worked and that I had done the right thing. Then, while standing in the same room I had done the cleansing I was talking to somebody when I noticed what looked to be a white feather or maybe dust coming toward me. I swiped at it and thought it must have gone away because I didn’t feel anything. Soon after a welt showed up just under my eye, staying for several days. Following the scratching, the banging that had only happened off and on became louder, doors slammed, cabinet doors slammed so hard the glass broke, candles would be blown out and things would move. My parents were confused over the activity, my mother seeming more willing to accept that our house was haunted than my father. Then, just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. The house went silent and several years later I moved out.
I have never forgotten the wide-eyed curiosity that living in an actual haunted house brought. I have also never forgotten what it was like to feel as if nobody would understand me or believe me. Children have wild imaginations and teens often look for ways to get attention. I was neither, but I always felt as if I would be treated as such.
As an adult my research has continued. I know that there are spirits walking among us and I’m always curious as to where and why. While my equipment has changed and my knowledge has grown by leaps and bounds deep inside I’m still the wide-eyed kid putting a tape recorder on a Christmas tree box hoping to catch something.