Ghost Friends

Thanks to Holly Bell for this story! 

One of the warnings that is given to paranormal investigators and ghost hunters who are just starting out in the field is never to invite spirits to follow you home.  This is so that the spirit does not become attached to the person.  The idea is that you would not invite a total stranger into your home without caution and since ghosts are the souls of people who have passed on, you do not want to encourage them to take up residence with you either.  Unless you know the spirit well or have a previous relationship with the person from when they were alive, it’s generally not considered wise to let them into your sacred space.  However, just as with everything, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Holly Bell is a clairaudient paranormal investigator.  Although she has seen apparitions, she mostly hears whispers and collects EVPs.  Holly started her paranormal investigation group about five years ago with another friend of hers who is also an empath.  You can check out her paranormal videos on YouTube.

A couple of years ago, Holly was investigating her former professor’s home.  The professor had lived peacefully in the building for years.  When he became empathic and psychically aware after a near-death experience, he started noticing that his old house was full of ghosts.  Unfortunately, he was terrified of them and decided to sell the place.  Before the deal was closed, he asked Holly to come over and investigate.

After Holly had been in the house a few minutes, the professor asked, “Well?  Why are they here?  What do they want?”

“They want to know why you hate them.  They don’t mean you any harm,” Holly answered.  “Even though they’re dead, they’re just peacefully living out their afterlife here.”

As she continued to explore the house, a young female spirit approached Holly.  The spirit said her name was Sarafina.  She wore a dress that looked like something from the Little House on The Prairie books.  Holly estimated that she was from the 1800s.  The little girl ghost had played with the professor’s niece when she visited, but since he was going to be leaving soon, she was going to be all alone.  The spirit did not seem ready to move on to the light.  During the visit, Holly took a liking to Sarafina and invited her to come home with her instead.

Another time, Holly was doing an investigation in Sacramento Historic City Cemetery in California when she came across the spirit of a cavalry soldier.  He introduced himself as John.  When she was leaving the area where he was, he called for her to come back.  Perhaps he wasn’t stuck haunting the cemetery and might have just been passing through because he decided to follow her home.  Holly has had readings with two other psychics who have confirmed this spirit by name.  John is not ready to cross over and has taken up the role of protecting Holly.


If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send me an email to theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

For more ghost stories, paranormal phenomena, and updates, follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nightfall at Pennhurst Asylum

This past summer, my husband and I won two tickets for a public ghost tour of Pennhurst State School and Hospital from the Pennhurst Paranormal Association. Timothy Smith runs Pennhurst Paranormal Association and maintains Pennhurst, conducting ghost tours and teaching visitors about the asylum’s tragic history. Tim and the staff of Pennhurst Paranormal Association are experienced, professional paranormal investigators. Everyone was kind and patient in answering both my questions and those of other tour members. The tour was focused on finding evidence of hauntings through the use of ghost hunting equipment, which they also showed us how to use. Pennhurst Paranormal Association hosts both public and private ghost tours of Pennhurst State School and Hospital.

The drive through the picturesque historical town soon ended, bringing George and me to a stop on a dark, country road next to a water tower. Thankfully, Tim sent one of his team to come and find us because we might have never found the place in time for the tour. Pennhurst Asylum was designed to be an isolated location, which undoubtedly helped in keeping the truth behind it a secret for many years. We had to drive down a winding path through the woods just to make it onto the campus, and it was already after dark.

I felt a shift in the atmosphere from the second I saw the dimly lit structures of the buildings looming above. I was thankful that there was a large touring group that night. After having done some preliminary research online, I was anxious about going. Before now, everything that I had done with ghosts had been low-key or happenstance. This was my first time being with a professional group of paranormal investigators that had ghost hunting equipment. We toured two buildings that night, Mayflower Hall and Devon Hall.

In the first building, we went into a kind of common hall where patients used to congregate. Paint was peeling off the walls and water pooled on the floor in some areas from recent rain. Members of the Pennhurst Paranormal Association told us background history about Pennhurst. The place was known for “womb to tomb care.” Many of the occupants spent their whole lives in Pennhurst, whether they needed to be there or not. Family members were encouraged to drop their children and relatives off and told not to look back as return visits might only upset the patient and disrupt the treatment.

Images of people being abandoned by their families, helpless to stop any ill treatment that might befall them filled me with unspeakable horror. I asked why these spirits were still here. Why hadn’t they moved on after so many years? Pennhurst was officially closed down in 1987. This prompted a discussion about hauntings and whether the spirits see the place as we do now.

Without proper funding, Pennhurst was understaffed, poorly managed, and incredibly overcrowded. This allowed for the medical staff to abuse their patients and for patients to accidentally harm themselves or each other. Severe punishments even included surgically removing the patient’s teeth so that they could not bite in defense. This was done without anesthetics. The mentally disabled were not seen as equals and it was easy for the staff to disregard them.

One story that was told to me was about a telephone lineman who was working on repairing the phone system when a patient came up to him and started swaying. After a few minutes, the patient began banging his head into the doorframe. The lineman hailed a nurse who was passing by for help, but she said that she didn’t have time to take care of the patient because she was so overwhelmed with work already. Meanwhile, the patient that she refused to help had blood pouring from the self-inflicted gash on his head.

We had been in the common room for a few minutes when I felt someone take my hand. Thinking it was my husband, I turned around to see that he was standing a few feet away from me. There was no one standing either next to or behind me. I jumped, pulling my hand back. When I brought this up to the tour guides, they said that people often reported being touched or having someone grab their hand in that room. They said that teenage boys used to be here in this section and that was their way of showing affection. We also got some cold spots in that room.

Next, they brought us to Emily’s room. Emily is the spirit of a sweet, thirteen-year-old girl who has the mental capabilities of a five-year-old. There were various dolls and stuffed animals on her bed. We communicated with her via an EMF (Electromagnetic Field) reader which spiked every time she got excited or came near us. She seemed to prefer females and enjoyed when the female tour guides and I took turns singing nursery rhymes to her.

While I was standing in that room, I suddenly saw a small, green orb. I followed it into the darkness down the hallway into another room, but it disappeared. I came back to Emily’s room. At that point, we said goodbye to Emily and went back outside to join other group members who were planning on visiting Devon Hall. Devon Hall is known for having great EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Tim, the association’s leader, took us there.

At one point, I remarked that I kept hearing what I thought to be footsteps following behind us. Tim said that while that was possible, it was more likely that I was hearing the steady dripping of water down the wall. He was accustomed to hearing these noises, so he could debunk them. He even showed me where the water was coming from so that I could see for myself. While we had sufficient light to see by, this was mostly provided by flashlights that we carried along with us during the tour.

First, we went upstairs to inspect some bathrooms in Devon Hall where they had gotten great EVPs in the past. I sometimes get mental flashes of spirits when I enter rooms. It kind of reminds me of taking a picture because I only see the ghost for a second or two before they vanish. When we entered the bathroom, I saw an image of a little boy sitting in the bathtub. I grabbed George as he went to lean against it.

“Don’t sit there!” I hissed. He had no idea what I had seen until I told him later. I didn’t want him to upset the spirit.

Tim showed us how EVPs were made. He had a recorder that would only record when someone was speaking. He would ask a question, wait twenty seconds, and then ask the next question. Later, when he would play the recording back to the group, the ghostly voices would show up in between Tim’s questions. Since the recorder only records when someone is speaking, in theory, there should have been no gap between Tim’s questions during the playback.

The bathroom was a horrible place. Tim asked if the ghosts were repentant of what they had done during their lives, but they seemed to be proud of how they molested and raped young boys. They staked out claims on stalls and threatened to harm Tim if he entered them. Clutching my St. Michael pendant for protection, I envisioned a circle of white light around our group. Thankfully, I had managed to convince George to carry a protective talisman as well. The creepiest thing about this whole situation was that while I didn’t hear anything while I was standing there, Tim’s EVP recordings showed that there was someone in the bathroom with us. This someone was getting angrier at what they took as an intrusion of their territory.

We trudged down to the basement. At this point, I was looking at the cracked plaster and broken sinks and thinking to myself that I should have brought a face mask since I am super sensitive to dust. We entered another bathroom. Apparently, they are a great source for EVPs. We had a brief discussion about whether this was because the water is a good source of energy for spirits. Then we started another EVP session.

Tim made contact with another spirit who obliged us by reading the writing that was on people’s shirts to show that he was there. Then Tim asked if he would go and see if he could get Dr. Fear for us. That was actually the man’s name, although it would have been an appropriate nickname for him as well since he instilled fear in his patients. His soul apparently came here after his passing. I wondered how this was an appropriate punishment for his evil deeds since he seemed to be able to lord over the suffering souls that were still trapped here.

Moments after Tim called for Dr. Fear, I got a flash image of a spectacled man in a lab coat walking over to our group. In my vision, he came over and placed his hands on both a young woman’s and my husband’s shoulder as if he was peering over a group of medical interns. Just then George and the young woman complained of feeling a cold spot right where I had seen Dr. Fear appear.

Tim began asking Dr. Fear questions. Dr. Fear stated that while he remembered who Tim was, he didn’t really care about his presence one way or the other. One of the female tour guides asked if he was a real doctor. The ghost half chuckled into the EVP recorder. Of course, he was a real doctor. The way that he said it made it seem as if he thought she had asked a stupid question. She had been trying to insult him, but he had dismissed it.

One of the things we had discussed were the missing bodies of patients. Patients had died or gone missing and their bodies had never been accounted for. It was thought that they might have been buried somewhere on the campus in unmarked graves. Tim asked Dr. Fear what happened to the bodies.

“I burnt them,” crackled over the recorder, followed by low, eerie laughter.

I felt cold all over after that. Tim offered to keep taking us around the buildings. The next stop would have been back to the Mayflower building. There was the ghost of a nurse on one of the upper floors who was reported to administer ghostly shots to people. George and I decided to leave. We still had a three-hour drive back home and I felt emotionally and spiritually sapped after that encounter in the basement.

I was exhausted for days following this visit, even with my spiritual cleansings. Tim later told me that was one of their strongest EVP sessions. While I don’t consider myself a Medium per say, I do feel like spirits tend to manifest strongly when I’m around. This was easily the most terrifying ghostly encounter that I have ever had. There is nothing like being in a silent, near pitch dark room and having someone who you cannot see answer you.

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Emily’s Room – Mayflower Hall

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

Follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill for more updates and paranormal phenomena!

 

 

 

Stay in Bed

Age eleven to thirteen was a time of great upheaval for me.  My maternal grandfather passed away and my parents separated shortly after.  I switched schools first for bullying issues and then because my mother and I moved to the Bronx so that we would be closer to her store.  That very same summer, my mother’s sister, Roseanne, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  My first week of Junior High school ended with her funeral.

Aunt Roseanne and I were always close.  She knew the type of clothes and toys that I liked.  She was one of the adults that actually listened to what I said when I talked.  She encouraged me in school, listened to my dreams, supported my love for imaginary play, and was always affectionate with me and my mother.  We were heartbroken when she died.

A few months after her passing, I was sitting in my room working on a short story when I suddenly caught the scent of her perfume.  This was not a flowery fragrance that can be mistaken for a scented candle or an air spray.  Aunt Roseanne always wore Chanel #5.  It was such a distinct aroma that I actually stopped what I was doing and spoke her name aloud.

Of course there was no answer, but it had broken through my concentration.  Now completely spooked and seeing how late it was, I decided to get ready for bed.  I didn’t mention the incident to my mom because this had happened to me before.

When my grandfather had first passed away a year earlier, I had smelt his cologne in the downstairs lobby of our apartment building when there was no one around.  The aroma had been centered around my person, not wafting through the hallway, as it would have been if someone wearing the cologne had passed by.  I had been so depressed over my grandfather’s death that mom had brought me to a grief counselor for a few sessions.  When I discussed this event with the counselor, she said that it was common for family members to experience this kind of phenomena after someone’s death.

Smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers.  A grieving person might believe that they smell a specific scent that they associate with their loved one because that soul could be trying to alert them to their presence.  However, some other schools of thought believe that it is actually the memory itself that is triggering the illusion of the aroma.  Growing up in a family that believes in the paranormal, I never discounted the possibility that my grandfather’s spirit could have been visiting me.  I was not consciously thinking of either my grandfather or my aunt at the time that I experienced these phenomena.  Each time the experience caught me off guard and happened when I was alone.

After I went to bed the night that I smelled Aunt Roseanne’s perfume, I felt anxious.  The event had been unsettling.  I sat up, ready to go get my mother, but something told me to stay in bed.  Lying back down, I tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t.  Again, I desired to get up.  This time, I thought I heard a soft voice say, “Stay in bed.”  Two seconds after closing my eyes, there was a loud crash.

Mom rushed into my room.  Pieces of my ceramic ceiling lamp littered the floor.  My desk chair was positioned directly under this lamp.  A half hour earlier, I had been sitting there when I had smelled my Aunt Roseanne’s perfume.  After the mess was cleaned up and I was back in bed, I told mom about the earlier phenomena and then the voice urging me to stay in bed.  Mom and I still believe that Aunt Roseanne’s spirit protected me that night.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

Sharing Space with The Dead: Life in a Historic Masonic Home

Thanks to my friend, Jeanine, for this story about her old college dorm!

Jeanine went to Dominican College in the 1990s.  At one point, she lived in a dormitory that was actually a former German Masonic residence.  Built in 1909, the building functioned as a place for retired Masons and their family members until 1983.  If a Mason was too sick or old to work, he could live there rent free.  Also, if a Mason left behind a widow and young children, this institute made sure that they were provided for after his death.  The building was converted into a dorm when Dominican College took it over in the early 1980s.

One of the rooms that Jeanine stayed in was the site of a double suicide that occurred in 1933.  As the story goes, John Ellich and Marie Kiefer had secretly eloped while living on site at the residence.  When the board found out, they decided to separate the couple by sending one of them away to live in another Masonic home.  Already in their golden years, John and Marie locked themselves in her room and committed suicide together.  Jeanine saw a male ghost in her room whom she believes might have been John Ellich.  Other friends have reported seeing Marie’s ghost.

Jeanine and her friends had numerous paranormal experiences during their time in the historical building.  Every weekend, one would smell rose-scented perfume wafting down the hallway that had no known source.  Students would hear knocking on their dorm doors, but answer them to find no one standing there.  Thinking it was their classmates trying to play a trick on them, they’d step outside to investigate, only to hear the ghostly sound of children’s laughter receding down the hall.  The building was especially creepy at night when the paranormal activity was at its height.  Even if you didn’t have a roommate, most people tried to find someone to bunk with so that they wouldn’t be alone.

Some of the creepiest areas of the building and its surrounding grounds were the porch area, the campus cemetery, the elevator, the laundry room and the basement.  At the front of the building was a screened in porch that was always uncomfortable.  It could be ninety degrees outside, but the temperature would drop sharply to freezing once you were inside the porch enclosure.  As if the place needed anything else to add to the spooky atmosphere, there’s even an old graveyard dating from around the 1900s located somewhere on the property.

Jeanine told me that no matter what button you pushed for some unknown reason, the Masonic Hall’s elevator always went automatically to the basement.  Jeanine and her friends used to do their laundry in pairs because you would often get the sense that you were being watched.  Strange banging noises and screaming would ensue only to cease as quickly as they began.

There was a section of the basement that was closed off, but still accessible if one tried hard enough.  One time, Jeanine and a friend thought it would be fun to explore it.  They saw what looked like morgue slots lining the wall and decided to each take a turn climbing inside.  Jeanine says she has no idea what possessed her to do that, nor would she ever do something that crazy now.  She could have gotten stuck or worse, but she was young and it seemed adventurous at the time.

As soon as her friend closed the door on her, she heard loud wailing and scratching noises coming from all around.  Banging on the door behind her head, she started screaming for her friend to let her out.  Thankfully, the slot popped open and she and her friend ran back upstairs.  Jeanine avoided that area of the basement after that incident.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

 

 

A Ghostly Interlude

This happened to me when I was a teenager growing up in the Bronx.  My family lived on Campbell Drive in the second floor apartment of a two-family house.  Built in 1942, it even still had the original glass doorknobs and other structural furnishings from that era.

From the beginning, Mom and I sensed that the place was haunted.  We’d see shadows moving out of the corner of our eyes.  The hallway lights that were activated by motion sensors would come on when no one was around.  Sometimes late at night, we’d get the feeling that there were people talking in the living room.  It was that kind of elevated energy vibe that you experience whenever you are at a party or in a restaurant.  The second we stepped into the living room, the atmosphere would return to normal.

One night, I was waiting for my mother to get home from work.  I was sitting on the couch deeply engrossed in a book when I suddenly heard piano music.  Before that moment, ghosts were the furthest thing from my mind.  The neighbors weren’t home, so it wasn’t a radio or someone else’s television.  The music was coming from our old, out of tune piano that we almost never played.

Steadying myself, I looked over to my left.  Just as I expected, the piano was closed and no one was sitting there.  I stared at it as the eerie music continued to flow beneath the invisible musician’s hands.  The tune was unfamiliar to me.  After another minute, there was a loud jarring sound as if someone had purposely banged on the keys, then the music stopped as quickly as it had begun.

I swallowed once or twice, the oppressive silence roaring in my ears.  Nodding, I got up and said, “Well, so much for watching the electric bill!”  Then I turned on the television, switched on all of the lights, and waited for mom to get home.

 

A Strange Welcome: Marillac Hall, Part 1

I’ve had my share of ghostly encounters and strange experiences.  So, I was understandably nervous about moving into the oldest and most haunted dorm on the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s campus.  What made it even creepier was that I was going to be there a week before all of the other students because I was helping with college orientation that year.  Marillac Hall was built in the late 1800s.  Everyone had a ghost story about that place, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to live in that truly beautiful, historic building.

My room was on the fourth floor of one of Marillac’s two wings.  The room was larger than the other surrounding suites.  It had originally been the floor lounge, but had been converted into another dorm room to maximize space.  This was a smaller floor and had fewer rooms than the other three levels in the building.

Every fall, my mother would spiritually cleanse my dorm room for the start of the school year by mopping the floor with perfumed water.  My then boyfriend, George, and I went down to the kitchen on the second floor.  As I turned on the sink, I sent a mental message to any spirits that might be in the building saying hello and that I was just borrowing a pot for some water.  I don’t know why I did this other than that I was nervous.  Directly after this, George and I both heard a woman calling my name from the stairwell above the kitchen.  She distinctly said, “Tara, where are you?” in a sort of sing-song voice.  Both George and I thought it was my mother and I answered, “I’m here in the kitchen.  Don’t go walking around or you’ll probably get lost. This building is confusing.”  We went up the stairs, but did not see my mother anywhere.

When I got back to the room, I asked her why she didn’t wait for me when I came up from the kitchen.  She insisted that she had never left the room.  That’s when George and I told her what we had heard.  My mother’s eyes went wide.  Our family friend, Artie, who had helped move me in, started giggling, “You’re in for a quite a year if they have already made contact with you, Honey.”

That night as I fell into an uneasy sleep, I could have sworn that I heard the doors upstairs opening and closing.  I was the only one on the floor that night, so I kept telling myself that it was the wind running through a drafty, old building.  Of course, that didn’t explain what I saw the next morning.

 

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