Q & A: Haunted Beds and HOW DO I CONTROL THIS ‘GIFT’?

Q: Let me start with: I’m not crazy.

I often feel other’s moods, and places or things that have a past. People call me when weird or bad stuff is happening in their life. And I guess that requires an explanation. My neighbor had a sister living with her and thought there might be a spirit or something in the house because her sister wasn’t sleeping well.

I don’t see spirits, but I told her I’d see if I could help ‘feel’ a presence and pray with her. I went next door, into the room she thought the spirit was. Truthfully, I felt like I was suffocating the closer I got to the room. It felt very heavy, like a struggling to breathe, and it got worse as I approached the bed.

I told my neighbor that something wasn’t right with the bed. She explained a child had died in the bed before, under suspicious circumstances. And I later learned the child had suffocated.

I’m writing you because I need advice on how to turn off the feelings/energy or whatever it is called. I work in the medical field and spend a lot of time in hospitals. If I can’t control it can you at least tell me how to manage it so I don’t get overwhelmed by people’s feelings/emotions/illnesses?

I tried meditation, but it seems to make it worse. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. All I know is that I have to be able to deal without it wearing me down. Even being in a room full of people is exhausting. I would appreciate any advice. Again, I am completely sane and I know how crazy this sounds.

Sarah

A:

Hi Sarah!

All this all sounds completely normal to me.

Spirit often tells us how they died by sharing a physical feeling. Chest pain if they died by heart attack, shortness of breath to indicate suffocation (like you experienced), etc.  But in your neighbor’s case, I think it was the bed you felt.

Is the bed haunted?

No.

Allow me to share a similar story.

I recently spent the night with a friend –and for no reason– woke in the wee hours feeling very anxious.

I went to bed happy. But now my heart pounded. My thoughts raced. I felt fidgety. Most inexplicably, my fingers wanted to shred paper to relieve anxiety.

Eventually the feeling passed and I fell asleep, but not without confusion. I’d slept there many times without incident.

“My sister stayed over before you,” my friend admitted the next morning.

Same room, same bed. And yes, her sister suffered moderate to severe anxiety. And not just that —- she wadded tissues.

“I cleaned up before you came. But seriously, Jenn. There were shredded tissues everywhere.”

She also had a confession.

She didn’t wash the sheets.

Interesting, right?

So this isn’t about a ghost. It’s about energy.

The tingling well-being that spreads among people gathered in prayer.

The heaviness people feel in cluttered antique stores.

Or the tension that lingers after a fighting couple has left the room.

Objects carry residual energy, too. It’s science. Stand next to a campfire, you’ll feel heat. Technically, that’s thermal energy carried through electromagnetic waves, but whatever. Your hot skin proves the energy exists.

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It just changes form, right?

So whatever trauma happened on that mattress is still radiating in some form. In simplest terms, the sister felt it in one way, and you felt it in another.

Can objects be ‘haunted’?

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Yes.

(But that’s another blog entry.)

Onto your second question.

How to control.

Clearly you’re gifted, Sarah. And wise to seek a handle on this.

Hospitals are overwhelming even if you’re not psychic!

I won’t tell you what to do, because everyone is different. I can only tell you what I do.

You mentioned being a praying person.

I am, too. So that’s where I always start.

I pray for help any time I need it, and often out loud.

Prayer and meditation open us spiritually, so you just gotta be super clear about who you’re letting in.

Remember that scene in Ghost when all those spirits lined up to talk to Oda Mae?

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The Spirit world is sentient. They hear and listen. 

So you literally have to ask for exactly what you want/need.

I have a widely-respected, professional medium friend who repeatedly asks Spirit and her angels to PLEASE not (visually) present in front of her because it would freak her out and then she couldn’t effectively do her work. And you know what? They don’t.

So before going to work, your prayer might be:

Dear God, thank you so much for entrusting me with this gift. But it really does overwhelm me sometimes. Please help me discern your will. And protect me from unwanted spiritual attention/distraction so I can do my best today. 

— and all beings not here for my greater good please go away.

(or something like that).

Amen.

You’ll be absolutely amazed how effective this is, saying it out loud.

Go ahead.

Try it.

And remember to mean it.

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I’ll wait.

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Oftentimes you’ll feel an actual LIFT in the space, like a big air vacuum sucking out the funk. That’s not your imagination. That’s you taking control of your personal space.

Which leads me to your next point:

Feeling overwhelmed in a room full of people.

Girl.

Don’t I know it.

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Like a slo-mo chokehold, right?

I especially feel it in malls, clubs, and casinos — or any situation where people fill emotional voids by artificial means.

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So (so!)  many people suffer this and don’t even know why. But it has to do with that energy we talked about earlier.

Still.

It is my unwavering belief that we have this ability to help others.

I suspect Healthcare called you for your innate ability to comfort and connect. It’s where you’ll shine the most.

So ask for help each day and let Spirit do their thing.

Then allow yourself to be a vessel through which divine guidance can flow.

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And shine on, girl.

HealthCARE needs you.

 

love,  Jennifer

 

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If YOU reading have a paranormal or metaphysical question, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Q & A: Alzheimers and ‘Lost’ Souls.

Q: Hi Jennifer. How can someone, like that ghost you encountered from the 1700’s, still be HERE? Why don’t they find peace? Why are they stuck? —Christina, Houston

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it.

(She’s referring to THIS experience if you haven’t yet read it.)

My encounter suggests poor Jose’s been stuck in some rocky, Mexican purgatory 300+ years. But that also supposes a linear timeline. (You can read more about the space/time problem here. )

Please remember Heather had a ghosty run-in that night, too.

So.

What if the land was responsible for our mutual paranormal experience, and not a ghost?

(bear with me.)

Supposedly, we have several spiritual “hot spots” here on Earth:

Sedona, Arizona

Machu Picchu, Peru

Ayer’s Rock, Australia

Mount Sinai, Egypt

Glastonbury, England

. . . to name a few.

I’ve not been to any of these places. And I’m not a fan of the word “vortex.” ( like, at all.) Makes me think of nutball New Agers and Bermuda Triangle enthusiasts. Still, their theories are somewhat provable by ley lines, plate tectonics, and magnetic fields (all real).

So maybe those locations– as well as the little pueblo we visited in Mexico– have some geomagnetic or spatial components that make the proverbial veil thinner there?

I don’t know enough to take a stance.

But I DO know many describe Sedona’s atmosphere the way I described Tepotzotlán’s: charged.  I also know when I’m about to experience some serious ghost action the air around me crackles like polyester from a hot dryer.

Maybe I need to go to Sedona?

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Q: Dear Jennifer, I read that when a person has Alzheimers and they pass, they are in such a confused state of mind that they don’t completely cross over. Do the deceased know how to cross over even though their minds are altered? Thank you for any answers you can help me with. — Vicki, Texas 

Hey, Vicki.

I’m no brain expert. But really, who is. Even top neurologists admit limited understanding. What’s it, 10% comprehension or something silly like that?

I personally feel those suffering with Alzheimers already have one foot on the Other Side.

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I witnessed it with my grandfather, his beloved essence evaporating one painful month at a time.

He stared past me like a stranger while I searched his once vibrant blue eyes.

Remember me, Paw Paw? It’s Jennifer. You used to carry me on your shoulders? Remember how we played in the pool? You drove me back and forth to cheerleader practice and brought dinner to  play rehearsals? You drove us to Disney World, treated the world to dinner. You were our living Santa Claus, Paw Paw. Remember your great-granddaughter, Sophia? Isn’t she lovely? Paw Paw, are you in there?

One time, near the end, the fog cleared.

He looked at Sophia, then me.

“Well!” he smiled, some twinkle restoring in his Carolina Blue eyes. “She’s wonderful!”  He looked at me with that wonder reserved for the elderly, curious where time went, his expression saying look how big she’s gotten!

Paw Paw opened his bear arms wide and she fell in.

But his eyes died before the hug finished.

I bit my lip so I didn’t cry.

At least he saw her. Really saw her. That one last time.

Did his brain allow him through those precious seconds?

Or did God.

And was that a gift for me?

Or for him.

I’m no doctor.

But I know in the physical body, the brain rules supreme. What happens after death is spiritual— therefore God’s–domain.

Human rules and vulnerabilities do not apply.

No wayno how are dementia patients bumping into each other in heaven, asking for directions. No. They are whole.

They’re home.

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I love and miss you, Paw Paw. I hope your heaven is custom fitted with a recliner and football game, turned up extra loud. 

Thanks for your question, Vicki. Hope this helps.

If YOU reading have a paranormal or metaphysical question, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.

Love,

Jennifer

******

P.S. Has anyone been to one of those vortexy places listed up there and felt something unusual? Let me know!

 

 

Q & A: Long Island Medium and the VOID.

Q: Hi Jennifer, I’ve watched the show, “Long Island Medium” and believe that woman, Theresa, is the real deal. I’ve heard her often say, “so and so wants you to know they’re at peace with our father in heaven.” My question is: HOW can a soul be at peace and still be with us on Earth? After a person dies who has God in his or her heart, HOW do they move from the spirit realm to our physical one? —Christina, Houston

Interesting you use the phrase “real deal.” A friend of mine received an unsolicited reading from Theresa and actually ended up on that show. And that’s the exact phrase she used. Real deal.

“So and so wants you to know they’re at peace with our father in heaven” is a comfort phrase for the living. She wouldn’t say that to someone who believed differently, because not everyone defines the afterlife that way.

(And that’s okay.)

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As for moving between realms –well– that’s a deeper question.

If I start talking ‘dimensions’ and quantum theory this’ll read science like fiction.

But this I know for sure.

Human rules for space and time DO NOT APPLY to the Other Side. So:

1. Take all your assumptions.
2. Crumple them into ball.
3. (Cue En Vogue.)
4. No, you’re never gonna get it.
5. Never ever gonna get it.

Why?

Because our brains are hardwired for linear timelines and compartmental definitions of space.

1 to 10.
A to Z.
Left to right.
Once upon a time, the end.

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Pragmatists will NEVER be comfortable with these conversations.

But here’s the deal.

I’ve personally experienced the VOID. That wordless place between space and time.  I KNOW it exists. Though exist might not be the word.

Few years ago, we were watching tv when the living room –and all daytime noises– evaporated.

Like someone flipped a switch.

Radiant peace undulated in my periphery, filling the space like warm liquid. The room was an illusion.

I saw my beloved grandfather across the room, next to my little girl. Not as an opaque person; but a shimmery outline, his flat cap confirming his presence.

Grandpa?

I couldn’t talk.
Didn’t have to.

My Grandpa died. But he was right there. And this was COMPLETELY unlike any visit I’d had before.

Was this a place?
. . .  or the absence of one?

Had I slipped into the Divine? Who made this happen?! And why wasn’t he sitting next to me?

We lack vocabulary for these things.

I recall that part in Eat, Pray, Love where Elizabeth Gilbert experienced it, too:

“Simply put, I got pulled through the wormhole of the Absolute, and in that rush I suddenly understood the workings of the universe completely. I left my body, I left the room, I left the planet, I stepped through time and I entered the void. I was inside the void and I was looking at the void, all at the same time. The void was a place of limitless peace and wisdom, the void was conscious and intelligent. The void was God. But not in a gross, physical way–not like I was Liz Gilbert stuck inside a chunk of God’s thigh muscle. I was just part of God.”

I remember reading that bit, and feeling like YA! You go witcha bad author self, Liz! THAT!

People of different faiths who’ve had near death experiences describe the variations of the same.

Who’s to say Spirit can’t come and go as they please? Or that God doesn’t encourage them to pop in and give us love nudges every once in awhile?

My advice?  Try not to overthink the HOWs.

We probably couldn’t grasp the answer anyway.

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Thanks for these questions, Christina. I’ll answer the rest of them in the next week or so.

If YOU reading have a paranormal or metaphysical question, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.

Thank you!
Love,
Jennifer

Q & A: Mexican Ghosts Speak Spanish

Q: Hi Jennifer. My grandma died last year. We miss her a lot! My mom says she sometimes catches flashes of her, which I believe, but why can no one else see her? Sometimes I think I sense her, but I’m really not sure. When you experience a ‘ghost’ how can you tell it’s not your imagination? –Emily; New Braunfels.

Great question.

But let me answer the last part first.

Imagination is when you’re watching a scary movie and too scared to get up and pee. Intuition is when you open the bathroom door and see a man walk through the wall.

If a ghost, angel, or deceased loved one appears, it’s my experience that (most) everyone in the room will experience something. Even if they later try to reason it away.

HOWEVER. Only those with clairvoyant tendencies would (likely) see it.

Imagine this scenario:

A few friends gather at Peter’s house, drinking and chatting  when a sudden presence fills the room. So strong that Peter stops talking and stares at the wall.

Peter: Wait. What was that. Did ya’ll see that?

Susan: See what?

Peter: A man. There by the window.  I swear I saw something?

Edmund: I dunno, but I just got the chills.

Lucy: Right when you said that, I smelled cigarettes. Did someone say ‘Harold?’

Susan:  Ya’ll are crazy. I’m leaving.

Peter: Please don’t. The queso’s almost ready.

Susan: No, I don’t feel right. Something’s up.  Excuse me a sec.

Susan calls home, learns her son sliced his foot and needs stitches ASAP. Peter researches to find the original homeowner, Harold Smith, a heavy smoker, drank himself to death in 1899. No one likes Peter’s house anymore.

The End.

Okay, that’s silly and oversimplified, but you get the point. ‘Clairvoyant’ is one of those loaded words, but it just means ‘clear seeing’ and is by far the easiest extra-sensory perception to glamorize on film. But spirit detection is rarely down to eyes alone.

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Intuition/Psychic ability breaks down to:

  1. Seeing
  2. Feeling
  3. Hearing
  4. Knowing
  5. Smelling/Tasting

Peter saw. Edmund felt. Lucy smelled AND heard. And Susan — our skeptic– demonstrates intuition isn’t a woo-woo phenomenon. I personally think clear knowing is the strongest, most trustworthy of the four. Sometimes you just KNOW. You don’t know how. You just do. And inevitably it’s about something really, really important, right?

Every person alive has at least one of these gifts whether they ignore it or not. Those with a decent command of all four are the world’s ‘psychics’ or ‘intuitives.’ Those who claim they do and tell people lies for money and attention are charlatans.

Know the difference.

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Now I’ll share something that really happened.

Picture it. Estado Morelos 2008.

My mom, our friend Heather, and I traveled to Mexico for a family wedding and shared a room in this hotel overlooking scenic Tepoztlán.

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Pretty, right?

It was also FULL of Spirit. Like, everywhere. In the streets. In the market. In church. The entire city felt charged. Not haunted. Just charged. (Frenchman St. in NOLA’s French Quarter feels similar.)

I felt it. Heather felt it. Mom felt it. But it was in our hotel room we encountered a pushy, dead Mexican.

I woke in the middle of the night because I felt –I dunno– something.

Imagine squeezing a balloon. Not enough to pop it, but enough to think you might. That’s what woke me– something pressing against my subconscience. I opened my eyes and pulled up on my elbows.

The room felt still.

I remember being hot. There was no a/c so they’d given us fans, but really, they just made noise. We’d opened balcony doors to stave off heat, but there was no wind either. Only moonlight, a whirring fan, and the distant chirping of foreign bugs. I kicked off the covers. And that’s when I noticed the bottom of my mattress, sunk down.

Like someone sitting there.

I yanked in my feet. Let me assure you the mattress was hard as a damn rock. It’d take something with mass to make it sink that deep. I stared at the empty (yet occupied) space with a pounding heart.

The air got crackly.

Oh hell no, I thought. LEAVE.

But that guy —I could tell it was a guy— didn’t budge. And he was super happy I acknowledged him. Because then he started talking. FAST.

A quick word about Spirits talking: Rarely do you hear them outside yourself –like you’d hear someone next to you–talking. You hear it inside. But it’s completely different from your brain voice. Does that make sense? It’s almost like a super loud thought, yet you know it’s not coming from you.

The cool brown tiles felt good against my feet. I slipped to the bathroom and shut the door, quickAnd do you know that cabrón followed me to the toilet?!  I wasn’t imagining things either because rapid unfamiliar Spanish zipped through my conscience like ticker tape. I caught a few words.

. . . mil setecientos . . .

“Go away!” I whisper-hissed, too scared to look up in case he manifested in front of me.

. . . José.

“Váyase José!” I waved toilet paper at him.

. . . de cólera, he implored.

“Eres muerto, Jose!” ( Jesus Cristo! How do you say go to the light en Español!?) My mind raced. “Vaya con Dios!” I still wouldn’t look up.

“Who are you talking to?” I heard my mother.

And then he was gone.

I re-entered the room to Mom and Heather, wide awake.

“There’s a damn ghost in there telling me he died of cholera in the 1700s.” I plopped defensively on my now un-sunken mattress.

And then it got interesting.

In full disclosure, I need to let you know Heather is a professional medium and my trusted go-to when I want a reading. She’s also a big ol’ chicken who gets really uncomfy outside the loving presence of angels and deceased loved ones.

Poor girl had been lying there hours. Unable to sleep. Overwhelmed by images of bones, mountains, native people, and snatches of conversation from long ago. And she couldn’t shut it off.

“They obviously don’t sage here,” she sighed, sitting up, fluffing her pillow.

Everyone knows how bad it sucks to lie there exhausted in the wee hours, mind churning like a hamster wheel. Let me tell you it’s 1000 times worse as a psychic. It’s like a movie reel shining bright, constant, moving pictures behind your closed eyes. And you can’t do CRAP about it except wait for it to be over.

Mom later confessed she’d seen a man hovering over Heather in the doorway, but didn’t say anything.

We turned on the lights and waited several hours for breakfast.

( P.S. Local Mexican coffee mops the floor with Folgers.)

That same trip,  Mom and I hiked two, steep, dangerous hours to the top of an ancient pyramid and encountered –I have no choice but to believe– an angel.

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But I’ll save that story for another time.

Next time you say prayers Emily, ask Grandma to let you know she’s there. Maybe you’ll dream about her that night. That’s a form of clairvoyance, too. In the meantime, believe your momma.

Love,
Jennifer

*****

If you have a question regarding paranormal or metaphysical phenomena, please send it to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’ll archive and answer as appropriate, when I can.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath a London Pub.

One of my weirdest run-ins with the Other Side happened in London, 2000. I still don’t know how to classify it. Nothing like it’s happened since. What makes it super odd is that the SAME thing happened to my mom when she visited in early 2001.

In the exact same spot. A whole year later. And I hadn’t told her a thing.

Keep reading.

Christopher and I were still dating back then. He knew the West End as well as any cabby; and on days out we explored pubs, markets, museums, and parks. Proud to show me his city, he dragged me around London’s alleyways by the hand, always walking faster than me. One afternoon he took me to a stunning old pub called Lord Moon of the Mall.

London has a gazillion beautiful pubs, but this one’s probably top 10. It wasn’t one of those low-beamed ceiling, crackling fireplace, pint-with-the-neighbor cozy kinda pubs. No. We walked into an expansive room of a hundred small tables canopied by towering, ornate ceilings and grand, arched doorways. Patrons unwound beneath giant bookshelves and the watchful eyes of portrait Noblemen, peering from their giant gilded frames.

We ordered beer from a long, polished bar and found a cushioned spot in the back room. A barkeep removed empty pints and dirty ashtrays from our table so we could get on with our date. Back then we were still getting to know one another, so we talked about everything but the future we didn’t realize we’d share. I wasn’t in touch with my ‘gift’ yet, so we didn’t talk about that either.

A few beers in, I had to pee.

The loos were downstairs.

I distinctly remember walking downstairs happy happy. Up there was a guy I REALLY liked, and here we were, out on a beautiful day in London’s belly.

I descended a narrow, carpeted stairwell then reached a little hallway.

And that’s when it happened.

The din of a crowded pub, the entire world around me — GONE.

Sadness consumed me whole. It was dark. Women were crying. Reaching out. But not just women. Wailing. On both sides of me. It was too dark to see. They felt hidden, forgotten. Their collective, profound desperation entered my cells. I was still present me –I mean I wasn’t someone else from another time– but the pub was gone.

I stood there frozen, eyes filling with tears. (Sometimes now, when I’m deeply tapped in, I sorta get sucked in a daze while getting info.) It was like that in that downstairs hallway, but body-wide. I physically couldn’t move.

Excuse me.

Annoyed Londoners skirted around me. The noises came back. Clinking glasses, laughter upstairs. Christopher!

Pardon me.”

The sadness sucked away. Like a vacuum. The darkness gone. Just like that.

And I was TOTALLY in the way. I shuffled to the bathroom stunned, like what in the F dash dash dash just happened?!? My confusion amplified by having been extremely jolly just moments before, upstairs chatting with my future husband. Now tears streaked my cheeks, my senses fatigued by something horrid –I suspected–from a long time ago.

And yes, I was sober.

Anyway.

A year later, my family came to visit, and we took them to that pub. What happened before wasn’t really on my mind. –Not until we had to go the bathroom.

Mom and I walked downstairs.

We reached the hallway.

She paused, a strange look on her face.

I didn’t say anything. I kinda just waited for it. Thankfully, it didn’t remove her from the premises.

“I don’t like it down here,” she frowned. “Do you feel that?” She looked up and around, touching the dark wood panelling.

No, I didn’t. Not this time.

“Let’s go,” she shuddered, pulling me into the bathroom. “I don’t like it down here.”

*******

That was 15 years ago. I called her this morning to ask if she remembered that day. She did –a bit.

“I didn’t like it at all,” she recalled via FaceTime. “I felt apprehensive walking down there. Then immediate fear. It was dungeon-like, I remember.”

Now, I’ve visited that pub several times since then. That creepiness only happened once. And I still don’t know how to define it.

I don’t know the history of that building, nor the land it was built on. God knows every patch of London has a past. Maybe someone reading knows.

Also, selecting an image for this post was difficult — a picture of the pub would conjure a warm fuzzy desire for cold beer and international travel, so that won’t do. Plus, I never ‘saw’ those trapped, wailing people.

Feeling was enough.
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*****
Author’s note: I’m visiting London next month. Maybe I can pop in and snap a photo of that hallway.

UPDATE: Watch Your Back, Case in San Marcos, Texas

6:15 pm.

“Why’d you want to come back here?” Mom asked, sipping her wine.

I laughed.

She wasn’t being rude. She was right.

A few weeks back, a male ghost ran past this very spot, causing me some verbal unladylikeness after a very uncomfortable night. Freakiest house vibe to date. Absolute certainty of icky spirits. Her question was legit.

Why go back?

Two main reasons.

1. Mom and I are kinda buddies now.

and

2. After I published my experience in their house (which you can read here), I got calls, IMs, emails, texts, (one reader even came to the freaking library) asking in various shades of nice: what exactly did you do to help these people?

When the first person asked, I answered objectively. They wanted confirmation of ghosts, they got confirmation of ghosts. But when the tenth person asked –well– I got a little defensive. I’m sorry, had I done something wrong? Did they not read the entry where I clearly explain what I do and don’t do?

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I stewed for a bit. Maybe a few bits. Then realized, people just wanted closure– the Where Are They Now? The NOW WHAT.

And that’s fair.

I unwadded my panties and marched (okay, drove) to the County Clerk’s office with that horrid female entity still fresh in my mind. Grey hair, big uncontained boobs. Late 1970s/early 80s timeframe. The house wasn’t old. Pinpointing her shouldn’t be difficult, right?

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Wrong.

Snaps to people who do this often. County Records are NO JOKE. Especially researching acreage that’s been divided and sold creating multiple property deeds AND you’re working backwards in time. (Shout out to my friend Emily who drove up to help me!)

Three hours and one chewed up pen later, we had a list of previous owners– all married couples. I recorded names, dates, looked up pictures, researched obits. All but one couple were deceased. Then –in the spirit of if you’re gonna do something, do it RIGHT– I located folks who actually knew these people. Neighbors. Friends. Acquaintences.

“She was a heavy smoker and did like a drink, ” one lady told me over the phone, referring to her friend that lived there in the 90s.

I sat taller, scribbling notes. THAT sounded about right.

“Oh, and a heart of gold,” she recalled fondly. “Would do anything for anybody. Treated everyone’s children like her own.”

Nope.

I slumped back down. That couldn’t be creepy lady.

And such went the rest of my little interviews. Gathered just enough info about the previous (women) owners to draw some solid conclusions.

Can I come over? —I texted Mom— Do a little update? See how the house feels?

Sure! she replied.

I drove back, this time with a clear belly. The yard felt different when I arrived. No crackly air tension. I knocked on the door.

Mom greeted with me a warm hug, and I stepped into a completely different house.

Remember that funky empty corner? A beautiful piano now occupied that space.

“This feels completely different!” I looked around, smiling at the new decor.

Plants. Art. Family Pictures. . . . it was lovely!

Isabel bounced up and gave me a hug.

“How are you?” I smiled.

“Good. But I’m still having nightmares.”

I stepped in her room. Sweet Jesus, it was clear. Light and airy. Sunny. Clean. Like a little girl’s room SHOULD feel.

Then I saw Zoey standing by the desk.

“We switched rooms,” she explained.

I felt a little tinge just then. Right below the navel.

“Oh?”

“I took her old room,” Isabel said from the doorway.

I followed Isabel across the living room, my lower belly issuing oh hells the whole way. We stepped thru her door.

Damn.

Her new room felt like her old room. A weight on my chest. An inability to take a deep breath. A certain something watching from the corner.

“What kind of nightmares are you having?”

“Real bad ones. I sleep with my mom.”

Well . . . crap. I’d hoped that praying with her and showing her how to set spiritual boundaries might’ve helped. But apparently not. Matter fact–

“Things got worse after you came,” Mom sighed. “Like 100% worse.”

We sat on the back patio, enjoying the last drops of sunshine.

“But not because of you.” She slapped a mosquito on her arm. “I mean, you just confirmed what I already knew. There were things I didn’t share before you came.”

She talked. I took notes. We drank Pinot Grigio.

” . . . I knew that a male spirit hung out on the left side of this porch. I’d also seen that old lady sitting on our couch. But we’re all more aware since that night. It’s like we see more now. It’s okay during the day, but at night, it SUCKS.”

(This was SO not the outcome I’d hoped for.)

“Well. I researched county records,” I offered. “Found out everyone who lived here before.”

“And?”

Well. I’d really hoped it’d be a nice, clean solution, like they show on TV.

1. Learn names.
2. Find pictures.
3. Shudder, recognizing creepy lady’s face.
4. Return to house, address the deceased by name.
5. Ask them to leave.
6. Everyone lives happily ever hereafter.

But no.

“The woman I encountered couldn’t have lived here before,” I explained. “I got names and dates of all previous owners. THEN I found people who knew them. All of them. And by all accounts they were lovely. First-grade teachers, decades-long church members, avid gardeners who planted extra so they could share . . . Not saying first grade teachers can’t be buttholes in the afterlife, but there’s no way any one of them is the one I felt here the other night. No way.”

We sighed into our wine.

And therein lies the rub, peeps. Spirit isn’t necessarily attached to property, it’s attached to space.

“Spirit also attaches itself to people,” I explained carefully.

But Mom understood me just fine.

“Isabel sleeps with me every night. She has violent nightmares. She’s talking to things I can’t see. She’s opened up about her abilities for the first time since meeting you, so that’s good. But I’m exhausted, Jenn, and I don’t know how to fix it.”

We sat quiet for a little bit.

So here’s another thing worth mentioning. People call me out because they want to know if they’ve got ghosts. I can do that- no problem. I’m also respectful of people’s different belief systems. How families manage their home is their business. What people do with the info I share really is up to them. Catholics may call in a priest, others may bust out sage, salt their perimeters, light candles . . . whatever. Point is: I’ve no control what happens after I leave.

Pragmatists may be thinking, screw sage, you New-Age weirdos! Call a child psychologist!

. . . an obvious suggestion if Isabel was paranoid and making things up.

But she wasn’t.

She inherited her sensitivity from Mom, and Mom called me in to triple check they weren’t nuts.

And they’re not. Not even close.

So we walked around the house together, mom and I. It was getting dark and I wanted to see if we felt the same things, room to room.

Everything felt clear, except for Isabel’s room and that freaking garage. The garage didn’t feel too bad last time, but this time? Chill bumps spread from head to toe. The concentration of energy in one particular corner literally made me dizzy.

“I can’t even work out here sometimes it’s so bad,” Mom said behind me.

What exactly did you do to help these people? repeated in my brain.

“Would you be open to having someone come out and cleanse your home?” I asked, pulling out my phone.

“God, yes.”

I immediately texted Sara, (wife, mother, medium) who helped me clear MY house a few years back. I hadn’t talked to her since then, but she responded immediately.

So.

I’ll be at the house when Sara does her thing.

Which, I suppose, means a third installment to this case.

Hopefully then, we’ll get closure, sharing a collective

14047b9cc35c7c6197c64ad0f40e571d

We’ll see.

————————–

UPDATE: 11/1/15 Mom had someone help her clear the house before we made it out there. She says everyone is doing much better and looking forward to a decent night’s sleep.

Watch Your Back: Case in San Marcos, Texas

10:15pm

“You look shell shocked.”

That’s what my husband said when I shuffled in, half-fell on the couch, and stared at the wall.

“Dahling?” he cocked his head.

Just give me a minute, my hand said.

A local mom reached out to me last week. Something was troubling their family and could I please come vibe it out. Like, quick.

Of course I could.

If you’re new to this blog, my name is Jennifer.

I’m a:

1. Mom
2. Wife
3. Author
4. Librarian

I also detect ghosts in people’s homes.

This subject can be taboo here in the Bible Belt, and to that I say please. Do you really think God, ghosts, or Aunt Betty who died in 1962 defer to geography or religion?
( . . . please. )

I’m a normal person –okay relatively normal person– who sees, hears, and feels ghosts/spirit/angels almost daily. I use this blog to chronicle these run-ins with the Other Side, plus help people which I think is the point.

Anyway, if a house is “haunted” (loaded word –don’t like it), I’ll know immediately.

For me, ghosts/spirit present in the following ways:

1. Flashes or moving orbs of light
2. Apparitions
3. Shadow People

-and what I call-

4. “Invisible Man”

By the time I left their house, I’d encounter three of the four.

Earlier that day — all day really, I felt uneasy. Like deep-down belly quivers. And here’s the thing: I don’t get nervous or scared. Not really. Not easily, anyway. I drove to their house with a squiggly belly but game face on, saying my usual prayers — always out loud: God, please be with me. Keep me clear headed, energetically safe, and please let me actually help these people (Amen).

6:45pm

No one was home when I arrived. I knocked on the door, waited a few minutes, then knocked again. The yard outside felt *crackly*. Charged. Like taking hot clothes from the dryer in November.

Mom was running late. But rather than walking around the yard or poking my nose in the garage (where things supposedly felt worst), I sat in my car, charged my phone, and listened to Barbra Streisand. (Avoiding, basically.)

Why was I so uneasy?

Mom and daughters eventually arrived. They were super sweet, welcoming me with genuine smiles — so that was nice. Mom unlocked the door.

Here’s what I knew going in:

1. Mom and one daughter reported direct contact with (what they could only assume were) ghosts on multiple occasions.
2. I was possibly dealing with a psychic child.
3. Mom and daughter said the garage felt “the worst.”
4. The house had relative proximity to the Body Farm, Texas State’s 26-acre research facility where forensic anthropologists study cadavers in various stages of decomposition.

. . . need a visual?

decomposing-body

(welcome.)

Anyway, Mom and daughters buzzed about, readying to leave again (gymnastics), so I walked around the living room for initial vibage.

The house was clean, modest, and to me had a sense of ‘we-haven’t-quite-finished-decorating’. It was also very open. There were no hallways. A spacious living room gave way to three bedrooms, bathroom, and newly remodeled kitchen.

My eyes were immediately drawn to a bedroom near the front door. Actually, my eyes were drawn to that entire corner of the room, where there was –conspicuously– no furniture.

I entered the bedroom.

Yep.

Heavy, stagnant atmosphere. Like an airful of leftover nightmares.

“Isabel!” I called. (She was the sensitive child). “Do you mind coming in here?”

She walked in, wringing her hands. She is a bright-faced, articulate 12 year old.

“This is your room?” I asked.

She nodded.

“What do you feel in here?”

“I don’t like it.” She shook her head.

“Why?” I asked, really wanting to open her windows. Covered windows make a room with bad energy worse.

“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “And I really don’t like my closet.”

I slid open the wide, concertina doors.

Ew. She was right. I didn’t like it either. But I wasn’t sure why. I stuck my hand in there. DEFINITELY a concentration of energy. Like the funk originated in there and seeped into the room. But what. Why. I didn’t detect an entity –not yet. I stuck my hand on the closet’s back wall. Slow chills travelled up my arm. Definitely uncomfortable. I later asked Mom to do the same.

IMG_3421

She agreed it felt funky. “Like it’s humming?” she said. But funky doesn’t mean GHOST — and humming suggested electromagnetic energy. But there were no electronics. Nothing plugged in anywhere near, and certainly not in the closet.

Maybe on the other side of the wall?

I walked out. — Nope. The back of her closet shared a wall with that conspicuously naked part of the living room.

“I had a couch there,” Mom sighed. “But no one would sit there.”

Dang, I could feel why. Just standing there, my head started throbbing. Bad. And I don’t get headaches. I kept this quiet.

Isabel joined me in the space.

“Do you feel anything here?” I asked, trying not to grimace. The pain was RIGHT between my eyebrows. Sharp and stabbing.

“Makes me feel sick.” She folded arms over her tummy.

I believed her.

I took deep breaths to ease my headache and walked to the other bedrooms. Mom’s room felt great. Light and sunny, clean and clear. Like the bleedin’ sunshiny outdoors compared to THAT corner of the living room. Then I entered Zoey’s room.

Zoey is the little sister. Isabel recently started sleeping with her because:

“Ghosts visit my room at bedtime,” she’d told her Mom.

When Mom pressed, Isabel explained they wanted her to give messages to loved ones. This (understandably) freaked her out, but the issue persisted in sister’s room. In fact, Zoey confided that Isabel’s voice woke her up one night, “talking loud” in what Mom later described as “full dialogue” to something unseen:

“What’s your name?” Isabel asked in the dark. “Oh!” she exclaimed, “Your stitches are gone!”

Mind you, she could’ve been dreaming. I can’t rule that out, but vibing a house is like solving a jigsaw. There are many pieces to assemble. And one piece was Isabel’s psychic ability which I was still trying to ascertain.

I entered Zoey’s room and immediately saw quick movement by the window.

Invisible Man.

I call this type of Spirit “Invisible Man” because it appears like clear gel moving through the air.

And I saw it in the corner by the window. The presence felt neither positive or negative, just there.

“Isabel?” I called again.

They were readying to leave, but she bounced in the room.

“Do you feel anything in here?” I sat on the edge of Zoey’s bed. This room felt tons better than Isabel’s, but that entity was still to my left. Isabel stood still and looked around. Then pointed to the window. To my left.

“Alright,” I smiled. “Have fun at gymnastics.”

Mom announced their departure and told me to make myself at home.

“Are you gonna be here when I get back?” Isabel called from the doorway.

“Probably,” I nodded. Didn’t know I’d be trembling, needing a drink . . . (but I digress.)

They left, and the house was completely quiet. It was getting dark, too.

Time to work.

I immediately returned to Isabel’s room and lay on her bed, quieting my mind. I lay there about 15 minutes, staring at the open closet. Interestingly, the room felt lighter.

The house was still. Silent.

I waited.

Then something caught my attention — a white, zig zagging light. Just outside Isabel’s open door, in the living room. A ha.

It was moving around the house.

I bolted from her bed. And I gotta tell you, the SECOND I hit the living room, it’s like someone jacked my personal WTF meter up to TEN. Maybe even ELEVEN. I paused, trying to absorb the space without letting it absorb me. Not only was I not alone, but something was watching me from the corner.

Let’s revisit my earlier trepidation. I don’t generally feel fear. I just don’t. And I’m not sure “scared” is even the right word. But whatever was in the room with me was NOT nice. If I may paint an energetic picture, it was sizing me up, arms crossed, trying to figure out:

a) why the hell I was there
b) what to do with me.

I walked around slowly, trying to pinpoint the entity. Trying to get a sense of who, what, when, and why. I immediately got FEMALE.

I reentered Mom’s room: CLEAR.

Then Zoey’s room: CLEAR.

That female watched me do this. I started getting a sense of her. 60ish. Short, frizzy/permy grey hair. Smoker, maybe. Brash. T-shirt no bra. T-shirt had some sort of emblem on it. Concert tee or sports team, perhaps? Nag. Nag. Nag. Yes, cigarette wagging out the corner of her mouth. Late 1970s, maybe early 80s.

Yuck.

I looked over my shoulder. To say I felt ‘watched’ is a gross understatement. She was LOOMING. Mocking. I sat on a small couch near the kitchen.

Just then I heard humming (singing?) coming from the general direction of Mom’s room. My heart thunked. Are you kidding me?!? That was INSIDE the house. Definitely. But hell to the no I wasn’t moving! I was sitting with my back firmly against the wall like the unapologetic weenie I suddenly was! And I wasn’t about to ask “Is there anybody here?” because, frankly:

1. She was creepy and antagonizing.
2. Some spirits, when provoked, can get physical. And um . . .
3. (no thanks)

So my personal rule for dealing with toxic (living) people would apply here, too. And that is: DON’T ENGAGE.

Here’s what I knew so far:

1. The primary entity IN the house was female.
2. She was NOT nice.
3. She hung out on the periphery of whatever room I was in.

From this I determined:

4. She did NOT like sharing her space.

(Maybe a previous owner?)

Then I saw those zipping lights again, this time INSIDE Isabel’s doorway. I bit my cheeks, trying REALLY hard to keep calm. To be objective. But ya’ll. It felt BAD. Like tension scene in scary movie bad. Like there’d be a jump scare any moment and the audience would scream bad. You still have to vibe out the garage, I warned myself, so get a freaking grip!

At that moment, more than anything, I didn’t want to be alone. My senses spun on a hamster wheel. I needed a distraction. I decided to take video notes.

Mom came back shortly this video (thank goodness). She’d planned to be gone longer but ‘something’ told her she needed to come back. Score one for women’s intuition. She offered me a drink, which would have been fifty shades of awesome. Trust me. I could’ve made sweet love to a glass of wine just then, but I still had work to do.

Unfortunately, she had to go pick up the girls. But her brief, supportive company bolstered my resolve.

I stepped outside.

8:15pm

Really, it should’ve felt awesome out there, away from the house. But it didn’t. The air was warm and crackly. Very still. And it was dark now. I REALLY wasn’t looking forward the garage, but I was determined. These nice people deserved to be comfortable in their own dang house!

I walked the long breezeway to their unattached garage, breathing down my anxiety.

Isabel hated the garage the worst. She emphatically told Mom that a boy ghost hangs out in there “listening to loud music, working on cars,” and that he “isn’t really that nice.” As of last week, Isabel refused to enter the garage alone, and Mom also admitted feeling a “weird uneasiness” out there “many times.”

I entered the garage with white knuckles. If the weird uneasiness in there was as weird and uneasy as the living room, I’d require a Big Gulp of Pinot Grigio upon their return.

I walked around boxes, furniture, tools, and shelves, grateful my Creep-o-Meter wasn’t blaring. If Ghost-boy existed, he wasn’t all up in my Kool-Aid like creepy lady inside. The small, enclosed workroom in the garage felt stifling, but I attributed that to clutter and low ceilings. Mom did say the lights often turned on in there when it’s certain she turned them off. –that I couldn’t explain.

I video’d my thoughts again.

Two things happened whilst filming:

1: I got a sudden, pungent whiff of Sandalwood. That scent (like Patchouli) typically lingers. Not this. I smelled it, then it was gone.

then

2: I heard a female talking.

I thought it was a neighbor lady walking in the street or something. But looking to the street . . . I couldn’t even SEE the street. It was pitch black. The nearest porch light was acres away. Even if someone talked on her front porch, I wouldn’t have heard her as ‘close’ as I did. As for passing footsteps of potential night joggers/power walkers? I cranned an ear to the yard. No. Just darkness and bug noise.

Alrighty, then.

I decided to NOT re-enter the house. Not until Mom and daughters returned. Creepy lady coveted her space, and she could bloody have it while I gathered my wits. I literally paced on the breezeway. Waiting. I didn’t want to sit down, and I didn’t want to stand. Because even outside, I felt someone watching me. I busted out my iPhone to keep myself company and document my final thoughts.

And then it happened.

Mid sentence, I looked over to see a young man darting towards me. I averted my eyes.

“Oh, hell, shit, I just saw something.”

Please forgive my language. Unbecoming, I know. But when one sees an apparition running towards them . . . one utters things. He disappeared right before passing me and I think my phone caught audio of him behind me. Simultaneously, Mom pulled in the garage.

I realized that very moment it was Ghost-boy, darting from the garage as they pulled in. Of course.

These spirits.

They. don’t. like. sharing. space.

Mom saw my face. Her expression was more like “What’d I tell you ?” rather than “Aw, are you ok?”

That male spirit was still outside. I felt him on the far left patio.

“Isabel?”

(poor Isabel)

“Do you sense someone out here?”

She immediately extended an arm.

“There,” she pointed to the far left.

Yup.

We closed the door and left him out there.

All four of us collapsed around the kitchen table, exhausted for different reasons. But I never leave anyone’s house without sitting down and talking, listening, sharing, and answering questions about The Other Side. I’m no expert, but I know what I know (if you know what I mean.)

But before I spilled my beans, I asked Mom the worst thing she’d experienced. I mean, maybe creepy lady just didn’t like me.

She sighed, confiding that recently, she’d had an overwhelming, “lucid-type dream.”

“I dreamt a very old woman: thin, long grey hair, in white night gown came into my bedroom while I was sleeping. She opened my bedroom door, then turned and LOCKED the door, looked at me (while I was still laying in the bed) and thanked me for helping her. She then attempted to DIVE INTO my body! (All the while repeating how thankful she was for this!)”

She ALSO said:

“You know, I’m constantly thinking someone is watching me from behind, I’ll look – see something out of the corner of my eye, then they are gone. I seem to notice shapes/people hanging in the shadows, behind a corner, on the other side of a window. I usually blink twice and they are gone. But I’m really tired of looking over my shoulder.”

With this, I felt comfortable spilling my beans. ALL my beans.

Conclusions?

1. There are two spirits in that house (at minimum), VERY possessive of the space. This explains the family’s inability to settle in.

2. Isabel is clearly psychic.

3. I didn’t pick up anything specific to the “The Body Farm.” But sleep-talking Isabel remarking “Your stitches are gone!” certainly conjures the image of a cadaver.

Verdict: Haunted. WAY Haunted.

****

Notes about the videos: I don’t own fancy ghost detection equipment because capturing ‘evidence’ isn’t really what I do. I intended these recordings to help me remember details when I sat down to work. It occurred to me half-way through writing– that even though unedited and relatively uninteresting– they would, at minimum, provide decent visuals. I post them with the family’s permission.

If you have questions, or would like to share thoughts or experiences, please send an email to jennifer@jkabay.com. I’m working on another book (this time non-fiction), and your input is invaluable.

Thank you.

Love,
Jennifer