Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Orbs

This photo was taken by a guest at one of our events in Downtown Morristown
who said that it felt like someone was following her down the steps. She turned
and took this photo over her shoulder...and then ran once she looked at it.

One of the buildings located behind
the Thomas House.
Orbs . . . proof of the afterlife or that it's dusty? This is a much debated phenomena within the paranormal community. What are orbs? The usual 'orb' is round, may have a 'face', 'eye', rings, or spots in it, and varies from transparent to white, and they even come in different colors on occasion. In my opinion, most orbs occur when the camera flash reflects off of dust or moisture that is in the air, or even a bug.

When I took the photo to the left, I didn't look at it and say, "Wow, I just took a picture of a ghost." I was outside, on a humid Tennessee night, and knew that it was moisture. This is what often happens in photos from cemeteries—taken at night, moisture in the air, orbs abound. Just Google 'orbs' and it will pull up several photos that depict exactly what I'm talking about. We even have some orb photos on our website and facebook page that our team has taken. But in my opinion, 98-99% of orb photos are not paranormal.

I think it's so funny when Zak Bagans (Ghost Adventures) captures an orb going across the camera and can 'debunk it as not being a bug or dust'. If he has no proof that there wasn't a bug or dust that happened to go by, how can he debunk it? From one fellow paranormal investigator to another, I've never been able to see a particle of dust or a small bug in the dark. And believe it or not, dust doesn't always travel in groups. A single dust particle can float around on its own, so dust doesn't always have to look like snow. I've even seen dust flicker like a strobe light on camera, and as cool as it looks, it's not paranormal.

Bethesda Church
But on the other hand, aside from dust, moisture, and bugs, I do think there are actual orbs, sometimes called light anomalies, that have been caught on camera. Take the photo to the right, which I took one evening at a cemetery while filming a documentary. The sun was behind the trees, so I saw no reflection onto the church, I wasn't using my flash, and this is the only photo that had this anomaly in it. Now this is the kind of orb photo that piques my interest; misshapen, misty around the edges, and fairly unexplainable. If it's not a reflection, either from the sun, dust, or moisture, then what is it? I don't know, and that is why I investigate the paranormal.

So, what's you're opinion on orbs?
Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Did You Hear That?

I am a member of a paranormal group called Eyewitness Paranormal, but we affectionately like to call our investigative team The Graveyard Shift. People often ask if we've ever caught paranormal evidence or had any scary experiences while on an investigation. The answer is yes, yes we have.

My first experience can be found in my last post entitled My Ghost Story, which is the reason I became an investigator. Another experience involved the famous 'ball rolling by itself' while at Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Instead of it rolling to me, it turned and rolled back to the person who had rolled it to me. It did this about three times, and in different directions, but then it just stopped and rolled to me like normal. And the best part was that it was a skeptic that was rolling it to me. We also caught a ball rolling down an empty hallway, too, but didn't realize until we went through our pictures. Waverly Hills, especially the body chute, is one creepy place.

A friend and I also got to investigate The Thomas House, which was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters. We got to hear a disembodied growl in one of their rooms, not once, but twice, which was also caught on my recorder. I would not be able to stay in that room alone . . . ever.

As a team, we have caught some great evidence and had some great experiences over the past few years. The most exciting experience we've ever had was at Old South Pittsburg Hospital. We had just exited the third floor and the door shut behind us, which made us stop and look to see why. Within just a few seconds, it sounded like someone was on the other side of that door shaking it like they were going to rip it off of its hinges. Sadly, we had just cut off our cameras because we were wrapping up the investigation in that area, so all we have is audio—of the door and of us screaming/running (Yes, we ran!). People who were watching the live stream online talked about it for days afterward. It was awesomely freaky.

Another great experience that we had was at The Wheatlands Plantation right here in East TN. Three of us were sitting in the main parlor when we all heard footsteps coming from above us. The only other person in the house was in the basement, and the steps came from right over our heads. We tried to debunk this one, but couldn't. Definitely a memorable experience.

One of the best pieces of evidence that always comes to mind when people ask is an EVP (electronic voice phenomena) that was caught in a man's home during a preliminary investigation. He was talking about his nephew, Cody, being afraid to stay at his house, and in the middle of their conversation, you hear a man's voice say, "Stay all night, Cody." I was shocked, to say the least, when I heard this for the first time because we didn't hear it at the time. I still get chills just thinking about it. We caught another class-A EVP at the same man's house during the same interview. I was the only female there, and my recorder was on a table between us all. We caught an eerie EVP that sounded like an old lady saying, "Let me outta here." It ran chills down my spine. We have both of these EVPs on our evidence page if you would like to listen to them. The footsteps from Wheatlands are on there, too, as well as a few others.

We love investigating the paranormal and sharing any evidence that we may catch. We have investigated many homes and businesses and our services are always free. If anyone ever tries to charge you money to investigate your home, look for another team. Reputable teams do not charge any type of fee.
For more pictures and paranormal updates,
like our facebook page or
follow a few of us on twitter: 
Janae   Jim   Larry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

My Ghost Story


 
A lot of people ask me how I got involved in the paranormal or why I'm a 'ghost hunter'. I think my reason for getting involved in it is the same as many other investigators; I've had an experience. And when you experience something you can't explain, you want answers. So when people ask me why, I share my ghost story.

As a teenager, we lived in the second oldest town in Tennessee—the beautiful town of Dandridge. Shortly after moving into our house, we noticed some strange things happening. My little brother, who was around one or two years old at the time, would look into his dark bedroom and talk (gibber-jabber) to someone who we couldn't see. Then things started getting moved, usually while we were asleep or not at home. I came home from school one day to find the drawers under my bed pulled out and my clothes hanging out of them, pulled right out into the floor, yet no one had been in my room. And my mom couldn't find her tea, only to find it in the oven a couple of days later. In the oven! We would also hear noises, especially whistling, that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was always something, and something strange.

I remember being pretty frightened, especially at night. It felt like someone was always watching me. I was so scared that I rigged a thin rope up to my light so that I wouldn't have to walk from my light switch to my bed in the dark at bedtime. We all pretty much knew that we weren't alone.

Our house had been used as slave quarters during the Civil War, and the house at the end of the street had been used as a hospital. Civil War relics had also been found in our yard with metal detectors, so we knew that the area we lived in had probably been very populated by soldiers at one point in time. We knew about the Battle of Dandridge, we just didn't think it would affect us so many years later.

Sharing our experiences with family members prompted one of them to contact a friend of hers who was a sensitive. We had never talked to a sensitive or psychic before, so we didn't know what to expect. But we were curious, so we let her come to our home to do a reading, not thinking too much about what she may find, because honestly, we were a bit skeptical. She proved us wrong.

She wasn't told anything about us or our experiences, just that we thought our house was haunted. As she walked in, we just stood back and let her do her thing. The first place she went to was my little brother's room, which I was sure was just a coincidence. But then she went on to tell us the name of a woman who supposedly stayed in that room, and that she was waiting for her son to return from the war. But what really blew our minds was when she told us that the lady wasn't looking out the window, that she was sitting by a door. What she couldn't see, because it was covered by curtains and a changing table, was the old frame . . . of a door. The house had underwent a lot of renovations over the years, and that just happened to be one of them.

She proceeded into our kitchen, where she blew our mind, yet again. "I feel like I'm standing outside," she said. "This used to be a back porch." Yes, yes it was. "And I see a boy . . . whittling wood. Whistles? I see him whittling whistles." Well, that explained a lot. My mom and I were just staring at each other with our mouths open. This lady not only sensed spirits, but she knew structural things about our house that she couldn't have known. But that wasn't all.

Before she left, she gave us the names of the spirits she had felt; one was the lady's name, and the other was of a soldier she felt was on the property. And I knew first hand that we had a ghost outside because it had chased me across our neighbors yard one night—funny story, actually. Anyway, we ended up doing some research, hoping to find these names, doubtful that we would. But guess what? We did. The soldier's name was listed on a hospital record as having been a patient . . . in the very hospital that was at the end of our street.

For several years we lived with the ghosts who resided with us in our home and on our property. The psychic had said they were harmless, for the most part, and just wanted us to know they were there. Oh, we knew. That's when the paranormal became our normal.

As a paranormal investigator, I empathize with our clients, knowing how scary it can be to have things happen that seem to be out of your control. That is why our team, Eyewitness Paranormal, volunteer our services to help those experiencing paranormal activity, either to debunk some things, putting their mind at ease, or to document proof of paranormal activity so that they know, and can prove to others, that they're not crazy.

If you have your own ghost story that you would like to share,
feel free to share it on our facebook page.
 
 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Love Never Dies

I do my best thinking (and singing) in the shower. It's like the water washes away the thoughts that cause my mind to race and the tension that causes my neck to hurt, making it easier for ideas to flow. And last night was no different, except for the fact that it was 1:00 a.m. . . . and that I heard the voice of a loved who has been dead for several years.

I'm no psychic, so I normally don't converse with the dead, but I do think that they try to communicate with us; either through a song, familiar smell, special symbols, or even our thoughts and dreams. So I wasn't too surprised when after my shower, as I stuck a Q-tip in my ear, that I heard my aunt, who was like a mom to me, say my name . . . just like she would have if she was alive and saw me sticking anything bigger than my elbow in my ear. It was just a thought, but it was her. And, of course, I began to cry.

I wish she was here. To see how big the kids are now. To hug them and watch birds with them again. To read my books. To fuss at me when I go outside with a wet head. Just here. But then I have to remind myself that she is here. When I randomly hear that horrible George Jones song that she used to torture me with when I was little, when I smell her, when the kids talk about her, or when I think of her—she's right here.

Love never dies, even though the ones who held that love do. The love we have for them lives within us, so it will linger on as long as we do, in our hearts, our memories, haunting us when we hear their name or a song that makes us think of them. But also reminding us that they will forever be a part of us. They are here, they see us, just like always . . . it's just a different kind of always.

 



"Just 'cause you converted from one form to another doesn't make you any less of a person. It's like drivin' a car. I can get around better and do a lot more in my car, but I'm the same person whether I'm in it or just walkin'. . . . You've just lost your car, that's all." —Max, from For Always
 
 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Writing A Book & Getting It Published

Since finding a publisher for my first novel, for which I am very grateful, I have had several people ask me how I did it. How did I publish a book? Well, the first thing you have to do is write it. And writing a book does not involve just putting words down on paper or typing them on your computer . . . it's telling a story and telling it well. If it doesn't flow, it's got to go!

I have always had a desire to write, whether it be poetry, or just short stories for my mom when I was little. I even wrote about my first child birthing experience, which I will have to edit and share some day. So it's not like I just woke up one day and said, "I think I'll write a book." It was in me all along, it just took me a while to realize it. And when the idea for my first novel came to me, I toyed with different story lines, plots, and characters, but only in my head. Then one day it hit me—you have got to write this stuff down. And so my journey into authorhood begins.

First, I downloaded free writing software (yWriter) from Spacejock. Unlike Word, this allows you to take notes, do outlines, list characters and bios for each, and other important things that a writer needs to keep track of. This software also converts your work over to a Word document, so when you're ready to print or submit it to agencies, it's ready to go.

Next, I edited my work . . . twice. Then I passed it along to a few beta readers (Thank you Nova, Sharon and Beverly!) to make sure it flowed well, didn't have grammatical errors that I had missed, and to give me an overall review. After that, I edited yet again. At this point, I was satisfied enough to feel comfortable starting the submission process, which is, to me, the hardest part. This is where many authors give up.

The submission process consists mainly of three things:
1. Find an agent/publishing company that you feel would be a good match for your work. (I did this through Google searches and writers' blogs.)
2. Check their guidelines for submissions (Follow them exactly!) and submit your work. Most are online submissions, which makes it rather easy. (Get ready to write the dreaded query letter.)
3. And then you wait.

It takes some authors a very long time to get an offer on their book, if they even get an offer at all. It's even more difficult for first-time authors, but it is possible—I am proof. (Thank you Limitless Publishing!) And if all else fails, and writing is your passion, there is always self publishing. CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing appear to be great avenues to get your work out there to readers. So never give up!

Every writer's experience is different; this one happens to be mine. ☺
 
 
For more information about me and my
(soon to be) published series, click here.