2008: Paranormal Investigation

I don’t recall what paranormal team investigated our house. I don’t recall the names of the investigators themselves. All I remember is two girls showed up to investigate my massive house with very little equipment, and I remember they took more smoke breaks than they did EVP sessions. After every T.A.P.S. investigation I’d seen, I was sorely disappointed in this local team. Maybe they didn’t take the paranormal activity seriously, maybe they didn’t care, maybe they were afraid of being in the house. Who knows? All I know is that this was our one shot to thoroughly investigate the Big Blue House, and they blew it. And now, we’ll never have the opportunity to catch it in its prime again. Does that mean the investigation was uneventful? I wouldn’t say that.

Danny Raye

“Why does Danny get to stay?” Ari said.

“Because she experiences the most stuff. The investigators wanted her to stay,” Mom said. “You guys have fun. Bran, you have the money?”

Brandy patted her purse. “Yeah.”

The rest of my family was going to see a movie. I was glad that I was able to stay and help. It made me feel like the investigators were taking my experiences seriously, that they believed me. Besides, I knew how to investigate. T.A.P.S. had taught me everything I needed to know. I could help set up equipment or point out where I felt the ghosts were. I could definitely help when it came to EVP sessions. I knew the right questions to ask and how you’re supposed to wait for their answer before you ask another. I could help. I just hoped they would let me.

Mom and I straightened up a little bit more while we waited for the investigators to show up. “Bet you they shit themselves first apparition they see,” Mom said with a laugh.

“I wouldn’t blame them. Then again, they might be used to it. I don’t know.”

“I don’t think anyone’s seen as much activity as this house has,” Mom said.

“Think so?”

“I think they would have a lot more questions than answers by the time they left. I mean, you and I debunk everything we possibly can. Some things you just can’t explain away.”

Knock, knock, knock.

“They’re here,” Mom said.

“Thanks,” I teased her for narrating like she always did.

“Pft.” She rolled her eyes and went to the door.

I waited at the table. We had changed the Blueroom to the dining room again for the investigation. Mom felt it would be easier for EVP sessions.

“Christi, hi. I’m Debbie. This is my daughter, Danny.”

“Hi.” I shook her hand. She was an older woman, but not my mom’s age. She had brown hair and was thinner than the next woman that walked in. “Hi.” I shook her hand too.

“I’m Laurie,” the second woman said. “Nice to meet you.”

And that was it. Mom was still holding the door open waiting for the rest of their team, but it was only two women. I didn’t understand why. If T.A.P.S. had come they would have brought everyone. Steve, Dave, Dustin hopefully, Sheri, and of course Jason and Grant would have been here. Only two girls from this team had come. How were they supposed to cover our whole house with two suitcases and two investigators? Oh man, I felt disappointed already.

“So why don’t you tell us what’s been going on while we get set up?” Christi said.

“Well, we’ve been hearing a woman and man speak in the kitchen. Danny has seen little girls in the hallway upstairs, we’ve all sensed a man’s presence here.”

“I’ve also seen full-body apparitions of a little girl walk across the living room in here,” I said.

They weren’t impressed with my knowledge about the paranormal. They were too focused on setting up equipment to really be listening. That’s how it felt at least. When T.A.P.S. comes in, Grant and Jason look people right in the eye when they’re telling experiences they’ve been through.

“So Danny has sort of been the center of everything?”

“Well, we’ve all seen and heard things, but Danny has experienced more than the others, yes. She’s been seeing stuff since she was a little girl.”

“Mm-kay.”

They had brought a digital camera, one for each of them, a camcorder, and two digital recorders for EVPs. They were putting fresh batteries out of the package into their equipment while Mom continued telling them other stuff we’ve been through.

“We’re thinking to set up the camcorder in your room, Debbie, and we’ll sit with the digital recorders in here to have our EVP session.”

Mom and I stepped out of the way to let them set up their one camcorder. I could tell by the look on Mom’s face that she felt as gyped as I did. They had as much equipment as we did, and they really weren’t doing anything we hadn’t done before.

“We’re just gonna step outside for a few minutes. Sorry, it was just a long drive…”

“Oh, that’s fine,” Mom said.

They went out onto the porch to smoke. They were out there for ten minutes before they came back inside.

“Okay, let’s all sit here.”

We gathered in the Blueroom, sitting quietly while Christi and Laurie asked questions. It was so weird the way they were doing things. They didn’t turn the lights out, they didn’t want to go through the whole house like T.A.P.S. would have. They just wanted to sit down and get this over with it seemed.

“Are there any spirits here?”

They left the right amount of time for a ghost to respond before asking, “Can you please show yourself?”

The EVP session carried on for at least thirty minutes. I even got to ask some questions myself. The investigators asked good questions. It was like they knew how to investigate the proper way but were choosing to do it the lazy way tonight. They weren’t stupid or rude or any of that. Maybe they just weren’t as good as T.A.P.S. Then again, I don’t think Jason and Grant would ever let someone on their team take as many smoke breaks as these girls did.

After our quiet EVP session, they went outside for another one. Mom went with them this time. They talked about adult stuff I guess. I tried to stay away because the smoke brought on my asthma. I got a grape soda from the fridge, and was paying attention to the house, waiting for someone to show up to our party. Then I heard a thud upstairs.

“Hey, something just made a thud upstairs,” I told the investigators.

They stomped out their cigarettes and hurried inside to figure out what it was.

“Where did it come from?”

“Upstairs,” I said. “Sounded like something fell.”

I let them take the lead because I hoped that if they went first like I always did, they would see what I always ended up seeing when I went to investigate a noise.

“Oh something knocked our camera over,” Christi said once she got in Mom’s room.

The tripod was knocked over on its side, the camera was on the floor.

“It’s not broken, is it?” I said.

“No.” They fixed the tripod and rewound the tape. There were footsteps behind the camera before it got knocked over, but everyone had been outside and I had been downstairs.

“You didn’t come up and knock it over, did you?” Laurie said.

I shook my head. “No. I wouldn’t have made it down the stairs fast enough to tell you if I did it. Plus, I’m not wearing shoes. The footsteps sounded like they had shoes on, right?”

They seemed to agree. “Then we have something.”

We went back downstairs and moved our EVP session into the Woodroom. They asked more questions about people who used to live here, they asked for signs of a presence, questions like Grant and Jason would ask. I got to ask some more questions, but the ghosts didn’t seem to want to play. Maybe they didn’t like the investigators either.

“It definitely feels like something’s here,” Laurie said.

“More than one, for sure,” Christi said. “I have felt like I’m being watched since the moment I stepped in the house.”

“We get that feeling a lot,” Mom said.

Too bad they didn’t bring an EMF detector to figure out if that feeling of being watched was really just high electromagnetic frequencies related to the house.

“Danny, do you feel them right now?”

“I feel them all the time,” I said.

“And who do you sense the most?”

I thought about it really hard. “It’s hard to pick just one. Sometimes it’s the little girls, sometimes it’s the man. It’s kind of even between those ones actually.”

“Are they in the room with us now?”

“I think the man is.”

“Where do you feel him?”

I pointed him out close to the Woodroom door leading to the kitchen.

They started taking pictures in that area, and it felt good that they didn’t blow me off. They didn’t make fun of me, they were including me, they believed me.

“Well, let me talk to Christi for a minute. I think we know what’s going on here.”

That meant more smoking on the front porch. I was worried that they were going to come back and tell me mom that I was making it all up. Mom wouldn’t believe them, but it would hurt to think they might think that. After all the times I have gone to sleep squeezing my eyes closed and covering my ears with teddy bears so I didn’t have to see or hear the ghosts; after all the things I have seen that scared tears right out of me; after all the nights I spent in my mom’s bed because I was too chicken to sleep in my own, if they came back and said I was lying, that I was making it up for attention, I would be crushed.

When they came back inside, they said, “Let’s have a seat.”

We all gathered in the Blueroom.

“I think Danny is gifted. I don’t think it’s particular these spirits are linked directly to the house, but maybe Danny’s drawing them. There’s a theory that teenagers undergoing puberty are more sensitive to paranormal phenomenon.”

“Basically, because Danny is paying more attention to the ghosts, they’re flocking to her. And maybe some of the spirits here are linked to the house, they just prefer Danny because she’s more aware of them. But I know I feel them. Sitting here right now, I feel them all around me in almost every room of this house,” Laurie said.

Whew. They didn’t think I was faking it. It felt good to be called “gifted” instead of “crazy” or “having a vivid imagination”. I do have a good imagination, but I don’t think anyone would want to pretend to live in the kind of world I live in.

“The real question is what do you want to do with the spirits? Clearly they’re bothering you,” Christi said. She was speaking to me like an adult and it felt good to be treated with so much respect. “Do you want the spirits to stay or move on to the Light?”

“Will it hurt them if they move on?”

“I don’t know for sure. But I wouldn’t imagine so. The Light is beautiful when it opens up, and it gives you this sense of peace. I wouldn’t think it would hurt them, no.”

“We’re asking this because we can perform a Circle of Light ceremony here that will allow the spirits to cross over and find peace. We can do that, but only if you want us to, and the spirits will only cross over if they want to.”

I glanced at my mom. She raised her eyebrows waiting for me to answer. “I think it would be good,” she whispered. “Then maybe they won’t bother you so much.”

It was a sad thought, though. I don’t know why exactly it made me feel like crying. Just thinking about them leaving upset me. It was scary seeing dead people walk around your house. Hearing them talk to you and breathe on you and touch your hair. But at the same time, they weren’t trying to scare me. They were just there. And the little girls hadn’t hurt anyone. Making them leave made me feel bad.

“Sometimes”―Christi reached out to grab my hand when she saw tears in my eyes―“spirits are restless. They’re just wandering around looking for a place to belong. Maybe they think you’re their friend, and they just try to talk to you that way. But we believe that maybe the ghosts of the little girls don’t know that there is something better. That they don’t have to be here if they don’t want to.”

“We can try it. Just open the circle, pray, offer it to them and if they want to go, they can.”

“That sounds good,” I said.

“Okay. Let’s do it in this larger living room over here.”

We all gathered around in a circle and held hands. My mom was across from me. We all closed our eyes and Christi and Laurie began to pray. Mom and I copied their words. We were praying for maybe five minutes picturing this white light and then I started to feel it. I could literally feel this light in the room like a person. It turned everything white and I was smiling. I wasn’t afraid. Not even when I felt someone walking up behind me. With my eyes closed, I knew there were three other people in the room with us at that moment. It was like they had come to see what the light was.

Then I felt this tugging on my right arm. My shoulder started to go down like something was dragging me toward Christi. I kept my eyes closed and we kept praying. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew it was one of the little girls. They had crossed over. Then I felt the other little girl in the room disappear. Not like she walked into a different room. This was different. She had walked out of the house. She was gone too.

“Amen.”

The door to the Circle of Light closed.

“You can open your eyes.”

When I opened my eyes, there was a man standing behind my mom. I held my breath. He was tall, skinny, older like thirty with brown hair and blue jeans. He was standing there with these empty black eyes and this white face staring right at me.

“I’m not leaving,” he said.

Then he walked away.

No one else had seen him.

When I turned to Christi, she was smiling and crying. So was I. My cheeks were wet, and I sniffled. “Did you feel it?” she said.

“Mm-hm. I felt my arm get cold and then there was a tug,” I said.

“Yep. One of the spirits went into the Light.”

“Then two went into the Light,” Laurie said. “Because I felt a breeze go by my shoulder.”

I waited for Mom to say something about the man behind her. Had she felt him standing there? Did she hear him say he wasn’t leaving? I guess not because she just wiped her tears away and went on.

“That was so beautiful, so pure. It was like God’s grace was in the room with us,” Mom said.

After the Circle of Light ceremony, I didn’t care that the investigators hadn’t brought much equipment or people because I felt good that I had helped those little girls.

“We’ll go over the recordings and call you about what we find.”

“Thank you,” I said before shaking their hands.

“And Danny, you know, when puberty ends, you’ll really have the choice to keep seeing ghosts or give it up. Your mind won’t be so vulnerable to sensing the paranormal and you can basically shut it off. You could shut it off now if you wanted to, but I don’t think you want to.”

“I like knowing what’s going on. Some people hear weird noises and they just blow it off and then something bad happens or something scary happens. I like knowing what’s going on around me. The truth about what’s going on around me. If I shut it off, how can I protect my family?”

Christi smiled like she had known I was going to say that. “Well, if you ever need someone to talk to about what you’re experiencing, there are a ton of local psychics and mediums in Missouri. There are plenty of people you can reach out to. There are even some fairs and things for psychics you can go to. You’d fit right in.”

Wow. A whole fair full of people who go through the same kinds of things I do? What would it feel like to be surrounded by people who really, really understand you?

“Thank you, guys.”

“You’re welcome.”

They smiled and left.

My family came home asking what had happened. Mom was more than happy to tell them about the camera falling over, about the Circle of Light. Me? I was ready to tell someone about the man who said only to me, “I’m not leaving.”

I’m not leaving.

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