Spirits all around us.......

When I started this foray into ghost hunting, I really didn't know what to expect.  I mean yes, I am a "sensitive" and have always been able to sense a ghostly presence.  In addition, I have been an avid watcher of Ghost Hunters since they hit the airwaves.  I knew places were haunted, heck I had seen several ghosts during my life.  But, never did I really think that they were all around us all the time!

On most investigations we have been on we have found some sort of supernatural presence.  Of course actually seeing a ghost in front of you whether it be a dark shadow or an actual apparition is pretty rare, and snapping a photo of one is even rarer; but the EVP's we have acquired are phenomenal.  Listening to ghostly voices certainly make me believe that yes, Stephie, ghostly presences are in way more places than I would have ever imagined before becoming a paranormal investigator.

The SIM crew has been extraordinarily busy the past few months with investigations, reviews, and reveals.  We have had some pretty amazing experiences.  All of us on the team have had personal experiences, but the voices we have captured on EVP's are astounding.  Some of them have actually answered our questions, some are just making statements, and some we believe are repititious, what we call a residual haunting.

The ancient Celtics believed that the dead are in our world, living here with us but beyond the veil, in another dimension of some sort.  As I journey through paranormal investigations I am coming to the conclusion that the Celtics really did know what they were talking about. 

I believe that people with a great faith in God enter the paradise that Jesus promised us when they pass on.  So who are the spirits we are talking to?  Well, I believe that they are lost souls, who either didn't have God in their lives, or they are tethered to our world for some reason beyond our comprehension. 

It's interesting stuff, isn't it?


The SIM Crew on the Road in Northern Minnesota

A full moon on a chilly night in Northern Minnesota

A week ago, the SIM crew went on the road to beautiful northern Minnesota.  It had been years since I had been in Bemidji, the place I went to college and also the place I met my hubby.  Bemidji has changed - a lot, it isn't the same old place I remember that's for sure.  Some places are the same, but as you drive into town on the south side I barely recognized the place of my wild college days.

We drove on to Blackduck, about 30 miles to the north and checked into a cabin on Blackduck Lake.  Now, the photos on the website for the resort looked fabulous.  However, on the sidewalk leading to the office were three sunfish/crappies all laying in a net, dying as we saw them.  One of the kids came and grabbed them, I thought to end their misery so I held my tongue.  But, can you say animal cruelty?  They were laying there helpless, their gills moving up and down, dying a slow and tortuous death.  I believe it was a harbinger of what was to come.

When the owner showed us the cabin, we noticed a ton of flies in the front windows.  The woman laughed and said they were waking up with the warmth and didn't bother to take care of them.  Now, I am not fussy, but ick.  Jerry got the vacuum out and vacuumed them all up, while Katie and I put away all the food and equipment had brought with.  I eyed the bedroom wondering if there were little critters there, as I spied a couple mouse turds.  Ah well, it was a cabin and it is Fall, right? 

We didn't spend much time there as we had an appointment to meet with a Native American paranormal group.  The Native American Paranormal Society had six members in attendance to meet with us.  We got along fabulously well, and exchanged ghost stories and showed pictures and well, had a very fun meeting with them.  I can see our teams working together in the future as they have much to offer to us, especially so when working on cases on Native american lands, they speak fluent Ojibwa, and would understand any voices speaking this language, as we wouldn't.

That night, when we were about to turn in for the night, I pulled back the covers and viola!  Mouse/Rat poison was in the bed!  Unacceptable to say the least.   Mae and George in the other bedroom  pulled  back their covers to find, yes, more of the same, along with an acorn and mouse turds!  Needless to say, there was no way I was sleeping in that cabin, so I called the office.  Of course they were sleeping and to my surprise they didn't even offer to come on over and have a look. 

We packed up all our equipment, clothing, and food and headed to Bemidji.  Now what's so funny about this is that there was a big Hockey Tournament in town, and there was only one room to be had - at the Super 8.  So the FIVE of us crammed into this little room with two double beds, a cot, and all our equipment and luggage  There was no place to walk, but you know it was oddly funny.  We laughed and laughed about this predicament.  And so there it is.  The team all together in one little room.  Too funny.

The hotel staff were wonderful, and loved loved loved the idea that we were paranormal investigators.  They made us feel a bit like celebrities, and you know most of them had a supernatural experience to tell us about.  It was fabulous, even if it it was like a big pj party and you had to wait to use the biffy ;)

All day Saturday we talked and talked to the people of Bemidji about the supernatural, and almost everyone we spoke to had a story to tell.  As we shopped in an antique store, Jerry, Mae and I all felt something in the back part of the store by the books.  We asked the owner if she had ever experienced anything paranormal.  She told us she hadn't but an employee had.  Luck was with us and we found this employee and chatted with him a bit.  He told us that he had seen and felt a presence in the same place we did.  Interesting, is it not? 

We visited with so many Bemidjians who had paranormal stories to tell, that I believe we will definitely be going back there for some more investigations in the future.  But what was so fantastic was that people were EAGER to share their ghostly encounters with us and all of them took our cards and were impressed.  Now that, my friends is, an awesome feeling. 

Our investigation on Saturday night was back in the big woods.  A chilly 30 degree evening, a full moon, and a clear sky made a perfect setting for a late October ghost hunt.

The SIM Crew had some personal experiences, and encountered lots of activity during the investigation.  There were several times when I felt spirits throughout the 110+ acre property.  The dense tingly electric feeling that I get when there are ghosts near I felt many times during the night.  Several pictures I shot show orbs on every part of the property.  It is felt that true orbs are indicative of paranormal presences.   

Look to the right of the Birch Tree - an true orb.  Orbs made up of moisture and are not paranormal are located on the left hand side of this photo.  The difference is clear.
Stories told to us about the property included the story of a man murdered along the property edge,  and so we put one of our night vision cameras there for the length of our investigation.  Talk of electricians who were working there and upon taking their leave said they would never return.  The workers indicated that there was something in there, they didn't know what but they wouldn't set foot on the property again.  Well, we did feel and hear something in that spot.  Hopefully we will have evidence to back it up. 

Personally, I feel the that there is paranormal presence there, as I felt and heard something in several spots throughout the property.  Jerry saw a dark shadow move through a building at one point, and a balloon we had placed on a table, moved without the help of any breeze or human or animal help.
It was a long investigation, and we have hours and hours of video and voice to go through before we come to a conclusion.  The results to come, but I would like to thank Nancy and Anne for being such wonderful hosts who fed us homemade yummy frosted ginger cookies!  YUM!

Stay tuned my friends for the conclusion of our northern road trip.



A little girl's voice.....

The SIM crew investigated a home in Brooklyn Center, expecting to find Mr. Hollowell, as our client and also the owner of the house calls the ghost.  Our client, Nancee, is very interesting and told us loads of stories of the supernatural experiences she has had.  She was very entertaining, and excited for us to experience the presences in her home.  She grew up in the house next door, and her father lives there still.  She bought the house in the late 1990's

We had some personal experiences during the investigation.  My hubby Jerry had an unseen presence pull at the leg of his jeans, and a little later, touch his hand; I felt something pass through me at the same time the dowsing rod I was holding made a full circle; and after we left, our client told us that a balloon that we had been using during the investigation in the basement suddenly popped, with a very loud noise. 

While we were reviewing the EVP's, we found several disembodied voices.  What surprised us the most though, is that several times we heard the voice of a little girl.  This little girl said things like "Can you help me?"  "I'm so cold."  and others.  As a mom, my heart was wrenched right out of my chest when I heard this little voice asking for help.  What happened to this little girl?  We have no way of knowing.  Nancee, our client, knows the complete history of the home, and told us no children had died in the home, however, there is lake just steps away where children have drowned.  She said when she was little, there were one or two drownings there every year.  Could our little girl be one of those?  Did she drown in the lake and that is why she is telling us that she is cold, and asking for our help?  Heart wrenching to be sure, and she did answer one or two of our questions also.   They were general questions, but it is always phenomenal to get a reply. 
Orb in motion on shoulder of client.
We also hear in a couple of the EVP's what sounds like a man, and lots of whispering.  Nothing appeared on our night vision cameras, nor our video camera.  Still photography did catch a few pictures with an orb in them  It appears to be the same orb, and in one of the photos it is next to our client and appears to be in motion.

Nancee has invited us back for a follow up investigation sometime in November.  It will be interesting to ask questions of this little girl, and see if she answers. 

If you would like to see the complete case notes on this investigation, head to our web page at http://www.siminnesota.com/ and click on the recent investigations tab, then "nancee's house"


The question of dowsing rods......

A week ago our group did an investigation at a home in a northern suburb of Minneapolis.  One of our investigators, Mae, brought along a dowsing rod.  This was the first exposure for me of this tool.  I'm not sure that I believe it detects ghosts, but some ghost hunters swear by this simple tool.

It is believed that when a ghost/spirit comes near, the rod will move from the forward position backwards towards the person carrying it.  It is thought that it is the energy of the ghost that makes it move.  It is an interesting concept, but does it work? 

The dowsing rod in use at our last investigation.
I went into the investigation with two of my team mates holding this tool that has come to us through the centuries.  I held it in front of me as I was instructed to.  To my surprise,  it did swing back several times, actually touching me at all times, and of it's own doing.  It wasn't me that made it move.  What does it mean?  I don't know, some would say a spirit was near me.  At one point when it moved backwards at me I did feel like something came at me, went through me and away.  Was it a ghost?  I don't know?  I am sensitive to supernatural presences, and that one time it did feel like there was something there so it could be.  

We also caught this video of the dowsing rod spinning in Mae's hand, while she asked if the ghost who the owner of the house calls Mr. Howell was playing with them.  The EMF detector at this time also spiked so maybe they do work???   Have a look, it is interesting:

Some ghost hunters swear by this little tool, say it is as reliable as our EMF detectors and K2 meters.  Is it so?  I think the jury is still out, we will have to use it a little more before I decide.  My husband Jerry doesn't believe it works at all.  But it is very strange how it moved so much on its own isn't it? 



The Veil is Thinning.....

My Cone flowers, all done for this year.
The days are becoming shorter, the nights longer, the atmosphere is cooling, flowers and plants are coming to end of their life cycles, and the veil between the living and the dead is thinning.

Ever wonder why so many reports of supernatural activity take place in the Fall? Ancient Celtics believed that the living world and the world of the dead coexisted, separated only by a veil. At Summer's end when the harvest takes place and much life ends, they believed that the veil thinned. They celebrated the festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) in early November, and invited their long dead ancestors in on the day when the veil was transparent.

Today, we know that a lot of paranormal activity happens in the Fall, beginning in September and running right through until mid November. It seems ghosts are better able to make an appearance, due to the thinning of the veil as the Celtics believed? Well, this girl does believe that it really occurs.

Many years ago, even before my daughter was born, a ghostly experience happened to me in Autumn. A phantom jogger showed up every September/October near my old house. The ghost was seen not only by me but also by my husband, Jerry, oh and my pups. As I walked with my two dogs in the very early morning, we would see him, jogging down the street. I never heard any footsteps, and the ghost would disappear as fast as it appeared. It was chilling to be sure, and even more so when the ghostly apparition came really close to us. Marlowe, Rheba and I watched it silently pass by, and we stood on that sidewalk, frozen in place, stunned with our mouths hanging open, well, mine anyway. My pups? Well, they acted all skittish and nervous like, dogs know when they are looking at something supernatural.

I did a little investigation at the time, and I did find out that a person, jogging, had been hit by a car and killed in that area several years before. This year, I plan on taking my dog Duncan for a few very early morning walks around my old neighborhood just so see if I can reconnect with that ghost, perhaps even snap a photo or two.

I definitely think the Celts knew what they were talking about. In this season where death is prevalent, isn't it just a little believable that lost souls on the other side are better able to make themselves known to us? I've seen it, and I certainly believe it.

To all my fellow ghost hunters out there in this time of the thinning of the veil, happy hunting!


Ghost Hunting Giggles

Back in April before we did the full investigation of the Wisconsin Central Railroad Bridge on the Mississippi River, Jerry, Mae, George and I decided to go to the bridge and scope it out.  This is what I have written from that night, and it is a little bit more about a funny slice of life, but still it's one of my seeking ghosts stories.  Enjoy!

On a Saturday night in April, four members of our supernatural crew went to a bridge on the Mississippi River for an investigation. The area around this bridge is probably about as haunted as it gets in Minneapolis, and the bridge as well. We were just setting up, it was about 11:15 pm, it was a beautiful night. The crescent moon was hanging huge and low over the western horizon, and the stars were out. It was chilly, and of course creepy on the bridge. I've been on that bridge many times before, a few times at night and the feeling one gets is, well, creepy.

Once on the bridge, Jerry and Mae were discussing where best to put the audio recorders for evp sessions, George was taking photos, and I was putting my camera into night mode. We were just barely on the bridge, in the dark, and I was so involved with putzing with my camera I wasn't aware of my surroundings, or should I say, what was in my surroundings. Suddenly a guy flew by on a bike and totally scared the begezzies out of me. I screamed, of course, and then so did the others, and then we laughed, along with the poor biker who by this time was at the other end of the bridge, yelling that he was sorry. How funny.

When we were finished with the investigation and were headed back to the cars, we once again met this young man, riding his bike, back from the way he had headed. He stopped for a chat with us. We told him we were paranormal investigators and asked him if he had felt any presences on that bridge. He looked at us funny then proceeded to tell us that he usually pushed away those feelings, and that he had a sensitivity to the supernatural, same as us. We asked him many questions, like how did he see in the dark to ride a bike? He said he didn't see - LOL! Now it was pitch black in that park, and I can't even imagine riding a bike down there at night. He begin to tell us a bunch of things, and then he apologized and said that he was "stoned", apparently not thinking properly. Now when he said that, I thought he had said something else entirely, but after he had left us and we walked on, Mae said he said he was stoned. We all thought it was the funniest thing, and of course anyone who knows me knows my laugh is contagious, and at times, I can't stop. This was the case, I laughed all the way to the car. With the information that he was "stoned", his jumbled disjointed responses and conversation with us became so much more understandable, it was very funny.


To put it in perspective, it was a very funny slice of life. It's amazing how many different people one meets at odd times here and there. Justin, thank you my friend for the giggle :) I hope you arrived safely at your destination.


A house in Hopkins full of crazy things

One of our investigations this summer was that of a home in Hopkins, Minnesota.  A friend of Jerry's brought this house to our attention for an investigation.  Her friend from childhood lived there, and she told us all kinds of crazy things happened there.  This friend was moving out of the house because of the unexplainable happenings and other circumstances, and she felt it time to move on.

So, we went there on a hot summer evening.  It was possibly the craziest place we've been to thus far.  As we stood around the kitchen table chatting with our friends' friend, the mom, I was very surprised by the things she was telling us.  She told us that she is a reformed witch (of the good kind, not bad), and that all her life she could see/hear ghosts and demons, and that there were plenty of them in the house.  I kept up the conversation with her, as it was quite intriguing, really.  True witches have beliefs that come from the ancient Celtics, and do not have anything to do with devil worship, and thus, I asked lots of questions of her.  I didn't know what to think, but my conversation with this woman was quite interesting to say the least.

As we walked throughout the home and property I observed several symbols of witchcraft interspersed throughout the home and yard, things such as bells scattered throughout the house, incense burners among other items, and in the yard there was what looked like some kind of pagan alter, some kind of place for rituals?

There were two girls in their late teens who lived in the house along with the woman, one of them her daughter the other a niece.  We interviewed them and they reported to us that they had used ouija boards there to contact with the otherside.  Now, Ouija boards are way dangerous, and are in themselves considered to be a portal.  It is said that demons and spirits can make their way to this side of the line between the living and the dead through this portal.  So, when I heard this I must say I became a little nervous.  I mean ouija boards are nothing to mess with.  My thoughts were that I felt that this investigation was more than I had bargained for.  Demons?  Witches?   I asked Mae, our investigator who is also an ordained minister, to lead us in a prayer of protection, which she did in the yard.  It was important to be protected.

The girls told scary stories of what they had seen/felt in that house.  The daughter told us that when she slept in her bedroom on the second floor that she would have dreams of being a man who hurt women, even killed them.  Demonic dreams I'd say.  The niece reported strange things going on as well, but most of it centered around the ouija board, which after the mother found out she broke it and burned it.  All three of the women living in the house claimed that a spirit they had made contact with during the ouija board session was to this day in the basement.

Look at the outline of what looks like to me to be a winged creature.
We did the investigation and did come up with some incredible evidence.  It is apparent that there are some paranormal things going on in that house.  We got hits on EVP sessions both in the upstairs bedroom, and out back in the yard by the swing where ghostly things were happening.  Digital recordings of disembodied voices answering questions, and one saying "leave us respect", along with photographs of unexplainable things. 

See the strange blue lights at the top of the photo?  We are unable to explain what they are, there were several photos shot within a minute or so of each other, this is the only one with the strange lights.

We wanted to go back for a longer session, without the family in attendance, but they had moved out.   It would be interesting to go back into that house now that the family has moved.  We are all of the opinion that this woman and her family had demons/spirits following them, and perhaps now that they have moved out the house is no longer troubled by paranormal activity. 

It's all very interesting, and crazy isn't it?


Guardian Spirits

In June our paranormal group did an investigation in June out in western Minnesota at an old house that had been there since the 1800's. During an EVP session, Jerry (my husband) asked several questions which we received answers too from an unseen but not unfelt spirit. One of the questions he asked was if any of us had spirits watching over us. The voice on the evp recording said "Stephie". I wasn't really surprised at this, and it was comforting somehow. 

Last month I was in the Pacific Northwest for two weeks. I took lots of photos in the rain forest. Beautiful, majestic, and enormous trees populate the entire region, and I do so love trees! As I was looking through the photos, I found several of them with unexplainable phenomena, a beautiful orb and lights that just weren't a part of the landscape that I saw when I was there.  Are these orbs and lights the spirits watching over me? I don't know, but I'd like to think so.

See the beautiful classic orb right in the center of the photo?  Look up and to the left, and see the other one, not as bright, but still there.

Me and my girls, I'm on the left, note the light in front of me. 

This photo was taken 5 seconds later.  No light!

These  two photos were taken five seconds apart, my camera was on a timer.  Interesting isn't it that the first photo shows clearly some kind of light in front of me, the next nothing?  The photos below were taken on the timer also, the first there's a light just to the left and up from my head, the second, taken five seconds after shows no light. 

Do I have guardian spirits watching over me?  Well, I'd like to think so, and, after seeing these photos I just have to believe I do :)


Ghost Hunting....the beginning

I have always been sensitive to ghostly presences. My grandmother who came to America from Norway in the early 1900's could see and feel ghostly presences. Her sister too. I guess it only makes sense that I inherited this sensitivity to the supernatural. Over the years I have had experiences such as feeling unseen presences, and a time or two seeing a person in my mind during those times that I have felt an unseen presence, as well as glimpses of apparitions. The first time I saw a ghost was years ago when I was dating my husband and going to college in Bemidji, Minnesota. A couple we knew were living in the house that Jerry's deceased grandparents had lived in. On that property, I felt the presence of a man and in my minds eye I saw a man with wire-rimmed glasses, and a balding head. Turns out that is what Jerry's grandfather looked like.

Fast forward a few years, after we were married and we were living in our first house, I was walking my pups at 5:00am, and I saw a phantom runner, jogging down the street. I heard no sounds, there was no sound of feet on the pavement, nothing. I looked away for a moment and then back after I realized it was so quiet, and the runner had vanished into thin air! The pups were twitchy, acting a little odd, and I realized the jogger I had just seen wasn't a person, a live person anyways. That was the first time I saw the "jogging ghost", but definitely not the last. I saw him a few more times over the years we lived in that house, same time of day, same time of year.   I did a little research into this phenomena, and discovered that there was a person hit by a car and killed near there a few years before, and that person had been jogging, in the early morning.

Our paranormal group formed with the investigation of a bar where my husband Jerry worked years ago.  Two of our members had worked there, and they often experienced paranormal events while on the job.  I myself had an experience several years ago.  I was upstairs listening to my daughter and her friends play in their garage band one afternoon, I felt something strange that had the hairs on my neck standing up, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a glimmer of a woman with long brown hair, she looked like she was from a different time. When I turned to look there was nothing, but I felt her presence pass by me/through me.  I told Jerry what I had seen and he told me others had seen this same female with long brown hair.

Ghost Lady in left window
So, that first investigation we went there with all of our equipment and all that we have learned from watching TAPS, and went hunting. We weren't disappointed. I felt many presences in the upstairs, where I had felt and seen that woman before. I took many pictures in the dark, and I gasped when I saw one.  It is a ghostly image of the woman I had seen years ago. If you look at this picture, you will see a yellow light, and directly below that in front of the window you will see the face of a woman looking our way. Go ahead, click on the picture at the left and open it up. She is there. I could feel the presence when I was there, and I called my daughter Kacie over who also felt the same thing. It lasted maybe 30 seconds, and then we felt it leave us. We looked at every possible explanation for this image, and could find absolutely none.  This is the ghost woman I had seen years ago. 
During the investigation, Kacie while downstairs in the basement sitting at the desk, felt something scratch her neck, and sure enough, there were marks. We also caught some things on audio, breathing and sounds we didn't hear when we were there. At one point when we were in the basement, no lights, pitch black, doing evp work (electronic voice phenomenon), one of our members felt and heard a breath on her ear. None of us were on that side of her. It was scary. In that basement, there's an entrance to the tunnels that run underground in Minneapolis. It was close to this section where Mae felt this breath on her ear. I couldn't make myself go very far into that room where the tunnel entrance is blocked off. I felt dread coming from that area, and hopelessness, and something I can't put my finger on, but it did prevent me from venturing in more than a few feet. What's there? I don't know. Maybe someone at some time got lost in the maze of underground tunnels and perished? I don't really know, but definitely there was something there.

Our first investigation was a phenomenal way to start our group.  I will be posting more notes in the days and weeks to come.  Happy Reading!