Under Attack

Uncomfortable and frightened is how I felt this past Saturday.  A dark supernatural presence enveloped me at Walcott Mills, and I couldn’t get away fast enough.....

In the area by the cross; I am unsure what that fogginess is in the lower left hand corner, it does not appear on the other photos taken within a few seconds.  It could be caused by the cold weather, or could it be something else?

We held our last Paranormal 101 class of the season in Faribault last Saturday.  Cold and snowy, we had some pretty tough cookies in the class, and after the classroom instruction we all drove out to what once was the Walcott Mills and Grand View Farm Colonies south of town. 

In the early half of the 20th century the Faribault State Hospital built the farm colonies so that they could instruct some of the higher functioning patients in art of agriculture, so that they could potentially be a working part of society.   What went on there?  Bad things, dark things; although we are unable to find any true records, we have some pretty good ideas.  These types of institutions were not nice places; patients were abused and neglected and I have to assume that the same experiences were the norm at these farm colonies.   From area residents, we have heard of patients being chained to the walls for control, along with incredibly sad stories involving dead babies.  Patient abuse was rampant in the hospital and female patients were raped by the staff and other patients alike.  Many of their babies died and were just thrown into the ground in unmarked graves.  Tales of murder have also come to our ears, indications that babies were born alive only to be killed.  Of course I hope these are false, and it's true we will never know for certain.  But?  Just the thought is awful beyond belief. 
There are two different places that we investigate; the land with two still standing buildings, and the land with a cross and headstone, which is just up the road.    This whole area exudes such a feeling of sadness and hopelessness; darkness and despair. Even the vegetation is twisted and deformed.  The cross and headstone were constructed by a local Lutheran Church to mark the graves of the babies.  For me personally, the vacant land where the babies are buried is perhaps one of the most haunted places I have been.  When getting out of the car I can immediately feel souls all around me, and it is at times almost overwhelming.  This is the place where I encountered a full apparition of “the man in blue”.  Dark hair, blue shirt, he was clearly visible and standing not far from me near the treeline.  Others have seen this ghost as well and we wonder if he is still there looking after the babies?  It is what I  like to think.

On Saturday, our first stop was the land with the buildings, and we were investigating the big building on the first property.  While Jerry and Katie are always able to somehow communicate with spirits there, I have not had as many experiences there.  All of us were in one room, and the K2 meters were lighting up, in fact there were many times that all lights were lit up.  Whomever was chatting with us was giving answers, but what was interesting to me was that I didn’t feel them.  As a sensitive, I am always aware of ghosts when they are near and so why not this time? 

Then suddenly it happened.   I felt the cold shiver of a presence just behind me, and I could sense that it was moving close.  I turned and looked but though I could not see anything, it was there.  I didn’t say anything, but soon this entity was at my back and I asked "who is here behind me".   Of course I had everyone's attention, and everyone looked, no one saw anything, but I could feel it and it was definitely not a nice presence.  In fact, I felt the need to flee, and I began to walk out of the room, uttering to everyone that I had to get out of there.   It came with me and I knew that I was definitely under attack; it was dark and evil, I believe it wanted to hurt me.  It was the same kind of feeling that you might feel walking down a dark street, knowing there is someone walking behind you, lurking, maybe trying to hurt you.

My heart was beating fast, and all I could think about was getting outside and grounding myself.  I felt almost sick to my stomach, and the moment I was outside I walked quickly to a big tree there, took off my mitten and placed my bare hand on the tree for much needed help.  Slowly the fear resided, and I breathed deeply, grounding myself, protecting myself against any further intrusion.  My heart began to slow down, and I breathed deeply concentrating on getting myself back to normal.  The entity had left me at the door, and I didn’t want to go back in.
I took these two photos while outside simultaneously.
Jerry soon came out and asked if I was okay, he was clearly worried.  Not one to be scared of the paranormal, it was worrisome for my team that I had fled and was so clearly upset.  A couple years ago in the same building Jerry had come under attack.  You can watch the video on our home page at www.siminnesota.com.  After that attack we all learned to GET OUT when something like this happens.

 Is that diaphanous vertical line something supernatural trying to materialize?
After we chatted for a bit, he suggested we all go into another room.  I unwillingly went back into the building, hey, we were teaching, it wasn’t good for one of the investigators to be afraid.  The moment I got into a room, Kelli – one of our investigators – asked me I was okay?  My skin was crawling, and I knew I had to get out of there once again.  I did, and the investigation progressed for a while longer, no one else feeling what I had.
What was it?  I have no idea but I do know it was very DARK, and I believe it wanted to hurt me.  I also believe whatever creatures are in that building seems to choose one person to harass, it would seem to prefer a person with abilities as Jerry also is a sensitive, so that they know what’s happening.  I was scared, and that happens rarely with me.  What I am very thankful for is that I was fortunate to have taken an Intuitive class last spring, and knew how to quickly ground and protect myself to prevent further damage.   Heidi?  You are an awesome teacher, and I thank you for this knowledge.

Will I ever go back in that building?  I am unsure at this time.  It is experiences like this that make me wonder why I even chase ghosts.  It is dangerous; but at the same time?  It’s amazing when we can prove that there are spirits.  This is what keeps me going, not that dark stuff, the dark supernatural creatures that were never human, and in this case I believe they are what keeps here.  It is a very sad and desperate place, and judging from the EVP's we have collected there over the years the spirits who there are tied to this place against their will.  We are hoping to at some point bring in an army of folks with abilities to try and move these spirits over to the other side and give them much needed peace.  That would be an amazing feat.
For those of you out there who have been to this place, either with us (three classes this fall) or on your own, please don’t venture out there alone, I would suggest you stay far away from it.  In closing, we will be going through our recorders over the coming days, and any evidence we have captured we will of course share. 



And so it begins........

the busiest season for a paranormal investgator.

In a week and a half we will observe the fall equinox, or Mabon as the Celts called it.  It is a time of equal light and dark; a time of power and magic.  The earth is cooling, and the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead begins to thin.  Walking with my pups early this morning in the chilly 44 degree air, I noticed the beautiful Cottonwoods are already shedding their leaves; many are on the ground and many have turned brown on the branches.  The flowers in my garden have turned brown; and I am bringing in a couple flower pots every night.  It is the time to thank the earth for her bounty, a time to prepare for the coming winter.  Samhain is just around the corner, and I will honor and remember my loved ones who have gone from this world at a Samhain festival with my friends in the local Wiccan community in early November.

As a paranormal investigator this is the busiest time of year.  Spirits have an easier time catching our attention, and my calendar is full to the brim.  I am certain we will enjoy many nights talking with people who have passed out of our world and into that other realm.  We will see them out of the corner of our eyes around every corner, shadow figures and such;  it is an exciting time of year, and we are preparing in all the ways we know how.
This busy season begins with the SIM Crew in Walker and Bemidji, Minnesota next weekend.  We have two investigations and a public coffee house chat.  We much enjoy these chats as it gives us the opportunity to connect with people of all backgrounds who have had some amazing experiences with the supernatural.  We love hearing their stories of ghosts, bigfoot, and UFO's.  Amazing and intriguing it always puts a smile on our faces.

This Fall we will also be participating in Paracon in Menomen, Minnesota.  Billed as the biggest and best paranormal conference, the SIM Crew will be right there in the middle of things.  If you go?  Please stop by our booth and say hi.  This event is bound to be entertaining, and many of the TV ghost hunters will be in attendance and we will have the opportunity to meet them and share a few stories I am sure.

Enjoy this time of supernatural happenings, and do let me know what you experience!



An old nursing home...

This weekend we will investigate an old abandoned nursing home as a part of our multi-year project involving the investigation of old health care facilities to determine whether or not they are more supernaturally active than other buildings.  The nursing home was left vacant a few years ago when a new modern facility was built and opened on the outskirts of this small town.   After being abandoned for a few years this place is sad and worn, it is definitely not the bustling old folks home I remember.  As with all of the facilities, of course I am hoping someone will answer the question that I always ask in these facilities - “why do you stay in this place”.   A nursing home though is a little different than the hospitals; people live years of their lives here, and maybe they liked it.   I’m thinking that an answer will also be a little different in this type of health care facility, if we get one that is.

This particular nursing home is near to my heart; my Grandpa Frank called this place home for many years before he passed away there in 1987.   My dad hails from this community, and we spent a lot of time at the old nursing home with my grandpa while I was growing up; visiting, celebrating his birthday with cake and ice cream, coffee in the dining room, wow, there are lots of memories.  Being the only nursing home in the area, we also have cousins who lived and died there as well. 

I know this area well and while I was growing up, we spent many, many happy weekends camping out on “the land”, our acreage outside of town dissected by a river.  Both my mom and dad passed away in 2005, and my dad passed this little slice of heaven on to my brother, and so it is still in the family and of course it holds lots of good memories for us all.  We were always surrounded by family, in addition to my grandpa, my aunt and uncle lived here, and many, many cousins.  It is a peaceful place, and memories are just around every corner.

This investigation will be a little emotional – I have no doubt.  Who will we find there?  I am not certain, but it most certainly will be an exciting and perhaps an emotionally draining investigation ;)


The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Last week I, along with 5 other members of the SIM Crew, were privileged to investigate the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky.  This is a place we have wanted to go to for years; certainly since we began our careers as paranormal investigators.  It is said that this old building is the most haunted place in America, and for good reason we found.  We have watched the TV ghost hunters investigate this old hospital, and heard their claims that this is the scariest place they have been to; that in itself is reason for making the journey to Kentucky, as this crowd has been all over the world and they have singled out Waverly Hills as the most active.
First a little history of this place.   

The massive Waverly Hills Sanatorium
The big Sanatorium opened for patients in 1926, and was specifically built to treat tuberculosis.  This killer disease, also known as the white plague, is quite contagious, and in 1926 this property was located away from the most populated areas of Louisville.   Numbers vary, but it is said that people died from TB in this building each day during the height of the epidemic.  So many, that the hospital administrators decided to use the supply tunnel to move dead bodies out of the sanatorium, away from the eyes of the patients to keep morale from diving.  How many died there?  It depends on what historical document you are referencing; some say around 8,000+, others say it could be as high as 63,000 – I guess we will never know for sure.  After antibiotics were discovered, the building was no longer needed for TB patients, and it became a nursing home of sorts.  In 1981 that also closed, and the building became vacant.  The current owners, Charlie and Tina Mattingly bought the property in 2001, and are doing what they can to save it.  It has since become a supernatural mecca, and I’m sure no one leaves disappointed.   

This post describes my experiences and feelings only; when our evidence review is complete, I will write another blog complete with evidence.

Our team was very excited to experience the building, and the 15-hour drive there only heightened our anticipation.  Thankful that the rains and storms that we drove through were gone, it was a sunny evening, cool and comfortable.  This was a MPC (Minnesota Paranormal Coalition) event, and there were 18 of us all together, six from the SIM Crew, and members of 4 other teams.  I became quite apprehensive as we had dinner with the other teams just before going to the property.  My heart raced; my hands shook, I knew it would be a tough night for me.  As a sensitive, I worried that this place would be too much for me - I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. 

The main entrance saw thousands of sick patients come through its doors; many never emerged alive.
The backside
After our dinner meeting, we headed to the property, and honestly?  I was SCARED.  This feeling rarely happens for me, and once we got near my head began to throb.  The first sign of a great deal of paranormal activity had shown itself.  Now I was really anxious.   As we drove in, the first site of the building took my breath away.  The old hospital is MASSIVE, four full floors, and a partial fifth floor; its sheer size is daunting to say the least.  My eyes rapidly darted everywhere as we walked to the building that houses the administrative office and classroom, and I wondered who was looking back at us.  As we all assembled our excitement was high.  The owner, Charlie, told us the building was ours for the night, we could either be toured around the outside for photos, or we could go on our own.  We chose the later, and we walked the property. 
The Griffins looking out over the property
 The building is amazing no doubt about it; beautiful gargoyles adorn the building at several points and griffins watch over the grounds from high atop the roof.  These gargoyles and griffins are rich with detail and artistry, and I am certain they have seen their share of grief and death.   It was remarkable to see that a building for the sick had such beautiful architecture and was so immensely artistic; so different than the buildings of today.   I took lots of photos, photos of us, photos of the building, photos of the gargoyles, and pretty much everything else.  As we stood staring at this place, Jerry mentioned that he saw a shadow figure moving about.  Like I needed that to know that ghosts were all around us, I knew they were by the heaviness I felt in my chest.  We headed back to the admin building, and then a Waverly guide took us for a tour of the building, to show us the hotspots, then we would be on our own.  Amazing, just amazing.  Our guide told us of her experiences, apparitions, touches, sounds, voices, you name it, and she had seen it all.
A beautiful gargoyle at the main entrance.
The infamous room 502
Tour was done; Jerry smudged those of us who wanted to be protected before we began.  I was in a conversation with Charlie and Tina when my team said it was time.  Oh my, now I was really nervous.  We were assigned the 4th and 5th floors, so up the staircase we went to 5.  Children were located on this floor; in fact they had a playground of sorts on the rooftop here.  It is a partial floor, and we began our investigation with an EVP session, and a balloon on the floor in what was called the solarium.  We had been getting hits on our K2 meters, and so we began asking questions.  The balloon moved about on its own, but I’m not certain if it was a ghost or the wind?  I felt like there was something behind me towards and I turned from the team and began taking photos.  I just felt that someone was there.  Yep.  There was, the photo below shows an apparition.  This area unbeknownst to me was room 502, which is the room where a nurse hanged herself.  The story goes that she was pregnant by a doc there, had an abortion, and found out she had tuberculosis.  Who is the apparition?  Most definitely male, it is a question that probably won’t be answered.

the fourth floor along the open windows
We went down to the fourth floor, and we split up our team into two.  I had Jerry and Jeff on my team.  I stood there staring into the darkness of the vast hallway before me, somehow not wanting to enter.  This feeling was foreign to me, as I am usually the first one in a space.  Not this time, something was telling me not to proceed.   I did though, ignoring the hairs standing up on my neck; I was flanked by Jerry and Jeff.  The minute we turned our flashlights off it hit me; a big wave of sadness, despair, and hopelessness.  I cried, and honestly I sobbed.  The spirits were imposing their feelings on me, and I couldn’t shake their feelings and neither could I stop the crying.  Jerry thought he should pull me out as it kept on and on, but I refused.  We walked through the hallways and finally, I was able to control the sobbing, but the feelings remained, and I half cried the whole floor.  This feeling was immense, and difficult to handle.  I knew then just how those patients felt; would they ever get out of there?  Many didn't and I'm pretty sure when they came through those doors death was on their minds.
The only piece of equipment left....the hood of a surgical light
In the Surgery room, we met up with Amy, Katie, and Mike.  Back in the day, they performed horrific surgeries on TB patients, including opening up their chests so that the air could get directly to the lungs.  Gruesome, and awful, I can only imagine the pain these people were in.   We did EVP work, shot some photos, and this time?  Jerry and Mike were the victims of the spirits of Waverly Hills Sanatorium.  Suddenly Jerry couldn’t breathe, Mike couldn’t move.  We knew we had to get both of them off the floor, and Jerry helped Mike out of that room.  We walked down the stairs to the first floor, then down a flight of stairs to the tunnel to the admin building.   Although better away from that floor, Jerry pulled himself from the investigation.  The feelings I had been having had left mostly by this time, and I was ready to move on.   It was time to switch floors and so we carried on, leaving Jerry in the capable hands of Tina Mattingly.

 Our next floor was the first floor, and we investigated the Morgue, the freezer room where they kept dead bodies, and the body shoot.  Not as haunted as the 4th floor, at least not this night anyhow, we switched at our allotted time to the second floor, then back down to the admin building.   Jerry decided to come up to three with us, and he wanted me to try an experiment with him to try and push the spirits to our non-sensitive teammates.   Jerry and I went out to what was the porch area of the wing, while the others stayed in the inner hallway.  We faced each other, held hands, and concentrated on the spirits around us and asked them to move into the building.  I felt the spirits swirling, swirling around us before leaving; Jerry felt like they pushed him a bit.
Jeff in the body drawer.....

We have not yet reviewed all of our evidence from this 8-hour investigation, and I am assuming it will be a bit before it is complete.  However, I know that this building is rife with spirits and ghosts.  I felt them, they touched my hair, and they somehow made me feel the desperation they felt.  I could feel them with us the entire time we were there.  I can totally understand why some TV ghost hunters say this is the most haunted place they’ve been, it surely is for me, without a doubt. 
My headache left just as soon as we drove off the property.  The supernatural does that to me; and now?  I can’t get that place or those spirits out of my head.  
A big THANK YOU to Tina and Charlie Mattingly for the hospitality, and for saving this amazing place!
The SIM Crew at Waverly Hills!