Naming the Lost: A Look at the Forgotten Shipwrecks and Lost Souls of Cape May, New Jersey – Part I

In the darkness of the oceans depths 240 feet below the surface, the remains of a U-boat sits on the sandy bottom. The wreck site is sixty miles off the New Jersey coast, and until a discovery on September 2nd, 1991, no one knew that the vessel was there. There were a few fishermen that had an idea that a large object sat beneath the waves; no one guessed that it was a WWII German U-boat. It took another six years of trials and failures before renowned diver, John Chatterton, pulled the last, missing piece of the puzzle into the light of the surface. A plate with the vessels number identification etched into the metal; U-869 had been found.

Before the discovery, it was believed that this particular U-boat was lost off the coast of Africa after having been sunk in by a depth charge. An accidental falsification of history that begs the question, how many other ships or submarines are lost, misplaced, and have yet to be remembered? What about the spirits of those who had been on those vessels.

It can be assumed that people who lost their lives on treacherous sea voyages would have a main, underlying cause to remain on earth. Only fantastical ideals would let the living believe that all those who died on the water would have met their ends with peaceful acceptance, ready to move on to the afterlife. So, where are these souls who did not make the journey?

Just because it may seem remarkable and unthinkable that spirits can linger on water, or wash ashore with or without their mortal bodies, does not mean that they do not linger out on the shores during the day and night. Reminiscing of the shipwrecks and storms that took their lives, these are spirits that hold histories and the answers to mysteries with them. Where before, only the waves and nature knew of the final minutes of these lost souls.

The crew of U-869 now have a marked burial for the world to know. With their discovery also came a reminder, that there is still so much unknown out of sight, yet within the reach of humans. That does not mean that those sites are without dangers. Diving and underwater exploration can be dangerous, and three of the men who dived the mysterious U-boat off of New Jersey never came back alive.[i]

In the paranormal world, the idea of taking supernatural investigation beneath the waves has many complications. The techniques of interviewing and tracking the deceased have not yet been mastered on land, let alone in the water. What is available to most investigators exists on beaches around the world. Areas where pieces of shipwrecks and their victims washed ashore; places like Cape May, New Jersey.

Prior to Europeans coming to New Jersey, the Cape May area was inhabited by members of the Lenni-Lenape tribe; the same tribe that has been recorded living in Delaware County and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania. Sir Henry Hudson and Cornelius Jacobsen Mey were the two first explorers to see or land on the future site of Cape May. The first land was purchased from the natives in the 1630s, and it became a center for whaling and farming. The idea of Cape May as a relaxing, restful resort community began in 1766, though it gained popularity during the Victorian Era during the 19th century.

Cape May was publicized as an attraction to draw the rich from nearby large cities: Philadelphia, from which most of the first vacationers in the 1700s lived; New York, Baltimore, and Washington were the other main cities. Presidents Franklin Pierce and Benjamin Harrison also came to stay at the scenic site both Cape May took a downward turn in the mid-1850s through the Civil War. By supporting the Union and President Lincoln, the resort lost many of its Southern families. Prior to this, fires ravaged several of the large hotels: the Mt. Vernon Hotel, and the Mansion House. In 1878, another fire destroyed 35 acres of the city, from Congress Hall to Ocean Street.

Following the fires is when developers began building the large, gorgeous Queen Anne and Gothic style Victorian homes that help make this part of New Jersey famous today. Preserving the town’s character came at a cost, with the city struggling to compete with their more popular neighbor, Atlantic City, New Jersey. [ii]

Investigators walking the beaches under the view of the Cape May lighthouse have picked up a variety of words and names. Some of the spirits contacted claim to have been lost on shipwrecks, despite little evidence to support that these ships were lost off the coast, or that they existed. In the early naval history of this country, and this is a statement true of more than just America, people did not feel the need to record the losses of ships for posterity. Shipwrecks were an expected job hazard. For the survivors and even the ships owners and bankers, it was a forfeiture. Perhaps marked on their books somewhere under the title of damages or losses; with no accounting of the ships name or the hired hands that were lost. They could always look in a port town for their next employees and build a new ship. [iii]

Of the ship names that were registered on digital recorders and spirit boxes, the most clearly noted were: the Princess and the Clover. The man who uttered the word “Clover” had an accent to his voice, indicating that the ship was potentially not from the United States. Other names that were picked up could belong to ships or humans, considering that sometimes spirits are delayed in their responses to questions; sometimes posing answers to inquiries that were asked moments beforehand. This group of names consists of: “Edward,” “Virgil,” and “Virginia.” Two names that seem more connected to humans than ships were “Woodruff,” and “Washington Pole.” Genealogical records from Cape May do state that a family by the name of Woodruff did live in the area.

The lists of words do not stop at names. Others call out for help or prayers. Speaking of ships and shipwrecks. One sad voice questioned if he died, another said that the water was cold, and a third remarked that they quite in fact had drowned. Some of the voices may be tied to drownings at the popular Victorian vacation spot but the rest included “ship” in their statements.

How does one catch a spirit’s voice on a beach? Investigating anywhere outdoors or that lacks a controlled environment is problematic. Noises that may not seem loud when they are first heard can be ear piercing on a digital recorder; this is why they are such great tools for paranormal research, they magnify everything! Waves, for one, can be monstrously loud. Then there are the sea gulls and winds to contend with as well. Ideally, one will already be as far removed from other humans as possible, in order to minimalize contamination on that point. As for tools that can aid in any outdoor investigation, there are types of digital recorders that have background noise cancelling technology. This does pose a risk of missing potential EVPS; however, there are paranormal groups in the coastal regions that do beach investigations using those types of recorders and they are able to make contact with the beach stranded spirits.

There is also an option of using the highly controversial spirit box. Not surprisingly, there are some investigators that doubt that findings of these boxes because what it does is sweep radio channels in a matter of seconds. This gives the investigator real time audio while communicating with the deceased. The trick for using it is to listen to direct responses to the questions asked, and for those answers to pass over several channel changes on the box. If the answer passes over several radio stations, then it automatically rules out the answer coming from that single radio source.

Walking the sandy shores of Cape May to find spirits only examines one side of the tales and accounts of vacationers and locals in the area. In the water off the beach is quite another; and the spirits transfer into both places. People swimming near the lighthouse have reported feelings of drowning and fear of the water, when neither was a previous or current occurrence. It is into the water where part two of this article will take us. 

 

[i] Kurson, R. (2005). Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II. Random House Trade Paperbacks.

[ii] “Cape May History.” City of Cape May. 2009. Web. 2015. <http://www.capemaycity.com/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=103&TPID=10704>.

[iii] “Cape May Investigation.” Black Moon Paranormal Society. 2012. <www.blackmoonparanormalsociety.com>

The Haunting of “Rebecca”

*Please note the names have been changed to protect the client confidentiality. – Editor*

Rebecca is a young mother of a two-year-old son, whose name is Jeremy.  Jeremy often complains to his mother that he is scared to sleep in his own bedroom by himself.  This was going on with Jeremy for several months, which Rebecca thought was common with children his age.

One night, when Rebecca was sitting on the edge of the bed helping her son fall asleep in his own room, a few of the toys that littered the floor starting going off by themselves.  A few of them moved on their own; toys that didn’t require batteries.  Rebecca was instantly frightened and removed her son from the bedroom and called me for help.

Because Rebecca was renting the duplex, I first wanted to do some research on the property before doing an investigation of her son and his bedroom.  I requested to speak with the landlord, but was met with a many refusals.  So I was left to my own devices.  So I went to the courthouse and searched online for all the previous tenants that lived in that duplex.

I found something very interesting about one of the previous tenants. His name was Casey, and he led a very short and tragic life.  I had tracked down Casey’s sister, who lived in a nearby town.  She filled in some gaps for me.  In the mid 1970’s, a man name Casey lived in the same duplex that Rebecca now resides at.  Casey’s story is fascinating.  Casey had lost his job in 1976 and was having a hard time paying his rent.  Casey had just graduated high school and felt the pressures of everyday living that most kids that age feel.

In high school Casey was a natural born swimmer and won many competitions in his field.  Casey even won a full scholarship to a major university for his sport accomplishments.  Casey was a very trusting, caring and open person.  Because of his financial situation, Casey decided to find a roommate.  At that same time, Casey had met a girl and fell in love.

Casey learned that his roommate was a very shady person after sharing the duplex with him for some time.  The roommate was a drug runner, sometimes going to several other states in order to move the drugs and make more money.  As the sister of Casey was telling me; one day the roommate approached Casey about making a specific run down to California in order to make some much needed income.  Casey was very apprehensive, and against his sisters advice, took the job.

Before Casey went down to California, his girlfriend had told him that she was pregnant.  Several months along in her pregnancy, Casey wanted his girlfriend to move in so that she could be closer to him.  The girlfriend agreed and moved into Casey’s room while he was gone.  Three days later Casey returned home and showed his girlfriend all the money he had made.  But the excitement was going to be short lived.

What Casey didn’t know was that his roommate was being investigated for drug involvement.  Now Casey feared that he would be as well.  Several months go by without an incident, and then the DEA stop by the duplex and question Casey about his roommate.  Casey became nervous and paranoid and started making plans to move him and his girlfriend in with his sister.  But the girlfriend suddenly went into labor shortly after.  Three days later, they brought back a son and decided to name him Jeremy.  The baby was healthy and happy.  Even more than ever, Casey was determined to move his small family away from the duplex, the roommate, and the investigation.

One day after coming home from visiting his sister, Casey found his girlfriend crying hysterically in the garage of the duplex.  She was yelling through tears that their son was dead.  Casey ran into the room and found his son had passed away through the night.  Later it was determined that the child passed away under suspicious circumstances and another investigation was started.  Weeks after the death of their son, the couple spiraled into a depression.  Casey slept most of the time while the girlfriend would pace and mumble to herself.

One hot afternoon, Casey awoke from the couch to a silent home.  Casey got up to go find out where his girlfriend was.  Once entering the garage, he found her swinging from a crude made noose.  She had hung herself.  Casey called the police.  Once police arrived, they immediately suspected that both deaths were because of Casey.  The roommate was hardly ever seen at the duplex with the initial drug involvement investigation.  After the two deaths, the roommate moved out completely.

Casey spiraled into a dark mental world, which eventually led to his own death.  With the arrival of the police one day to arrest Casey for the two suspicious deaths, he had confronted the police with his own weapon and was fired upon several times.  Casey passed away that same night from two fatal gunshot wounds.

My next step was to go to the duplex and start an investigation.  I asked Rebecca to remove herself and her son from the duplex during the investigation.  The investigation took two full days to perform.  The third day I went over evidence and found that we had captured a photograph of an apparition in the garage and several EVP’s on tape that had the voice of a young man yelling with frustration.

During the reviewing of the evidence, Rebecca and her son had moved into a two bedroom apartment some blocks away.  I went over to show Rebecca the evidence that was caught and asked if there were any further incidents with Jeremy.  She said that Jeremy was now playing with an imaginary friend and was giving her a lot of attitude.  I knew that things had escalated to a dangerous level and had to act fast.

I arranged for Jeremy to be watched by a babysitter in another location while Rebecca and I confronted Casey.  We walked around the apartment and talked with Casey.  We affirmed to him that he was dead and that the Jeremy he was playing with now was not his son.  We confided to Casey that his son was in another place, and that if he wanted to be with his girlfriend and son he would have to move on.  During this time, several items on shelves flew across the room and there was a heavy air about the place.

After several hours of talking with Casey, the house lightened and the activity stopped.  I recommended to Rebecca that she should keep a diary of her daily events with her and Jeremy from that day on, and that I would return a month later.

One month later, I checked in with Rebecca and found out that after that confrontation with Casey there was no further incidents in the apartment or with Jeremy.  Rebecca and Jeremy have since moved to another city and often contacts me, affirming that Jeremy is doing well and that they lead normal lives now with no paranormal incidents.

I eventually showed the picture of the apparition in the garage to Casey’s sister.  She affirmed that it was indeed Casey.  I let her keep the photograph and shared with her the whole story and that Casey had indeed moved on.

The Mystery of Witch Burials: A Paranormal Investigation in Missouri

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The history of graves and cemeteries in European America since the Colonial period is a very fascinating study. Generally, before the 17th century, family and friends were placed in a simple hole dug by a living relative. A wooden marker with the deceased name carved or burned upon it or a piece of stone crudely etched was the only reminder that a soul was buried on a property. Many times these markers eroded away or were destroyed by nature. It wasn’t until the 18th century, when churches began to be erected throughout the country that the concept of a cemetery was born. The earliest graveyards were located right next to the local church. In the New England areas, this practice remained a standard practice into the 20th century. The only exception was the Puritans, who believed any such Church affiliations were idolatrous and breeched the boundaries of heresy. They were the first to set aside land used as a common ground for burials. They rejected the formal Church iconography on the headstones and preferred instead to use images like skulls to represent the secular fate of all humans.

After westward expansion moved the settlements across the Mississippi River, traditions of church graveyards began to change in the Midwest and the South. In very small towns where a church was present, a graveyard may have existed, but for the most part this practice became very impractical. Farms and plantations were built to accommodate the large scale cash crops and so having the traditional churchyard was too far away for landowners to travel with their dead. Transportation was very difficult in those days and so family cemeteries were purposely situated on a high point of land, away from the fears of flood, and were usually enclosed with some sort gate, fence or wall. There are many of these cemeteries scattered throughout southeastern Missouri, many of them erected by German immigrants. Over the past few years my wife and I have had opportunities to experience paranormal activity associated with two of them. Our latest investigation was very eye-opening.

Hermann Cemetery sits on the eastern slope of the bowl-shaped town that is located right on the Missouri River. Hermann itself is full of paranormal activity, as it has a very rich history. As any paranormal investigator knows, we understand that it is the history of a site which determines the intensity of the activity.

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The history of the cemetery itself has a fascinating and mysterious past. Many of the tombstones have actual portraits of the deceased on the headstone, which makes standing over their bodies a rather creepy experience. Another distinguishing feature, which is common in the German tradition of “green living”, is the prevalence of raised concrete landscape beds that are planted right on top of the deceased individual. Here in Hermann, these once beautiful flowerbeds look like slabs of dominoes collapsing onto themselves and sliding down the hilly slope where the cemetery was built.

Our investigation of this site was done during the day, about two hours before dusk. Normally we would do our investigations at night, as orbs and shadow figures tend to be more prominent when the sun isn’t shining. This time we were adopting a different approach to this reportedly very haunted location.

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It is rumored throughout the town and by some visitors that the Hermann Cemetery was once used as witchcraft ritual grounds. Although we have not been able to find any documentation of this rumor, we did discover some things during our investigation that have us scratching our heads and pondering the possibility.

It is generally known that during the 18th and 19th centuries witches, pirates, and other people who were perceived by society to be of ill-repute, were buried on the corners of cemeteries without any inscriptions of who they were. In the two far western corners of Hermann Cemetery all we found were modern grave sites, however, as we walked up the hill to the two top eastern corners, we did find several tombstones that fit the description perfectly, aligned in three short rows. HPIM7367Although most were smooth and with no inscriptions, there were a couple headstones emblazoned with skulls, bones, and similar engravings. Each one was mottled with a type of yellow mossy growth. These headstones had more Puritan-type symbols sculpted on them, much like the witch’s grave seen in the first picture of this article. Judging by the erosion and by comparing them to adjacent grave sites, they would seem to be dated back to the very early 1800’s.

The area of the “witch’s corner” felt very uneasy and, as we walked further south, we came across the isolated grave of George F. Bayer, the builder and founder of Hermann, Missouri. His story is rather lengthy, but to give you the meat and potatoes of it, it is important to note is that he died rather tragically and with a broken heart. His great ambitions for purchasing and literally building the town of Hermann HPIM7373by himself were stripped from him by the German government, due to complaints that his work was not progressing in an appropriate manner. As a result of harsh political decisions, George was banished from society and this drove him to an early death. He was buried near the witch’s corner and no one was allowed to be buried within 75 feet of his grave. It is suspected that George still roams this cemetery and the town which once shunned him, carrying with him a very heavy heart.

After reviewing the dozens of photos we took of the Hermann Cemetery, we have not yet found any evidence to suggest paranormal activity… at least not in the main area where all of the gravestones lie. What we did find was discovered while we walked down the final gravel pathway of our investigation. Here, we turned and began shooting photos in the wooded area. All throughout our spectral investigation my wife and I felt there was something peculiar about this area, almost as if something or someone was watching us.

HPIM7421In the top corner of the woods we peered through the outside limbs and brush and noticed just inside the foliage that it was exceptionally dark. This immediately struck us as very unusual because upon looking up at the canopy, we saw that the tree cover was not very dense. Why would the sunlight be literally sucked out of this area? As we traveled along the pathway a few feet further down, the wooded area was lit up as it would be expected normally. What phenomenon could be occurring in this corner of the woods and is it possible that it may have some connection to the rumored witchcraft practices?

The lack of sunlight is not the only thing that drew our suspicion. We were only able to capture two photos of the wooded area because it was in that moment the batteries in our digital camera went dead. We were also walking with an ASR Voice Recorder app on my Android phone that was continuously running throughout our investigation. Right around 41:00 we lost all audio – no just once, but six times! Each time was very brief, perhaps a second or two, and the dead time showed up as white areas in amongst the black lines of recording on the phone screen. I have not been able to figure out or debunk how this was able to happen. I tried covering up all speakers and receivers with my hand to see if any zero reading would occur, which it does not. Air movement does not seem to be a factor because a steady light wind was present throughout our entire investigation and the audio is not affected anywhere else. Somehow the audible energy from the atmosphere was sucked out in short increments. What logical explanation can be derived from multiple energy sources being expended so mysteriously?

We have one last piece of evidence to offer you that comes from a very unusual source, but one my wife and I are very familiar with using. It is called Zillow. Yes, it is the real estate website. Many of us have used this resource to either find our dream home or one we can actually afford. And yes, it is a wonderful tool for finding paranormal activity.

In our research of searching for homes for sale around Hermann Cemetery, we found one whose property line lies very close to the cemetery grounds. We suspected that if this graveyard were truly haunted then any homes for sale around it should have paranormal activity in them as well. We had found other sites in the Hermann area which have apparent fairy activity in the woods and, in this case, Zillow did not disappoint us. The 3 photos below are taken from the Zillow site.

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In this photo you will see an orb right in front of the blue chair. Perhaps this is an entity taking a load off her feet by relaxing in the plush chair?

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Here is another orb closer to the ceiling but still quite defined.

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In this bathroom photo you can see at least one orb reflected in the mirror. Could this possibly be one of the witch’s admiring herself?

All of these questions tied to the photos are simply conjecture, however, it is rather interesting that a home right on the edge of Hermann Cemetery has so many light anomalies in it. And so now we sit back and reflect upon the history of cemeteries in America, the possible roles witches had on their plot corners, and the evidence we gathered at Hermann cemetery. We ask ourselves – what are the possibilities that, with further investigation and more equipment, we may be able to verify the rumors that witchcraft was performed in this cemetery at one time? We definitely believe there is something very odd happening on this site because it drained sunlight, audio waves, and lithium battery energy right before our eyes. Hermann Cemetery has provided evidence that there is something unusual going on with this site and that perhaps some the legendary rumors are, in fact, true.

My Meeting with Werewolves

It all started ten years ago.  My fiancé and I had the idea that we would have a midnight picnic lunch on one of the decks that overlook the Willamette River in Albany, Oregon.  Planning to look at the stars and snuggle with each other while lying on a blanket and snacking on food.

Just as we got onto the deck and put our blanket down, there was a humongous splash in the water.  We ran to the railing of the deck and looked over.  What we saw swimming in the river was incomprehensible.  It was around six feet tall, humanoid and had hair all over its body.  We watched this creature swim around the entire deck and then go to shore and walk into the trees on the shoreline.

My fiancé was scared, so I gathered up the blanket with all the food still inside.  We quickly started walking to the entrance of the deck when loud growls came from the shore.  These growls sounded as if you mixed a wolf and a lion together.  We eventually got to the edge of deck and had to stand still because another growl was emitted from the creature.

I told my fiancé to run to the car as fast as possible and I would stay behind to distract the creature.  My fiancé took off like her feet were on fire.  She had just reached the car in the parking lot when I heard a growl right behind me.  I turned around.  Five feet from me there was the creature standing and staring at me.  It was definitely a male humanoid.  I could make out the human ears, the genitalia, the chest and stomach and legs.  The face was obscured with bits of hair, but the features were human as well.  But this creature was covered all in fine hair and had very long and sharp teeth.  We stared at each other for a minute while the creature was breathing hard and I was holding my own breath.  The creature then roared and turned around and went back into the tree line.  I turned and high-tailed it out of there.

We immediately drove to the Albany Police Station and asked to make a report.  We were of course looked at as if we were on drugs or insane.  Nothing happened to that police report, if they ever filed one.

Seven months went by and as I was reading the paper one morning I noticed that someone in a nearby city had had a similar incident while walking home from a restaurant.  I tracked the man down and asked him about his story, never mentioning my own.  I assured the man that I was a writer and was interested in his story, the man told all.  What was really eerie is that he described his incident to the very detail of what happened to me.  But we lived 23 miles apart.

For the next three years I investigated many more attacks such as these.  In all, there were 28 attacks within four years.  I knew there had to be something going on, so I had to do more research.  Did werewolves actually exist?  Was there a mythological creature in the area that is harassing people?

I consulted with several psychologists and psychiatrists about mental conditions that could cause this effect with men and women.  It’s called Lycanthropy.  This is where children and adults often times believe that they can transform into savage animals.  I had the distinct pleasure of actually seeing one such person who suffered from this disease.

Shortly after my research with the mental health field, I received an email from a girl.  In this email, this girl stated that she is the girlfriend of one of the men who is in their pack.  And that she was to warn me to back off and not do any more investigating of their wolf pack, or else I would end of hurt or dead.

I emailed her back and told her that I would cease investigating if I was allowed to meet with the “pack.”  This is where everything became crystal clear to me and my research and investigation.  I immediately received an email back giving a place, time and date.  I was to meet the “pack” in a Portland suburb.

The day came for our meeting and so I took a friend’s car up to Portland to meet the “pack.”  The meeting place was a park and the time was around 6 pm.  As I arrived at the park, a young man came up to my window and told me to follow him to the next arranged place so that we could all meet in private.
Red flags started popping up with me, but I agreed.

I followed the young man through the city of Portland and into a rural area.  As I pulled up, I could clearly see that there were around six young men standing haphazardly in a field of long grass.  The young man who led me there got out of his car and knocked on my window.  He asked for me to get out of the car.  I told him that I was not comfortable with this meeting.

The young man then started beating his fist on the window and screaming for me to get out.  His face was contorted in a mad rage.  I then noticed that all the young men were slightly hunched over and were making growling noises.  I immediately put the car in reverse and back out of the area on a dirt road going 45 miles per hour or more.  As I fishtailed onto the paved street, I looked over and all the young men were running after me on all fours; barking and growling.  I was mesmerized.  I then put the car in drive and took off.

I was unable to get pictures or testimonies of my occurrence simply because everything happened so fast.  What I believe I saw was a group of men who suffered from Lycanthropy.

Since that meeting, I have been in regular contact with the men and the girl.  We keep our distance, but we talk about them restraining themselves from attacking humans and to only focus on wild animals.  The group has agreed and attacks have stopped.   We have also come to an agreement that I mind my own business and stay safe, and they do the same.  A compromise was reached.

Doing further research, I have learned that Lycanthropy is a very real disease and is not so rare.  Many are misdiagnosed with other titled ailments or conditions, but often times have the same symptoms of Lycanthropy.

Desperate For Evidence Could Mean False Hope

For as long as I’ve been researching anomalous studies, it has been easy to separate myself emotionally from cases and investigations. This has been especially useful when it comes to working residential cases and I’ve found myself in the midst of a grieving family who are desperate for some sort of sign from their deceased loved one. They became so desperate that they would misinterpret any photo anomaly for something paranormal.  A smudge would have the face of a person, and a reflection of light would turn into a sign from beyond the grave. Because last recent death of a family member had happened in 2000, I was fairly desensitized to the emotional aspect. Of course, I always remained objective and wondered how in the world people could reach that state where anything was interpreted as a sign from a passed loved one.

That is until my mother died.

My mother’s passing was very sudden and unexpected. She died on a Friday and the last time I talked to her was the Wednesday before. It was a normal conversation even though she just had surgery and it was a success. She was even recovering at home because she did so well. Therefore, there were a lot of words unspoken, apologies never made, and I’ve been left with nothing but wondering what happened. In the midst of my grief, I wanted answers. I didn’t know where to find them since I wasn’t finding them from the doctors or the coroners. I honestly didn’t know where to turn. Because I was a paranormal investigator, people flooded my inbox saying that I was in the perfect position to accept a message from beyond because I knew what to look for.

Honestly? That’s not really true. I wasn’t sure of what to look for. I knew how to debunk evidence, but the paranormal experiences I’ve had weren’t even confirmed to be a ghost, only left unexplained. While I was desperate for a sign from my mother that she was okay, I had to keep my head on my shoulders. I couldn’t fall into the same trap that I judged so many others for. Basically, my mother would have to walk in as a full body apparition juggling plates before I took a moment to believe that what I was seeing was real.

I’ve also had numerous psychics contact me, telling me what to look for as a sign from my mom. In all honesty, the signs are all explainable and logical. It can be rather disheartening, and all I have in the end is faith to depend on. A few days after my mother died, I went to her home and spent some time alone. I screamed, I cried, and had some weird things happen that can probably be explained. But in the moment, I was sure that my mother was trying to communicate with me. Was I right? I don’t think so.

If you’re in the midst of grieving a lost loved one, regardless of how long ago they have passed, and you’re wanting to use the “sign” from your loved one as proof of the afterlife; I encourage you to keep a level head when it comes to looking for “that sign.” It can be easy to misinterpret the simplest things as a message from that person. But in the end, maybe these signs aren’t meant to be publicized, but instead, used as private moments to assure you that things will be okay. I think this is also the source of a lot of drama and hurt feelings in the paranormal field because there is a strong emotional connection to the evidence. Most people will feel uncomfortable reviewing those pieces of evidence because it can be hard to remain objective while still remaining respectful to the grieving person. Personally, it is not worth subjecting myself to that. I also have to have faith that my mother knew me well enough to know what I’m looking for, and when that sign comes, it will be a private moment between a mother and daughter. I’m anxiously awaiting while debunking every day, because I don’t want to focus so much on the wrong sign when everything I could be looking for is right around the corner.

So, what does this mean for me? It means that like Houdini, I’m desperately waiting for a sign from my mother. The reason that I’ve been involved in paranormal research for so long was to find proof of the afterlife because I feared death. But now, I want proof of the afterlife because I want to know that my mother is okay.