Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ghost of Monticello?

Since I was a little girl, I've been enamored by historic buildings, and history in general.  Around the time I was in high school I grew a deep passion for learning about the US Presidents.  Not the political side of things, but the more personal side of their lives.  From their wives, and children, to living in the White House.  I'm still trying to get a tour of the White House, that's on my bucket list, but one of the things I enjoy doing it going to historic buildings especially those that were former estates, or homes of the presidents.  Whether it's the boyhood home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, or the state manor of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, I've always enjoyed going to their homes.

With any home that has an impress history, tales of spirits and hauntings usually follow in tow.  About three years ago, I was returning home from a concert in Lynchburg, Virginia, and thought I would stop in Charlottesville, Virginia and see the home of Thomas Jefferson.  I have been to Monticello a few times with my family while I was growing up.  But this was the first time that I would be going there since I started working in the paranormal.  I was just interested to see if I could pick anything up.

The tour started off normally, the home is well taken care of, and filled with era appropriate antiques that Jefferson might have own.  Most probably not, but it gives the affect of what the home would look like while he was still living there. 

As we circled through the building we entered into the dining room, and I picked up a distinct difference in the feeling of the room.  Something was just off with the room.  I started to feel dizzy, light headed and sick to my stomach.  I moved to the edge of the room away from the tour group trying to get my bearings.  I had brushed up against a chair that was probably worth more than my car, and worldly possessions combined, when I felt a distinct feeling of someone pushing me away from the chair.  I quickly turned around, thinking one of my fellow tour group members, had saved me from falling into the chair, and there wasn't anyone behind me.  It's always quite odd when you are the only one in the group of about 20 people that experience something and you can't yell out, "OH MY GOD SOMETHING TOUCHED ME!" 

I continued to move with the group, and began to notice a distinct smell of roses.  Now the time that I was visiting was the middle of March, it was far too cold for flowers to start blooming just yet.  There was no flowers to be seen in the room that we were entering.  I scoured the room looking for a vase.  As quickly as the smell came, it was gone.  Which lead me to believe it was not one of my fellow tour group because I would have smelled the roses earlier while we were walking.

Was it a ghost?  Was it someone trying to reach out?  Who knows, but it was definitely something personal to me, and brings me closer to wanting to reach out to the other side and find out their personal story.

~ Janice

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Pioneer Cabin in Hocking Hills, Ohio

First settled in the early 1800’s, the Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio sits within the Allegheny Plateau. The extreme topography of the area is due to the abundance of Blackhand Sandstone which forms cliffs, waterfalls, rock shelters and gorges. This part of Ohio offers a quiet and scenic retreat for anyone looking to escape the noisy hustle and bustle of city life.

Along with its natural wonders, the area is rich in folklore and tales of haunting, a true bonus for a couple of ghost hunters like Michelle and myself.

In April of 2012, we stayed at the Pioneer cabin after learning that this was indeed a true pioneer cabin dating back to the 1800s. We said to each other, “Wow! We have to check this place out. There has to be a lot of history in a place like that.”

The location of the cabin is somewhat remote. A 200 yard gravel drive winds its way north from the main road to the cabin which sits surrounded by 70 acres of woods. With a steep hill to the west and a hollow to the east and half a mile of rugged forest to the north, there’s only one way in and out.

We arrived and got settled in then proceeded to explore the property. To the north we walked a trail that ended at a small waterfall and creek that made its way down through the hollow. A couple couldn't ask for more private and romantic surroundings.

Later that evening at the cabin we had dinner and settled in for the night. We made ourselves comfortable in front of the TV when we heard a loud bang as one of the front window wooden shutters slammed shut. “What the hell was that!” we said to each other. We both thought someone was on our front porch but when we went outside, no one was there. Michelle swears she saw a dark figure move past the window just before the shutter slammed. She can’t say with certainty what it was due to the fact the windows in the pioneer cabin are very old glass and much like looking through a coke bottle, everything appears somewhat distorted. Also, we heard no sound of footsteps. If someone was playing a prank, wouldn't we have heard them running off?

As you can see from the picture, the shutters on the cabin are one piece of heavy wood and hinged on one side like a door. Since we saw no one, my next thought was the wind must have caught the shutter and slammed it shut. At the time, there was a bit of rain moving into the area and as we stepped outside to investigate, the temperature was noticeably cooler. Sometimes when a cold front moves in it’s preceded by a good gust of wind. This must explain why the shutter moved, right? …Nope.

I swung the shutter open and gave it a shove to test my theory. It didn't make it half way before stopping. Second try, this time I’ll give it a good hard push. The shutter traveled further but still stopped far short of closing all the way. It was obvious at this point that the tight hinges were stopping the shutter. However, what was growing less obvious to me was what exactly slammed the shutter. The only way this thing shuts is by physically pushing it completely shut. The wind didn't do it and no one was on the porch. OK Pioneer Cabin, you have my attention.

As a skeptic I first look to any natural explanation for what we had experienced. This time I had no answer. It takes a lot for me to admit something paranormal may have been occurring at the Pioneer Cabin. But nothing logically explains what Michelle and I experienced that day in April, in Hocking Hills.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Introducing our newest member, Toni Traini!

posted Oct 31, 2012, 7:08 AM

Ghost Journeys would like to introduce our newest member Toni Traini! Toni comes to us with vast experience and knowledge of the paranormal. I had the pleasure of meeting her in Gettysburg last spring. Can't wait to work with her some more. Please help me in welcoming Toni to our team!

Two Upcoming Investigations: Pennhurst & Bissman Building

posted Oct 25, 2012, 9:21 AM

Two upcoming investigations.

Pennhurst November 11th
Bissman Building November 24th

Interested in checking them out let us know!

Also don't forget the Antietam Illumination on December 1st!

Welcome Melyssa Negley to our team!

posted Oct 25, 2012, 9:18 AM

We would like to welcome our newest member Melyssa Negley! We are very excited to welcome Melyssa to our team and can't wait to investigate with her! Please help me by welcoming Melyssa to our team!

Hales Bar Marina and Dam investigation cancelled

posted Jun 5, 2012, 5:49 AM

Due to recent information that was brought to our attention Ghost Journeys will NOT be investigating Hales Bar this July. We are sorry but for the safety of our team and those attending we feel this is best for now. Sorry for the inconvenience and watch here for more upcoming investigations.

Welcome Jay Mattia!

posted May 22, 2012, 6:37 AM

Ghost Journeys would like to welcome the newest member of our team Jay Mattia! Has been investigating with us for over a year now, and we are proud to welcome him as our newest member!