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Lena Townsend is a Registered Metaphysical Practitioner (RMP) with the World Metaphysical Association (WMA). Lena also serves as a Membership Coordinator on the WMA Executive Board of Directors. She is a Certified Tarot Master and has been reading Tarot for over ten years. Lena is a Certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher and an Ordained Minister. You may also find Lena writing as the Topeka Psychic Examiner on Examiner.com or working on various projects relating to her many intrests.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My First Official Paranormal Investigation

This was the first time I had ever gotten the chance to actually go along on a ghost hunt. I had watched them on television, seen live investigations aired over the internet, and heard plenty of stories from others that had been investigating but for me it was all from a distance.

Several people had invited me along but for the first time I actually was able to attend. I had a sitter for my children and my husband and I were prepared to make a night of it. Then my natural fear started to kick in. I have never been a person to like crowds, especially crowds of people I don’t know. I really hated the idea that this was going to be a lot of people I didn’t know and it was going to be in a place I had never been to before and knew nothing about. “What was I thinking when I agreed to do this,” was all that kept running through my mind on the way there.

When we got to the Riverhouse Restaurant in Atchison, KS a few familiar faces greeted me and that eased my fear a little. I still felt the anxieties, those things we make ourselves worry over that we don’t need to, that I always seem to put myself through. I was sure that I was going to mess up somehow or not be good enough. I guess what I feared most was that in the end they would all think I was crazy or something.

As the team did its walk through the building to decide where to set up camera’s and other equipment I went along for the tour. I told them where I could feel things, what I was feeling, and how it didn’t make sense that a lot of it didn’t seem to fit with this building but maybe a building that was here before this one. I felt like if it wasn’t with a building then maybe just the land itself.

While reading cards earlier in the evening I had the feeling that some spirits were trying to communicate. One particular spirit really caught my attention. He gave me that creepy feeling and at first I thought that he was with Cathy Ramirez, the founder of Ghost Tours of Kansas, LLC.

Of course as soon as I said I sensed a spirit, the paranormal investigative team that was with us, Kansas Paranormal Research Society- KPRS and the founder of Catch A Ghost Paranormal Equipment, Terry, all rushed over to set up some equipment. They wanted to get evidence of the paranormal, this made me nervous.

I wasn’t used to being surrounded by all of that equipment so it took me a few minutes to adjust and to be able to sense him again but I am sure that his name was Jonathon. He didn’t mind being called John but he definitely didn’t like being called Johnny. He was real clear about that. I felt very strongly that he liked Cathy because she was pretty. It was as though she reminded him of someone he cared deeply for.

John showed me that he was having trouble breathing, like his air supply was cut off at the throat. I felt that he had been very sick and that he was determined to communicate with me but I also felt that maybe I wasn’t getting all he was trying to tell me because I was nervous and there was other spirits I was sensing.

After he went away from me I saw the image of hanging, so I know that someone had hanged there or near there but the image wasn’t real clear. I sensed a man falling as well. I wasn’t sure if they were connected or if it was another spirit. It seemed to me that there were many.

I felt the presence of a young girl, maybe 13 or 14 years old, and that her name was Mattie, I believe her first name was actually Matilda. She was there with her brother, Jimmy, whom she felt she had to protect, she needed to take care of him. I also felt as though she was afraid of another there, his name was Bartholomew, maybe Barry.

After the walk around the building the team set up in the places I had sensed things and the investigation began. We were all called together to get equipment and find out where we were going to be. We were introduced to the people that would join in the group as guests and then we talked about where equipment was set up so that no one would actually run into it or contaminate it. For example, there was some track a ghost powder on the floor on a piece of cardboard and they didn’t want us to walk in it.

As I walked passed the doorway to the room next to the kitchen I heard a man say, “I don’t want you here.” He didn’t yell but he had a firm tone and said it very clearly. My initial thought was that one of the men on the team didn’t want me to be there but then I realized there was no one in the room and the equipment had already been set up in there.

We started by breaking into teams and each team decided where to go first. I was asked to tag along wherever I felt called to be. I was given a flashlight, a two-way radio, and a digital recorder and I chose to stay in the bar area where I now sensed Mattie and her brother to be.

I walked toward the restrooms knowing that there was some activity there. Earlier I had used the restroom and in the stall next to me the toilet had flushed but no one was in the restroom with me. I will admit that freaked me out just a little bit, okay, maybe a lot. At that point, I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not but I was already there so I needed to do it.

I sat quietly listening, trying to relax my mind so I could hear the spirits talk to me. I wasn’t sure I would be able to with the distractions of other people getting things in the room. K2 meters were going off, people were talking to a spirit trying to get her name. It was Mattie. I wanted to know more so I sat back and listened for any messages that came to me.

I also sensed that there was a woman there, her name was Ella, she said she was in the picture. It took me a little bit to figure out what she was talking about but later someone spoke of an Ella and talked about how she was at one time the owner of the Riverhouse building. It made sense to me and I remembered that earlier in the afternoon Cathy Ramirez had shown me a picture that had Mattie and Jimmy in it, and it also had Ella.

Someone on the team asked, “Do you like to play with toys, Mattie?” I heard in my head, “I like music.” so I told the team she said she likes music. Then the team asked her, “Do you like music?” and she responded by lighting up the lights on the meter. The team decided to play a song on a cell phone and asked, “Mattie, do you like this song?” She didn’t respond, the meters didn’t move. Then I heard “Red River Valley” in my head. It wasn’t just the name of the song, I could hear her singing it.

I told the team that she liked “Red River Valley” and the member that had the phone played the song. Suddenly the lights on the K-2 meter went crazy lighting up all the way to red repeatedly. Then when the song was over someone played a different kind of music, more modern country music, the K-2 meter did nothing, then they played some more music and nothing.

I heard her say “Camp Town Races” and I asked, “Camp Town Races?” so one of the team members pulled up the song on his phone and played it. This part is a little strange to me. For the most part I trust all that I feel or hear in my own head because I know what I know even if I don’t know how but when it comes to equipment and stuff like that I am not real sure what to believe. This part I find very interesting because this song was a song I didn’t know, or at least I didn’t know I knew. I had always thought of this song as “The Do-Da Song” I had no idea that the name of the song was “Camp Town Races.”

When the song started and I realized what it was the K-2 meter began to go off again repeatedly. It was strange to me that it had went so long without going off but then would go off in response to music or questions. It seemed that every time someone would ask a question we would get some response for yes or no response for no on the meter.

At one point someone said, “We have some toys over under the windows.” and explained that it was okay for her to touch them. About five minutes after that the toy began to beep and a small red light flashed brightly. The only way that this toy would move was if someone touched it or walked within a couple of inches of it. Of course, we all went across the room to check it out. It went off again while we were standing there. No one touched it, no one was near it, we were not walking around but we did have a light shining on it. It did it one more time before I was called to another area by a separate group.

The next group I was with was getting some readings on the stairs but they had determined that maybe there was some wiring or the IR Camera was causing some interference. While I was standing on the stairs I saw a beautiful woman, very elegant, she said her name was Lucinda, Lucy. I felt that she was a gentle sort of woman and that children liked her, would follow her. I also saw a man pass on the stairs, his name was Henry, though that was all I got from him.

There were many personal experiences for me through out the night but John stands out to me the most. He was someone that I felt really wanted my attention. He was in the building attached to this one but not the restaurant itself. I could feel him so strongly. I felt him choking, gasping for air, and sickly. My stomach was queasy and my head was spinning. I was sweating profusely and I felt like someone had their hands around my neck cutting off my air supply. It was as though they were pressing their thumbs into my throat.

As I felt this I kept seeing someone pass in front of a window in another room. I thought I had seen them looking out the window when I passed by on my way into the building but upon entry to the building I realized no one could get that close to the window because of the stuff that was stored in there. I finally asked if I could walk over into that room because he was showing himself and then disappearing. It was very frustrating to me. I wanted him to stay long enough I could get a good look at him, but he wouldn’t.

As I walked closer I got that his face was burned, I felt like my face was on fire, and could picture the images of scars on a mans face in my head. I saw a wooden leg, like a peg. It reminded me of a chair leg. I had never seen anything like that before but I was sure that he was missing a leg.

I tried very hard to get him to tell me a name but all he would say was Meriwether. That didn’t make any sense to me. He repeated it at least two more times. I continued to travel through the room trying to get some answers. I know he was staying close to the window most of the time. Then I heard, “Lewis Meriwether.”

Someone asked me, “Wasn’t that the Lewis and Clark guy?” To be honest, I had no clue but earlier in the afternoon while sitting outside the building I heard Lewis and Clark in my head. Upon further investigation of the area we discovered a trail marker that said Lewis and Clark but I didn’t feel that this man was one of them, maybe he had worked with them or traveled with them.

After the investigation we helped clean up the area and then we all stood outside. I was not ready to stop investigating. I still felt there was more that needed to be revealed, more that hadn’t been said.

As we stood outside I mentioned that I had seen Lucinda and someone said that coincides with stories of children that had followed a woman upstairs. Only the children had seen her. I didn’t get all of the details but I am sure this was her, it fit what I felt about her.

A few days after the investigation one of the guest investigators sent me some photos of what he believed to be the man from the other room that I was picking up on. Then another set of photos was posted by another investigator. In this set of photos there was a picture of a peg leg, just as I had seen, no too far in front of the window where I had felt and seen this spirit pass. The peg leg had no body attached to it, it wasn’t in other photos and no one in the group was dressed in a way that could be mistaken for it.

As time goes by, more and more evidence is being brought forth to confirm what I saw, felt, and heard. Not too bad for a first investigation. It was very exciting and I am looking forward to the next.

Photo courtesy of Terry Rowe, Catch A Ghost Paranormal Equipment

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