In an effort to investigate more hospitable, positive and spiritual places, the Paranormal Housewives headed off to see what kind of spirit activity we could find at a church in Brea (Saturday, November 6th, 2010). We found plenty.
This is not an objective post that speaks for all of us (Marsha, Erin, Kimberly and Liz), but rather a recounting of the most intense experiences that affected me in particular. As soon as we arrived, I felt what I can only describe as “atmosphere” outside in the back of the church buildings. The dark seemed too dark, the quiet too quiet—as if something or someone were observing us as we soaked up the mood of the place. To those who say there is nothing scientific about ghost hunting, I will agree to a certain extent—we place tremendous value on our feelings, impressions and sensations. Over time, we find that we can corroborate our impressions with each other, and we become better at sensing the energies of a room or building. This is not “scientific,” yet it is valuable information when we are able to back up these impressions with facts we learn later, or find out through subsequent research. I include this caveat here because recently I have endured a fair amount of criticism for anything I claim is paranormal. For me, it was confirmation of my growing intuitive skills to learn that a man fell to his death right in the area to which I was drawn. I leave it at that—no one will be convinced of anything based on that tidbit, but if you collect enough of these tidbits, you end up with a fairly convincing picture of the reality of the spirit world and its communication with us.
But I digress. The original church was built in 1913, an “oil man’s church” in the heart of Southern California’s oil boom. There are pictures of the first congregation standing in front of the original building, many of the women decked out in full Victorian outfits and the children in white smocks. It seems hopelessly long ago, impossible to reach; the nursery is the only place, for me, that retains a feeling of that nearly century-old ambiance. On the other side of the original building is the newer section, built at some point in the 1960s (I don’t have the exact date). We started our investigation in the nursery. When we were touring the buildings, our guide told us that the nursery was the place where objects were frequently moved from one place to another, or disappeared entirely, suggesting some kind of poltergeist activity. I was immediately “creeped out” (to quote one of my favorite, if terribly over-used, descriptive phrase) by that room filled with such apparently innocuous toys. Why do the most innocent of things seem so sinister in the dark? Why does a doll or a stuffed animal transform from cute to sinister and diabolical when the children are gone and the moon is out? Another question: why, on that initial tour, were our K-2 meters behaving erratically and spiking unpredictably in the newer section of the church even when the power was off? Why did the K-2 meters utterly die only a couple of hours later when we returned to the sanctuary?
But I digress; again.
Even though the nursery was old and decidedly creepy, nothing much happened. Some of the PHW did hear voices and odd noises, but I can’t say that I did. I had that familiar feeling that the spirits had taken off soon after we arrived. In fact, the entire original section seemed very quiet, and for me, not at all active or haunted—not on that night, anyway. I think that’s the reason I started behaving in an indecorous fashion, showing off yoga moves in the storage room and later, in the kitchen, performing unspeakable acts on a ghost cookie. We have pictures of this silliness, proving that I had lost all seriousness—momentarily—appropriate to a church and an investigation. Perhaps I was rebelling against the quiet expectation of good behavior a church requires . . . perhaps I was just very tired and had eaten too much whipped cream and pie at dinner. In any case, everything was about to change.
We moved on to the new section of the church, where we heard odd noises in the “pipe room,” where the pipe organs were ensconced. The K-2 meters no longer registered any activity whatsoever, an odd fact considering how active they were previously. After playing some piano and lighting a couple of candles (one for Nana, my paternal grandmother), I decided to get comfortable and lay down on the front pew. I justified this laziness because Marsha was doing the same thing a few pews down from me; heck, the spirits don’t need me to stand up in order to manifest. However, perhaps Marsha and I were still reacting—just a little—to the idea that we were supposed to behave in church.
Allow me to backtrack a little. That night I was wearing a tee-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt under it (I like to layer). The long-sleeved shirt and the tee were both scoop-necked, allowing for some alluring revealing of my chest, but not so low that anyone could see something resembling the outline of a breast. God forbid. No, really—God forbid, I’m too old to show my chest (OK, not really, that was just for effect). I wore two necklaces, one long one with a pendant of the Virgin Mary (highly appropriate for the venue) and one shorter with evil-eye beads and a flat, metal skull that sat on the line of the shirt fabric (not at all appropriate for the venue). I was on my back, head slightly elevated by part of my ghost kit (I wasn’t measuring anything at this point but my own lassitude). I was utterly still; I remember that fact because I made note of it in my head as being conducive to spirit activity (I would, by my theory, notice my surroundings better if I didn’t move at all). Then I felt it. The skull necklace was slowly moving up my neck. It felt as if someone were pulling it slowly and deliberately—I kept thinking that something was going to strangle me with it. I called out to the other PHW to come and see what was happening, and they all did. This is what they reported:
In Kimberly’s words:
“I did see the beads move, but I thought that part was from the vein on your neck.
But I agree with everything Liz said about the skull. I saw it go under your shirt and the shirt flip up as it happened.
Also, Kirsten, you were soooooooo still. You did not move until that last bit. Then we all moved. 🙂 I agree 100% that it was paranormal.”
In Liz’s words:
“Kirsten!!!! I definitely saw the beads move just like Marsha. I was watching them move as Marsha went to get her camera and everyone else was on their way to join us. At first I thought it was gravity but it didn’t explain why the beads were moving the way they were moving. And then the necklace to me looked like it jumped up then flipped and from what I saw… it looked like your shirt was lifted up and the necklace went underneath it. It was AMAZING!!!!! Believe me I convinced people it was paranormal.”
In Erin’s words:
“I saw the skull flip up (as If someone had flicked it) and then fall under your shirt. I did not see your shirt get pulled down. I did see the necklace pulled quite tight around your neck as if someone was holding it…it was not just laying there and gravity was moving it. I think I even said “oh my gosh” because it looked like it was choking you but I didn’t want to freak you out at the time and elaborate. I did not see the beads move because I was not looking at the beads…I was looking at the skull. I saw the skull move.”
Marsha told me on the phone that she saw the beads move as if they were “being twirled by something,” and that she also saw the skill “flip and move under your blouse” and that my blouse was actually pulled down at the same time the skull flipped.
This corroborates, in large part, what I experienced. The necklace seemed to pull tighter and tighter around my neck, and I most definitely felt the skull flip and go under my shirt, although I didn’t feel my shirt move. At that point, I was really, really scared; I finally jumped up and threw the necklace across the room.
OK, so let’s evaluate the facts. This is not a subjective feeling, a story no one can corroborate, a psychic vision or a muddled EVP. This is an event with four (possibly five—I need to locate Jennifer and find out if she saw all this) witnesses whom I asked to describe what they saw. On one point, everyone agrees: the skill flipped up and moved under my shirt. That is a heavy metal skull that does not move on its own, much less flip all by itself.
Now, the tricky part: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? I have a few theories. I was not behaving properly in church, and I had invoked my grandmother, who was a very proper lady (and didn’t miss church). I think, given the intimacy of someone moving my necklace up and out of the way, and then hiding the skull under my shirt, that Nana might have hidden the offending skull. It was a piece of jewelry she would have hated, that I know. However, other PWH were sensing an older lady in the church, and it might have been her.
Honestly? There is no way to know. Was it paranormal? ABSOLUTELY. You can layer on your interpretations, but I was touched by something out of this world. It was incredible, impossible to forget—and is all the proof that I need that there is another realm of reality right next to us at all times. I had to leave shortly after this incident, unable to focus on anything but what had just occurred. I was drained, but I was not exhausted or miserable the next day—in fact, I felt light and free. I felt, in fact, overwhelmed by something uplifting and beautiful, something I have never found at Camarillo or the jail.
I suppose if you seek spirits, a church is the best place to go.
And Nana, if that was you, I promise never to wear that horrible necklace to church again.