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The Ghost Lights of Ava

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By Chris McGill

In the fall of 2001, my wife and I made a trip to see her Sister in Southern Illinois. She lives there with her husband and two kids on a farm in a town not far from Murphysboro. Ava is a small town of a little over 500 residents. Not far from my sister-in-law's place, there’s a cemetery that lies off of the road between a cornfield and forest. Some of the tombstones in this cemetery date back to the mid to late 1800’s and many are from the same family. I will not say what the name of the cemetery is in order to protect the privacy of the family’s of those buried there.

We were in town for my wife’s family’s ‘cousin’s weekend’. This was an annual event at the time and this year we were roughing it, camping out all weekend on the farm. After a long day of horseback riding and dinner, we decided to take a little trip up the road and check out the old cemetery. After all, it was late October and Halloween was coming! This would be a perfect pre-Halloween treat. And a treat it was!

Not long after we arrived I started taking video with my brand new Sony Handycam (equipped with night vision). My wife and I had recently gotten into the hobby of ‘ghost hunting’ and I thought this would be a great spot to try out the new gear. Almost immediately I began to see a light in the forest on the outside of the cemetery. The only thing that didn’t make sense was the light wasn’t visible to the naked eye. You could only see it through the viewfinder of the video camera. I brought this to the attention of one of my wife’s cousins that was nearby. Here’s a clip of what we saw.

There was nothing in the woods that should have reflected the infrared from my camera. Not to mention, fade on and off like this ‘Ghost Light’ did! Later that same night I was shooting more video and caught an ‘orb’ of light that kept following me around. At first I thought it may be part of a spider web I had walked through, since that had happened a bit earlier. After a few seconds I realized it wasn’t a web nor was it a bug of any type. It was late in October and already getting down into the low 40’s. Most bugs are long gone in temps like that. This was the first time I had ever experienced an ‘orb’ that appeared to respond to my questions.

Needless to say, this one freaked me out a bit and I wanted to leave right then and there! Another weird thing happened that same night. For several weeks prior to this, I had been experiencing some really bad pain in my right foot. It hurt so bad at times that I could hardly walk. The next day when I woke up, I no longer had any pain in my foot at all! And haven’t since that night almost eight years ago. What was it that we saw that night in the woods outside the cemetery? Was it a ghost light? And the ‘orb’ of light that seemed to follow me inside the cemetery. Was that a spirit of someone buried there, or maybe a guardian spirit that was watching over the place? We’ll never know for sure. We did find out the next day, after talking with residents that lived near the cemetery, that there was a barn that used to be in the area where we spotted the first unknown light. It had burned down decades ago, and the rumors are that at least one person if not more were killed in the fire.

I’ve been back to this cemetery several times since this incident occurred, and have yet to experience anything like we did on that October night in 2001. I’m very skeptical when it comes to ‘orbs’ because there can be so many logical explanations like dust, moisture or lens flare. I’ve pretty much ruled out all three of these particular options in this case. Still, there’s no way to say for sure that what we experienced was paranormal. But it was definitely unexplained.

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My Haunted House ~ Part III: The Goat, The Dogs And Devo

Monday, December 22, 2008

Every now and then something just inexplicable happens around here. Although, daily life around here would be pretty baffling for most, but sometimes it’s just stranger than the usual activity for us.

It was a regular weekday. I followed the usual routine of feeding the goat in the back yard, putting the dogs in the crates, locking up and heading out to the studio just a short time before my husband, Devo, was due home. The only thing that was out of the ordinary was UPS had delivered a 40 lb bag of dog food that I had left sitting in the living room since it was too heavy for me to take to the dogs’ room. That’s why we have husbands right?

Right on schedule, Devo arrived home shortly after I left. The curious part is what he came home to.

He had trouble opening the front door. He claimed it felt like he was pushing something heavy out of the way to enter the house. We only use the front door since the other doors in the house have slide locks as opposed to keyed entries. After a great deal of struggle, he gained entry and found it was the box containing the 40 lb bag of dog food against the door causing his trouble. For those of you saying to yourselves, “couldn’t it have just tipped over to block the door?”, I say, the box was at least six feet away from the door and would have had to have moved quite a way to get to it’s current location. This was just the beginning of the weirdness.

The next step of his routine was to let the dogs out of the crates I had stored them in while they were alone. When he opened the door to the dogs’ room, he did not find either of the dogs in their crates, but a miniature pygmy goat in the house instead! Luckily, she hadn’t caused any damage or mess so he guided her back out the back door. What confused him at this point was that he assumed I had left the door ajar when doing the pet duties, but the door was securely locked when he went to let her back out. And there were the dogs enjoying the freedom of the back yard.

So, goat out, dogs in, all was right with the world again.

You may remember that my husband hasn’t always been so accepting that the ghosts are the cause of our perplexing issues. I wasn’t due home for a few hours, so he had some time to contemplate a logical explanation for how this scenario had unfolded.

His rational and logical explanation : An elaborate prank had been pulled by an unknown person using the following steps:
• Scale the six foot privacy fence to enter the back yard
• Find an unlocked window, which are all at least 8-10 feet above the ground, and enter the house
• Move the 40 lb bag of food so that it blocks entry via the front door
• Stop to laugh at the thought of Devo pushing and pushing the front door to get in
• Let the dogs out of their latched crates into the back yard
• Allow the goat to come in as the dogs are going out
• Relock all doors
• Climb back out the window, somehow reclosing screens and storm windows and jump the 8-10 feet down
• Again, scale the fence to leave the yard
• Laugh all night about the joke played on us while putting away the ladders that were necessary to complete this job
OK, so this was the only explanation he could come up with and even he acknowledged that it was a little far-fetched and probably was indeed, not what took place.

My simple explanation: The ghosts did it.

He agreed.

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Are You Different in the Afterlife Than You Were in Life?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another insightful article by Melissa Van Rossum

Although I didn't realize it at the time, when I was five, my favorite playmate was a ghost. She was in her 40s and a mother of three and she stayed with me for several years before finally finding her way home.

I've interacted with ghosts all of my life and as an adult I began doing psychic and mediumship readings for clients.

One of the questions I'm often asked is if our personalities are the same in the afterlife as they were in life.

The answer is yes, mostly.

It depends which afterlife reality you're living.

We can stay earthbound and become a ghost, which is a person who has left their body but has not yet crossed over to the Other Side for various reasons. But this is not a wise choice.

Or we can cross over to the Other Side. Which is what most of us do. And this is the best choice.

In both cases certain parts of our personalities stay the same and certain elements change.

In the situation where someone stays earthbound, their personalities tend to become one dimensional and limited in expression. They become single-minded about their fears.

Those who choose to stay earthbound tend to do so out of dread or anxiety. Most often they're afraid of what they think will be an angry and judgmental God and they're afraid of some type of punishment or rejection.

The longer they stay here, the more afraid they usually become.

Once someone crosses over though, they have a very different experience from someone who is earthbound.

Jennifer, a client of mine who is intuitive, lost her aunt recently to an illness. Elizabeth was a terribly negative person. When she was alive it was challenging to maintain any kind of a relationship with her since she took every chance to deflate the people around her.

After she died, though, Jennifer began regularly hearing from her aunt. Immediately Jennifer noticed that her aunt had lost her negative disposition.

Even more interesting, Elizabeth apologized for her attitude and how she had treated those she loved. She told Jennifer she realized now that she didn't have to act the way she had.

Jennifer was amazed. Her aunt's personality was still basically the same, but the hurtful negativity was completely gone. And Elizabeth was apologetic and insightful about her limiting beliefs and behaviors. Jennifer mentioned to me that Elizabeth was never insightful or self-aware when she had a body.

It was very comforting and healing for Jennifer to see her aunt growing and changing in such positive ways that she would not have while she was here.

Those that cross over receive immediate insight and healing that those who remain on the earthplane do not. That insight and healing helps people to release the more limiting parts of their personalities, allowing them to love and care for us in the ways that they could not when they were here.

Melissa Van Rossum is an accomplished psychic & empath, & the author of two books. In her first book, All You've Ever Known, she shares a process that deepens your intuition & awakens your soul to a happier, more successful and authentic life.

In Their Way Home, My Adventures as a Ghost Guide Melissa offers revealing perspective as she shares for the first time the very personal stories of her encounters with real life ghosts who searched her out in their quest to find a way back home, and how she helped them to cross over in to the Light. Plenty of books have been written about ghost sightings but in this book Melissa shares the stories behind why these souls chose to linger on the earth plane and how you can live a happier life by learning from the mistakes they made in life...and in death.

Melissa regularly speaks to the media & groups on topics such as How to Create the Life of Your Dreams, Ghosts and The Paranormal, and What Happens After You Die. You can learn more about Melissa and her books at and

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My Haunted House ~ Part II: The Blonde Girl & The Chatter

Monday, December 15, 2008

My house is pretty crowded. Not just because of the four of us living here, but everywhere I turn I seem to be bumping into someone. I’ve managed to let go of the fear associated with seeing ghosts, but the startle factor is still a big issue for me. I just can’t seem to get used to walking into a room and finding a stranger looking at me and then disappear, or just hang out, depending on the day.

The first ghost I actually saw with my eyes in this house was a little girl. She looked about 5 years old, but I knew she was actually 8. Again, I don’t really know the ins and outs of how this ability works, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. She was skinny with long stringy blonde hair. She never said a word to me. Just watched my every move when she was around. She would follow me from room to room on some days. I remember one day, my husband was rewiring the entertainment center and she was standing right behind him watching with great interest. My husband doesn’t experience the activity at the level I do, so he was completely unaware of her proximity, but me constantly looking over his shoulder finally prompted a “What?” out of him. I explained to him that she was right behind him watching. I’m sure he rolled his eyes (at least on the inside) and went about his business.

There was nothing scary about her. She seemed sad. Lonely, maybe? I have no idea to this day who she was, or why she hung around. I do believe we helped her move on and I’ll be posting more about that experience later on (we even captured that on video), but for now, I’ll share a little more about daily life in this house.

I used to keep all of our change separated in glass cups in the bedroom. You know, pennies in one, nickels in another and so on. My husband was working at a restaurant that evening and a friend of mine and I decided to go there for dinner to see him. No one was left in the house while we were gone. When we got back, we went to the fridge to put the leftovers away and both gasped when I opened the door…

Stacked up neatly in the refrigerator, was all the change from those cups from the bedroom. Today, I wouldn’t think twice about something like that happening, but at the time the house was still new and I was getting used to all the daily weirdness.

You may have guessed by my sorting change, that I like things to be a certain way. This trait was not just with my extra coins. It pretty much applies to everything. My organization may not make sense to most, but it’s my organization and I liked it to remain untouched (I use past tense because after 2 kids, that pretty much went out the window for my sanity's sake). My husband liked to mess with me a bit from time to time regarding this obsession of mine, so when the medicine cabinet was arranged differently often when I opened it, I would gripe at him to stop doing that. He would always deny it. I would always think he was lying and the fight continued the next time I opened the medicine cabinet to find it rearranged. He swore he didn’t do it, but I know he secretly enjoyed my discomfort about it. Then after he had not been in the house for several days and it happened again, I figured it out. I had to apologize for the accusations.

I wonder if that ghost was laughing every time I accused him.

Another phenomenon we have around here, I simply refer to as “The Chatter”. There will be a very small space that when you move into it, you can hear what sounds like crowd noise. Many people talking, but I am always unable to make anything out. The fact that I almost can make out words sometimes sucks me in and I listen really hard for a long time. I’ve yet to hear anything intelligible. It’s very frustrating.

The weird thing is (because that’s not weird enough, right?) the sound comes from a very small location seemingly floating at various heights and locations throughout the house. I’d say it’s an area about the size of tennis ball. If you find The Chatter, and move an inch away, you can no longer hear it. But move your ear back into it’s current location, and there it is again!

Unlike most happenings here, I’m not the only one to experience this. I remember the first time my husband heard it. He was laying on the couch and must have moved into it’s space because he got a strange look on his face. When I asked him what was up, he gave a quick, “shh!”.

“What is that?”, he asked.

After he described what he was hearing, I explained about The Chatter and that I hear it frequently.

After knowing all I know about the history and location of my house, I’ve got a little theory cooked up about what’s going on with that. My house seems to be a crossroads of sorts for spirits and I think every now and then that it just translates into something audible.

I’ve gotten used to it, but I still stop to listen every time, just to see if maybe, just maybe, I can make out something this time. I’ll let you know if I ever do.

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The Book That Changed Everything

Friday, December 12, 2008

I had pretty much settled in to ignoring my experiences most of the time, but did still have an interest in the paranormal for obvious reasons. I wanted (and still want) answers to the bazillion questions I have always had.

So I passively watched television shows of a paranormal nature like Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State and Medium.

Ah, Medium…

While I can’t say my experiences are just like Allison Dubois’s, I connected with her story on some level.

Then I read her book.

It was literally life changing for me. I can count on my fingers how many books I have read from cover to cover willingly in my lifetime. Reading is probably one of my least favorite pastimes. I read to gather the information I need and that’s about it for me. But I decided to pick up her book, “Don’t Kiss Them Good-Bye”.

In the second chapter she tells about her first experience with her deceased great-grandfather. She was then promptly told by her mother that she has an over-active imagination and she learned to hide her ability. How I can relate! I was hooked at this point. I felt like I wasn’t the only one! I felt comforted in some distant and weird way. This book suddenly became my friend. Allison became my friend…well, at least her story did.

In another chapter “Kindergarten Mediums”, she speaks of her kids being gifted and how she deals with that. It was really that chapter that made me realize that I really did need to suck it up, accept this thing and do it for my son.

Needless to say, this book had a huge impact on my decision to open up. Even if you’re not in my situation, it’s still a good read if you’re interested in mediumship at all.

You can get a copy here:

Don't Kiss Them Good-bye

Or download the audiobook from iTunes: Don't Kiss Them Good-Bye (Unabridged)

My good friend and the host of Dimensions Radio, Chris McGill, did an interview with her for his paranormal radio show. Listen to it below:

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Someone Understands

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I found this article while Tweeting (I'm a Twitter addict - follow me). I love when I find others who 'understand' where I'm coming from and share like experiences. I found a woman named Melissa Van Rossum, who I realized through reading her blog, had a similar take on the situation I have been facing for the biggest part of my life. So I thought I'd repost her article.

Although I didn't realize it at the time, I began seeing ghosts when I was four years old. I didn't know they were ghosts because their appearance was normal, and they looked and acted much like anyone else you might see in your neighborhood or on the street. It wasn't until I was a little older that I began to realize that my friends and family members couldn't see these people as I did.

At first I found it frustrating, and even a little irritating that other people couldn't interact with my 'invisible friends', as they called them. And then it was confusing to me that I seemed to be bridging two worlds.

I never considered the idea that my friends were 'ghosts'. At such a young age, I wasn't familiar with the term. My playmates were real people, with their own feelings, ideas and opinions. Most of them were kind, and my playtime with them was very interactive. Like most children I had a favorite friend and she stayed with me for several years.

I began to recognize a difference between the two types of people in my life as my Father grew increasingly impatient with my persistence and insistence over the reality of my invisible friends. When his annoyance reached a fever pitch with my discussions with people he could neither see nor sense, he would bark, "that's enough, leave it alone," and I knew I was upsetting him. So, I tried to keep my interactions with my "other friends" limited to times when my family wasn't around.

To make matters worse, my Mother took me to the doctor and asked him about this habit of mine of talking to people who weren't there, and he pulled me aside and told me to "knock it off" that I was "scaring my Mother". I vowed then and there to keep this part of me as hidden as I possibly could.

I grew up in the 70's, a time before any sort of interest about ghosts, the paranormal or psychics became as popular and accepted as it is today. And to make the situation more complicated, we lived in a small Southern town in northern Georgia and my parents were deeply religious. So, as I grew older and the invisible visitors continued on in my life, I was considered odd.

No one in my family or community was familiar with ghosts, psychic children, the idea of intuition or dis-incarnates. In fact, they simply didn't believe in any kind of psychic phenomenon at all. To them, it was all baloney. To them, these things simply didn't exist. But in my life, I wasn't afforded the luxury of that kind of unawareness.

In my religious upbringing, you lived, you died, you were judged and then you went to heaven or possibly hell. I tried to believe what I was being taught, but here I was having a very different experience from what I was told was real.

At this time in my life, I still didn't realize that these people, my invisible friends, were dead people - and there's a good reason for that. They weren't. True, they had left their bodies, all for various reasons, but their spirit lived beyond their body and they were all very much alive. Of that I've always been certain.

It wasn't until much later in my life that I realized these entities I saw and felt everywhere I went were ghosts or earthbound spirits. And it would be even a few more years before I realized their purpose in my life.

Tried as I may to stick to my religious upbringing, my experiences were flying in the face of my church lessons. So, even though I've tried to deny the existence of ghosts, yes, I'd have to say that they do indeed exist.

Ghosts come from all walks of life. They are believers, non-believers, straight, gay, old, young, male, female and from all nationalities. The only commonality they share is that they refuse to move on to the Other Side as a result of different forms of fear.

Melissa Van Rossum is an accomplished psychic, empath and author. It is her life's work to help people awaken to their dreams by showing them how to tap into their own Divine Guidance. Their Way Home shares stories of her encounters with real life ghosts who searched her out in their quest to find their way home. To learn more about Melissa and her work visit

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My Haunted House ~ Part I

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I’ve mentioned before that I live in an extremely haunted house. You may think either a house is haunted or it isn’t. Not so! I’ve lived in a few haunted houses in my day, and this house is extremely haunted.

Here’s how the truth unraveled:

When I looked at the house before deciding to purchase it, the realtor seemed reluctant to even take me to the dilapidated second floor, referring to it as an “attic”. Yet it had a large sitting room and two bedrooms. It was in a bad state of disrepair though, and the vibe wasn’t so pleasant. I assumed it was the water damaged ceiling and walls falling down that was causing it the icky feeling. It was an icky space. I thought this would be a good project and fixing it up would make all the bad vibes feel so much better.


The renter that was living in the downstairs at the time said she had a friend that wouldn’t go up there again because she had a “bad feeling” about what was up there. I still managed to convince myself it was just the decrepit state of affairs up there causing that feeling. You'd think that I, of all people, could differentiate.

I bought the house and started moving in. It was my first home purchase. I was on my own.

The first week I lived here, I maybe should have stopped unpacking, repacked and moved on. I chose to stay and it has been an adventure, to say the least, ever since.

At first, the experiences were relatively benign and I hadn’t actually seen any ghosts, just the remnants of their activities.
For instance, I would come home from work to find every single light on in the house. That’s including the “attic” and basement/cellar. Two places I never visited. On a few other occasions, I’d come home to find, in January mind you, every window in the house wide open, again, including the “attic”. On these occasions, I did call the local police department to come to check things out. After all, I was a young girl living alone. Of course, nothing ever turned up. I did have an alarm system installed as a precaution though. And frequently, the motion sensors in the system would go off. Even after the alarm company testing and replacing things, could never find a reason for the alarms. I eventually just had it disconnected.

At this point, I was pretty certain about what was going on here.

Then the whistling started. Oh my god, the incessant whistling! I could hear someone walking from room to room, day in and day out, whistling. For weeks, maybe months, it drove me crazy.

Really? No one hears that? Come on! Seriously, someone else has to hear that!

You may remember, at this point, I was terrified to talk to them, so I just took it as long as I could. Then one day, I just broke. I screamed out loud, “SHUT UP!”.

It stopped. Silence.

Aaahhh….It was just that easy. Why did I wait so long to do that?

You know I love a little validation, so here it is: A coworker of mine at the time was talking about her aunt and uncle’s house from her childhood. Then she stopped and looked at me and stated that they used to live in the house I live in now. Really? Then I became interested. She was saying that her aunt and uncle loved to have all the kids over and her uncle would usually just pace while watching over them and whistle little tunes the entire time.

I told her he still did.

It wasn’t long after that when I had my first sighting of those who I am sharing this house with. And things only get more peculiar from there…

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My Sense of Purpose

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Growing up, and even into my early adulthood, I don't ever remember asking myself, "Why am I here? What's my purpose? What's the meaning of Life?". Just never really came up for me. I've never been a dreamer. I never had aspirations. Just never has been my nature. I didn't dream of my wedding day like most little girls. Or a big fancy house to live in. Or what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was asked the question, I'm sure, when I was 7 years old or thereabouts, and probably gave a placating answer with a cute 7 year old smile. But things just are how they are for me. At least that's how it always was. Now I'm starting to wonder.

I feel like I made it through some obstacles and came out standing up and holding on to my belief structure, or lack there of, really. I come from a family densely populated with Christians. Every corner you look in, you'll find them. And not even the hypocritical Easter once a year variety. I'm talking the every Sunday No-Matter-What kind of Christians.

As a free-thinking adult, I am quite grateful to my mother for not forcing the religion down my throat. I was allowed to pick where and when I went to church. I never felt forced. If you ask my momma though, she'll say she "failed me" in that regard, which makes me sad because it's one of the things I'm so appreciative of. So, throughout my adolescence I did attend a Methodist church (I am now a recovering Methodist). I'm looking around and everyone else seemed to be getting something I just wasn't getting. I'm a determined person, so if there was a bible study, I was there. If there was a choir to sing in, I was there. If there was a mission trip to take, yup, I was there. After a while, I felt like I had as much information as I needed to gather. Then I looked around and just thought,

"Really? You people are buying this?".

And that was pretty much the end of that. I just don't buy it. Believe what you want to believe. Really. It's fine with me. I encourage you to find your own personal truth. I'm not a real faith-based gal. I need some tangible proof, folks. Some man on a pulpit reading me things from the perspective of some other man I have no connection with didn't sit well with me. He's telling me I just have to take his word for it and it won't be proven until I'm dead? I personally believe that the reason a lot of the ghosts hanging around are doing so because they believed in the judgment they would face at the time of their death and are simply scared to death (pardon the pun) to continue on their journey. It never sounded like something I wanted to do.

Like I said, that was pretty much the end of that for me.

The point is, I didn't cave. I was strong enough to make the decision based on the information provided to me and stand by it. There has to be purpose for that, right? Otherwise, I'd be sitting in a pew with my Nanny on Sundays. Nothing would make her happier. But I feel like that is not included in my purpose. I have other things to do with my spiritual energies.

Then I look back over the past few years and I notice that things seemed to fall into place for me to accept and develop this ability. I moved into a haunted house, possibly, the most haunted house ever. Seriously, it's crazy over here. (I'll be telling you some more about that later on). I began to meet some like-minded, or at least open-minded people that allowed me to open up about this little by little. My son came along and became the "why" that tipped the scales. The pieces just fell into place in a way that the Universe might as well have been screaming directions/suggestions/intentions at me at the top of her lungs. I guess I'm dense. I'm on the right road now though. Got it, Universe! Got it.

There must be a purpose, right?

Now the questions come...

Why am I here?

Why can I do the things I can do?

Why this place? This time? These people?

And as time goes on, I keep running into other little side abilities I have (another story for another's coming...I promise). Every time I bump into one of those additional abilities, it just creates more questions. This cannot be a random thing. I do not believe in a god, but I do believe in a spirit and a soul and things most people cannot see. I can see them. It's all the proof I need.

What am I supposed to do with this?

What is my purpose?

That's the question I'm determined to answer. It may take the rest of my life, but I'm pretty tenacious. Stick with me on my journey. There's always room for one more. Maybe we can help each other along the way.

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