One of our investigators (Jenny) was contacted by a friend who was experiencing paranormal activity in her house. SOuL Searchers was then asked to conduct a paranormal investigation and house clearing.
History of the Area
by Jenny Taylor
Woolooware is derived from an Aboriginal word “wooloowa”, meaning “a muddy track”. That was an appropriate description for the original Woolooware Road that ran from Port Hacking, along Burraneer Point to the Kingsway. Surveyor Robert Dixon altered the name, when he created the suburb of Woolooware in 1927.
Settlement of the area dates from 1815 when the first land grant was made, with land used mainly for timber-getting and dairy farming. Population was minimal until land was subdivided in the late 1800s. Scattered growth took place during the 1920s and 1930s, this accelerated when the railway station was opened in 1939. Significant development occurred from the post-war years. In more recent years mangrove swamps have been reclaimed for various parks and playing fields.
History of the Property
Written by the client (edited by Jenny to maintain client anonymity)
As far as we know the land was part of a dairy established in 1920-30. The building in our back yard was where they would load the carts to deliver the milk. One of the rooms was a cool room. The room where the pool table is, was originally an open area with roof over. We think the carts would pull up to where the step up to where the kitchenette is now for loading. Digging in the back yard always produces old horseshoes, and there is evidence of stone paving in many places not too far below the surface.
The land was subdivided in 1950. A builder purchased our lot and the ones either side. He built this house for himself and the adjoining properties for sale.
I don’t know anything about the subsequent owners before my mother bought the place, except that the one she bought it from had some interest in motor racing and used the back building for a motor workshop.
My mother purchased the home in 1977. She lived in it with her husband until he died in about 1980. She found his body in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room (wall no longer there). In the years that she lived here, mum did much alteration to the place, adding the back bedroom and bathroom, the entry and addition to the front bedroom, and the upstairs addition. She also improved the building in the back yard, converting it from ‘the shed’ to a workshop/garage, pool room, and the rear rooms were a pottery studio.
At some time in the 80’s, my grandmother came to live here, being now too frail to live by herself. Mum made the front bedroom area into a self contained flat for Nan, where she lived until going into a nursing home after she broke her arm in the late 80’s. Mum then let out the flat to a boarder.
We purchased the home from her in 1994, and she moved into the building down the back for a couple of years until she bought a villa for herself.
We have renovated the house extensively, though not adding to it, and converted the studio down the back into a flat. I’ll call it ‘the back room’ for ease of reference.
Summary of Activity – Strange Occurrences
Written by the client
Mum has never mentioned anything odd, although my Nan did talk several times of the aboriginal man walking in the house. As she was getting old, and the lady next door was having trouble with her daughter’s aboriginal boyfriend, we dismissed it as the early stages of dementia.
When we moved in our sons’ new schoolmates referred to the place as the ‘ghost house’ and said that they had often seen a white shape in the upstairs window looking across at them on the way to school.
Both of my sons (now adults) have used the upstairs room as a bedroom and have told of being awoken by the sound of a woman sobbing/screaming, seemingly from a few houses away that cannot be heard from elsewhere in the house or yard. Various scratching noises have been heard (possibly mice in the attic – we have found mouse poo at times – no evidence of rats or possums) and Son2 swears he once awoke with birds flying around him.
From downstairs, we often hear footsteps in the room above when there is no one there.
My husband has many times seen a shadow moving in the hall, when looking from the lounge room. I have never seen it. Son2 has seen it a few times. Three or four visitors to the house have seen it, saying, “Who’s that in the hallway?” or, “Didn’t you say your sons weren’t home?” Son1 has been in the back yard and seen some movement inside.
Visitors are often disorientated in the hall. For example, if they use the bathroom, they hesitate for direction in that area when returning to the living rooms.
I have never seen or felt anything, although I have often smelt an electrical ‘burny’ smell, most often in the back room, and occasionally in our bedroom or in the office. No one else can smell it. Most recently was last week, when I smelt it again in the bedroom of the flat down the back (was the cool room of the dairy).
Some years ago now, my husband was in the lounge, looked up and saw someone looking around the doorway at him. He saw the head and part shoulders of an aboriginal man, small in stature with a mop of black hair, looking at him. He says he was smiling, seemed friendly. The face was there for a few seconds before it disappeared. My husband did not feel threatened by the figure – it looked solid but not real.
After that occurrence, my husband spoke with a client of his, a professional psychic who, despite never having been here, described the layout of our home accurately and said that our place had been home for a number of spirits. She said that one was an angry old man who was furious that we lived here as we had no right. She said that he had been a particularly malevolent spirit, but he was now gone, having accepted that the place was ours now. We assume that to be my mother’s husband, though I can’t say that we were ever aware of his (ghost) being here.
The psychic described the second spirit as a little man, West Indian or aboriginal, who had once worked here (at the dairy?). He had slept in the shed down the back, and had met his death by drowning in a pond nearby. The psychic said he walks from the back room into the house via the back door, and that he becomes confused in the hallway (where the shadows are seen) before continuing up the hall to our bedroom. She said that he liked to look at himself in the mirror. Apparently he was a friendly fellow, meant us no harm and was interested in us.
That was all fine with us. The shadows continued to be seen occasionally. There were no alarming incidents until about a month ago now. My husband and I were away on holiday when we received a message from Son1 on the night of Thursday 2 September. He had seen the ghost and was very scared. When we spoke with him 2 days later he described the incident.
He was lying on the lounge watching television and looked up to see a figure standing in the doorway from the hall. It was a small man, probably only about 130cm tall. He was aboriginal, with a mass of dark hair. He had bare feet and was dressed in what Son1 described as the working clothes you see in the old photos. Son1 could see him clearly from head to toe, solid but kind of fuzzy – not real. The dog could see him too. She was standing a little away from Son1, closer to the door. She was watching the figure with the hackles up on her back, her tail between her legs.
The little man was staring at Son1 in a way that he described as ‘evil’ – the eyes were wide and staring and the figure felt malevolent. He was there for some seconds. Son1 shook his head, rubbed his eyes etc and the little man was still there, staring. Eventually Son1 told him to ‘F… Off’, and he disappeared.
Son1, who is 28, was very shaken by the incident. He did not feel that this figure was ‘friendly’ at all – quite the opposite. I asked him to draw what he saw, and when we returned home my husband confirmed that this was a very good likeness of the smiling face he had seen some years before.
What now? This incident has spooked us all. We no longer feel comfortable co-existing with our ‘ghost’ and we’d like him gone. I’d be interested to research some time and see if anything can be found that could relate to him, so any thing your group ‘feel’ about him could be useful, but we’d definitely like him (and anyone else who might be hanging around) gone.
It’s strange reading this – I would never have said we live in a spooky or unusual house – I’ve always been a bit sceptical. But it seems our house is alive with deadies. I’d rather it wasn’t.
Time: approx. 8:00pm onwards
First Quarter Moon: 58% of Full – waxing
Investigators: Janine, Jenny, Zoe & Jenni
As the client is a personal friend of mine I’ve been to her house many times and am familiar with the details of this case, so I felt I could not be objective about this investigation. However, I have noticed that the hallway (where she mentions visitors become disoriented) has always had an odd, uncomfortable feel about it, and on the few times I’ve been in the main bedroom I’ve felt something ‘amiss’ in there too, but simply dismissed it at those times.
The details of this case, as outlined in the client’s story above, were deliberately kept from the other SOuL Searchers team members who attended (Janine, Zoe and Jenni) until after the investigation was over, so they would not have any preconceived ideas based on prior knowledge, and we would have a better idea of what they were ‘psychically sensing’ rather than being influenced by what they already knew about the situation.
Before going to the address Janine ‘remotely’ sensed the house and was able to correctly determine that it had a hallway which had a strange energy or something special about it, and that the ghost of a child or a child-sized person walked this hallway. She and Jenni also felt that water may have been involved.
When we arrived we walked through the house and took baseline readings with the EMF meter and I used my dowsing rods to check the location of grid lines or any energetic anomalies. Janine, Jenni and Zoe all felt there was something odd about the energy in the hallway (even though they did not, as yet, know any of the case background) including near a mirror which is on the wall opposite where the ghost and shadows have been seen by members of the client’s family and other visitors. Mirrors can sometimes be used as a portal for spirits to come and go. I then dowsed the hallway and found that the rods did indeed indicate a crossover point of grid lines which could be an energy vortex which would account for the feelings of disorientation in that area.
The EMF meter readings were rather perplexing and a bit disturbing as EMFs were detected in the entrance foyer and extending a fair distance into the loungeroom, and were strongest when held at floor level. We checked with the client about possible underfloor wiring and pipes, but there were none to account for the readings. We speculated on the possibility of geopathic stress being the cause, maybe due to ground water and/or the composition of the rock beneath the house. In any case, we weren’t sure exactly why this was happening. Similar EMF readings were evident all through the main bedroom, accountable in one area only where we knew the electrical meter box was on the other side of the wall outside. It is believed by some that ghosts/spirits can make use of EMFs as an energy source to allow various types of paranormal manifestations, so this combined with the grid line vortices and possible portals in the house could account for the paranormal activity experienced by the client’s family and visitors. A couple of us also got the impression of possible spirit activity around the perimeter of the bed, as if a ghost would sometimes walk down the hall, around the bed and then stand at the end, watching our clients sleep. The client’s husband had a sense of this too, and he told us that their dog, who slept in their room would sometimes waken, afraid, and run round to the other side of the bed and cower in the corner by the bed as far from the doorway as possible.
We conducted a vigil in the main bedroom, asking questions of any spirits that might be present. On a few occasions the EMF meter spontaneously went off as if in answer to our questions. We did a brief ritual to cross over any spirits, shut down the energy vortices we believed we had found, did an energetic cleansing, which included me going around the house ringing a large bell to cleanse the entire area with sound and Janine sprayed a cleansing and protective mist of lavender, salt and water in each room, and then we put up energetic shielding all around. We also advised the client to try covering the mirror in the hallway to ensure that portal stayed closed.
During the evening we also had a couple of other odd occurrences: the video camera shut off unexpectedly and the voice recorder somehow flipped its own cover open – very odd as it normally requires a reasonable amount of physical force and manual dexterity to open the cover. Zoe was adamant that she had set it up properly so we were perplexed as to how it opened itself. Paranormal maybe?
After this was all done we did another sweep through the house with the EMF meter and found that there were no more EMF’s to register, except near electrical appliances where you would expect to find EMFs. We and the clients were very relieved. I have to admit I was a bit sceptical about the amazing drop in the level of EMFs in the house and I had trouble believing that it was really due to anything we had done (yes, I’m the sceptic of the group) and I wondered if the EMF meter was faulty or not. But, the clients were happy with the absence of EMFs and the house definitely felt better. When this was all done I then gave the other 3 members of the group a copy of the background notes that the client had written and they were very impressed with the number of things they had correctly sensed psychically. Janine, Jenni and Zoe had also picked up on a few other details which didn’t apply to my friend’s house but did, after her husband explained a few things, apply to a suicide that had happened some years ago in a house nearby in the street directly behind their property.
(By Jenny) The next day I received an email from my friend thanking us for coming to her house. She said it was most illuminating, although she found the electromagnetic thing creepy as it made her feel most unsafe, which she had never felt before. She and her husband were very glad that we went through again afterward with no reaction from the EMF meter. My friend also told me that her dog seemed to notice a change in the energy. The dog is very timid and avoids certain rooms in the house because she seems to sense and is afraid of ‘things’ in those rooms, but after the investigation and clearing the dog was happily running through the house and exploring all the rooms, including those she usually avoids, without any signs of her usual fear and hesitancy.
8 months later (June 2011) – my friend asked if we could come back again as they were experiencing new possible paranormal problems.
Summary of Activity
The client’s dog is getting really spooked by something again and it’s upsetting the family. The client came home to hear the dog barking inside their house (dog is free to come and go via dog door in the back door) so while still outside she looked through the front window to spy on the dog. The dog was in their main bedroom, backed up against the curtains at the front window and was obviously frightened and was looking and barking towards the other end of the bedroom away from the window – the corner beside the bed. The client couldn’t see anything or anyone in there, so she went inside and had a good look around. There were no signs that anyone else was or had been in the house. She also checked for cats – one did come into their house ages ago via the dog door, but there was no sign of a cat or any other animal either.
A few days later the husband came home from work and found the door to the flat in their backyard was open (it had been shut when they left home earlier and no-one had been home to open it) and their dog was inside, very frightened and backed up against the wall barking at a corner of the room. He thoroughly checked inside and there was no-one there and no sign of intruders or theft etc.
On another occasion their 28 year old son was sitting at the table outside the backyard flat and noticed somebody standing inside the flat, near the sliding glass doors. He assumed it was his brother but when he looked up again the figure was gone and he then realised that his brother wasn’t even home and nobody else was in the flat. (Due to the layout of the yard, orientation of the glass doors etc it was impossible for it to have been a reflection from a neighbour’s house or anywhere else.)
Date: 21/06/2011 (Winter Solstice)
Time: approx. 12:30pm onwards
Moon Phase: Waning gibbous moon in Pisces
Investigators: Janine & Jenny
When Janine and I walked into the house we both felt that something was amiss. We took some baseline readings with the EMF meters (this time we had three EMF meters). As happened last time, the meters detected EMFs in the entrance foyer and front end of the lounge room. The readings also kept fluctuating and as before, were stronger at floor level. We went outside to the front yard and to the footpath with the EMF meters (something we never did last time). All three meters verified each other’s readings so we knew we didn’t have faulty equipment. I believe our meters were picking up on the EMF generated by the power lines out the front of the house. Standing directly under the lines sent the meters to maximum, indicating it was an unsafe/unhealthy area to be. The field dissipated the closer we got to the house and the further inside towards the back of the house that we went, with the “caution zone” extending a good way into both the loungeroom and the main bedroom. The EMFs detected at floor level could be the result of an induced electrical current in the steel reinforcing mesh used in the concrete floor of the entrance area and the front part of the bedroom, caused by the strong electromagnetic field emanating from the power lines outside.
The fluctuation in the EMF levels would be caused by the variations in the amount of power/current being drawn through the overhead wires outside, which in turn would be dependant on the demand for electricity at any given time. The differing demand on the electricity supply could also explain why last time when we did a final run through the house with the EMF meter that nothing registered – it was much later at night so maybe by the time we finished our investigation the demand on the electricity supply was much lower by then (dinners all cooked, people settling down for the night etc).
It is generally believed that in areas where there’s a higher level of EMFs than just normal background levels, that spirits/ghosts are attracted to such areas as they can make use of the energy there, possibly to manifest as visible entities or audible voices to try to communicate or whatever their reason might be. That could possibly explain why something might be sensed by the dog in the corner of the main bedroom near the foot of the bed and the meter box – if an “entity” is using that area because of the level of EMF there against the wall – or maybe the “entity”, if there was one, backed up into that corner because of the dog? Animals tend to be more sensitive to paranormal stuff in general than people are.
We walked through the rest of the house with the EMF meters – no other odd readings anywhere. We also “sensed the energies” ourselves – intuitively – and both of us felt there was something “wrong” with the energy in the study/office, and also the hall/walkway area – the place where the client said people have felt disoriented before and the same place we sensed something odd last time.
In the upstairs bedroom we both felt a very oppressive energy – it just didn’t feel right. When I’ve been in there before it’s never had the same yukky feel it had today. The energy just felt “wrong”. Janine said she got a sense of something odd about the upstairs room even before she left her home today.
We then went through the house room by room – Janine with a sage smudge stick (dried sage, burning to create cleansing smoke) thoroughly energetically cleansing each room – and me with my big bell, ringing it all around each room, in every corner to disturb, break up disperse any “stuck” energy). Janine then went around each room again with a cleansing spray mist of water, sea salt and lavender essential oil. Sage, salt and lavender are all supposed to have spiritually/energetically protective and cleansing properties which will deter any spirits from coming back.
The flat in the backyard felt very uncomfortable too, energetically speaking. I got a definite sense that something wasn’t right. I had the feeling of being watched and also the feeling of a very depressive mood hanging over the place. The loungeroom area felt very oppressive, as did the bedroom – and it was freezing in there, which is not usual. Again, I’ve been there before and not felt the same yuk energy that I sensed today. Janine was convinced there was something there, although we didn’t actually see anything. She also got the impression of a male energy/presence there. I asked her if it could be simply because a male lives there but she said it felt different – she got the impression that it had something to do with the 1950s, possibly a heart problem or heart attack, and she also got the name Davo.
As we’d both sensed a “presence” we did a ritual to get any spirits present to cross over. When we’ve done this before as a group we usually stand in a circle and when the spirits cross over everyone in the circle has felt as if they’ve been pulled into the centre and were going to fall over or fall into a vortex in the middle – it’s a very weird sensation. Today with only 2 of us, Janine had the usual falling forward sensation, but I felt it a lot less than I have before. Instead I got a weird suffocating feeling, like the air was pulled out of my chest. I suddenly felt extremely nauseous – it was a very odd and unpleasant sensation but was gone very quickly. So we feel very confident that something definitely went away. We then did sage smudging, ringing bells and spraying in this area as well to cleanse and disperse the stagnant energy and hopefully deter the spirit(s) from coming back, and I also put up an energetic shield.
As with our first investigation here, at the conclusion of this investigation, the EMF levels were much lower in the front rooms of the main house than they were at the beginning. I believe this is due to a decreased demand for electricity by the time we finished. This time we started around lunch time, when power demand may be higher, and finished mid-afternoon when the lunchtime rush would be over.
The photographs I took did not show any anomalies.
We suggested to the client that for health reasons it might be wise to avoid the front end of the house in peak power demand times, and to possibly consider rearranging the furniture to avoid sitting in those areas for long periods as much as possible. We also advised that with all the EMFs around, possibly attracting spirits, that it might be a good idea for her to do a regular “energetic cleanse” every month or so using sage smoke, or even just the salt water and lavender essential oil spray if she didn’t like the sage smoke. We also suggested she place black crystals, such as black tourmaline, in the spots where the family has felt or seen ‘things’ so that they can absorb any negative energies.
The client contacted us the next day, thanking us for coming out again. She also told us a little more background about certain rooms which validated what Janine and I had psychically sensed while there.
After a couple of months they still haven’t had any weird occurrences to report, so hopefully all is well now.