How Many Investigations Does the NJGHS Do Annually?
Many investigations are completed almost daily by members of the NJGHS. However, if those members do not turn in a Report of Findings with their evidence to L'Aura, the Founder & Director of the NJGHS, it is impossible to properly account for how many cases are covered. Therefore, NJGHS members please remember the Two Week Rule and turn around your ROFs within that time to the home owner or business owner and CC: L'Aura.
How To Prepare a Proper Report of Findings:
Document the Team Leader, Team Members and their assigned tasks for the investigation Document the Solar Flares, Moon Phase and Weather conditions the night of the investigation Document each person of the household who has had an experience that warranted the investigation Document the history of the house and its property
Evidence: (photography, video, thermal scans, EMFs, Audio/EVP, etc.) Provide a section for each piece of evidence collected and catalog it properly with location, date, time & circumstances leading up to its capture
Conclusions & Recommendations: Provide a plausible conclusion based on the evidence gathered as to whether or not you determine the location to be actively haunted or experiencing a residual haunting. Consider also if it is environmental or other non-paranormal conditions that are affecting the residents with the sense of being haunted. (example: unusually high EMF levels)
Smudging – How to Do a Cleansing
Smudging is a Native American practice. Using a Smudge Wand made from bundled White Sage, one can clear a space of “psychic lice”, negative energy and raise the vibrations to a higher, healthier, happier level.
Sage wands can be found in some health food stores, New Age/Metaphysical shops and online via Azure Green: http://www.azuregreen.net/
For ghost hunting, NJGHS makes it a habit to smudge each investigator’s auric field after an investigation or cemetery hunt. It removes any attachments from following an investigator home. Plus, in some cases where the family has been extremely upset by the phenomena taking place in their lives, it helps the investigator get back to a positive, grounded space. This is not only good for keeping the investigator objective while doing data review, but it spares the investigator’s family of bringing that “ick” back to their own home.
To Smudge a Space
Open all closet doors, and pull open dresser drawers (not all the way so they fall out of the dresser!)
Light Sage Wand – Bic lighter is better than match after match
Once a flame is established on the wand, blow it out and let the wand smoke – you can use a “prayer feather” to wave at the wand to keep it smoking or gently blow on the wand. Carry a large sea shell under the wand to catch any ashes that fall – or a heat safe plate or ashtray.
Walk into each room with the smoking wand and smoke the perimeter of the room. Make sure to get some smoke in the closet spaces and pay attention to doorways, mirrors, and windows. Some people will move the wand as if drawing a pentagram or cross at these places (doors, windows, mirrors). That is completely up to the person smudging and which “path” they choose to honor/incorporate.
Make sure to bless the front and back doors of the home with smudge smoke and if accessible, smudge the basement and attic.
Do not close the closet doors or push in the dresser drawers until the smoke has cleared.
Extinguish the wand with a dip in water. Let it air dry and then wrap it in a plastic baggie for the next use.
To Smudge a Person – Auric Field Cleanse
Light the wand, get it to the smoking stage
Have the person stand facing you with arms outstretched at shoulder level and feet shoulder-width apart
Starting at the Crown Chakra area – above the person’s head – move the wand clockwise outlining the person. You should complete the “circle” back at the Crown chakra.
Have the person turn with their back now facing you and repeat the circle/outline motion of smoking with the wand.
Items of Note:
Not everyone can perform an Exorcism or Banishment, but EVERYONE can smudge.
If a paranormal case is beyond Ghost and is up in the Demonic Infestation/Possession range, please don’t rush in with a Sage Wand thinking you’ll save the day. You won’t. Simply smudging against a demonic force would be like painting with toothpick.
Be professional and know to admit when a case is beyond your level of expertise and defer to someone else who has tried and true EXPERIENCE in this realm. Self-proclaimed “Demonologists” don’t count. The NJGHS can direct you to someone in your area who’s qualified.
White Sage vs. White Sage & Sweetgrass
White Sage is ALL positive, Sweetgrass represents the DARK energies. When blended, a balance is achieved. This is the same as a High Church Blend incense of Frankincense (light) and Myrrh (dark). It’s best to stick with the White Sage – white light end of the cleansing spectrum – especially for “newbies.”
Other helpful uses of a Smudging:
After a dinner party with “The Bickersons” – you know, the couple who do nothing but take pot shots at each other the whole time – you should smudge your home. You don’t want their negative energy in your home and contaminating your relationship.
After a stressful day at work or nightmarish commute home, smudge yourself. It will lift your mood and get rid of the day’s negativity so you can be happily present with your family.
Several investigations have been conducted in private family homes thus far for 2013. However, in deference to honoring the families' privacy, we have not posted the evidence or results.
Investigation: Wharton, NJ = Sept. 4, 2010
Result: Inconclusive at Best
While the family has witnessed shadows, forms, and possibly a full body apparition, the levels of EMF and other environmental conditions make it questionable as to this being based in paranormal activity. After reviewing the various data collected the night of the investigation, only the EMF readings show any explanation as to the experiences detailed.
Towne Tavern, Chatham, NJ = Oct. 8, 2008
7:00 PM L'Aura Hladik and Sussana (owner)
Captured orbs in attic Still need to review video and audio
History reveals that an owner from the 1940's, Rose, died of a heart attack behind the bar and bartenders report feeling an inexplicable chill from time to time behind the bar.
Footsteps have been heard in what was Rose's apartment when for certain no one was up there.
Nothing was captured on audio or video.
Result: Inconclusive, but warrants further investigation given the various people who have had experiences here with disembodied voices, footsteps, etc.
History:Hotel was built in 1831. Adam said that after hangings at the court house, next door, the rope was brought to the basement of the hotel and cut up to be sold off. In the hotel’s history it had a major fire in 1958 that destroyed the rear part of the 3rd floor. It served as a rooming house of sorts for some time. The last tenant was Katherine who died in her room that is on the opposite side of the wall of the office. She died of natural causes.
Adam’s paranormal experiences:
While working in Room 203, the old door was still on, Adam heard what sounded like a jailor’s key ring jingling in the hallway as if someone was walking down the hallway carrying it. He went out of the room and didn’t see any one. So he went downstairs and asked his Dad if it was he who was jingling the keys, but his Dad said he had not been up there.
One night Adam was sweeping the basement steps. He said after he would complete a sweep, he would hear the sweep sound repeated even though he was still and no one else was around. He said by the third time the sound mimicked his sweeping sound, he put the broom down and left. He felt very uncomfortable. The next day he discovered a dustpan at the bottom of those very steps – no one he knew of had placed it there.
A special 22 gun for shooting nails into cement went missing during the renovations. It was about a year later it “turned up” in a box of things and Adam’s Dad found it.
L’Aura got a small orb shot in the doorway on the second floor from where she was positioned at the top of the stairs on the 3rd floor looking down. The next pic she took, nothing. However, Dina, who was next to L’Aura took a pic immediately after L’Aura’s first orb shot, and she captured the same orb but in a little different spot in the frame.
L’Aura did not secure any EVP’s and only 2 small orbs in flight on video in the basement. Nothing remarkable.
EVP’s from Dina & Elaine: WOLF: Neither of us saw any wolf anything (pictures, statues, real animals) to say this and neither of us talk like this. And the sound after the statement is weird, too. Little Girl's Voice
Brian reported no evidence collected.
Given the EVP’s and the orb shots on video and still, the Hotel Belvidere warrants further investigation. It cannot be said for certain at this time that it is actively haunted. We need to determine if the EVP’s are the results of a residual haunting or if in fact a spirit is present.
The NJGHS has investigated this awesome site several times now. We've collected EVPs as well as interesting orb shots. A few pictures are here for your review. Please note these pictures were taken during the June 2005 investigation.
We now use Eastern State as our proving ground for our Certified Paranormal Investigator course. Please see the Certification page for more info.
A couple of "friends" join me!
where Brad Pitt stood
Watchung Investigation = June 3, 2005
Team: Gregory & Sherry Irish - Team Leaders Brian Sandt Dina Chirico Alison & Jeff Lynch
Assignments: * Brian Sandt set up his camcorder in the Master Bedroom and took Digital Still Photos
* Alison & Jeff Lynch set up their camcorder in the basement (batteries went dead). * Dina Chirico used her EMF and her digital audio recorder throughout the house and took 35mm pictures.
* Greg did an initial video of the basement by the stairs and then went upstairs to greet the rest of the team and start the interview which I recorded on my digital recorder.The Infrared Motion Detector would not be appropriate as they have a dog that would set it off.
* Sherry took my digital camera and went throughout the house taking some pictures.The first run of pictures showed a moving orb in the basement towards the ceiling but the photo was lost when Greg's computer stopped working.The second run showed an orb in the basement by Brian.
History of Location: The house is about 30 years old.Her family has lived in the house for 6 years as of May 1st.It is believed to be the first house on this location.Prior to this house Louise is unsure of what was on this land.She did state that there are farm houses with apple orchards nearby and maybe this was used for apples or other farming.Early history relates to the Leni-Lenape Indians and Dutch Settlers.Louise mentioned that she said that Washington and his troops traveled through here and used Valley Road as a thoroughfare.The house is about 30 years old during which time a lawyer lived in the house and then a family with teenage children.Prior to moving in Louise was not aware of any deaths in the house.She did learn (I think from Jane Doherty) that there was a car accident in front of the house before she lived here and that someone died in it.She was also told later about a death at the bottom of the basement stairs from clairvoyants who have seen the body.Since Washington used Valley Road as a thoroughfare it is not a stretch to think that soldiers could have died in that area, however nothing we saw could prove that.
What we do know from Louise is that there are 5 spirits because she said she has seen them at one time on film.She sees them as wisps of smoke and they are seen throughout the house.She sees them in the master bedroom on her side of the bed.She sees them in the (living?) room just to the right when you come in the front door.They are also present in the basement and I got the impression from her that the basement is the worst part of the house.When her son came home to live with them in the new house, without knowing any of the history of the paranormal events, he said there is a dead body down in the basement and he will never go into the basement for any reason.This is great however we could not get any physical proof of this.When I asked how long she has been able to see spirits she said since she was about 4-5 years old.She would have predictive dreams and out of body experiences from when she was a child.Louise mentioned that her mother committed suicide about 10 years ago and that she is/was evil. Jane Doherty did a séance for Louise once and brought out her mother but Jane could not control her and Louise’s mother went into one of the other people at the séance.
The basement was cold but subterranean rooms can get cold.There was an odd feeling about the basement and Sherry agreed.While we were touring the basement Dina showed up and we went upstairs to greet her.When Alison & Jeff arrived we took them to the basement and on her way down the stairs Alison started to shake.Dina was getting readings from her EMF all over the house, but the house was wired for anything except a paranormal investigation.The house has an alarm system, wireless network, and appliances galore.The EMF is unreliable in this situation.Many EVP recordings were attempted, however there was creaking of the stairs and noise from cars outside on Valley Road.At one point, one of Louise’s daughters was upstairs with a friend and that could account for some of the noise.Some of Dina’s EVPs might be real but I would like to continue checking them out.
Dina writes:(Dina mentions Brian’s pictures that he sent us, and then says) As for mine – well if you remember I have 35 mm film (2 rolls) and will go to the 1 hour developing today, so we’ll see.And as for EVP, I’m still going through it (I’m on approx. 34 min. now) and I have some possibilities, but I’ll determine that certainly when I load them up into my computer.The house was interesting nonetheless.Definitely felt energy (I felt 2 distinct differences of energy), but that isn’t considered “scientific”… lol, anyway it was an interesting investigation.I felt toward the end, after being there for a bit, that if they could I would’ve loved to play a board game with them. :)Well I just got my 35 mm pictures back and there doesn’t seem to be anything.There looked like an orb inmotion in one of the bedrooms, but it looks better on the picture than the disc – in fact, on the disc it doesn’t even look the same – so no successful pictures here.I do have some possible EVP’s though.I wish I can email them or something.I got a distinctive, “You’re welcome”.Greg – I have a question.There’s one EVP(?) that says in a male voice, “That’s what I think I’ll have to do.”It doesn’t sound like Jeff or Brian, and really doesn’t sound like you either.It was when we were all down in the basement taking pictures and when Louise was down there, too feeling the cold spots, do you remember?Well no one besides Louise, at that point, was talking and that statement doesn’t even fit into anything being said.Other possibilities are: “Get out of that”; “hi, hello, (then 4 seconds later), hi again…”; “You are not… (then a few seconds later) Tell me what you can handle…”; “Yeah” and lots of possibilities but I can’t make it out, so bummer on that one. No, I haven’t experienced anything strange or out of the ordinary… in fact I used my digital recorder for something else the Sunday after the investigation and it worked fine.And nothing new noted for paranormal experiences in the home, in fact it’s actually less.
Alison and Jeff writes:(In response to Dina’s comment about Brian’s pictures). Same here for us Dina.I don’t know if you can use this in the report Greg, but the very minute I walked into that basement for the first time; my entire body began to shake!I usually don’t get like that.I didn’t emotionally feel afraid or anything, just that I guess physically somehow my body could sense that there was something there.We went through some of the audio recordings made and didn’t come up with anything yet.I still have some to go through though.We also still have to go through the video tape to see if we caught anything.Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.We will keep you all updated as to what, if anything, else we come up with.(When asked if anything happened to their equipment)The only thing that happened to our equipment was at the house.The video camera had two fully charged batteries and they both died within a half an hour if you remember.Other than that, everything now seems to be working fine.I do remember her talking about her son (I think) who saw the figure of a man and the body lying at the bottom of the stairs. Didn't she say a clairvoyant said his name was Norman? Also, she did tell me about a child spirit in the house. Sherry writes: As soon as I got into the house I started getting sick.I got a severe sore throat and an ear ache.It is not a regular cold or infection because I have no fever with it (I usually would).I wasn’t sick before I went into the house so I would assume it was something I got from the house.The first part of the house visited was the master bedroom and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.As if the air was thick or condensed.Then after seeing the rest of the house we went down to the basement where I didn’t get a strong feeling but it didn’t feel right.After leaving the house the illness feeling did not go away.I have gone to my doctor and he gave me antibiotics which didn’t put a dent in this feeling.
Brian writes: Just finished going through the DVD’s and the digital recorder and didn’t get anything else.One bad thing was that there was a lot of noise outside (cars driving by) and with walking up and down the steps there were a lot of creaking noises.(About Gregory’s computer problem) I came into the office this morning, and the copying to an external hard drive I was doing was stopped halfway through.Strange I thought, so I rebooted and went to see what files were on the external drive.Nothing at all has been copied, even though it showed 50% done.I can’t even access the external drive as of this moment.Will keep everyone updated.Here are the pictures I took that contain possible orbs.Still going through DVD's and EVP's, but so far nothing.
Various orb findings and one odd experience of the digital camera taking the picture by itself.
July 11, 2005 - Bell's Mansion Restaurant, Stanhope, NJ
Few orbs captured on digital still. Nothing very active that night. One team member had an issue with his camcorder in the basement wherein it did not function properly.
Investigations Yet to be Uploaded:
Whistling Swan Inn, Stanhope, NJ = Sept. 2005 Rose Hill Cemetery, Matawan, NJ = Oct. 1, 2005 Private Home in Washington, NJ = Jan. 20, 2006 Cemetery Hunts: Summer 2006
April 15, 2005 - Hillside, NJ Investigation, Private Residence
Tenant of home, her brother and husband all reported seeing odd shadows out of the corner of their eyes. Most unusual was the report of the phone calls that came at 7:15 PM, certain nights, that were riddled with static and no one on the other end of the call. "Sara" even taped the call one time - when it came in at 8:20 PM. (this is interesting as we had just gone through Daylight Savings and pushed the clocks ahead an hour.)
She was convinced she could hear a voice crying for "help" amidst the static. We reviewed the tape several times, nothing could be discerned on our end.
When we investigated, Greg set up a phone tap of sorts to tape directly from the phone line any incoming calls. We were hoping the call would come, but it didn't. We were there from 6:30 PM till approx. 8:15 PM
The team was fully equipped with NightShot digital camcorders, digital cameras, SLR cameras, thermal scanners, digital audio recorders, EMF detectors, even Greg's 10,000 candle power spot light.
While some photos were collected depicting "orbs", we had to leave this investigation with the resolution of inconclusive. Primarily because the house was home to 3 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 bird in addition to the human tenants. Dust was evident when the spot light was turned on. The windows were open - at the start of pollen season. There are other factors that contribute to our determination of inconclusive, but we respect the privacy of the tenants so we will not disclose them.
Background research of the property by Greg & Sherry revealed the property to be of a larger farm in earlier times. Lenape Indians were prevalent here as well. Nothing unusual or traumatic was found about the area. Greg's research also found Union county to be the most populous in the state of NJ wherein crossed wires or erroneous phone connections would not be out of the realm of possibility.
"Sara" assured us that she had the phone company test the line and claim it to be operating perfectly. She also said that when she would *69 the static calls, nothing came up. The phone company told her they had no record of the call she taped on that date and time as having come into her home.
Again, inconclusive. We're open to further study on this case if requested.
Outside the Whistling Swan Inn
October 2, 2004 - Whistling Swan Inn B&B Investigation, Stanhope, NJ
The NJGHS members arrived to have a nice buffet dinner that proprietor Liz Armstrong prepared. Afterwards, the members combed the B&B for evidence of otherworldly guests. Here are some of the pictures that captured some type of paranormal activity.
The weather conditions that night were clear and cold.
Other orb pictures were captured as well. Two on the piano in the front parlor and others through out the Inn and on the grounds/porches outside. <sigh> You've seen one, you've seem 'em all - so I just posted the best of the best for documentation's sake.
Orb in the stairwell
Orb in flight
Investigation of Haunted Go-Go Bar in Elizabeth, NJ Sept. 5, 2004
The story goes that a black man was asked to step outside to settle a dispute. He was beaten up by 5 white men with one of them giving the fatal blow to the black man's skull with a building brick.
The ghost of the black man is said to haunt the old part of the bar - where it was the active bar back in his day. The bar has since renovated the other side of the building and uses that for business. This side is used for storage.
Reports of paranormal activity include the time clock punching in the girl on duty that night at 11:00 AM - when no one is in the building! Now they typically have the same schedule week in and week out. But one time, the manager changed the line up, and still the clock punched in the correct name of the girl on duty that night at precisely 11:00 AM.
One customer arrived one night and waved back at the girl on the stage waving to him. He asked the manager on duty about the new girl and was informed there was no "new girl". The one on that night was the regular and the customer knew her. The customer ran back to the stage area and no one was there. The girl on duty that night was still in her dressing room.
One bartender decided to appease the ghost one night and left a shot on the old bar for him. It seemed to work as that night it was "quiet".
Our team of investigators included: Harry & Jason Bernstein Brian Sandt
The equipment employed was Sony & Panasonic digital camera, camcorder and thermal scanner.
In spite of the mirrored walls, the ghost orb appeared in a way that one cannot blame the mirrors. Very interesting! The investigation took about 90 minutes and Steve used about 10 discs. The pictures you see at the right are the best ones of the bunch.
June 30, 2004 - Woodbridge Rescue Squad Building
Laura L., & Laura H. investigated the squad building with new members Harry and Jason Bernstein. This building was built in 1937 and houses potentially two spirits - Harry's father, Jules Bernstein and another deceased EMT member (Eldin).
Also, the building was used as a make-shift morgue for the great train wreck of 1951. 82 people died in this train wreck. At first, the bodies were lined along the sidewalk opposite the tracks - right in front of the houses! Later they were taken around the corner to the Rescue Squad building. We did not secure any paranormal pictures on digital.
Laura L.'s 35mm film developed to show the 3 pictures she took on Fulton St. were completely BLANK. The rest of the pictures developed perfectly but with nothing paranormal to depict.
Eastern State Penitentiary - Philadelphia, PA June 12, 2004
NJGHS members investigated this 150+ year old prison for 4 hours. More Pictures and EVP's coming soon.
Nancy Umstead, NJGHS member, captured two orbs in flight on her video recording at the prison -- she thinks in cell block 2. We hope to be able to convert this footage to something uploadable to our site. (fingers crossed!)
Saturday, September 27, 2004
Place: Restaurant, south NJ - owner asks not to be identified Time: 10:30 PM to 12:30 AM Weather: Rain on & off - but investigation was conducted inside
Team: L'Aura Hladik Laura Lindemann TV crew from M6 of France
Equipment: Digital Cameras - Nikon and Sony Mavica Hi-8 film camera Thermal Scanner EMF detector Panasonic Digital Audio Recorder Analog Audio Recorder with external mic Sony Microcassette audio recorder
The investigation concluded with photos of orbs in the attic and an undiscernable EVP on analog audio tape that Laura Lindemann captured. No EMF readings were charted nor any temperature discrepancies noted. Also, the cameraman for M6 lost battery power on a newly charged battery and had to replace it before we went to the attic.
This restaurant has a long history - part of it including being a stop on the underground railroad during Civil War times. Perhaps some of the lost souls are lingering in the attic?
Place: Harry's Roadhouse, Asbury Park Time: First time was around 11 PM - club was open for business. Second time, we arrived as club closed - 2 AM and investigated till 3:15 AM Weather: both times - clear - although investigations were inside
Team: L'Aura Hladik
Equipment: Pentax 35mm camera Sony Mavica Digital camera Sony Microcassette recorder Thermal Scanner Motion Detector
NJGHS was contacted by one of the employees of the bar/club as strange phenomena had been experienced by employees, manager, and even patrons. In one instance, the manager and two cooks were closing up for the night and went to the basement to secure the place before locking up and leaving. The manager and the chefs all saw a woman standing at the end of the basement. The manager yelled to her "Ma'am we're closing, you can't be down here." She did not stir. With that, he walked towards her and again said, "Lady, you have to leave now; we're closed for the night." She simply vanished right in front of all 3 witnesses!
One patron contacted management about a woman crying in the ladies room stall. When the female manager entered the ladies room -only minutes after the patron heard the sound- and inspected all the stalls - no one was there.
We found information of a murder that took place in the very area this building stands - in 1910! This was the murder of a little 10 year old girl: Marie Smith. There is a lot more to this case that we are still working on and cannot disclose at this time. Suffice it to say, perhaps the female ghost people see and hear is that of Marie's distraught mother. Perhaps some of the activity is that of the convicted murderer who was executed in the electric chair in 1911. His soul may well be tormented as perhaps they convicted and executed the wrong man! More to follow...
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Place: ?? Farm, Colts Neck, NJ (exact location protected for reasons of privacy) Time: 8:00-9:30 PM Weather: Hot & Humid - but no rain
Team: L'Aura Hladik
Equipment: Sony Mavica Digital camera Pentax 35mm camera Panasonic Digital Audio recorder Sony Microcassette recorder Thermal Scanner
The two women who have been working on the restoration of this farmhouse for the past year were interviewed on their experiences. They have witnessed hearing voices, finding objects moved from where they left them with no accountable explanation, and lights turned on that they knew they had turned off. One woman felt a slight touch one time while the other one was actually "pushed" so hard she fell down the stairs. The voices heard are that of a woman and a man. They showed us the chimney trap in the basement. This is a metal door and frame very securely wedged into the brick of the chimney. It is used to clean out all the ashes from the fireplaces above. One day the women discovered this grate and door on the floor of the basement. It was as if something/someone had been digging their way out from the inside! Among the debris of coal, ashes, and crumbled bricks was found a matchbook from a Newark, NJ clothing store - circa 1950's!
One day, after taking pictures in the basement, the two women hung up the camera by its case strap on the coat hook --second from the right-- and resumed their work. Later on, they noticed the camera was hanging on the FAR LEFT hook of the coat rack with the camera strap dangling out of the case. They opened the case and examined the camera to find that it had advanced one whole frame. They developed the film and saw that picture #13 had been taken by "something" in the attic.
Besides shadows of figures seen, the one woman actually encountered the full body apparition of a young child or teenager standing in the center of the kitchen.
Our investigation did not yield any anomalies on 35mm film nor any EVP's. We did capture an orb in the basement and registered a 20 degree temperature drop while securing photos of orbs in the attic. L'Aura could feel a sensation similar to that of a hair being dragged along the hairs of her left arm in the attic.
Dunkin Donuts is the "official" coffee of the NJGHS.
Never do an investigation without first fueling up at Dunkin's!