Yesterday Still Bleeds

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Photo: Thupancic

Three of us recently investigated two wings of an abandoned state hospital in Northern California. At this particular site, a couple of the old buildings are still wide open. We only planned to run a couple of EVP sessions and didn’t expect much; after all, this place has been empty a long, long time. Everything started quietly; and then, without warning, we all noticed that the mood shifted and became dark and brooding. Most, if not all paranormal investigators are very familiar with this phenomenon. You start out innocently enough, asking questions, soaking up the atmosphere, and then something changes. It can only be described as a kind of emotional shadow that descends upon everyone and creates a tension, as if someone were looking at you intently, but you can’t see them. That “someone” can be very confused, angry, unhappy and possibly violent. Then comes the long process of determining if you are in the presence of a residual or intelligent entity, or if the negativity of the site itself is impressing itself upon your mind and invading your feelings. Sometimes, it’s a combination of many phenomena that are difficult to disentangle.

That evening, the sun was dwindling and the air cooling quickly. What we felt at a certain point was not simply the physical change in the atmosphere due to the time of day; it was more insidious and powerful than that. A relative of mine had spent time at this particular state hospital, decades ago; she still won’t discuss details of her experience and only occasionally will she make a reference to her time there. From the few stories that she shared with me, this was a monstrous place where abuse of all kinds was not only tolerated, but allowed to proliferate unchecked. Therefore, I feel a certain connection to this hospital on a personal level. I want to know exactly what happened in these wards, but at the same time, it’s painful knowledge that I would prefer to avoid. All three of us have done research into the hospital’s past and have read personal accounts of patients’ treatment. All of us know that coming here is not only risky, but potentially harmful. What draws us back is the uncertainty, the mystery, the question: can we help anyone left behind?

Before I attempt to answer that question, let me return to our EVP session. Sometimes, I formulate mental questions instead of verbal ones if I am seeking a personal answer. The question I launched into the darkening hallways was this: did you know my relative, and what happened to her here? Within moments, a tidal wave of unbidden emotion hit me, and I started sobbing. Suddenly, I knew everything I ever wanted to know about this hospital and the fate of many of the patients here. One after another, visual images assaulted me; although I don’t feel comfortable describing the specifics of what I saw, I can say that subsequent research confirmed everything that was impressed upon my mind. I gradually stopped crying, but I remain affected by this experience to this day, and I will never forget it. Lest you all think that this is typical for me, allow me to correct that notion: I have never, ever cried on an investigation before. I also have never been bombarded by visual images that I could later verify.

I was not the only one to feel such emotion that day. Later, in a different wing, Marsha was overcome with a sense that something was wrong, that someone was watching us from behind one of the multiple doors in that hall. I’ve never seen her so visibly uncomfortable and troubled. She looked over her shoulder as if waiting for someone to pounce. Finally, she asked if we could leave. Marsha has never been the one to make such a request. She is the brave one, the person I would turn to in case of emergency or crisis. She is courageous to the bone. When Marsha wants to leave, something is seriously wrong. Of course, we left; our rule is always to respect the instincts of a PHW sister, no questions asked. No one ever leaves alone. Marsha’s head began to throb as we walked out, and she ended up with a debilitating headache for hours afterward. Other odd things happened to her, as well: she was continuously receiving flashing, mental images of the hospital after she left and felt warned never to return.

Our third PHW was unaffected by our investigation, although she certainly has had very emotional experiences before. During an EVP session in the Vickers Estate, (Pierpont Inn) she felt strong emotions and cried, all the while knowing that those feelings were not originating in her. For whatever reason, these impressions and their resultant effect on one’s psyche do not affect all of us at the same time or in the same place. The emotional impact of so-called ‘ghost hunting’ has not been explored sufficiently. The aftermath of this investigation was quite profound. Marsha has decided never to return to those buildings or any others that create such upheaval.

As for me, I have not necessarily ruled out another investigation at this site, but I am not sure what else there is to be learned. I felt then and now that all of my questions were answered, and fully. I don’t know if specific identities are trapped there, but certainly their pain, confusion and despair are trapped there; is there really any reason to expose myself to such misery again? There is no way to help those who left there long ago, or who died there. My theory is that those souls abandoned this place at some point, leaving behind them only trauma. That trauma has burned itself into the walls and echoes throughout the hallways, and will repeat painful episodes from the past forever and ever. So yes, this site will always be haunted; but not necessarily by souls or spirits trapped there, but by history, memory, and overwhelming emotion. I was allowed to feel all of that for a few moments. This small window into one of the saddest places on Earth was only a brief glimpse into what was and is, for so many, an eternal torment.

Below are two EVPs from this investigation with an explanation of the circumstances surrounding them.

Jan 1 2012 crying

I thought about not including this clip, since it shows me at my most vulnerable and raw. However, I decided to post this because it shows how deeply one can be affected on an investigation, and how seriously the environment can impact our emotions. There is the sound of crying down the hallway right before Marsha says, “did you hear that?”

Jan 1 2012 give us a sign

There is a response to Marsha’s question, “could you give us a sign by closing the door”. If anyone can decipher the response, we would certainly appreciate it!

Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D./PHW


Comments
  1. Joanne says:

    Just reading this post gave me a chill. By any chance is this Atascadero Mental Hospital?

  2. Kimberly Demmary says:

    We are so connected to that place. I am not surprised it happened. You handled everything beautifully that night. And I expect we will have many more emotional adventures like that in the future. So long as we are understanding and non-judgmental to each other while we are having these experiences and remain professional we can deal with anything! You know last year some of us stayed at the Pierpont Inn and Marsha and I were doing an EVP session in the dining room. And for no reason (well I’m sure there was a paranormal reason) I started crying. It was completely overwhelming and I couldn’t stop until it was ready to stop. I don’t know what it meant or how it happened. It wasn’t scary and I wasn’t embarrassed since I was amongst friends. To be honest I think of it as one of those amazing experiences we have while investigating and I feel very lucky that it happened to me. ~ Parawife Kimberly

  3. ryan says:

    I would like to catch some of this phenomena on my camera. Not at that mental hospital, but any phenomena, because quite honestly I know you are experiencing something. My friend and I have debated theories about ghosts and have come to one that can’t be argued very easily. We believe that ghosts are from another dimension, the dimension of hell or heaven and that areas are weak enough for them to enter or they are allowed to enter. We are both hobbyists physicists, so we know all about parallel dimensions and the possibility of billions of worlds inhabiting the same room as us(the brane theories), but we don’t believe that is the cause of ghosts. There was an interesting psychological link between both of you who went to the hospital and had an experience. Both of you were in some form of nervousness, whether you knew it or not. Going to a hospital where a loved one used to be would make one nervous without even knowing it. Your kids telling you to protect yourself and then asking for a knife, yeah that is nervous or downright scared. The third hunteress, didn’t show any reported signs of nervousness before going there. It is possible that part of our brains are more susceptible to ghosts when we are nervous, or a section of our mind turns on that usually is turned off. I would like to get some phenomena on tape. You get to see it, so why shouldn’t the world? Ghost hunters is scripted, I know that as a true fact. Your experiences aren’t scripted.

  4. Dave says:

    I have seen a few such places on the internet but have never been tempted to plan a visit. Here in Britain we had similar places with a track record of abuse to patients. I am assuming this was once a hospital that dealt with the mentally ill in some way?
    Going to such places is almost a guarantee of meeting the darker side of the paranormal. Society used to have a tendancy to brush mental illness “under the carpet”. Out of sight, out of mind. Many times the inmates were viewed as an inconvenience rather than human beings. I would imagine one of the strongest residual energies there was that of anger.
    I’m not sure whether I believe in grounded spirits or not, but if they do exist, you will find more than normal in such places. Spirits are supposed to linger on earth if they have unresolved issues. I would guess that anyone who died in there would have enough unresolved issues to choke a goat!
    These places should be demolished immediately and some happier place built on the same site to redress the balance, but with a well worded monument to the people who suffered and died there AND to the nurses and doctors who actually DID try to help despite it all.

  5. hortencia says:

    I AM READING THIS INVESTIGATION I COULD FEEL YOUR EMOTION AND THE IMAGE OF THAT ROOM THERE IS THE CAMARILLO HOSPITAL NOW UNIVERSITY THEY CAN PAINTED REALLY PRETTY BUT STILL IS VERY HUNTED DAY OR NIGHT WHEN YOU FEAR AND YOU HAVE TO GO QUICKLY YOU ARE NOT COWARD LEAVE BECAUSE THERE ARE GHOST THAT CAN REALLY HURT YOU PEOPLE SAY HOW CAN A GHOST HURT BELIEVED ME GHOST CAN GO INTO YOU AND TAKE OVER YOU FOR A WHILE WHEN YOU GO FOR A INVESTAGTION BEFORE YOU LEAVE THAT PLACE WHERE IS A SAFE PLACE MAKE A CROSS BEFORE WITH HOLLY WATER IF YOU HAVE HOLLY WATER FROM 7 CHURCHES BETTER IF NOT ONE WILL DO AFTER THAT YOU PUT ALCOHOL AND START THE CROSS OF BURNING THE ALCOHOL AND THEN YOU HAVE TO WATCH OUT BECAUSE MIGHT BE LIKE A LITTLE TORNEROS AROUND YOU IF YOU DONT SEE THE TORNETOS START CLEANING YOUR SELF WIPING ARMS AND LEGS AND FEET AND LEG IN THE FIRE THE CROSS OF FIRE GOES DOWN PUT MORE THAT WILL PREVENT YOU TO CLEAN YOUR BODY AND NOBODY WILL FOLLOW YOU HOME AND LEAVE YOU ALONE THERE MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO BUT THIS ONE IS THE BETTER ONE NOT TO BRING A GUEST TO YOUR HOME WISH YOU LUCK IN YOUR NEXT INVESTIGATION ESPEACILLY WHERE USED TO BE A HOSPITAL IN CAMARILLO I DONT KNOW IF THEY TOOK IT OUT THERE WAS A BLACK ROOM WITH A TUB BLACK THAT USED TO PUT THE PATIONT ON IT WITH COLD AND ICE CUBES AND THEN SHCOK THEM WITH ELIECTRITY EVERYTIME I PASS THROW WHERE THAT ROOM I COULD SEE THE PAIN AND SCREAMING OF THE PATIONT IN THAT ROOM USED TO DRIVE TRHOW THERE 8 HOURS IN THE EVEING BACK AND FOWARD IMAGEN THAT SAME IMAGING 5 DAYS A WEEK ALL THE PAIN THAT WENT INTO THOSE HOSPITAL AND RELATIVES LEAVING BEHIND THEY DIDNT KNOW HOW WAS THE PASSAGEN TREAT IT MAYBE SOME OF THEM WOULD KNOW SOME THEY DIDNT CARE BUT THAT AFTER THE PERSONS STATE OF MIND

    • Dave says:

      I’m not sure covering your arms and legs in burning alcohol is the way to go. Sounds a bit dangerous.

      • hortencia says:

        RE; ALCOHOL WHEN I SAY YOU HAVE TO PUT IN THE GROUND HOLY WATER AND YOU PUT THE ALCOHOL WHERE YOU PUT THE HOLY WATER THEN YOU PUT A MATCH IN THE GROUND WHERE IS THE ALCOHOL FLAMES WILL CAME OUT YOU HAVE TO WATCH REALLY CARFUL FOR LIKE LITTLE TORNEDOS THAT WHEN GHOST ARE PRESENT AND CAN ATTACKED YOU WITH FIRE WHEN FIRE IS BURNING WITH NO TORNEOS THATS WHEN THE PERSON BEGAN TO DUST ARMS, LEGS HEAD, FEET HANDS LIKE IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF DUST IN YOUR BODY AND YOU WANT TO GET THE DUST OFF YOUR CLOTHES THATS HOW YOU GET RID OFF ANY GHOST THAT MIGHT CAME WITH YOU IN YOUR HOUSE WITH YOU YOU ARE DUSTING ALL OF YOUR BODY BUT AT THE SAME TIME YOU ARE DUSTING YOU WILL THROW ALL THE BAD STUFF INTO THE FIRE AND CLEAN YOUR BODY HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND BETTER SORRY IF I DIDNT EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT DUSTING YOURSELF YOU PUT ALCOHOL SURE YOU WILL BURNED YOUR SELF

  6. Joanne says:

    Hortencia, where in the world are you getting this idea from? I don’t think anyone should be starting a fire on the ground or anywhere else while you are doing a paranormal investigation. This is really dangerous. Perhaps I’m not reading what you said clearly because it’s hard to read when it’s all in caps and all running together.

    • hortencia says:

      RE:there is a latino program in channel 27 at 10:00 om all in the investigation when they have to do a cleaniing of the body they do that put in the ground but in a safe place they put the cross not to start a fire you should watch you might know or understand the program but they will show you the technics how to do it i put capital letter because might sight going bad and just got laid off from mine worked and dont have the money to go to the doctor and if iam using not capital letter is bad for me because of mine sight if i speell wrong a word is hard for me to see the small letter thats why i used big letter instead of the ssmall letter is hard for me i apologise for mine spelliing is hard to see the letters you watch the program to see how they used sometimes those kind of fire to let the spirits leave this world that been trap in tis world there is evill esprirts and good ghost in camarillo there is a lot of ghost espeackilly you can feel the sad place where the children they where or the scary tower or water on the top where the university pool is you have a weird feeling in been watch day or night

  7. Connie says:

    Oh man, I wish I lived closer…I would love to investigate with you guys. I love these posts and like your ideas and values.

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