I met Derek on a hospital stay in the psychiatric ward, while I was being hospitalized for
my bipolar disorder. He was unlike any person I have ever met. He revealed to me that aside
from being a paranoid schizophrenic, he was also a psychic medium. In other words, he can see
and communicate with spirits on the other side. He explained to me that he could tell the
difference between his hallucinations and encounters with actual spirits. There are a lot of deaths
in hospitals, so when Derek is hospitalized, he tends to communicate with the considerable
amount of spirits stuck there. This complicates matters because the staff does not believe he is a
I don’t think Derek is crazy at all. He just needs his medication adjusted every few
months like the rest of us living with a chronic mental illness. I understand what it is like to have
a psychic ability, as I am an empath. This means I can sense the energy of people, places, and
things. During our stay at the hospital, we connected over our psychic abilities and interest in the
paranormal. The only place we could privately talk was the art room.
One day when we are in there, he turns to me and says, “When we get out of here, we
should establish our own paranormal investigating business.”
“That would be so cool. We could advertise on social media and travel the country.” I
“Well then, you are the girl for me.” he said.
“I hope so, now I have something to look forward to when I get out of here.” I said.
We thought of escaping to get out of the hospital sooner. But then we realized we needed
to wait until we were officially released because we needed our three month supply of
medication you get when you are released. Luckily, we were released within a few days of each
other. Derek got kicked out of the last group home he was staying at. So, I convinced my mom to
let him stay with us. She was supportive of the paranormal investigating business and thought it
would work for us, as it's challenging for us to keep regular jobs due to our issues.
We advertised extensively on social media and unexpectedly got our first call within a
few days. The call was located in Stone Ridge, New York, which was a three hour trip from
where we lived in Long Island. A couple who just bought a house there has been experiencing
unusual disturbances in the home. Derek and I agreed that it was worth the trip to see if we could
help them and hopefully get paid for it. We can’t afford a hotel, so we decide to set up my
minivan so we could sleep in it. I originally bought the van for my road trip adventures before
my bipolar disorder started to become out of control. So, I was able to teach Derek what we
needed to do so we could live out it.
From the outside the house looks pretty old. It is a stone house probably from the 1700s.
No wonder these people are having paranormal issues.
Derek takes one look at the house from the van and says, “I am feeling it already. A lot
needs to be sorted out here.”
“I know.” I say
We get out of the van and ring the doorbell. The couple answers the door, and they lead
us to the kitchen table. Derek and I take notes as the couple explains in detail the paranormal
issues that have been taking place. We explain to them our abilities and how we can help their
“The consultation for today is one hundred dollars. We are going to find out what is
causing the activity in your home, so we can figure out how to get rid of it for you. Getting rid of
what is causing the activity is extra money starting at three hundred dollars.” Says Derek.
The couple agrees to this.
The husband says, “We don’t care how much it will cost; we just want our home to feel
We send the couple out of the house, so we can do our investigation without any
distractions. I follow Derek, as he is drawn upstairs. While we stand in the hallway in silence, I
find the energy to be rather suffocating
Derek says, “There are many spirits here that I can cross over. But there are some spirits
who will not leave as easily. They keep saying to me “wall.” I interpret this as there is something
buried in the wall that makes them attached to this home. You need to analyze the energy of
every wall in this house, so we can find what is keeping these spirits here.”
I start by going through each bedroom upstairs. I don’t pick up on anything alarming.
Then I start going through each room downstairs. I find myself being drawn to the basement
door. I open it and walk down the stairs. The energy becomes sharply heavy. I go up to the stone
wall at the bottom of the steps.
I say to Derek, “This is it!”
“The stone has to come out of that wall. We need to let the couple know.” Derek says.
We meet the couple in the driveway and explain to them our findings. They agree to let us take
out part of the basement wall. But first, Derek must cross over every spirit that he can.
The next day we return to the home. The husband gives us tools for pulling out the wall.
Derek tells me that there are only three spirits left in the house, as he crossed over all of the other
spirits yesterday. And he thinks they are attached to whatever is behind this wall. We dislodge
each stone, one at a time. When we take out stones at the bottom of the wall, we find two human
Derek abruptly says, “This is it! That is why the spirits won’t leave here. The three spirits
left here are them and their killer. If we burn the skulls their spirits will be liberated, and their
killer will be forced to cross over as well.”
I call the couple and explain to them our findings.
“We found two skulls in the basement wall. This is the source of the haunting. We need
to cremate them and bury the ashes on your property. This will allow the spirits to cross over and
leave your home.” I say.
“I am relieved you found the cause. You can use the fire pit outside to cremate them.
Bury the ashes where you think is best.” The husband replies.
We remove the skulls from the home. Derek was able to cross over their spirits, as well
as their killer. After we bury their ashes, the energy inside the home transforms. The couple
appears to have sense this and they pay us eight hundred dollars.
Before driving home, we checked social media to see if there were any other people
needing paranormal help that were within a reasonable driving distance of where we were. We
have been trying to establish a social media following to promote our services. There were
multiple requests, but one stood out to us. A bed and breakfast owner in Lake Placid has been
having paranormal issues since she bought it five years ago and wants us to come and
investigate. She is offering for us to stay in a guest room, free of charge.
Looking from the outside, the Wood Duck Inn has its charm. But when Derek and I step
inside, we find the energy to be nearly suffocating. We sit down with the owner, Emily, and she
describes the paranormal issues that have been taking place.
“I have had multiple guests tell me they were pulled off the bed in the middle of the
night.” She explains.
We discuss with her how we conduct our investigation and payment for our services. She
agrees, then hands us the key to the room that we will be staying in.
We go into each guest room to see if we can locate any spirits or energy shifts. Derek
tells me that there is only one spirit here causing all of the issues. And that she won’t cross over
when he prompts her too. He finds that she is especially attached to the room we are staying in.
Derek senses that there is an object in the room she is attached to. A silver vase with fake flowers
rests on the dresser. I feel it and an image of her appears in my mind.
We take the vase and bury it in the woods across the road. Then we go back to the room
and Derek successfully crosses the spirit over. We explain everything to Emily, and she is
appreciative of what we were able to do for her. She pays us five hundred dollars and makes us
dinner. And she encourages us to stay there as long as we need to. We stay there until another
request comes in.
An antique collector wants us to figure out what antique pieces have spirits attached to
them, which are causing paranormal activity in her house. She seemed pretty desperate for help,
So we drove to where she lives in Saratoga Springs, New York. On our way there, Derek starts to
“You know Erica, I am glad we are doing this. I have realized that if I am actively using
my abilities, my symptoms are not as bad.” He says.
“I know what you mean. It is an excellent distraction from being manic.” I say.
“I know we are paranormal partners, but I want to make sure we are actual partners.”
Derek awkwardly says.
“There is no one I would rather be with. And there is no one I would rather be doing
these investigations with.” I say.
We pull up a long driveway to a very old house. We knock on the door, and the lady
promptly answers. She immediately starts telling us about what antique pieces she thinks are
causing paranormal activity. Then she pays us five hundred dollars in cash up front. We explain
to her that if Derek can’t cross over a spirit that is attached to an item, that item will have to be
burned outside to fully remove the spirit from the house.
I find that mostly every antique item has a different energy; some are stronger than
others. Derek is able to cross over a majority of the spirits that are attached to the items. The
items with the most severe attachments are a grandfather clock and wardrobe. The lady helps us
move the items into her backyard. We saturate the items in gasoline and light a match to them. I
know our job is done when the energy inside the house is lighter than when we first walked in.
The calls keep pouring in. We do our best to answer as many calls as we can. Derek is a
powerful medium. He is able to cross over spirits that other mediums can’t. We are starting to
realize that our paranormal investigating business can be a means of making a decent living in
the future for both of us. We are going to save our money to buy a bigger van, so we can travel
On our way to our next call, Derek says to me, “My life is better with you in it. We get to
bring peace to people as a team and go to so many cool places together. It makes me feel like my
life is not so much of a waste living with this terrible illness.”
“I feel the same way. You are the only person I know who understands what it is like to
be trapped in your own mind with an illness you can’t control. It is better when you are with
someone who understands.” I reply.
“As far as we have come, I know that we have so much to do together. Our team is going
to make a difference in so many peoples’ lives. And I am ready to take on all of it with you.”
Jess Petralia is a college student taking advanced writing courses in order to complete her creative
writing degree.She is looking to get my work out there and receive feedback. Writing is her
passion, as well as her pathway to mental health.