An overgrown staircase leads to an abandoned mausoleum at the Greenwood Memorial Terrace cemetery, the doors held together by a rusty chain.
Last Saturday, as Jane Stewart approached the mausoleum, she said she saw a man guarding the remains of his wife. She burst into tears.
“I kept feeling that huge amount of emotion,” said Stewart, a psychic who did a reading on the cemetery with fellow psychic, Stacy Moore, and paranormal investigator, Kika Morelan.
Moore saw the man at the mausoleum, too, and felt his pain as a pressure in her chest that left her gasping for air.
He’s in mourning, the women concluded. He’s guarding his wife’s grave and trying to take care of her but she’s not there, she has already crossed over.
Stewart and Moore visited the famously haunted 1,000 steps to do research for the Halloween episode of their podcast, Ghost 411.
The prevailing story is that a demonic portal opens as people ascend the steps. Some get drawn in and never make it to the top, the women said.
Others say that when walking up the steps one feels a heavy weight – the weight of grief as they climb up the steps to bury a loved one. This theory is Stewart’s favorite though she notes it’s not actually 1,000 steps. It’s more like 60.
In June, the women started the Ghost 411 podcast to dispel the myths surrounding hauntings and ghost encounters. They say they bring a new perspective to stories that are often sensationalized.
Each week they release multiple episodes usually on the same topic, including an outline of the lore surrounding the place or haunting they are discussing and then a separate psychic reading.
The women started the podcast in June but it was a long time in the making. Moore and Stewart met a decade ago when Moore attended a psychic meet-up group started by Stewart. The two have been friends ever since.
“When you hit your 30s, I think you’re like, I want to know more people that I connect with, so you start looking,” said Moore, who is 49.
The psychic group encouraged Moore to explore the connection to the paranormal she’s had her whole life.
“I always had coming out of my body experiences as far back as I can remember,” Moore said.
The house she grew up in was haunted by a “creepy” man, but Moore never talked about it with her parents, she said.
“My parents were divorced so we would go back and forth but he (the ghost) was always there and was always creepy,” Moore said.
Stewart, 58, grew up in Kansas and considers herself a late bloomer. When it came to paranormal experiences, the earliest one she can remember happened when she was a toddler.
“Every house we lived in in Kansas was haunted,” Stewart said. “We lived in this big old pink house in Ellinwood and I just remember sitting in the dark sitting up in the crib crying really loud in the middle of the night and there were ghosts all the way around surrounding my crib.”
In school, Stewart was drawn to people who said they also had paranormal experiences.
After becoming close friends, the women were always trying to work on something together.
“I just wanted to learn more information about what I have going on, and you know Jane is like a mentor to me,” Moore said. “I think we always tried to work on stuff. She did a few workshops on protection and psychic defense.”
Moore had been wanting to start a podcast for a while and felt that Stewart was the perfect partner.
An area where Moore and Stewart say they are unique is their do-no-harm approach.
They often work to help ghosts “cross over” or clear a space of paranormal energy in their psychic work. When it comes to the podcast, they covered many famous cases like Lizzie Borden, the Winchester Mystery House and the Amityville Horror hauntings.
Many of the cases are the basis for movies like The Conjuring that Moore and Stewart say create a sensationalized version of paranormal experiences, which are often what people think are the norm.
Educating people and reducing sensationalism are important parts of the podcast, Moore said.
“Instead of just talking about the story, we are delivering the story with psychic insight,” Stewart said.
Many of these famous hauntings are part of the Ed and Lorraine Warren investigations. The Warrens used unethical practices and sought out cases that could be easily dramatized, even performing unnecessary exorcisms, Stewart explained.
“They were picking the cases in particular to help themselves more than anything and then adding to it,” Stewart said. “We just don’t do that.”
“They left a path of destruction behind them,” Moore said. “Some of the children that were raised in those cases were traumatized. They did exorcisms on people that weren’t possessed.”
By covering the cases and doing psychic readings from afar, the women hope to draw parallels between what those actual ghost experiences were and ghost experiences an average person might have in real life.
“If you’re given gifts you have a responsibility to have integrity in what you’re doing,” Stewart said. “If it’s out of your league then you let somebody else take care of it. You do what you can to help.”
Stewart and Moore are advocates of only visiting spaces if invited, not trespassing, and visiting graveyards or cemeteries during the day when they are open to the public.
These beliefs are shared by one of their frequent collaborators, Morelan, the head of the Spokane Paranormal Investigation Group.
She wrote in her post following the visit to the 1,000 steps, “If you decide to venture out to 1,000 steps this Halloween, remember to always follow the rules and be respectful of the dead.”
Morelan travels across the country with a variety of ghost detection technology recording ghosts and communicating with them through various techniques.
At Greenwood, Morelan communicated with multiple spirits with a technique involving a flashlight. She said she unscrews the flashlight and then the ghost will move the screw so the light turns on.
In her investigations, Morelan often works with psychics to help her locate ghosts to communicate with and to help validate the what they are seeing, she said.
Spirits are open to communicating with those who understand them, Morelan said.
The goal for Stewart and Moore is to find a peaceful and comforting resolution for people who have experienced a haunting.
Often with a ghost hunter TV show or haunting movie, the real people who live in those houses are harassed, Stewart said.
When Moore and Stewart do a “clearing,” where they ask spirits to leave a space, they focus on the safety and security of the residents of the home that they are helping, Stewart said.
“We stay on it. We follow up until we know that these people that we’re dealing with are helped,” Stewart said. “We continue the communication with people to help educate them, make them feel safer, dispel the fear.”
Having a ghost or spirit in their home can be scary for people without psychic abilities or awareness, Moore said.
During a clearing, Moore and Stewart help the spirit cross into the light if they are causing harm or if they are peaceful then they attempt to “negotiate cohabitation,” Stewart said.
“Ghost are the same in death as they are when they were alive,” Stewart said. “So if you’ve got a nasty person who was lacking in boundaries in life they’re going to be pretty much the same in death.”
Stewart wrote and self-published a book on the subject titled, “Clearings: Everything You Need to Know to Clear Ghosts, Demons, and Other Entities.”
With the foremost goal of resolution in mind, Stewart and Moore plan to go back to Greenwood this week to help the spirit they saw at his wife’s grave.
“I wonder if that man feels like he’s waiting for his wife and maybe the light didn’t come for him,” Moore said in the podcast.
He probably made a promise to himself that he could protect her grave, Stewart said.
While they couldn’t pinpoint the man’s motivation for continuing to stand as a sentry in front of his wife’s grave they both felt he needed help.
“I feel sad,” Moore said. “I feel like I want him to reunite with his wife.”
When Moore and Stewart return to Greenwood, they hope to help the man move on and chronicle the whole thing on Ghost 411.
To listen to Moore’s and Stewart’s podcast online, visit directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/ghost411.
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