A Haunting in New Braunfels, TX
*SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 9,10 & 11. Before reading, be sure to listen to The Restless - Part I, Part II & Part III . Afterward, feel free to check out this "Behind-the-Episode" blog for additional info and photos! And visit our Patreon page for more extras!
Photo by @thaophotography
I didn't quite know what I was getting myself ,and this show, into when I decided to pursue our first personal case involving a couple in New Braunfels, Texas. Early on in the investigation, I felt this case was going to be different from the start. Stepping into someone's home, asking them to reveal their personal experiences to the public, and then allowing us to bring people in to try to uncover the truth could not have been easy for Amanda and Paul. So when we got the news that things seemed to have escalated and our attempt at helping them, in fact, might have caused more disturbances, I was unsure if we should continue the case.
However, it was everyone surrounding me that encouraged me to keep going. Franklyn remained loyal to the case. He had a personal connection to the client and also is our rational thinker and skeptic. Although he'd heard the reports, witnessed Sara's validations, and experienced the noises in the home, he kept his rational wits about him and ws not giving up so easily. He was ready to go back there to continue helping Amanda and Paul get to the bottom of what was causing all this unusual activity in their home. Alexis was driven now to find a Native American Medicine Man who could perform a cleaning that would possibly appease the Native American spirit in the house that seemed to be protecting the clients and showing Sara images of a ceremony she wanted performed in the house. Lastly, Sara herself was the most determined to get back to New Braunfels immediately to see if she could help Amanda herself with some additional cleansings she felt would break the tether she saw leading to Amanda's side of the bed, and also break the attachment she believed the oppressing spirit Zack had on Amanda.
We had several things from our previous investigations of this home pulling us in different directions. Alexis performed a copal and palo santo cleansing the night we were there with Sara. Everyone believed the house was more positive and that the oppressive spirit had been subdued. However, Amanda and Paul would report that they had a terrible night, Paul heard someone call out his name, knocks continued all through the night, and Amanda saw a shadow figure standing behind the door by her bedside. However, following this night, Amanda was reporting that things were quieting down and getting better.
I theorized that the cleansing we did, did in fact help, but perhaps we angered whatever was there enough to deliver one last night of torment for Amanda and Paul. Or, possibly the signs the Native American spirit were giving Sara were because she knew we needed a larger ceremony to get rid of this oppressive energy in the house. Perhaps only a true Native American cleansing performed by a Medicine Man was really only the way to stop all this. Alexis also noted that we only had a small emergency kit of his and that the smoke wasn't heavy as it should have been to perform a full-on copal cleansing that night. I think we'd all hoped it would have helped, but in turn, it might have not been enough and only angered Zack more, fueling him to wreck havoc that night on Amanda and Paul trying to sleep. But then, I asked myself, why had it quieted down since this first night? Maybe the copal and palo santo slowly strengthened the female spirit in the house and she was now taking control? Or maybe Zack was letting off the gas a little to trick the clients and us into believing he was gone, when in fact he was just waiting for us to stop prying and go away so he could resume his oppressive ways.
My thoughts were everywhere, as you just read. But thankfully, having Sara return, put a lot of things back in perspective. Zack was definitely still there. He was more worried and a bit cornered by the positive energy Sara felt in the house. So it seemed the small cleansing did help a little. However, Sara still needed to do some work.
Alexis had found us a Native American Medicine Man willing to perform the cleansing. But in the meantime, Sara felt she needed to break the tether and attachment so that when the final cleansing was performed, Zack would have nothing he could cling on to and remain attached to Amanda or this house.
Above and below are photos I took of the items Sara used in her light ceremony to break the tether she saw going from the living room, down the hallway, and to Amanda's side of the bed in the master bedroom.
Following the candle ceremony where Sara was alone in the bedroom with Zack, she came out and informed us the tether was indeed broken. Now she wanted to bring Amanda into the bedroom, have her lay down on her side of the bed, and perform a egg cleansing, or limpia.
She spoke a prayer in Spanish and passed a raw egg over Amanda's body repetitively. After a few minutes, Sara cracked the egg into a cup of water and placed it directly under the bed where Amanda sleeps. She instructed Amanda to leave it overnight, then in the morning, pull it out, take a picture to send to me, and then immediately salt it then flush in down the toilet.
These are the images I got in a text from Amanda the next morning before she salted the egg.
Alexis' Notes on the Egg Results:
The yoke represents the client. The white cloud above and attached to it is an indicator of a lot of spiritual activity. The bubbles and strings that are emanating out from that fog usually represent spirits. In the side profile photograph you can see that one of the entities seems to be attached to the client and the connection is very strong. This could be an indicator of a strong powerful connection to a spirit that needs to be removed.
After the two cleansings on Sara's second visit, she felt better about the state of things in the house and was confident with the Medicine Man coming in a couple days, Zack would have no choice but to leave for good
Photo by @thaophotography
On that Sunday evening, I ventured back to New Braunfels to be present for the Native American cleansing in Amanda and Paul's house. I had no idea what to expect, but was eager to see if this ceremony would finally bring peace into Amanda and Paul's life since purchasing this home.
A storm had rolled in, but it felt tranquil. The thunder was distant, gentle, and kind of soothing in a way. Franklyn and Alexis could not be here, but Sara and her husband Rene were here. The events that unfolded shortly after everyone arrived were quite powerful. In an agreement I had made early on, the Medicine Man requested I do not document our conversations or the ceremony. They were stepping out of their community and performing a sacred cleansing known only by a few and it would be disrespectful to share it publicly. I understood, although it pained me to do so, and turned my microphone off when they arrived.
The ceremony was mostly done in the native language of Dine, or as most might better recognize as Navajo. The Medicine Man explained to me that Dine was a more welcomed name for their people and language since it was their true original name. He mentioned that the term "Navajo" was a given to them by the Spanish and that their preferred name Dine stood for "man" or "people" in their language.
When the ceremony was over, I was granted permission to take a photo of one of the dried herbs they burned in the ceremony. I was eager to see if it resembled dried oregano. Surprisingly, it did.
Above: The photo I took of the dried cedar the Medicine Man used in the ceremony that night.
Below: An image of dried oregano
Sara was shown the image of the dried herb by the Native American spirit in the house, but she couldn't quite make it out. She kept saying the closest thing she could think of was oregano. When Medicine Man pulled the dried cedar out of his pouch to show us, Sara nodded with a smile. That was it.
Stephen's Final Thoughts:
It's so baffling to me, still, to think this is all actual happening and right in front of me. This case in New Braunfels was eye opening in more ways than one. I was yet again reassured that Sara's gift is real. Although I'll probably continue to test her in some way on every case, I know she's proven it to me more than enough now.
Secondly, the Medicine Man and his wife taught me to go into these cases a bit differently than I have been before. There's a spirit that was once a living being behind each case I dive into, and I need to respect and honor that. I want to modify my approach with my investigations from here on out, and ensure I'm looking at ways of not only providing answers or aid to the living people struggling with the unseen or unknown entities that could possibly be haunting them, but to also assist those unseens spirits dealing with issues of their very own, so that they too can possibly gain understanding and peace.
Photo by @thaophotography
Alexis' Final Thoughts:
My partner Eric and I have made it our personal goal to help people spiritually. We make it a point to help with cleansing, readings and other works to help our clients achieve that peace they need to continue with their daily lives. It was not only an honor to be back with Stephen and Franklyn, our original team, but to be able to help those who were in dire need to remove that negativity from their home and lives. There was a time when our team only worked personal cases and helped those in need, so we were blessed to be back in the swing of things. Amanda and Paul not only let us into their lives, but took a chance to let strangers into their home in the hopes that it could help. It was also good to know that the spirits are hopefully at rest. As the wife of the Medicine Man said, we need to remember that these spirits were alive too, and they aren't necessarily the enemy. Not all spirits are malicious, many of them are confused and need just as much help as our clients. We are glad to help all of our friends, both the living and the dead.
Franklyn's Final Thoughts:
The case in New Braunfels was a curious case of a couple vs their environment. It's hard to say for sure if any strange experience can be scientifically called paranormal, as it's all perspective. Certain elements definitely added fuel to a fire that seemed to be subconsciously brewing; in this instance stress and extraordinarily high EMF fluctuations caused primarily by an unshielded electrical meter junction box. The curious part begins when you have two people witnessing the same phenomenon in slightly different ways. Folie à deux or shared psychosis is not unheard of and there are quite a few documented cases by physicians. But, what's not so common is when you have other outside parties affected by this unseen phenomenon; items and clothing moving, knocks on the wall, unembodied shadows, and electronics malfunctioning. My own voice recorder coming on by its self, replaying audio randomly as an example, as well as my video camera catching shadows. Paranormal phenomena or just coincidental environmental events causing mental anguish and confusion? Without scientific repeatable results, I for one can't say for certain.
Above is a video I shot on our 2nd visit to the house where Franklyn tested out the EMF readings by the couch I got sick at. Amanda and Paul had replaced the junction box and the EMF levels were significantly better.
Below is the GoPro footage Franklyn captured on our second night there. This was the night Sara came for the first time and we heard all the knocking and bangs in the house. This video has 3 versions of the footage - 1 original and 2 with filters so you can see the shadow more defined.
Franklyn tried debunking this shadow and determined the only way to reproduce this shadow on the ceiling is if someone stood in front of the island and paced around. The issue here is there is no one in the room at any point in time in this video.
Here's Franklyn on our 3rd visit reproducing the shadow on the ceiling.
I even went back on a follow up visit and checked more conditions like matching lighting, drawing the curtains the way they were, and then walked in and out of doors in the hallway to see if this shadow would be produced. It wasn't. Only if I walked in front of that island could we reproduce it.
In Paul's words, "I don't know. What would it take for you to believe?"
Photo by @thaophotography