Steampunk Granny Sees Dead People

Selm Mansion in Norristown

I don’t spend all my time looking for ghosts, but that never stops them from finding me. This past weekend I did a book signing event for the writing group I belong to. South Jersey Writers’ Group published an anthology of short stories called Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. So, what does this have to do with ghosts? Find out after the jump.

Dawn, Marie, Ava
Dawn Byrne, Marie Gilbert, Ava Easterly

Campus Ghost

I was with two fellow authors from our group, Dawn Byrne and Ava Easterly at a Campus Book Festival. The day was sunny and the campus packed with vendors selling books. We were close to the main building that was a privately owned mansion before it became part of the college. The building was beautiful and as I and Dawn entered to use the restroom, we stopped to admire the fabulous staircase and stained glass windows, but, we were not alone.

“Someone is at the top of the stairs,” I mentioned to my book signing sidekick. Poor Dawn has suffered through many of my ghost sightings, especially at very old book shops, or in this case, a mansion.

“Who is it? Dawn nervously asked.


The spirit was not a teacher or student. The impression I had of this man was that he belonged to the building when it was a private home. Why he chose to stay behind, I don’t know and didn’t have time to ask; we had books to sell. Close to the end of the day, I was able to speak to the Dean of the school. He was impressed that I had sensed so much information on my first visit and confirmed that others had seen the spirit. Could it possibly be the previous owner? We didn’t know but I told the Dean that the spirit was happy with the home and property being used as a school.

Selma Mansion

That same day after the book signing, my ghost hunting team and I joined another ghost research group, the Keystone Spirit Seekers (KEYSS) at the Selma Mansion in Norristown, Pa. Team leaders Richard Lima, Cindy and their comrades Linda A, Linda V and Janet with help of two investigators in training were carrying all their equipment to the steps of the mansion. We waited there for a member of Norristown Preservation Society to allow us entrance to the property.


As an empath, I rely only on my senses and only bring with me my ELF Zone Meter and a digital recorder. Rita, Jean and I did a primary walk through of the house while KEYSS set up their equipment. Jean immediately sensed a male spirit on the second floor, while I sensed a female spirit on the third floor. No spirits were sensed in the basement, but that would soon change. We only mentioned to the others where we had sensed the spirits as to not taint the investigation.

The members of KEYSS worked professionally in setting up the equipment and doing the baseline data collection of the entire house. When doing an investigation, you must first eliminate all natural occurrences as a suspected haunting, what’s left is most likely supernatural. While the members of Keystone Spirit Seekers set up the motion detectors, cell sensors and did temperature readings. I watched as Linda A and Linda V set up the video surveillance cameras in the different rooms.


Orbs showed up on the video screen, but unlike dust, these orbs moved in a purposeful and intent manner before gathering around Linda V. It seemed the spirits were very interested in what she was doing.  As Linda V taped the wires to the wood floor, she was startled by a tapping sound on the floor next to her. Spirits will do what ever is necessary to get your attention.

When all equipment was set to go, we broke up into two groups. The group I was with headed to the basement, while the other group did the third floor. The basement was damp, moldy and cold and I was forced to wear a mask because of severe allergies. At first I didn’t sense anything, but slowly a picture of a young boy around ten or twelve, came into my mind; contact! The people in our team began asking the boy questions, but whenever I asked a question, the top light of my ELF Zone Meter would blink twice whenever his reply was a yes.


I got the sense that this child’s name was Robert and that he would often sneak into this basement to eat apples. Apples? But, basements were often used as root cellars so it made sense that apples were kept there. I had the feeling that Robert was a child of one of the servants. When I asked the spirit these particular questions, my ELF Zone lit up; his reply was yes. Richard Lima realizing that Robert was probably standing right before me handed me the Mel Meter and as soon as I took hold of it, the readings went from zero to 10.7 and stayed there as I continued interviewing the young spirit who had apparently taken a liking to me. Did he sense that I was a grandmother?


While I spoke to Robert, Linda A pointed the Thermal Scan at me and the damn thing immediately shot up 50 degrees and stayed there. I continued asking questions for the other members and Robert continued replying via ELF Zone. Eventually, the blinking began to slow and the answers took longer to come, and grandmother that I am, I sensed the spirit’s energy was fading. I asked Robert if he was tired and wanted to stop; one final blink was my reply. I thanked little Robert for spending time with the group and then he was gone. How did we know? The Mel Meter and the Thermal Scan readings dropped simultaneously to zero.

It was a good investigation and the group had experienced other interactions throughout the house. They are still reviewing the video and audio results and I can’t wait until the official report comes out. I hope to work again with the wonderful people of KEYSS. These people are professional investigators who do this research to help others, be it human or ghost.



One last note on the Selma Mansion, before and after the investigation we said protective prayers. As my team and I left the house, I told the spirits they were not allowed to follow us home. Robert and I had made a successful contact,but I have enough grandchildren, and to tell the truth, I wanted Robert to stay where he was.



5 Replies to “Steampunk Granny Sees Dead People”

    1. I know, it was Leo, but it takes me days to recoup my energy. When you deal with spirits they can sap you if you’re not careful

  1. Marie, do you ask the questions out loud? Do you look in the direction of the spirit? Just curious.

    1. Hi Eileen, yes I do ask the questions out loud and I look towards the direction that I see him in my mind/ So, if I feel he is standing before me that is where I look or if he is standing in a corner, I try to face them wherever they are out of respect. I get a picture of the person in my mind. Sometimes I just feel them, but can’t see them. This gift is not something I can control or fine tune, if you know what I mean.

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