Episode Three: The Energy Around Us
Episode Three: The Energy Around Us
My name is Charlie Moss and I’ve been a freelance journalist and writer for more than 10 years. I’ve written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Vice, The Bitter Southerner, and other publications. I also used to work for an online camping magazine called The Dyrt. It was there that I wrote about a haunted campground just outside of Staunton, Virginia. The more I dug into the story, the more I realized that this wasn’t just a simple Halloween ghost tale. It was something much deeper, much more profound than I ever imagined. And I’ve spent the last two years finding out as much as I can about What Happened at Braley Pond.
This is episode three - The Energy Around Us
Um I was coming out of my parents' bedroom and I was walking into her living room and I do not remember where we went, um, before this, but, uh, it was at night and I don't remember why walking, living room. And when I was walking back towards our kitchen, there was a man tall man standing, leaning against our threshold, staring at me. And it, it, it shocked me. And I said, Hey dude, who are you? And I, I remember, I remember I never forget the name, Scott. um, and in the brief few seconds that we interacted with each other, I remember the owner forget the, um, is it to bog it, that he was wearing, um, like a large trench coat.
It almost seemed like he was addressed, like he was homeless. Um, and the floor around him was wet. It was like, he, he literally stepped out of a pool, um, and just dripping wet all over the carpet. And he was covered in blood and he had several, I could, I could not figure out if they were stab wounds or bullet holes. And I was too young to really understand what was going on. But, um, the older I got and the more I talked to my mother, uh, I figured out that they were in the more I thought about it. They were stabbed once. Um, he had three or four of them in his, uh, he had two in his chest, two in his gut. Um, and after saying Scott, uh, I was shocked. And in the blink of an eye, he was gone.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR That was Shea Willis’ son, Zack, recounting seeing what he believes was the ghost of Christopher Kennedy a few weeks after Shea’s paranormal experience at Braley Pond.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR However, this wasn’t the only experience Shea and her family had after her visit to Braley Pond with Chris Pugh.
SHEA WILLIS So in the months following, um, that encounter that we had, which was October 25th, 2003, um, things just were weird. Um, I felt ill, I don't know how else to explain it. I, there was nothing physically wrong with me. Um, but I still felt ill, like I had some sort of like, um, longterm lingering illness or something. I don't know exactly how to explain it. I did not feel well at all. Um, I was, and I am not a, um, I'm not, uh, a depressive person by nature. I am extremely optimistic and, um, I'm always happy even when I'm not happy, I'm happy. I was drained. I couldn't think straight. My body was tired.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR
Shea also started to have nightmares, which she says is something that rarely happened to her before Braley Pond.
SHEA WILLIS Um, I had the, I had these awful dreams and I'm, I mean every once in awhile, you know, I would have a bad dream once or twice a year maybe. But I mean, these were frequent and they always centered around something in the water. There was, um, there was one in particular that was in November or December of 2003 that, where I was on a dock in an unfamiliar place and it looked, it was very ocean like, um, and I knew there was something in the water and I could not knew it was coming up to the dock. And it was this, this combination almost like when I was standing on the dam listening to the splashes in the water and knew I should leave, but was unable to, it was the same kind of feeling.
It was this dread, fascination combination. And I'm on this dock and I'm looking in the Walker and I don't want to be there. I don't want to be looking in the water cause I don't want to see what they're, but I can't help myself. And this fading, it wasn't real large. It was probably the size of, um, I don't know, maybe a, a small alligator, but it didn't look anything like a navigator. It rises up out of the water, his head comes up out of the water and it's this slimy gray looking skin with this massive, um, red protruding. I'm a ball and not like, um, like something in a horror movie. I mean, it looked real. It looked like it. That's how I was formed. Um, and the same looking at me, you know, and I scramble off the dock and I wake up and so I kept having me dreams that surrounds that, that were, that had to do with water and things coming up out of the water.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR
Almost two months later, Shea went back to Braley Pond.
SHEA WILLIS I couldn't help it. I wanted to go back to Braylee. It was again, it was that dreaded fascination. It was this pull.
What happened though that was so strange was that once I got into the parking area, that's all I remember. I don't know how much time passed. And um, when I woke up, for lack of a better term, I found myself in the woman, the women's bathroom, um, looking down into the toilet. And these are not normal toilets. There's no running water, no electricity or, so these are just, it's a, it's a toilet structure, but it's just a, uh, you know, an excavated, um, box underneath. And so it wasn't like I was looking down into the water. I was literally like my face down at the level of the toilet seat, looking down into this hole when I woke up, which was very unsettling. And it made me feel really weird because, um, normally I'm very much in control of my facilities and that was like the first time I could recall that I lost time.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Panicked, Shea immediately got in her car and left. From there, things only got worse.
SHEA WILLIS after that, after that, still in December, um, there was this, it was late December then I noticed that over my side of the bed, these scratches had started appearing in the drywall. I mean, these things are deep enough to dig down into the drywall. And there was a wallpaper border over that ran around the room that went, you know, it was, I don't know, maybe, um, maybe six or eight inches above the top of the sleigh bed. So it was up above the top of the head of the bed and these things got bad enough that it actually slit the wallpaper.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR By the way, Shea sent me photos of these scratch marks, and you can see them on the podcast’s website.
Around Christmastime of 2003, Shea, her family, Chris Pugh and some other friends went to Cape Charles, Virginia. It’s on a small peninsula just west of the Chesapeake Bay, about four hours from Staunton. It’s a place she and her family had gone for as long as she could remember. She recalls to me something she saw while she was there that at first, seemed like no big deal.
SHEA WILLIS in water, um, in the breakers, actually at Cape Charles, there was this enormous flock of Canadian geese. And I'd never seen Canadian geese at Cape Charles before, especially not in December when it was very cold. And Chris, who of course is very medieval oriented, um, very Renaissance and, and, um, and is attuned to historical information associated with the cycles of nature and everything.
And so he says to me, that's so interesting that they're all there and they're in the breakers. They're not like flying over there. They're bobbing around in this surf and it was hundreds of them. And he says, you know, that's really interesting that they're there because you know what Canadian G signify? And I didn't. I said, no, I don't, I don't know what you're talking about. And he said, they're guardians. He said, these are the soldiers, they're the guardians. And I was like, well, what does Y, what does that mean? And he goes, well, look at what you've been going through. You know, he said, I'm not saying that it's, um, something that you need to blow out of proportion, but it's something you should stick in the back of your mind.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Over the next couple of months, Shea continued to not feel like herself. At this point, her job working for a general contractor had gotten pretty demanding, and she was driving an hour back and forth to Charlottesville everyday. One day, to help lift her spirits, she stopped by Beaver Dam, a place, just like Braley Pond, where her dad would take her as a kid. It’s a place where she found solace.
SHEA WILLIS so I'm coming home from Charlottesville one day and I'm drawn to pull into there. I hadn't been there in years and years and years and years. I pulled down into the parking lot and the water's froze over, which I didn't expect to see. Um, cause this, this is a reservoir that's a very large body of water. And I just got the cold chills because I'm looking in the ice are these circular things that have these tentacles coming out from, and I've got pictures of this too. I'm sitting here looking at him and immediately identified the breaks in the ice with this thing that had climbed up on my back and made itself at home their way back in October. It's what I was seeing with my eyes was what my tactical sense of self when this thing landed on my back.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR If it wasn’t clear, Shea is now describing seeing what she can only assume is many of the same type of large, tentacled, wormlike creature that attached itself to her back at Braley back in October of the previous year. Her “hitchiker,” as she calls it. Except this time, there were a lot of them.
SHEA WILLIS I'm looking at these things going, gosh, this was exactly like what I imagined. Um, you know, my hitchhiker looked like, and as I'm looking, they're all over the place and I, I mean, I'm familiar with water. I, I've never seen ice do this before. And I'm sure it probably was a natural phenomenon, but it was still very, very strange at the same time. So as I'm standing there looking at these things, getting the Willy nilly is about them right in front of me up walks this Canadian goose and I remembered what Chris had said. The geese are the soldiers. They're the protectors. Pay attention. And when you see one. So I'm standing here looking at these things in the height that look exactly like what I imagined my hitchhiker looked like. And up walks right in front of me right over top of them steps on this Canadian goose.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR A few weeks later, on the first day of March in 2004, Shea was driving home late one night from Charlottesville, and something else happened.
SHEA WILLIS it was dark when I was on my way home and I was driving a white Ford Taurus, which was a company car and I was coming up route two 50. Um, and I, I was halfway in between about halfway...where you would turn to go to Beaver dam and the bottom of the afternoon. And I had the radio on and I'm driving along, not thinking too much about anything. And all of a sudden something hits my car and it's pitch black outside something.
SHEA WILLIS I mean literally wracked my car and my radio went off. It just went off. So I slammed the brakes on, pull off, turn around and go back.
What I find is this Canadian goose land, the side of the road.
Um, it literally is gutted, its legs are cut off. Um, it's, it literally is this rated. And yet when I touched it, 45 seconds after he hit my car, it was ice cold and there was no blood anywhere, not in my car, not on the, is not on the side of the road. So that was, um, again, really, really unsettling. Um, it was very odd that after, you know, Chris kept telling me, pay attention to when you see a goose. And I stopped off at Beaver dam and I'm looking at these creepy things in the, in the ice embedded in the ice and this goose walked right up in front of me. And then, you know, a week or two later I felt like it hit this, this one, I felt like it had been gutted and literally 12 at my car. I don't think it flew into my car. I think it had been thrown at my car. And so that was kind of, um, that was a little disturbing. If the goose had been warm or if there had been blood all over my car or you know, if it had been soft and pliable and bleeding all over the road, it wouldn't have been as disturbing. But the thing was ice cold it, I really think it was dead before it ever hit my car.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Shea continued to have nightmares and not feel well over the next few weeks. Whatever she was experiencing was nothing like she had ever encountered before.
SHEA WILLIS I understood that there was something going on that I didn't quite understand, but at the same time I was getting real tired of it. And so I finally just decided I'm done with this. You know, I'm, um, I was really curious about what this thing was and why I kept seeing evidence of it everywhere and why I kept seeing these signs and these signals and why my body felt so bad and everything.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR That’s when Shea decided to confront this entity, this being, or whatever you want to call it.
SHEA WILLIS And so, um, I get, I get mad and I said, look, I'm done with you. I don't know what the hell you are, but, um, you need to go away and I'm, you're, you're, you're not welcome. You never haven't been welcomed and I want you gone and I want you gone now.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Shea didn’t feel any difference immediately. After a few days, though, she experienced another physical change, one that I have to warn you, is pretty graphic.
SHEA WILLIS I did do some energy work around my house and I did like some detrimental energy lines that were in place. Um, had been going those out, made things to where it was gonna be harder for this darker energy to hang on, for lack of a better word. And I don't mean to get too graphic, but, um, it wasn't a few days after that that I had my period and it was gruesome. I don't know how else to explain it.
It was absolutely positively gruesome. And there was, again, bear with me for the graphics, but there was this massive clotted ball, literally had these tend to go like pieces of tissue on it that fell out of me. And after that I didn't have any more problems with it. Hmm. Haven't had any problems with it since.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR So, is Shea saying that whatever attached itself to her at Braley Pond had somehow planted something inside her? And if so, what? She doesn’t have an answer for that, though she has some theories. But it might make more sense in helping us figure out what all this means by learning more about Shea’s abilities.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR As I talked about in episode one, Shea is an energy worker, which means she’s able to read not just other people’s energy, but the energy all around her, whether it’s from animals, places, or inanimate objects. In one of our conversations, I liken her abilities to the Force in Star Wars.
CHARLIE MOSS cheesy. Well, we'll undoubtedly cheapen it, but in my mind will help me understand it. So what I keep thinking about is the force in star wars because I'm a big star wars nerd. That's kind of why I keep,
SHEA WILLIS yes, that's, that's a Hollywood thing. So much truth to what to what it is. Describe that. I mean the force is essentially exactly what I'm talking about. And the thing that is so sad is that people, you know, they watched the star wars thing and they get it, they get the force thing, but they think you have to be a jet. I to be able to access, don't understand, they're carrying it around with them all the time. It's there and it can be accessed very, very easily.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Shea claims she’s able to move objects using the energy around her, though nothing as big as an X-wing Fighter or even rocks. It’s a lot more subtle than that, which is explained a little later in this episode.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Shea’s also an empath, someone who has the ability to sense and feel other people’s emotions as if they are part of her own experiences. She uses these talents to help heal others who suffer from emotional and even physical pain. And, as I mentioned in episode one, she’s worked with paranormal investigators like Marty Seibel to read the various positive and negative energies that linger at haunted locations. What Shea really wants to get across to me is that she’s not the exception. Everyone has the power to do this.
there is no ability that I have and that everyone else in existence, whatever has been in existence or ever will be in existence, does not also have the only difference between me and every other person has ever walked the planet or ever will is I have realized my abilities. I have connected to them. I have tapped into them. They are inherent in every single being there it's just that most people, um, they're just not connected to them.
In about five minutes time, I can introduce you to it. You can feel it yourself, literally once you know how to do it, it's the easiest thing in the world. And then once you understand what it feels like, then you can literally turn it on and off like a light switch.
it functions in the background and you can pull it forward to utilize it for all kinds of things, for healing, for knowledge, for wisdom, for connectivity, for meditation, for all kinds of stuff.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Like many others that Shea’s tried to explain this to, I have a hard time understanding exactly what she can do.
SHEA WILLIS when I'm trying to explain this to somebody and I've had to do this a couple of times, you need a point of reference and almost everybody, whether you move in the new age circles or not, almost everybody has heard of Indigo children.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR If you’re like me, I had never heard of Indigo Children before. According to a January 12, 2006 New York Times article, Indigo Children often have high I.Q.s, are extremely intuitive, and are very self confident. They also tend to be disruptive in school. This sounds a lot like ADHD, but here’s where it differs. When this phenomenon was first discovered in the 1970s, children who had these traits also omitted a deep blue vibrational color around them, an indigo aura, as San Diego-based parapsychologist Nancy Ann Tappe described it. But that’s not all. Indigo Children are also strong-willed, creative, possess a deep desire to help the world, are typically psychic and can tell what’s wrong with other people just by touching them. Indigo Children are born in or after 1978, and considered kind of the next step of human evolution. So, kinda like the X-Men, right? So, where does the blue aura fit in? In Hinduism and other Dharmic spiritual traditions from Nepal and India, the chakra is a third eye. I’m sure you’ve seen illustrations of a person with a third eye on their foreheads, right? This third eye symbolizes a state of enlightenment or consciousness. Chakras are usually blue or indigo in color.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Though Shea was born before 1978, she does consider herself to be, as she describes it, an early adopter, of this group. I’ll let her explain it.
SHEA WILLIS Now, I don't know what you need to understand is that the people that studied this and there were, I mean, psychologists, they were esteemed. Um, people that studied this phenomenon, what they found was that way before the massive number of children were born this way, the group, um, themselves, there were a select number very few and far between that were born in the sixties and what they call them the alpha, uh Indigos. And basically we were, uh, the bruisers. We were the ones that were thrown into a society that did not understand this and, and would Shanice and would be afraid of us.
SHEA WILLIS And life was going to be really, really hard until we got our feet under us. But what that did was it put us in a position to be able to help this massive wave of children that were going to be born, that, that, um, we could help them realize their own abilities and their own gifts and their own talent. And I ended up my, you know, I got four kids and all of them are Indegos to one extent or another.
But I was basically one of the first ones,
I was dropped into a society with no support. Um, other than my mom, my mom was cool. Cause she, she got that. I was different.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Shea’s mom Jennifer Hensley understood Shea’s abilities because she has them, too. And she taught Shea how to harness them. God, this sounds like a comic book, doesn’t it?
JENNIFER HENSLEY When I was teaching Shea, some of their stuff, we took the kids to a, um, one of those educational museums for kids. And I had her hold a necklace in the middle of the table and I made it go, okay. I don't remember which way I made it go or whatever. And she said, how are you doing that? I said, yeah, you want it to go the other way? She said no way. So I may go the other way.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Despite her mother’s guidance, Shea had a difficult time fitting in at school. She would get teased about being different, and didn’t have a lot of friends as a child.
SHEA WILLIS my childhood was hell, it was awful. And then the first, you know, five or six years of it, I was oblivious to the fact that not everybody else in the universe was exactly like me.
I thought everybody else could do the things that I could do. And you know, and that was that included a very strong sense of knowing, I would know things all the time, all the time before they happened, or, um, before somebody said something, I would know what they were going to say. And, and I could, I could move things without touching them. Now I could not pick up a chair or a book or anything like that. But if there was something that was suspended, um, like a mobile or a balloon, I could sit and push it around just with the energy that I projected out of my mind. And I thought that was normal. I would do that just for the fun of it when I was born. Um, and then, then I got into school and, Oh my God, my world came crashing down.
SHEA WILLIS The other kids either hated me or were scared of me one or the other. They knew inherently that something was different. And I just, even at that age, refuse to pretend that I was something that I wasn't or refuse to hide what I was. And it really scared a lot of the kids that did. Um, so I was basically friendless. And I remember being on the bus, I was in the second grade, hated the bus. I got abused on the bus. I got beat up all the time.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Shea’s mother ,Jennifer proved to be her saving grace when it came to Shea’s unique abilities. As I mentioned earlier, she has the same kinds of talents as her daughter Shea. Though Jennifer knew she had abilities at a young age, she didn’t start to hone them until later in life.
JENNIFER HENSLEY Um, when I was a kid, um, this would have been 1950. Okay. And, um, I remember coming out the back door to shake a rug and I stopped cause I said, well, I've already done it. And then I thought, well, no, the rug is dirty, but I, I saw myself that I had already done it. You know what I'm saying? So, uh, that kind of thing would happen. Um, then, you know, you, you, you try to get into a career and you get married and have kids, and that all kind of just kind of faded away for a long time. And, um, then I started in, in, uh, Tai Chi and Qigong, and of course chigong is, you're just working entirely with energy. And my health, my health had gotten really bad. And I found that, that I could do so much more with, um, energy work than I could with doctors.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR As Jennifer’s health improved, she became even more fascinated with natural and alternative forms of medicine, becoming certified as an herbalist, and a Tai-Chi and Chi-gong instructor.
JENNIFER HENSLEY So I started taking care of myself and that led me into the natural health field, uh, where I took courses and, and got certified for different things like herbalist and things like that.
But along the way, um, just started, um, seeing things out of the corner of my eyes, knowing something was going to happen, of course, before it happened, that happens to people all the time. Um, but I think probably, I don't know, 25 years ago, maybe it really things really kind of started bubbling. And I would feel like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, you know, and things were just getting ready to open up.
And then it went back off a little bit, uh, ran across Joey Korn, just took one of his, had a private session with him
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Joey Korn is a professional dowser, spiritual leader and like Shea and her mom Jennifer, energy worker. He, along with his wife Jill, run the website Dowsers.com, where they offer spiritual space cleaning services, courses and week-long retreats at their house near Augusta, Georgia, and yes, their own line of dowsers.
I’m somewhat familiar with dowsing as a concept. Also called divining, water-witching and doodle-bugging, dowsing consists of using either a large, wooden, forkedd stick or a couple of metal rods about a foot long, each with a short handle. A lot of people use them to try to find ground water or oil. Supposedly, when you’re near whatever you’re trying to find, the rods will move in a very specific direction to alert you, all on their own. Miners used to use them to find gold and other buried metals, gemstones, and even gravesites. It turns out, you can also use them to find energy. Which makes sense, I suppose. Like pretty much everything related to this podcast, there’s a bit of controversy surrounding dowsing, at least from a scientific perspective. There’s no evidence it works any more than pure chance. Both Jennifer and Shea consider him a mentor in their energy practices and development.
In one of my many email correspondences with Shea, she recommended that I speak with Joey, who she, along with her mom Jennifer, consider a mentor, so I can really understand the methods of energy work and practices she and her mom have learned from him. So I did.
CHARLIE MOSS This is Charlie Moss. How are you doing? Uh, I'm I'm good.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR I ask Joey about how he uses dowsing to do energy clearing, what that means, and how it helps people because honestly, I just don’t understand how a metal or wooden rod can help people live better lives. I mean, it’s just hard for me to swallow, you know?
JOEY KORN The thing is the ability to use various dowels and tools such as ELL rods, UPenn alum, uh, pendulums, um, and other dousing tools in, or they're in order. And from my perspective, in order to detect subtle energies and, and discern their eyes, it's also, you subtle energies are energies that I, that I find and work with every day, um, that, that are very real. I tell you, they S they connect us to each other and everything else in the universe, you might call it a matrix. Um, and, but these energies are not accepted by science, um, because they can't, they don't have subtle enough instruments to detect these energies. However,
JOEY KORN Is lots of evidence in science, these energies exist, they just can't detect them. Um, now other people use housing for answering questions about anything they might want to ask. They, and I I've done that in years past, uh, but I've given that up. Um, that's usually done with a pendulum, either asking, yes, no questions about whatever you're asking, and then depending on which way, one that way for yes, one way for no, and one way, another way for no answer or something like that, you know, and, uh, or you can use charts that you make up, or that would have already been made. They'd have information on it and, and you can swing the pendulum over that. Again, I don't do that at all. I use dowsing to detect these energies that are within us and around us and everywhere in the world and, and beyond, um, and my specialty is space clearing and what I, and especially I've done the first Oh 10 or so years of doing the space clearing work.
JOEY KORN my primary use of it is to douse energies, again, in homes, and to help create ideal or more beneficial energy environments and more healing energy environments for people that enter the, that live in those homes and are, and enter those homes and other places like businesses.
NARRATION Joey and his wife Jill offer these 5-day retreats at their Grovetown, Georgia home, similar to the event that Jennifer mentioned. Joey & Jill’s Sugartown Retreat. That’s what they’re called, which sounds really relaxing, actually. Their house sits on 3 acres of land that includes a one-acre fish pond. Joey cooks all of the meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner and from what I’ve heard, he’s a great cook. Drinking of libations is encouraged, if you want, as well as open conversation. Joey describes these retreats as Divine Wizardry 101. I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, but it does sound fun.
JOEY KORN It's similar to fund this way in that it's about creating more beneficial and positive energy flows in the home, but I don't arrange furniture. I do all my energy with an I don't arrange houses and I don't change physical things in order to avoid certain energies or create, um, uh, better energy flows. I use dowsing to determ to find the energies. And I use my intent by stating what I'm looking for to determine, um, if the energies are less benefit, I call them beneficial or detrimental. You might call them, um, strengthening or weakening. Some energies need to be, uh, balanced and made beneficial. I do that all with blessing. I pray only to God, I call on God to do the work and whatever forces under God, benevolent forces, um, and, uh, and then some energies that need to be removed.
And that's the primary work that I do removing energies that are causing problems in people's homes and in their lives. And it, and it can be very disruptive.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Much like I was with Shea, I was very skeptical about any of this dowsing stuff. And when Joey started talking about space clearing. But the more I talked to him, the more I liked what he had to say. On Joey’s site, he talks about the connection between dowsing, or energy work, and the ancient Jewish mystic practice of Kabbalah. Ya know, it’s what Madonna and other high-profile celebrities made famous for a minute back in the early 2000s. Joey happens to be Jewish, which we have in common. So, I asked him about it.
JOEY KORN Um, a lot of people say that I find that I find these energies that I'm about to share with you because I'm Jewish. That might be why I recognize the pattern. But back in, uh, 96 to 97, I began finding a particular, a what was obvious to me, a repeating pattern of energies around beds. And I explored them a lot. I use dousing. If you, if you can imagine there's a whole world of what of energy, subtle energy, you might call it spiritual energy, or God's light there's light of the creator. That's behind the scenes of life, um, affecting all of us every day, every minute of every day, whether we know it or not. And th these energies are very real.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Joey asked his friends and family if he could examine the areas around their beds, and he began to find a repeating pattern.
JOEY KORN And then, um, and I found more and more of this repeating pattern until in the middle of June of 99. It was just given shown to me, and in what you might call a vision and a revelation, um, that this energy pattern that's around beds is really, it's almost identical to the tree of life pattern is that you've often seen in Kabbalah or Caba, which is the Hebrew, wait a second. Um, and, uh, and then I base everything on that. Now, the, what the pattern of founding around beds is really not about the beds at all. It's about the people sleeping in those beds.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Joey tells me that everyone has energy patterns, and he compares them to fingerprints. Though we all have energy patterns, they differ from person to person, depending on our experiences. This is what he called the human soul level of the Tree of Life. And this energy is what he finds around people’s beds.
Each of us has a human energy pattern that goes with us everywhere we go. Everybody's pattern is basically the same. Um, just like everybody has fingerprints, but the actual, um, uh, except everybody's fingerprint, isn't the same.
JOEY KORN Um, and the reason it's around beds is we imprint this energy pattern, uh, where we sleep or anywhere we lie down on a physical structure that was raised off the floor. And, um, so when I'm exploring of the tree of life patterns around beds, I'm really exploring, I'm an N I'm actually, Dows indirectly dousing. The people that sleep in those bedrooms or are imprinted around those spreads and those energies that are around beds are directly connected to us.
but basically I look at everybody's when I connect to homes, I check out everybody's human pattern, uh, check, which is the tree of life. I find that same repeating pattern around rooms and around homes and in the land itself. And that's when the teachings of Kabbalah set of say, and they say, the tree of life is within us, it's around us. And it repeats itself endlessly in the energies of creation so much.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR So, a little context here. Kabbalah, if you’re not familiar with it, isn’t practiced in mainstream Judaism. It’s considered kind of an occult knowledge, or mysticism. It’s all about gaining a greater, more intimate connection with God. Kabbalists believe that within the soul of every individual is a hidden part of God that’s waiting to be revealed.
Now, here’s where the Tree of Life comes in. The Tree of Life is a map of consciousness, a guide to how to become a link between the physical and spiritual worlds. This involves creating a flow of energy, a giving and receiving of energy and blessings to bring unity and completion to our lives. It’s all about finding the hidden parts of ourselves that leads to a new level of consciousness.
Here’s Joey again,talking about what he looks for when he finds these energy patterns we emit around our beds.
JOEY KORN I look for imbalances in the pattern, uh, especially significant to intense imbalances in the human energy patterns. And I've learned through the years, what causes those imbalances and I remove the causes. And then in the end, I bless the person, the home and the family to support them and make the energies ideal, uh, to support them at that time in their life.
CHARLIE MOSS I'm wondering. So what, what kind of results do people get? Like, you know, um, what, what, um, what I'm hearing is that it kind of brings this balance to people's lives...
JOEY KORN There's two primary energies that I work with the two main things that I clear in people's homes, what I call interference energy. That's the, that's the energy that, uh, is in 99% of the homes that are clear. And the other problem is the other energy source or cause of energy problems in homes are our earth balanced spirits, which is a PO. And both of those energies as likely, um, both of those energies are likely what, what Shay experienced around the prop around the Lake.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Now, Joey continues to talk about these two different kinds of energies but the conversation goes way far off into some pretty crazy-sounding territory that I’m saving for a later episode.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR As I mentioned before, I’m Jewish. After talking with Shea, Jennifer and Joey, I started thinking about Kabbalah, energy, and ghosts, and the role mainstream Judaism has in all of this. So I reached out to an old friend.
RABBIE RICHARD SHERWIN You remember the story of, uh, the two guys in the chimney? Two you guys come down a chimney? When is a clean face? One has a dirty face. Which one? Washes his face? Well, obviously the one with the dirty face, right? Next question. Two guys come down a chimney. When is it clean face? When his dirty face? Which one washes his face?
Well, obviously it's the one with the clean face because the clean face looks at the guy with the dirty face. It says, Oh, my face must be dirty. And the guy with a dirty face looks at the clean face and says my face is clean. So obviously it's the one with the clean face. Third question. Do you guys come down to chimney? When is it clean? Face one is dirty face. Which one was this space? The answer is what a stupid question. It can't happen. Which of those is correct and answers all of them. It's a matter of perspective. You can't say any of them are wrong. You can say, what's likely...but the point is there's more than one right answer.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR That’s Rabbi Richard Sherwin, the rabbi at the synagogue I attended growing up, and he’s prefacing our conversation by saying this is his own perspective, and not the end-all-be-all Jewish outlook on spirituality and the paranormal.
Rabbi Sherwin knew my family intimately because— and I won’t get into it in this podcast—there was a lot of dysfunction. He taught our high school confirmation classes and I loved learning from him because he always offered a unique perspective, not just on religion, but on life. So I ask him directly, his take on ghosts and spiritual energy from a rabbinical point of view.
RABBI RICHARD SHERWIN I'm going to declare ghost being a cultural word. I'm going to talk in terms of presence. Okay. And if you want to substitute the word ghost, go ahead…
When I do a funeral, um, I feel the presence. I feel the presence. Um, and I speak to that presence when they do a funeral it's and I tell people that I speak in present tense terms, not what someone did, but what someone does.
I also advise people to speak in present tense because I know they may feel it at any time.
the answer is there is a palpable presence in Jewish tradition, how long it walks the face of the earth. Don't know.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR When Rabbi Sherwin says “palpable,” he doesn’t mean something you can literally touch. But you can feel it. It’s something that is real, that exists, whether it’s a presence, or an emotion of some kind, something that affects us in a profound way.
I ask him his thoughts on what Joey Korn has told me about dowsing and clearing out negative energy in homes, especially since Joey’s instituting Kabbalah into his work. In Jewish tradition, can houses be haunted? Is that a thing?
RABBI RICHARD SHERWIN Yes. I know what a dowser is.
One does not inflict negative energy on another, not palpably. It doesn't exist in Jewish tradition. Can you be swayed by someone's behavior in the past? Yes. Can you even feel their presence as you do something?
I can't, I can't say he's wrong. I can only say he is out of the Ken of Jewish, mainstream Jewish tradition. And I'm going to use the word mainstream because I don't want to cast the judgment. Mainstream. Judaism says, I'll be blunt now. No to ghosts. It's why I used the term palpable presence, as opposed to ghosts. There is no need for Ghostbusters. If I walk into a house and they know a murder has taken place there and I feel a heaviness, uh, can I say that that is the presence? Sure. But I also know that it, there are people who will walk into a house where someone's murdered and say, you know what, we can do better. And this house will needs a lot of love it.
So the haunting is a matter of personal perception.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR So, don’t get me wrong. I’m nowhere near a practicing member of the Jewish religion. For a time in my 20s, I swore it off altogether. It wasn’t until my wife and I had kids that I started to come back to it in kind of a limited capacity. So I’m not taking this as “Because Jewish tradition says no to ghosts, that means they don’t exist.” Like the rabbi said, it’s a matter of personal perception.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Remember Zack, Shea’s son from the beginning of the episode who saw Chris Kennedy’s ghost? He was also born with similar abilities as his mother and grandmother.
ZACK WILLIS truth be told I E growing up, I always had an ability to be able to, I don't know, uh, have people that have passed away attached to me. Um, I've had several experiences, especially when I was younger.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR He attributes this, at least in part, to Shea’s unique outlook on life.
ZACK WILLIS I was born with the ability. I think that I, as a young age, was, um, allowed to think freely. I was able to be raised with the open possibility of anything is possible. Um, and I, uh, when I was growing up, I, uh, my mom introduced me to paganism a lot, and that really stuck with me, um, when I was growing up.
ZACK WILLIS I always had experiences that were, that if I had parents that were not like mine, they would have been underminded, um, viewed as a, uh, you're making it up. You are you're young. You don't know what you're talking about.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Zack recalls his feelings about seeing what he believes was the ghost of Christopher Kennedy, or as his friends called him, Scott or Scottie.
ZACK WILLIS but I always had experiences that were, that if I had parents that were not like mine, they would have been underminded, um, viewed as a, uh, you're making it up. You are you're young. You don't know what you're talking about, but especially Scott in general was a weird one because there was so much detail within a brief couple of seconds of encountering him that just stuck out, you know, even as a young, you know, you can have imaginary friends, you can, your imagination runs wild, but what, what did you say eight years old? What eight year old would would, um, and a split second, imagine a homeless man standing in his, in his living room covered in water, making the floor wet army green, um, trench coat with a toboggan and, and knife wounds in him. And it, it, it was really odd for me, but it never was, um, something that made me feel uncomfortable. He never wants, if they whole encounter did not scare me. It didn't, it wasn't like, I felt like he was aggressive. Um, it, I don't know if it was a message, I don't know, because the only words that he spoke to me was my name's Scott and he was gone.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR I ask Zack if he had ever gone to Braley Pond, and if so, had he ever experienced anything strange there.
ZACK WILLIS the one time that I did go with my mom. And, uh, I felt just some, it's almost like walking into a room full of people where you know, that something's wrong. Some days it's not, it's not a safe place. It's not something bad has happened here. It's like a sixth sense. And I, that's probably the best way to put what, um, my mother and my father, uh, engraved in my head was that sixth sense. And being at Braley pond, it just made me feel achy. It, it, it just had bad energy to it.
CHARLIE MOSS - NARRATOR Jennifer remembers when Shea went out to Braley Pond. Shea had been on plenty of paranormal excursions. To her, there was nothing to be afraid of. But what happened at Braley Pond was different, and Jennifer knew it.
JENNIFER HENSLEY I was really worried about Shea for a while when she was tapping into that kind of energy, because she was actually, um, challenging it. Okay. And I was concerned there for a while, um, because that calm, that that can get really hairy real quick, something was feeding that energy to it.
The events at Braley Pond were only the beginning of Shea Wilis’ troubles. She is plagued by mysterious events in the months that follow and her young son Zack is convinced he sees the ghost of Chis Kennedy in their house. Shea also goes into her background as an energy worker and empath and the troubled childhood she experienced because of them. Her mother Jennifer Hensley also talks about her own abilities, and we are introduced to their mentor, Joey Korn, who owns and operates Dowsers.com, a website that offers spiritual services and products such as space clearing, retreats, and dowsing tools.