Friday, November 2, 2012

Ghost Adventures

I love ghosts and have been fascinated with ghosts for as long as I could remember. I spent countless weekends in my single days going to ghost towns and even staying at a haunted bed and breakfast with my sister for my birthday back in 2005. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that here in Columbus, a group over the state line the Alabama Paranormal Research Team, hosts ghost tours and a few times a year does actual ghost hunts. Now I've been on a dozen ghost tours but NEVER an actual ghost hunt.

On October 27, Jesse, Crystal, and I met up at the Naval Museum for a 5 hour lock down from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM. It was very informative as it consisted of a tour of the museum with historical background information and stories about ships, relics, and replicas of the museum. That lasted about an hour and then we broke up into groups to check out different areas.

The first room we went into had a giant ship that was burned and smells like burned wood for those who can smell. There's nothing horrible associated with the ship in terms of seeing battles or anything. He showed up late in the game. But there are spirits that haunt the area. We started out at one end of the ship and left to the bow of it. I have an EVP/EMF app that I have set on an auto record feature. Basically I can manually start and stop recording sessions, or if it senses any unusual frequencies, it will automatically record. Somewhere between us going from the front to the bow, it recorded someone telling our group to "come back here" and right as it finishes saying that, someone from our group whispers "listen" as if they just heard something.

We then met up again and had another regrouping and moved on to another room after about an hour in the room with the big ship. Our next venture was a lot more interactive and fun. We went to a replica hall designed to look like the inside of a ship. In there, we were all sitting on the ground in the hall when we started to hear knocking sounds. Upon asking around the room, we had concluded that none of us were doing anything to make noises or move and the knocking started to become more logical. We would then call out that we were going to do a knocking pattern and ask whatever was out there to copy what we did, like a repeat game. Much to our surprise, we got the same coherent responses. Upon doing that a few times, we started to ask yes or no questions with yes answers being one tap and no answers being two taps. It acknowledged that it understood and we started asking questions.

For whatever bizarre reason we can't figure out, the ghost liked to talk to Crystal and I. I guess we just were asking the right questions. Questions about food. It liked to talk about food and for whatever reason I think it was a man, somewhere between 20 and 30. Just a hunch. Guys in the group wanted to ask questions about the war and what not, we just wanted to know more about the ghost, who we were talking to. I dunno.

We then moved to another part of that same area where we could hear someone eating something crunchy. I don't really have anything more to say other than someone was eating something and food was a pretty big theme for the night.

We went back to the room with my "cook" and asked some more questions and at that point they were more involved with us. Someone tugged at the pants of one of the guys in the group and someone, I'm assuming my cook, touched my hand when Crystal asked if it could touch one of us. Not too long before we left that area for the evening, something also whispered something next to me. Take in mind I was at the end of the row of people and there was no one there, but it was on my cold side, or, the side where there was some sort of spirit.

Crystal and I spent the last half hour goofing around that replica area taking pictures with my night vision and thermal imaging apps because we're silly like that.

Crystal walking around the "kitchen" where we had contact with my chef...

Hellooo??? Is anyone out there???

Crystal points to the area on the floor where most of the knocking was coming from.

Hoping we would maybe get a ghost in our photo.
 We said, "OK, we're gonna take a picture, if you wanna be in it with us, just stand between us." Nothing. Boo.
 I asked my cook to take a picture with me. They never did. Boo again.
 Jesse the skeptic before our adventures started. He turned out to like it in the end.

Anyway, they're doing another Parafied event in February for my birthday weekend and I'm hoping we get to go to that. Just saying.


As if that weren't fun enough, we got to go to another ghost tour on Halloween night at one of my favorite places, the Springer Opera House. Now this was a first time they ever did this and a very rare and special event. The Opera House has a image it likes to uphold and it wants to be known as a cultural arts venue that preserves history and adds culture to town. It does not want to be known as some haunted ghost story tourist trap.

Now, despite the fact it is known as a historic and functioning theater venue, it is also a place of confirmed hauntings, all of which ghosts are apparently very nice. As we started our tour we got some stories of the entrance area and upon walking from the ticket booth towards the saloon, a weird mist cloud met at eye level between myself and Jesse as we stopped in front of the Emily Woodruff portrait. I actually don't think that was her but think it was actually Edwin Booth. There was no body or features to this cloud, but I had a hunch it was male and an even stronger one it was him since it was very near his portrait and he seemed like he was going back to it.

A little walk further in we went to other rooms including the dressing rooms...

The costume shop and warehouse...

And the prop shop...

While we were in the green room, I noticed a strange shadow passing in front of a blue light yet there was nothing anywhere near it that could cast any shadows that large as the light was on the ceiling and the shadow was along a spot on the wall at least 15 feet up.

After the green room, we got to go onto the stage. There was a very strange cold spot on the stage behind me and I don't know what it was but assume it was a ghost. There was nothing more to it outside of it just being cold.

Our tour took us back to the main hall where it started and it came to an end. During the closing comments and Q&A session, I saw what I could only presume was Emily Woodruff on the stairs peeking out to see what was going on and then vanishing. She was a faint greyish white figure composed mostly of outlines of which I could best describe as a desaturated/lightened photoshop transparency in real life.

After our Q&A, our tour guide took the remainder of our group to a few more spots because we were very interested in the history of the building outside of just the ghosts. One of the things people rarely know about me is that I'm kind of an archetecture nerd and love great structural design. I also appreciate decorative arts history, so this was quite a treat to me to be able to go to the peanut gallery and see the original seating from the 1870s.

The tour was actually kind of long and lasted for about two hours but it was fantastic. We learned a lot about the building, its history, heard some ghost stories, and of course experienced some ghosts. The Springer is very lively both with the living and deceased spirits that occupy it.

Anyway, that concludes the experiences we had this week with ghost on this lovely All Soul's Day.

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