Archive for the 'Paranormal Stuff' Category

Fort Mifflin Investigation

So last night my friend Kaitlyn and I did an investigation of Fort Mifflin in PA. This is known as “the fort that saved America” as it protected a major port city, Philadelphia, from the British during the Revolutionary War. Over the course of 24 hours some 1000 cannonballs hit the fort per hour. There is no record of how many casualties occurred. The fort was later used as a prison during the Civil War. Several fires also have occurred here, along with some women and children who were living there and victims of yellow fever around 1812. This was my second time at the fort, but the first time with actual equipment.

Unfortunately the investigation this night was a bit of a bust. It was very over sold, and while we were split up into groups, there was no controlling who you got put with. Our group was full of annoying talkers who hadn’t ever done an investigation before. Attempting to do anything with EVPs was out of the question. I mainly tried to take photos, and we tried the spirit box a few times with little to no results.

In casemate #5, which is where most of the activity occurs, we did get some good readings on a K2 meter in a back corner. A woman who was working there and claimed to be sensitive said she felt at least seven spirits tugging on her. As they investigated the corner and she “talked” to them, I was taking photos. Oddly it was one of the few times I seemed to have weird things happen on my camera. The photos are below, and I’ve animated (and color corrected them) in a youtube video as well. The first set of photos I took at about 3 seconds apart. The last photo has an odd blur or mist on it. I’m not discounting motion blur, and unfortunately this was the last photo I took at this viewpoint before I started a new set elsewhere. However it doesn’t look like the normal blur photos I get with my camera. I’ve included some of those for comparison.

Another interesting photo was of our tour guide Mike, who was in costume as he’s also a reenactor. Again an odd mist was attached to him here. The barracks in the background has also been the subject of several fires over the years. In the video above I’ve included another photo of him with normal motion blur.

I really would like to go back and do a longer investigation at some point and with far less people. This was just too many people sadly.

Pennhurst Investigation

So as I said in my last post, this past weekend I grabbed an opportunity to visit and investigate Pennhurst State School in Springs City, PA. If you aren’t familiar with it, it was a pretty horrible place back in the day. It was a school for problem children, children who had mental or physical handicaps, as well as housed psychologically impaired adults. It was shut down in the early 70s when local reporters exposed the horrible abuse of patients, especially the kids, going on. It sat for years, abandoned, and reclaimed by the woods. Recently it has been reopened mainly as a halloween attraction, but now they are slowly securing and opening more buildings and letting paranormal investigators in. You can actually watch the original expose of Pennhurst on YouTube right here.

The ghost hunt took place from 7pm until 3am in the Mayflower building, one of the most active buildings for hauntings. There actually are a large number of buildings on site, and the people who have taken the place over said they are slowly working to open and make others safe. I know I definitely want to go back, and soon. It was quiet the experience! This building housed children and adults, nurses and staff lived on the top floor, and there was a “treatment room” in the basement along with medical/dental rooms.

As I said in may previous post, I went on my own to this. Normally I go with friends who do this thing regularly, but this was a unique opportunity that I grabbed. So I arrived just myself, and found out it was a self directed investigation, as opposed to following a team and participating. Oh boy, I was not too happy about going into Pennhurst on my own! Fortunately two women who had never done anything like this, but had an interest, were there and we bonded. I found them lost along the way, because we were all given the wrong address as to where to meet, but having been to the place before for Halloween I knew where to go. So we all teamed up, and it didn’t help I had a bit of equipment :)

The place is downright creepy, and honestly still fairly dangerous. We all had to sign wavers saying we wouldn’t sue if we died. The worst part was the darkness and seeing all the things that were just left behind. Strewn about were kids toys and clothing, the old hospital beds, one room had dental chairs where they supposedly pulled teeth from biters. There were also storage closets with shelves labeled “pajamas,” “towels,” “sheets” and so forth. We even found boxes labeled “Christmas” and an old plastic tree… or what was left of it. When the place shut down the patients were kicked out, the staff left, and so many things were just left in place. It was creepy.

The building had a very bad vibe to it. We walked through several cold spots, the hair stood on the back of your neck, and on one floor we heard footsteps when we were the only ones there. I have hours of audio to go through, which I only just started to listen to last night. If I find anything I’ll be sure to share, along with more of the photos I took.

One thing we did was a few ghost box sessions. If you’ve ever watched “Ghost Adventures,” then you know what it is. It’s basically a modified radio that sweeps channels quickly. For those old enough to remember static and snow channels on the TV, it’s like just flicking between them. The theory is that ghosts can communicate through these white noise signals, much like the old film “Poltergeist.” We got a lot of answers that were hard to hear. These I have to listen back to and hope something is there. Two answers however were very clear. I made a little youtube of these two, with text to explain what was heard and the context. Sadly the most clear answer didn’t record well. I was recording on my phone, which in this case I placed too far away from me. I was sitting on the floor and I put it up high on a table. Lesson learned! The room we were in was also fairly large and had an echo. This answer was so clear to us, which you can tell because in this video we all immediately know exactly what was said. I also edited the audio to lessen the spirit box noise/static and repeat the answers, which were only said once to us.

Life Goes On

It’s been over a week since we said goodbye to Galahad. The first few days were sad and especially hard for Grim. He walked around constantly looking for his friend. He even let out a few meows, which he almost never does. Since the first few days he has come out of his cave behind the sofa where he tends to hide. He’s been walking around more, even sitting under the table while I’m working. This morning he was sleeping in the window seat, which he has never done. He’s been open to being petted a lot more too, which normally makes him recoil or run. The next hopeful step is getting him to jump up on the couch with us. Oddly enough he wasn’t such a recluse as a kitten. I’m not sure what happened to change him.

In other news, my garden has finally bloomed, and as usual all at once. I sadly lost a lot of early tomatoes thanks to blossom end rot. John got me some spray that has pretty much corrected that. I also lost some segments of the plants to wind damage in a storm or two. Two of the plants grew too big and started toppling believe it or not. I’ve had to do a lot of bracing and tying of the branched. For once I kept the pests away from my garden only to have my plants succumbed to other things. However I should be good to go for the next month or two with tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I’ve already got a plan for next summer to put raised garden beds down in the area and have a nice looking garden.

Anyways, I’ll be posting again real soon. If you followed my tumblr or instagram this weekend, you’ll notice I posted some spooky photos. I went to Pennhurst State School (and asylum) for a paranormal investigation. It was a much different investigation than I’ve done in the past with my friends, who normally lead the investigations. For this one we were basically just set lose to do our own thing. I went all on my own, not knowing anyone there, so fortunately two women who had never done an investigation were there and they were happy to tag along with me. I would not have wanted to explore that place on my own at all!

Pennhurst State School

Paranormal Paraphernalia!

Last weekend John and I attended a get together with some of the people I’ve met through local paranormal investigations. It was a small, invite only party. Therefore I was thrilled I got invited.

It was a very chill and relax evening. I knew some of the people, it was nice meeting others I had heard about but never got to meet. The hosts set up a lot of fun games for us to play. We did a seance, but not much happened there. We also did smoke billets, which is holding cards over a flame to see if an image appears. That was a lot of fun. I seemed to get a lot of animals on mine, so people thought. I should have taken photos of my cards but didn’t.

It was a potluck, and we found out after arriving that there was a contest for the best dish. Oh lordy! Everyone said they would have done so much more had they known that. I made sloppy joes (from scratch!) and ended up winning. My prize was a spirit trumpet. It’s an old spiritualist tool that was used at seances. It’s supposed to move, float around, and let ghosts talk through it. In reality the old spiritualists had tricks to make it move and talk. Still, it’s a fun little prop. I plan to put it in the haunted room and see if our resident ghost moves it around.

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Smoke Billets / My Spirit Trumpet award :)

My Ft. Mifflin Adventure! Plus A Rainy October . . . .

So here is my over-due blog about my night at Ft. Mifflin. I posted several photos on my Tumblr blog, so some of these are repeats. Ft. Mifflin is considered by many historians as the fort which helped win the Revolutionary War and keep the British at bay. It was also used a prison during Civil War times. So there are a lot of ghosts there. Aside from the soldiers, some of the most famous are a pair of little girls who are believed to have died from yellow fever, and a woman known as “the screaming lady” who tends to scream and moan late at night.

Left: The house of the Commandant, which got burned down inside by the Boy Scouts in the 80s. Right: Barracks where the screaming lady and two little girls haunt.

We arrived around 6pm that night, and got started a little after 8pm. Heavy rains moved through that night, which we were constantly dodging as we moved from one area to the other. We had set groups and schedules until about midnight, insuring everyone got to all of the most active spots. After midnight it was a free for all, we could go anywhere we wanted to.

Toys left for the little girls in the barracks.

The barracks definitely seemed to be the center of activity all night long. Almost every groups had weird occurrences. Doors got open and shut, things got tossed across the room, and one group even heard giggles.

Casemates or jails. Both places had a cold presence, and we felt as if we were being watched. Orbs in both photos. Real? Or Dust? The only two photos of the night I got orbs aside from outside, and that was all moisture and rain.

Other places definitely had a presence, but not much in terms of activity. Now there are hours of recordings of EVPs that have to be listened to of course. But physical activity was scarce. Perhaps it was the weather which dampened the night in more than one way? In the Commandant’s quarters, we definitely heard a lot of sounds from what used to be the second floor. It was as if someone was pacing upstairs. The Boy Scouts burned the entire inside down years ago on one of their camping trips . . . . There is no second floor, so it was likely a residual haunting or impression left in the environment as opposed to an active haunting. Also in the casemates, which were the jails, we definitely had a lot of cold spots. At one point I whistled “Yankee Doodle” just to see if we could get a reaction, which is when it got cold.

By midnight we reached the point where we were free to do what we pleased. Many people began leaving about 1am, even though the point was to stay the whole night. A small group of us went back to a few places, including one of the casemates for a spirit box session. This is where you use a tampered with radio to scan white noise channels, with the idea that EVPs will be made audible in real time and not just on tape. We got a lot of responses, so many that it became confusing! The first question we asked was for the name of anyone with us. Almost immediately several names were rambled off. One man with a very deep voice constantly communicated, and a lot of what he was saying was vulgar curse words. I asked if anyone was murdered in the jail, and a very clear “Nope!” was answered. When asked how people died, we got answers such as “sick, stabbed, and shot.” Given the Revolutionary War Battles, all were very possible. I need to listen to this session again to try and pick out more answers. The spirit box is never as clear as it’s made out on some of those ghost hunting shows! Often you get garbled responses you just can’t understand.

By 3am, many of those who were left decided to turn in. I had not slept well the night before, and I knew I was going to get no sleep at this place. It just wasn’t going to happen. I also wasn’t going to investigate on my own! So I decided to head home for the night. All in all a fun night, I think without the weather interfering though we may have gotten a lot more. Plus I was not the only sleep deprived person, so that did many of us in early.

Speaking of weather, it has been wet and rainy here. I have not gotten much of Halloween out yet because of this and my busy schedule this month. Tomorrow will be a rare sunny day, so I’m hoping to get some more stuff out. Really all I’ve done is set up a side cemetery using this year’s birthday gift. It actually looks great at night with the blacklight and fog machines on. Eventually I’m going to add in a few more tombstones, and probably one more ghost I have downstairs.

Less Than 24 Hours Till My Ghost Adventure!

So in 24 hours I will be at historic Fort Mifflin hunting ghosts. How am I spending the day before? By going to see wonderful movies like “House at the End of the Street” and watching “Ghost Adventures” on TV. Nothing like getting in the mood to be scared with scary movies and television!

My plan for tonight was to stay up as late as possible, then sleep as late as possible tomorrow. However given I was up early this AM, I am thinking this isn’t going to happen. I will need a nap at some point tomorrow to make it all the way through tomorrow night. I also plan to get a lot of coke as well for caffeine. Some nights I have horrible insomnia, it will be my luck that tomorrow night is not going to be one of them.

I’m going to be at Fort Mifflin from 6pm to 8am. I’m sure there will be a lot of breaks throughout the night, so I’ll do my best to post updates and photos of anything interesting. These will be posted on my Tumblr Blog as it’s easy for me to share stuff there quickly from my phone. Better photos from my camera and a more detailed description of the night will have to wait until next week at some point.

Countdown To Deadtime!

So deadtime is what they used to always call the hours between midnight and three A.M. on this show “Paranormal State” that John used to be obsessed with. I hated it, I thought it was the biggest bunch of fake crap I’d ever seen. I still think it’s fake, and fortunately John no longer watches it. Since someone will likely end up at this blog google for this, I will quickly explain why I think it was fake. The best example I can give was from an episode that dealt with a family battling evil forces thanks to a voodoo doll. First the voodoo doll was a gift from a friend who apparently picked it up in New Orleans. That means it was likely something sold to a tourist, and therefore just mass produced garbage. Even if it was authentic, voodoo dolls are normally used to target a living person, not house a spirit of some kind. Then the family decided they didn’t want it, so they just burned it in the fire. Really? Who goes to that much trouble? Why not throw it out? But that’s how they got haunted. Bullshit!

Now moving on, I have for some horrid reason found myself watching some of these god awful shows as of late as nothing is on T.V. right now. One of them is “The Dead Files” on The Travel Channel, which I actually will admit I’m fascinated by. It’s a fairly neat show involving a psychic and a cop investigating peoples homes or businesses. The other show I’ve for some unknown reason started watching is “Ghost Adventures.” I think I just ended up mesmerized by the host Zak and the absolutely stupid things he does in each episode to provoke ghosts, demons and what not. Even John, when he saw me watching it one night, commented that the guy “Was built like a brick shithouse, but dumb as a box of rocks.” That’s him to the left by the way, with a fan I am assuming. I stole this off Google images.

However as someone living in a haunted house, I have developed the bad habit of watching these shows at night before bed . . . and then I wonder why I can’t sleep! My trip to Ft. Mifflin is about a week away now, and after watching all these damn shows I’m starting to get a little spooked.

August Come And Gone . . . .

Damn this summer flew by! Seriously, I want it back! Where did it go? Some updates on various parts of my life . . .

My vegetable garden seems to have been a craptacular failure this year. I guess I just had too many good years, so I was due for this. I am pretty sure I know what I did wrong. I reused a lot of my soils from last year this year. I thought I had prepared it in a way, with fertilizers and mulch, that would make it okay. I don’t think it really worked out. The plants I grew using new soil did amazing, the reused soil failed. Next year I plan to buy all new soil, and the old soil I will spread on my lawn while using to just reseed it.

My garden wasn’t a complete failure, but two of my tomato plants were. Nothing could save them, they just died slowly. The other three grew huge, but only just now am I getting tomatoes. It’s the end of August, this is getting a bit late! Cold snaps will start, and that will kill the tomatoes that are just now growing. Perhaps I also need to plant earlier next year as well . . .

Oddly enough, my pepper plant, a first for me, did amazing . . . @!#$@%@$#%@$# I would rather have had tomatoes! Last year I had so many tomatoes I was throwing them out because I couldn’t use them fast enough. Oh well, I have live and learned!

With the summer over, work will be starting up again soon. I don’t know how I feel about this. I will be glad for the paycheck, but every semester you don’t know what you will end up with in terms of a class. I am very happy to be teaching my favorite class, “Magic and Religion,” for the first time ever this fall. It became so popular the department added it to every semester (it used to only be in the spring). I love that I’ll be able to cover Halloween in depth! Also it looks like there is a good shot for one of my adjunct jobs to become more permanent in the future . . . we shall see!

For a complete change of topic, in a week I will be enjoying Madonna . . . live in concert! I can’t wait! This is a week before my birthday, and is basically my birthday present to myself. I won’t lie, I have cheated and been watching fan uploaded videos to YouTube a lot this summer. Still, I can’t wait! I think I’m most excited about seeing her do “Express Yourself” again . . . even if it is a controversial “Born This Way” mash-up that’s been fueling fan wars with Lady Gaga. This song along with “Like A Prayer” are up there with my most favorite Madonna songs ever. Oh yes, and we can’t forget “Vogue.”

Finally, for another complete change of topic . . . I have made friends with a local paranormal investigation society. I’ve done several investigations with them over the past year. At some point I really want them to come to my house to check out my own ghosts, but I have to figure out what to do with the dogs. Having two exiting yappy dogs not leaving people alone would not aid in an investigation into ghosts. To get back to the point at hand, in September I will be accompanying them for my first overnight trip to a haunted location . . . Fort Mifflin! This is a local Revolutionary War fort that has been featured on countless “Haunted History” shows on TV. I can’t wait!

The Ouija Has The Answer!

Williamsburg Ghost Walk Photos

So I took a good 40+ photos on the ghost walk. Not surprisingly, a lot were just crap. As the night wore on, it got more humid out, and the camera flash was reflecting off water drops in the air filling my photo with orbs that weren’t anything otherworldly. I could see them lighting up in the air in the flash. So I attempted to take as many photos without the flash, using only the available light, as I could. The issue there is the camera has to be completely still, otherwise you just get a blurred photo. I didn’t bring a tripod (next time!) so I had to use walls and trash cans to rest it on.

Of all the photos I took, here are some of the more unusual. In a few I adjusted lighting and contrast to make things easier to see, though I picked all the weirdnesses out of the original untouched photos fairly easily.

I took a lot of photos over the wall of the cemetery at Bruton Parish Church. In two I had a blueish-green orb moving across the back. In others, nothing. These were taken without any flash, so these aren’t water droplets.

Of note, the light streak, that is from a lantern nearby. Was that the cause of the orb? Was it a fluke? I don’t know!

Another two photos for comparison at the church. In the steeple window in one there is some bizarre light. I called it a visitor, because it actually reminded me of an alien!

I can’t recall which house this is. However the orbs here are all from moisture in the air. Few of the houses had any lighting inside at night. Something, or someone, looks to be sitting in the top right window, as if peering out in a rocking chair?

This too was from the church. The focus was the tombstone, which the guide told us people see images in the stone that had appeared over time (a skull, the family’s dog, etc). However in the window it looks like a man is peering out, with a colonial type ruffled color and coat on. Of course I may be stretching :)

Boo! Believe!