Archive for August, 2014

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

RIP Galahad

Well today is almost over, and that is a good thing, because it was a shitty ass day. We had to put our oldest cat down this morning. Galahad was 17 and lived a long life, but it was still sad. He was the last of the original three cats that John had when we met (pictured below). Uther went first, followed by Lance, and then in January we lost Moo Kitty. Galahad outlived them all. Most of the pictures below are from when he was younger and healthy. Over the past year or two he went from a plump kitty to a skinny one. He was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year and had been on medication ever since. He lost so much weight because of it.

So about a month ago we noticed his equilibrium was off whack. He was also ticking his head a lot. The vet worried with his age and hyperthyroidism that it was a brain issue, perhaps a lesion had formed. The only way to tell would be an expensive CT scan, and even if we found out it was a lesion he was 17 years old, what would we do with the knowledge? Surgery wasn’t really an option because of his age and other issues. We tried some antibiotics first to rule out some kind of infection in the inner ear or maybe a tooth that was bothering him. The meds seemed to work. His equilibrium got better and he wasn’t falling off things anymore. However he still had a bit of a tick in his head, and every now and then he got wobbly. This week he just all but stopped eating. He did that a month ago too, before we put him on the meds. But he seemed to get better after the meds. This time though he just wouldn’t eat no matter what. He would lick gravy or drink broth, but he didn’t want to eat. Then yesterday he had a few vomiting incidents. I think he also had more now that I think about it. I found dried vomit around the house in the AM too. However with cats, it’s not that odd to find puke somewhere. Last night though he basically laid down by the water dish, rested his head on it, and didn’t want to move. That was when we knew it was the end. Many of our other cats acted the same way when it was their time. They found a place in the house they liked, laid down and sort of became catatonic. We honestly didn’t think he would make it through the night, but he was still there this AM. I made the call to the vet and took him in and said goodbye.

We are down to just three cats now. I’m worried about Grimm. He has never been social and affectionate with us humans like Mew Mew and Percy are. He rarely jumps up on the couch to be petted or cuddle. He likes just being by himself. He even runs off when you approach him or reach out. Galahad was his cuddle buddy. They slept together and played together all the time. I don’t know what he’s going to do without him. Right now he’s just wandering the house, I think he’s wondering where his buddy is.