Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Ghost Of A Soldier Still On Watch At Thompson Park?





For years a story has been told about a man committing suicide in a house across from the swimming pool. Some say he hanged himself, while others claimed he shot himself. And no one is sure of the exact house it happened in.

If you wish to learn more about it, search the East Liverpool Review in the year 1949 .



Monday, May 25, 2009

WELCOME TO FRANKLIN SQUARE

This is Franklin Square, right outside of Salem, Ohio. It is a sleepy little village that you will miss if you blink. My mom lived there for awhile when she was very little. The Green Way Bike Trail starts (or ends) there. That is another thing I want to investigate for ghosts. My mom and I went there to look for a house we heard about that is supposed to be very haunted, even with a demon. It is supposed to be so haunted that no one can live in it. Things move by themselves and screams can be heard inside. We didn't find it.


We did find this little house that is being torn down that is ancient.


It is made of big beams of wood and the oldest nails I have ever seen. I don't know how old this little house is, but I can remember seeing a picture from 1935 of a house being torn down in Salem that looked just like this.




Then we discovered this tiny little grave yard. My mom didn't even know it was there.



It is behind this church. Like some of the other old cemeteries, it is in horrible shape. Some of the stones are broken and sitting one on top of another. Hidden away from the world, this cemetery slowly deteriorates year by year. How much longer will it even be here?












This was possibly once the site of a stage coach inn. It was torn down years ago. But if this site isn't it,







then maybe this building is the actual Inn. It is for sale and in need of some serious repairs. No one that I talked to seemed to know much about it. It is definitely old enough. But is it the old Inn?
If you know anything about this little town, please let me know. If you have heard of a haunted house in this area and know where it is, please let me know. A visit to Franklin Square and the Green Way Bike Trail is worth a moment of your time.








Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hill Top Drive In Movie Theater

These orbs are dust, in case you were wondering. I took a picture of the sign as we were leaving. We went to the drive in last night and had a wonderful time. Night At The Museum and Wolverine are playing.

I was reminded of other times I went to the drive in. The last movie I saw at Super 30 was Ghost Busters 2. I took my sons. They were 8 and 9. The radio in my car stopped working half way through the movie and we ended up sitting on the car hood to hear other peoples radios. It was an adventure. I honestly don't remember the last movie I saw at Skyview. Movies I remember seeing there included Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Jaws, and Starwars.
Sadly, drive ins are a dying attraction. Hill Top is only open on weekends. They opened on May 22 for the first time this year. I can not recommend experiencing a drive in theater enough.
The gate opens at 7:45. It is $6 per person. Great family time to be sure.
Below you see the snack stand. This was early. Every parking spot was filled by the time the movie started, at dusk. Everything about last night was so fun. We waited outside the entrance for about 40 minutes before the little shack finally opened and this friendly guy started admitting people. Even that was fun, knowing we were going to get a good spot.














Above you see Amber using the hood of her car to watch for awhile. Jon set the back of the truck up with cushions, blankets, pillows and our cooler full of drinks.






Mike and I sat on the car seat, what I considered to be the best seat in the house. It was chilly, but that was part of the fun. When you factor in how much you spend at a cinema, like $8 per person for one movie, plus the cost of snacks and drinks, you are looking at $30 minimum for two people. Mike and I spent $12 to get in and $7.50 for two buckets popcorn. We brought our own drinks. We saw two movies, not just one.
The more business they get the longer we will have a drive in in our area to enjoy. If you are interested in finding out about Hill Top Drive In, please call 304-387-1611. Hill Top Drive In is worth a moment of your time.







Friday, May 22, 2009

As Far As Gretchen's Lock Is Concerned-

This is a map of Sprucevale circa 1870.


Gretchen's Lock is a beautiful place. You can fish and have a picnic. You can camp and ride horses. You can also ghost hunt and be successful because there are ghosts there. It is a huge mystery because there was nothing special about the village of Sprucevale. That we know of. So why are so many ghosts roaming the park?
One theory is the creek itself. Maybe it acts like a tape recorder and when we see or experience something it is because we somehow turned it on and it is playing the things that happened down here so long ago. (residual haunting) As far as I know there are no pictures of Sprucevale. I so wish there were. It is frustrating because we can't even find out where Sprucevale buried its dead. Where is Esther Hale buried? When was she born? Is there actual proof that she existed?   The same is said for Gretchen. Edward Gil or John Gil or Hans Gil or whoever her father was may have been here, but if it is the man who built the locks, he never had any children. While the legend says that he had his daughter's body removed from the lock he had her buried in so he could take her to his home country to be buried, and they all ended up sinking in the ocean during a storm is not true. If you look him up, you will discover he is buried down in Virginia. So what does that mean? Who is Gretchen? She is down there, I know for sure. But, what is her real story.
Esther has never uttered a single word to me or my crew by the way. I have heard several names whispered on my recordings, but Esther's isn't one of them. My personal belief is that her story is an urban legend about the Lady in White that haunts a bridge because she has been left at the altar. Look it up on the Internet. Thousands of cities and towns have that same story, right down to if she touches you, you will die and she will be young and beautiful again. Gretchen is something to work with, but Esther I do not waste my time on. I do not believe she ever existed. But then, I am after the real truth. Not the popular belief.  Update NOVEMBER 2012:According to the Sandy and Beaver Canal Association, Esther Hale was actually the Quaker Preacher herself. While she may not have starved to death, she did wait at the Grist Mill every day for 27 years, hoping her love would return. Out of the two stories, Gretchen, or Esther, Esther is believed to be the once existing person.  Research is important and can be way different than you thought it would be.  Remember, the only way to be sure is to do the research work and find out. 

Hundreds of people are going down there every month. They stumble around in the woods looking to be scared or maybe to answer their questions about mortality. Some people just want to see something. Some people are down there destroying things, like the door on the grist mill for example. They have also written on the walls inside. How stupid. I don't care who you are and I don't want to know you were there. I can't preach enough about respecting both the area you are in and the entities you choose to interact with. I have had a lot of success at Gretchen's, I believe, because I respect the ghosts there.

I started giving tours at Gretchen's because a woman from the YMCA, Miss Wilson, called me and asked if I would take people on a walk of the area. That was in September of last year. It turned out great. I thought only about 20 people would be there but roughly 100 came. That was just the coolest day. I didn't realize there was so many people interested in the area until then. I gave four more tours in October. They were all an adventure. And while some might disagree, it is good family fun to be out there walking around and looking for what most believe isn't there. I would probably never have started tours at Gretchen's if it wasn't for the YMCA. I will always be grateful for them just because of that.
To that end, my team and I will be down at Gretchen's Lock on May 29 to show you where we encountered what. If you are interested, please come down. It starts at 7pm. It is a good walk with plenty of gorgeous scenery and spooky stories to keep you entertained. Rumor has it that activity is way down from what it used to be. I believe that. But there are those nights when you can go down and no one else is there. When it is just you, you might have a ghostly experience of your own. Maybe.


Loved Ones, Friends, and Orbs

These are my team members. A couple are missing, but for the most part these are the ones who go out with me and give me their support. Each person brings with them their own strengths that help make our team a success. They are my friends and family and I love them.
I have been literally all over the county ghost hunting. Once I was hooked, there was no turning back for me. My life is forever changed from the things I have experienced. I know something is out there. Something we can not see. We call them ghosts, though no one really knows for sure what we are dealing with. Lots of theories, but nothing concrete. Because of my experiences, I believe, for example, that there is more to orbs than the popular notion. There are many arguments for and against what orbs are. What I put on my blog comes from my experiences out in the field.

Sometimes you get a picture that can not be explained. Sometimes orbs go exactly where you want them to go because you asked them. I honestly don't care what others believe about orbs or ghosts. I know what I have seen and experienced. I KNOW something is out there. On my blog, I show you what I have found. You can believe it or not. However, don't get mad at me because I believe it and you do not. It is my opinion and my right to my own beliefs. I share what I find because there are those out there finding the same thing I am finding. I am not an expert in the field of paranormal study. I have only just begun. But then, I guarantee you there are no experts where ghosts are concerned. It is all theory and guessing by every one. Did you ever notice that the people calling all orbs dust have NEVER DONE ANY WORK IN THE FIELD THEMSELVES? I certainly have.

I love doing this. I love going out there and looking for those things that go bump in the night. There is an answer out there to explain ghosts. We don't understand it now and we fear it, but, like all science, there is an answer. We just have to keep looking until we find it. Giving up is not an option. If people did that, then we would still think the world was flat and we certainly never would have walked on the moon. Believe what you want. But don't get angry at me because I do not agree with you. I actually went out and looked. Most people never do.




Thursday, May 21, 2009

Park Closes At Dusk

Gretchen's Lock is a State Park. It is free for the use of the people. Hundreds of people go down there every month just to ghost hunt and have a good time.
While the sign says "Park Closes At Dusk" you can remain in the park after 11 pm as long as you go to the park office at Beaver Creek State Park on Echo Dell and obtain written permission to do so. Gretchen's Lock is part of the Beaver Creek State Park system. You have to go through the main park to get permission. It is mainly called Gretchen's Lock by local people. To the outside world, it is Beaver Creek State Park. The number to call to see about getting permission to be in the park after dark is 330-385-3091.
Gretchen's Lock is worth a moment of your time, especially when it's dark!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What an open Grave Looks like, IN CASE YOU EVER WONDERED...




I was out on CCFHV business today. We went to Columbiana County Memorial Park to visit the graves of Michael Williams(murdered in 2005 outside of Rogers, Ohio) and Dalton Springer(3 year old beaten to death in Nov. of 2000).
While there we discovered this. A freshly opened grave. I had often wondered exactly how deep a grave really was. I don't think that is 6 feet, but I could be wrong. Then there is the sight of the exposed vault on the side. Strangely enough, that is comforting to me. You really are buried right beside your loved one. Proof is right there. Disturbing? Yes. Maybe for some. But, in case you ever wondered, now you know.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Diamond House- The Investigation


I could not possibly put in this story everything that happened to us on May 8. It was a great investigation and every one worked hard to complete it. Most of us had a personal experience in the Diamond House. I was no exception. Above is the group that went in. To the right, we were about to enter and begin a great adventure.

Sarah took pictures and EVP. Her mom, Amy, spent her time at our command post on the second floor.


This is my all time favorite picture of me. I am in a haunted mansion, looking for ghosts. Life does not get better than this, yet.



Here is the Pit of Doom once again, just as creepy as ever. We did an EVP session in a room right beside this. When Dennis asked if something was behind him a woman softly answered "this is my house." Dennis had experienced a cold spot at that time.






And to the right is a look down at the Pit of Doom, giving you an idea of how big the Atrium (as Ian calls it) truly is.


Some of the rooms are suffering from age, like this one. But to a seasoned ghost hunter, this is beautiful! For example, I don't see peeling paint and dust every where. Instead I find myself trying to imagine who was once in there and what kind of furniture sat there, and what did the people where. It takes me back. I love that.






And it was the first time we got to use the K2 meter. Unfortunately, we didn't catch anything with it. Bummer.







This is on a wall on the third floor in a room openly connected to the Pit of Doom area. I don't know what it is, but I know what it looks like to me. What does it look like to you? While I realize I no doubt watch too much TV, it looked like blood splatter to me. Creepy. Very creepy.











Amber was great. Here she is setting up the ball experiment, complete with a video camera. After an hour, the ball did not move. All had been still and silent around it.






This is Dennis Russell. He came with the owner of the building, Ian. As it turns out, Dennis is a sensitive and proved to be quite useful in our investigation. Here, on this stairwell, he told us that something bad had happened there. The area bothered him extremely. He kept looking up and sensed the presence of something that didn't want us there. During an EVP session here, we asked if it was alright that we were there. Our reply was a very sinister "NO."











By the end of the evening, we did our final work on the most active side of the building. To get there we had to go by the Pit of Doom. Not happy about that. There was only one way in and out of that side of the building. Past the Pit of Doom.
The first thing you encounter is this staircase that once lead to the street, there by making it an exit, at one time. It is blocked off now, and a wall built over the doors. We sat first at the bottom of the staircase.











An EVP session got us only two words here. "Get Out."

















This is the room that ended our investigation for the night. We worked for about twenty minutes in here. We stood in a circle and put the ball down in the center. We asked any spirits in the room to move the ball. Nothing happened again. We had already decided to leave when we were done, but....










Some one put their hand on my shoulder. It was gentle, and I thought I had bumped into Sarah, but she was way behind me, taking pictures. We did an EVP session soon after and when we listened, we heard a voice say "I'm gonna get you." On another recorder, we heard "What happened? What happened? I am in the front."
We decided to leave. Our emotions were starting to get in the way of our investigation. There was only one way out that included going back past the Pit of Doom. I heard foot steps behind us as we left. It took everything I had to remain calm. I was sure yet another hand was going to grab my shoulder this time and drag me back into who knows where. But nothing happened. We walked calmly back to our center of operations, gathered our equipment and left the building. I know that every one of us had a huge grin on our faces as we walked into the night air, and out of spook central. More work definitely needs done within the walls of the Diamond House. I would be greatly interested in what other groups had found as they investigated this grand old mansion. I have done over 40 investigations of both private and public areas. The Diamond House ranks in the top 5. It was well worth a moment of our time.















Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thompson Park Ghost Walk May 9, 2009

Pictures here are the brave souls who ventured on the Thompson Park Ghost Walk for May 9. Perfect size group once again. The ghost hunting was excellent for the evening.


This pic to the left and also the right was taken by Dave McElroy and his daughter, Cheri. The five sided orb followed us around the park. Here it is at the amphitheater. Thank you Dave and Cheri for sending me these and other pics you took. Great work!


This is Andrew, Robert, Vicky, and Bobby. To their left you will see a moving orb.



Jennifer and Alex pose at the amphitheater along with a beautiful orb above them.





The picture to the right was taken below the tennis courts. We dealt with a lot of wind during the evening, and these orbs may have been generated from that. However, it doesn't change change the fact that this is a cool pic!!




Vicky, Andrew, Bobby, and Robert did a great job, Robert operating a digital recorder the entire evening. We got several very good EVP, including someone being called an A#% H*&%$. We also got a couple "Get Out." EVP's as well.






Every one there did a fantastic job despite the wind and rain.







The fountain was it's usual photogenic self and even an orb couldn't resist jumping in.
We are still listening to the EVP sessions we did, and there are several very good answers we recieved. In one case, Bobby had asked if the ghost was a boy or girl and we got a very good "BOY".
The next walk at Thompson Park is June 6, 2009 at 8pm. It is a fun adventure to experience. Hope to see you there. Thompson Park is so worth your time.