Tuesday, July 27, 2010
In this day of so many books about vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, I often wonder how many of us truly believe in the supernatural – especially ghosts. For some reason, the idea of a ghost fascinates me.
I love Ghosthunters on the SyFy channel. Every Wednesday night you will find me sitting in front of the television (something I seldom do) watching “my guys.” I have been a fan since their first program. To me, their scientific approach to ghosts seems to lend credence to their findings. Ok, I hear all you out there groaning; surely an educated person wouldn’t fall for such nonsense from plumbers. But, I have – some of the things they have captured on tape over the years have left me flummoxed. No explanation for that soldier coming out of a locker in the basement of a hospital (they did capture it on infra-red). Just sends chills down my spine. I want to be a member of TAPS!
I have had personal experiences, too numerous to put down in a blog. Oh, yeah, I really have! I am a firm believer in ghosts, or whatever John Edward calls them (he is wonderful!). Some people just don’t want to move on – they stick around where they felt the most comfortable in life. Doesn’t make me comfortable but at least they are.
A few years ago, my son, husband and I decided to go on a ghost hunt in New Orleans. The city is creepy enough after dark but I love it ( I would live there if I could convince my husband). It was the first season of Ghosthunters and I was pumped. The tour we signed up for was not one of those where you follow a guide around and he points out haunted houses. This was an honest-to-God investigation of a building in the Warehouse District. At ten o’clock at night we, along with some Yankees and a doctor from California, boarded a bus at the Brewery and were carted across town to a ramshackled old building. We were handed flashlights, divining rods and notebooks to jot down our experiences. My son, the consummate skeptic (especially about his mother’s sanity), chose to hold the divining rods; after all, he didn’t believe and he wanted to make sure that those rods didn’t have some “human” help.
Our guide put us in the building and left us. After standing around looking at each other for a few minutes, we finally decided to start. In the downstairs area at the back of the house near the fireplace, I kept getting chills. We were asking questions, requesting a response from the ghost by him/her crossing the diving rods but were getting no responses. Since this was a Creole period building, I, drawing on the only French I knew (from Bugs Bunny – God bless him), asked “Parle Vous Francais?” (Excuse the spelling – Bugs wasn’t much for writing it out). Immediately, the divining rods crossed. A positive response! My son stared at the rods in his hands, shocked and very quiet. Everyone in the group looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to ask another question in French. I shrugged, none of the other Looney Toons characters had every said anything else in French.
Excited, we moved to the stairs, asking questions as we went. At the foot of the stairs, I smelled turpentine. Another woman in the group also smelled it (no I didn’t have a brain tumor). I kept asking if there was any painting going on in the building but we saw no evidence of it. Since nothing was happening, we went upstairs to a bedroom at the front of the building. I immediately hated this room and did not want to stay there. The farther I went into the room, the more distressed I became. Eventually I started choking, for no reason, and felt very nauseated. The California doctor kept asking me what was wrong. He annoyed me, telling me that I was imagining it and to stop. Finally, I told my husband that I was leaving; I couldn’t stand it. I ran, not walked, down the stairs and out the front door. I sat down on the curb, trying to breathe. The guide and a security guard came over and asked if I was all right. Almost purple, I shook my head and gave them the “look.” Idiots! No I wasn’t all right! Eventually I calmed down but I refused to go back into the building.
A couple of hours later, the group emerged, having experienced some more responses on the divining rods. The guide collected our notebooks and began relaying the history of the building. Originally a house, a little Creole girl had died downstairs and she had been seen numerous times near the fireplace. Later, the building became an apartment house. A portrait painter, who lived upstairs, had fallen down the stairway, breaking his neck. Turpentine is a tool used by painters to clean their brushes (And no, there was no painting being done in the building at the present). The real kicker came from the front upstairs bedroom. The building had later become a brothel – a bar downstairs and the upstairs was used to accommodate patrons. One of the “ladies” had died in that room from tuberculosis, choking to death. Ok, I really didn’t like hearing that! Everyone in the group looked at me as if I had grown two heads. The California doctor explained to us lesser individuals that a person with tuberculosis would have difficulty breathing, erupting blood from the lungs and possibly swallowing it. That, he eyed me, could explain being nauseated.
On the bus trip back to the Vieux Carre (French Quarter), the guide told me that it seemed I was sensitive, No kidding? He asked if I would be willing to explore that. After what I had just gone through, I said no; forget it! Over the years since, I have experienced similar smells and feelings in houses and buildings. I don’t react or tell people; being committed is not on my bucket list.
Have you ever seen a ghost? Had a paranormal experience? Do you, as Mulder said, BELIEVE