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Written by Garnet - The District 5 (Ohio Valley) Lead Investigator
My First Ghost Hunt
By Paulette Bishop
Always being interested in the science of the unknown, I had recently been invited to go on a ghost hunt with my sister. She took care of the reservations and got me the necessary internet sites to preview information so I’d be prepared. We studied and read all we could to find out exactly what was involved in a real ghost hunt. The more I read, the more eager I got. (Considering I’m not scared of the dark but really get un-nerved when a spider touches me, I started getting a bit anxious.)
The day came and we drove to Trinway’s Prospect Place, outside the rural town of Dresden, Ohio. Turning onto the drive in the early evening was an awesome site. That old mansion stood tall between the huge ancient trees and the driveway twisted around the building making me take a deep breath.
We took pictures of the exterior of the building and it’s barn, then proceeded inside to meet the owners of the grounds, George Adams and his crew Heather, a paranormal investigator, and Autumn, a psychic assistant tour guide. It was like I’d met a celebrity meeting George; I’d read so much about his family’s history. We all signed licenses promising to respect the residents and their privacy as well as things we may encounter, then we were guided on a tour of the main house, the basement and the old barn.
Prospect Place was a historical stop on the Underground Railroad during the years of Slavery in the South. This place was a destination for escaping slaves where they would be kept safe and warm on their way to freedom in Canada. Many slaves passed through this gateway so there were also Bounty hunters involved with this story. One was chased down and captured by farmhands there on the grounds and hanged by the neck in the rafters of the barn. His spirit is said to make itself known in different ways on that level.
My excitement grew as we were led room to room, describing the history of those who lived there over the years and things that had happened. The architecture was superior and restoration was bringing all the warmth back into the mansion. Doors were locked on some of the rooms where they were storing equipment for the contractors, and even one room where they’d roomed the guard dogs until the tours were completed.
Aside from the guides who told the stories of the mansion, you’d have never thought this mansion to be haunted. Sites were set, plans were outlined by our groups and the lights went out .
My sister and I found our way to the ballroom on the top floor and set up our rookie ghost hunting equipment. (We’d read and studied so much on the subject that we were thought to be regulars there!) She’d brought a small tape player and played some older music hoping to entertain spirits that may still reside there. We never really saw much activity but took lots of pictures and spoke into the air as if we were in a group. My sister even danced with the music hoping to entertain the spirit that used to love to hold parties there in her life.
The Ballroom spanned the width of the main house and had a U- shaped floor, wrapped around the stairway and a room that enclosed the stair to the upper tower, and what used to be the servants food preparation area. This area was all open divided off only by 2 x 4s and wiring. We checked the wiring for power and sat on stools in one corner.
By then another couple had come upstairs to join us and we all sat quietly listening to the music. All of a sudden from nowhere we heard a low pitched growling sound coming from behind us. After about 4 sets of growlings, our heads, flashlights and cameras turned and flooded the corner and wall with our attention. There was nothing there.. A wall built with bricks, a foot thick surrounded us and the windows were on the other side of the room. We thought maybe owls or some small animal had nested up there somewhere. We all witnessed the audio and just hoped we’d captured some evidence of it somehow. Later we were told that during the years the building sat dormant, some devil worshipers had used that wall as an Animal Sacrificial Wall. That kept us awake the rest of the night.
After that, we toured the barn and the main house and basement, looking and listening for activity. We’d hoped to capture the spirit of the Bounty Hunter in the barn, or the young ghost of the ill young woman who’d fallen from the balcony of the second floor, whose body was stored in an old well in the basement until the ground thawed so she could be buried. Or maybe hear the footsteps of the ghost said to go up and down the stairs. All was quiet. We took lots of photos and ended our hunt around 1:30 and headed home.
The tour and the stories were enough to consider our hunt a success along with the mysterious “growl” in the ballroom.
The next day we downloaded all our digital photos onto our computers and took the 35 mm films to be developed. A little adjustment for lighting deficiencies allowed us to see that we’d captured many different strengths of orbs and “rods” that only showed up after they had been developed! One of the 35 MM photos my sister took showed a MIST outside the mansion, on the wall below the eves. Air that night was clear and cool, but not cool enough to cause fog or to see our breath, and there was no smoking going on. Overall, we were thrilled with our hunt!!!
Since that first visit, we’ve joined groups and clubs, taken other scheduled tours, and consider ourselves bitten by the “Ghost Hunting” bug! We’ve collected a number of items to assist in future ghost hunts, and have even taken a course on Paranormal Investigation so we can be helpful in determining future suspected paranormal activity. We never knew so many people were interested in this type of thing. It’s amazing…...
Beaver Creek Campout - Oct. 1 -2005
Written by "Doc J"
October 1, 2005 - A District 5’s member Mark decided to coordinate a camp out at Beaver Creek in Columbiana County and he brought six of his friends, whom none had experienced any paranormal events and had no idea what to expect. I could tell that they were a little frightened and excited at the same time. You could feel the anxiety of the unknown creeping up on them. It was obvious that they were indeed wanting something paranormal to happen, yet the fear of the unknown was scary. I know this night did not let them down.
A Little History about Beaver Creek-
Beaver creek has some well-known legends associated with its name among both ghost enthusiasts as well as those interested in folklore. Most of these are associated with the Sprucevale area. Sprucevale is now an abandoned canal town that was vacated in the 1870’s. In 1837 two brothers by the name of Hambleton purchased surrounding land and in hopes of the Sandy and Beaver Creek canal which ran through the Hambletons property. They also built a stone grist mill, locksmith shop, general store and woolen factory. By the time the canal was completed in 1848, 19 families had settled into the quaint little town of Sprucevale.
A massive reservoir break caused damage to the canal and the plans to rebuild it seemed like a not so wise decision with the popularity of the railroads. With the failure of the canal, which supported the town, Sprucevale was completely abandoned in 1870. The mill and a brick building are all that remains today of the town.
Gretchen’s Lock, Esther Hale, Hambleton Mill and Pretty Boy Floyd are all events that occurred in this area.
Gretchens Lock is on of the more famous of the stories. Edward Gill one of the canals builders traveled with his wife and child from Ireland to this location. Gills wife passed way at sea before ever reaching Ohio. In 1837 young Gretchen fell sick with malaria and passed on. Gill stricken with grief over the loss of his child entombed Gretchens coffin in the walls of the canal lock. After the canal failed, Gill left for Ireland with Gretchens remains, however they never made it back home, the ship sank before they reached their home in Ireland. Many say that Grethchens ghost still wanders the loch, crying for her mother.
Esther Hale was soon to be a bride however she was stood up on her wedding day. Broken hearted she wandered the city and bridge in hopes that her groom would return. When the town folk checked on her in her home they found that she had been dead for several days. She of course was still wearing her wedding gown.
Hambleton Mill is one of the very few that remains of the town of Sprucevale. Folklore has it that a Quaker Preacher haunts this mill. Many say that it is the ghost of Esther Hale.
Pretty Boy Floyd was one of the FBI’s most wanted, was wanted for bank robberies and the murders of 12 people. Floyd was shot here on what used to be a farm. It is about a mile from Hambleton Mill.
Could Floyds ghost also be one of the haunts that occur in this old abandoned ghost town?
The Camp –
Now that you know some of the legends of this small town, we will go through the events of the evening of staying the night here in the well known haunted town.
I arrived at the camp near 5:40pm and looked for others, however nobody seemed to be around. Two tents were set up, but nobody was there. We went ahead and set up our tent and started to prepare for the evening by gathering firewood. It wasn’t too long after that when Patti showed up with two friends with her. They were happy to be here and I could see the excitement in their eyes. I went up to them with smiles, for I knew Patti’s friend Laura already. Always nice seeing friends again.
Not long after Patti arrived, then Mark and his friends arrived too. It was like everyone came at once. Everyone was so friendly and full of smiles. I introduced myself several times and it felt really nice that everyone was so happy and excited for the night to start.
As some others got their tents up, Laura asked me how long I thought it would be before we head out. I told her at least 45 minutes or so. She said, "ok, we would like to go for a walk then", I said, "that is fine, we will be here. See you in a little bit".
Most the camp was set up now. Everyone was chipping in rather well to gather a lot of wood for the night. Marks friends gathered so much, I was really impressed with their effort and help. They even gathered what I thought was nearly a tree, we decided to sit on that one, instead of burning it.
As it started to get dark, Patti and her two friends came back, so it was a perfect time to sit around the camp fire and chat about paranormal events. We decided to go around the circle and introduce each other and tell a little bit about who we were, where we were from and what brought each other to want to explore the paranormal.
We had very interesting stories. WOW, for those who were not there, it would be impossible for me to remember all the different backgrounds and events that are so different, yet so similar. These type of events are something that is what makes it so important to be at functions like this. I can see now, that some of these paranormal investigations will end up great and memorable events.
Now we decide to walk over to Gretchen's Lock. This was my first time actually seeing this. Although many others had been there a few times, if not many times. The trail there in the dark was setting the spooky feeling. Not knowing what you can encounter whether it’s nature or paranormal was building up inside. As we all were walking, I swear the trail was a long way. Because it was so dark, what was long, felt 3 times longer. When we got there, we had a little sign that stated some of the folklore of the sight, but it was really hard to read. I climbed up onto the rocks to check out the area at which they believe that Gretchen was buried and it did have a sense of eeriness about it.
Now, as I decided to walk back into the trail, atop the lock, I was feeling a little weird. I stopped and listened for a minute. The crickets or snakes or what ever all those chirping sounds are, all of a sudden all stopped. I didn’t know why, but I snapped my camera a few times at that moment. I did get what I would call a beautiful solid orb in movement. A couple of seconds later, all the nature sounds came back again. I didn’t know I had caught an orb, until the next day when I looked through all my pictures. I was happy I did manage to catch something there. Just glad it wasn’t a brown bear, for they are reported also to be in these woods.
We all decide to turn around and head back to the camp, and get ready to head out to the brick house that is located at the entrance of our group camp site. We also decided that it would be too much for us all to go at the same time so we divided up into two groups.
At this time, Stacey showed up. Who comes out here frequently and knows her way around pretty well, which is nice since I had only been there one other time. Stacey informed us that her family was also on their way. So we were glad that our large group separated into two smaller ones.
Mark and his friends went first. While Patti and her friends as well as my husband Tim and I hung back to wait for Stacey, you see, Stacey had to run to the parking lot so that her family could find her. We knew they were coming, so we waited for her, while letting Mark and his group to get a head start. We hung around the fire for a little while then decided to go ahead and go.
Upon going to the brick house, Stacey came over to us and said that some teens were playing pranks and to be careful cause they were being real loud and just goofing off. Other people were dressed up too. There was a guy on stilts walking around, he had on a long black robe and was dressed up as the grim reaper (on stilts) . As I was walking to the house, I saw the back of the black robe, but I thought there was a sign in the ground and someone through a black robe on it. It never dawned on me that the robe was on a person, on stilts and was gone a few minutes later. I found out later when I actually asked the guy how tall he was on them. He stated he was 8’3” or so. I asked if I could borrow them…. Everyone knows I am only 5’ tall. Everyone laughed.
We were now at the brick house, We had parked our cars in the front while checking out the building. Everyone was standing in front, listening to the teens loud screaming and ruckus. While I went ahead and walked around to the back of the house. As I was walking around back, I was alone, and man did I feel so alone for the moment. I got a little dizzy, or clumsy as I tripped on what I thought was some kind of clothing dropped on the ground. It felt like a leather coat, and my foot got caught in it while trying to move forward as I was snapping pictures. It was so dark, and I really thought there was something on the ground in the form of clothing, so I snapped a picture, for that was my only light. The flash of my camera was my guide for where I was walking. There was nothing on the ground, not what I felt anyway, so I started shooting even more pictures. I started to get really spooked though. It felt like something was there. I decided to do this quickly and get back with the others. I snapped more than I thought, due to thinking I was just spooking myself out. When I checked these pictures the next day, I had caught severe amounts of ecto, all over the place.
I have never captured this many pictures in one evening with that much activity to show for documentation. Back to being at the house now, I finally went back to the others standing near their cars. I then explained to both Tim and Stacey that I felt stranger than I normally feel behind that house. Stacey then went behind the house and was trying to do her investigating.
Meanwhile, Marks group was now coming back, so we stopped and talked to them before actually checking out the house. They told us that the teens were being real rude and that we should be careful. He said that they were becoming a problem.
We then walked to the other brick building, this one is called the Mill. As we were walking towards it, just across the street from the entrance of the group camp ground area those teens were screaming at us to turn off our flashlights. Well, we are trying to walk in the dark, there are stones, sticks as well as horse poo all over. We do not want to step in, or trip over this stuff, so we were no way going to turn off our flashlights, just because kids want to play pranks on on coming traffic. Which we felt was very dangerous. However, we told them, we are not going to turn off our flashlights and they got very angry with us. The screaming and flaming was all we could handle. We ignored them for the most part. But they called us some religious church group? They hadn’t a clue.
Trying to ignore these teens, being angry, I misplaced any sensitivity that I may have been feeling and replaced it with anger. I snapped my pictures again walking to the back, alone. I was quick, because I just wanted to get away from that area so we could have some peace. It was very nerve racking to be constantly yelled at, as if we were causing them to not have fun. We did hurry, but words flew back and forth. When I checked my pictures from this place, they also had tons of ecto all over them. I then thought to myself, the spirit from the brick house followed me and I was too frustrated from those teens to pick up on it.
Before we knew it, we were back at our cars and ready to go to the Clarkston Cemetery. A place also known for it’s activity. The last time I was there, I heard my name whispered at least three times. It was eerie and it was nearly 3am. So I couldn’t stay long the last time.
One of Marks friends, who had never had a paranormal experience, had a spirit talk to him. It creped him out, but he swears it happened. I am sure it did, because I have had it happen to me in the very same place. I snapped quite a few pictures in this grave yard. Some have possible orbs and Mark caught a large, super bright orb as well. I am not sure if anyone else caught more. As I am still waiting to hear from others.
Mark and I spent some time reviewing his pictures and talking a little bit about camera settings and other stuff. We also noticed that warm spots were coming off the tomb stones as well. If you placed your hand over any carving, you could feel a warmth coming from them. Mark and I decided that this was from the sun, during the day, soaking in heat, and because it was 54 deg. outside, we were getting the warmth if the marble inside the core of the stone. Just something we never noticed before.
After spending some time in the cemetery we decided to head back, and all chill for a but. Only we were hit with a surprise.
We were all sitting by the campfire listening to each others thoughts and stories from the night, and all of a sudden I hear these men yelling “I need someone from over there to come and talk to us, We are the Beaver Creek State Police”. Holy cow…. What could it be. I walk over to talk to the officer and he asked me “What are you all doing here?” I said “Camping?” He said “A call was placed saying that you folks were drunk and throwing glass bottles at the teens and breaking the bottles all over”. I said, “they are wrong, we are all just sitting here being quiet and about to turn in, while minding our own business at this point”. The conversation was dragging on… as the police officer said he was sick of all the paranormal groups coming out here and ever since one of the groups three months ago called in about a 911 call, about hearing a gunshot and sending us on a wild goose chase and having half the police force out combing the woods was not appreciated and it seems to be going on ever since that. (At that point, my heart almost stopped, because I am in more than one group, and I happened to be out there that night that the other group decided to call 911 after picking up a gunshot, and an evp on what sounded like a woman, calling for help. They couldn’t tell if it was real, or ghost, so they decided to call to be on the safe side. I know for a fact that half the force was not out in the field, as they stated, I also know that the group gave them a copy of the tape as proof for their claim.) Anyway, The police sure acted as if they were not happy and said that if they got another call, we would have to pack up and leave. At one point, the one officer said if we refused to leave, we would be arrested! (This I did NOT understand or know why, and I don’t know what has gone on from the night of June 10th till Oct. 1st 2005, but I will say this….The police were not in good moods, they talked negatively about paranormal groups and October is not a good time to go down to the camp ground if your not wanting a little chaos with your camping. The police finally left us alone, and told us they were going to go back to those teens who placed a prank call and let them know it was not appreciated.
Because of Halloween celebration and the town having festivals, we did not attempt to investigate the Pretty Boy Floyd site. Although I would have liked to, we all had basically had enough for the night. So we sat around the camp fire some more, then headed off to bed.
This is the close of our camp night… it was wild, chaotic yet fun and exciting. Those who wanted to experience something indeed did.
I was able to catch phenomenal photos at which I will have on the web site as well in the Photo's section.
Until next time, Happy haunting!
Doc J - TOP-Org Owner
To Consider an Investigation
Abbeyville - cry baby bridge - a train bridge in Abbeyville, is reported to be haunted, located on Abbeyville Rd, there are two different stories about this bridge, one being that a young girl back in the 1950's threw her baby off the bridge in an effort to hide her pregnancy. The church that is next to the bridge is also supposed to be haunted as black masses were held there decades ago. the story goes if you park under the bridge and turn off your ignition, your car will refuse to start again until you push it from underneath the bridge, you can also hear the baby crying when its completely silent out, a word of warning is to stay off the bridge as it is still used by trains on a daily basis, especially at night.
Akron - Litchfield Middle School - There is a ghost that haunts Litchfield, supposedly Mr. Litchfield himself. The janitor that works there told my teacher (who told me) that at night doors open and shut, lockers open and shut, and he hears footsteps and laughter. I myself have had experiences when I was sitting in class, not paying attention, and the door was swinging back and forth when no one was in front of it or behind it. My teacher heard footsteps and an old janitor haunts the school too.
Ashland - The Haunted Tunnel -rte 42 going towards
Mansfield - The road directly to the right of Corathers Exterminating,
follow that road till you come to a bridge. Stop just inside the bride and
turn your lights off, then put the car in neutral and your car will be
pushed or pulled through the tunnel even though the ground is totally
Athens - Ohio University - the most haunted building on campus is Wilson Hall on West Green. County records show that the dorm was built over an old, Indian burial mound. Most of the Wilson Hall hauntings seem to be centered around the fourth floor. Students have reported seeing apparitions, hearing voices, mysterious slamming doors and flying objects.
Aurua - Six Flags Worlds of Adventure - One day a little boy went on the ride "Superman" and he was too small. While on the ride he flew out of his seat and landed on his head. He died shortly after. Some say if you sit in seat 2 in the last row at 5:26 PM you can hear the screaming and the thud of the little boy's head hitting the pavement. - March 2004 additional info/correction: there has never been a boy who has died on the superman ride. although the submitter to the correction do belives the park is haunted. one ride is called the Hay Bayler is frequently visited by a ghosts and there are other areas of the park that are haunted. their have only been 2 deaths sence the park changed the name from geauga lake to six flags. one of the deaths was a girl who had drown in the wave pool. the other was a girl who worked there. she was on the batman ride,(she wasnt riding it, but she was working on something) and she fell.
Bowling Green - BGSU's Joe E. Brown Theatre - rumored to be haunted by a ghost known as "Alice". The Hat Room in the theatre is also known to have a strange presence and has sent many a student running out for no explainable reason.
Cambridge - The Colonel Taylor Bed & Breakfast Inn - the 9,000 sq ft Colonel Taylor & his lady haunt Victorian Mansion built in 1878. Guests have seen them. They are quite friendly and seem to be watching over us like angels. He walks the stairs and she seams to float down them. They shake our bed on occasion and you will get a cold chill when they are present!
Chillicothe - Majestic theater - Reports of hearing screams.
Cincinnati - Cincinnati Museum of Art - Security guards have reported seeing a 7-foot-tall specter which has no features and merely looks like a huge black "blur" that rises up from a mummy sarcophagus exhibit straight through the ceiling. Another time when the security guards would sneak and take their "catnaps" in the storage room, there was a glowing face hovering inches away from them as the woke. They would proceed to try to evade the spirit but it would block their was as they would maneuver around the room. It would then just simply disappear.
Cincinnati - Mother of Mercy High School -This high school was built in the 1920's and is home to a ghost named Sister Mary Carlos. She has been known to haunt the school's auditorium that is named after her. People have reported the lights flickering and things being mysteriously moved about in the theater. Most of these strange occurrences seem to occur during a show. It is now a tradition for the drama teacher to invite her to every performance. Otherwise, something will go wrong.
Cleveland - Variety Theater, Loraine Ave - A figure in white has been seen on the first floor by the old water fountain. A man has been seen with red eyes in upper balcony. Noises have been heard on stage like workers. The stage noise is rumored to be a man that fell off lighting scaffold and died on stage.
Columbus - Fort Hayes Metropolitan High School - The school is partly built in remaining buildings of a civil war camp. Many of the old buildings still remain and are used for classes. One building was a hospital and it is home to many roaming spirits! People have heard the cries of dying and injured, spirits have been seen walking the halls dressed in old nurses uniforms and some soldiers roam it too. Another building is called "The Shot Tower" and it is home to numerous spirits. It was a tower to make ammunition during the Civil War. Many people lost their lives in the building, by accident, suicide, murder. Some students report they can not go to the top floor out of fear of what they feel is up there. The science building was once the mess hall and students have said one foggy mornings soldiers can be seen carrying their chow from the building and fading out of sight in the field across from the building. In the new buildings of the school, lockers have been said to open and close while the halls are empty. Footsteps are often heard in the stairwells at odd times. Many students say if they are in the halls during classes when the halls are empty, they feel like they are being followed or watched. There is more to the buildings and the fields at Ft Hayes.
Dayton - Air force base - The P.O.W exhibit and Lady Be Good and the Hop along are haunted. In the Hop Along there is a blood stain which the janitors cant remove.
Dayton - The Victoria Theater - The ghost is a former actress from the 20's. After one of her many performances, she went up to her dressing room, locked the door, and was never heard from again. No one knows exactly what happened to her. Over time, people had forgotten about her, until the theater was being re-decorated. That is when the strange occurrences began. When people were there late at night by themselves, they would see her or they'd hear her. The lights would go off and on and there were odd sounds. Rose perfume is what she had been wearing the night she disappeared. That is how you can tell it is her by the scent of rose perfume.
Gallipolis - The Our House Museum - An old tavern/inn. This spot was named the Our House by an 1800's owner who invited people from the many boats docking at the Ohio River city of Gallipolis with the words "come on over to our house". There are many sightings and sounds in this beautiful old inn. This author attended a re-enactment of an opera with an actress playing the famed Ginny Lind only to watch a candle-opera sway far and wide with the music. The swaying so hard it should have fallen.
Kent - Kent University - Stuart Hall - This Vacant dorm
located on Kent State's campus, not far from the student center has
several rumors of hauntings. There are broken windows and bars against the
doors urging you not to even try and trespass. Vines have grown all along
the walls as well... Noises are heard and every now and then you can see a
light from the window, even though "no one" has been in there
for several years...
Marietta - Comfort Inn - doors open, TV's turn on all by themselves curtains close. And some times your shoulders get touched!!!
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