Tag Archive | "paranormal"

Old Town Spring

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Old Town Spring

Posted on 11 September 2011 by Cathy

trainToday Old Town Spring is a shopping destination. This lovely turn of the century town just north of Houston has an interesting past. Life began here in the early 1800’s when the French and Spanish came to trade with the local Indians. After the Civil War the railroad came through. A group of railroad workers named the area “Camp Spring” after one of the worst winters in Texas history because they were looking forward to better weather. Camp Spring was then platted by the I. & G.N. Railroad Co. and became a permanent settlement. The word “Camp” was dropped where Spring became the official name of the town. It was the base of operation for the workers and became a boom town from all the business the railroad brought in. Spring became a crossroads for two intersecting rail lines in 1901. The yard then added a roundhouse and 14 track yards of track. During the years of growth Spring had sugar mill for syrup making. two cotton gins, 5 saloons, an opera house, hospital, two steam saw and grist mills, bank, hotels, three churches, several schools and even had a gambling hall.

The decline came when the railroad headquarters moved to Houston in 1923. Prohibition and the depression then happened as well which forced businesses to close. The town was then reduced all the way down to a small settlement. In the late 60′ business minded individuals started to return to all the abandoned homes. The Goodyear airship America was also based here from 1969 through 1992. The Oil boom which began in the 70’s then made the town grow and become what it is today.

It is now known as a shopping destination! Old Town Spring also has museums, art galleries and restaurants all within an easy stroll from one another. People from all over the world come to visit. The town has several festivals and events every year like the Texas Crawfish & Music Festival. The town is also voted one of the top attractions in Texas each year

Old town Spring is also affectionately known as the most haunted town in Texas. Paranormal groups and television crews have visited to catch evidence of the reported activity. The many stories of spirits bring in people from all over looking to have their own experience with a ghost. I will share a few of the ghost stories with you. One about the bank and one about a spirit named Sarah

The original bank of Spring was robbed several times including once by a couple resembling Bonnie and Clyde. It was never confirmed that they were in fact the famous duo. Current ghost tours all tell the story as if it is a fact though. Today you can see bullet holes in the banks facade from one of the attempted robberies. That particular attempt was made by a trio of felons however they were unsuccessful. Photos taken in the old bank sometimes have strange anomalies.

SarahThere is a spirit named Sarah who is said to haunt one area in town. The original barn is still on the property which was once owned by Henry C. Doering. His daughter was friends with a 12-year-old girl named Sarah. Long ago while playing in the barn Sarah fell from the loft breaking her leg. An infection set in which caused her death within a few weeks. It is said she still plays in the barn along with some other young spirits. People report cold spots, noises on the roof, the feeling of being watched, objects are moved, hearing voices and the sounds of children playing. Photos taken in the area sometimes contain an anomaly in them that cannot be explained.

Go check out the photo gallery for Old Town Spring

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Bear Creek Park

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Bear Creek Park

Posted on 31 August 2011 by Cathy

I had heard that the area around Bear Creek Park in Houston, Texas is haunted. So I began to research and see what I could find out about the location. I love how history and rumors get caught up with one another where you have difficulty finding the truth. One problem I had with research was another paranormal team had posted something online about a civil war battle taking place in this park. I cannot confirm this story is true. There are tales that north Harris County did see skirmishes. Perhaps one of these stories is where the rumor began. Tall tales can begin their life with a thread of truth somewhere in the mix. Perhaps the town of Addicks which was destroyed in the 1900 storm and was rebuilt only to be flooded again is the cause of the haunting? Addicks was eventually turned into a ghost town and became a reservoir because of the flooding in 1929 as well as 1931. I tried to find where the old town of Addicks was located and even had difficulty with that. There is conflicting information about the location. One map online points to the area by the blue light cemetery and another place says the town was south of I-10 and highway 6.

Bear Creek

This area is famous even with all the conflicting information. Over the years teams from all over have gone out and investigated the claim of a haunting. We were there last Saturday to find out for ourselves. What we did know from all of the previous investigations is that tapping occurs when you stop on the bridge on Patterson road. Is the tapping from acorns falling from the tree, real ghostly encounters or the car cooling off? There happens to be 2 bridges along this stretch of road. We decided to test both bridges with the vehicle as well as our other equipment. We heard the tapping on the bear creek bridge. I couldn’t figure out what the tapping was caused from. It was a hot 87 degrees while we were there taking readings. I did not get any meter activations at all that night. I did have one of my temp devices register a cold spot a few times that couldn’t be explained. One member was able to feel a cold spot as well before I started taking readings. We had an occasional car pass. We had a good time hanging out while waiting for any activity to happen. Nothing happened but that doesn’t mean we didn’t capture something. Be on the lookout for me to post evidence if we find any.

Go see the Bear Creek Park Gallery here

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Being stood up

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Being stood up

Posted on 25 August 2011 by Cathy

As case manager it is my job to screen our clients and make sure we have legitimate claims to investigate. I take it personal if anything goes wrong. Over the years we have had 2 cases stand us up. One time the owner was on the phone with us telling us she had to cancel as we were on her doorstep. I had called her the night before to make sure and she had said yes she was looking forward to us coming out. Last week we were stood up in a strange way. The client had told me she was older than she was and everyone in the house was experiencing the activity. She said everyone wanted us to come out and help. She even wanted to be a member of our group and would like us to interview her.

On the night of the investigation I get a call from the group telling me that the grandfather answered the door to say she was at the movies with friends. There was no activity in the home. If there was anything his granddaughter was experiencing she brought it in herself. He also spoke in a way that he wanted us to help her.

I was floored! How can someone get by my screening? If you look at how many places we have investigated over the years my track record for setting up investigations is good. For the most part we go to legitimate homes or businesses where the people believe they have paranormal activity. We may debunk that activity but they genuinely believe they have a ghost before we show them what is happening. Sometimes we go out and find evidence that what they are experiencing is real.

Those two times we were stood up make it harder on me in the screening process. I now have to ask more questions. Being stood up could make it harder on the group to believe we have a real investigation in the future. How do I get the group to travel out of state to help someone who seems to be real if we ever get stood up? Knock on wood that both cases were local where we didn’t spend very much in travel expenses.

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Middle of the night at Denny’s

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Middle of the night at Denny’s

Posted on 25 August 2011 by Cathy

1410 Seawall Blvd,
Galveston, TX 77550

A few weeks ago I was in Galveston on an investigation. We decided to stop at Denny’s. IHOP and Denny’s are places my group can go to in the middle of the night to talk about what happened and grab a bite to eat before heading home. Places can be clean or dirty, the help is decent or bad and the food is ether good or bad. Well this night we hit rock bottom.

For starters we waited forever for a table. We were seated next to the women’s bathroom which was apparently dirty. The waitress did not come for 20 minutes so the manager took our order and gave it to the waitress. We watched a manager chew out several employees a few feet from our table but not our waitress. Why he didn’t do this in the area back is beyond me. The manager was holding a large drink from whataburger! Why? Is the food that bad here that he cannot even eat the free food I am sure he gets?

When the food finally came out I was surprised that it was decent. This still didn’t explain that whataburger drink that the manager was carrying around in front of all of the customers. The food was cooked properly and everything tasted ok. Still the behavior of the staff and the cleanliness of the place left such a bad taste in our mouth. Our cups ran dry with nobody came to check on us until we were getting up.

When we got up to leave and pay at the counter we waited for another 15 minutes. One of the waiters was standing looking at us talking to a customer at the counter the whole time. There was a new group of people that had come in when we got up to leave. They stood next to us in an almost empty restaurant waiting the whole time to be seated. That same waiter at the counter was looking at them too. I never saw him come to help them. Actually when we paid that group of people were still waiting and had not been helped yet either! As soon as I could I logged into urbanspoon to give a review and could not find this particular location. I will never eat at this location ever!


Denny's on Urbanspoon

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History Burning Down

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History Burning Down

Posted on 18 August 2011 by Cathy


A huge fire destroyed one of the businesses in downtown Shawnee overnight. The business was Loco’s at 107 E Main St. which was a small antique shop and had only been open for about 9 months. The call about the fire came in to the department about 1 a.m. According to the fire chef the crew could not make an interior attack due to the heat. The fire was so intense that it collapsed the roof. It took almost 8 hours for the fire to completely be put out. Two other buildings sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

When I heard about the fire I ran to look up the address. I have been in many of the businesses along Main Street and have done investigations of several places. Loco’s it turned out was not one of my past investigations. I was still upset to see it destroyed. In previous investigations in this town we have found active hauntings and what we call residual energy. This residual energy is like a recording on a cd that happens for unknown reasons. When the conditions are perfect the recording can replay making anyone that happens upon it to think the place is haunted. I wonder if Loco’s had any activity? When they rebuild they may notice things happen in weird places like someone walk up a staircase that is no longer there.

It is sad when history is lost! It seems that lately several historic locations have caught fire. Just a few weeks ago Fort Chaffee Hospital Complex burned to the ground. The Fort Smith Fire Department has deemed that it was an accident. Members of the Kentucky National Guard who are fans of the show Ghost Adventures were doing training at Chaffee and decided to go see it for themselves. It is believed that one of them discarded a lit cigarette into a grassy area near one of the buildings at the Fort. The fire burned approximately 90 acres and more than 120 buildings. Back in February The Sisters of Charity of Providence school in DeSmet, Idaho burned down. The building was more than 100 years old and was a historical landmark. Reviewing the history showed two earlier buildings on the property were destroyed by fire in 1881 and in the early 1900s.

Today there is an old building 15 miles east of Springfield in Buffalo. The house was built around 1840 and it is now on the schedule to be burned down! If you care about history perhaps you will be upset enough to contact the people who will be responsible for letting it go! The house was a “12-mile house” for stagecoach drivers and their horses who would be traveling between Springfield and Decatur.
Drivers could stay the night and rest their horses before finishing the trip the next morning. Some historians believe that Abraham Lincoln may have even stayed there.

Apparently the owners donated house to the Buffalo Fire Protection District because they want it gone. It is scheduled to be used for live fire training in September when the weather will be cooler. The chef said they would like to burn it for training because it is in a sate of disrepair and an eyesore. They must get permission before they burn it though. I am hoping that they will not be granted their wish. The Historic Preservation agency can deem the house to be historic because it is more than 50 years old and has some type of historical significance. I am concerned that yet again we are going to loose another piece of history if the house is destroyed. Are you? I would love to be able to get inside the house and just sit. I think it should be made into a museum or saved in any condition. If you are as upset as I am please make contact those responsible:

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.state.il.us/

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency http://www.illinoishistory.gov/

Chief Mike Thompson of the Buffalo Fire Protection District
114 S
Wells Street
Buffalo, Illinois 62515

The property manager Jeremy Crouch with Heartland Trust in Forsyth

1401 Koester dr, Forsyth, IL 62535

Springfield-Sangamon County
Regional Planning Commission
200 South 9th Street – Room 212

Springfield, IL 62701
Phone: (217) 535-3110

A reporter working the case is Jackson Adams from the Illinois Times


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Investigating an Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanitarium

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Investigating an Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanitarium

Posted on 12 August 2011 by Cathy

We investigated a historic Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanitarium last weekend. It is nestled in the hills in it’s own complex as a self sustaining city of its own. Tuberculosis also known as consumption is highly contagious. Hospitals were built to handle the treatment of this disease which could take years before the person passed away. This complex had a municipal water/sewer system, a fire department, and even had a farm with dairy and swine in operation. It was built in 1910 covering almost 1000 acres of land. It was closed in 1973 after the discovery of antibiotics.

This was the second time we have been to the facility. Driving through the gates again brought up the mortality rates of the people that passed here. With 70,000 patients treated here combined with the mortality we were wondering what kind of activity we were going to get. We were told the whole complex offered many different types of activity. It was also said that sometimes people would leave empty handed where they believed that nothing was going on here.

We however did not go home empty handed. Through the night we all experienced different things. Cold spots, shadows, lights, sounds, door opening, whispering, feelings of being watched as well as being touched. We were running all of our equipment and were getting positive results. I just got done reviewing my photos and noted several pictures with anomalies which I will be uploading. I am going to be turning my attention to the audio next. I can’t wait to see what I caught if anything. Keep logging back on to see what evidence we caught

I had posted an article to the blog before. Go read Tuberculosis Sanitariums here

Also go see the photo gallery for the Sanitarium here

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Black Hope Curse

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Black Hope Curse

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Cathy

Here is the story behind the Newport edition you have been waiting for. In the year that the movie Poltergeist came out on the big screen there was another similar drama playing out in a town in Texas. In the early 1980 a new housing edition went in called Newport. Sam and Judith Haney purchased a home in the Newport area of Houston. The family decided to have a swimming pool put in the back yard. As they began to get started an elderly black man showed up out of nowhere and told them that they was about to dig up human remains. The reason he gave them this information was that he knew they were buried because he had seen them years before. They decided the old man was crazy and started digging for the pool anyway. As they were digging the two bodies were just where the old man said they were. Scared they began doing research and found a man named Jasper Norton who as a young man had worked as a gravedigger. Norton told the Haney’s that their home and the surrounding houses were built on top of an old cemetery called Black Hope. He also told them that most of the deceased were former slaves.

They found out that last burial had occurred 1939 and that there as many as 60 people were in graves. Norton identified the two people buried in the Haney’s backyard as Betty and Charlie Thomas who former slaves. They had died sometime during the thirties. As they lived in their house the activity became more negative. They heard disembodied voices, an unplugged clock in the began shooting sparks and glowing, sliding glass door open but there was nobody there and the door was locked. The next morning after to door incident Judith couldn’t find her red shoes. When she finally located them they were outside miraculously sitting side by side on top of Betty’s grave. They also realized that the date was Betty’s birthday.

Unable to keep all of the information to themselves they had a neighborhood meeting. They found out neighbors whose houses were built on top of the abandoned cemetery also had all kinds of activity. They reported lights, televisions/water faucets turning on and off, unearthly sounds and apparitions. Sam and Judith decided right then to fight back. They sued the developer for not disclosing that their home was built over a cemetery. They won and were awarded $142,000 by a jury. The judge ruled on legal grounds that the developers were not liable and reversed the decision. He then ordered the Haney’s to pay $50,000 in court costs. Unable to pay and plagued with health problems they were frightened of remaining in their house. They made the decision to file bankruptcy and abandoned their home.

One of the other families lived right across the street with similar problems to the Haney’s. Ben and Jean Williams lived there with their young granddaughter named Carli. They reported activity that the house was cold year round, the feeling of being watched, toilets flushed by themselves as well as the garage door and other household appliances would operate on their own. They even had rectangular sinkholes open up in the yard and for whatever reason they couldn’t be filled in. As soon as she thought she would have the problem solved the sinkholes would reappear within a few days. Another oddity was Jean couldn’t get any new plants to live on the property even though she always had a green thumb. On their property they noticed strange markings on an old oak tree by the sinkholes. It was an arrow pointed downward with two horizontal slash marks beneath it. They attended the meeting and discovered their lovely home was built over the cemetery. As they began to research a long time resident of the area told them he had marked the tree as a way to identify where his two sisters were buried. The activity began to increase and they would hear phantom footsteps in the hall, an apparition hovering over them when they slept and six members of their extended family were diagnosed with different cancers where three of them died within that year.

The Haney’s were not the only family to try legal recourse. They were all told that without definitive proof of a cemetery on their property nothing could be done. Ben and Jean Williams decided to prove their home was built over a cemetery. So Jean began to dig in one of the sinkholes beneath the oak. When she became overwhelmed from exhaustion to her daughter Tina took over. After digging for about a half-hour Tina collapsed and was dead 2 days later. Jean was convinced their desecration of a grave had precipitated their daughter’s death. They decided to leave no matter what it cost them. The loss they already experienced was more than they could bear. They abandoned their house and escaped to Montana. After a period of time passed they later moved back to Texas.

Subsequent owners of their homes say they have noticed no unusual activity. They seem content to live in the houses even with the negative history. Would you buy a home here? If you google the story you will find some people report activity and some say they never experienced anything. The fire department will tell you there are more alarms that go off in the part of the neighborhood that covers the cemetery. Do you think some people are more sensitive than others and this is why the new owners do not have activity? Do you think that the Williams or the Haney’s would make up such activity to give them a reason to loose all the money they had invested in their homes? These are some the same types of questions my group puts to the test every day as we deal with homeowners. Is it real or imagined? Can we find evidence to back up the claims? I spent time in Newport on several occasions. I can tell you that the area has a strange vibe to it for me. The woods have shadows that dart about even when nobody is there. I believe the place to be haunted. I will be uploading photos and other evidence I collected while there in the future.

Go see the Black Hope photo gallery here

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Haunted Swimming

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Cathy

I have had so many responses to posting an article on swimming in the Newport edition. Although you do not hear many stories of haunted swimming pools they do exists. I have previously posted an article about swimming in Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island. This is a fantastic spot for investigating. Now let me share with you some other locations.

The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois has many stories. The old staff had heard unexplained sounds which include music playing, glassed tinkling, voices and laughter around the pool which is located in the basement. The basement area is the most haunted area of the location. There is the live ghost cam you can watch online that shows the first class swimming pool on the Queen Mary. In this very haunted location there is a little girl who can sometimes be seen holding a teddy bear. Women have often been seen wearing 1930’s swimming suits and there are reported sounds of splashing as well as wet footprints leading from the around the pool to the changing rooms.

There is a swimming pool in Scotland that renfew council owns that is known by many to have a lady in white as well as the apparition of a little boy who they believe died in the pool 80 years ago. There is a video going around that has been captured of him on video as well. They claim what you see in the video is figure of a boy floating in and out of the wall at the stairs. I believe this to be an artifact of the light that you see in the video. This does not mean the pool isn’t haunted. I just don’t believe it to be proof

In New York City there is a swimming pool in McCareen Park. The pool was built in 1936 and was able to hold up to 6,800 swimmers. It is believed this is where a little girl drowned because she is seen roaming the area at calling for help. Some people have only heard her crying for help. There are no records for a little girl drowning but there are others who have died at this location. Paranormal teams have captured temperature drops, electro magnetic fields, anomalies on videos/photos as well as EVPs.

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Haunted Swim: Timberlane Vs. Newport

Posted on 02 August 2011 by Cathy

[singlepic id=63 w=320 h=240 float=right]You can ask anyone who knows me. I have always been very busy. It hasn’t just been me in my family either. My kids were always very busy with their activities. I would drive them to dance, soccer, football, track, swim, musical theater etc and wait for them to get done. I spent much time in the car waiting. While waiting instead of doing crochet I would pull out a cake decorating stash and make gum paste flowers. Oh yes I did! Once I had a project that required me to make 350 hand made gum paste roses. That took me some time to get done and the car time was perfect. One of the kids best loved activities was being on the swim team of the Timberlane Tigersharks. I could not make flowers during this activity unless it was only practice. I was required to stand on the side lines every Saturday and scream as loud as I could for them to win.

Our team song still rings in my head at times. Why does it get stuck in my head? Has anyone conducted research about this yet? Here are the words to the song:  “Everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are, so we tell them, we are are the Tigersharks the mighty mighty Tigersharks … keep repeating and get louder and louder each time”.

[singlepic id=56 w=320 h=240 float=left]One of the teams we would go against was Newport. It was a huge team that dwarfed ours. I still remember their pool right across from the golf course. The kids enjoyed their time there swimming. They would sit with with their arms and bodies all doodled on with a blue magic marker. The shark and Eat my bubbles! were things they liked to have drawn on their back. They didn’t realize that while we were there we were at a famous housing edition that made national headlines. They didn’t know the housing developer ignored a fence and markers signifying that part of the area was a cemetery. Sometimes in life you will spend time in a haunted location without knowing it. If you would have known at the time you may have treated your time there differently. I wonder if the kids would have known would they have refused to get in the pool thinking it was haunted? Have you ever swam in an a haunted pool?

[singlepic id=58 w=320 h=240 float=right]I will be posting an an article about my experience investigating Newport soon. For now I will leave you with the information that the story about this subdivision has been featured on Unsolved Mysteries, has been the subject of several books and has been made into a movie for television. Alarms trigger the local fire department and nobody is home and no fire is present. These alarms seem to come more from the part of the neighborhood that covers the old cemetery. Are there restless spirits triggering the alarms to go off? Some
in the fire department seem to think so. Neighbors have also reported activity from the time they have moved into the neighborhood. I will cover a few of these stories next time.

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1960 Overpass in Humble Texas

Posted on 02 August 2011 by Cathy

[singlepic id=7 w=320 h=240 float=right]One place that is very active according to several paranormal groups is located in Humble Texas and known as the 1960 overpass. If you read through the forums online you will read that people call this area the doorway to hell. You can read the stories of businesses that have failed as a result of the activity. One place was a dollar movie theater that failed because the employees would quit after encountering what they called a demonic presence. The place shut down and has been broken into by many times by thrill seekers wanting to encounter it for themselves. Today the dollar theater has been purchased and breaking in would land you in jail if you were caught. People don’t know what the ruins are next to the cemetery behind the old dollar theater.

[singlepic id=1 w=320 h=240 float=left]Through my research I found “the ruins” to be an old kerosene refinery that was closed when the need for kerosene diminished. The area is in an unincorporated part of Harris county Texas commonly known as Bordersville. Humble had decided to pass laws making the area all white and forced all people of color out of town thus Bordersville was born. It was the most poverty stricken of the whole Houston metro area. The train went through the east side and this is where residents decided to have their cemetery. The cemetery is said by some to have been moved out of the way when the railroad came through. I found that it was never moved from it’s current position. It was never cared for and had fallen into a horrible state. It is today a secluded spot where the homeless have taken shelter on and off over the years. They could jump onto a passing train or jump off and stay at this location unseen.

In the years before commerce had taken over this spot was where the area train station was located. On December 13, 1922 there was a train wreck that claimed 19 lives and injured many others. The Southern Pacific train #28 was crowded to full capacity and was bound for Shreveport when it came into the station. There was a freight train stopped on a nearby track that happened to be too close. The engineer tried to stop the train before the collision and was not able to do so. All the destruction was caused by a 2″ pipe leading from a water tender to the boiler which had been stripped of it’s mooring along side the engine. This caused the pipe to break through the windows of the passenger train which was attempting to stop. The pipe burst through the windows releasing deadly hot steam and water. This sprayed the passengers and filled up the coaches with steam causing 19 to be scalded to death. The newspapers of the day reported skin had fallen off from hands and faces and was clinging on the backs of seats, window latches and laying everywhere.

In 2008 three privileged teenagers from nearby Kingwood decided desecrate a grave. Kevin Wade Jones and Matthew Richard Gonzalez who were both 17 as well as a 16-year old dug up a grave with shovel. They removed the skull of Willie Sims from his coffin and converted it into a bong in their home. Willie was 11 years old at the time he died on September 11, 1921. The teens were charged with misdemeanor abuse of a corpse and Willie was laid to rest again. They were unable to locate any of Willies relatives to participate. This is also the same area where the body of a child was found murdered. Secluded areas are usually places for crimes to be committed. I wonder how many other things happened here that we do not know about.

Perhaps the pain from segregation, poverty, tragedy and disrespect has the spirits of the area up in arms? Many times we find activity at sites with such pain. While I was investigating I had a sense of the tragedy of the past. To me it hung around like the thick humid air.
Sometimes I will go into an area and my senses will be heightened. Many people have experienced this but don’t understand what that feeling is. Your gut tells you that you need to leave. As a paranormal investigator I wonder if there is high emf provoking this feeling. Instead of going with “fight or flight” I pull out meters to try to collect the data. If I was by myself I would go with my gut instinct and leave because I know it is possible that I had disturbed someone and they were watching me from the woods. Perhaps I had disturbed something else that I couldn’t see. I am still reviewing evidence collected and will share what I find with everyone

Go see the photo gallery for 1960 Overpass

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