Friday, January 15, 2010
Ghost Hunt Gone Wrong -- Part 1
Author’s note: This is the first of a two-part story of a ghost hunt gone wrong.
Tammy felt uncomfortable the December night she went to hunt ghosts in Vandalia Cemetery in Porterville, Calif.
“I went with friends to that cemetery and had quite possibly one of the most frightening times I have had in a very long time,” Tammy said.
The friends had been to the Cemetery in Spring 2009 and saw a “black figure” that “wasn’t human and it didn’t walk or run – it floated from headstone to headstone.” Everyone saw it but Adam, who recently moved to California from Texas.
“My friend Adam had heard about our experiences at Vandalia Cemetery, also known as Scranton cemetery by the high school crowd,” Tammy said. “He wanted to find out for himself what it was like.”
The group arrived at Vandalia around midnight on Dec. 20.
“Before we even left to go to the cemetery I had a very bad feeling and usually I go with my gut feeling,” she said. “But I just figured I was feeling that way because of the events that took place the last time we were there a year or so ago.”
This time, when they stepped out of their cars and approached the cemetery gate, they didn’t see the figure, but the temperature suddenly dropped.
“It seemed to be so much colder inside the cemetery than outside,” Tammy said. “But I tried to ignore it.”
As they passed through the gate, Tammy said a traditional prayer.
“Anytime I have gone on a ghost hunt I have always said a prayer of protection,” she said. “I have always spoken to the spirits to let them know why we are there and that we mean no harm and that they are free to communicate with us on the recorder and get their pictures taken if they wish.”
Then the group wandered the cemetery, taking pictures and trying to capture EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon: voices that appear on audio playback that were not heard at the time of recording).
“From the minute we entered the cemetery I had the feeling of being watched and followed,” Tammy said. “But I continued to walk around and take pictures and speak to the spirits.”
They asked the spirits their names, who was president when they were living, and other general questions. But their ghost hunt didn’t last long.
“We stayed about an hour as that’s all we could stand because it was so cold,” Tammy said.
Before the group left, Tammy said a prayer telling the spirits not to follow them home.
Although the visit to the cemetery seemed relatively quiet, when Tammy and her friends arrived at her house, they found they hadn’t been alone at Vandalia.
“As soon as we got home we listened to the recordings and looked through the pictures,” she said. “What we got was frightening.”
The audio recordings garnered voices that didn’t belong to anyone in the group.
“Most of them were very clear and plain but they were always in a whispery voice,” Tammy said. “At one point Adam could be heard saying, ‘that’s creepy.’ He was referring to a very dark place between some cemetery trees. After Adam makes the comment about the trees being creepy, a scary, creepy, whispery voice can be heard saying, ‘Adam. Get this man; you’re creepy tooooo.’ In those words exactly.”
That voice called Adam’s name multiple times on the audio recordings; but the voice wasn’t the only one Tammy’s group recorded.
“The creepiest voices of all were the ones telling us to leave,” Tammy said.
A voice on the recording Tammy said sounded “freaky scary” screamed at the group to “Get out. Leave.”
“There was a lot that we couldn’t make out clearly but were creepy nonetheless,” she said.
And the EVPs weren’t the only strange evidence Tammy’s group gathered. From the pictures they took on two digital cameras, they caught a mist hanging over some of the tombstones.
“No one was smoking and we did what we could to keep our breath mist from being on the pics,” Tammy said. “We would hold our breath hoping that would make a difference.”
The mist still showed up on the digital photographs. As the group looked over their findings, they decided they wanted more.
“Since nothing bad happened,” Tammy said, “we decided it would be a good idea to go again.”
They soon found that wasn’t a good idea at all.
Next week: Something follows them home.
Copyright 2010 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s books on the paranormal, “Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us,” and “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.