Ghost tours still available

Published 9:15 pm Monday, October 13, 2008

If you hurry, you still have the opportunity to investigate paranormal activity this weekend, but tickets to the Haunted History Tours of Central Alabama are going fast.

One tour will feature Old Cahawba, the state’s first capital; and the other tour will take place in Old Live Oak Cemetery with a special event at Sturdivant Hall.

Candace Johnson, director of the Selma-Dallas County Tourism & Convention Bureau, said Monday already several of this weekend’s events are sold out.

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Six tours are featured on Friday night to investigate spirits at Old Cahawba, but the 6:30 p.m. tour is sold out, she said.

The tour will last about 90 minutes. Those on this guided adventure into the paranormal will visit the old cemetery and the old slave quarters. Tour hosts will give historical accounts of sightings of ghosts and talk about the old town’s historical significance.

Also, Central Alabama Paranormal Investigations will demonstrate the art of peering into the paranormal. Johnny Cummings, who conducts the investigations with others, said many people have the wrong idea about paranormal investigations from watching television.

“That’s not the way it is,” he said.

People who take part on the Cahawba tour will work with sophisticated equipment designed to measure the presence of entities or ghosts. For example, CAPI uses an electromagnetic field meter to measure possible spikes when an apparition attempts to manifest or communicate. Additionally, CAPI uses temperature gauges that will measure “cold spots” when spirits are present. Cummings explained that entities do not have their own energy, so they take energy from other areas — the reason for the need for temperature gauges.

Cummings doesn’t promise ghostly appearances Friday night. Sometimes CAPI investigators go as long as 18 hours without any indication of an apparition. Yet, sometimes investigators have to wait no longer than five minutes for something to happen.

But those who attend one of the sessions Friday are in a prime place.

“They will visit on e of the most famous ghost towns in Alabama, if not the most famous ghost town in Alabama,” Cummings said.

Tours remain open for 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

If Cahawba is too far, then perhaps some people will opt for the self-guided tour Saturday in Selma. The 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. tours are sold out, Johnson said.

This living history tour begins in Old Live Oak Cemetery, where “ghosts” of the past, played by members of the Encore! theater group, will talk about the history of Selma.

“We’ll have a couple of eerie surprises, too,” said Johnson.

The tour will wind up at Sturdivant Hall for some ghost telling and a reading from one of Kathryn Tucker Windham’s famous ghost stories.

Advance tickets for the weekend events are $15. People from ages 12 and up are allowed in the history tours. For more information, contact the Selma-Dallas County Tourism & Convention Bureau at 1-800-45