Paranormal weekend at landmark

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For those who hear a bump in the night and do not run in fear, but instead go to investigate the origins of the unexplained sound, then the Vaughan Smitherman Museum is the place for you this Friday and Saturday.

Paranormal Weekend opens its doors at 7 p.m. Friday at the Vaughan Smitherman Museum and last until early Sunday.

“The Paranormal Weekend will be put on by the Southern Paranormal Researchers,” said Cindy Stoudenmire, Vaughan Smitherman Museum. “The proceeds will be going to the Friends of the Vaughan. I’ll be there telling the history of the museum and Alston Fitts will tell the history of Selma. Other people will talk about the equipment used when looking for ghosts. People are coming from all over for this weekend.”

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The weekend costs $25 and includes programs led by paranormal investigators, sensitives and even probes into some Selma hot spots of ghostly activity. The meet and greet begins at 7:30 p.m.

Stoudenmire will kick off the programs and talk about the history of the museum. She may even tell some of her ghostly experiences while working in the Vaughan Smitherman Museum.

“I’ve heard footsteps on the third floor and when I’ve gone to see who’s there, no one is up there,” she said. “When I first started working at the museum, Joy Smith was showing me around and she asked me what I knew about William Rufus King because we have a portrait of him. I responded flippantly ‘He was the vice president from about two weeks.’ As soon as I said that a globe lamp slammed down in its setting. I said I was sorry right away. For about two weeks after that when I came into work I said, ‘Good morning, Mr. Vice President. I think they are used to me now though.”

Stoudenmire said workers at night tell her about strange occurrences they witness – elevators running by themselves, doors opening or shutting without warning and toilets flushing themselves.

After the tales and history of the Selma landmark, Shawn Sellers, who is a sensitive and paranormal researcher from Montgomery and founded the Southern Paranormal Researchers in August 2006, will get the new ghost hunters acclimated with the talk titled “Paranormal 101.”

Friday night will also examine the paranormal and how it relates to religion. The last hours will hold an investigation of the Vaughan Smitherman Museum from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and then a look at the Old Foundry from 12:45 until 2:30 a.m.

The group meets back up Saturday at 12:30 p.m. to look over the evidence gathered from Friday night.

At 1:15 Selma’s own historian Fitts will speak on the city’s past.

Callea Seck, a paranormal investigator from Estes Park, Company, will then tell about her work as a tour guide and resident paranormal investigator at the Stanley Hotel, which is the hotel in Steven King’s “The Shining.”

Bob Hunnicutt will give a broad spectrum of ghosts in the South. Hunnicutt was named one of the Top 10 Paranormal/Ghost Investigators in American by Haunted America Tours in 2008. He also founded the Georgia Ghost Society.

The night wraps up with a final look into a possibly haunted place – the Adams Grove Church and the adjacent cemeteries.

For tickets, you can buy them online in advance at or in person at the Frame Shoppe, 127 Broad St. Tickets will be available at the door, but space is limited.

“This is going to be a lot of fun for people who love checking into ghosts or hunting for them,” Stoudenmire said. “Most people around here have or think they have a haunted house so this would be fun for them to see how an investigation goes.”