My first interview with a ghost

Published 10:55 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I, like many others, am not exactly sure where I stand when in comes to believing in ghosts. I know for sure I believe in the Lord, angels and definitely demons walking all around us — but what about spirits, the undead and other forces?

Normally when I watch those ghost hunting shows on the Travel Channel I can pick apart things that happen and deem them as not real, but fake. The ghost hunters on these shows seem to get so worked up and scared, that they assume any little noise or picture falling off of the wall is ghost. They then back up this theory with Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP. Those are the audio recordings ghost hunters take while asking the spirits questions. When they play the recording back later, ghost hunters claim to hear clear answers to their questions — but I think the fuzzy, white noise sounds like an air conditioner cutting on in the background, not a “Leave now!” response from a spirit.

Needless to say, when I signed up to go on an adventure at Kenan’s Mill with the Alabama Paranormal Association, I thought I was going to laugh at everything that happened. The truth is — it has been two weeks and I still cannot sleep at night.

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My journalism career began in high school working for Harrison High School’s newspaper, The Tradition. My favorite story I wrote at The Tradition was a story where I went around town before Halloween and detailed all of the local ghost legends. I found everything from Civil War hauntings at Kennesaw Mountain, to little Indian girls that committed suicide. Even a local Target claimed several of its aisles were haunted after a criminal on the run fell to his death in a police chase when the store was still under construction. I researched blogs and online discussion forums, and even contacted these so-called mediums that have contacted spirits in the area. I learned then that ghost hunting, whether it was real or not, was an adventure.

When I got an email that the Alabama Paranormal Association was coming to town, I jumped in to participate.

We pulled into the mill at about 10 p.m. on a Friday night. After a trip to Wal-Mart for snacks, energy drinks and a couple hundred dollars worth of batteries, the Alabama Paranormal Association said we were ready to go. Dale L., a medium, is the leader for the Alabama Paranormal Association and she accompanied me on the adventure.

As we pulled into Kenan’s Mill, Dale already had bad feelings. Someone had warned her prior to coming there was a spirit that was non-human; possibly demonic thing that had claws around the gate area of the mill. Yep, I was already freaking out.

Throughout the investigation of the mill the team would ask the spirits questions and hope for an orb to show up on a video, an EVP to show up on a recording or just any sign that there was activity in the mill. They asked questions like, “Did you live here?” “Were you a part of the Underground Railroad?” “Did you die here?”

I even chimed in a few times — I told the spirits I was a reporter and they could tell me their story and I would report it. I also reminded the spirits that I work for the same newspaper that was around when they were alive. I was half thinking that this was all a hoax but half of me was terrified that something would actually respond to my questions. I interview people everyday, why not interview the dead?

Despite the fact that Kenan’s Mill looks absolutely terrifying lurking in the shadows of Spanish moss at night, the medium had things grab and pull at her all night and that made me even more frightened. She said a Civil War soldier grabbed her pant leg. Then one of the devices we had, translated words from electronic frequencies.

As we started to ask questions into the air again the device, called an Ovilus, started detecting words like “fall,” “ledge,” “die.” I thought that was strange considering a historian informed us a young boy jumped off the ledge of the mill and died tragically. The spirit didn’t stop there. It grabbed the medium by the back sending her screaming into the woods, something she said had never happened. Then the Ovilus said, “Medium.”

I now sleep with my lights on.