Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Ghost Hunt Field Trip: Downtown Virginia City
There were probably about 45-50 people signed up for our first field trip. We all met at the Silver Queen Saloon where we we were divided into groups of 7-9, including a tech specialist and a psychic. There were seven in our group: Mona, Jill, Kelly, Cheryl, Paula, myself, and our psychic, Pride. Originally our team included Karen and Gail from the ongoing class, but an emergency prevented them from coming. Gail was to have been our tech specialist, but because most of our group had already been on investigations, we figured we could just wing it. Paula was not slated for our team, but since we were short, we jumped on getting her switched to our team. It wouldn't have been the same without my girl, Paula.
When we left the Firemen's Museum, Pride again had us gather in a circle while he checked to see if we had any residual spirit energy hanging onto us. He said he would be "feeling" us all throughout the night. My reponse to that? You don't want to know.
Our second stop, and one of the most interesting of the night was the Mark Twain Bookstore. The bookstore has been owned by the same family since the 1950's. The current owner of the bookstore admitted that while he personally has never had any paranormal experiences there, his mother had always refused to be downstairs by herself. He explained that the entire downstairs area takes up what was originally 3 separate businesses back in the late 1800s: a merchantile, a stable, and the basement vault area of the Bank of San Francisco. He also pointed out that there are the skeletal remains of what has been determined to be a Native American man back in the furthest corner of the bank vault area. Since no local tribe has stepped forward to repatriate the remains, his family has become the caretakers of the skeleton. He took us down into the downstairs area and allowed us free roam of the 3 areas.
The stables still have the original stalls with horses names written on the walls. Pride picked up the energy of a large, not too bright man down there, possibly a stable hand. Cheryl picked on the name of "John". As we walked around to the bank vault area, she spotted the name written on the wall separating the 2 areas. While in the stable area, Pride again picked up some energy off an old barber chair. Mona captured some audio in this area; she emailed me a clip- it sounds like Native chant of some sort, but it's really hard to make out. It was really dusty in this area, so if you see orbs in my pictures, trust me, it's dust. While I was shooting a picture of Pride getting an energy reading off an old mortar and pestle, I caught a shadow across his arm. Later, I was able to determine the shadow coming from someone else's arm in the edge of the picture.
Paula, Mona and I all caught something on audio while back in the vault area. We have been comparing sound clips and we all agree, the first portion of the voice says, "Turn out the light", followed by more whispering and then the word, "door" or "dark". Hmm. Paula also caught some light anomalies while filming the vault (I think it's insects). If interested in viewing the clip, Paula uploaded it to her MySpace page at: www.myspace.com/w_i_g_s One discovery left me a little disturbed about the place. While back near the skeletal remains, I noticed someone had left a cloth containing a bundle of sage and an eagle feather. As any Native will tell you, an eagle feather is never placed underground... it's like sacrilege. Obviously someone has been playing with things they know nothing about.
As we descended down into the basement, Cheryl had a negative impact upon seeing the stuffed animal heads on the walls. She opted out of the investigation and returned upstairs.While we were down stairs among the printing equipment, Pride picked up on some child-sized energy. A child spirit? an elemental spirit of some sort? Don't know. I got nothing on visual, I thought I had gotten something on audio, but once I amplified the clip, I determined it to be the noise of a camera flashing. Pride picked up on some sort of energy near Mark Twain's desk, he thought maybe it was coming from an old wooden peg leg. As I bent down to take a closer look at it, I caught a distinct odor of decay. I can't say it came from the fake leg, though. There might have been a dead mouse in the wall for all I know. It was an interesting visit with a lot of history with the old printing presses. After leaving the newspaper, we got another "psychic feel up" from Pride and moved on to our next location.
A few of us decided to check out the third floor of the Silver Queen as well. One thing that was noticed by everyone of us: the back of the hotel had a "heavy" feeling about it. Pride asked us what we thought of that, and I wanted to know why he was asking us, him being the psychic and all. It's like that old joke about running into a psychic and asking him how you're doing. Okay, so the humor wasn't appreciated.
We were getting a lot of noise contamination from the fundraising party at Piper's Opera House down the street, however, Paula picked up some really strange noise we haven't been able to distinguish. I want to say it's a motorcycle gearing down, except it sounds like it's coming from right between Paula and I. I asked Paula how her Chinese dinner was sitting and she loudly denied any personal body noises. SHEESH. Just because I've mistakenly accused her in the past... Pride picked up a negative energy spirit while we were on the third floor, he described it as a small man, dressed in a dapper fashion that preyed on hotel guests as they slept.
We finished the investigation of the Silver Queen and headed over to Piper's Opera House to meet up with the other groups. The fundraiser was still going on, so the entire class headed back to the Silver Queen to end the night with a short debriefing. The psychics announced that they would be available afterward if anyone felt something or someone had attached to them. According to Pride, something had attached to me. I felt fine. No Klingons here. I chose not to be cleansed, although that didn't prevent the psychic types from feeling up my aura. Mona, Paula and I stuck around to make sure Cheryl was recovered from her, what would you call it, psychic injury? Pride did some sort of energy work on her with good results.
Things I learned? Well for one, I need to keep quiet and really try to remain aware of my surroundings. Two, if we were to do this again, I would say that the psychics need to go into an area seperate from the rest. Three, an initial sweep of an area prior to investigating is important. Four, any audio work needs to be done seperately. And finally, a team needs a lead person. Someone to keep everything and everyone on task. Otherwise, people have a tendency to wander around and forget the focus of what they are doing, and I only speak for myself in this. I had a great time, I loved the group I was with, and I am pretty "psyched" for our next field trip.