|PARASEEK: STAFF INVESTIGATIONS: Seven Paranormal Research|
North Carolina Church
The stories told included tales of a haunted, secret grave tucked into the woods behind the old cemetery. There were tales of the church being lit from inside and the sound of organ music in the middle of the night. And most persistent was the story surrounding the engraved marble marker at the corner of the property. It is said that a witch was hung here, the words on the stone her last ones spoken....and if a brave soul will go to the back door, repeat this verse and knock three times the door will open to admit you. Since most tales have some (if small) basis in a real event, and the history of this church was of great interest to us (besides - old cemeteries are frequently active locations), we decided to investigate.
We started out one late October afternoon, just stopping by to get a feel for the layout, run an equipment check and take a few rolls of film. Our first shots in the old cemetery provided us with some interesting possibilities. We planned a return trip, and in the meantime began doing some homework.
This church has a most wonderful and detailed history. It dates back to the late 1700's...the church at the current location is the third one built, and has stood in the current spot since. The congregation currently meets at another location, and this building is registered as an Historic Landmark and is rightfully preserved as such. It remains locked except during tours, and I believe is considered private property. One thing any and all persons interested in looking for ghosts should remember is to have respect for locations such as this. We had the great fortune while looking into the history to be there doing a day run when a busload of people arrived ("what on odd place to catch a bus" we thought....). As it turns out it was a tour, which we were allowed to join and provided an incredible amount of information on the past history, as well as a rare look inside. Afterward, the tour guide was kind enough to remain and allow us the privilege of taking photos and peppering him with tons of questions. An inside photo taken by new member Scott Spencer turned up two classic orbs - since they were taken with a digital camera, he was not positive as to the origin (no negatives to examine :-<) , but it is worth noting that an identical picture taken 6 seconds earlier netted nothing, and the orbs are on the side of a bullet hole in the wall credited to the shooting of a jilted Civil War solder.
As for the legends - their was no organ in that church until this year. NEVER has their been music but the sounds of people's voices singing hymns. The lights inside? Well again - there is no electricity to the interior of the church, the original oil lamps still hang there. A night run showed us the spectacular lights - car lights hitting the old oil lamps, refracted back through the church and the wavy old glass panes. Beautiful, but not haunted. As for the witch, no one knows anything about her - no grave or other marker is found. However no seems to know anything as to why the stone marker is there.
The old graveyard, on the other hand turned up more interesting things...a team member has caught bits of voices , most notably someone calling "Mary". We hope a recording will result in this voice being captured on tape. We even canvassed the area to see where people could be located (not close enough) and if anyone was named Mary (none were). Several photos netted an interesting anomaly in two different parts of the yard. It has a very different feel from the newer cemetery. It's residents include slaves and civil war era family. EMF meters consistently give us mid range readings that cannot be traced to any natural source in certain areas, most notably near the grave of a child. Potentially positive photos have been caught by Team Director, Kady Harrington and Team Leader, Christine Storrs with 35 mm cameras (point and shoot, as well as manual) and of course digital cameras. It should be noted that the people arriving to hang about at night is not encouraged and you will most likely be politely sent on your way by the local police.
It is worth noting that no investigation is truly complete unless you do some research on the history, as well as taking the time to thoroughly check into the surrounding area for anything that may cause a "ghost". Make thorough notes on all conditions during the investigation, as well as a complete log of events. And the ability to comfortably talk with people may net you the most interesting information and invitations. Make sure you can back your work up! Being professional and respectful (especially of private property) will help make paranormal investigators a little more credible.
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