I recently attended Scarefest in Lexington, KY and had the opportunity to sit down with several of the most well-known paranormal investigators in the world. I asked each of them to describe the one event or investigation that stood out to them more than any of the rest. Either something that happened that couldn’t be explained or an extraordinary event unlike any of their experiences. Here are their responses.
Grant Wilson (Formerly of Ghost Hunters)
We were investigating this house in New York City about 13 years ago. It was a brownstone house like you’d see on The Cosby Show and it had been in the family for three generations. As we were investigating the basement we kept getting this name in this one particular area. The name was Beatrice. We asked the homeowners who was Beatrice and she didn’t know, so she called the mother who lived there before her. She didn’t know either. So we asked the grandmother if she knew who Beatrice was and she said, “Who wants to know?” Her daughter told her it was us investigating the house. The grandmother said, “Ok I think it’s time. What you need to do is go upstairs to the third floor closet and about two feet up the wall you’ll see a patch in the wall. Knock that open.” We’re like oh man what are we going to find? Beatrice in the wall? I’m all about knocking holes in walls, so we go up to the third floor and, after getting permission, punched a hole in the wall. There was a little leather diary. As we read it we found out it belonged to the grandfather who was involved in organized crime. In that book he had written about all of his dirty deeds to clear his head. As we’re reading it, the name Beatrice shows up. It turns out she’s his mistress and, at some point, he got her pregnant. She was going to squeal and tell everyone she was pregnant so he had his goons throw her in a well in the basement of the house we were in and cement it over. So we went back down to the basement and sure enough, where we originally caught those EVPs, the floor was a little different. At that point we contacted the police and told them we think there may be something going on here. They popped it open and we solved a 60-year old missing person case with an EVP.
Chris Maggard Tri State Paranormal
One of the craziest things that ever happened to me was when we were investigating an old abandoned hospital in Tennessee called OSBH. We were getting ready to film an episode there and as soon as we walk onto the premises to get a feel for it, I’m standing in the middle of a hallway and out of nowhere I get bitch slapped right in the face. Something hit me hard in the face. I was so pissed. I’m like “Ok you can see me and hit me, but I can’t see you?” That’s definitely the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me. I tried to keep provoking it and get it going and kept taunting it. We had continuous activity for the rest of the night, like the sound of someone pounding on the doors, running past us, just a constant freeway of madness.
Amy Bruni - Ghost Hunters
We were investigating the USS Yorktown in South Carolina and Adam Berry and I were investigating the top deck of the ship. We saw, in the distance, a man walking across the deck. We thought that someone had crashed our investigation so we were screaming at this guy to stop, but he didn’t even stop walking or look in our direction. The more we looked at him, we realized he just looked different. The way he was walking and the speed at which he was moving just seemed off. So we started running towards him. Most of the time when someone walks in on one of our investigations, they’re like a deer in headlights. They apologize profusely. This guy just walked behind a wall of the ship and when we turned the corner, he was gone. There was no one there and no door for him to go. The only place he could have gone would be overboard and we would have definitely heard that. We actually caught it on film and you can see the man walking across the deck of the ship. Then when we consulted the people who work there, they said they actually see that apparition quite often in the same location. It turns out there was a man who was killed in that area in an industrial accident. It was really strange.
Amy and I were investigating the Pennhurst Asylum, which is right outside Philly, in the fall of 2010. We went up to the top floor of one of the buildings where people said they always heard scratching sounds or someone dragging their footsteps. So we start hearing these sounds when all of a sudden we hear crazy, loud scratching sounds coming from one of the rooms. It sounded like an animal trying to claw itself out of a wall where it was stuck or something. We aren’t afraid of ghosts; we’re afraid of rabid animals and crazy people. So there are two things that come to mind; this animal is pissed and is going to bite us. So we slowly walk up the hallway and kind of freak out because it’s so ridiculously loud. We get to the room and walk up to the closet. It’s definitely coming from inside the closet, just like in every horror movie. The closet is partially open so we try to look into it, but can’t really see. Finally I walk up and just swing open the door while all this scratching is going on and there’s nothing inside. There are no holes for an animal to climb out of or anything. We start banging on the walls and in the closet to see if it was an animal, and there are no sounds at all. It was crazy because it matched the claims from the clients and matched the experiences that everyone else was having, plus we were able to document it on film.
Recherches Investigations Paranormal (French)
We were investigating a nursery for babies in an old hospital and all of the equipment starts lighting up. The lights are all going off like never before. The thing was, the equipment would only light up at the height of a child. Anything higher and there was no signal, but at the height of a small child it went off every time. It was a crazy moment. We started to speak to it like a little child and as soon as we spoke to it, the equipment stopped picking up signals. We believed it got scared and ran away.
I have a few places that stand out as my favorites. Waverly Hills in Louisville is great and I really like Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia. Also the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona is always good. It’s not necessarily the intensity or the degree of the activity, but the frequency of how often it happens. Every time you go, there are things happening. At least every time I’ve been.
Pam: One of the best experiences that I’ve ever had Prospect Place in Ohio. We had gone into the basement and set up our equipment, and started seeing shadows rolling by on the wall and believed they were part of the Underground Railroad. It just kept replaying over and over like it was on a loop. I don’t think it was an intelligent entity, but it was amazing to see. I didn’t want to move or disrupt it because I was so amazed by it and watching this loop play over and over on the wall. It just seemed like it was hundreds and hundreds of shadows running by.
Bridgette: Our other greatest experience was when we investigated the Hanover house in Pennsylvania. There was a local FOX news station that just did a story on it and got attacked while they were there. The first time we were there we were sitting in the basement where a large portion of the experiences take place. We felt something come in between us and started whispering to us. There’s no room behind us for anything to come up, so there’s no explanation of where it would have come from. You could just feel the energy separate us. We still have contact with the homeowners to help her get evidence of the things that are happening in her home. There are entities all over the house as well as the smell of kerosene that will hit really quickly and then vanishes. No one has been able to explain it or debunk it in any way.
Rob is a writer and comedian based in Louisville, KY. Follow @robfee on Twitter.