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Let there be ghosts

Published October 30. 2010 09:00AM

A couple of weeks ago, I was singing, "A haunting we will go, A haunting we will go, Heigh ho the dairy-o, a haunting we will go."

I was excited about a night of ghost hunting with the Blue Mountain Paranormal Society at Broney's Hotel in Lehighton, which has a reputation of being haunted. BMPS invites the public to take part in their investigations, using their equipment, just like on the hit show, "Ghost Hunters."

It has been reported that several occurrences have taken place during the course of BMPS's investigations. Running steps up stairs, mysterious lights, communications through a flashlight.

I was really hoping for a supernatural encounter. I was prepared to be scared out of my mind. I was going to be a Ghost Buster.

I told Betsy Burnhauser, who had invited Harry and me to join her and Cindy Gaspar, that I would have to wear a Depends diaper. Just in case.

I've been a fan of ghost stories ever since I can remember, but alas, I've never met one. Of course, if I had, I would have started running and would still be running today.

The closest I've ever come to a ghost was a few years ago at my painting teacher's house in Snydersville. Sandy lived in an old circa 1830s house. She and her family had many encounters over the years. None that frightened them enough to leave. They felt that who ever was sharing the house with them was friendly. Painting with her for several years, I kept waiting for "something" to happen.

One night, she sat next to a student across from me. I was pretty engrossed in painting when I became aware of whispering and some attention my way, and what I thought was an empty seat next to the right of me. I heard Sandy say quietly, "Don't tell her but he's sitting next to her." I looked up and saw Sandy and Chris gazing at the chair. And with that, every hair on my body stood up and I got a chill and a hot flash at the same time on my right side.

Sandy said, "Don't be scared, but he's sitting next to you."

Well, of course I looked! How could I not?

Nothing. Nada.

The stinker started laughing and said, "Gotcha!"

After my heart started beating again, disappointment creeped up.

What is it about wanting to be a witness to something scary but afraid you will?

Back to Broney's. I was ready for a good scare. And Bob Schaeffer, cofounder of BMPS, did his best to gear me up by talking about the things he has seen and heard as a paranormal investigator. (Fancy name for a Ghost Hunter.)

My group, led by John Bernhard, paranormal investigator, set up first in the storage room. I was totally psyched about the whole thing. After the first 15 minutes of waiting for something to happen, I was getting antsy.

Suddenly everything changed and I screamed and grabbed a hold of Harry's arm!

Everyone around me laughed.

One of the kids in our group had turned his flashlight off and the big brave Ghost Buster that I was, didn't process that, and I thought something spooky had just transpired.

Good thing I was wearing my Depends.

When we gathered in the pottery room, a flashlight was placed on the floor. It was the kind that you twist to turn on and off. We were encouraged to ask questions, inviting any spirits hanging around to "converse" with us by turning the flashlight on or off.

"Is there someone here?" was asked.

My eyes were glued to that flashlight just willing it to turn on.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a very faint light flickering until it came on full force!

Dang! Gasping, I grabbed Harry's arm and squeezed it. This was it! Someone from the other side was communicating with us!

The next question was, "Are you a man?" and the light went out!

Boy oh boy! This was the real thing!

For the next 15 minutes we asked questions and sat huddled around waiting for the flashlight to go on or off. I was in Ghost Heaven!

I'm sorry to say, that was the highlight of our ghostly encounters for the night. We left around midnight but I learned that later, one group said a bench moved in the basement.


As Harry and I drove home, I was all excited about the flashlight conversation. But Mr. Skeptical proceeded to debunk everything with "people walking around made the light turn on and off" and he gave this whole magnetic/heat story to explain away the whole thing.

Well. Maybe. But the ghost hunter in me believes Old Joe was really communicating with us.

So on that note, I'll just leave you with these thoughts.

What would you call the ghost of a door-to-door salesman? A dead ringer.

Why are so few ghosts arrested? It's hard to pin anything on them.

What kind of mistakes do ghosts make? Boo boos.

Where do ghosts mail their letters? At the ghost office

Why did the ghost cross the road? To get to "THE OTHER SIDE."

Duh ...

Happy Halloween!

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