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DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS? WANT PROOF? HERE IT IS
LAKE CUMBERLAND GHOST HUNTERS
This is one of my favorite pictures of an apparition. There are many more to see on their site, but I wanted to include this one here. I was fortunate to meet and become part of this group back in early 2007. Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate as long as I wanted as the distance was just to far to drive weekly. I had always believed in ghosts, but never having had a personal experience, I was focused on getting one. Boy did I get one. Here is the ghost story that still makes the hair on my neck stand up.
L.C.G.H. Pictures, Videos, and EVP's
ONE EVIL PLACE
THIS IS THE PLACE
THE DOLEN PLANTATION
My position with L.C.G.H. was EVP ( Electronic Voice Phenomenon) analyst.
Investigations ranged from famous haunted locations to locals hearing things. During outings a standard procedure applied. The video crew first set up the night vision cameras and confirm transmission back to the monitors at base. Two people manned the monitors at all times. Next, the audio crew would do an initial sweep of the house with DAR (digital audio recorders), asking questions and placing a few stationary DAR's. Finally the video crew, now with hand held night vision camcorders, the audio crew carrying DAR's, the demonology specialist and investigators all armed with digital cameras set in for a thorough sweep. Typically investigations last two to four hours. Usually, it's not until afterward, upon review, that proof is provided. At that point we take all findings to the client, and in extreme cases, request a second visit.
Never fearful, when I learned that L.C.G.H. had been contacted about an old farmhouse I was eager to go. The man that called owned a large amount of land with a rental home on it. Near this rental was a huge ancient farmhouse, falling apart.. The owner stated that his new tenant had been complaining of noises coming from the decrepit house. Loud bangs all hours of the night,and a man yelling from time to time. On 2-17-07 the group headed out at dusk. 9 pm is a high activity time, so we made every effort to have all equipment operating by that time. Upon arrival I climbed out and started a fresh DAR file, where I always state my own name, date, location and have all others speak their names so their voices can be ruled out during analysis.(upon review of the audio, when I ask everyone to state their name, a female voice said “Julie” loud and clear before the group replied. Research found no history of a Julie tied to that location).
The Dolen house had no front door and all the main planks to the porch were missing.Balancing from one floor joist to the next was the way in. All hardwood inside, only one room had a hole in the floor, but it was huge. Looking down into it you could see there was roughly 4' of a crawlspace before the dirt ground. Junk scattered below meant someone would have to go down there.Crossing the threshold onto solid flooring i felt an enormous sense of dread. An enormous 666 and GET OUT were crudely scrawled with red spray paint on the wall directly in front of me. Pentagrams of all sizes surrounded them.. To the right was a large living room with high ceilings providing a staircase to the second story, and to the left what appeared to be a dining room with the large hole in the floor. I ventured left. Green walls showed heavily from behind remaining tatters of floral wallpaper. Passing through the room landed me in the kitchen. A round white table stood chairless to one side, oddly placed counters were covered in debris, and a square stand alone sink held a 6” wide, full length portion of a door, knob still attached.
The floor was cheap linoleum, peeling away from the walls.. A small door was in the corner, on the same wall that held the only window in the room. Leaning over to open it, I discovered the tiniest of bathrooms straight out of a horror movie. Blood was everywhere. Long drips side by side started at ceiling and ran to the floor. Bloody hand prints on the mirror and back of the door, another behind the toilet and a smudged palm print in the floor. Spatters of blood were across the ceiling, walls and floor. The entire room only measured 4'X4' and held a stand up shower, a sink and a toilet. Calling out to the team, I backed out allowing others to view it one at a time. Shock and disgust where shared by all. Walking outside revealed the add on clearly. The kitchen was added first, the bathroom much later, and poorly done. Surveying the area in what light remained showed a few scattered tree clusters, easily 500 yards away in all directions. Tall grass went as far as the eye could see. From the front of the house, the much newer rental home could be seen easily, less than 300' away. Why anyone would build it so close to the dilapidated old farmhouse? To keep the vandalizing teens away? Where would they come from? We were miles off the road. It was most likely former tenants of that rental were the culprit. (I later learned the land owner had lived in the house for 15 years before renting it out to a childless woman.) Reentering the front door, as the back porch was more dangerous than the front, I opted to go right this time. A few of the team still lingered in the kitchen, while others were past the living room, that was surprisingly lacking damage. One of its four windows still held glass. A double wide doorway led to another huge room. Build in shelving implied it was once a library. At the far left of that wall was yet another door. It open to a small windowless room. Plastic tarps and garbage littered the floor. With nothing more to see, I returned to the base of the staircase. A couple of members were already waiting there. (We had to stay in rooms with at least one other person in them, and the group changed floor levels together) I joined the pair discussing theories on what had happened in that bathroom. Everything from murder, animal sacrifice, to staging was thrown in the mix. As the rest of the group assembled, I headed the line to the second floor. A small landing provided a door to the left and another to the right. The door on the left stood open, so I reached for the knob to my right. A bedroom with a closet missing doors was the only room on this side of the house. Windows lined the outside wall, and another on each short wall, making the count six total. Peeling wallpaper and glassless windows aside, there was no damage to this room. The night air had taken a chill and blew through rudely slamming the door. A few jumped and others laughed. Exiting and crossing the hall into a much larger room, the strips of missing wallpaper reviled uglier wallpaper beneath. A stone fireplace hid to the right of the door, unnoticed until I turned around. Blackened insides lent to the prospect that it worked. A door jam held only hinges and led to a “connection” room. It had one window, no closet, and another door directly in path of the first one. This room was freezing !Easily 30 degrees colder than the rest of the house. Our breath filled the air.
The demonology specialist walked in and immediately covered his mouth and nose. “My God!” he yelled and began to vomit as he fled the room. “You don't smell that? Its horrible!”
We didn't smell it, but we knew what it was. Sulfer. An overpowering smell of sulfer is common near and around demons. “J” was more sensitive to it than others, but it usually made its way to us also. Seeing the commotion, the base team radioed up asking what was wrong. The head investigator (H.I.) explained the issue. A man laughing came back over the radio and stopped all breathing in the room. Both the base team monitors were female. All eyes were round as our panicked H.I. called her name into the radio.
She replied, “Quit screwing around.”
Anger filled his face as he did a head count. “I'm not! Are you?! Who was that laughing?”
“It wasn't you?” was followed by a loud thud and then screaming. All members were running full force to the stairs. 'C' was in the front, and about halfway down he went flying outward then to the floor with a yelp. “Who f#*&ing shoved me?!” he yelled. One stopped to help him up as the rest of us raced out to the van. Two of us circled the van as the H.I. opened its side door to the tearful base team.
“I don't know, it sounded like someone kicked the back of the van.”
A few stayed to calm them down, and the rest spread out in pairs to look for our culprit. With nothing but tall grass, and the nearest trees much to far to have been reached by anyone fleeing, we returned to base. Some wanted to call it a night, others wanted to press on, since clearly there was something here. I felt very sick and for the first time, felt scared. Something was not right. Something bad was upon us and I felt it. After a brief discussion, it was decided that we would press on but in a timely manner. The two base team members remained in the van, two male members joined them to watch the monitors, and man the radio. Reassembling, the head count showed that 'J' was missing. We called his name, but got no reply. The H.I. kept the only other radio and maintained almost constant contact as we all went back inside to find him. Returning to the room we had occupied last, to find it empty, we reentered the freezing room, a stinch of sulfer now lingered. 'J', who is most sensitive to the smell, and who had just vomited due to its strength, sat motionless on the floor in the corner. Staring blindly across the room.
“J?” we exchanged glances amongst ourselves when he didn't respond.
The H.I. gave him a pat on the knee and again called him by name. This time he looked up. A chill ran all through me. His eyes were so empty. His expression blank. A weird smile crossed his face and he stood up.
“What in the hell is wrong with you man? Your acting f&#$ed up.”
His smile faded and a blink brought life back to his eyes. “I'm fine man, I just don't feel so hot.”
“What were you doing up here alone? You know that shit isn't safe.”
The language from the HI surprised me. It's a major violation of the rules to use any profanity whatsoever during an investigation. Since we record everything and display the results to the client, we cant risk overlap of bad language and evidence. That didn't seem to be a point of concern at the moment..
“I don't know. I don't remember coming up here.”
Knowing that a demon will try to connect with a human, inhabit him, largely contributed to the rules of never going alone, and never return to the site to communicate without the team. If you do, you're out. Period. Its far too dangerous. Demons often portray themselves as children, usually in need of help. That locks in the investigator, draws them back, fuels a desire into a need. Fearing this was what was going on, the H.I. radioed to 'B' at base. “I'm sending 'J' out to the van. Keep an eye on the monitors for him okay?”
A deep growling voice boomed from the speaker, “F&*# YOU.”
Every hair on my body stood up and my gut told me to run. We all stood frozen.
“B? Do you copy?”
The deep growl screamed “GET OUT NOOOOOOW!”
That was all I needed. I was halfway down the stairs before the others reached the top. I have never run away from anything, but my legs made that call for me. Shaking like a leaf and out of breath I crashed through the van door, fully panicked now.The girls were hugging and there was no color left in “B's” face. “C' was flipping out. “We got to get the f&$% out of here man, we gotta go, Im about to walk, I aint playing, we are leaving! We're leaving!”
The others piled in the van behind me, toppling over each other and closing the door. Fear present on every face, tears brimming in most eyes. Everyone totally overwhelmed and in full agreement to leave quickly brought out the problem. Thousands of dollars worth of equipment was still inside. Some said to leave it and come back in the morning, but the H.I. would hear nothing of that. He bought most of it himself and refused to leave it behind. It was time to draw straws. At least two people would have to run in, collect the electronics, then roll up extension cords running from the generator. The process normally takes about 20 min with 5 people. Feeling I was in danger, I didn't want to retrieve the audio recorders I had placed, one of which was upstairs in the far room. As I described to the two volunteers where I had placed them, a new wave of strength washed over me. I could do this. I will get them. Two others must have felt that same rejuvenation, and upon my announcement, decided to help also. Outside in a sports like huddle, we decided who would retrieve what. Not bothering to turn off the equipment, we all made a mad dash for our target items, snatched them up and ran for the door. Night vision cameras not unplugged, tripods not collapsed, audio still recording we spilled back onto the front lawn, trying not to break our necks crossing the porch.
The H.I., was trash talking the radio, trying to provoke another communication as he walked around the van. “Who is this? Where you at coward?”
I assumed he must believe that he was talking to a kid with a radio, because that was never the way to address an aggressive and threatening spirit or demon. That's begging for trouble. None came. We threw all the items in the van (also against the rules, everything has its own spot) and got out of there.“J” was especially quite and seemed calm, most of the others still worked up. Safely back on the main road, the laughter started. The “wow's” and “oh my gods” and the general relief in having survived. Upon review of the tapes, it was just as scary the second time. Footage was caught of “C” being pushed off of the stairs. I say off, because he flew forward, not down. Video and audio both captured the radio communication. Which we watched 50 times.
I continued to review audio. and on a recorder upstairs on the right was a little girls voice. “Look under the stairs.” was all she said, but she said it three times.
I played it for the group, and we decided to stay the night at the H.I's house and return in the morning. All night that was on my mind. Under the stairs, there was no under the stairs. No door anyway. The direction the stairs pointed would have resulted in “under the stairs” being accessed through the kitchen. Exactly opposite of the add on bathroom. I didn't think the two were related, but didn't rule it out.I tossed and turned falling into troubled sleep for a few hours before daybreak. Everyone was up and moving by 6 am, ready to head back. We were pretty rough looking at this point, I cant lie. Piling into the van, we started the hour long drive.. Reviewing the hundreds of pictures on all the cameras, everyone showed good ones to the group. Arriving at the long gravel driveway that led back to the house, a slight tension returned. Rounding the large cluster of trees and brush that hid the house, resulted in a slew of gasps. It was gone. The house was not there.
Less than three feet of ash was all that remained. It had burnt to the ground.
In disbelief, we all filed out and headed closer. No solid pieces of structure remained. The smell of burnt wood lingered in the ash, but did not fill the air. We left fewer that 10 hrs ago. Can a place burn completely down, and the ash cool in that amount of time?! Disappointment washed over me as I realized with all certainty, that I would never be looking under the stairs. I would never know if it was a little girl that needed help, or the demon himself toying with me. I believe it was a little girl. Tears rolled down my cheek and I felt I had let her down.“D” was already on his cellphone, called the owner, fearful we would be blamed. The old house had no working electricity and nothing we did could have resulted in fire. We had our speedy departure on tape, so liability was not a real issue.
No one knows what happened to the house. Perhaps there were vandals who happened to have a radio and came across our channel, then set the place on fire when we left. Maybe the evil of the house imploded and destroyed it alone. The tiniest part of me wondered if “J” had slipped out in the night and returned alone, but I never said it out loud. I looked over at him. He stood with both hands in his pockets, staring at the ruins before him shaking his head. That's all any of us could do. I continued ghost hunting for awhile after that, but it was different for me. I never again hoped for a run in with a ghost. My excitement was always laced with a bit of fear. And I never was the first up the stairs again.
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