Homage to Vincent Price, the Master of Horror

I’m not exactly sure when I discovered Vincent Price as someone I would long respect and adore. Perhaps it was when I was watching old horror movies with my mother as a young boy and soon began to recognize the all too familiar voice over and over. Or perhaps when I was a movie store manager in my early twenties, discussing films with customers and special ordering Price legacies. Or maybe it was when I watched Disney’s “The Great Mouse Detective” and heard that Professor Ratigan was a familiar voiceover. Does it matter? Not really, because after researching some of the old VHS cassettes that I once owned, I felt obligated to look further into an actor who not only had a passion for life but was forever present in the films and entertainment industry I loved.

This post will not come close to the number of accomplishments and appearances this 6’4″ tall man created. However, I will touch on the influence he’s made on the film industry and of course, provide more resources for you to dive into. Price was a remarkable character on and off the screen and now I realize not just his career is to be celebrated, but his life as well.

Price is very well known for his cult gothic following with such films as “The Fly” and “House of Wax”, but his outside passions were not exactly macabre like his acting career. Price was also known for his love of art and even had agreements with Sears Roebuck and Co. to sell art known as “The Vincent Price Collection”. I find this fascinating that he had such a passion not just for art, but for the arts as a whole.

His career started on stage, progressing his career from stage acting into the film industry where he held contracts with such companies as 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures. But it was his time with an independent film making company that brought about the films that caught my attention: films based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Those films included 7 features all directed by Roger Corman:

The notoriety of Price’s performance in these B-films brought them to top-notch theaters, proving that Price can not only carry a motion picture but in whatever type of role he portrayed.

Not just Cult Classics

Although Price may be well-loved for his dark sinister grin and matching voice, he was an actor, which means he worked outside of  his niche. In fact, it wasn’t until a decade into his acting career that he found the Master of Horror title. Price worked in films classified as dramas and comedy as well. The comedy stands as part of Price’s personality since he was known to make the sets of his films lighthearted and fun. And as for the drama portion of his career, he was a stunning man with gaunt features and he stood over six feet tall.

Tall, dark, and handsome was a bill Price fit perfectly well.

Price also took to commercials late in his career advertising darkly themed and Halloween oriented advertising for companies like Chips Ahoy!, Tilex, and Polaroid. Price also took to board game commercials with dark undertones such as Hangman and Stay Alive. You can check some of those commercials out here: Vincent Price, commercial actor.

With over 200 credits to film and television, 8 books published on his life, art and cooking, and numerous radio appearances, Vincent Price was definitely involved with the arts. This post doesn’t even begin to mention the accomplishments made by Price’s love for the arts.

The gist for this post is not to show appreciation for an actor in macabre/horror films, but rather to pay homage to a man who loved the arts for what they do to the public. It was essentially Price’s voice and stature that lead him to horror films, but his love for the theatre is what kept him alive in acting.

I also wanted to leave you with your own research on Price’s life and career. I can’t possibly write a blog post long enough to cover the greatness he provided. Check out this tribute by A&E Biography below. You’ll get a bigger picture of what an influence Price was off the screen as well as in front of the camera.

In Closing

I’m encouraging you to check out the articles and links I’ve posted below in the references. Like other ghost stories and secret treasure hunts I dive into, I found myself in a rabbit hole of information about Vincent. Some of the information is generalized like this post, but there’s a bunch of nuggets of trivia about Price I never realized.

As for closing this post, I can only dream that Price is haunting me as I write this tribute about him and he smiles down on these words with a sinister grin and a thrilling laugh. Thank you, Mr. Price for inspiring many like me to not just enjoy your films and work, but look to you as an inspiration to be a good human doing what we love to do as you did.

 

References Used to create this Article

A&E (Director). (2014). Vincent Price Biography [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hry5nHreU38

Castle, W. (Director). (1959). House on Haunted Hill [Motion Picture].

Director: William Castle. (1959). Still taken from film “House on Haunted Hill”. House on Haunted Hill.

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2020, May 23). Vincent Price Biography. Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Vincent-Price

Green, A. (2015, October 15). 10 Spooky Commercials starring Vincent Price. Retrieved from Mental Floss: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/69915/10-spooky-commercials-starring-horror-legend-vincent-price

IMDb. (n.d.). Vincent Price Biography. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001637/bio?ref_=nm_ql_dyk_2#trivia

Price, V. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2020, from Vincent Price: https://www.vincentprice.com/

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Vincent Price. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Price#Books

 

 

Three books to study Cartomancy

The books listed below are three of MY favorite books to use when I’m diving into Cartomancy, the reading of playing cards as oracle cards. You can check out the podcast episode on this week’s topic here: Stories in the Cemetery.

I’ve posted on this topic before, so in case you missed it: Cartomancy.

I’ve added Amazon links for you to check out the books for yourself and if you use the links to make a purchase, you’ll be helping out Stories in the Cemetery.

Playing Cards: Predicting your Future by Hali Morag

This is an excellent book for the basics of Cartomancy. The book explains the meaning of the cards as well as gives you beginning spreads to work with. For those just starting to dive into Cartomancy, this is a must-have; it’s inexpensive and is full of great information.

The Giant Book of Card Divination: 130 New and Traditional Techniques by Jeanne Ruland

This is a great accompaniment to Morag’s book listed above or to go with the Camp’s book listed below. The pages provide enough spreads for all aspects of your life and will give you detailed layouts with illustrations as to how your spread should look. A detailed view into your life along with how to read each card in its position is how this book can accelerate your insight into Cartomancy.

Destiny Cards by Robert Camp

Once you feel comfortable taking the plunge into the complexity of playing cards, their meanings, and how they can help you, this is the book you’ll need. A very detailed insight into your birth card and how the zodiac and planet alignment helps determine your destiny. The cards, once the methods are understood, are a great way to look into short and long timespans of your life based on your birth card. This book comes highly recommended.

Revisiting Alice Flagg

On this week’s post/podcast, I chat with Josh and Cait from Dream Team Urbex, a paranormal team in Fayetteville, NC. Josh got in touch with me in regards to my earlier post on Alice Flagg before his investigation.

Take a look at his video of the investigation:

Our discussion includes revealing some EVP’s that Josh and Cait found along with some mishaps that happened to his equipment.

A Revealing Picture of an Alice Belin Flagg Headstone

A few weeks ago, I received an anonymous email (probably from one of you) that held this picture. When I tried to reply to the email thanking them for the picture and to ask more questions, I received an error message that the email address no longer existed.

Alice Flagg

The picture you see is the headstone of Alice Belin Flagg, the daughter of Allard Flagg and niece to the legendary Alice Flagg. Yes, legendary Alice’s brother named his daughter after his sister.

The Question Remains of “Where is the Legendary Alice Flagg?”

If there are no records of legendary Alice at All Saint’s Cemetery and she’s not buried at Old Gunn, the location I presume is where the tombstone picture came from, then where is legendary Alice truly buried?

Josh says he found evidence that legendary Alice is buried in Charleston. Lucky for me, that’s where I live now.

Time for some deeper dive research in finding the true burial site of the legendary Alice Flagg that is claimed to be haunting cemeteries along the Grand Strand looking for her engagement ring.

What do you think?  Have you found evidence at All Saint’s Cemetery or at Old Gunn Church (Prince Frederick Chapel). Let us know in the comments.

Check out Dream Team Urbex on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/dreamteamurbex/

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Using Laser Grid Pens on Your Paranormal Investigation

Laser grid pens are by far, one of the cheapest ways to update your paranormal investigation kit. I use them on my Stories in the Cemetery Interactive Ghost Hunting Experiences with my guests in Charleston, SC. When researching why and how to use this inexpensive paranormal tool, I thought I should clarify a few things about this gadget.

Laser Grid Pens are part of a Paranormal Toolkit

First, this tool should be used in collaboration with a number of other tools in your toolkit. If you don’t have a toolkit, see my recommendations of the equipment I use and the upgrades planned on the Ghost Hunting Equipment page. The grid pen should never be used alone for a claimed haunting. Like other tools, this is not an “I have paranormal evidence from a grid pen only” type of tool. When used with video cameras, EMF detectors, EVP recorders, and other tools, you can then put clues together that a paranormal entity is present. Never claim you have a haunting because a laser was disrupted and you have nothing else to back it up.

What is a Laser Grid Pen?

Think of your cat’s favorite laser toy on steroids. The simplistic pen projects one laser into thousands of little “dots”, based on which tip you have on the pen, into a darkened area or room. Green is usually the color of choice on this device because it can easily be seen in the dark.

The basic use of this pen (which is how we use this device on my tours) is to hold as still as possible for the laser grid displayed not to move. Remember, that my tours are given on the streets of Charleston, SC as a walking tour. In other words, we are quickly investigating several locations and learning about the history of the location. Tripods are available when investigating one location or one room and with the camera setup, the investigator can leave the room and allow the camera to validate any movement.

Once the laser grid is in place, the purpose is that the investigator can then detect disturbances in the grid or an absence of light, thus detecting an entity nearby. To understand what I mean by this, I’m sharing GhostStop.com’s video for the basic use of a grid pen. Without visuals, describing what to look for is near impossible.

Streaks of light in the grid?

Glad you asked.

Ghost hunting television shows are usually our main source for finding what works in the field and the grid pen originated on Ghost Hunters International. Here’s a clip of the team at GHI showing true evidence to their client.

I want to point out that in the still image of the evidence that there seem to be streaks of light in the grid. Take a look at the video again to see what I mean.

This streak of light is caused by something translucent in the grid, thus distorting or bending the laser to seem extended. We’ve all read accounts of someone seeing a “spirit” or “ghost” and my personal belief is that the person claiming to witness this anomaly has the ability to see what others cannot, or has this ability because they were supposed to see the anomaly. In other words, the person claiming to see a spirit has been chosen to witness the supernatural event. But what about the rest of us? The skeptics? That’s where a laser grid pen comes into play.

What if you just don’t have the same ability as those that claim to witness something supernatural? The laser grid pen gives us the capability to manipulate the space we are investigating to witness what we cannot see with the naked or what we were not “chosen” to see.

I usually demonstrate a translucent anomaly with some type of smoke passing through the grid and how it creates “streaks” of light instead of a disturbance of the grid on a solid surface.  This is great for locations that have a reported seen spirit on location such as the Pinckney Mansion site.

Types of Laser Grid Tools

There are some general issues with using the inexpensive laser grid pen. Through experience and research from other paranormal investigators, the pen is known to heat up and distort the displayed grid by either dimming or pulsing, thus burning through batteries rather quickly. For long investigations, say overnight, this is not an ideal tool to rely on for true evidence.

For the sake of my 90-minute walking tours, this is an excellent purchase. The pen does not contain an “on/off” switch. It has a manual button only, so unless you purchase the ring or tripod for a long investigation, expect to hold this button down while investigating. Again, perfectly legitimate when walking the streets of Charleston.

I would recommend using something with a fuller grid as well as an on/off toggle for long investigations for one location. The GS1 by Ghost Stop is a part of the upgrade plan I have for my personal toolkit. The grid displayed is red in color and has full lines (think of grid paper you used in high school).

I am curious to use both the green grid pen “dots” in conjunction with the GS1’s red lines for a more accurate reading. Granted, the video above suggests taking any video to a 3-D modeler to give you the full shape of your anomalies, but what if you could physically see more of your supernatural activity by using both grids together?

Paranormal Evidence with a Grid Pen

During my tours, my guests and I have caught quick glimmers from the pen, but not a full-on disturbance in the grid. These “glimmers” could not be debunked, nor did I capture anything on video. (Using video on my tours is completely up to the guests, otherwise, legalities of waivers and the like would be involved).

Here is a video I found on YouTube of an investigator experimenting with his grid pen. It should give you a bit more of an idea of what to look for when investigating your own locations. However, I am going to highly recommend you use this tool in collaboration with other tools. An anomaly with a grid pen does not justify any evidence. Remember, we are investigators, we need evidence from multiple tools simultaneously before a claim can be made.

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always

Buy Me A Coffee

Stories in the Cemetery Tours

Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. We’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

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References Used to Inspire this Blog Post

Ghost Stop. “GhostStop Ghost Hunting Equipment Demo: Laser Grid Burst Pen.” n.d. 13 May 2020. <https://www.ghoststop.com/Laser-Grid-Scope-p/laser-greengrid.htm&gt;.

—. “Laser Grid GS1 Ghost Detection System.” n.d. 13 May 2020. <https://www.ghoststop.com/Laser-Grid-GS1-p/laser-lasergrid-gs1.htm&gt;.

Higgy Pop. “Detecting Ghosts with a Laser Grid.” 8 May 2017. Higgy Pop. https://www.higgypop.com/news/detecting-ghosts-with-lasers/. 13 May 2020.

MichaelDMaGee. “Laser Grid – Real Paranormal Activity Part 34.1.” 10 October 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX56XSJ6pcc.

Seeks Ghosts. “Pros and Cons of Laser Grids.” 23 April 2013. Seeks Ghosts Blog. https://seeksghosts.blogspot.com/2013/04/pros-and-cons-of-laser-grids.html. 13 May 2020.

 

Thermodynamics and Cold Spots

Cold spots are just one of the clues I look for when I’m out hunting with my Stories in the Cemetery ghost hunting experience guests. In this blog post, we’ll discuss cold spots, the science behind them (thermodynamics), and how to measure them.  This is a great topic for those looking to go on their first investigation or for hunters who don’t know why we use thermometers for ghost hunting. Let’s get into it.

Basic Ghost Hunting Skills

Among using spirit boxes for communication, grid pens for catching an apparition, or motion sensor alarms, measuring cold spots with the correct types of thermometers and cameras is common for ghost hunters. But why?

Cold spots are said to manifest when the energy from heat in the air is used, thus creating a cold spot. So what does that mean exactly? A cold “spot” measured in paranormal terms is a small area that is less warm than the surrounding area of a room or airspace that cannot be explained by any manmade means (i.e. an open window or door causing a draft).

How do Ghosts create a cold spot?

Ghost hunters will tell you that spirits need energy to manifest or electromagnetic sources to manipulate communication. Like the spirit boxes I talked about earlier this month, spirits need an electronic item or device to manipulate to have a medium for communication. Cold spots aren’t all that different from this phenomenon, only they use natural energy, heat, to manifest a way to communicate.

Heat is an energy form and when that energy form is absent or lesser than the normal temperature of a space, a cold spot is formed. This is just a clue that a spirit or ghost might be nearby, especially if a thorough debunking process has been followed.

Types of thermometers to find a cold spot

An infrared thermometer measures the surface of an object or person through one laser. The laser shot from this type of thermometer is only influenced by where the laser lands, not through the airspace it shoots through. Using one of these thermometers in a joint effort with others can help you identify cold spots during your ghost hunt.

I personally use an infrared to get a base reading of the temperature around me before referring to other thermometers. During my tours, I measure the temperature of the closest building, the ground I’m standing on, and a piece of nature such as a tree. Measuring these three types of items gives me a perception of the average temperature of the space that I am in before moving on to the next thermometer.

I also use a psychrometer during the ghost hunt. This device measures air space that an infrared thermometer cannot. A psychrometer is designed to measure humidity but also gives air temperature through a solid probe on the top of the device. Measuring both humidity and temperature can also tell us more about cold spots.

I’ve tested my psychrometer with a small space heater moving the probe within two inches of the heat curtain provided by the heater. Although a slow process of determining the actual temperature, the user can still watch the temperature rise and fall when heat or the absence of heat is occurring in real-time.

A thermal imaging camera or device can also be used. This device gives a heat map of the surrounding space with temperatures. I have one of these devices on order and I will do a separate post on just this device. The unique feature of this gadget is that it will give you a full spectrum of temperatures on-screen of a surrounding area.

Thermodynamics

Using the laws of science as armor, skeptics will always pull science as part of the arsenal to battle the existence of the paranormal. Cold spots are no different. It is the Law of the Conservation of Energy that is used to disprove paranormal cold spot theories.

A great arguing article by Rob Schwarz, Why Would Ghosts Cause Cold Spots? argues both points, the existence, and the non-existence of the spiritual realm. The arguing point of Thermodynamics in many articles can only argue the laws of the theory, not the opposing argument if the laws (that were made by man) are false. Schwarz makes a great argument for believers by saying, “There’s no hypothesis being tested, no experimentation, no scientific method. Only observation.”

So what is Thermodynamics? And why is it being used to battle the cold spot theory?

Thermodynamics has three laws:

1st Law: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. 

2nd Law: The entropy of any isolated system always increases. Isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermal equilibrium—the state of maximum entropy of the system.

3rd Law: The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero.

Laws of Thermodynamics from Lumen Learning: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/introchem/chapter/the-three-laws-of-thermodynamics/

It is said that the manifestation of cold spots from a paranormal entity breaks the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. In other words, for every “cold spot” found, there would be an equal “warm” spot found nearby for equilibrium.  I’ll argue that this is false.

Instead of a warm spot nearby, what if the absence of heat energy from a part of airspace was equally distributed around the cold spot instead of being evenly distributed to a similar in size airspace nearby?

As an example, think of a blue ball representing a cold spot. And another ball that is red representing a warm spot. The surrounding air is yellow.

What skeptics argue is that if the blue ball appears, then a red ball also appears and the air remains yellow.

Law of Thermodynamics picture 1

What I’m suggesting is that if a blue ball appears, then the red ball does not exist, but the yellow air turns green, thus creating a richer blue ball.

law of thermodynamics picture 2

Cold Spots and the  power of suggestion

Do cold spots in a house mean that my house is haunted? Not necessarily. You could just be living in a drafty house where the air conditioning or ducts in your heating system cause the air to move creating cold spots. It is a very logical answer when you begin debunking the cold spot.

One thing to remember when debunking a cold spot is to always work with someone else. Ask them to tell you what might be going on in a room without telling them that you found a cold spot. Having them find it on their own will validate your findings, not to mention, another person’s perspective in debunking always helps.

The power of suggestion states that if you tell someone that there is a cold spot, they will essentially feel it as well. Magicians will use this tactic in opposition telling their audience to feel the “heat” being drawn to them to get them to “buy in” to the illusion they are creating.

Skeptics will often use humidity as a piece of argument as well, hence why I like to use the psychrometer on my tours. The higher density of humidity will make the skin feel cool, thus creating a theoretical cold spot. But if the humidity is equal in and around the cold spot area, then the “humidity creates a cool area” theory can then be eliminated.

Conclusion of Cold Spots

I’ve discovered random cold spots on my tour without the power of suggestion to my guests that also feel the same cold spot. I tell my guests to watch the psychrometer and alert of any drops in temperature from our original ground reading with the infrared at the beginning of the tour. If a temperature begins to drop in a new location, we measure with the infrared thermometer again to get a base reading for the new area.

I would love to hear your stories on cold spots you have encountered or have been able to measure. Show the evidence to the skeptics that paranormal cold spots are possible without any other explanation. We, dear believers, need to stick to our theories and debunk the logical explanations for the illogical happenings we find.

Leave your comments and evidence below.

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always

Buy Me A Coffee

Stories in the Cemetery Tours

Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. We’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

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References Used to Inspire this Blog Post

Lumens Learning. (n.d.). The Three Laws of Thermodynamics. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from Lumens Learning:https://courses.lumenlearning.com/introchem/chapter/the-three-laws-of-thermodynamics/

McLeod, J. (2012, October 29). Ghost Spots: A Weather Folklore. Retrieved from Farmer’s Almanac: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather-ology-special-ghost-spots-16390

Paranormal Authority. (2020). Cold Spots-Could it be a ghost or a spirit? Retrieved from Paranormal Authority: https://paranormalauthority.com/cold-spots/

Schwarz, R. (2014, June 17). Why Would Ghosts Cause Cold Spots? Retrieved from Stranger Dimensions: https://www.strangerdimensions.com/2014/06/17/ghosts-cause-cold-spots/

Townsend, M. (2011). Paranormal Cold Spots. Retrieved from Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP): http://www.assap.ac.uk/newsite/htmlfiles/Cold%20spots.html

Spirit Boxes

To Listen to the accompanying podcast episode, visit “Stories in the Cemetery” or search in your favorite podcatcher.

Spirit boxes have long been used in the ghost hunting expedition. I use them on my Stories in the Cemetery Ghost Hunting Experiences with my guests as well as on my personal ghost hunting endeavors. Let’s get into what they do, where you can get them and how to listen for clues to the unknown question of the afterlife.

How They Work

Spirit boxes are, in a nutshell, radio scanners. The unique feature is that you can set how fast or slow to “sweep” the stations. Through the sweeping of the stations, an investigator can hear DJ’s, song lyrics, or disembodied voices over static.

If the sweep rate is fast enough to not allow anything to be heard other than a clicking static, then words from anyone are going to be difficult to hear or comprehend. I tell my guest using the spirit box on my tours to shout out anything they hear from either a DJ, song lyric or any disembodied voices over the static. I believe that due to the fast sweep rate of the radio frequencies, that if something comes through, even from a DJ, that we as the investigators were meant to hear that word or phrase. It takes a solid second or two to say a 1-2 syllable word and if the sweeping stops for that amount of time, I take that as a clue or a spirit wishing to communicate.

Types

Currently, I’m using an SB-7 device. I like the sweeping range of both AM and FM frequencies and it has proven a useful tool for my tours. The only unfortunate component on this device is that the external speaker is weak and requires an external speaker to listen while hunting outdoors.

I will say that for the sake of my tours, without the attached speaker, the hunter who gets this device on my tours plays an important role. They have to literally hold to their own ear and tell the rest of us what they hear. It gives a unique perspective of what they hear.

I’m looking into purchasing the S-Box for a few reasons. It comes with a loudspeaker already built into the device. Also, it has a recording feature for recording EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) with an SD card. This would give another perspective from a different device other than the voice recorder I’m already using. Two different recordings of the same tour might give more evidence into the paranormal realm.

Spirit Box Apps

Along with two manual spirit boxes running, you’ve all heard me talk about the spirit box apps that I use. They’re corny, but I love them to death, no pun intended.

“Ghost Detector” is the main app that I’ll leave running through the duration of the tour. I also use “Ghost Detector” when I’m the guest on a historical tour or on a personal investigation.

The app works like a game or hoax for college kids or a drinking game. Once you turn it on, the app will give green bars and a hissing effect for spookiness. Corny as hell. But the great feature is that the app will give words in the middle of the screen, an interpretation of what the app thinks a spirit might have said. Granted, this game-like app can randomly spit out words at will. I will say about 40-75% of the words that come across the screen are completely random. But the 25-60% that aren’t random are actual clues and communication to the situation at hand.

stories in the cemetery ghost detector app

I’m a believer that spirits from another realm can adjust and manipulate electronic devices at will to communicate. This is why I believe that the communication I receive through apps like “Ghost Detector” is working at least 25% of the time when there is paranormal activity occurring. I use EMF detectors and other gadgets to ensure that there is indeed communication from the spirit realm. This is my belief and until you see it or experience this phenomenon for yourself, you will be a skeptic of such devices or applications.

Another app that I use with activity from other devices is “Paranormal Hauntings” by Brian Holloway. This app acts as a reverse spirit box. In other words, it takes radio frequencies, scans them, but plays back the words from DJs, songs and other programs in reverse. First off, it sounds amazingly creepy and cool. But mostly, it allows the listener to make sense of the gibberish that comes through. Here’s an example of the reverse spirit box activity I captured one night with two guests. I asked the spirit to tell us her name.

As we left the site, I told her goodbye. She responded in the same voice as when she told us her name.

Non-Believers

There are plenty of studies that oppose that spirit boxes and EVP’s actually work. So what’s the difference between an EVP and a voice from a spirit box?

An EVP is a voice or sound recorded on a voice recorder. Some voice recorders have even been created with multiple channels to distinguish sounds heard. (New blog post on this topic later). But the science behind EVP is that it is a voice or spiritual entity that cannot be heard through naked hearing or rather, without a special device like a voice recorder.

Voices heard through a spirit box are sometimes heard over white noise. This is where the skeptics begin analyzing our data and why we hear these voices. I’m not going to quote or even give the details of these studies, but I will point you in the direction of one in particular that I found very interesting. I’m sure you will too. Check out the skeptics and non-believers here.

Conclusion

I love spirit boxes. They are indeed a useful tool when I’m investigating a new location or taking guests ghost hunting on my tours. I love when two spirit boxes (app and manual) sync up and give me two relevant or similar clues without the other hunter knowing what happened. I often find this in the audio later or after we’ve moved on from a location. You’ll have to hear these for yourself since I record every tour. Check out my tour audio here.

As for now, I’m looking to add the S-Box to my Ghost Hunting toolkit. I’ll probably do an unboxing video or show it off during a private investigation soon. Be sure to follow me on social media to see how this device works.

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always

Buy Me A Coffee

Stories in the Cemetery Tours

Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. We’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

toppng.com-book-now-button-831x287

References Used to Inspire this Post

Nees, Michael. “Hearing ghost voices relies on pseudoscience and fallibility of human perception.” 30 October 2015. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/hearing-ghost-voices-relies-on-pseudoscience-and-fallibility-of-human-perception-48160. 16 April 2020.

Nicholson Ph.D, Carol. “Difference Between Spirit Boxes and EVPs.” 2020. Imagine Spirit. https://imaginespirit.com/evps-and-spirit-boxes/. 16 April 2020.

—. “Spirit Box Ghost Responses.” 2020. Imagine Spirit. https://imaginespirit.com/spirit-box-ghost-responses/. 16 April 2020.

Villar, Ashley and Alex McCarthy. “The Statistics of Spirit Boxes.” 4 November 2017. Medium. https://medium.com/@astrovav/the-statistics-of-spirit-boxes-2cf021bf6c3. 16 April 2020.

EMF Detectors

To Listen to the podcast episode on this topic, click here: Anchor

For my Stories in the Cemetery Ghost Hunting Experience tours in downtown Charleston, my guests get to use real paranormal tools of the trade. Those tools include grid pens, various thermometers, a spirit box among some other gadgets. The most important of all these gadgets is the EMF Detector (or electromagnetic field meter).

You may have seen this gadget used on paranormal TV shows or have heard about some digital apps for your phone. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of the EMF detector, how it’s used, why it’s used and give you some real data about this gadget.

Types

There are several types of EMF detectors. The most commonly used in a paranormal investigation is the K-II meter, a single axis point meter that measures all electromagnetic fields. What this means is that it can pick up fields created by your cell phone or smartwatch. This is the meter I use with my tours for the simplicity of use. If used properly, this meter can and will detect activity. It’s a great device for this type of investigation because there is no scientific data being recorded for studying. It has simple LED lights so that it can be seen in the dark and well, it’s an inexpensive piece of equipment.

The trifield meter measures with three-axis points for accuracy. Some trifield meters can even separate the AC/DC types of readings to eliminate any manmade electromagnetic fields like microwaves and cell phones. This leaves only anomaly fields to be detected as pieces of data that paranormal activity is actually occurring during your investigation. I will be investing in this slightly more expensive piece of equipment in the near future for my tours so that guests can see the K-II reading as well as the trifield reading to make a determination of an actual haunting.

What is an Electromagnetic Field?

Without having to write a full textbook on the subject of EMF’s, I’m going to add this video from Krystal Leandra. She does an excellent job explaining the physics of electromagnetic fields and why EMF meters are so important to our investigations. Leandra has other great videos too, so be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Reading an EMF Detector on my Tours

Great, so now that you understand (or kinda understand) how EMF’s work and why measuring them is so important to paranormal investigators. Let’s dive into why this gadget is so important during one of my tours.

At the beginning of all my tours, I inform my guests that the EMF detector will lead us into other uses of the paranormal investigation equipment. With spikes on the K-II meter, we may be able to communicate with spirit activity through spirit boxes, catch quick glimmers with the grid pen or even see a drop in temperature. The person using the K-II needs to be vocal and watching the meter consistently and tell the rest of the group when he/she sees a spike.

We first try to debunk the spike on the meter. Is it pulsing? Is it a steady light? Are there streetlights or crosswalks nearby? Erraticism is what we are after. We need that erratic array of lights moving all over the meter in order to determine if we need to move forward with other gadgets or if we are standing on an electrical grid.

Please remember, that my ghost hunting experience tours are on the streets of Charleston. I do not take my guests inside any building, nor do I have anything rigged in any of the set locations. In fact, I cannot guarantee that the tour through the alleged haunted locations will even give us activity during that tour.  I’ve had several occasions where a very active location gives off absolutely no activity or data from time to time. This proves not only to me that the location is haunted, but also to my skeptics in the group who listen to previous tours before coming to their own tour.

I record all my tours for two reasons: first, to listen for EVP’s or electronic voice phenomena, and second, to give my guests a souvenir for taking the tour. All of my tours are available here:Tour Audio.

Skepticism

Scientists for decades claim that using an EMF detector while ghost hunting does not claim that there truly is an entity nearby or that a spike on the meter determines paranormal activity.

It is said that electromagnetic fields can have an effect on the brain, thus causing the brain to hallucinate and create the illusion that spirit activity is occurring. These studies started with a neuroscientist, Michael Persinger who claimed that hallucinations can occur when dealing with specific frequencies in electromagnetic fields.

Through research on the effects of EMF’s on the brain, I came across the World Health Organization’s article on those effects. It reads in conclusion:

There is little scientific evidence to support the idea of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Recent Scandinavian studies found that individuals do not show consistent reactions under properly controlled conditions of electromagnetic field exposure. Nor is there any accepted biological mechanism to explain hypersensitivity.” (World Health Organization)

We are all exposed to electromagnetic fields on a daily basis through cell phones, kitchen appliances and the numerous screens we use in our daily life. Although consistent screen usage can and will cause headaches and/or migraines, these are minor effects caused by excessive usage.

I usually give the EMF detector to the skeptic on my tours. I can almost certainly guarantee at least one major skeptic per evening. I do this because it is up to the skeptic to be amazed when the meter lights up and their reaction is hard to hide.

Using EMF Apps

I keep a backup EMF meter on my phone while touring with my groups. Although I haven’t researched the exact technology of how this works through a smartphone, I have tested it with several locations and around my office equipment. They seem to not be as sensitive to EMF detection as say a K-II meter, but still gives a reading nonetheless. Some of them even give you a description of what could be giving off the electromagnetic field which makes investigating very interesting.

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Conclusion

I will be investing in a trifield meter for future use on my tours and for my private investigations. This should provide more data and eliminate some debunking that I normally would have to do with the K-II meter. I will update this post once the gadget is received and tested. Who knows, I may do an “unboxing” video.

As for my belief in EMF meters; I believe they can determine unknown forces in the earth’s electromagnetic field. As for proving this theory, hopefully someday with all my research now posted on this website, my work will be studied more in-depth by those looking to prove the validity of the gadgets we choose to use while ghost hunting.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and show me your gadgets! Which EMF meter are you using for your investigations? What evidence have you recorded with them?

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References used to inspire this post

Frazier, Karen. “How EMF Meters Work.” 2020. love to know. https://paranormal.lovetoknow.com/ghosts-hauntings/how-emf-meters-work. 6 April 2020.

Leandra, Krystal. How does an EMF meter actually work in Paranormal? 27 May 2017. YouTube. 6 April 2020. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzS7C0y_i50&gt;.

Radford, Benjamin. “Can Electromagnetic Fields Create Ghosts?” June 2017. Skeptical Inquirer. https://skepticalinquirer.org/2017/05/can-electromagnetic-fields-create-ghosts/. 6 April 2020.

World Health Organization. “Electromagnetic Fields.” n.d. https://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index1.html.

 

The Oddity of Orbs

To listen to this week’s podcast episode on The Oddity of Orbs, visit https://anchor.fm/storiesinthecemetery/episodes/E28-Oddity-of-Orbs-ebvba1

Orbs have been caught on camera since the invention of the picture capturing device. This is a known fact. You, dear reader, have probably caught some miracles of light on photos without even realizing it. Go ahead, go through some old photographs, I dare you.

But what exactly is an orb? Some would say that it’s dust, pollen, an insect, an infrared flare of light reflection, or any other normality to debunk the situation. But what about those that can’t be debunked? What are they? Let’s dive in.

Orbs Defined

By definition, an orb is just a spherical globe. This could be a number of things including a crystal ball, a soccer ball, or the earth. By definition, all these physical objects meet the criteria for the definition.

In the paranormal world that I live in, if someone says orb, my mind automatically goes to a floating ball of light in a picture or in a video. On my Stories in the Cemetery Interactive Ghost Hunting Experiences, I encourage my guests to take plenty of pictures during the tour of downtown Charleston. And I always encourage to take two pics of the identical placement. This is to ensure that if something is caught, then we can either debunk it with the following or previous picture. The following is a picture taken by one of my guests.

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At first glance, we were interested in the top right corner and the middle left side of the original photo. We were able to debunk this as streams of light coming in from other corners outside the photo.

But a deeper look at the photo, we noticed a blue streak. Analyzing this streak, we first thought it to be a dragonfly as they are common in Charleston. But the blue depiction doesn’t reveal the body of a dragonfly and is independently depicted as a streak.

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The photographer who analyzed this knows the different cameras on phones and was able to debunk the top right mass and left side mass rather quickly. However, the blue streak of light in the foliage cannot be debunked since the foliage is in clear focus. This could possibly be a dragonfly in flight or could be a mysterious blue streak of light caught in a haunted area of Charleston. Leave your comments below.

Orb Colors

For the rest of this post, we are going to allege that most orbs that haven’t been debunked by skeptics are that of the spiritual world in which we can’t fully understand or explain.

The defined colors found in orbs hold meaning. To some, it shows the mood or personality of a spirit. There’s an excellent article on orb colors by Beth Asaff entitled “The Different Colors of Ghost Orbs and Their Meanings”. The article explains how orbs are spiritual energy and how each color refers to what type of energy you are dealing with. I urge you to use this article for the colored orbs that you will find in your own photographs and videos. But here is a simple breakdown of the article’s color meanings:

  • Clear: Communicative energy
  • Black/Brown: Unsafe area
  • Red/Orange: Safety and Security
  • Green: Human spirit/one with nature
  • Blue: Psychic energy/truth
  • Gray: Fear
  • Pink: Love

As much as I want to believe that the blue streak in the picture above is some type of anomaly and part of the supernatural world, I can’t justify that it’s not a dragonfly like the shape depicts. I’d love to hear what you think. Drop me a line in the comments below.

Michael Newton, Ph.D

I, for one, believe that the colors of the orbs do hold significant meanings. Most of my fiction work is based on a surreal reality of studies done by Michael Newton, Ph.D. He wrote two volumes of his studies of reincarnation and life between lives called “Journey of Souls.”

The study he did was through hypnosis of subjects outreaching into their souls and revealing the in between life of a soul. The significance of these hypnotized subjects is that they all explain a divinity of colors that advance the soul through each reincarnation. Fascinating topic for a fiction author who needed a description of the afterlife. All of my works reflect this depiction of Newton’s study. Check out “Byron” if you would like my take on the study.

In the conclusion of Volume 1 of Newton’s “Journey of Souls” he writes:

“We are divine but imperfect beings who exist in two worlds, material and spiritual. It is our destiny to shuttle back and forth between these universes through space and time while we learn to master ourselves and acquire knowledge. We must trust in this process with patience and determination. Our essence is not fully knowable in most physical hosts, but Self is never lost because we always remain connected to both worlds.” —Michael Newton, Ph.D from “Journey of Souls” 1996

Newton’s theory shows the color hierarchy of souls in a succession pattern. Taken from an article that explains chakras, the color scheme matches that of Newton’s theoretical pattern of the age of the soul:

newtons stages of reincarnation
Diagram from https://eternalcircleblog.wordpress.com/consciousness-and-spirituality/auras-soul-age-colors-and-chakras/

Along with the article about the energy of orb colors, I highly recommend you use the chakra/soul chart as well. By using both charts, we begin to understand the orb and why it may have shown itself either in photograph form or in video format.

Proof of an intelligent orb

This video was sent to me by a Facebook fan who wanted some answers. It shows an orb coming in from the right side of their porch and intelligently moving through a plant and then behind the left pillar.

Notice how the orb goes through the plant while the plant moves in the opposite direction. This debunks any wind that could be passing through the area.

The orb also goes behind the pillar. I’ve blown this video up on my screen to see if it is depicted on the left pillar and it is clear that it moves behind the pillar.

Watch the video several times to see how the wind patterns and plant movement differ from that of the orb. This is clearly an intelligent orb and with the yellowish hue, it tells me that this is a middle stage soul passing through and not just a dust particle on the lens of the camera.

Conclusion

My conclusion on orbs is that they need to be debunked before any mysterious conclusion can be made. Skeptics will bash this post and try to debunk any circle of light that appears at the bottom in the comments, I’m sure of it.

However, as I’ve stated in my fiction work “Growing Dim”:

“We are raised in a society where we are taught to believe a more logical reason for an illogical happening rather than the illogical reason for something which may be of the unknown, hence, why the logical answer is illogical to the logical person.” —Nicholas McGirr

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always

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Stories in the Cemetery Tours

Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. We’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

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References Used to Inspire this Post

ArtMart. “Ghostly Orbs: Fact or Fiction?” n.d. ArtMart The Creative Marketplace. https://www.artmartstl.com/ghostly-orbs-fact-or-fiction/. 25 March 2020.

Asaff, Beth. “The Different Colors of Ghost Orbs and Their Meanings.” n.d. Love to Know. https://paranormal.lovetoknow.com/Ghost_Orbs_Different_Colors. 25 March 2020.

Broome, Fiona. “Ghost Orbs: An Overlooked Question.” 12 September 2008. Ghosts and Hauntings at Hollow HIll. https://hollowhill.com/orbs-the-overlooked-question/. 25 March 2020.

Newton, Ph.D., Michael. Journey of Souls. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 1996. Print Book.

Smedley, Jenny. “10 Things You Need to Know about Orbs in Pictures.” n.d. Soul and Spirit Magazine. http://www.soulandspiritmagazine.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-orbs-in-pictures/. 25 March 2020.

“Stages of Reincarnation.” Auras, Soul Age Colors and Chakras. n.d. https://eternalcircleblog.wordpress.com/consciousness-and-spirituality/auras-soul-age-colors-and-chakras/.

Hollowed at Halfway Creek Church

From time to time, followers of this blog or friends who know I’m always looking for a new location to investigate will private message me a place without any explanation. These are my favorite types of investigations. I love going in blind, not knowing what to expect. Let’s face it, with my love of Geocaching and putting clues together, sometimes finding the location is half the fun. As was the case for the Halfway Creek Church in Francis Marion Forest.

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Francis Marion Forest is a mysterious place all on its own. I’ve driven through the 258,000-acre forest on several occasions to stay away from the busy traffic of Charleston or as a shortcut with a peaceful drive. To come across an alleged haunting in the forest was exciting and I couldn’t wait to get the day going to find the Halfway Creek Church.

Disappointingly, it was easy to find; a simple Google map search and I arrived an hour later. There were groundskeepers on-site and a funeral canopy in the cemetery ready for the mourning of a loved one. I grabbed my gear and headed to the church. With my voice recorder running and smartphone in hand, I said: “Good Morning” to all the men working. It was a peaceful morning and I looked like any other photoblogger investigating his site.

The history of the church is simple. Built originally in 1828 as a log building, the church had changed hands several times among congregations until it was rebuilt in 1941 to the dilapidated, hollowed-out building we can see and visit today. Church services ran until the 1970s.

Through vandalism and weather conditions of South Carolina, the church has fallen into more than dismay. Funding for the grounds stays with the graves and cemetery on site and leaves the building to rot along with its ancestors buried 6 feet under.  The floorboards were too worn for me to enter safely, so I remained at the doorsteps and windows peering in with my paranormal tools hoping to catch a glimpse of the history here.

The claims of hauntings come strictly from random threads and comments of pictures online. Some say that fog will come over the road that leaves one feeling disoriented, others just leave a simple line of “haunted church”.

I’ve said in earlier posts that a cemetery is usually one of the last places I would deem to be haunted, but with the church nearby, I thought I would take a chance on the allegations. It looked creepy enough and was far enough into the forest that I was willing to fulfill a curiosity.

Much like the absence of research to be found on the property, other than a listing of burial sites, the paranormal equipment left much to the imagination with absent reporting. A small glimmer from the EMF, no EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon) from my voice recorder, and not a single anomaly on any of the pictures I took.

I also used the spirit box apps in the background of shooting pictures with my phone. The word list is inconclusive and if there is a connection to any of the words/phrases listed, I could not find any research to tie the location.

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As for now, I’m deeming the Halfway Creek Church “not haunted” as per the claims of online thread commenters. With the number of pictures I found for this location, I’ll simply say that this is a quiet place to take beautiful pictures for photographers practicing their craft. Perhaps, a private picnic area to enjoy lunch or watch the stars through the trees of this giant forest. But definitely not haunted.

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If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always

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Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. We’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

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Called out at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Visiting this giant piece of Charleston’s history is a must-do for any local as well as any travelers coming through Charleston. I’ve been through the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon on several tours, learning about the history throughout the building and piecing the clues together for hauntings around the city. However, going back to 1771 when the building was constructed, allows any visitor to see the connection Charleston had to our great nation.

The History

Constructed in 1771, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon has been used as several different operations including a mercantile exchange, a post office, and military headquarters to name a few. These different operations show the exchange of hands this building has undergone since the birth of this Georgian-Palladian structure.

Another fascinating piece to this building is that you can see a sliver of the original wall of Charles Town through the Provost Dungeon.

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The original wall of Charles Town. Photo by Nicholas McGirr

The dungeon was said to have housed criminals of all sorts; men, women, pirates, and tea. Yes, I said tea, because, during the Charleston Tea Party, this is where the tea was held to keep it away from the British hidden behind a wall that no longer exists.

The Old Exchange is also one of the four locations where the Declaration of Independence was ratified, an immense part of our American and Charlestonian history. The rooms above the dungeon glorify this moment with the artifacts and staff dressed in period costumes.

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Know that through this article, I am not even touching the surface of the history of this building. I am not claiming to be an expert by any means and I encourage you history buffs to put this building on your bucket list to enjoy for yourselves. For this article, I am focused on basic history to explore any proclaimed paranormal activity.

The Paranormal Claims

There are plenty of paranormal claims to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon including guests getting tugged, pushed or clothing pulled. Others claim that the period costumes of the staff make it confusing for the spotting of spirits because they, too, are in period dressings of their own time. Some staff claim that “staff members” are seen walking into walls from time to time.

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Photo by Nicholas McGirr

In February of 2019, a paranormal investigation was led by Grant Wilson from “Ghost Hunters”, Chad Lindbert from “Ghost Stalkers” and Carol Cleveland from YouTube’s “Haunt ME”. I could not find the evidence from this ghost hunt, but tickets ran about $185 for a meet and greet with the celebrities and then a 30-minute ghost hunt afterward.

What I will say is that the venue for this ticketed event usually comes with some merit of the legitimacy of the alleged haunted location and I trust that the pros leading the investigation came up with more than substantial evidence.

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Stairs from the original Post Office. Currently, the lead to overtopping the exposed wall of Charles Town.

My Visit

Once paying for my ticket for the dungeon tour, I immediately head downstairs where my tour guide is about to begin. I already had my spirit box app running as well as my EVP digital recorder. The EMF detector was tucked away in a side pocket of my satchel so I could easily tell if any spikes would occur during my tour.

I will say that once I hit the stairs to the dungeon, the EMF detector was active throughout my entire tour of the dungeon. The erratic lights drew so much attention to other guests of the tour that I had to turn it to face me. The lights were not patterned as I was originally suspecting. With all of the hype of paranormal activity around this building, I was honestly expecting it to be rigged, hence why I took a daytime tour with the normal historian tourists.

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Photo by Nicholas McGirr

I reviewed the spirit box app list of words after my tour and was surprised by a number of words. For those of you that have taken one of my “Stories in the Cemetery” ghost hunting experiences, you know that I find that 60-75% of the words provided are bullshit. With this list from the Provost Dungeon, not so much.

Words and phrases like “commit”, “cruel”, “he is guilty”, “violation” were all common themes throughout the word list. Check out the full word list in the picture slides below.

The words “cruel” and “violation” came through right around the time my tour guide was describing the conditions of the dungeon. Women were kept with the men without privacy, rat infestations and of course water coming over the top of the bricks from 1702. All these conditions were in fact “cruel” and were likely a “violation” of standards for prisoners.

The word that stood out to me most was my own name about 16 minutes into the tour. Just the night before, I told one of my ghost hunting guests that I would visit the Old Exchange and he texted me later that day asking how my investigation went. I showed him the list and his reply brought clarity to my work here in Charleston. He said, “They know you by name?!” Ironically, they do. I was called out just 16 minutes of my entering the building and beginning my tour of the dungeon. I have never seen any variation of my name (Nick, Nicky, Nicholas) ever brought through the spirit box app previously.

Conclusion

Upon listening to the audio from the tour, I could only find one instance where I may have heard something paranormal, but the evidence is insubstantial at this point and not worth posting until I have it analyzed. Other than that, I am pleased with the erraticism of the EMF detector (which stopped after I left the building) and the array of words I received through the spirit box app.

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I have explored the city of Charleston with my EMF detector looking for new locations to take my guests. With each passing of the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, the EMF detector usually signals for me to look further. Sometimes it’s just a blip, other times it’s an erratic display of lights screaming to be heard. I encourage you to visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, find an EMF app (yes, they work, just not as sensitive) and see for yourself who might be lurking in the basement of this extremely creepy structure that holds onto so much history of our country.

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always

Buy Me A Coffee

Stories in the Cemetery Tours

Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. We’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

toppng.com-book-now-button-831x287