Ghost Hunting, Part 2
By Guest Blogger Cynthia D'Alba aka Arkansas Cyndi
If you missed Part 1 yesterday, just click on the link in the right margin to get caught up.
Thanks for coming back for Part Two of Ghost Hunting in Arkansas. If you missed part one, it was yesterday. Be aware that the names of the individuals involved and the ghost hunter organization have been changed. Thanks also to The Tarts for trusting me with the key to the office and for sending Margie away on vacation. Special salute to Maureen Child for donating appropriate paranormal books from her Demon Busters Series for me to give away as prizes – A Fiend in Need and More than Fiends .
To bring new arrivals up-to-date, in July, my local RWA chapter (Diamond State Romance Authors) went on a “ghost hunt” in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We teamed up with a regional group of “semi-professional” paranormal researchers. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll call them “Arkansas Researchers for Ghost Hunting”, or “ARGH”. When we left the intrepid DSRA members yesterday, they were finishing up at a local cemetery. Now, Part Two.
After our fight with bugs, rocks, dust, and unbearable heat and humidity in the local cemetery, we were all glad to head back to the air conditioning of our hotel. If you’ve ever been in Arkansas in July, you know about the heat and humidity (think “sauna”.) Our evening trek through the local graveyard was much like walking around in a sauna for 30 minutes, only with nibbling bugs.
Imagine our surprise at arriving back at The Velda Rose Hotel and finding the Arkansas Researchers for Ghost Hunting. i.e. “ARGH” drinking and dancing the bar. Did I mention that our chapter paid for their room so they could set up EVP and video equipment to film for spirit activity? The ladies told us that the bar had a ghost (George) and they would be setting up there to film later. I guess they were there scouting camera locations. Never one to miss a good party, DSRA member (and our outstanding web mistress) Elle James joined the ghost hunters on the dance floor.
The Velda Rose Hotel (where we were staying) is known for it’s share of strange stories and sightings. The hotel has numerous murders and suicides in its long history, and many of these spirits supposedly hang around, not that you would know that from our experience. But one hotel manager reported a woman in period clothing standing behind a locked glass door and watching her. When the manager went to confront the “person” she believed had illegally entered the closed restaurant, the woman/ghost disappeared. No such luck for us.
Once we got our fearless ARGH leader (and many of our chapter members!) out of the bar, the group gathered in the lobby, and trooped from floor to floor, tuning our fine senses to detect paranormal phenomenon. Some of our members swore they “felt” things, such as a tightening of their throats near a room where a man hung, etc. Me? I noted one cold spot and I’m thinking, Hey! Cool. Ghost air... until it was pointed out to me that Mike had just opened and closed his door, letting cold air escape from his room into the hall, which apparently didn’t share the air conditioning ductwork because it was hot, hot, hot in the hallways. Sigh. That was the closest I got to “feeling” anything.
We gathered in room 917, reported to be one of the most active rooms for spirit activity, although no one knows why. There are no reports of murders, suicides or deaths in this room. The hotel has had numerous complaints from guests about the door leading out to the balcony opening and closing on its own. I’m thinking a smoking ghost. What do you think?
We housed our “semi-professional” ghost hunters there to do their research. When we entered, one of the researchers was holding a pair of divining rods. The idea being that you hold one in each hand and ask the spirits questions.
I wanted to experience something, (as my paranormal encounters thus far had been a bust), so I took the rods, held them “properly” and started asking questions of the spirits. I asked if the room I was staying in at the Velda Rose was haunted and told the spirits to cross the rods for yes. They crossed. I asked a number of questions and “got answers”. I really have no idea how these work. I did get a chuckle when Shada Royce tried to use them, but the rods would not move. I leaned over and asked if the spirits liked me better than her...they crossed! All hail my connection to the spirit world!
The ARGH team had set up video here, so we killed the lights to watch for a flash of white, supposedly a spirit moving across the room. Strangely, we did see this. The orb shot over my head and out of frame. That was strange. But again, I felt nothing. No cold. No hair-raising. No goosebumps. Nothing.
We moved to the Spa next. I will say, it smelled great! The Spa is supposed to be one of the most haunted spots in the hotel. On a dare, I wandered into a pitch black hallway in the spa area and snapped a picture. That rattled me a little, but I’m thinking it was my imagination more than a spiritual encounter. During our tromp through the Spa, we looked in every room, snapped pictures in hopes of “capturing” a ghost on film (digital, actually), and strained our ears to hear netherworld voices. We saw nothing, heard nothing, except a dripping bathtub faucet.
In my continuing quest for knowledge, I had an 80 minute massage to question one of their part-time
masseurs. Mike (who had the hands of a masseur god!) said that while he’d never experienced anything personally, the women reported an abundance of odd noises in the morning while they were preparing the spa to open for the day...things like footsteps, voices, items being moved, etc., but these only occurred when the woman was alone. Never did any two (or more) people report hearing or seeing the same thing at the same time. During our tour of the spa, we were told one of the workers had reported hearing a deep growl in one of the massage rooms. Heck, if the growl came during a good massage, I’d probably just moan back. Mike said the ghosts were probably afraid of all of us women demanding that they show themselves! (Would that massage be a tax write-off?)
After the walk around, we sat in a circle (and with my bad knees, that was no small feat), joined hands, and called the spirits. Now, picture sitting in a dark room, on a rug, holding hands, calling spirits, and your “leader” says something like, “Satan, come forth.” Then she laughs and says, “I’m kidding.” Not funny. THEN, believe it or not, she does it again! Laughs and says, “Just kidding.” And these folks want us to take them seriously? Hard to do given my experience with them.
So, after this, do I believe in ghosts or spirits? Yeah, I do. I’m not sure if it’s “ghosts” or “spirits” or if there are other worldly realms or different dimensions of time and space (cue The Twilight theme song). I just believe there are things in our world we do not understand.
Okay, I’ve told you my story. What about you? Ever had a paranormal experience? Talk to a dead relative? Had an out of body experience? Have a vampire or werewolf as a friend? Now is the time to spill all! You’re among friends.
Once again I have a book from the delightful Maureen Child for someone who leaves a comment. Thank you for visiting. And thanks again to The Lovely Tarts.