What an amazing new Haunt Spot

The people who own and operate our newest Haunt Spot are excited about  having us come in and explore, too!  That officially completes the route for a new Milwaukee area tour.  Now, it’s time to get busy on the audio scripts.

Speaking of amazing, I didn’t expect to see many Haunt Spots Explorers put their intrepid hats on until end of March / beginning of April.  But, low and behold, out of the blue yesterday, a gentleman from Racine picked up “A No Safe Haven Caper”.  He called because he and his wife wanted to head out that day, so I needed to get the tour components emailed ASAP.  I asked if he didn’t mind tooling around in the chill with snow on the ground.  They didn’t care in the least.  Apparently the cold weather is less a deterrent than cabin fever.  Add the lure of exploring places that are reported to be haunted and there you go!

Last year, my partners and I did a lot of Haunt Spots field research in March and April and it was chilly BUT I remember vividly how incredibly atmospheric it was too.  The trees are skeletal and the light is low.  On especially good days, there is a bit a mist.  Perfection!

The photo here is from a research trip that we took toward the end of March 2009.  When I was looking through those photos to pick one for this post, I noticed there were some at the tail end of the album of my cat and dog curled up on the couch in front of the fire.  Now, that’s really perfection.  The chill I get exploring ghost stories capped by a glass of wine, a fireplace and a cozy kitty.

Time to get onto writing those stories!

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry

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Death is not the end of love

Happy Valentines Weekend, my fellow paranormal enthusiasts.

In the spirit of the season, here’s a ghostly love story that I found this in a blog called “Love Beyond the Grave” by S. Ruth Hamilton.  It was submitted to her by Don and Shirley Starke and slightly abridged by yours truly.

I hope for sweetness and love to you all.  Enjoy…

Doug and Carla

Doug and Carla were married for 36 yrs. They had been high school sweethearts who had never dated anyone but each other.   Doug and Carla had four children, three girls and a boy and lived happily on their small farm.

Doug died a few months after a horse riding accident in which he broke several bones. He had grown up in the saddle, and hadn’t been thrown in years but death makes mysterious choices.

Carla’s children and friends were all worried about her. She seemed lost after Doug passed away. She lost interest in everything, even the farm and her family. She stopped going to church and meeting her friends. Carla’s children were afraid she would die of a broken heart.

Her children called and visited as much as possible, but they each lived hours from the farm and were busy with their own families. After much argument, they got her to move to a small home closer to town. Carla seemed to settle in, but still was far from the vibrant, fun loving mother they remembered.

One day, Michelle the youngest daughter phoned her siblings. She was concerned. Michelle had been to see their mother and at first she was happy, because she had actually looked rested for a change.  When Michelle commented on how well her mother was looking, Carla told her that Dad had come and slept next to her during the night.

Michelle was worried that her mother was imagining things. The siblings discussed it and they decided that it wasn’t hurting anything, and that if thinking their father was around made their Mom feel better they should ignore it.

A couple of months later, their son Don visited his mother for the weekend. He said he woke up suddenly, but could not say exactly why.  That’s when he noticed the smell of fresh hay in the room that had not been there when he went to sleep. It was a strong, sweet smell that made him think of growing up and rolling bales with his father.

Don got up. The smell in the room was fading, but still quite distinct. He could not figure out where it was coming from. Don went in the hallway to investigate and did not smell the hay. By the time he got back to his room the scent was almost gone. He dismissed the incident as an especially vivid dream and credited the smell as having been a part of it.

Don headed down for breakfast and stopped with surprise on the stairs. He could hear his mother singing. The sound of her voice was something he had grown up with, but it was one of the things stopped when his Dad passed away.

“Good Morning,” Don said as he entered the kitchen. He stopped in his tracks. The heavy scent of fresh cut hay was all around him.

Don stared at his Mom, with his mouth wide open. His mother had a single strand of hay tucked behind her ear.  She saw him looking and smiled.

“It’s okay” she told him. “Dad comes to visit me a couple times a week now. Whenever he does, he brings me something from the farm.”

Don was the only child to ever be present when there was an unexplained smell in the home, and none of the children ever saw anything appear, but for the rest of Carla’s life she said she received a couple of visits a week from Doug.

He always brought her something.  Sometimes it was a flower or a leaf.  Other times it was a pebble or a pile of dirt.  It was always something that looked like it could have been picked up on their old farm.

We may have an indoor haunt for an upcoming tour!

Yup!  A gen-u-wine “open the door, walk on in and chit-chat with the bartender about the odd and unexplainable happenings that they’ve been experiencing over the years” Haunt Spot.

I had a great conversation with Mike today.  Not only is the building extremely old and has a rich, rich history, but there are a plethora of things that go bump in residence.  He’d be most happy for Caper Company Explorers to drop in any time.

I’m going to go check it out in person on Saturday.  Fingers are crossed.

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry

People’s Reactions to Haunt Spots Research

The day job calls today.  I have a Haunt Spots research route that takes me to 4 libraries in Ozaukee County today.  Oh, hurt me.  Let’s see if I have as much luck as I did in Cedarburg last week.

I never know what I’m going to encounter when I introduce the “P” word (paranormal) into conversations. The range of reactions are fastinating…

Nuts.  I don’t mind if people think I’m nuts because I can usually illustrate that I’m also harmless during the conversation.

Dismissive.  Anyone who’s turned away dismissively is frequently compelled to turn back shortly.  Usually as soon as they’ve had a moment to mull it over and eavesdrop on the rest of the conversation.

Bewildered.  This is always an act.  Everyone I’ve ever spoken with, upon reflection, has at least heard some sort of ghost story.  They just don’t want to admit it.  (see Nuts and Dismissive)

Intrigued.  They may not have any personal experiences, but they recognize that ghost stories are part of our universal folklore and have no trouble with me wanting to tell some.

Fascinated.  People who are open to the possibility or have had their own personal paranormal experiences. Often, fascination leads to enthusiasm.  That’s when I truly score!

If you’ve experienced the unexplainable yourself, it’s impossible to be truly and honestly dismissive.  It will always be a part of your consciousness.  You may want to deny it, but no matter how hard you try, you always wonder.  I know that I do.

Personally, I’m a friendly skeptic who loves a good ghost story.

What will I encounter today?

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry

Update…

Wow, that was fascinating.

I got 2 more Dismissives who quickly handed me off to someone else to take care of.  I got 3 more Intrigueds – one was so cute.  She waited until the other reference librarian was looking for some books for me and took the opportunity to tell me her ghost story.

And I got a new twist on Nuts called Extremely Polite.  There’s that special librarian who obviously thought I was nuts, but she didn’t have any minions to Dismiss me to, so she had to help me because it was her job.

No spectacular new Haunts discovered, but a couple of cool leads — including a ghost town in the area.  I’m itching to get out there.

Today, I’m on the phone with people.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Happy Haunts,

SSF

Kudos to the Cedarburg Public Library(ians)!

And, I quote, “Haunted local history?  That’s my favorite!  Let me bring you the files.”

I spent some glorious time in the Cedarburg, WI public library yesterday afternoon wallowing in clippings about local ghost lore.

Lesson:  Libraries are about stories.  That epitomizes Caper Company.  Haunt Spots tours are about fascinating places that share a distinct story line – ghosts.  Whether they really exist or not is almost irrelevant.  It’s about the place and the story.

All that Caper Company requires is someone’s paranormal experience with a place.  If you want to buy equipment and try to gather scientific evidence, go for it.  You can do that on a Haunt Spots tour too because you will be in those places — or at least around them.  I have had reports of strange experiences from people who’ve gone exploring with one of our tour itineraries.  Bonus!

That said, It’s much more about the ghost story than proof.  If you love a great fireside tale of spine tingling fun, you’ll love Haunt Spots.

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry

Cedarburg Haunts — Here I Come!

Tomorrow will epitomize the blend of my new life. I get to partially spend it with Ron as he visits 8 classrooms at Cedarburg High School as William Shakespeare and I get to check out some area Haunt Spots for tour research.

Today, I prep.

Putting together a big event like Brave New World is all consuming – especially during the final week. I miss Caper Company and am excited to be back into it.

I’ll stop at Founder’s Cemetery Park tomorrow and pay my respects. Part of those respects will include a distinct welcoming back of what feels like my former pursuits — creating Haunt Spots tours. Founder’s is one of those places that helped form the foundation for Caper Company and Haunt Spots tours.

So, where’s my ghost spreadsheet?

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry