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

The Spirits of Christmas

I am privileged to hear wonderful and personal ghost stories, especially at this time of year.  They range far and wide in tone — from mild to bone-chilling.  Most often during the holidays, they are downright sentimental.

It seems that when our need for human contact and kindness is most keenly felt, our loved ones sometimes find a way through.  They may be just a breath to let you know that you are still loved and that there’s a connection that will never die.  Sometimes, there’s more — much more.

These stories delightfully cross all bounds of age and experience.  I have a sentimental love of nursing home stories where a long gone (from this realm, anyway) wife or husband will make a comforting nighttime visit.  Or where a person will swear that they felt the familiar fur of a loved and lost pet brushing against their leg just when they needed them most.

In some stories, it’s not always necessary to have known the person.  There are connections from ghosts who  find a corporeal being who has an attractive spiritual energy.  There may be unfinished business or a simply a desire to connect which finds you giving of yourself versus receiving.  In the stories I hear and my own personal experience, the best always seems to happen when you release fear and are open to this moment of peace.

Your connection may arrive gift-wrapped as a memory.  Try letting it linger.  It may transform into a connection that you both will cherish.  Once you’ve each offered your gifts of solace or love, you say goodbye.  Seems to be all the karma that’s required.

When a sparkle of otherworldly joy may be just the right gift this year, it could be  waiting for you.  Say hello to your Christmas spirits and share some quiet meaning.  And keep telling your stories.

Wishing you peace, love and happy haunts,

Susan Scot Fry

Is it Too Soon?

KnifeEd Gein?  Maybe yes, maybe no.

Jeffrey Dahmer?  Probably.

The 14-year old boy who was brutally killed in Whitnall Park?  Yes.

You won’t be surprised to discover that, in the course of researching Haunt Spots, I run across a lot of murders.  Sometimes, it’s a fit of passion that ended tragically.  Sometimes, it’s more extreme — as illustrated by these first two names.

If the crime occurred long ago, the energy of the area may have become tolerable and the crime has passed into folklore.  There’s no magic number of years, though.  The boy mentioned earlier was killed in 1974, but there will need to be many more years before his story could be considered for a Haunt Spot.  The energy is too painful.  His story is too heart-breaking.

There are still plenty of bullys to encounter.  On the “A No Safe Haven Caper” tour, Explorers go through a mini-cleansing before leaving one Haunt Spot.  It’s for their well-being and my conscience.  No-one wants that meanie to follow you home.

Conscience does make cowards of us all, Hamlet, Act III Sc. 1.   Hey!  I’m not a coward!  My conscience is a personal gauge of right and wrong.  Far be it from me to censor anyone, but I’m responsible for the quality of your experience.  It’s my job to help Explorers have a good time.  If I think a Haunt Spot is too dark or too fresh, I’ll ask other opinions.  Thus far, the opinions have all agreed.  There are a few locations that you may never see.

They aren’t my stories, but I get to tell them.  I do so with a sense of adventure but also a sense of care.  So, no you don’t get all the haunts.  Some should be left, if not in peace, in respectful solitude.

For now.

Happy Haunts,

Susan

Super Light for Spectral Detection

Confession — it’s all about the day.  Sunny day, everything is sharp.  Cloudy day, everything is movie-set atmospheric.  Either way, we win.

Another confession — It was this time of year when I got hooked on researching Wisconsin haunts.  Night time chill didn’t matter because we went out during the day.  The natural atmosphere of some of the places we explored was ramped up to the nth degree when combined with the look of bare trees or the dusky cloud cover.  Those impressions are such a part of my memory that when I re-visit a Haunt Spot later, I’m often surprised at the difference.  If a place has got it, it’s got it — but this time of year is special.

Be Brave and Happy Haunts,

Susan

 

Haunts in Ozaukee and Walworth Counties

There are wonderfully chilling reports of paranormal activity in Lake Geneva, Delavan and Whitewater that IMy 'Dream' Haunt Spot suspect are going to make for some creepy Haunt Spots tours.  I’m itching to check them out.  Same for the Cedarburg, Mequon and Kaukauna areas.  So, here’s your heads up — it’s field research time for that countryside and I’m looking for suggestions.

What are the ghost stories that you’ve heard for Ozaukee and Walworth Counties?   The Haunt Spots rules…

A — Haunt Spots focus on spaces that the general public can get into — which saddens me a teeny, selfish bit because I adore haunted residence stories.  But alas, if I can’t ever send an Explorer there to check it out for him or herself, I must be strong and refrain.  Except perhaps when sitting by the fire in our library with the lights turned low.  Then I get to indulge to my hearts content.   But I digress…..

Rule 2 — We steer away from any haunting in a place that requires you pay an admission fee.

3rd — There is no rule 3.

So, what are your ghost stories?

What’s Your Personal Primary Paranormal Sensitivity?

keeping an eye on ExplorersAt a recent gabfest of Caper Company Researchers and Explorers, we told spooky and fun tales of our Haunt Spots experiences.   As we chatted, a thread emerged.  It became obvious that each person had an individual primary type of experience or interaction.  This primary type of experience was not the only thing that happened to people, but it seemed more predominant than others.

It comes as no surprise that if you’re in tune with atmosphere, one sensitivity will exhibit itself more often.  There are Caper Company Researchers who always seem to capture EVP’s or unexplained phenomena in photos.  There are Explorers who hear things, smell things, feel things… you name the sense or experience and there’s someone who tunes into it.   I’m going to call this your Personal Primary Paranormal Sensitivity – or PPPS, for short.

I’ve had various odd things happen when researching Haunt Spots.  For me, a common phenomena is buzzing from electrical interference.  How about you?  What’s your PPPS?  If it doesn’t immediately spring to mind, think about your answer to the question, “What’s your ghost story?”   How do you tell your story?  Is it of strange noises?  Have you ever captured something on film?  That may be your primary sensitivity.

So, I’ve told you mine.  What’s yours?

Happy Haunts,

Susan

There I Was, Innocently Checking Out Our Final Haunt Spot…

Hey, I’m just beta testing here.  Now’s not the time for a paranormal experience.  Oh, yeah?

Last night, we were checking out the final destination in Caper Company’s newest tour “A No Safe Haven Caper” – scheduled to debut on Thursday.  We need to make sure that the written directions will get you where you need to go, that the Caper is all do-able, etc. Check — check — check.  Couple tweaks here and there and it’s looking good.  We’re on track to get this baby off the launching pad.  Haunt Spot From "A No Safe Haven Caper"

(actual stream of consciousness) “Oookaaay…  what’s that smell?  OMG!  It’s the smell I described in this tour at this destination.  Is it?  Yes, it is!  It’s an honest to goodness confirmation of one of the reports of paranormal activity for this Haunt Spot.  Yes!  Wait!  Augh!  Get me out of here!  Hey, does Ron smell that too?  Yes!  Wait!  He never detects anything paranormal.  Does that mean that this place is especially potent or … what?  Who cares!  Get me out of here!”

This experience reminded me of something one Caper Company fan wrote to me recently about how it doesn’t matter how many time she visits this Haunt Spot destination — something always seems to happen.  Ditto.

When you least expect it.

What’s Your Ghost Story?

Susan

Orbs?

Too scary to put on a Haunt Spots tour?  Not likely.  There are, however, places Caper Company Researchers encounter on research trips that are tough to turn into tour destinations.  Not because they were boring or inaccessible private property, but because our experiences were hard to handle.  I know, I know – get over yourself, Susan and just write that bad boy up!

One place not only made my skin crawl, but yielded some favorite before and after photos.

Before

Before

See – nothing but a shadowy stage floor.

After

After

Gulp!

The story of this haunted location is of a young girl being terrorized and killed.  As we were scoping out the interior, we alternated between cajoling to provoking.  The photo with possible orbs came during provoking.  Could this be the killer and his victim?  Or is it dust?  I’m always skeptical of orbs, but it’s easy to get carried away with the possibilities.

Happy Haunts,

Susan

Today is the Perfect Day for a Haunt Spots Research Trip – I Wish!

Gray, rainy days like today are perfect for all day Haunt Spots research trips.  Talk about atmosphere.  There are theories that moisture in the air helps heighten any energy in residence – paranormal or otherwise.  So, not only are these misty – rainy days visually stellar, but if there’s something to ‘pick up’ in an area, chances are greater of making contact.

This morning, we’re helping a buddy move some stuff into storage.  This afternoon, I’m editing.  My 2nd floor office window looks out onto the street and at the trees almost completely turned, though.  The scene alternates between inspirational and distracting.  I’d rather be out tromping through woods and around abandoned buildings – hopping in and out of the car and trying to keep my hands warm while I take pictures and record observations on our damp checklist.

Life is good.

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry