1 thing I DIDN’T expect after visiting Waverly Hills Sanitarium

I’m sure it’s a whacky coincidence but about 3 days after I toured Waverly Hills Sanitarium and MILDLY dissed the tour in a totally FRIENDLY way, I became bed-ridden with a horrid upper respiratory infection.

Whacky coincidence, right?! Hah. Hah. Hah…. GULP!

Hmmm… haunted abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium

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Wide-eyed and impressionable tourist with the best intentions ever

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A SLIGHTLY cynical but ultimately SUPPORTIVE review

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Home in bed with a nasty, nasty, icky infection in my lungs, throat and head.

Go fig. Coulda happened to anyone for any reason. I’m SURE nothing followed me home…

Happy Haunts,

Susan

ps. What do you think? My cough’s not sooooo bad.

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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

LM’s Halloween Haunt Spots Adventure… Part 2

And, LM’s Halloween Haunt Spots Exploration continues…

(More ghoOOOOOOOOOOoooosts!)

After WP, we stopped for food at this AMAZING Indian restaurant about 6 miles away from the park. Tiny place, looked kinda sketchy from the outside, but it was incredible. (Royal India Restaurant. Tell your friends.) Two of our group pulled out a notebook and started an impromptu Nepali / Hindi language lesson, which our waiter eavesdropped on and must have decided he liked us. We all got free chai and a free appetizer.

I wasn’t sure how much further our group would want to continue, seeing as it was cold and dark and at least two of them were not wearing appropriately warm footwear or coats. I asked them if they wanted to continue to the last location, or just skip it and go home now that we were all warm and full of comfy food. They all insisted they wanted to continue.

PF was by far the most active place we went. By the time we got there, it was well past nightfall, though the moon provided some decent light. (Oh — and we met up with another Caper tour! We met this couple at WP and asked them to take our picture, then encountered them again at PF. This was just WAY too much coincidence, so I asked if they were on your tour and they said yes. Our skeptic, on the other hand, insisted that they were “ghoOOOOOOOOOOoooosts!”)

Walking out into PF was a bit creepy for several of us, simply by virtue of the fact that we knew we were walking over unmarked graves. We got to John Schwab’s headstone at the center and stood there for awhile, talking and taking a few pictures, and then I stopped and realized something.

I realized we were alone. Just the six of us. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been a particularly profound thought, except what I realized was that this entire time, I had been feeling as though we were standing in the middle of a crowd. It was so matter-of-fact that I hadn’t questioned it before, but at that time I stopped to think about it. This was not, in fact, a crowded plaza — but it sure felt like one. I asked if anyone else had the same feeling and they all immediately responded that yes, they did — they just hadn’t wanted to mention it, or weren’t sure how.

All except our skeptic, of course. In stark contrast to us, he said he felt VERY alone — like his back was exposed, and someone was about to steal his wallet. He was exceptionally creeped out, and I think it was pure politeness to the rest of us that kept him from demanding that we leave right then.

Then, as soon as we crossed outside the fence surrounding the field, the feeling went away. For all of us.

(to be concluded in part the third)

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

Introducing “A No Safe Haven Caper” — An Audio Preview

Welcome to the World!  Introducing our newest Haunt Spots tour, “A No Safe Haven Caper”.  All new audio stories and adventures await the final key ingredient — You.

In this newest exploration of Wisconsin’s ghosts, you will experience a haunt so deeply rooted that the spirits moved with theHaunt Spot From "A No Safe Haven Caper" buildings, trek haunted trails with their own legend trip, and investigate a tragic road to nowhere.  This tour includes one Bonus Haunt Spot — a haunted theatre.

Details…

Time of Day / Access:  All destinations are accessible during daytime hours.  The first destination must be explored by 9:00 pm, and the third and fourth by 10:00 pm.  Explorers must be able to walk uneven terrain and to cover at least 1 mile in distance. Exploring after dark will require flashlights – and a big sense of adventure.  Estimated total tour length is 3.5 to 5 hours.  We suggest that you arrive at your first Haunt Spot no later than 6:30 pm.

General Tour Area:  The tour route begins approx 15 minutes west of Milwaukee and then heads southwest down I-94.

Starting Points:  Caper Company provides directions from Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison, Mequon, Racine, and West Bend.  Other starting points are easily available upon request.

Special Tour Price: Only $26.00 per downloaded itinerary.  Offer expires 12/31/09.

Click the link to hear an audio snippet for the first destination on “A No Safe Haven Caper”.

Happy Haunts,

Susan Scot Fry

Caper Company Tours LLC — What’s Your Ghost Story?

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

Come Meet me at Three Sisters in Waukesha, WI Next Thursday

Susan Scot Fry

Susan Scot Fry

Dani Sutliff, owner of Three Sister’s Spirit in Waukesha, WI has invited me to do an Open House / Meet and Greet next Thursday, Nov. 5 from 6-7pm.

We’ll be chatting about all things paranormal including the locations that we’ve researched for Haunt Spots tours. We’ll also debut our next tour! Anyone who drops in to say Hi will get a coupon for a discount on either “A Hard Luck and Loss Caper” or the new tour, “A No Safe Haven Caper”.

If you’ve never been to Three Sisters, you’re in for a treat. It’s a lovely shop in old town Waukesha and it has a beautiful classroom space. Hope to see you there!

Three Sisters Spirit
308 W. Broadway
Waukesha, WI 53186
http://www.sisterspirit3.com/

Haunt-i-quette 101

Our legions of Haunt Spots Explorers are growing!   Join us for some spooky fun.

A Hard Luck and Loss Caper at Night 005
A Hard Luck and Loss Caper Haunt Spot

I’ve heard people say that the veil between our corporeal world and that of the spirit is supposed to be thinnest on Saturday night.  Hmmmm.  Really?  How so?  How does this work?  I don’t know about that veil thing, but I do know that the atmosphere this weekend is going to be super-charged.   I’ve heard from a number of Explorers that  they’re hitting the Haunt Spots tour trails Friday and Saturday nights.  So, what’s the haunt-i-quette when you encounter a cadre of fellow Explorers?

Some options…

Pretend you don’t see them and treat them like ghosts.  Results could range from amusing to irritating.  More on the irritating side if you stand in front of them with a digital voice recorder and ask loudly for them to give you a sign of their presence.

Regale them with tales of your own ghostly encounters.   That’s one thing most of us have in common – personal paranormal experiences of some nature.  Ghost stories range in intensity the same way that different religions range in expression.  Are you on the gently and quietly accepting end of the spectrum or did your encounter with the spirit world leave you speaking in tongues?  Again, expect a a variety of reactions to your manner of storytelling.

Smile and wave as they follow their Caper and you follow yours.  If your paths cross closer, say Hello and share some encouragement.  You’re all following the same tour route and have the same Caper, but that’s about the extent of your similarities.  There’s an intrepid Explorers community out there and I get a huge charge hearing about your experiences – and every one is different.  Exciting stuff!

The more I think about it, the more I want to be in on this party.  I should go on the tour again on Saturday night.  Alone.  Eep!  Oh please-oh-please, don’t let it be that way for long.  Please show me a sign of your presence!  I’ll be the one dressed in the aura of a big chicken.

Happy (Bawk!)  Haunts,

Susan

This Tour is Totally Creepy at Night and… I Loved It!

Tonight’s “A Hard Luck and Loss Caper” was fun, fun, fun!  I went on my own tour with some great friends and my husband (my best boy friend) and am happy to report that a great time was had by all.

It was rainy when we started out and we made the first Haunt Spot when there was still just enough light to negotiate the terrain.  Braving the light rain only added to the ambience.  After all, none of us are made of sugar and weren’t going to melt.  A Hard Luck and Loss Caper at Night

This may be in the ‘kiss and tell’ category, but Im spilling the beans on my buddy Amanda.  She got progressively more creeped-out as the night went on.  (Yay!)  By the time we were checking out our final destination, she was ready to pack it in.  The creep-outed-ness had taken it’s toll.  She was a trouper though and tried to tough it out so that we could check out our last destination.

It’s quite a different experience when it’s men and women going together.  I’m taking a huge risk in making generalizations, but it’s late and I’m going to chuck PC out the window.  Guys on a Haunt Spots tour are generally a bit more gung-ho and will plunge in.  They remind me of Jack Skellington discovering Christmas.  Women are more into soaking up the atmosphere and seeking the feelings the location sparks.  If you can find a happy balance, then everyone has fun.

Oh, guys – if you’re looking for a date where you get to be the hero – this tour may be a distinct option.  Unless you get scared too.  In which case, you might want to bring along a date you can cling to.

Thanks, my intrepid fellow Explorers.  I’m looking forward to our next one.

Happy Haunts,

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