Ghost Hunting 101

Theater

You can learn a lot by attending a slumber party with fifty strangers. Especially if that slumber party takes place in an abandoned theater, and those strangers are professional ghost hunters.

To clarify, we have never been professionals. This was over a decade ago, when we were still looking for a Halloween event that could top bags of free chocolate and youth. It doesn’t exist. Armed with sleeping bags, cameras, digital recorders, flashlights, and a couple of friends–we embarked on a journey that was entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

At first we were afraid. We had read stories about the theater, and came equipped with the knowledge of its tragedies and hauntings. There was definitely comfort in numbers. The place was as dark and creepy as promised. There was no way any of us were going anywhere alone, even if there had been electricity. It was thrilling as we aimed our cameras at random shadows and took turns making each other stand in “cold spots.” We were jealous of all the other people who had brought high-tech equipment that could actually give a reading of those temperature changes. We found ourselves coveting their EMF meters and fancy ghost-detecting kits.

Around the second hour in, I found myself alone in a basement bathroom. All alone, in a dark stall with my flashlight. Why didn’t I just use the lobby restrooms? Because by hour number two I was desperate for some ghost action, even if it was imaginary. I no longer had any fear of the building, and I felt as if every horror movie I had ever seen was a lie. I was looking for the scariest room in the place. Here I was, a girl alone in a haunted basement bathroom, separated from the group, in complete darkness, in a room with mirrors. How could it not go wrong?

Nothing.

Disappointed, I found my friends and we wandered up to the mezzanine. There we happened upon a group of professionals from Pennsylvania interviewing an actual ghost. It wasn’t clear at first, mostly because of the complete darkness and the ghost’s invisibility. We figured it out when one of them yelled at us for blocking their shot. They had a light showing up when they looked through their camera, and, assuming it was a spirit–the team got right down to the typical interview questions. So we took our seats and enjoyed the show.  Continue reading