Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I did not have much of a chance to write much in my first blog earlier today. Before I was sharing about how I've had an interest in ghosts since I was a child. Now as a 30-year-old woman, I'm taking my fascination leaps further by my attempts to start the Cemetery Club for the Quad City area (Illinois and Iowa) as well as begin ghost hunting.

I currently have some equipment. It's not the super expensive stuff that is listed on many ghost hunting sites, but for me at this point, it will do.

I have a digital camera, an EMF detector, a digital audio recorder, dowsing rods, a pendulum or two and, of course, my note pad and instincts.

A few weeks ago I went on my first small "ghosting" adventure. I went to Riverside Cemetery in Moline, Ill. I got one spike on the EMF detector (but later realized that when you first hit the button, it automatically spikes). I set up my digital recorder next to a gravestone, but nothing came of that. By the way, I went out at about 5 p.m. It was still light out. I'm still leary of heading to the cemetery at night for fear of being dragged out by the cops. Also, I don't have a partner or group yet. I'm not up for going it alone at night!

When I was about to leave the old lower Riverside Cemetery (I saved the upper part of the cemetery for another day ... the place is huge!), I asked if anyone wanted to say anything. Over by a tree, nearer my car, I heard something on the recorder. I couldn't make out what it was or if it was just an explainable sound. It did give me an odd feeling, though.

When I went home and processed my digital photos on my laptop, most of them were just your average photos of gravestones and long shots of the graves and trees. Except one. One photo had an orb in it. It was way up in the sky but not connected to a tree and wasn't a bird. It was perfectly round ... and black. So it was very odd, and I still can't explain it. But from what I've seen of pictures of orbs, they are opaque or bubble-like and clear. I don't know what it was, but at least it was interesting.

Last week I was on vacation. I stayed in town with the goal of going out for daytime "ghosting" and writing my book. It's a fiction work about ghosts. Big surprise! So Tuesday, May 20, I believe it was, I went to the upper Riverside Cemetery to explore the older area–specifically Potter's Field.

Potter's Field has fascinated me since I was very young. My mother used to go to cemeteries with me or with her friend to look at the stones. She actually used to go with that friend while I was in school and make up stories about the people buried in the tombs. I wonder where I got my interests. :)

Anyway, Mom told me once about Potter's Field. I've never forgotten it. We looked down the back terrace at the rows of identical plain, white stones, and she would tell me how the poor people who could not afford anything fancy or really anything at all would be placed their with nothing on their markers but a number. When I trekked down the terrace to see them upclose last week, I saw that even some of the numbers were duplicated.

It made me feel so sad. Those poor, forgotten people. They were forgotten the moment they were buried, if not before then. So I thought they'd be the best spirits to attempt contact with.

I got out my digital audio recorder. No go. It was in lock mode. I had no idea how it locked and no idea how to unlock it. I was sunk on EVP for that day.

So I took digital photos. Sometimes I'd remember to ask permission. Most of the time I did. It was too hard to see if anything extraordinary showed up in the little view screen. Since I was on vacation, I felt weird taking my work laptop home to load pictures, so I left it at work. The photos could wait for more examination.

At one point I asked if anyone wanted to talk if they could give me a sign. I started laughing when my cell phone fell off my jeans where it was clipped and landed in front of grave 19. I said okay and took a photo, since I could not record.

I was not the only one out that day in Potter's Field, though. And, no, it wasn't a gaggle of ghosts. A young girl–probably high school or college age–who looked on the goth side with her dyed black hair and more alternative outfit strolled by while I was messing with my equipment. I felt self-conscious, so I think it affected my energy. It was kind of neat to see her, though. She looked like she felt very at home. It made me think of what I had just read in Katherine Ramsland's "Cemetery Stories" about how people in the Victorian times would socialize in cemeteries and have picnics as well as pay their respects to the dead. That's what people did before they had TV! Actually I think it's great. People are so skittish when it comes to graveyards and talking about the dead and ghosts. In other countries death is not taboo. In Mexico and in China, there are huge celebrations surrounding the dead.

So back to my findings. Today I went back to work. I took a few minutes to load my photos to my computer. There were photos from my nephew's graduation and of some friend's baby. There there were the cemetery photos. The disappointed person in me from last time figured there would be nothing out of the ordinary. So I was surprised when I could see a face or skull in one of the Potter's Field stones and two more in another shot of multiple gravestones! It's pretty cool and exciting. I want to further investigate and take more photos so see if I can get anything else.

Well, that began my adventures in ghost hunting. We'll see if the Cemetery Club catches on. A friend of mine said she and her husband would probably be up for an investigation in their house. They've had a number of strange occurances including EVP over the phone, a framed picture that gives off bad vibes, their son's imaginary friend named Hong from China, a turning doorknob and scratches to a person's skin. I can't wait to investigate!

I'll leave you with the story of the presence in my former apartment. It was my first experience with a ghost that I was fully aware of.

Keep in the spirit!

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