Friday, September 11, 2015

An encore investigation in notoriously haunted Va City, MT

During our summer book tour for WILD WEST GHOSTS, we were invited to give a paranormal talk at the Thompson-Hickman County Library in the notoriously haunted town of Virginia City, MT. (Click here to see our summer 2014 investigations in this frontier mining town during .)

Thompson-Hickman County Library
It was a standing-room-only crowd filled with locals and, to our delight, many shared their own ghostly stories and encounters. After the event, several folks told us about the many celeb ghost hunters who'd come to town, but the townies said all these groups had overlooked what locals considered the most haunted location in town -- the Opera House. And they invited us to conduct our own investigation at this hot spot while we were in the vicinity.

Luckily, we brought our gear -- hey, you never know!

Turned out, we conducted three investigations over the next 24 hours: the Opera House costume shop (in a separate building), the Opera House stage, and nearby Boot Hill cemetery, the burial site for vigilante hangings in the 1864. We were not disappointed, capturing not only residual haunting EVP but also intelligent responses on both our digital recorder and our EchoVox spirit box. Read on.

The Opera House Costume Shop Investigation
The Opera House gives vaudeville and melodrama performances for visiting tourists throughout the summer, and the locals have preserved or restored the building to its former glory. But behind the Opera House, a separate little pioneer shack serves as clothing storage and workshop station for costumes and props.

The Opera House costume shop, where the
"Little Girl" ghost appears

Costume Shop manager Laura Long gave us the tour of the building the day after our book talk. The facility consists of multiple rooms clearly added on each time more space was needed. We invited Laura to participate in our investigation. Good thing, since she's the one who's had the most interaction with the "Little Girl," the most active ghost on the premises.

Other Opera House players have also encountered the "Little Girl," sometimes as a full-bodied apparition. Several have experienced her mischievous antics.

She's known to abscond with key bits of stage costuming or props just before a performance. But she always returns them just in the nick of time (to the exasperation and chagrin of the cast), often placing these items on Laura's workshop bench.

Laura Long before the workshop
bench favored by the ghost
Our team established EMF baseline readings throughout the building at the start of our investigation. (EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field, and ghosts are said to draw on this energy to manifest their presence.) Then we set up camcorder sessions with flashlight, digital recorder, and spirit box for the locations most reported for the "Little Girl."

After an hour and a half without results, we decided to clear the building and let just Kym and Laura have a go at contacting the "Little Girl." (We'd heard from several local interview sources the previous evening that the ghost preferred women and was more likely to manifest to a feminine audience.)

Kym and Laura used a camcorder, a flashlight, and a digital recorder during the session. Wraiths in the Thick team member Fonda Porterfield provided an antique child's doll named Mandy to use as a trigger object.  This configuration turned out to be a good hunch in approaching the "Little Girl." Here's the evidence we captured:

EVP capturing the ghost's name, "Hannah"

Only during later analysis, when we amplified the recording, did we detect that Kym and Laura had actually gotten a response. The capture of the little ghost's name, "Hannah," is so clear it falls under the category known as a Class A EVP, where all listeners agree on what's said. (Class B EVP are those where most hear the same thing, and Class C EVP are those where there are differing interpretations of what's said.)

During a follow-up session, we also captured on spirit box the name "Mandy." Guess the doll was a hit after all.

 EVP using doll as trigger object

When we shared the EVP of the "Little Girl" ghost's name with Laura, she in turn shared it with the summer Opera House theater players. They all agreed the recording did indeed say "Hannah." The cast members may have agreed, but it also so spooked (pun intended) the players that they were reluctant to visit the costume shop afterwards. By contrast, the EVP capture thrilled Laura, who now addresses her little friend by her name.

We packed up our gear and headed across the back parking lot to conduct our second investigation on the stage of the Opera House, and the subject of the next article.

* * *
We're still having as much fun analyzing the results of our ongoing investigations as we did conducting the investigations over the past year for our book, WILD WEST GHOSTS.

There are puzzling experiences and encounters aplenty out there, and you just may want to pick up a copy of the book for either your own armchair musings or else as a guide for some of your own expeditions into the fascinating world of the paranormal.

You can buy the book as either an e-read or a trade paperback. Visit our Website for the links.

In the meantime, happy hunting!