A majority of the population has a bucket list. That list where one hopes to cross off desired dreams or goals to fulfill in their lifetime. Some are more normal than others; like wanting to skydive, backpack across Europe, or even buy a house and a boat. Well, mine has always been on the (para)normal side. I have always wanted to investigate a haunted, abandoned building.
Ever since I was young, I have found the paranormal realm fascinating. I grew up watching ghost hunting shows with my dad and wanted nothing more than to conduct my own investigations. But how? There wasn’t anything scary in my hometown. It wasn’t until I moved away and met friends who also wanted to step into the unknown and explore that I knew I was closer to eliminating an item from my bucket list.
One night, I was watching “Ghost Adventures” starring Zak Bagans, where he and his team were investigating an abandoned asylum in upstate New York. A lightbulb went off. That location wasn’t too far from my friends and me. We agreed to find this haunt and go on our very first ghost hunting adventure. We made sure we had the proper equipment (at least what we had at the time): a few cameras, recorders, Frank’s box, flashlights and most importantly, rosaries – for protection.
The day of our adventure rolled around. We excitedly packed into the car and off we went. An old, narrow road, surrounded by a tunnel of trees lead us to this paranormal playground. Abandoned buildings upon buildings covered the grounds. We didn’t know where to start, so we drove around to get the lay of the land. There it was. On top of the hill, a U-shaped, decrepit building stood that was once the asylum’s hospital. The only thing between us and the building was anxiousness, excitement, fear and overgrown, prickly shrubs. We took a deep breath, said a prayer and ventured in.
Prior to our investigation, I had conducted some research on this location. It was shut down in 1996 due to deplorable conditions and overcrowding. But, upon walking in there, it was almost as though everyone had just…left! Paperwork, old files, checks, desks, computers, you name it, were all over the place – even old holiday decorations; very bizarre! One would think that the employees would have packed up everything upon closing, but there it all lies 20 years later.
The corridor hallways were decrepit with chipped paint and graffiti. Behind almost every door was something more unsettling than the one before. Wheelchairs, gurneys, IV bags and mattresses filled the rooms. Talk about unnerving. We had the cameras and recorders on in hopes of capturing an orb or an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). I placed the recorder on a wheelchair and asked a couple of questions to see if anyone wanted to communicate with us. In the recording below, I ask, “What is your name?” 33 seconds later, there’s a harsh whisper that sounds like, “Leave.” I’ll leave that there for you to decide.
With a feeling of tightness in our chests, we made our way to the basement which was covered in thick darkness. We approached a dental room with the equipment still there. Farther down the hall was a single dental room with some sort of machine and a chair. I begin to comment about the “interesting machines.” Then the recorder picked up a voice that was not any of us. In the recording below, you can hear a chilling male voice responding to me. It sounds like he’s saying, “And.” Hearing that while going over the footage was chilling. Still is.
The basement, and the building in general, was a maze with small, hidden rooms around every corner. However, nothing prepared us for what we encountered next. The morgue. A big square in the wall with four, empty slots for bodies, remained. This was prime for investigation. We placed one of the recorders in one of the drawers, one at hand and all cameras running. I began asking questions until something unexplainable happened. When in mid-question, the recorder that we had been using all day, and that had been used prior to this investigation, stopped, rewound itself and began playing back to us. We froze, but mustered up the courage to pick up the recorder to see what was wrong. We stopped it, forwarded it to where we left off, made certain the memory wasn’t full and placed it back in the slot. When we placed it back, I asked for it to do it again. It did. The same exact thing. Rewound itself and started playing back. See video below.
After that frightening, yet exciting moment, we ventured past the morgue to the lab. Apparently, that area is where the autopsied brains and other body parts had been stored in jars. A room next to the laboratory still had an IV bag hanging in the closet. I panned my camera around and asked the spirits to come out so that I could take their picture. In the video clip below, you can see a solid, white orb come in frame and hang there for a few seconds before zooming off. We explored that area until all of our flashlights flickered and went out simultaneously.
With several buildings yet to be explored, it’s safe to say that I will definitely be returning. Paranormal activity doesn’t happen when one would like it to – spirits can be fickle. This ghost hunting trip was a success and I hope that those spirits who are still trapped in the halls are able to find the light and cross over to a more peaceful place.
Contributed by Rachel Pierce