In recent weeks it has come
to my attention that certain parties are using my ghost stories and those of my
contributors as references for their own commercial enterprises. If you or
someone you know is writing a book on ghosts in the Pacific Northwest, PLEASE
DO NOT!!! copy or use the following stories or any other materials within
this website as references.
Jefferson Davis (25 April
Here is a button which will take you
to an archive copy of the last three years or so of the "What's New"
section I began in 2001.
Northwest Ghost Hunter's Conference Posted 21 November 2005
Illinois University Visit Posted 21 November 2005
State University Visit
Posted 21 November 2005
Posted 21 November 2005
Posted 21 November 2005
Rose City Paranormal Conference, Portland Oregon, October 2005 posted 21 November 2005
Northwest Ghost Hunter's Conference
21 November 2005
On the 11th of November, my wife Janine and I traveled to Fort
Worden, in Port Townsend, Washington for the 3rd Annual Pacific Northwest
Ghost Hunter's Conference. This conference was sponsored by AGHOST.
I volunteered to do a talk on some of the public haunts such as restaurants
and parks in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a ghost walk at Fort
Worden. The latter was quite a chore, since I had not spent a lot of
time at Fort Worden since my childhood. It took a week or so of
studying, checking references and consulting with other paranormalists before
I had the notes ready. I took Friday afternoon to walk over the
Later that night we went to the famous Manresa Castle
hotel for a no host bar and mixer. Things began a little slow, as people
were a bit reluctant to mix, until we all introduced ourselves. Many
hotel guests who were not there for the conference were interested enough to
attend the gathering. Some of them came to Fort Worden the next day.
Worden had its roots in the rivalry between the United States and Great
Britain, dating back to the War of 1812. It was briefly inflamed during
the not-so-famous Pig War of the 1850s. Construction began on the
massive gun emplacements in the 1890s, and Fort Worden was officially
commissioned in 1902. It, along with two other forts (Flagler and Casey)
formed a "Triangle of Death," protecting the Puget Sound from
invaders. The Forts must have done their jobs, since they were not
attacked in World War I or World War II. The fort was decomissioned in
the 1950s, and later became a troubled youth center. In the 1970s, Fort
Worden became a Washington State Park, open to the public for events or just
My wife and I stayed at the Olympic Hostel, at
Fort Worden. I like Youth Hostels, and this one was staffed with
friendly people, and was nice and clean. The only downside was the
couple who stayed in the private room next to ours. They came with their
young son, who they did not teach to use his "quiet voice" at 7
The Conference on Saturday the 12th was
very interesting. Like many professional conferences, it was a great
opportunity to catch up with friends I had not seen in quite some time.
Many Puget Sound ghost hunting groups were represented there. My talk on
public haunts went well on Saturday. And I enjoyed other talks on the
technical aspects of ghost hunting equipment, and techniques. There was
quite a turn out, which I estimate was 50+ attendees. This was
impressive, given the distance people from Seattle and Tacoma had to travel to
get there. I spoke with one of the organizers and suggested the next
conference be held in Centralia, Washington, in the hopes of getting more
people from the Portland area to attend.
Saturday evening most
of the conference attendees went on various ghost hunts, while I went out to
dinner with some friends. Then went home to prepare for my Fort Worden
Ghost walk. Before I gave my ghost walk, Joe Teeples from AGHOST gave a
great talk on military cemeteries, and how to interpret military grave
were several different haunted buildings at Fort Worden. They ranged
from the Guard Station on Fort Worden proper, to Alexander's Castle, which
predated the military, and the lighthouse at Wilson Point.
This lighthouse and its outbuildings
are still owned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Early in 2005, My friend, Ross Allison, the founder and president of A.G.H.O.S.T.
introduced me to his talent agency, Power
Performers. Power Performers represents many
different entertainers and public speakers, and book them at public events or
in colleges. Ross worked for them in 2004, going to colleges across the
country. He usually met with a group of students, and took them on a
ghost hunt in a haunted University building, then gave a presentation on the
history of the paranormal, with examples of different phenomena to a larger
audience. He was so successful in 2004, that he became overbooked in
Power Performers asked Ross if he knew of anyone else that
might be able to take up the slack and the extra dates he could not
meet. Ross gave them my name, among others. Even though I
was an unknown quantity, they sent me to four colleges in late October,
My first school, Thomas College was located in Maine. I was
responsible for making my own travel arrangements, and found the first leg of
my tour a bit of a challenge. Flying from Portland, Oregon to Portland,
Maine was a trip of about 13 hours, plus time zone changes. I could have
flown out a 7 AM, and conducted my ghost hunt at 2 AM, that night.
Somehow I did not think that the college would have appreciated that
move. Instead I flew out the day before, and slept overnight in Portland
before driving to Thomas College.
It was a bit of a shock, since we do not
have toll roads or many toll bridges in the Pacific Northwest. There are
tollgates all over Maine. It was a good thing that I had plenty of
change with me. It was nice driving in the New England area in
October. The maple trees were just starting to turn brown, and I had a
chance to see the gray Atlantic as I drove along the coast.
is a private business school, located in Waterville. Although the
college dates to 1894, the campus moved in the late 1960s, and most of the
buildings are very modern. Their haunted building was their main
administrative and classroom building. There were a few rumors of a
female student committing suicide there...
I met up with my students in the
early afternoon. There were a dozen or so. We had to fit the ghost
hunt in with class schedules, etc. I gave a quick talk to the students,
showing them various investigation tools, such as a tri-field, electromagnetic
radiation detector, digital audio recorder, and digital camera. I
explained the various ways each were used, as well as common, natural
phenomenon that have been mis-interpreted as being paranormal in origin.
of the ways to involve the students in the ghost hunting process was to divide
them into two teams, assigning each team to a different part of the college
group went to a utility stairway, behind the gym.
things go a trifle wrong when you start trying to get EVPs. Sometimes
people come across bugs, or background noise, or whatever:
EVP attempt number 2
other group went to an empty classroom.
We did have what sounded like
someone answering us as we all asked questions of the empty air.
Unfortunately, it was not on my tape recorder, but someone else's so you will
have to listen to some of the other sound bytes on this page.
were not as successful as at the other universities, the folks at Thomas
College were fun, and enthusiastic. I hope that they continue searching
for the paranormal.
Posted 21 November 2005
My stop was at a place called Kutztown University, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
I do not have very good luck flying. I have been involved in three or
four helicopter accidents with the military. Fortunately I guess, my bad
luck with civilian flying usually limits itself to late flights and missing
luggage. This trip was no different. My airplane was
overbooked, and running late. Fortunately I called the college and they rescheduled
the start time for the ghost hunt. As the saga continued, there was a
wreck on the highway from Philadelphia to Kutztown, and we were delayed for
We arrived at last, and the ghost hunt began. The hunt
took place in the main dorm and classroom at the University. It also
happened to be the oldest building on campus. Originally, the
building was a series of classrooms, but over time the university
administration added more floors and wings. They also divided the
building, adding walls dividing the classrooms from the dormitory rooms.
of the haunts surrounds the ghost of a former student, called Mary, who was
reputed to have hung herself in, or thrown herself down an elevator
shaft. She did this because she was unhappy at school, or had an affair
with a student, or one of the professors; which ended when she became
pregnant. Or she had been raped by one of the janitors. The
stories surrounding Mary had many variations.
We tried dividing into groups, one group set up around
the elevator shaft, where we tried gathering some EVPs. Listen to the
following question/answer, especially when one student askes Mary where she
were you born?
A second group stayed in one of the dorms, where
they also tried gathering EVPs, and sharing their stories:
female student had just broken up with her boyfriend, and things started
moving about her room. In particular her phone, right after she hung up
A second person, another female student had some kind of
rivalry with Mary, which involved crosses and burn marks
other interesting things happened to us. The lecture hall where I spoke
was more than half full. This was about 300 students. The student
committee which hosted me were pleased. One of them confided that the
most popular speaker they had was actor Ron Jeremy, who packed the lecture
hall to overflowing. Oh well, you can be too popular...
21 November 2005
After about three hours sleep, I hopped another
airplane, enroute to Indianapolis, Indiana. I drove from Indianapolis to
Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana. The university has a couple
of claims to fame. Most popularly with my wife, it was endowed by
the Ball family, whose company makes canning jars. If you do not
like Jay Leno on Late Night, you may have heard David Letterman talk about his
Alma Mater, Ball State University.
campus was beautiful in what some people may have called an Indian
Summer. The day was sunny and warm, and the leaves were just turning
golden. The night was pretty cold though, if only to remind me that it
was nearly winter.
campus at Ball State was very haunted. There were stories of encounters
in their older, main building, the library, and another administrative
building. We were given access to the top floor of the original
buildings, which was used for lectures, a law library and at that time, the
annual Halloween Horror House.
started with an explanation of the tools of the trade, and an attempt to
gather EVPs. I had a very hands on group of investigators. One of
them took charge of the tri-field meter, and actively searched for unexplained
changes in electromagnetic radiation. I loaned another student, who was
an amateur photographer my brand new Pentax ist-D digital camera. A
third student took charge of the digital audio recorder.
moved three or four times, trying to get EVPs in different locations,
depending on where the Tri-field meter started spiking. We finally ended
up in the back part of the building, where the haunted house was set up.
We had a lot of activity, starting with my new camera. Usually I do not
use a flash when I am on a ghost hunt. However, the room was so dark
that it was necessary. Unfortunately, it did not work right, and started
strobing, even though it was not set on red-eye reduction.
decided to try and get some EVPs. In the first one, you might be
able to hear things during the silent intervals after asking questions.
As we listened to this question and after session, the
Tri-field meter started spiking, and we hurriedly turned the recorder back on.
We went to the University Library, but it we did not get much
of a response from any of the spirits there. We ended late, but my talk
was scheduled for late in the evening, just before the Rocky Horror Picture
Show. If I had time to prepare I would have brought my tights and spike
heels. As usually happens after one of these talks, I do not get many
audience questions as I end the talk. However, I was surrounded by
people with questions and shared experiences as soon as I officially
finished. Because we had to make room for the movie, we moved out to a
lobby alcove, where I answered many questions. Unfortunately, I missed
the end of the show, and left late to get to Indianapolis to catch my early
Posted 21 November 2005
My final stop was at Eastern Illinois University, in Charleston,
Illinois. To get there I had to fly about, with two stops before
arriving in Decatur, Illinois. This is important, because it relates to
my bad luck in flying. When I stopped in Maine, I bought three vacuum sealed jugs of maple syrup for family members. To someone living on the
west coast, it was unbelievable cheap, so I bought quart and a half sized
jugs. Somewhere along my trip from Indianapolis to Decatur, someone in
airline baggage service set something very sharp or heavy on my bags. In
my shaving kit, I had a tube of toothpaste and another of aspercreme split
open. And you guessed it; one jub of maple syrup broke open. It took
about an hour and a half to clean the syrup out of my luggage. I guess I
was lucky that I had a long layover.
I was also lucky that I had time
to buy some new clothes for the investigation and talk at Eastern Illinois.
We went to Eastern's Old Main building, which was its first combination class
room and dormitory building. The top floor was closed off and used for
storage. We were allowed in for part of the afternoon.
Tri-field meter, we tried locating some anomalous Electronic Magnetic
Radiation (EMR) to use as a focus in attempts to get some kind of ghost
photograph or Electronic Voice Phenomena. This was not easy to do, since
there were two or three generations of wiring spanning the attic spaces, or
was located under our floor, and the ceiling below us. One
interesting place was by a stack of cast iron stove fittings. All
those years of fires inside had magnetized the metal.
One of the spirits we tried to contact was Mary.
This Mary had been an older student at the university, and was appointed as a
kind of dormitory monitor while she lived at Old Main. According to the
stories, Mary used to practice on her piano every day. One day, Mary was
so taken away by her music, that she did not hear the cries of another female
student who had been attacked in the dormitory. When Mary found out what
happened, she became distraught and left, to go to a sanitarium, where she may
We located one old room, and settled on the floor, and began
trying to get an EVP. There was some EMR in the room. We did not
have any success in our first attempt. We sat in a circle, asking
questions of Mary, pausing for any ghostly answer. After a few minutes
one student noticed something unusual. The floor below here vibrated
under her, as if someone was tapping on the ceiling below.
we recorded another EVP session, our EMR person took readings in the
room. He noticed that there was an increase in the Electromagnetic
Radiation around the student who felt the tapping. After a few minutes
with no more luck, we moved to another room, where the EMR was even
we moved to this new location, we tried another recording. While
everyone was listening to the playback, I stood up and tried to take a few
pictures. I stopped, looking at everyone intent on the recorder. I
heard a loud, high pitched whining near and behind me. I looked around,
and everyone looked at me. I asked them if they heard the noise.
They replied that they had, but assumed it was my camera flash. The EMR
person noted that there were radiation spikes. I told them to restart
the recorder, and try again.
We got something. We
The question we thought was answered came from Erin, when she
asked Mary if she (Mary) could continue doing things for us.
of Mary's affinity for music, we found a VERY out of tune piano on the top
floor of old main. One of the investigators knew how to play the piano
SORT-OF. She actually did very well, and we recorded the two or three
minute concert. Nothing definite happened on the audio recording, but
there were a few EMR spikes while she played.
After the mini-concert, we
noticed that some students had walked along the locked double doors
behind the piano. The probably did not know that we were on a ghost hunt
inside the blocked off rooms. Perhaps they wondered if Mary was haunting
the attic space?
Next we went to one of the dorm rooms, followed by a
trip down to the sub-basement, where people had reported paranormal
events. We did not have enough time to spend getting definite
results. But as far as I am concerned Old Main is one of the most
haunted places I have visited in a long time.
City Paranormal Conference
21 November 2005
the weekend of the 14-16 October 2005, the Trails End Paranormal Group
organized and put on the First (ever) Rose City Paranormal Conference in
though my website does not reflect it, I was very busy in the first part of
2005. So busy that I did not have time to make entries here on this
website. In 2005 I began writing and editing my fifth book on ghosts and
the paranormal in the Pacific Northwest. I did not argue with success, I
named it: Ghosts, Critters and Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon
III. While writing my book, I fended off four more offers to have me
volunteer to go back to Southwest Asia with the U.S. Army. I had not
even been home for a whole year, when I accepted a short Army tour at Fort
Lewis, supporting ROTC, the Army Officer's education program.
Colonel did not know me very well at that time. He appointed me as a
sort of Protocol Officer, greeting dignitaries and senior officers who visited
my unit's operations area. I asked him if I was really suited for that
kind of job. Despite my frankness (loud mouth,) I did my duty without
too much trouble. I also acted as a kind of investigating officer, when
some of the soldiers were hurt during training accidents. Fortunately
everyone at Fort Lewis was pretty safe, and I did not have to make too many
recommendations. Unfortunately, over the year another five soldiers of
my acquaintances died in Afghanistan. God Bless you all and keep you.
worked on my
military job lasted six days a week, from May through the end of
September. On my days off I usually slept
in. So I worked on producing my book in the evenings. Because my tour
ended in late September, I was able to confirm a few commitments, such as
the Rose City Conference. I agreed to put together a presentation for
Catherine Duncan on ghost photographs. More specifically, I talked about
the way digital cameras can sometimes create false orbs of light in
photographs. I also talked about why I believe tuning a radio antennae
to a white noise frequency does not reliably produce electronic voice
was happy with the nature of the conference and its attendees. This was
the first time Catherine and her people had put on an event of this
size. She made good use of volunteers from many of the other paranormal
groups in the area. Her son
Jacob and cousin Robert
represented their groups, set up educational displays and gave talks. My friends Martina
and Todd talked about psychic vampires. Not the kind with
fangs. I am afraid that I cannot remember all of groups who came.
Ghost hunters from as far north as Seattle,
and south past Salem attended, making presentations and setting up their own
displays. To get maximum attendance, Catherine made all of the
educational seminars free, counting on contributions and sales of vendor
tables to pay for the rental of meeting rooms at the Days Inn in downtown
The conference almost ended with a bang. As the lady
who ran the oxygen bar broke down her equipment, she noticed an odd shape
inside a large audio speaker in the meeting room. She reached into the
speaker and pulled out an old military issue Pineapple Grenade. After
looking at it for a few minutes, she put it down and got the motel security,
who called the police. They also sent us out of harms way. We all
waited about an hour to collect our things, as the police investigated.
I was not worried, since the U.S. Army dropped that style of grenade from the
inventory in the early 1960s. So, if it had been a real hand grenade,
the explosive would have become unstable. It would have blown us all up
when the woman picked it up. It turned out that some time before, there
had been a dinner theater in the same meeting room, and the grenade was a prop
from the play.
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