Our ghost hunting team had the opportunity to join the staff of the Ghost Hunter Store of Mt. Holly, N.J. and the South Jersey Ghost Research team to investigate the Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library, in Philadelphia. Our team had all the equipment needed, including flashlights, cameras, divining rods, night vision equipment, voice recorder and most importantly, rosary beads.
When we entered the museum, we not only stepped back into time, but also the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil. Our first stop was “Old Baldy” the beloved war horse of General George G. Meade. In the next room was “The Old Army Mule and a presence that three of us felt right off. No…not the staff, but a spirit. Who was this ghostly resident? Find out after the jump.
The G.A.R. staff directed us to the second floor meeting room where others were waiting for the SJGR team to arrive. Needing the use of a restroom, I headed across the hallway, to find it occupied. But, I wasn’t the only one in that hallway; I felt a female presence at the top of the spiral staircase. It was the same presence I felt in the room with the army mule, but who was it? Finally, the SJGR team arrived and Dave Juliano (Director of SJGR) and Marti Haines (Assistant Director) explained the equipment and rules. Yes, there are rules to an investigation! The plan was to have each floor of the building manned by a group. Our group headed to the attic for the first leg of the investigation, and once there, all lights were turned off.
Spirits retain their personalities and if someone was kind while alive, they’re the same, dead. On the other hand, that miserable neighbor who always yelled at kids whenever their baseballs accidently went into his yard, he’s still obnoxious, but more so now that he’s dead. On rare occasions you might interact with a ghost who seems harmless, but in reality is a demon. Not to worry, there are prayers that must be said before entering and leaving the house and items that you wear to protect yourself. Here are some of the instructions, you should follow: Do not provoke a spirit! (This is the same as taunting a sniper who has a head shot on you), no attempts at spirit rescues or forcing spirits to leave (same as provoking), if you feel uncomfortable, leave the room (you may be too sensitive to the spirit’s presence or maybe the spirit just doesn’t like you). But if a spirit has followed you home, (oh great, it’s not enough that I have unwanted family members dropping in, I now have dead people) there are ways to get rid of them. I usually get rid of unwanted spirits by assigning them housework. This works every time as I only seem to get the slackers to follow me home.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get any pictures of orbs or apparitions, but while in the attic, we made contact with a male spirit. Using the equipment so the ghost could interact in a yes or no reply, we learned that this person had been shot, a chest wound. The G.A.R. staff confirmed this, saying that Jim and how he died was documented in their records. I kept getting a sense of fire and heavy smoke in the attic, and the staff confirmed that a fire did indeed occur in that section of the building. Our next trip was to the cellar, where an angry ghost resided. Happily, for me, the spirit behaved. I have enough grumpy people in my life to deal with. We then headed back to the room with the mule head, and into a nest of activity. The woman that I had sensed when we first entered the building, and again on the spiral stairway, was there, and so was the strong scent of Lilacs. We began to ask questions and learned that she was a nurse, took care of the wounded during the war, had children, but they had died young. At one point, the spirit forcibly tapped one of our members on the arm after she complained that she couldn’t smell the Lilacs. We all sensed another spirit entering the room, but he would not reveal himself. After four hours of investigating, we were exhausted and headed up to the second floor to regroup.
I began to play with some of the equipment on the table and picked up a recorder that enables you to hear and read what a ghost is saying. I asked if anyone was in the room with us and I got this reply, “Albert is here.” I asked how he died and was told that his death was caused by a hernia? I had so many questions to ask, but our ride home would be there in a few moments. The youngest in our group asked Albert for his rank (meaning his rank in the service). His reply was, “Demon.”
Holy Scooby Doo on a cracker! Grabbing hold of our team, I rushed them out of the room with this message to Albert, “Stay here.”
I’ve been encountering spirits from early childhood, and so has everyone on our team and maybe that’s why we’re okay with ghost hunting. But as interesting as ghost hunting is, it’s not everyone. You need to be trained to seek out spirits, and with Albert as a good example, this activity is not something to take lightly.