After I spent an evening learning about what Monroe County Paranormal Investigations does, I was fortunate to be able to go on a ghost hunt with them two days later. (To read my previous interview with the ghosthunters, scroll back a few posts to last weekend) To be clear, this wasn’t an investigation. Myself and several others bought tickets to join M.C.P.I for a mini-class on the tools they use and how they use them in a location with a haunted history. The location was the Union Tavern in Rochester, N.Y. The structure, pictured above, has quite a past. It’s first known history dates back to 1819.
The property was first owned by a renowned pirate. Later in the 1800’s it was rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad. During the 1930’s, when recreational alcohol was outlawed, it was a speakeasy (secret bar). Since then it has passed through several hands as a bar/restaurant. The one thing that has been consistent throughout it’s history is reports of paranormal activity. The Monroe County Paranormal Investigations had been here before for a requested investigation and found strong evidence of invisible entities in the restaurant, including several reports of a little boy who catches people that fall on the stairs.
After a brief introduction to their tools the investigators gave us some of their equipment and set us loose in the restaurant that was closed for this event. I didn’t take many pictures because it was quite dimly lit inside and I didn’t want to use my flash.
The pros had brought with them a digital voice recorder that they left running throughout, an EMF meter, an infrared camera, and some dowsing rods, and a thing that can make a laser grid on a wall so you can see if anything passes through it.
The first thing I watched was Rob, the founder of MCPI, sit down at a table in an area of the restaurant where there had been repeated reports of ghost sightings. He held out his EMF meter
Rob spoke aloud asking anyone there to come close to his meter. At first nothing, but a few minutes later his meter made a noise and the red bulbs lit up. Then he asked the entity to come closer and make the meter light up again. It did. He next used a name that the owners provided for the ghost that they see in this area of the bar. “If this is Leann, come close to my meter to light it up.” And in response, with no one else moving or talking, the meter lit up to red. He asked Leann if she liked cooking and baking. The meter lit up again. Rob pushed out a chair and asked her to sit down. Keep in mind that he wasn’t holding the meter in his hand the whole time. He set the meter down on the table and it still seemed as if the ghost was responding to brief questions. After about five minutes of interaction Leann the ghost may have wandered off.
Here’s my part of the story. The half dozen others who had joined myself and the MCPI had quickly grabbed the available EMF meters and infrared thermometers, leaving me with dowsing rods. Yes, dowsing rods like the kind used 200 years ago to find water. See the vertical hollow handles where it’s thicker? That’s where you hold them. You’re not actually touching the rods themselves. They are lightweight and very sensitive to movement. Someone whose hands shake nervously shouldn’t even bother trying to use these.
I didn’t mind getting “stuck” with these instead of an electronic meter. They just seemed more organic to me. After Rob’s conversation with Leann tailed off, I wandered away from the others down the bar. I held the dowsing rods and asked if anyone was there if they could push the rods together. At first it seemed like they moved, but I didn’t feel that I held my hands steady enough. So I planted my elbows on the bar to stabilize my arms. I waited until the dowsing rods were completely still for about ten seconds, and I said softly “If anyone is here can you push the rods together?” I felt cold goosebumps sweep across my body and suddenly the rods that were pointing straight out moved towards each other until they crossed. I was excited, but skeptically cautious. I wanted to see it again to be sure I was getting a response.
I planted my elbows solidly and waited until the rods were still. I again said “If you are still here, please push the rods together.” Again, after my question, the rods seemed to almost jump together. The difference this time was that two young guys that had showed up with all the latest ghost hunting tech were near where I was conducting my experiment. As the rods moved one of the guys with an EMF meter suddenly said, “I’m getting a good reading here!”
Later I moved upstairs and found a back room that no one seemed interested in. I thought, “If I was a ghost, I’d go in here to get away from all these people.” I steadied my hands and waited. Then I whispered again, asking for someone to cross the rods. They started to move tenuously, just a little. I again asked the entity to “push them harder, to make them cross.” After my second ask I felt the goosebumps sweep over me and the rods again seemed to move on their own. I heard noise just outside the doorway and it was a guy with a meter who excitedly said, “Hey, I just got a big reading.”
Keep in mind that we were probably walking around that bar for about 90 minutes and I only had two ten second interactions. Ghost hunting can be boring sometimes too.
What’s my verdict? Did I really interact with a ghost? My answer is Probably. I’m telling you, when I got those responses, my hands were as still as a statue. The rods seemed to almost jump that first time. Plus the tech ghost hunters seemed to confirm what my goosebumps were telling me. I walked all over that place repeating that same routine, but all I got was those two brief instances. I’d like to thank the gang at MCPI for a great education and experience!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my ghost stories. What do you think? Do ghosts exist?Have a great Sunday! ~Phil