Ghost Hunt at the Reynolds House Nov 12, 2013 2:33:38 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Nov 12, 2013 2:33:38 GMT -5
JMU Ghost Hunters investigate supposed haunting
HAYMARKET, Va. – Two hours up I-81 sits a nearly 100-year-old, run-down home that is rumored to be haunted. On Saturday, I traveled with the James Madison University's (JMU) Ghost Hunters to Haymarket to investigate. I went as an accomplice, feeling skeptical and had no idea what to expect.
It was about a two-hour drive from Harrisonburg; the house is owned by the family of JMU alumnus, Jonathan Reynolds.
The Reynolds family owns another house close to the haunted one – this one was also thought to be haunted by the spirit of Jonathan’s great grandmother, who used to live there. We used this house as a “base” of sorts – a warmer place to wait in between group shifts in the haunted house.
The first thing to do after arriving at “base” was to go over the technology the club would use to perform its investigations. Thomas Harbour, a sophomore geology major and founder of the club, and Chelsey Adams, a sophomore political science major, went over the basic tools: K2s, which measure electromagnetic fields on a bar scale from green to red; EMFs, which also measure electromagnetic fields but give a decimal number; and a ghost meter, which accomplishes similar goals as the first two, but instead makes noise. The team also brought noise recorders and a small ball for the ghost to possibly move.
When we arrived at the location, the house looked just like what you would expect a haunted house to look like. It was rundown, decrepit; there was what was speculated to be a bullet hole in one of the front windows, and an abandoned bathtub on the front porch – I’m still not sure what that was doing there.
The Reynolds family showed us around the house and introduced us to other forms of ghost detectors that measure electromagnetic activity and temperature; the spirit box, which sweeps through radio stations — if a voice goes across multiple frequencies, it could be troubling; the ovilus, a phonetic generator that spirits can “use” to vocalize their thoughts and finally a night vision motion camera.
Following the tour of the house, the Reynolds debriefed me on its history – it was built in the ’20s and has been in the Reynolds family since the ’70s.
“There have been a couple of occurrences in this house,” Jonathan’s father, John Reynolds, said. “One woman who was living here in the ’70s had a little girl. The mother was killed in a car accident just up the road from here. The first time we came investigating here, he used his ovilus and one of the first words said was ‘Harrison.’ That was the little girl and mother’s last name. Other people who have lived there have seen the little girl.”
In addition to the tale of the little girl, Reynolds showed us an article about the murder of Mary Yowell, a woman who was accidentally shot by her husband in an altercation with two of their neighbors.
The Reynolds family has had many experiences in the house, especially with the ovilus. Recently, they have heard “Mommy, award, tree” in succession, as well as “demon.”
At the mention of “demon,” shivers ran down my spine. I wasn’t sure how this night was going to turn out.
To begin with, we separated into groups to explore different portions of the house. I went with the group assisting Jonathan. He began the hunt by asking questions and speaking to any ghosts that could be around, such as, “Knock on the wall – anything that will let us know that you’re here.”
Following a couple of questions, we heard some creaking sounds – almost like footsteps – coming from the corner of the room.
“I heard somebody walking,” Jonathan Fulk, a sophomore computer science major, said. Another group that had been investigating the upstairs reported they thought they had heard us moving around the basement, but none of us had been down there.
As the night wore on, things grew stranger.
Adams was particularly in tune with the happenings of the evening and has a lot of experience with specters. She says she has been talking to ghosts since she was little.
“My mom tells a story that my imaginary friend when I was 3 was my brother, who was stillborn. I’ve always been interested in the paranormal,” Adams said.
All of the paranormal experiences seemed to circulate around Adams. At one point in the night, Adams received K2 readings that were the highest possible; the air was cooler around her, she moved the K2 up to a higher point and it would not go off, then back down only to receive the same high readings. Adams believes the ghost of the little girl was standing beside her.
Other members reported experiences with ghosts in the Reynolds’ house as well.
“We were in the basement and heard lots of footsteps from the main floor and one solid footstep from the upper floor,” Harbour said. “We decided to go upstairs to check it out and as I was bringing up the rear going up the stairs, I heard something right behind my head – it sounded like it was all around me, but as I turned around it ceased.”
Leaving the house that evening, I definitely felt as if I had developed a new appreciation for ghost investigators; it’s not always easy to remain calm when you can’t explain what’s happening around you.
Source: Joanna Morelli, The Breeze, November 11, 2013.