This past weekend a group of people from SIPI went to Thomas House in Red Boiling Springs, TN. This is an old hotel that was once a family home of the Cloyd Family. The home was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters recently.
This is a good place for those starting out. The reason I say this is, is that the people who run the ghost hunt are very helpful and will be happy to explain how things work. We were shown some pictures and listened to EVPs ahead of time, including the GH episode while we ate dinner. There are some items there for sale if you want a laser grid for example, you can have one at a great price.
You will be led by a group leader, and have ample time at each location during the evening. You can go to your room (some are haunted, some are quiet), whenever you want to. You are well fed, and there is always coffee in the pot.
Now for the haunted side. It is a place that has things going on. Our group had individual experiences and group experiences with strange noises, black shadows, apparitions, and strange lights. The place does not have the creep factor like Villisca, but then it doesn't have the horrible history either. It was a place where yes, there were accidents and deaths, but no mass murder.
It is nice to be able to investigate a place where you have everything you need under one roof for one price. The hosts are nice, friendly people, and the building is beautiful on beautiful grounds.
There was a downside to all of this though. We had a pair of guides, and there was way too much chit chat for us. I am sure when people who have never gone on an investigation are there, they like the chat, the information, and the socializing. We like quiet, finding things out for ourselves, and socialize later. Don't get me wrong, we have fun, we even joke and laugh a bit, but not too much, and not during an EVP session.
We had a person with the guide who said she was psychic. I guess she didn't realize she had a professional psychic, and two sensitives in the group who can get their own info, including names. Everything she told us "psychically" was wrong, and even people in the group who were not psychic said something along the lines of, "There is no way she is psychic". I suppose it generally livens up the tour up a bit, however we deal in facts, and evidence.We use our "outsider info" as a way to know where to go in the building, or set up cameras or a name to try calling out. The flow of conversation and "information" totally ruined an entire EVP session. We also , unfortunately have to do some member training, but at least that is under our control.
People issues aside, it was a fun and interesting evening that had comfy beds and good food. The most active place I found was the dining room where we all ate. I think maybe the spirit go and hide back in that area since people don't hang out in there after eating. I recommend spending time in there with your recorder on. It is not part of the regular tour although there is an EVP session done in there with everyone present at midnight snack time.
I don't have the mass of EVPs I collected at Villisca. Many I heard were either too quiet, or too questionable (we were surrounded by chatty Kathys), so most of what I have are noises.I only have one voice EVP I can trust. We have not looked at our video yet, and I am hopeful that the video will be helpful. It doesn't have audio, so I won't find new EVPs, but it sure would be nice to see an apparition walking down the hall. That being said, we plan a trip back.
This is a good , safe, non-scary place to go. It is a place where you don't have to worry about food, and bathrooms. I recommend it. The best thing to do would be to go with a group so you can keep things a little under control. We had a couple of people outside of our group doing the ever popular "flashlight communicating", and I am glad my investigation time wasn't wasted with that hokum.
So gather at least eight people together and you will be able to have your own group on the tour.
There was a bonus for us, when we saw a Barred owl land in a tree over our heads and a Blue Heron stroll through the creek at about 2 AM.
Thanks to Chad for all of his help, and to the Thomas House staff for their hospitality.
(C)2012 Dr R M Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.