Thursday, June 29, 2006

COLUMN: Ghost Hunt

11:30 PM. I'm already a bit creeped out. Route 927 has never looked this ominous before. I'm in the car, on my way to the spookiest slumber party EVER. An avid fan of all things hocum-pocum, I've been invited to join the DIEPART team as they investigate a possible haunting at a home in Wilton. I am, in a word, psyched. Haunted houses can be spooky, but the fact that I'm going to be there with a half dozen paranormal investigators puts me somewhat at ease. I mean, if Gozer the Gozerian pops out of a wall, the pros can just blast it right back to Heck with some kind of thermo-gamma-ectoplasm ray, right? Right? The Psychedelic Furs come on my satellite radio with "The Ghost in You." I turn it to comedy, but not even Larry the Cable Guy can take the chill out of the air tonight.

12:00 AM. I arrive at the purportedly haunted house. It might very well be the UN-spookiest house I've ever seen. It's in a happy little neighborhood. The kind of neighborhood where kids play and people grill out. Not the sort of neighborhood where the undead roam the Earth seeking brains. Then again, if television has taught me only one thing, it's that you never quite know where those pesky ancient Indian burial grounds are located...

12:05 AM. Team DIEPART arrives in a caravan of trucks and begins unloading equipment. Surely if this place IS haunted, the ghosts are hightailing it out. Everywhere I look, there are cameras, mics, cords, and boxes of equipment. We look less like ghost hunters and more like Bon Jovi's road crew.

1:35 AM. The team members set up in different corners of the house and "Lights Out!" is called.

1:36 AM. "Lights Out" must mean something else in DIEPART lingo, because when the command is given, the house lights go out, but are replaced immediately by what I'd guess to be roughly 20,000 flashbulbs. Every few seconds, a team member whispers "FLASH" and takes a picture. I'd love to know what people driving by right now are thinking. The ghosts, meanwhile, remain silent (yet clearly now blinded.)

1:55 AM. I am positioned in the child's bedroom (the heart of the hauntings) with DIEPART member Shannon Kingrey. This is my favorite part of the whole night, as Kingrey kills the time with a good ghost story or two from her childhood. Atop the bed sits a ouija board, set out by DIEPART in case our boogeypeople want to host an impromptu spelling bee. Between the flashbulbs and the extreme silence, my blood is pumping.

2:00 AM. As I open my phone to check the time, it says that it's 3:00 AM. It's not. It's 2:00 AM. I blink and suddenly my phone says it's 1:00. I blink again and it's back to 3, then 1, then 2. My phone plays this game for 3 minutes. As a professional writer, my head fills with thoughts. Predominantly the thought that I want my mommy. My color returns only when another DIEPART member notices HIS phone is amok as well. We are the only two with the same provider. Either its a network-wide fluke or our spirits du jour have a serious issue with Verizon Wireless. Hey ghosts, can you hear me now? Gooooood.

3:19 AM. We're still in the bedroom, but the investigators in the front room ALL hear a whispery voice emanating from the hallway we're adjacent to. Shannon and I hear nothing. I brush it off (until two weeks later, when DIEPART sends me an EVP captured on 4 different microphones. A voice irrefutably whispers, "I am the one who said that." I've never been happier about my hearing loss from years of loud music, because if I HAD heard that, I would've leapt out of my skin and become a ghost myself.)

3:30 AM. Now I'm hearing a noise from down the hall. It's a breathy growling sound that common sense and my years of training tells me is either a werewolf, a hellhound, or the ghost of Ginger, the poodle I tormented as a child. Either way, I'm a goner. I creep down the hall, ballpoint pen readied as a melee weapon against the supernatural, to find a DIEPART member snoring away in the back bedroom.

5:15 AM. Having heard no more whispers, the team packs it in for the night. Rather than stick around and risk more heart attacks, I bid adieu to Team DIEPART and any assorted Wilton wraiths and make for civilization (after first checking the car for hitchhiking ghouls.) There's nothing on but conservative talk radio, and for the only time in my life, I'm okay with that - Ann Coulter might be insane, but at least she's not dead. Little do I know that as I cruise back to Rock Island, the DIEPART team experiences ghostly humming and the overpowering smell of bubble gum as they tear down. I just hope Banshee Bazooka Joe doesn't hum his way to Rock Island.

Thanks, DIEPART. It was a fun weekend.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I wondered how the ghost hunt went. Sounds like you had fun.