Friday, October 02, 2009

The Original Ghost Hunters

Ed & Lorraine Warren
It was a few years ago, long before “ghost hunters” became a house hold word, that my friend Jimmy told me of these two old people that investigated haunted houses.
He told me how these two people would go into homes and capture images of spirits. I heard how they would chase the devil himself out of the soul of his possessed victim. He told me that these two people were world renowned paranormal investigators who helped in such cases as the famous Amityville Horror haunting in New York and they even had several books published based on their adventures in the spirit world.

These two “old people” turned out to be Ed and Lorraine Warren, who like myself, also lived in Connecticut. For those who don't know who Ed and Lorraine Warren are, I'll give you a quick briefing.
Ed and Lorraine began “ghost hunting” over 50 years ago. They could be called the original ghost hunters. They literally wrote the book on paranormal investigations.
Lorraine, who claimed to be clairvoyant, was this charming, warm hearted thin lady in her early 70's and had a smile that could bright up any room. Her eyes showed wisdom and were clearly a window to her soul.

Her husband Ed on the other hand was known as a Demonologist. He was an expert in the occult and demonic practices. He was a heavy set, rough around the edges type of man who always said what he thought of a situation or the people around him.

Scooby Doo...Where Are You?

The stories of bumps in the night, the occult and a ghost scaring people from their homes brought up memories of my childhood and my favorite cartoon, “Scooby Doo”. After all, Scooby, Shaggy and the gang always proved at the end of each episode that it wasn't a ghost haunting the old mill. It turned out to be grounds keeper Harvey, who was after the gold buried in the basement. He always made sure that we all knew that he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids and that crazy dog. This is how I saw ghost. There had to have always been a “Scooby” explanation. Over active imagination, a house settling, mice in the wall and even the grounds keeper. There couldn't actually be ghost out there...could there?

I was always a very scientific minded guy, even as a child. I always wanted an answer to why and how. Part of me did believe in ghost. It was fun to believe. Almost in line with Santa, the Easter Bunny and fairies. But a bigger side of me didn't believe. I figured if there was the spirit world walking amongst us, prove it.

This thinking is why I jumped at the chance to meet Ed and Lorraine Warren. If there was to be someone to prove that ghosts and warlocks exist, it was going to be me and my friend Jimmy.

Now Jimmy had a knack for the camera. He would fire off sever snap shots in an empty room and when he developed the film, there was sometimes images on the pictures that sometimes couldn't be explained. Many times there were wispy cloud like images, sometimes with reflexions of human faces in them. I would look in amazement so many times. I would find myself trying to explain how the images ended up on the film. I wondered Jimmy could get all these wild pictures and when I took pictures on my camera I would get nothing amazing. I then had the idea of switching cameras with Jimmy half way through out roles of film. This would show that Jimmy's camera is defected. As it turned out, I was wrong. The first half of film on my camera that was taken by me was the same old boring pictures. The half that Jimmy took was simply incredible. It was as though the wispy hazes, the glowing orbs and the spooky images followed him right into my Kodak camera.

Over the next few years, Jimmy and I would find ourselves shivering in the winter cold looking into the sightings of the “White Lady” in Union Cemetery in Easton. We would be up all night with our heavy eyes open wide, waiting for a specter to materialize in homes throughout New England. We met our share or psychics, most who were as fake as a three dollar bill, and a few that would amaze me. We met home owners that seemed genially scared to go back into their homes because of what they thought were ghost. We met others who were so out of their mind crazy that any right thinking ghost would be afraid of them. This is where the saying was tagged that “I'm not afraid of ghost, it's the living that scares the hell out of me.” We would meet people with over active imaginations who would trade there right arm to say they have a ghost in their home. There were the attention hounds and the people that were afraid of their own shadows. We heard all kind of stories. Some that would send chills up your spine and some that were so unbelievable that I would wonder why I was wasting my time listening to them.

Do You Believe In Ghost? If Not...You Will.

Now don't get me wrong. I always approached these haunting with an open mind. I honestly wanted to actually see an actual ghost. That very thing would happen a couple a of years later in a house in Waterbury, Connecticut.

It was one of the only times I could honestly say I was afraid.

It was in a house where the family living there up and left everything they owned behind in fear of coming back home because of what they claimed terrorized them each and every day from the moment they moved in. They showed us to what appeared to have been giant bite marks on their body. They told us of hair being pulled from their head. The spoke of personal objects disappearing and reappearing in strange places. And the thing that horrified them the most was a "grey man" that would follow them around their house and began to hurt their six year old son.
Jimmy and I were now pretty comfortable in our ghost hunting shoes. I was knows as the "Scooby Doo" of the investigators because I would always try my hardest to prove it wasn't a ghost. This night would be one of the few times I was wrong.
What we saw in this house on that hot August night was a grey transparent image of what seemed to have been a man. There was a head, shoulders, arms, torso and legs. The thing about it was that from the knees down there was nothing. He literally was floating two feet off the ground. He then seemed to take a step toward us and vanished. The room's temperature suddenly dropped 20 degrees. Then not even a minute later, in the next room, objects that belonged to the little boy who lived there began to be moved as though something was walking amongst them. Suddenly, a pair of the little boys sneakers moved slightly and the lights that were built into the heal of the sneakers that were activated every time the child would step, began to flash wildly by themselves.
A meter we had that would show readouts for electromagnetic fields which some people believed happens during paranormal activity, began to buzz and read out the highest numbers possible. Jimmy then took out holy water and threw some toward the area where the activity seemed to be coming from. Suddenly the meter stopped cold and was silence.
It was that sudden silence that was most frightening of all. It wasn't just quiet. It was dead quiet. Not a noise around us. I could actually hear my heart pounding in my chest. The hairs on my arm stood on end. I could actually feel something in the room with use. The room became cold. The air became still and heavy and I knew in my heart we had to get out of this house NOW.
Ed Warren told us once that sometimes a haunted home can't be saved. Sometimes it a loss. This was one of those times.

It has been years since the first time I met Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed has since passed on and Lorraine has slowed down slightly. When I look back at those times while standing in the freezing cold at an old cemetery or doing an all nighter in a “haunted house” I come to realize that it's not always grounds keeper Harvey that's lurking in the night shadows. Every now and then it just might be a ghost.

No comments: