I began investigating the supernatural back in 2007 and stopped around 2012. Over the span of those five years, I went into a lot of places, read a ton of books on the subject, and conducted all kinds of experiments, (all very unscientific, I can assure you).
As we near Halloween, I thought I'd take this chance to write an article about a few of the places I went and what I learned from my experiences. I suppose I'll start with my past, involving what felt like supernatural situations. I'll then dive into the part of my life where I and friends became serious about it, followed by the end result.
Two very distinct instances pop out to me when I think of supernatural childhood experiences. The first being what I dub the "the fan and bean" incident.
One day when I was home alone, it was about midday, I was standing in my kitchen. As I walked by the sink, a bean flew out of one of the drains and bounced around. I thought that was odd, but seconds later I heard a crash in my own room on the other side of the house.
I went to investigate and found that my white window fan that had been in the window for about a year had flown halfway across the room. Now this was a 10 x 10 foot room so "halfway across the room" is only 5 feet. It was an odd occurrence and the ordeal made me feel uneasy in the house.
The second happening took place in my bedroom one night when I was on the computer. To the left of me was my closet, which the door to it was always left open. In the middle of typing up a story, I heard metal clanking together. When I looked over, I saw a belt of mine swinging violently back and forth. I couldn't take my eyes off of it; it was mesmerizing.
I watched as the belt swung back and forth for about a minute until it's motion fell susceptible to gravity and eventually came to a halt. The belt had been untouched for weeks. It's sudden movement was extremely odd, but strangely, I didn't feel uneasy this time.
The Caddo Mills Incident.
The Caddo Mills Incident will forever be known as the kickoff point for my fascination into the unknown; specifically hauntings. As a bit of a back story to this, Caddo Mills is a small town about 40 minutes from Downtown Dallas. A friend of a close friend told us about a "haunted" barn-like structure in Caddo Mills which begins this story.
That night back in 2007, my friends and I traveled out to Caddo Mills with our local guide. We stopped at his house first, gathered our stuff together, and drove towards the spot. His telling of the history of this spot included ghost sightings and demonic rituals. (Typical stories associated with these types of places.)
We arrived at the dilapidated structure delighted, as it looked like something right out of a horror movie. We all got out of the truck we were in with flashlights and a video camera in hand.
We approached the opening cautiously. I was in front followed by my friend Neil, Ryan, JD, and our local guide. A few seconds in and we heard something in front of us move. We all stopped. This is where it got weird.
Something we couldn't see began running towards us. On film, you can see dirt being kicked up and hear what sounds to be swipes in the dirt. Unsurprisingly, we all tripped over each other running out from under the structure and out into the open field that surrounded us. We made a beeline for the truck and all jumped inside. We never saw what it was.
After this moment, something in me had to learn and explore the unknown further.
"This is My Brother's Room."
Around 2008, I began hanging out with my friend Mike a lot more. We both became interested in ghosts and decided to do research on the subject, mixed with a little investigation. Our jobs at the time allowed us to stay up extremely late. This made it possible to go on a lot of ghost hunts. Fast forward a few months to a mutual friend of ours. I'll leave his name omitted as not to spread his personal business on the interwebz. We'll call him John.
John's younger brother had passed a way as a baby a year before when he asked us to come and do a paranormal investigation on his house. He told us that the family left the baby's room unchanged and would often hear phantom cries coming from the bedroom and around the house. Things would be knocked over in the middle of the night as well.
To us, it wasn't just about finding evidence of a ghost. We wanted to find something to comfort John, in any form possible.
He showed us around the house where we took photos in the dark and in the light. We had a voice recorder on the entire time. We suspected that if john's younger brother was still in the house, he would stick close to him. With this in mind, we took a lot of pictures with him in the frame.
The end our investigation ended in the child's vacant bedroom. It felt creepy and exciting at the same time. We took the recordings and photos home to go over them.
At the end of it all, we didn't find any evidence of any supernatural activity other than a few orbs which could be written off as reflections of light.
A Few Abandoned Places.
As the 5 years of investigating went by, we traveled to a lot of places in the DFW area in search of a ghost or family of ghosts. (We weren't greedy.)
I can't necessarily divulge where a lot of these places are, but I will show photos. This is a combination of shacks to houses to large and small buildings. Enjoy!
1980's Murder Road:
The Ouija Board and My Investigative Exit.
In about 2012, ghost hunting changed to urban exploring, which I still do today. The reason for the transition was 5 years in the making. Actually, it may have been born out of a process going on my entire life, but the big turning point was the night we played on a Ouiji board.
Everyone knows about the Ouiji board and almost everyone has a story of things that havehappened while playing and while I'm not trying to discredit whatever experience you or they may have had, mine was certainly unimpressive.
Mike and I wanted to be as legit as possible, so we made our own board and planchette. We also had black and white candles burning on each side of us, as well as a particular incense one of our witchcraft books had suggested. Lastly, we had silver placed on the board.
Mike and I played for two and half hours from about 1:30 - 4:00am. About an hour in with nothing happening, we looked up the rules online again.
Here's the thing though: the first rule is expanded online and off. It says that the more people you have, the better chance you have to contact someone. It's actually quite genius.
The idea is that the more people you have playing, the more of a chance you have for someone to prank the others and move the planchette or that multiple people with unsteadiness will cause it to slide with muscle spasms or subconsciously send the signals to do so.
After all the investigations over all the years, Mike and I came to the conclusion that it was all smoke and mirrors; it was all BS. We switched our process and began to approach the subject logically. What were the chances that we were conducting experiments with what we thought should be there and making the experiment match what we thought, as opposed to looking at the facts and then extracting data like in real science?
When looking at all we had done inversely, it all seemed a bit silly. We did the experiments. We looked in the right environments. We did everything we were suppose to do.
The only true experiences of something I deemed supernatural was that day in Caddo Mills and that day in my house with the fan. What were the scenarios though and accompanying elements?
Day in my House:
- I was scared.
- I wasn't in the room when the fan flew or more likely fell out of the window.
- We were scared.
- It was dark.
- We were looking for something scary.
Brain failures happen all the time. There's a reason eyewitness accounts are the least credible evidence in a criminal case (or should be scientifically.) We had to learn that it was more likely that we were failing ourselves mentally than actually seeing something that has absolutely no evidence to back it up.
Believing in ghosts become obsolete for me the day we played on the Ouiji board. I can't possibly believe in something that has never been proven and is not falsifiable. Back to the original question: why were paranormal investigations so damn important?
It taught me to live my life as a skeptic (this doesn't mean I'm a pessimist). I learned I should never just take someone's word on something unless I've done the research myself. Only after exploring the subject can I establish my own opinion based in available facts.
Do I sometimes ignore this advice? Of course. I'm human and fallible, but with this type of foundation, it happen a lot less. It has also taught me to be humble and more scientific in my endeavors. That's why this experience was of such importance to my life.
For those of you saying, "Well, how do you explain [INSERT UNANSWERED QUESTION HERE]." My answer is probably, "I don't know." Richard Feynman had a really profound and perfect quote for this type of thinking which I'll post below. Thanks for reading all of this. I know it was a long post!