Posts Tagged ‘ghosts


Paranormal fun: Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum

My apologies in advance — I had to really shrink down the size of the main photos to get them to fit in the confines of this spacing…

So, a group of us went down to Weston, WV on Saturday, to visit the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. This is one of these “haunted” spots that was featured on “Ghost Hunters” (and they even declared it “haunted”). While I’ve never seen that episode (nor many of the Ghost Hunter shows, to be honest), it was still pretty cool to take a day trip and head down for a little ghost hunt.

Only in W.Va. does a lunatic asylum need to have a “posted” sign…

For me, this was more of a “for a lark” kind of a thing. I mean, I love stories of the supernatural, but actually going hunting for ghosts … I dunno. I mean, yeah, a side of me would love to do it, but a side of me would also love to dress up like a Klingon. Maybe not something I would do independently, but if there’s a group of folks going to explore, then yeah, I wouldn’t mind going along.

So here’s the low down:
1) The building itself is awesome. Just huge. Second-largest sandstone building in the world, next to the Kremlin. We’re talking 15 foot ceilings, 4 floors, 2 feet thick load bearing walls (and all of the walls are load bearing), lots of moulding (and mold). If you’re a fan of old architecture, this place is awesome. Run down, obviously, but awesome.

2) The tour guides are fairly bad. They walk you through, but they don’t have the skills to be good guides. They start their spiel before everyone is in the room, so half of the early stuff, I missed. They are straight from the hills of “by God West Virginia” — so while they are pretty friendly, they speak like, well, West Virginians. Expect phrases like “During the Civil War, the 7th Ohio Infantry come down here and took gold…” and “…they used this wheel for rehab, like to get them to work their rotary cuff…” However, there was a little girl volunteer who was with us who really new her craft. She could tell you which rooms were more haunted than others, the difference between dust and orbs in photos, and everything else. The other group had a guide who told them “I don’t believe in any of this stuff,” but then would recount stories of odd things. She also felt that it should be converted into a strip mall. (Because, you know, folks would travel down there to visit a strip mall.)

So, yeah, in essence, it’s a giant run down building that is slowly being restored. And since we’re talking W.Va., this means that they may get a floor done in the next 50 years. Most of the other buildings are blocked off and not included in the tour. I didn’t hear any voices, no weird sounds, and certainly didn’t see any apparitions. However, I did get “poked” (I was standing still, and my shirt suddenly went in and touched my gut like someone had flicked me), and in about 10 of the 130 pictures that I took, I got those odd “floating orbs” in them.

Now, whether these orbs are dust, water vapor, ghosts or angels (all of which I’ve heard them called), they are remarkably similar and consistent in their details. And yes, with my little 7 megapixel camera, there was detail to them. And what I also found interesting was that not everyone got pictures of the orbs, even though most of us were taking pictures in the same areas. For example, in the auditorium, I got a buttload of orbs on the left hand side, but not really any on the right. Others, standing within 4 feet of me got pictures of them on the right, but not on the left. Lighting? Dust on the lenses? I don’t know.

So, here’s my orb photos, and I’ll highlight and crop in on some of them. (And I didn’t alter any of these in any way, shape or form. Heck, I had to use MSpaint to crop them…I don’t even have any other photo programs on the computer). Make of them what you will.

No. 1:  If you look on the door to the right, you’ll see a circular “discolored mark”

When I zoomed in on it, I came out with this:

Now, here’s what’s funny. All of the orbs that I found in my pics have that distinct “eye” in the middle.

No. 2: In the upper right corner…

Zoom in and…

No. 3  Similar, but different door…with an orb low on the door

Kinda weak, but eh, you can still see the detail and see that it’s pretty similar to the previous ones. And there could be more, but it’s really too faint to tell.

No. 4: The Auditorium. It’s the mother lode of orbs.

If you look on the bulletin board and almost directly below it on the floor, there’s some orbs..

The Bulletin Board Orb: You can make out the “eye”:

The floor orb:

High orb: (near the top, to the right of the BB orb)

There’s more in the photo, I’m just too lazy to mark them all.

No. 5: More Auditorium Orbage

Comparing the orb to the plaster/mortar on the brick: Not the same thing.

The orb on the left:

Again, more orbs floating around in the pic…just don’t feel like marking them all up.

No. 7: The Becca Orb (on the left). Named after Becca, the woman in the pic.

No. 8: Volunteer orb: Named after the volunteer on the left:

Floor orb:

Cluster in the middle of the picture: I didn’t notice these at first, but there’s like a gaggle of 3, and there were more lower and to the left of them. But they’re pretty faint.

Now this one doesn’t contain any orbs, but it was taken about 30-45 seconds after the Volunteer orb photo (I’ll have to take a look at the time stamps). I just flipped the camera horizontal. No orbs.

However, when I first took the Volunteer orb photo, I looked and said, “Oooo, I think I got an orb!” The volunteer turned, took a picture of the same spot, and said, “Like this one?” In her photo, it was practically dead center of the picture. I wish I would have gotten a copy of it. I may try and track her down to see if I can.

So, yeah, it was a good time. I’m certainly not trying to say what these things are, cause I don’t know. But it’s pretty cool to look at and make wild speculations.

Oh, and on a funny note: Apparently in the first group that toured, there was a guy who was really into paranormal investigations. He did EVPs and such. However, what’s really funny about him and his girlfriend is that they had parked right next to the asylum, and have electric seat adjustments in their car. When they were getting ready to leave, the driver’s seat was all out of whack. He rolled down the window and said “Holy cow, look at this!” When he opened up the car door, his knees were in the steering wheel, and the seat was reclined almost all the way up. Yeah, he could have been screwing with us, but I really don’t think he was.

So, anyway, if you get a chance and have the interest, this could be well worth your time to check out.


Lessons learned from "A Haunting"

One of my great weaknesses is a good ghost story. I’ve always loved them, and they’re one of the few kinds of movies that actually can scare me. Not because of any particular belief in them, but because they can actively engage my imagination.

But from my addiction to the TV show “A Haunting,” I’ve found that my addiction has lowered me to watching and listening to just about anything, from “Paranormal State” to “Ghost Hunters” as well. While I’m ashamed, I still feel better about myself than some of my friends who are addicted to “American Idol” and other reality TV shows.

One thing, however, has come out of watching this show continously. I have learned tips to help you cope with the paranormal, should the need ever arise.

1) If a house is on the market for a long time and priced substantially lower than all the other houses in the area, it is haunted. While this seems like it could be for any number of reasons, like a missing roof, it is actually because satanists sacrificed small children in there, or something similar, and evoked demons to haunt it.

2) Another house tip: If all the doors are and windows are nailed shut, that doesn’t mean you’re living in a bad part of town. It means that the house is haunted. You shouldn’t just “buy it anyway.” What the hell are you thinking?

3) Ghosts hate electricians. You can tell this because they constantly like to electrocute them. If you’re an electrician, you should ask if the house is haunted.

4) If you’re child is creative enough to have imaginary friends, he’s generally smart enough to name the friend something other than “Man” or “The Fairies.” I mean, if it’s fairies, it could almost anyone, like the Bee Gees.

5) Don’t blow all of your money on new furniture until you’ve lived in said house for quite a while. Many of the people who endure hauntings always say, “I was financially strapped.” So, either don’t spend thousands on furniture, or keep money set aside in a “get the fuck out” account. That’s probably a good idea anyway, but you know, some people don’t think about it.

6) Only Catholic priests can perform exorcisms. So if you’re a member of the Protestant church, you’re fucked. Of course, I still don’t know if that’s worth the trade off for other Catholic clauses, like the restrictions on sex and such. But hey, it’s always an option.

7) You can never develop land, or renovate your home. Doing so disturbs the spirits, and will incur their wrath. So suck up the asbestos and lead paint, which is what probably killed them in the first place.

8.) If you’re a young white couple, you can be damn sure you’ll be haunted at some point. They don’t tend to go after minorities or older couples. I’m still working on the theory why. So, don’t get married until you’re older than 30, just to be safe.

9) Amazingly, crack dens aren’t haunted by ghosts, just the living dead. Feel free to shoo them out and move in as soon as possible.

10) Psychics and wiccans are all over the place. If you’re being haunted, feel free to invite them in and make them fix it. They love to do it. Just like all nerds love to be invited over and then be called upon to fix computers.

11) Being possessed is a lot like being really drunk: You can say what you want, not remember it and apologize later on, and it’s instant forgiveness. “I didn’t mean to say your ass is fat. I must have been possessed or something!” “Oh honey, I’m so sorry! I feel bad now. I have a confession: That wasn’t a demon that carved ‘ass’ into your chest…”

12) Demons are a lot like drunks. Sure, they say “Your God can’t help you now!”, but are always defeated with a little bit of sage burning and little sayings.

13) Ouija boards open portals to other dimensions, just like Monopoly opens portals to capitalism. Game manufacturers are the root of all evil, and will swallow your soul if you let them.

14) If your wife or girlfriend tells you there’s something wrong with the house, and it doesn’t involve the tile in the bathroom, refrain from saying “Oh, it’s just your imagination.” Doing so will earn you the same look of disdain as if tell her that her cats are ugly, or suggest anal sex or a threesome with her best friend (though the cat comment will earn more anger than the later two in most women). And when she tells you that she feels like she’s going crazy, save your eye rolling until you are giving her a hug, or banging her ass while mocking her cat.

15) Paranormal investigators are, ulitimately, as useless in their offers of help as armchair quarterbacks are during a football game. “OK, well, we made some EVPs, and have video of stuff moving around by itself. Yup, you’re haunted. Whelp, time to go. And thanks! Good luck to you!”

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