Cemetery of Immaculate Conception of Dardenne, Missouri

 

On Wednesday of this week, I made some time to sneak away after work to find a few places to take some photos. I decided to stop by a small Catholic cemetery that I pass by often when I’m coming home from work. This was the first opportunity I’ve had to take colorful spring photos with my new camera. Having colors to play with is a whole new experience. On this Good Friday, and especially for those of you who celebrate Easter, I hope you enjoy the powerful monument that depicts the crucifixion of Jesus. It clearly caught my attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more of my photography, including cemetery photos like these, please visit my Flickr page.

 

A few recent cemetery posts you might like: 

Francis Howell Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri (Big Séance)

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis (Big Séance)

 

 


Pub Ghosts Captured on CCTV Cameras

CCTV, or closed-circuit television cameras, have become cheaper and more accessible in the last several years, allowing many homeowners and businesses to use them for security. For the same reason, paranormal investigators often use them as well. They’re the same cameras that are in the hallways of my school. They’re found in the woods now too, though hunters like to call them “game cams”. (Aliens and Bigfoot have been caught several times on these game cams… if you didn’t already know.) You can even get them at Walmart. The video is recorded continuously onto a DVR and is usually easily searched if you know the approximate date or time you’re interested in.

One of our CCTV "DVR" screen shots from an investigation of a residence back in 2011.

One of our CCTV “DVR” screen shots from the MOSS investigation of a residence back in 2011.

The combination of CCTV and the popularity of the paranormal has provided a great opportunity for business owners to play ghost hunter, as they capture and publicly disclose their “ghosts”, often taking advantage of the publicity and hype that comes with it. 

When you see these captures on video, you don’t often get much background information on the location. No one is there to answer your curious questions. What was behind the camera? Was anyone there at the time? (There are many other questions I could think of.) Now days you have to wonder if the video was doctored, embellished, faked, etc. Was it a publicity stunt for an upcoming “found footage” movie? Even so, they can be fascinating and appear very real… and if you’re like me, deep down you really WANT them to be authentic evidence of the paranormal. 

 

The Ghost of Ye Olde Man and Scythe

The most recent example was brought to my attention by Ghostsnghouls.com. Watch it and then find my commentary below. 

Supposedly there are no windows behind the camera, making the flickering and lighting changes seem very mysterious. And the flicker just before the blackout seems a bit too perfect for me. I wish I had several pictures of this room in the daylight so that I could get a feel for the whole place. And does it all seem just a little Hollywooded up to you? It’s only missing an edgy score by Hans Zimmer, am I right? It’s definitely fascinating video though. I bet this pub has named a nicely priced drink after this “ghost” as well.

 

My favorite CCTV “ghost”…

…is also from a pub (why always a pub??) and was captured several years ago in Britain. I really really REALLY REALLY wanted this one to be real. Like a lot of these videos, this is almost guaranteed to be evidence of a lack of cleaning up high in corners of the rooms where these cameras are mounted. I could find several cobwebs in a few corners of this room right now if I wanted to. Watch closely and you can identify this ghost as a fly or some other kind of insect. Often, a simple cobweb will cause excitement and claims of paranormal activity. 

Don’t you just love it? You had the story worked up in your mind, didn’t you? The centuries old pub has an old employee that loved the place so much that they help clean up overnight. Either that or it’s a residual haunting and it’s just a normal night at work, serving beer and cleaning tables. Right? Please oh please oh please. Having a brain ruins all the fun, doesn’t it?

 

You never know…

I’ve never claimed to be an expert in video when it comes to evidence, but I still say that video is the least likely place to capture true evidence of the paranormal. It’s funny that so many people put so much focus and emphasis on that very rare and heavily contested video evidence. Of course, as the reporter in the video stated (while taking the easy way out and not mentioning possible logical explanations… ahem… like flies), “Hey. You never know.”

 

You might also like: 

Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home: Ghosts can do that? The Evidence... sort of... (Big Séance)

Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home: Ghosts can do that? The Evidence… sort of… (Big Séance)

My Rapper: Missing you, old friend... (Big Séance)

My Rapper: Missing you, old friend… (Big Séance)


Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home: Ghosts can do that? The Evidence… sort of…

 

See the end of this post for links to previous posts in the series.

 

The Drive Home

On the drive home from the overnight investigation at Belvoir Winery, I was tired, but on a high from having such a cool experience and meeting some really cool people! I already had blog posts planned out in my head. I knew I had some amazing footage on NightShot video, including the one and only Britt Griffith using and demonstrating the use of my spirit box, and hours of very fascinating possible spirit communication with flashlights in two different locations.

Amy Bruni, Britt Griffith, and Adam Berry having a good time with guests at Belvoir Winery.

 

Freaking Elvis Moment…

But what was I MOST excited about capturing? There was a brief period of time where the adorable and amazing duo, Amy Bruni and Adam Berry, joined my group for part of the investigation. Since I happened to be filming, and since they were standing right next to me, I took that opportunity to turn to capture both of their faces in MY VERY OWN NIGHTSHOT! Who gets the opportunity to do that? This was all happening as we were listening to my spirit box in the corner. As I quietly mentioned to them how big of a moment this was, they both hammed it up with a pose and a smile, just for me! Gold, right?! Freaking Elvis moment! And I KNEW that the screen shot was going to be featured right here on the blog.

NOT the screen shot.

Well… clearly that screen shot is missing. And clearly I’ve misled you to believe that this post would include amazing evidence. But just wait. The story, though very mysterious, continues. 

 

Beeeeep. Beeeeeep. Error C:31:22…

Not long after my return home, I hooked up one of my two remaining NightShot camcorders to the computer, ready to upload all of the footage from the three tapes that I used during the investigation. Suddenly, the all too familiar beeping and error code began to show up, which sometimes leads to the tape getting stuck in the camcorder. I didn’t panic. Anyone familiar with these camcorders knows this exact frustrating error. Once I got the tape out, I knew that since I had another camcorder, I’d surely have no problems.

The same thing happened with the other camcorder. I tried one of the other tapes. Same problem. Another tape in the camcorder. Same problem. I couldn’t even play or rewind the tapes. An hour and lots of frustration and google searches later, I gave up and went to bed. 

 

There’s Hope!

Fortunately, I know Robert Painter from Tape2DVD. He can convert anything to the modern age!

 

Just Kidding…

To make a long story not as long, Robert tried everything he could. What was on the tapes? Snow. Snow with a counter that would track the time to the very end of the tapes. Robert informed me that new tapes that have not been recorded on simply don’t play, and there wouldn’t be a counter, therefore clearly something had been recorded onto each tape. You should know that as I recorded that evening, I used the pull out LCD screen that allows you to see what you’re filming. In fact, since much of our investigation was in the dark, that’s how I found my way. When you’re recording, it makes it clear with a red dot on the screen. I saw it each time. The next thing you should know is that I reuse my tapes. Two of the tapes were not taken to the very end, therefore most likely, Robert should have found various leftover footage from past investigations at the end of those tapes. This was not the case. 

 

Oh please. Like that’ll happen. 

Most of us have always heard that you should keep magnets away from things like tapes, hard drives, credit cards, etc. This apparently also includes strong electric currents, or any kind of electromagnetic field. Even though this is common knowledge for many people, I don’t think anyone really ever expects it to happen to them. You should always be careful around storms and lighting, but no one ever expects to be struck by it. Could some kind of strong source of electricity or exposure to a magnet have erased my tapes? And if so, is it common for them to have been erased so perfectly? Other than a few small gadgets, batteries, flashlights, and more tapes, I didn’t have anything in my bag that would have caused this. I can’t even think of anything that I would have been around that night that would have fit this description. 

 

Ghosts can do that?

Now I know what some of you are thinking… and I’ve thought about it as well. Is Belvoir Winery truly so active that the spirits used or manipulated so much energy for communication that it erased all of my video tapes? Did they? Or… is there some sort of conspiracy? Perhaps someone involved in the planning of the event doesn’t wish for there to be video footage leaked to the public? Did Amy and Adam decide to break out the tape-erasing magnet because it wasn’t a great hair day? (Ohhh that would make me cry.) Did my equipment bag get bathed by some kind of magnetic shower while I wasn’t looking?

 

The Place Holder

I truly am boggled by all of this. I don’t even know what to think. I told Robert to save the tapes for me, just in case aliens drop by with the abducted footage one of these days, or maybe in the future we’ll have space-age technology that will unerase tapes.

…until then, I’ll include this place holder to represent the NightShot screen shot of Amy and Adam. 

Screen shot of Amy and Adam during the investigation of Belvoir Winery.

 

A few nights ago, I had a dream that Amy and Adam stopped by and staged another moment with a working camera, just for me. Ha! (Ahem…. Are you reading this Amy and Adam?) 

 

I can’t lie. I’m super bummed, but maybe the absence of evidence is evidence itself? What are your thoughts?

P.S.    Though I did not run audio for every part of the investigation, I do have audio for much of it… and it exists in digital format and was not erased. Stay tuned. 

 

Previous posts from the Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home series:

Amy, Adam, Britt, and Chip!(Big Séance)
New Friends! (Big Séance)
The Photos (Big Séance)
I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)
TAPS and Chip Coffey at Belvoir Winery in March! (Big Séance)

 

 

 


Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home: Amy, Adam, Britt, and Chip!

Today I bring you the next installment of my Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home series. See the end of this post for links to previous posts in the series.


 

T.A.P.S. Para-Celebs: Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, and Britt Griffith! 

Probably the biggest highlight of this weekend event was getting to hang out with and meet Amy, Adam, and Britt from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. I can’t even pretend to not be a super fan of this show from the very first season. Ghost Hunters inspired me to start reading and researching the paranormal, which then led me to forming Missouri Spirit Seekers in 2010. Other paranormal investigators will often say that Ghost Hunters had nothing to do with them being in the field, and that may be true for a small handful of teams or investigators, but if they got rolling after October of 2004 (and most of them did), then um… they’re just lying. In my opinion, this show is one of the biggest reasons for what I’ve always called “The Great Paranormal Craze”, which has now lasted a decade.  So whether or not you watch the show, if you’re a fan of the paranormal (and I’m assuming you are since you’re reading this nerdly blog), you’ve been affected by what this show started. On a side note, does paranormal reality TV have its flaws? Absolutely! However, I’m giving credit where it’s due. Oh, and am I a bit bummed that Jay and Grant weren’t there? Sure. But these three “new guys” have added so much to the show in recent years. (For more of my thoughts on the show, check out I Still Watch Ghost Hunters… So What?)

 

 

Amy is such a sweet and beautiful person. She clearly has never taken a bad photo in her life. She was so very patient and willing to chat or pose for photos at any moment. Of the three attending T.A.P.S. members, she has been on the show the longest. I could listen to her speak of her experiences all day long, and she’s definitely not afraid to be honest or share her opinion on the paranormal. Now she gets a lot of questions and oohs and ahhs about her beautiful baby daughter, Charlotte. If you follow her on Facebook or Twitter (@amybruni), it’s clear that her daughter has completely changed her life, and she shares photos often.

 

 

Adam was just as you would expect him to be. He’s a ham and a goofball, and I’m down with that. Fans at these events always ask him to sing, and he does… beautifully. Adam was seated behind me at dinner. I asked for a selfie with him, however, it was clear that I wasn’t really up on how to properly take a selfie on my iPhone, so he said “Oh I’m a pro at this” and he took my phone and snapped the picture. By the way, if it weren’t for Adam and Amy being in these selfies, they would never see the light of day. Adam can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@AdamJBerry) as well. 

 

Britt Griffith used my spirit box!!!

I didn’t bug Britt for a selfie, but in a future post, you’ll hear about how he used my spirit box during the overnight investigation! In that moment I may or may not have reacted as if I had just met Elvis. I’ll also share some of my thoughts from his paranormal technology session, that was actually very good. More on all of this later…

 

And, of course, who doesn’t love Chip Coffey?!

Truthfully, a big reason I went to Belvoir Winery for this event was because I had heard that Chip Coffey was going to be attending. I had met him last year at one of his Coffey Talk events, and it was such a cool experience. Chip is so down to earth and funny… and he tells it like it is… and his colorful vocabulary is so similar to mine! For more on that meeting, and my photo with Chip, visit 10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a Coffey Talk near you! As I was waiting out in the hall for his big session, Adam Blai’s demonology session was going on inside the ball room. Chip walked in and gave me a hug, used a term of endearment that I don’t remember, and asked how I was doing. I told him that I was looking forward to hearing him talk today. He joined Amy and Adam and others at a nearby table while we waited, and I immediately tweeted the following tweet:

Seconds after tweeting this, Chip pulled out his phone, saw it, and without hesitation, turned to me and said “So are you!” (Again… Elvis moment.) Moments later, the demonology session was wrapping up, and Chip jokingly said (to us in the hall), “And speaking of demons, next up is Chip Coffey!” I laughed. Ohhhh Chip. 

 

 

This is a shot I took of Chip from what I called “The Creeper Line”. When I asked Adam Berry if that was an accurate description of this line, he laughed and agreed that it kind of was. 

 

To Be Continued…

In my next couple of posts, look forward to hearing about the overnight investigation of the Belvoir Winery grounds, including some awesome flashlight communication, and something so bizarre and mysterious regarding my video footage! Also, more on Britt’s paranormal technology session, and perhaps some audio clips. 

 

Previous posts from the Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home series:

New Friends! (Big Séance)
The Photos (Big Séance)
I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)
TAPS and Chip Coffey at Belvoir Winery in March! (Big Séance)

 

 

 


Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home: New Friends!

 

As I was preparing to leave for the Belvoir Winery T.A.P.S. event last weekend, I was a bit anxious, mainly because I was going alone and without any members of my team or family. I’m not hugely social in public situations, particularly if I don’t know anyone. What kind of people would be there? Experienced paranormal investigators? Wannabe investigators? Syfy fans? Giant nerds? How much equipment do I bring for the overnight investigation? Will I be embarrassed by pulling out some of this equipment?  Well this paranormal event had the usual “characters” (You know what I’m talking about, right?), but for the most part what I found were people who were there just to have fun… and, of course, many of them were excited to meet the para-celebs, just as I was. I arrived on that first day pretty early. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there, and I wanted to be able to take plenty of photos. The first person that I began a conversation with was a friendly woman named Laurie. We talked quite a bit while she waited for her friends to arrive. It turns out we had a bit in common. Then later I met Andi. She had come to the previous T.A.P.S. event last fall and so I asked her quite a few questions. She and I both had a camera around our necks and later found each other roaming the grounds for great shots. 

 

The Laurie Group!

As I was touring the grounds, I met another friendly face who made me feel right at home. Her name was Jaime, and she later introduced me to her whole crew, including Ian, Jeanette, Sharon, Karen, and Kim (and other names that I’m unfortunately forgetting). She invited me to sit with their gang later in the day for dinner. I did just that. Out of a few hundred people at this event, Sharon pulled some magic and was able to get our table called for dinner first! It was catered by Hy-Vee and was wonderful (and the twice baked potatoes were to die for). While gabbing with these new friends in the buffet line, I broke the salad tongs with my amazing strength. It was in this buffet line that I learned we had a cool little connection. Most of these folks were either from or lived in Laurie, Missouri, a tiny town around the Lake of the Ozarks–the same town where my parents recently purchased a lake lot. I even blogged about the mysterious Cup Tree in Laurie just last year. How cool is that?! We had a lot of laughs and I enjoyed their company! It was like fate brought us together–paranerds for an evening.

The next evening they divided us up into groups for the investigation. Fortunately, Sharon and Kim were in my group. I’ll save those experiences for another post.

 

More to Come

By the way, if any of you recall me freaking out recently on the Big Séance Facebook page, all is not lost. My aging Sony NightShot camcorders managed to make it through the Belvoir investigation, including moments with Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, and Britt Griffith (Britt even used my spirit box!!!). However, I was bummed and angry when both of these camcorders died in the same evening, leaving all of those wonderful moments stuck on the tapes. Fortunately, a friend of mine converts tapes to DVD (tape2dvd.org, facebook.com/stpeterstape2dvd) and so I look forward to being able to show you some cool footage soon! Also, I plan on sharing some of my thoughts and notes from Britt’s paranormal technology lecture.

 

Other recent Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home posts:  

The Photos (Big Séance)

The Photos (Big Séance)

I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)

I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)

 


Belvoir Winery/Odd Fellows Home, Liberty, Missouri: The Photos

Introducing the artsy-fartsy photos from my weekend at Belvoir Winery, formerly the Odd Fellows Home, in Liberty, Missouri. These photos can also be found on my Flickr page

Belvoir Winery, a former orphanage, hospital, nursing home, and school, was featured on Season 9, Episode 10 of SYFY’s Ghost Hunters, and titled “Vintage Spirits”. For more information about Belvoir Winery and its history, visit their site at BelvoirWinery.com.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Like:

I’m Baaaaaaaaaack! (Big Séance)

My Favorite Historic Architectural Styles: A Field Trip (Big Séance)

15 Reasons to Befriend a Paranormal Nerd Today! (Big Séance)

 

 


I’m Baaaaaaaaaack!

 

I’m back from the greatest and most eventful spring break I’ve had in years… and maybe ever! But I’ve been itching to get back to this computer, since I’ve never had such a long absence from this blog! I have so much to share with you, including TONS of photos and stories from my T.A.P.S. and Chip Coffey weekend at Belvoir Winery  in Liberty, Missouri… but I feel I should share chronologically. Plus, I just now got back home and must now return to a busy real life tomorrow, and I have much to go through in order to work up some Belvoir posts. I’m so excited though, because I have plenty to share, including meeting more para-celebs and some great new friends! Also, perhaps some video clips from our large group investigation from Saturday night! So stay tuned…

 

 

THE PARANORMAL PORTION OF THIS POST

So here’s a little update. I wrote the first part of this post yesterday and intended to publish it last night. I’ve been recovering from a cold and some kind of a bug since returning from Cancun. Suddenly in the middle of this post, I began getting chills that within an hour became more intense than I’ve ever experienced. It was horrible. I stood in a hot shower for a ridiculous amount of time, and when I forced myself to get out, I curled up in blankets on the bed. I couldn’t get warm enough. As I began to shiver myself to sleep, I either straight up hallucinated or dreamed that I had physically jumped inside my iPhone (not easy for a fat man) and was cruising through my Facebook feed. So… very… bizarre. I ultimately ended up sleeping for a few hours and woke up at bedtime, of course. Was I visited by the ghost of Montezuma? Did Trixie at Imos add some fairy dust to my pizza? (Oh you KNOW I’m totally going to put “fairy” and “faery” in the tags to this post now.)  I really don’t know, and I’m feeling much better today, but I stayed home from school to be sure (after several late night hours of creating substitute teacher plans, of course). One thing is certain, last night was not fun. 

 

THIS CONCLUDES THE PARANORMAL PORTION OF TODAY’S PROGRAMMING

For now, though it’s not very paranormal, I wanted to share a few photos from our spectacular trip to Cancun, Mexico! For the rest of my artsy-fartsy Cancun photos, feel free to visit my Flickr page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might also like:

Greetings from the Smoky Mountains! (Big Séance)

Two Smoky Mountain Cemeteries (Big Séance)

 

 


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