Whether or not people believe in ghosts does not stop people from searching for them, in an attempt to find out the truth. People may never know if ghosts are real or not, although, there is some compelling evidence for and against these reports of what are known as “disembodied sprits of once living people.”Short of an experience with a ghost, people are often less than eager to believe in the super-natural. There are millions of reports of these phenomena all over the world. In fact, recently the SciFi series “Ghost Hunters” taped an episode at Thornbury Farm, in West Chester.
The TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) team was brought in by the owner of the farm, Randell Spackman, to investigate. The farm itself is built on the Brandywine Battlefield and recently celebrated its 300th birthday. It is a beautiful, picturesque farm with a bloody history. It was used as a hospital during the battle and as a result, many people lost their lives in and around the house.
During the course of the investigation, many of the team members had personal experiences where they heard things and saw things in the darkness. Perhaps the most compelling pieces of evidence they caught while investigating were the ghost of “Katie,” a young girl who was said to have passed away on the property. She is the ghost lurking in the “spring house” in the rear of the property.
While sitting in the living room, the two lead investigators, Jay and Grant, sat on the sofa and listened, in an attempt to replicate one of the reports of hearing the cry of a little girl named Katie. A few minutes into the investigation, viewers of the show could hear what sounded like a whimper or crying, coming from the upstairs bedroom, once occupied by Katie. At a first listen, one might be able to dismiss the sound as an animal of some kind outside the window. However, the second time one hears it, it is unmistakable. The sound was enough to send chills down the spine.
While in the spring house in the rear of the property, again, the two lead investigators investigated reports of a “prankster ghost” that is said to play tricks on people while they are there. At first, nothing happens. As the investigation continued, Jay proceeded to question the spirit. While in mid-question, the flashlight that was clipped to his jacket suddenly turned off. He took the flashlight off his jacket and placed it on the table next to him. A few minutes later it happened again.
When they investigated the flashlight, it was cold to the touch, like it had been placed in a freezer. Later, when they played the tape recorder back, a faint giggle can be heard during the time the flashlight was turning on and off, like whatever was with them was enjoying what it was doing.
Considering how old the farm itself is, and what happened in and around it so many years ago, it is not hard to believe there would be negative energy associated with it. Whether there are “ghosts” there or not depends on people’s own opinions on it. The simple idea that something like this happened so close is frightening.
Halloween is a time when people can explore their beliefs or non-beliefs on paranormal activity. Some may dismiss it as merely figments of our imagination, or results of fear, stress, or paranoia. The truth is, there are millions of people who truly believe they have come face to face with a ghost.
Jenna Shepanski is a fourth- year majoring in English. She can be reached at JS618186@wcupa.edu.