My obsession with the paranormal began when I accidentally discovered Ghost Adventures on the television at age 11. It was a fascinating show; I continued to watch to learn more about this job that these men did and knew I wanted to be involved. It was a 13th birthday gift from my family: tickets for a ghost tour at the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois.
Since this was eight years ago and I can’t find my original writing, my memory is not the best from this experience. I will say as much as I remember. I think the biggest thing I remember was the seance in the drained out pool in the basement. We got together, holding hands around the candles as one of the guides led the speaking part. Every flashlight was turned off, so the only light came from the few candles in the center of the circle. We were told to pay attention to the shadows on the walls projected by the candles, which were dancing around quite wildly. Was everything I saw actually there, or did my eyes really see several shadow figures watching us? I still can’t tell. I believed I briefly saw two adult man looking shadows watching us from the side of the pool, but I don’t know for sure.
One of the guides gave me an electromagnetic field detector, and I was glad to use my new device on my first tour. I was an amateur that flipped out over every tiny little spike, but I don’t remember any significant EMF changes. My mom had to tell me a couple of times to stop provoking, that I wasn’t Zak Bagans. I wanted hardcore evidence and it seems Zak’s method gets the best evidence. I did tone it down a bit but continued to beg for evidence.
Another thing from the swimming pool was the marbles. There were several marbles in the center and even some in the drain. These spray paint can marbles were supposedly all left for the little girl that drowned after hitting her head and falling in. The guide said he wouldn’t stop anyone from taking a marble home with them, but no guarantees for what would result. I was curious and new, so I took a marble home. There was not much more activity than what was already typical. I had a few dreams involving a young child for a few days and a few tiny objects falling off my shelves that couldn’t be explained. This same year, my mom and I moved to my grandparents’ house, a place that was already haunted by a few different people, one being a little girl. The marble still sits on the shelf in my room in that basement as far as I’m aware. I never could figure out if the child I heard a few times in that basement was the current resident or the one I brought from Alton, or both. Activity still happens in that basement, but I still don’t know if the marble added to it. It’s a nice souvenir to keep, a good memory of my first time getting close and personal to the paranormal as my new favourite title: Paranormal Investigator.
There were a few individual rooms and areas we visited. I remember feeling the sadness when we heard the story of the middle-aged lady that killed herself in a hotel room because she thought she was being cheated against. There was also the story of the man that pushed his girl down the stairs and accidentally killed her. No clear evidence was captured in these spaces, but that was the first time I remember feeling an unexpected painful feeling that I could not explain. I would later discover I can feel the pain from deaths that have happened in the areas I stand, including victims’ last feelings. Not a comfortable gift to have, but it still amazing to feel at the moment.
I’m sure I could remember more specifics if I found my footage or my quick report I wrote down after that night, but it may be lost entirely. This is the most I remember from that 13-year-old brain. I kept going to more tours and adventures after this, and I continue to do so today, with better training of course. I felt a tiny bit of fear of encountering the unknown, but it did nothing to stop me from continuing. I hope to return someday. My mom and I have tried to go back, but every time we book a tour, something terrible happens, and it has to be canceled. One day we’ll be back to continue our conversations. Until then, other stories will be discovered elsewhere.
Good Night for now-