Monday, November 7, 2011
Mutually Beneficial Paranormal Research
One upcoming project that I'm particularly excited about is an excursion to Shirley Plantation. I'm back in the field investigating a few select sites, and this is one of my favorites. To help the Shirley Plantation Foundation, I've been offered the opportunity to invite a small team of paranormal explorers to accompany me on an investigation of the farm's outbuildings and grounds later this month.
Why is this one of my favorite haunted locations? First, the reports of paranormal activity on the property predate the Civil War. Second, their most famous spirit, Aunt Pratt, was the center of a well-documented paranormal disturbance that was witnessed by tens of thousands of people. Finally, this is one site that never disappoints me when it comes to remarkable research findings.
Like many of the other historic sites that are trying to keep their doors open during a time when budgets are being trimmed to near nothing, Shirley Plantation is working to find creative ways to attract visitors. Locations with spry spirits are finally seeing the opportunities available in inviting serious paranormal researchers to use their property as a "laboratory" of sorts for a nominal fee. This is an incredibly important shift in attitudes that I hope every investigator is grateful for and will embrace. When I first started studying phenomena in the field, home and business owners, tour guides, and others would rather risk being rude and unwelcoming than even talk of paranormal activity at their sites. I can only wonder how much went unlearned during those decades and how much preservation was hindered because of tight finances.
Finally, progress is possible because of this cooperation.