The rendezvous point is as nondescript as these things come — a giant convenience store off the side of the freeway, a big cardboard box out front, filled to the brim with pumpkins in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. Stacey Jones approaches us timidly at first, calling my name in our direction, as two of the crew members puff on cigarettes in the unseasonably frigid air. She’d apparently mistaken some other folks for us a moment earlier, a group of college students in hoodies and baseball caps, and is clearly a little embarrassed by the whole experience. It’s the first and last time words like “timid” and “embarrassed” can be accurately applied to a middle-aged mother of an adult son who hunts ghosts for a living in central New York State. Group identified, she announces, “We’d better get going. It’ll take about an hour to get there.” Disappointing news, after the five it took to get to this roadside rest stop. But we nod and smile and get back in our respective cars.
She’s careful not to reveal the location until we arrive, for concerns of privacy. I’ve studied her a bit online. A self-described “ghost cop,” YouTube is littered with videos of her leading camera crews through abandoned hospitals, in search of dead people apparently desperate to relate some bit of information to her. The location, however, isn’t as classically horror movie as we’d imagined or hoped in the car ride up. It’s quite idyllic, really — a beautiful 100-year-old building off the side of the road, 200 yards from a truly stunning old church. Outside the front door, a small signboard advertises a monthly waffle breakfast.
Decidedly more ominous are the two graveyards that flank the buildings, with tombstones dating back to the early 19th century, generations of farmers under the ground that may well outnumber residents in this sparsely populated locale. The weather, too, is doing its part to set the scene — strange, gray clouds hanging low in impossible shapes. “The light,” says one of the crew members, as we park and begin the unpacking process. “It’s…oversaturated.” Sounds seem to travel remarkably well in the cold, crisp, pre-storm air. I step across the road with the show producer, to gather b-roll of 150-year-old headstones, still able to hear every word that Stacey says, as she describes her entry into this strange and oft-maligned world, how her son became possessed by demonic forces on an investigation in a graveyard as a teenager. It’s a story she’d recount for the Discovery Channel five years ago, coupled with basic cable dramatizations, portrayed by actors bearing slightly resemblances to their real world counterparts, if you’re willing to afford them the advantage of a good squint.
Continue reading Engadget goes ghost hunting — exploring the gadgetry of paranormal investigation
Engadget goes ghost hunting — exploring the gadgetry of paranormal investigation originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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