Twelve hours in the haunted chapel and half as many weeks to mull it over, and I am still in the same place I started. Ghosts. Voices. Hauntings. People we think died years ago in physical proximity to us now. How is all of this real? Is it even real, at all? Maybe this is a scientific frontier on the brink of busting through as an established science. The Alabama Paranormal Research Team wholeheartedly believes in the paranormal, and the evidence bolsters a convincing argument. These unexplained voices and slamming doors lure me into the court of the believers, but my rational side tells me I’m being ridiculous.
However, now that I’m finished writing the feature for Auburn Magazine, I believe I’ve sorted everything out. I’ve stepped back to that night in the chapel more than enough times, and I’ve even stepped back to my very first ghost experience when I was only 5. Blank screens and befuddled thoughts have transformed into page layouts and unified ideas. Well, for me at least. What’s your conclusion? Have you come to one yet? Check out our winter issue for the full story of our hAUnted night and my ultimate decision. If your subscription to Auburn Magazine has pulled a vanishing act of its own, join the Auburn Alumni Association and start receiving benefits today!
The ghostly finale is here! Come experience the entire night of our haunted chapel investigation. Don’t worry this is just a movie… right?
It has only been a hour since the paranormal research team left and I can tell the three of us don’t want to fall asleep. I can’t stop thinking about the voices from tonight’s EVP recordings. I am confused and don’t have a reason to believe theses voices aren’t real. Hiding in a sleeping bag has never felt so protective. Maybe if I close my eyes the next time they open will be from the morning sunshine. I am ready to go home now.
The view from the floor as I waited for the morning to come.
I am still shaken up from the bathroom door slamming by itself and I think John Mark is too. Whenever I hear a noise in this chapel, I jump out of pure reaction. This is not how I felt at the beginning of the night. The other paranormal researchers are taking more infrared pictures of the chapel and packing up some of their equipment. I think the night is starting to slow down.
As I look around the chapel, my thoughts keep venturing to the idea that there may actually be ghosts in here right now. I am distracted and haven’t even noticed the rest of the group huddled around the computer listening to our EVP recordings from tonight. So far there are no responses and all I can hear is our own voices asking random questions. The next stream of EVPs start playing. This one sounds a lot different. I think we all hear the whispers in the background. Is a ghost trying to answer us?
The EVP session is just about finished. I still don’t know what to think of the knocks and creaks we just heard. Things are starting to become a bit more mysterious and unexplainable. One of the paranormal experts, John Mark, has just asked me to come walk around the building to see if there is any activity outside. Can ghosts even go outside?
It is much colder out here than in the chapel and nothing seems to be picking up on the EMF detector, but for some reason I have a strange feeling we’re about to find something. John Mark is ahead of me, and we are approaching the front door of the chapel. I wonder if anyone else is finding anything inside? We decide to go back into the chapel and into the ladies bathroom where they discovered most of the paranormal occurrences in their 2008 investigation. There are no spikes in the EMF detector, and John Mark concludes that there isn’t any activity going on in the bathroom. I walk out first with John Mark closely behind. BOOM! I think the door just slammed shut by itself…
This photo was taken with a full spectrum camera which is designed to filter out particular spectrum's of light. Is this a ghost near the bathroom? A blurred image represents an unknown object.
Holding their equipment more closely, I notice that these objects are more familiar than I thought. Their voice recorder is the same model as mine and they have an EMF (electromagnetic field) detector that models something from my childhood science classes. I am walking around the open area with a remote control in my hand and I feel ridiculously unaware of what is supposed to happen. At this point the room is starting to feel creepy. The rest of the group is congregating around the front of the chapel setting up recorders for an EVP session. I overhear one of the Paranormal Research members talking and she says it is a time to ask the ghosts questions to see if they will respond. I don’t know if anything will answer and I don’t really know if I want it to.
Cathleen Giustino, the Mills Carter Professor of History in Auburn University's College of Liberal Arts, is a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship recipient, one of only 35 recipients nationwide who will receive up to $200,000 toward the funding of significant research and writing in the social sciences and humanities. "I feel deeply honored to have been […]