An Antique Shop in Schellsburg, Pennsylvania
Saturday, August 25, 2001
Every investigation, every potential haunting, brings an element of surprise. Sometimes the surprise is finding nothing of paranormal interest. Sometimes we are presented a paranormal mystery that, if we are lucky enough, can somehow be explained.
The surprise in an August 25, 2001 visit to one of historic Bedford County's many antique shops was learning how much "power" can be on the other side.
Every seasoned ghosthunter has experienced battery drain or equipment malfunction. It's becoming recognized as one of the common clues that there are entities and anomalies around. So, how strange should it be that an intuitive, probably psychic, ghosthunter finds himself as depleted of energy as yesterday's Duracell Alkaline AA batteries?
Just six of us visited the Revolutionary War era former home on Route 30, the Lincoln Highway, America's first publicly-funded road. It's a good number for a reasonably-sized dwelling, allowing for two teams of three to work if necessary. Our expectations weren't high, as the owner had not noticed a predictable time when noises could heard, children heard playing on the steps (visit our EVP page for a woman commenting on the steps) and an older, non-existent woman spotted in a second story room by a neighbor.
But any building along this most historic of highways a road that General Washington rode to squash the Whiskey Rebellion has a lot of spirit potential! Complicating things, in a way, was the presence of so many materials from hundreds of persons' lives. If spirit energy remains with treasured items, an antique shop should be like a neon strip in Las Vegas to a "Sensitive."
Patrick, the owner, said the woman's apparition (as seen from a neighbor's) was the most persistent tale he'd heard. He believes it to be the spirit of the sister of the guy from whom he purchased the building some years ago. The woman's mental condition reportedly deteriorated and she was removed from her beloved home against her will.
The upstairs is just four rooms and a porch, all vacant except for the back bedroom. An early survey showed EMF readings that fluctuated beyond explanation and IR camcorder tape showed orbs or dust, but nothing worth an "oh my!"
Al Brindza was one of three team members drawn to a dismantled bedstead. It seemed to be the point from which EMF radiated, so Marty McClintock moved the wooden posts to another wall. The EMF disappeared. Moved back, the EMF renewed and Jon McClintock set up an IR stationary camera at the door to the room, aimed at the furniture.
It was after 10:30 p.m. when Al walked slowly, in the dark, to the bedstead. The camera was in Super IR because orb activity was so slow; it was time to experiment. The "Super" feature slowed the frames-per-second shutter rate and uniformly lit the scene. That's good when all you want to do is see, but if you are accustomed to watching for orb movement in "regular" IR, it tends to make them larger, show dust and bugs as anomalies, and cuts out some of the action.
The action started moments after Al touched the bed.
He appeared deep in thought as he lifted his hand from one post to another. Suddenly I saw him collapsing to the floor in a hard fall, a noisy for-real collapse. It was a frightening moment, all the more so because I was blinded by the camera viewer and couldn't see (with my naked eyes) Al's motionless body just a few feet away.
Two of us rushed in his direction, found his feet and arms. and worked furiously to drag him up a small flight of steps to a different room. Al was dead weight in the literal sense and to this day we don't know whether he stopped breathing. The IR camera shows no chest movement. It did show an orb swarm leaving where Al had lain and heading in toward him. Later we would learn that the apparent entity was eager to apologize to Al.
Al gradually came around, thank God, but needed a lot of assistance navigating down the main stairs and outside into the mid summer night.
And here is where Al is best suited to explain what he heard, felt (ouch !) and saw.
From Investigator Al Brindza
As Jon McClintock narrates above, Aug.25, 2001 was a day to remember for our group and especially me. I've dealt with the paranormal for most of my life, but pretty much kept it to myself. It wasn't until a few years ago that I decided to be more open about it and network with people.
Over the past few years we have done many investigations; some were ho-hum, others almost unbelievable. This is one of them.
I was taken totally off guard at Schellsburg, was apparently too open to spirit energy, and hadn't taken precautions that I have since learned about. It started off as a quiet evening after the owner filled us in on the events that he was aware of, and gave us a quick tour of the building. I believe it was built in the late 1700's.
My routine usually would have me wander off and just get a feel for a site, looking for anything that catches my mind's eye. Being an antique shop, there was a lot of residual energy coming from the different objects on display and the antiques are interesting in their own right. One, for reasons that are hard to put into words, may have stronger energy than another.
On this night I was most attracted to a private, seldom-used room on the second floor that most would consider boring compared with downstairs. It was in this room where I felt the most energy, especially in one corner where a bedstead rested against a wall. I took a picture with my digital camera and found an orb in the opposite corner of the room. Another member of the group found high EMF (energy readings) on the back of the headboard. Upon checking, we found that this was where the electrical service comes into the building. This was noted as a normal artifact.
Marty and I decided to experiment, moving the bedposts to another wall. After we did this, and just as I was about to turn away, I felt the impression of someone saying "Put it back!" (I realize most people can't understand what this is like, but try to bear with me.) I mentioned this to the others and not long afterwards I got another orb photo with my camera in that area. We moved the headboard back to where we first saw them.
Again I received an impression that said: "Thank you" At this point, I'm sure you can understand why I'm thinking to myself "this is interesting!" Not to most people, mind you, because it amounted to some old wood resting against a wall in a featureless room. I'm just a little different.
I moved away from the headboards several times, four or so, only to return. I was simply drawn to this item. On my final approach , I touched the foot board for a few seconds, then proceeded to place my hand on the head board.
At this point things began to get really strange. I've had months to think about it, look at the videotape and talk with others, and this is how I can best describe the following minutes: I was going into almost a trance-like state. Suddenly I was on a road or a trail. I remember being surrounded by fog or mist - and walking towards me was a younger woman in a long dress, wearing a full apron and bonnet-type hat. The bonnet indicated to me she was a Quaker or from a similar sect. As she came closer I felt drawn to her and then contact was broken and I collapsed to the floor...unaware of what was happening in the next few minutes. Imagine missing the final minutes of a movie, or finding the last chapter of a book is missing. That was I.
The group learned later that the owner was purposefully withholding information that a Quaker Family indeed once live there years ago. Patrick is a skeptic, but also very interested in this type of stuff. I guess, to satisfy himself, he wanted to see if we would uncover this bit of information.
There's more. On an EVP we got a whisper voice saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" before fading out. Later I remembered hearing a female voice saying over and over again "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you."
It took me several days to recover from what was a startling, but fairly insignificant fall to the floor. But Jon's analogy to being "drained" like a battery is a good one, and like one you can recharge, it can take time.
My thoughts on this are that the entity didn't mean for this to happen, didn't try to hurt me in any way. Instead, perhaps after all these years of observing people like you and me, the entity finally found someone who was able to see her and she overwhelmed me in the contact process. I don't know the answer, but I want to pass along after months of study, questions and consultation with others that if you are sensitive and you are out ghost hunting these things can happen!
Some groups who claim to be "strictly scientific" will never experience anything like this. I'm finding many, are (in my opinion) narrow minded and don't feel the need or reject "Sensitives."
I believe a sensitive-intuitive group member can and does lead others to a paranormal activity. An intuitive person can offer thoughts on why, how or if anomalies in an investigation have a connection. Our group does both; work with Sensetives and use a variety of equipment in an attempt to be as scientific as possible.
Will we ever know more than a potential connection between those bedposts and a Quaker woman? No, not really know. But when you leave a site with the extra insight, it gives a whole new meaning to orbs.
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