ROAD TRIP

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As we travel to our investigations, we come across many interesting historical places. This is the first of a series of our summer "Road Trip". We are having fun walking these trails, meeting people and learning the history. An added pleasure is encountering something paranormal. Join us on our trip in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania



Where George Washington was Accused of Murder


And the Real First World War Began

Haunted History by Jon McClintock


So how haunted can a ROAD be, anyhow? Putting aside phantom hitchhiker stories and myriad tales of "The Lady in White", we've had far more luck inside old buildings.

Until recently.

A hotter-than-usual 2002 summer and wanderlust took AMG members and guests to four historically significant byways. Pennsylvania school children have all heard about the Forbes and Braddock Roads in history class, and most Americans know - or have driven upon - The National Road (40) and The Lincoln Highway (30). The former two literally preceded and were covered in part by the latter. All began as game or Indian trails and over the course of 250 years have witnessed heroes, villains and the march of bloody history.

Some remain in their original state, such as Forbes where it crosses the Allegheny Front on the Bedford/Somerset County line. Almost two miles off current Route 30 and unmarked but for a lone homemade sign, the small path is memorialized in ancient wagon ruts under the deep forest canopy.

Likewise, the right-of-way mapped by 22-year-old Lt. Colonel George Washington 25 years before the Revolutionary War remains pristine where Route 40's asphalt and concrete don't obscure. Walking these historic gems is a reward in itself. Then add serious ghosting enjoyment hidden in what's left of scenes of conflict, houses, inn and churches waiting to be explored.

Perhaps our most sensational paranormal experience, one that yielded a rare daytime orb of some brilliance, occurred at a battle site even bloodier (in proportion) than Gettysburg. The visitor investigating The Jumonville Affair won't soon forget the experience.

Marty M. and Jo B. chose to remain atop huge boulders that frame one side of the forested glen in Fayette County. It's administered by the National Park Service, which takes no official stand on paranormal phenomena. Encouraged by individual employees, however, Al and I trod well-worn stone steps down to what must have been a magnificent encampment on May 28, 1754.

Little did Marty and Jo know at the time that - as they stood silently 40 feet above us they'd been joined by an entity who left an EVP that seems to caution "Don't, Chris..."

Large ledges and burrowed-out lean-to's surrounded by thick foliage must have fortified the courage of a squad of 32 French soldiers- half of whom would not live out the day, would never realize that a young Virginian lit the fuse on a fire that would engulf the world. We know it as "the French and Indian War." It's known everywhere else as the Seven Years War - perhaps the first true World War after colonization by the European superpowers.

The soul French survivor said Washington signaled his 40 men to shoot the sleeping French. (The word assassin is actually part of the historic record, though Washington disputed the translation.) Those not killed immediately were allegedly pursued by native Americans who scalped the groggy and dying French.

The battle, if that word is accurate, was short - but spirits didn't die so quickly, we found.

Al and I scouted beneath the natural rock formations, still used by park officials on occasion for shelter and recreations. The atmosphere in the glen - a natural valley - is indescribable. While it's leafy and low, we each felt an oppressive heaviness in the air. Breathing came hard and sweat easily.

We took separate paths away from this momentous, but apparently benign and energy-draining place. Walking the longer path through acres of fern, I tried to recall some rudimentary French language lessons and attempted to speak to any souls watching me. If nothing else, I imagined I was provoking some laughter on The Other Side with my pig-French.

I suddenly felt disoriented and lightheaded, with a bit of a headache. "These are Al symptoms!" I thought of my more sensitive friend. I stopped and snapped a pair of digital pix over the ferns and rocks. Nothing.

Then I forced the flash and took a picture of the path I'd just traveled.In a split second I knew I had something pretty interesting, so I quickly snapped another picture to ensure filtered sunlight or unseen flying bugs could be ruled-out.I waited till the four of us were atop the boulders together before really examining the precious frame.


VOILA! Ici, l'orbe!

I whispered a silent prayer as we trudged back toward the road and our car, meditating on the sobering and momentous events that transpired along this 2500' piece of the Laurels known as Summit ridge.

End Part One



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