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Behind Every Cloud is a Kindred Spirit (BECKS)I lost my grandfather when I was 17. I had a VERY difficult time getting over it. How could I still communicate with him? I loved him so much I didn't think I could live without him. I read everything I could get my hands on to do with the "afterlife" and that started it all...the love of Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal. I have been researching the paranormal for over 37 years!! It is my way of staying in touch with my grandfather. Being a Ghost Hunter is not always as exciting as it seems on TV. Many nights I have sat in the dark and not a thing happened. BUT it is those times you DO get that one voice, that one explainable picture or have an experience that sends chills down your back that makes it sooo worth it all!!! My purpose of this blog is not to make people believe in ghosts but maybe to open their minds just a little bit... I LOVE this crazy thing called Ghost Hunting. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I am just a girl that refuses to accept we can't still contact our loved ones after they die. My grandfather won't let me.



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Zak Bagans-The Haunted Museum

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."  Right?   Or at least you hope!  That is why you have to sign a wavier before you ever go into Zak Bagans Haunted Museum in Las Vegas stating they will not be responsible for anything that you experience or becomes attached.  Man, doesn't that set the mood? LOL 

Ghost Adventures is the number one paranormal show on TV and it's host Zak Bagans, Lead Investigator and an executive producer is no stranger to the "stranger things" in life.  With millions of fans watching weekly as Zak and the crew search for demonic entities and paranormal activity, Zak has came up with a way that you too could get up close and personal with haunted objects and have a chance to experience the paranormal all in one place for yourself.....a Haunted Museum. 

Now, anyone who has watched Ghost Adventures knows there is A LOT of "questionable" things that happened to Zak and the crew.  Is it fake?  Is it staged?  Look, if it keeps you watching for whatever reason it's great ENTERTAINMENT and I love any "ghost shows" of any kind!!!  My DVR is full of nothing but shows to do with the paranormal, strange, weird, mysteries.....wait.....I think I see a pattern here?????? LOL  I think I might be a "paranormal junkie".  Lol  Oh, back to Zak.  I am not going to sit here and "dog" the show or say I believe EVERYTHING you see in their investigations is real, but what I will say is......his museum was awesome!!!

Ever since I heard Zak opened a Haunted Museum I have been dying to go!  But I have to be honest, I was wondering how "corny" was it going to be or even was it really worth "all the hype" and money?  You know, I had my doubts.  Well, last month I got the chance to go when my boyfriend, Deak surprised me with a weekend in Vegas!  I had know idea!  He told me he wanted to do something special on our anniversary and he showed up at my house and we drove straight to the airport, and off we went.  I know, right??? 

Now, when you first pull up to the museum it looks like a normal big house.  Not a lot of flashy lights or anything like that, just a simple sign saying Zak Bagans The Haunted Museum.  There is a very narrow driveway not at all like you would think. It is definitely a bit of a problem getting in and out.   I guess I was thinking that you would pull up and it would be a huge parking lot or something with big flashy lights.....you know.....a little bit like Zak....the center of attention.  LOL  Well not at all.  Anyway, there is an employee standing outside the museum having you sign a waiver before going in.  When you first go in, you are stopped in a very small dark room with a video of Zak and the guys playing on a small tv screen and there are tons of haunted dolls lining the walls.  I thought it was really cool and sat the mood for what was to come.  

Now, I am not going to tell you everything about the museum and the way the tour is run, because that would ruin it for those of you who have not been yet.  First, let me say, it is very cramped inside the mansion and it seems you are a bit "rushed through" on the tour.  I think it is probably because there are so many rooms to see in a short time and also they are trying to get as many people through the museum as fast as they can.  I believe the mansion has like 33 rooms and you go through 25 of them I think that is what we were told.  Here's the problem, there is SOOOOOO MANY things crammed in such small spaces, and it is all really weird, bizarre and cool stuff you want to see, but you just don't get enough time to really check it all out.

And guess what?  You can't take pictures!!!!!!  I know right?  Here you are among some of the MOST HAUNTED OBJECTS in the world and you can't take pictures.  The very first room you come in, is kinda the waiting room before the tours start and has all the walls lined with haunted dolls.  This is the ONLY room you can take pictures in so take a bunch!!!   

Different rooms have different theme like objects.  Like Hollywood horror film stuff and the Dybbuk Box supposedly being the most haunted object in the world!!!! Just super creepy stuff EVERYWHERE!!!  And I will tell you, we had some people on our tour that was scared to death of different rooms and I wasn't sure they were going to be able to finish the tour but they did.  Good for them.  Before you go into each room, your tour guide will tell you a little about what you are about to see in the room and ask if you would like to "go in" or "not".?  So, if you are uncomfortable with seeing any of the objects in the rooms, you don't have to go in.  The tour guide will then step aside and let you go inside and I'm going to guess about 10-15 people at a time in the room and you have about 5-10mins in each room.  Ok.  Listen ya'll, if you are going to take the time, spend the money (And I do think it is a little pricey for the tour) on the tour .....don't NOT go in all the rooms!!!!!  Your there to see all the cool, weird haunted stuff, right?  So be brave when the tour guide is definitely trying to make you uncomfortable and freak you out a little bit or scare you before going into the rooms.....go see EVERYTHING!!!!!  Even the smallest of the creepy stuff is cool.  

One of the rooms is filled with circus stuff and like this really large miniature circus display all made of wood.  Of course, it is very old and I thought it was pretty cool.  Not super creepy but I liked it. Unusual.  There are lots of small hallways with crazy stuff all over the walls for you to look at. Stuffed animals, mannequins, dolls, skeletons, chairs, tables you name it, it's there.  Let me tell you, there is NOT an empty space on the walls or lining the halls.  This place is FULL of creepy, weird and haunted objects no doubt about it!!!!

So, let's talk about the Dybbuk Box.  One of the most haunted objects in the museum that most people want to see.  Before you go in they really build this one up. Of course, there is a lot of hype about the Dybbuk Box.  A Dybbuk Box is a wine  cabinet which is said to be haunted by a Dybbuk.  A Dybbuk is usually a restless, usually malicious spirit that is believed to be able to haunt or even possess the living.  The box gained notoriety when it was auctioned off on eBay with an accompanying horror story written by Kevin Mannis, an is the original inspiration for the 2012 film The Possession.  Ok. The tour guide kinda leads you to believe that something "bad" could happen to you JUST for looking at the Dybbuk Box.  For me, I couldn't WAIT to get inside!!!!  Are you kidding me????? The WORLD'S MOST HAUNTED OBJECT is just a few steps in front of me behind a door.....OH HELL NO!!!!!  I'M GOING IN!!!!!!!!!!!!  They have the Box in a glass case in a pretty dark room. I can tell you, it looks just like a box in a glass case.  LOL  Now, did I feel scared or creeped out??? Feel a BAD ENERGY around???  No.  Actually I thought I felt a bit more uneasy but I just didn't. I was a bit disappointed.....I thought for sure.....I would feel something bad or evil around.  Nope.  Not a thing.

Zak has done a good job at trying to make this an interesting tour when all you are doing is just walking from room to room in a very small space.  I can tell you, there are a few surprises that will make you jump or scream!!!  Just ask Deak!!! LOL  

There is a room with a doll named Peggy.  Now, Peggy supposed to be haunted and will move her head and talk to you.  They have a spirit box set up so that you can try to communicate with Peggy.  We tried to talk with her and asked if she could see us and we did get a response...."yes" but that was about all.

There's the stairs from the famous Demon House with dirt from that location and there is famous Jack Kevorkian's van where he would assist in suicides.  There is a chair that sat beside Michele Jackson's bed when he died (ok....that's just creepy that you would even want that, but to each their own right .LOL).  Charles Masions bloody handprint.  This place just has to many things to mention.

The cursed objects and the energy of the house is definitely "different." With all this haunted stuff in one place how could there not be a weird vibe?  I will tell you the place that I felt the most uncomfortable was at the staircase leading to the basement.  As we were walking from room to room, we walked by a staircase that led to the basement or bottom floor.  We weren't allowed to go down there but Zak had sat a doll on a chair in a doorway below.  The tour said that its head moves and the eyes blink.  For some reason, this doll just gave me the creeps!  And we weren't even close to her, we could just look down at her from the second floor.  But I swear I saw her blink!!!  Like a couple of times.  I didn't say anything because I was trying to figure out if I REALLY saw that or not. hhhuuumm  As we were leaving, they take you to the gift shop which doesn't have a ton of things because it is in a pretty small room but as I was looking around Deak whispered in my ear..."I swear...I saw that doll down stairs blink!!!"   I was like "no-way" and he said "yes I did"  I DID SEE HER EYES BLINK I knew it!!!!  He saw it to!!!!  HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!

So, should you go see the museum?  Again, I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. It has some super weird and bizarre things in it.  Some things you just have to ask yourself why?"  LOL  Hands down I would say MOST DEFINITELY go check it out!!!!!!!!!!  It is something to see!!!  And it is just a fun time if nothing else. :)   

The video below shows the inside of the museum.  It gives you a good look at some of the bizarre objects inside the mansion.



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I love this time of year!!!! Halloween is just around the corner!!!!  Oh yeah, it's BACK TO SCHOOL for the kids!!!  A parents dream and the kids nightmare. lol  Wouldn't it be cool if you went to a haunted school???  Boy, you wouldn't have any problem getting me up and dressed.....I'm in the car honking the horn waiting on mom!

Every August, I like to write about a haunted school.  So have you heard about the video that was caught on surveillance camera at Asheville High School?  Well, let me tell you about it...

On August 1, 2008, at precisely 2:51:03 in the morning, the motion sensor was set off and the video surveillance system captured a dark shadow floating across the rotunda.  At first glance, the shadow was passed off by the executive of public relations as nothing but a bat flying across the rooms.  Now, I've watched this video several times trying to debunk it and not ONCE did I think the shadow looked like a bat.

But all that changed on playback, when the strange black image continued to change shape.  Wait!!! What???? lol  Instead of bat like, it looked more human.  A child perhaps?  I mean it is a school after all.  The shadow even seems to take steps....you know like someone walking across a room.  It was even caught in front of the elevator, eerily casting its own shadow.  hhuuummm

Now, if you ask the faculty what they think, especially a teacher named Martha Geitner, she has no doubt!  During Martha's interview with a local new channel she said, "It's a ghost!  Of course it's a ghost!  It's the ghost of some former student who is really angry with his teacher and has come to get back at the teacher, and he's just making himself known at this time."

Ok.  You watch the video and see what YOU think!  Here are my two cents.  I have to disagree with Mrs. Geitner….hope she doesn't give me a "D" but I think it is just the opposite.   Just from the size of the wall behind the shadow I would say it is more the size of an adult....MAYBE a TEACHER that has come back to his or her classroom.  Huumm   Whatever it is...I DID find this video interesting,



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Grab your phone and let's go Ghost Hunting!!!!! "There's an app for that" right?  In today's world of  "convenience and mobile technology, it's no wonder there is a flood of "ghost apps" on the market to make your ghost hunting experience easy breezy.  Anywhere from 99 cents and above you can have a piece of ghost hunting with you at all times.  Oh, and even better news, many are FREE!!!!!!!!!

Do I think that ghost hunting apps really work?  Well, for now I guess let's just say "anything is possible".  If a spirit can throw a glass across the room and communicate through a radio and other electronic devices then why couldn't they use our phones as a form of communication???  It's an electronic device right?  We are still very much in the "development stages" of seeing what we can actually use to communicate with spirits  and what we can't.  Apps are one of the things that people seem to be exploring.

Now, are you looking for something just to have a little fun with and scare your friends or are you wanting an app that might actually come in handy while ghost hunting?  There are tons of apps strictly for entertainment purposes only (although almost all the apps say that).  Some apps you can scare the crap out of your friends and then there are the apps that might actually work.  I am constantly playing with apps and testing to see which ones work and which ones don't.

So, here are some of the apps that I have experimented with and found them to be useful and sometimes.....just DOWN RIGHT SCARY!!!!!!!! Then there are the ones I wished I hadn't spent my 99 cents on.  Download them for yourself and see what you think.


This is probably my favorite app.  Although The Portal made for an Android phone (I have an iPhone, darn it) definitely gives the M2 a run for its money.  First, you should SO give this app a try.  I will say that you have to "overlook" the cheesy, scary music that plays when you first turn on the app.  It's a little much, but the app itself might be of some use.  I have found the M2 to be "spot on" in some locations when investigating and doing an EVP session as far as words coming up related to our questions.  It is very easy to use and has many different screens for you to watch as well as keeping a log of your EVP's so you can go back later for review.  Love this feature.  The VERY FIRST TIME I turned on the M2, it said "Rebecca" which is my real name.  Becky is short for Rebecca.  Are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!  Totally FREAKED ME OUT!!!!

Now, this app has a ton of options to use.  To be honest, way more than I need.  For me, the simpler the better.  I don't have time to read and analyze all different kinds of data.  So, let me make it easy for you.  These options are the ones I use.  The very first button or option on the screen is the Dashboard.  I think this feature would be best for a beginner or if you just want to do a quick EVP session because it has everything you need on one screen.  It has a sweep that lights up on a radar to indicate when and where a spirit is present.  Then it has a EVP window that shows words as well as audio.  Then on the same screen it has EMF, Audio, Geo and Bar to use as well.

The Ghost Hunter M2 was developed by professional engineers, and is said to be the most advanced paranormal toolkit in all known and unknown universes.  Ghost Hunter M2 features an EMF instrument measuring magnetic fluctuations with the magnetometer of your Apple device, an Audio Detection Instrument and a Fast Fourier Transform Visualizer analyzing complex audio signals (meaning other-worldly shrieks sending shivers down your spine), a Geoscope magnifying terrainial  and sub-terrainial fluctuations so that you can spot zombies(openly admitting I don't know a thing about zombies) trying to sneak attack you by bursting out of their grave, a Spatial Displacement Instrument analyzing the data flowing in from the assortment of app's electro-mechanical sensors, a Twilight Instrument turning your Apple device's camera into an all-seeing eye, an EVP(Electronic Voice Phenomena) Instrument delivering bone-chilling spirit voices in both audio and visual format, a Luxscope capable of measuring the most minute change in the environment's illuminance, and a Barometer.  It very much seems like they have kicked things off at the top of the heap, because Ghost Hunter M2 is undisputed a plus ultra paranormal investigation toolkits, all the while costing only $.99.


Ok.  I LOVE THIS APP!!!!  I am so disappointed that this app is not available on the iPhone.  You can get it if you have an Android phone.  I have been on investigations that this app was used, and I have to tell you, I was so impressed!!!  We went to The Myrtles Plantation last summer and the voices coming through even had  a "Southern Accent" that from the Old South and at all the other locations we were at the EVP's coming through did not have this accent.  But this is an old Plantation and so it was really cool to hear these kind of EVPS.  I really, really like this app!!!

Steve Huff of Huff Paranormal was looking to experiment with vocal tones from various age and gender people.  This Portal app will sweep randomly between single file bank at a random sweep rate between 100ms & 2000ms that changes every 2 seconds to keep every session unique.  Bank content, young male and female, Middle age male and female, Elderly male and female and whispers to see if they can choose a voice one to give us intelligent responses to questions asked.  During your session look for intelligent replies to question asked and always keep the audio reversed for better validation manipulation.


This is also a really good little app.  There is one thing that is really annoying about this app and that's all the advertisements that pop up while you are doing your EVP session.  There's a lot!!!  This app is also very easy to use and it also stores your EVP's which is always is a plus.  It has a good clear "voice" that announces the words.  And of course, a radar with colored "dots" to show where and how strong the energy is that it is detecting.

Ghost Radar Legacy is a spruced up, refined version of Ghost Radar Classic, a straightforward paranormal app with a simple, functional design.  Ghost Radar Legacy does what its predecessor did:  it detects paranormal activity by gathering and analyzing a wide range of data-though it performs its manifold functions at a much higher level, with greater efficiency and precision, and with more style thanks to the fully revamped interface.  Ghost are capable of translating energy into graphics, words, numeric values and radar indicators, ensuring that no nearby spirit will slip away unseen.  Based on the reviews they read on the AppStore, being daring and curious might uncover bone-chilling results-but those secrets are the exact source of the ecstatic terror each and every paranormal investigator is yearning for.  Or maybe most of those reviews are nothing more than clever marketing tricks, and who knows, when it comes to ghosts, the answer is never clear.


If you look at the reviews for this people seem to like the Demon Detector.  Sorry, I am just not one of them.  I was NOT impressed at all.  I tried it several times and not much happened.  But you know...sorry, I just don't think it is the "real deal" and to be honest it doesn't come close.  But you decide for yourself.

Demon Detector differentiates itself from the rest of the field mostly with its name.  When you hear demon, you associate it with something much more malevolent and beastly than your average run-of-the-mill ghost.  Demon Detector makes use of the sensors built into your Apple device, translating signs of paranormal activity into easy-to-read text, while also displaying electromagnetic anomalies.


This app is probably the app that has scared me the most!!!  It has either a creepy lady's voice or a creepy man's voice that comes across and speaks the generated words very slowly.  I caution you with this one....it seems that when I have used it, it "attracts" the more evil or demonic and bad spirits.  At one point a friend and I were using it and it got so crazy scary and was "spot on" about what was going on at the time we were using it, we had to turn it off!!!!  I have taken this app off my phone and put it back on...then taken it off again and put it back on....because I just can't resist.  It definitely  has my curiosity peaked.  The words are generated through like "white noise" and the words are pronounced in "phonic style".  Like....MUR...….DER.....!  The times I have used it, the words coming through SEEM to relate to whatever situation I am talking about.  But for some reason, it just seems to be on the "darker side" of things.  So give this one a try but PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!!

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is the collective name for the sounds and sometimes detected on electronic recordings and reminiscent of human speech.  These sounds are usually found in recordings with  noise or poor radio reception, and is considered by many to be the voices of paranormal beings such as ghost, spirits, demons and other energy based entities. EVP is a form of Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC), a term coined by professor Ernst Senkowski in the 1970s.

This app has taken the tradition ghost box to the next level, and also incorporates and EMF(Electromagnetic Field) scanner.  As with traditional ghost boxes, chaotic noise seems to be both inviting and sensitive to paranormal manipulation.  The app generates audible speech by detecting meaningful phrases and words together with properties such as gender, age and current mood of the communicating entity.  We continuously improve the app, based on user feedback, and use it during our own paranormal investigations as well.


This little app is really fun.  It comes up and "writes" creepy words.  The only problem here is that there is no beep or anything audio sound that notifies you that a word is about to be written and it only stays up a couple of seconds.  My suggestion....screenshot the words as soon as they appear.  That's what I do anyway.  Then you can review them later.  Do I think it really is a "spirit" writing you a message?  No.  But hey...it provides some creepy entertainment. 

This app uses sensors and analytical information to create an interactive paranormal experience.  A small radio screen detects spirits and at the bottom words are generated and spelled out.


This is another fun one.  It has a funny little beep when a spirit is detected and a clear voice when it captures EVP's.  Here's the "fun"part of this app.  At random times a voice will come on and say "Ghost Detected.  Preparing photo".  You have to allow it to access your camera on your phone so that it can take a picture and then save it to your photos. It snaps a picture and the pictures will have crazy little things in it.  Again, do I think it is a ghost?  No.  But it sure makes it fun!!!

All the sensors are on one page.  The radar that actually tracks anomalies an accurate EMF detector.  Super sensitive microphone and records audio for an EVP Session.  EVP's that will speak to you in 5 different voices.  Detects vibrations and movement and alerts for every sensor.  Draws all this to a very accurate graph and Quantum Flux detector.  Takes photos and detects anomalies.

So, lets talk about the apps like The Ghost Detector that show you following a ghost through a location and then you take a photo of it.  Look, these are all fake!  It is VERY EASY TO DEBUNK!!!!  All you have to do is put your hand in front of your camera lens on your phone or iPad and where it is showing a ghost.  IF you are really SEEING a spirit your hand would BLOCK out the spirit, right?  But if you put your hand in front of the lens and the "ghostly image" is STILL THERE....then....there ya go..........DEBUNKED!!!

My actual photo taken using Ghost Detector Pro 

From The Ghost Detector app.  (Debunk)

Bottom line ya'll, there's apps for everything these days but when you are TRULY interested in researching the paranormal, you may have to invest a little time and money to get TRUE results.  But in the meantime, have fun....be careful and experiment with the different apps because you NEVER KNOW when a real ghost might just show up. :)



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"Get out", "leave", "yes", "no", "die"  have you ever gotten words like this on your recorder???  Man, I have!!!  Is it cool??? You better believe it!!!!  BUT is it REALLY voices from the "other side"???

Whether you are looking to become a full-fledged paranormal investigator or just someone "testing the waters" capturing a voice that you KNOW is not yours or someone with you can be THRILLING and CHILLING!!! 

There are two types of vocal evidence: the disembodied voice and the EVP.  A disembodied voice, as the name implies, is a physically audible human voice that seems to come from nowhere, no one, nobody.  You can hear this with your own ears in real time.  I can tell you, this is one of my favorite things that happens when I am out investigating haunted locations.  But of course, nothing makes it better EXCEPT to capture it on a digital recorder (of course, so you can let others hear what you heard right?).  I love going back through my recordings and finding an EVP that I heard in real time and then it was also caught on the recorder!  BINGO!!!!!  The other kind of vocal evidence is the EVP.  EVP(Electronic Voice Phenomenon) is a voice that is captured on an electronic device, typically a digital voice recorder or camcorder.
Now, will ANY recorder work?  YES.  Record on your cell phone ,with a digital recorder or a  camcorder anything that records is a possible tool for collecting EVP's.  Of course, some better than others but you have lots of things that you can use without going out and buying some expensive device that records.

There are 3 different kind of classifications for EVP's.  Class A, Class B, and Class C.  No....that doesn't mean different classrooms with different teachers haha....

Class A-Now this is the BEST EVP that you can capture.  This type of EVP is loud, clear, and of very high quality.  The voice is easily understandable and does not need enhancement or amplification.  There is no mistaking WHAT the EVP says.  This EVP is usually in response to a question from an intelligent spirit.  But it can be residual as well.

Class B-This is the most common type of EVP.  This type of EVP is of a somewhat lower quality and clarity than a Class A EVP but still very audible.  Class B EVP's often do need some degree of enhancement or amplification to be heard clearer.  The voice may not be clear enough to be totally understood or there may be disagreements as to what it is saying.  These may not always be in direct response to a question.  This is often the Class EVP that gets debated on what is being said.

Class C-This is the lowest quality EVP.  With a Class C EVP even the best enhancement and amplification may not be sufficient to make the voice audible or clear.  There may be even a debate whether or not the EVP is actually present.  Many times, many different interpretations maybe heard.

Below are a couple of video's that have some EVP's in them.  Some Class A, some Class B and some Class C.  Can you decide which ones are which???  Now, enjoy the video's because only a REAL ghost hunter would post them FREAKING OUT! LOL

The first video is at Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois.  The second is in Kingston, Arkansas and the third is at The Hill House Manor in Gainesville, Tx.

Now, get out there and TALK.....TALK.....TALK....  I want to know about your EVP's and what Class EVP you caught.  Email me at Becksghosthunters.com and share your experiences. :)

Lane Cemetery-Kingston, Arkansas

Mineral Springs Hotel- Alton Illinois

Hill House Manor, Gainesville, Tx



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The Ranchman in Ponder, Texas

This is not my "normal" post about ghosts or ghost hunting but sometimes I just feel compelled to write about something "different" and this week I'm doing just that.

Sometimes when I am out looking for haunted locations I run across some place that has nothing to do with "ghost hunting" but has everything to do with an amazing experience and The Ranchman's Steakhouse in Ponder, Texas is just one of those places!!!  Is it haunted?  I don't know, but hopefully someday I will get to find out. :)  I can tell you this...as I sat in this place today having lunch for the first time, I could feel such energy around me, almost as if the spirits were saying "tell our story" or "you have to write about this place" so guess what?  That is exactly what I am going to do. :)

So lets talk about what makes this place so amazing!  First, Ponder, Texas is a small little country town and seems to take great pride in keeping its roots connected to the "Wild West" so to speak.  The store fronts look like an old western town where you would see "dusty old cowboys" riding down the street looking for water for their horses and a cold beer and bath for themselves.  Or maybe in a later time, the farmers and ranchers driving their "barely running" trucks into town to sell their crops or pick up a thing or two from the general store and who knew every person in town by their first name.

The Ranchman's structure was built in 1903 as a restaurant.  Soon, a barbershop was added where their grill is now.  Later, during the Great Depression, another family opened it as a hardware/general store.

Ponder was a thriving town in the 1930's with two grocery stores, a cotton gin, hotel, two gas stations and 1200 residents.  Cotton, wheat, peanuts and oats were the main agricultural products.  A wide center street was the norm in small farming towns to store excess grain until the next train.  Locals still park in the center of the street in Ponder today.  How do I know all this?  Well, not only can you have an awesome homecooked meal you can read The Ranchman's Gazette newspaper, which by chance, is also your Menu!  I loved this!!!!!!!!!

The inside of the restaurant has "picnic style" tables, so just like "back in the day", you are sitting very close to your neighbor.  The interior is all wood, with a cute little sit down bar right when you first walk in.  You can also see the kitchen in the background from the bar.  From the minute you open the door, your mind goes to a different place.....a place that has no electronics, no "business suites"(although I am sure people do come in suites sometimes).  All you notice is most of the people look like locals and are enjoying their lunch with a smile on their face "solving the worlds problems".

Now, Grace "Pete" Jackson opened Ranchman's for business on Thanksgiving Day, 1948.  She had so many customers at the lunch counter in her grocery store next door that she decided it would be a good idea to open a restaurant.  Pete pasted away at the young age of 94.  "The restaurant is a monument to her stamina", Dave said.  Dave Ross, who bought the Ranchman's in 1992, began cooking at the café in 1973 as the weekend grill cook, butcher and baker, while attending the University of North Texas.  During this time, he helped Pete with the 50-seat addition in the back.

Ok.....are you ready for this??????  For some reason THE MINUTE I walked in this place I felt an automatic "connection".  Was it the place itself???????????  Was it the "spirits" that may not have shown their presence yet but where letting me know they were there?????????  What was it?????  Well you know how I am about SIGNS.....

So, as I am sitting there looking around at all the pictures on the walls of FAMOUS people that have actually eaten at The Ranchman's, I was also just glancing through the Ranchman's Menu/Gazette that has several "cool" facts and stories in it.  But there was one in  particular that caught my attention.  Are you ready???  There is an article about a shot out and Sam Bass that happened...…..WHERE???...Where else...but The Old Alton Bridge!!!  That's right the bridge that I give tours at!!!  I was aware of the things about Sam Bass and how he had a "hide out" near the bridge but I just thought it was awesome that they had a really nice article about the bridge in it.  Coincidence?  Is that why I felt SUCH A CONNECTION and interest in this amazing place before I ever sat down? Was I being drawn here because of the spirits and their connection to the bridge?

And what would a town be without a little scandal. LOL

Here's the deal.  There may not be any connection at all and what I felt was just the nostalgia of The Ranchman and it's connection to the past, or maybe..... just maybe , there's a reason I don't yet know, but whatever it was....I enjoyed my lunch very much and a moment in time that seemed to stand still.  :)  Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go finish my homemade chocolate pie.



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Looking for Ghost Hunting locations?  Sometimes we are wanting to do something so badly that we OVERLOOK what's in your own backyard.  And ghost hunting is no different.  I have traveled all over world in search of some of the most haunted places, and come to find out one of the most haunted places I have ever been is right "in my own backyard"......Goatman's Bridge.
This past Saturday I went to support my good friend Tui Snider who was speaking at the Dallas Public Library.  Tui is an amazing author with several #1 Books on Amazon.  She was talking about her new book 100 Things To Do In Dallas Fort Worth Before You Die Tui Snider  which I might add is a #1 New Release on Amazon.  In her book she names several places for you to visit around the Dallas, Fort Worth area, and some of which are haunted!  She also tells you about other things like restaurants, museums, shopping, history and sport hot spots.  Listening to Tui got me to thinking....everyone needs to take a close look around their area, it just might surprise them with what they find!  And before I forget, I want to give a shout-out to Donna and Denise who was at Tui's lecture who had came on one of our Overnight Special Events at Goatman's Bridge.  It was great to you guys again.  Have fun on the Queen Mary!  Sorry, got off track. LOL

For instance, Tui named several places around Dallas, Fort Worth that are haunted and I have not heard of them!  Places like The DeGolyer Mansion at the Dallas Arboretum and The Lizard Lounge.  You can bet I will be checking those out!!!
Me and Tui

Tui Snider
One of the fun things we got to do after Tui's lecture was go to the VERY HAUNTED  The Sons of Hermann Hall.  I had been wanting to check it out for a couple years now.  First, I just want to say that the two guys that showed us around were awesome!  They were soooo nice and told us we could just go wherever we liked.  I'm sorry, I didn't catch their names but I do know one was on The Board.  They told us about the eerie feelings they get late at night when closing up and that some people have seen a spirit of a lady.  Also, some well-dressed ghostly concertgoer's have been spotted.
Donna and Denise

Tui and Larry(Tui's husband)

Larry told us to put our best foot forward.  You can see we're not used to that. LOL

Wait! I have a "best foot"???

One of the guys that showed us around.

Now, The Sons of Hermann has a lot of local musicians come in and play as well as a night of dancing.  And not just any "dancing" it's SWING DANCING!!!  How fun is that???  This place did not feel negative in anyway to me, as a matter of fact, just the opposite.  It was a very relaxed, easy feeling, sounds weird but really....almost a "happy" feeling.  Which doesn't surprise me given how friendly the staff is and being so open to having the public come in and play music.  Heck, if I were a ghost I would want to hang out here!

Anyway, ghost hunting is awesome know matter where you are, but be sure not overlook what's right in front of you.  So, get out there and HUNT!!!!!



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A couple of weeks ago I went on a private event with Gregg and Dana Newkirks and all the "weirdo's" that are members of  The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal  & Occult.  John Tenney was also there to have a séance with us.

Well, first let me tell you about Ashmore Estates and then I will tell you about MY experience there.
From 1857 until 1869, the Coles County Poor Farm was located in Charleston Township near the small town of Loxa, Illinois. In 1870, the county purchased 260 acres from A. N. Graham in Section 35 of Ashmore Township for a new farm, which sat astride the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad. This small timber and brick building, constructed by H. B. Truman, was the first to sit on that property. It was 38x58 feet and two stories tall, with an attached kitchen.

Many residents, or "inmates" as they were called, died at the farm, and the county maintained a small cemetery somewhere north of the grounds. In 1879, Joshua Ricketts, superintendent of the county farm at the time, had recorded 32 deaths out of the roughly 250 inmates who had stayed at the farm between 1870 and 1879. Another pauper cemetery, established a few years later, still exists south of Route 16 and now contains the graves of between sixty to one hundred persons.

The Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities visited the poor farm in 1902. As for the condition of the mentally ill at the farm, they wrote: "There is no special provision for the insane ... None are locked up or in restraint." By 1911, the Auxiliary Committee of the State Board of Charities condemned the almshouse for its "vermin infected walls," "rough floors," "small windows," and improper ventilation. It was reported that "flies swarmed everywhere" and "were especially noticeable on the poor food prepared for dinner." In January 1915, the Almshouse Committee received bids for the construction of a new "fireproof" building at the location.
The building contract for the new almshouse was granted to J.W. Montgomery in March for $20,389, and the cornerstone was ceremoniously laid on May 17, 1916. A full time caretaker and his family took turns living in the almshouse and a white farmhouse that formerly sat on the property.

Coles County sold the almshouse to Ashmore Estates, Inc. in February 1959. That corporation opened the building as a private psychiatric hospital by the same name. In October 1964, after only five years in operation, the psychiatric hospital closed down because of debt. The institution reopened in 1965, but changed its focus from a private facility to one that accepted patients from state mental institutions. By 1968, the shelter care facility housed forty-nine residents, including ten afflicted with epilepsy.

Paul Swinford and Galen Martinie purchased the institution in July 1976. Swinford and Martinie invested over $200,000 in the construction of a modern addition onto the old building. Construction began in 1977, but was not finished until the 1980s. Once the addition to Ashmore Estates had been completed and the rest of the building was brought up to code, the institution's future appeared brighter.

In February 1986, Paul Swinford entered into a limited partnership with a Peoria-based company known as Convalescent Management Associates, Inc. to help manage the institution's finances. The departments of Public Aid and Public Health dragged their feet over the issuance of proper licenses and certificates for nearly a year, leading Swinford to file for permission from the Illinois Health Facility Planning Board to close the facility. At that time, Ashmore Estates' financial losses exceeded $1.5 million. By the end of April, all of the residents had been transferred to area homes, and Ashmore Estates closed its doors.
1987 to the present
In 1998, a resident of Sullivan named Arthur Colclasure paid $12,500 for the property and announced that he planned to renovate the building and turn it into his home. However, continuous vandalism prevented him from ever realizing his plans.

In August 2006, Scott Kelley purchased Ashmore Estates from Arthur Colclasure and began renovating. To finance the project, the Kelleys offered flashlight tours of the interior. To discourage trespassers, they erected signs and moved onto the property. Their haunted house opened on October 13, 2006. In the off-season, Scott offered overnight stays in the building.

In January 2013, Ashmore Estates was hit by a fierce storm, with wind speeds reaching 80 to 100 mph. Ashmore Estates suffered heavy damage; its roof was blown off and the support gables were destroyed. Shortly thereafter, new owners took over the property and made plans to restore the building to its former glory.
On May 3rd of 2014, Ashmore Estates came under new ownership and is now owned by Robbin & Norma Terry.  During their first few weeks of ownership there were huge strides made to cleanup and restore Ashmore Estates.  After less than two years of owning the property some HUGE improvements have been made.  The building has gone from people saying they would never go back to booking each year and in some cases coming back more than once in the same year.  If you have not experienced Ashmore Estates under the new ownership you owe it to yourself to do that. 

So, with all that said, here is what I thought about Ashmore.  First, when you are driving up to it, it sits up on small hill all by itself.  As you pull in the driveway, you can't help but feel that THIS PLACE HAS A STORY TO TELL!!!!  Such a cool place!!!

We all gathered outside on one end of the building waiting to go in.  There were 30 of us and we were all sooooo excited to get inside and see what was in store for us!!!  It was just starting to get dark and in we go....

Now, for those of you who don't know who Greg and Dana Newkirk.... they are the world renown owners of The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult that is home to TONS of HAUNTED OBJECTS!!!  And especially everyone's favorite Billy the Idol.  
John Tenney and everyone.
So the way Gregg and Dana arranged everything was the Past was on the first floor, the Present was on the second and the third floor was the Future.  We started out with John Tenney on the first floor and started doing an EVP Session.  We all sat around a table and John would start out by asking a very simple question like "Do you have a message for us"?  Then we would go around in a circle and each one of us would ask the same question...."Do you have a message for us"?  We would wait a minute or two then the next person would go.  Then we would stop the recorder and listen for an EVP.  

We received several EVP's but one of my favorites was we were going around the table one by one asking a question like "Would you like to talk to me"? As we all asked the same question, it was easy to figure out which voice belonged to which person at the table.  So upon playback you could hear each one of us asking "Would you like to talk to me"? and then the next person would go and all of the sudden........WAIT FOR IT............WAIT FOR IT........(LOL)........we heard a unknown voice ask "Would you like to talk to me"!!!!!!!!!!  That's right!!!!! The spirit was doing just what we were doing!!!!!!!!!!  I guess he figured he should just do the same thing!!!! LOL  We thought this was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!  BTW  I thought John was sooooo nice and enjoyed visiting with him very much.  If you get a chance to do something with John, you should.
First Floor
 Next, we went to the second floor for our experiment of the Present.  Now, forgive me, I forgot who the two guys were that were doing an experiment.  They were trying to communicate with the spirits but each of them were using some kind of different equipment that picked up different frequencies. I have to be honest here, I was really lost on this one.  They both were talking at the exact same time but I'm not sure what they were suppose to prove.  hhhhuuuummmm
Second Floor experiment

Second Floor

Second Floor

Second Floor

And on to the third floor....the Present.  This was one of my favorite parts of the night.  Gregg and Dana had their new reveal of the Traveling Museums Tent and also they had an experiment set up where they picked someone that would put on this crazy looking head gear that had wires hanging out of it everywhere. Now, they said it would take the person into their state of mind that would be very relaxed and they would be very open to communicating with the spirits there.  We were able to watch her brain waves on a big screen to see what would happen when she was communicating with a spirit.  This was pretty cool.
Just plain CREEPY!!!!
Experiment on the third floor.

Billy the Idol(middle) and "friends".

Yep.  Just what everyone needs...a haunted chicken foot!

 Now, I had an amazing time at Ashmore Estates and I can tell you I will be going back to do an investigation with just my team.  There wasn't a lot of free time at this event.  But how do I feel about Ashmore??????  It diffidently has the CREEP FACTOR and for some reason I feel like the "children" that once called this place home still would like very much to come out and PLAY!!!!!!!

 Below are just some of the photos I took of Ashmore.  Be sure to check out the one that I have circled in green.

The boiler room.

What is this?????

The very next shot and there is nothing above Ashmore.

The above photo just blown up.

Let's go!!!!

Out back of Ashmore.

Two of the nicest people ever!