Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is a local Selma museum haunted?

It's said that if you visit the Selma Pioneer Village, located in the small town of Selma, that you can hear ghostly noises and sometimes see shadowy figures in the trees at night.

The Selma Pioneer Village started in 1980 when local resident Art Gonzales began collecting historic Selma area buildings. These included a Queen Anne style home, St. Ansgar's Lutheran Church, a railroad depot, the Unger Opera House, a doctor's office and the very first school house in Selma. There's also a large collection of ag equipment and tools as well other antique furnishings including toys and medical equipment.

The paranormal stories stem from an over night stay at the park. One witness claimed to have heard strange noises that sounded like spurs jangling while they were there late one night, but upon investigating they couldn't find where the noises were coming from or who was making them. Later that night they begin to hear what sounded like children laughing and when they went outside to see who was there, shadowy figures were seen darting from tree to tree. Another witness claimed to have heard noises coming from the area where the dutch ovens (very large, heavy oven) were at. But when a flashlight was shined on the area, there was no one there.

So that leads to the question, who or what is causing these strange incidents? Given the fact that most, if not all the buildings are over 100 years old there is a good chance that a spirit may have formed an attachment to one of them. And as far as I know, not all the buildings were originally at the same location, but were relocated there. It's a theory among paranormal investigators that when a rumored haunted spot has any work done to it, or even moved as in this case, that spirit activity increases due to the disturbances going on. Could the fact that some of the buildings aren't in the original location have awakened any spirit that was attached to them and now they make their presence known to anyone who visits the village?

Another theory is that it's a residual haunting, that the sounds of spurs and children laughing (remember there's an old school house there) are just a replay of events that happened over a century ago. For whatever these sounds get played over and over and as the years progress get fainter and fainter as the energy dissipates.

As for what really is at the Selma Pioneer Village, it's hard to say. But the rumors of it being haunted have persisted for years as a friend of mine, who has lived in Selma all her life, told me she heard it was haunted since she was a kid. So it definitely wasn't some random incident and there is definitely something there if it's known to be haunted.

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