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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exploring some of Lindsay's haunted locations

I had the privilege last Saturday night to tour and investigate two haunted locations in the town of Lindsay with the Paranormal Ghost Society, who was in charge of the tour. The locations were the Mason House and the Lindsay Museum and Gallery, which was next door to the Mason House. I decided to bring along my friend Michele as she had never been ghost hunting before and wanted to see what it was like. 

Upon arrival I met several members of PGS as well as Gary our tour guide. After introducing myself I started to ask about the history of both places. I was told both have had paranormal activity in the past and included strange footsteps, voices when no one else was around, as well as being touched by an unseen presence. Now I know this doesn't sound like much, but when you get multiple witnesses reporting the same thing you start to take notice.

The first location we investigated was the Mason House, so named after the family that owned it for years. But it has history even before that. Sometime during the early 20th century, a doctor took up residence in the growing town of Lindsay and had ordered a prefab home from Sears that would serve as both his home and place of work. Unfortunately his stay there didn't last long as he had an affair with a nurse (who was said to be married) and was ran out of town. Apparently being run out of town back then meant traveling 13 miles to the South and taking up residence in Porterville. The home changed hands a few times before the Mason family took ownership before passing it to the city of Lindsay to be used as a museum of sorts.

After touring the Mason House our guide Gary took us next door to the Lindsay Museum and Gallery. This used to be the old Lindsay Museum and which was built sometime in the 1920's. But with the construction of the new library, this building was converted to a museum housing artifacts from Lindsay's past as well as having a section dedicated to showcasing local art. This right here made me happy. Instead of just tearing down an old building because it had no use anymore, the city of Lindsay found a new use for it. I wish Fresno would do the same instead of tearing down an old building instead of finding a new use for it.

After touring both locations I asked if the group new anything behind the paranormal activity. They said they didn't as of yet but were currently researching the history of both locations. They have gathered evidence such as EVP's that verify the locations are haunted, just they don't know who is behind the activity as of yet. I wanted to mention this as not every spot that is haunted has a ready made story behind it. It takes paranormal investigation groups years to determine what's causing the activity and why.

After being given a tour and a brief history lesson the group headed back to the Mason House to do some EVP work. We set up in the living room area. I didn't bring any equipment (didn't realize we'd get a chance to do an investigation) and all I had with me was my iPhone's recorder which isn't the best. Luckily PGS has several recorders and proceeded to do a session. While asking questions, one of the group members noticed some movement in the kitchen area. During that same time I heard some noises that sounded like they were coming from where the stove was at in the kitchen. After listening to the recordings we headed to the kitchen to see if we could get anything there. More strange noises were heard including what sounded like footsteps coming from right next to me.

Unfortunately time wasn't on my side as I had to work the next morning. So we then headed to the basement of the old library were most of the activity occurred. This included an unsettling presence, voices whispering, and being touched by an invisible hand. We started to do another EVP session there when I heard what sounded like a small knock on the shelf next to me. One of the group members asked if whoever was there could make the noise again, which again we did hear. Now it could have just been the old wood expending from the day's heat, but I thought this was rather coincidental that when asked a second time we received a reply. We continued recording when I heard a noise behind me, this time a louder thud. I inspected the area but couldn't find anything that had fallen over that would have made that sound. As we were looking for what made the noise we heard what sounded like several footsteps upstairs. As for it being one of the group this was unlikely as every person except one was in the basement, and as we headed back upstairs there was no one there and the group member was next door still at the Mason House.

As the night concluded I thanked the Paranormal Ghost Society, a bit bummed as I wanted to investigate more but didn't have the time. I'm curious to find out what their research uncovers for both locations and definitely want to go back when I have more time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Former Tulare County General Hospital rumored to be haunted

While doing some research for another article I'm working on I came across the story of the Hillman Health Clinic in Tulare County.

The set of buildings located on K Street and Bardsley Ave were formerly part of the old Tulare County General Hospital center. When the hospital moved to its current location on Cherry Ave, the buildings were converted to be used as a public and mental health clinic (with other services that occupy the second floor and maintenance housed in the basement).

Most activity seems to be centered on the second floor and in the basement. The elevator will move between floors and when the doors open there is no one inside. The evening cleaning crew refuse to work past 9:00 pm as heavy footsteps can be heard on the floor even when it's empty. And apparently a staff member was once taken to the basement even though they pressed the button for a different floor.

In the basement a maintenance worker reported seeing shadowy figures several times moving around and even walking through walls. The strangest incident was when they were asked by a supervisor to check on a room for something. As they approached the room the witness came across a nurse dressed in a white uniform and had a white cap with a red cross on it. Curious as to why a nurse would be in the basement, he turned around but she had disappeared. Upon returning to his supervisor he asked if any nurses were in the basement, but was told there wasn't any. When he described the uniform, the supervisor looked confused as she said that type of uniform hadn't been worn by the nurses in decades.

I've always wondered if hospitals were haunted, given the amount of death that must occur here as well as the amount of emotions that the place had seen over the years. Perhaps the footsteps being heard are a residual haunting, were the same event is played over and over. But what of the incidents that happen with the elevator? Someone still trying to leave the hospital even after all these years?

And then there's the story of the nurse. Obviously the worker saw someone who worked there many years ago, but why was she still there? I know most people think that a person haunts the place where they die (and this is definitely possible with a hospital), but I've always been of the belief that someone may haunt where they were most happy. And in the case of the nurse, it was where she worked (which would explain the uniform).

Whatever the reasons may be, there is definitely something wandering the floors of the Hillman Health Clinic late at night.