Do you believe in ghosts?

Some do, some don’t. I have stayed in haunted locations and been on some ghost hunts, most notably with the Tennessee Wraith Chasers – fun guys by the way, but, I am still on the fence. Why? Because, although, I have heard odd things on these hunts or at places I have stayed, I have yet to see or experience anything to convince me there truly are spirits.

My mind remains open though.

For sure, one of my favorite kinds of movies or books focus on spooky things. I love to write about them, read about them and watch movies about them. They are FUN! What better way to provide the perfect scary entity without making a living creature out to be the bad guy! Too often, cliché people or animals (like sharks or bears) are made out to be the bad guy, and, that isn’t fair and honestly, it can be BORING. With a ghost you can make them as big and bad and weird as you want. Who could possibly argue with you?

I spent a night at the Moon River Brewery in Savannah, Georgia with the Tennessee Wraith Chasers (TWC). It was WAY too much fun. Chris and Doogie from TWC were with us on one of Chad Moran’s hunts, and, we had all of the modern equipment and wandered around this huge, spooky building for hours, and yes, we heard some odd things and did feel cold spots, but, I am not convinced that place was haunted. I continue to keep an open mind though.

The building ended its history as a hotel in 1864 when General Sherman took over Savannah during his brutal March to the Sea during the Civil War. The building was also used for a time as a hospital during some of the many outbreaks of yellow fever in Savannah. Hundreds of people, mostly children, died in the upper floors of the building, victims of the disease.

While there, a group of us waited with Chris, trying to entice some of the children ghosts to interact with us. They didn't, but, the roof is very high there, being the top floor, and the rafters were filled with pigeons. They did interact with us, but that was about it.

In 1995 the building was purchased again and the Moon River Brewing Company was born. The place is fun, with the basement and first floor converted to a really nice restaurant and bar. In the basement, on the far walls, both sides of the buildings, you can see enormous doorways bricked over. All of the buildings near the waterfront like this, and built in the 1800's, had been connected by these doors and tunnels passed under the streets to meet up with other locations.

At 3AM we all met down in the basement to wrap up the hunt. Chad asked us to all be quiet for a moment, then, yelled FIRE! From the floors above us, we heard it – people running. My hair stood on end! No one else was in the building. We all checked, but, something was running around up there.

Apparently, about 100 years ago, there was a fire that killed several people. Was that who we heard running around up there? I get the shivers just writing about it. I heard it, and, have no idea what it was. I guess, you need to have a certain amount of faith to believe in all of this. I suppose that is part of what it means to have an open mind.

This begs the question then – do I really, truly want to discover for sure there are spirits? Oh my, that is actually a tough one. I don’t know. Chris and Doogie both admit to having experienced what they believe, with all of their heart, to be a paranormal event. That is what convinced them to hunt ghosts the way they do.

I believe they did experience something. If you ever met them, yes, you can see they are passionate about ghost hunting, but not to the point that they run over you with their beliefs. That was the best part about hunting with them. They happily shared their experiences and showed us how to use the equipment and sat with us for hours in dark, creepy places but never once pressured anyone, like myself, who weren’t sure there really are ghosts. I understand their philosophy about this completely. It is an intensely personal experience for everyone. That is, after all, what fuels passion.

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The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated - Mahatma Ghandi

©  Briar Lee Mitchell, 2014