While most of the nation was out watching the latest installment of the Paranormal Activity movies, members of The Houstonian staff decided to go experience the paranormal for ourselves.
On Friday night we loaded up and met the tour guides of Historical Huntsville Ghost Tours at Sam Houston's grave. It is the only guided ghost tour in Huntsville, and believe me, this makes a huge difference.
The tour guides/proprietors, David and Karen Rice, are extremely friendly and immediately tried to put one of our more skittish editors at ease before the tour began.
Before entering the graveyard we were given a temperature detector and a proximity detector to help us locate the ghosts. The temperature reader is useful for checking the temperature of a person after ghostly contact.
They also recommended we download the Ghost Radar app on iTunes. This app has a radar to detect disturbances in the electromagnetic flow and a sensor that picks up words from the other side. There is a free version of the app and a $0.99 one that I have been having fun with ever since. In fact, just yesterday, I encountered a very chatty ghost in AB4 and a lot of ghosts in Lee Drain who didn't have much to say.
Back to the tour.
We entered Oakwood Cemetery and began our journey into the history of Huntsville.
Karen and David do a wonderful job on relaying the chilling tales of the various areas within the cemetery, which I am not allowed to reveal so that everyone can enjoy the tour later.
Several times I personally felt a tingling, indicating an otherworldly presence and interim A&E Editor George Mattingly captured several mysterious orbs in photographs.
The creepiest thing about this section of the tour happened as we were leaving. Near a grave close to the exit, my ghost radar came up with the word ‘balloon' which went perfectly with the story.
Due to the restrictions at our next stop, a certain local prison, we were unable to take any pictures or use any of our ghost detecting equipment.
However, while major TV networks like A&E have been denied permission to film at the site, Historical Huntsville Ghost Tours is the only tour that is allowed to stop and stay this close to the prison. Karen and David told many stories here, some well known and some relayed to them by guards walking by that had such a vividness you could almost see what had happened.
The third and final stop was at the Prisoner's Cemetery. Due to the flimsy structure of the graves, we weren't allowed to do much exploring at this stop.
However, the stories were just as chilling and David played a touching tribute to the unmarked graves. Even more frightening, as we were leaving the site, my ghost radar spoke the word "leave" to us which only made our exit that much more hasty.
Overall, I would rate Historical Huntsville Ghost Tours a 5 out of 5 stars. The stories are well researched and Karen and David do all they can to continue digging up more information on our local ghosts. They recommended a new book by Dr. Beverly Irby, Haunted Huntsville, that delves even deeper into Huntsville's rich, chilling history. Haunted Huntsville is for sale at the Wynne Home.
Tours are on Thursday and Friday nights year round by reservation only. To make reservations for your own ghost tour, call 936-436-2222 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I guarantee you won't regret it!