Friday, October 31, 2008

Walking With Jefferson's Ghosts, part 3 (conclusion)

If the first tour frightened me, the second one terrified me. I discovered I had a sensitivity to the paranormal, especially if the entity is dark or malevolent.

Tour #2 began at the Jefferson General Store around 10 p.m.. We were introduced to the story of "Roy", the ghost of a little boy about 6 years old, dressed in denim overalls. He likes to play in the store, and on the sidewalk running parallel outside. He's made such an impression, the owners of the toy store across the street have named it after Roy.

Next to the store is one of the few vacant buildings that is wholly inaccessible due to the building's deterioration. It used to be a bank (you can see the metal inset in front of the doors), and it was there I first felt a prickling of the hairs on my head.

We continued into the residential area where we passed an empty lot located next to the Governor's House. There I had such a bad feeling, I remained in the street. Our psychics were so spooked, they continued on down the street, reluctant or refusing to stop. Jodi explained the site is known to contain a very evil male spirit, and he has attacked people in the past.

This house is one of the very active historic houses in Jefferson. Also known to host a violent past is the Schluter House (below), which saw the murders of carpetbaggers during the reconstruction period after the Civil War.

We also passed another vacant lot, but this one was surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. This lot used to have a house where Diamond Bessie lived. The story of her life and death (murdered by her boyfriend) is fascinating (Google it, you'll see). More interesting is the fact that she is buried underneath six layers of concrete because she was interred wearing her extensive jewelry collection. This site played havoc with our digital cameras, giving us light streams and streaks on many of our pictures. (I didn't have my digital with me, but I saw what the others were taking.)

The worst (or best?) experience was the story of the "man living on the second floor" of the McKay house, which is now a B&B. Paranormal groups have encountered this angry spirit, and they have EVPs of a voice growling, "Go away!".

Jodi assured us that these ghosts are pretty much "stuck" in their locations. Which meant we didn't have to fear taking a ghost with us, or accidentally irking it to the point where one would come after us, following us back home.

Once I returned to my own B&B, I quickly showered and crawled into bed. My laptop computer lay on the writing table near the bed where I'd left it on but closed. It was in 'sleep mode'.

Some time during the night I was awakened by the sound of my laptop powering on. The light of the screen brightening splayed out like a horizontal halo. Even more frightening, I heard the computer tap-tapping, as if someone was using the touch pad. This went on for several minutes while I cowered underneath the covers and prayed for protection. Yep, I did. The tapping sound stopped, but the screen remained lit for I don't know how long. The next morning, I opened the laptop to see my mainscreen, exactly the way I'd left it the day before.

Would I recommend this tour? Most definitely! Jodi Breckenridge is a hoot of a host, a true Jeffersonian, and extremely knowledgable about the local history and haunts. Please feel free to Google for more info.

You can also get some good idea about the ghosts and haunted locations from two books that I own. GHOSTS OF EAST TEXAS AND THE PINEYWOODS by Mitchel Whitington (2005, 23 House Publishing), and A TEXAS GUIDE TO HAUNTED RESTAURANTS, TAVERNS, AND INNS by Robert Wlodarski and Anne Powel Wlodarski (2001, Republic of Texas Press). Both feature a photo of The Grove on their covers.

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