Halloween Town: On the Hunt

Know what I did last night? I went to the White Tanks Cemetery with the Glendale Paranormal Chasers to hunt some ghosts. Tim Schell is the leader of this brave team of afterlife sleuths. Tim is an ordained priest. He decided to go the way of the cloth not only in dedication to his religious beliefs but so that he would be able to perform exorcisms and house cleansings. Makes sense to me.

One of the rare grave markers at the White Tanks Cemetery.

The White Tanks Cemetery is located about two feet from my house, and I had no idea. It’s off Camelback and Sarival, hidden down a dark street where no one wants to live. See, the people buried at the White Tanks Cemetery aren’t your usual Grandma Myrtle and Papa Sam. These are Jane and John Does. These are people who died and couldn’t afford funerals. That or no one came to claim the body. They are prison inmates in some cases. Basically, the people who “live” at the White Tanks Cemetery are arguably pretty unhappy to be there.

We met after dark (of course). Tim brought his whole team, which included his wife and kids. Tim and his wife, Sheila, bring their kids along on many of their ghost hunts because they don’t want their children to be afraid of what mama and papa do. Instead, they want their children to understand that ghosts are nothing to be afraid of, despite what Paranormal Activity would have you think.

The dowsing rods.

In true ghost-hunter style, the team brought the required equipment, which included dowsing rods (used throughout history to find water), a digital voice recorder, and an EMF meter (to measure electromagnetic fields). Then, we set off to get our spook on.

There are several stories about the White Tanks Cemetery, told to me by the GPC, who experienced these stories first hand. In the past, ghosts have turned on flashlights laid on graves. Another spirit likes making the sound of a bell ringing.  By the Porta Potty, there’s a bad dude who seems to guard the bathroom. According to Tim, whoever he is, he is not to be trifled with. He’s a mecca of bad energy, although of course, I made Tim take me over to where this angry ghost was known to hang out. Unfortunately, he was out haunting someone else last night.

Ghosts like running up and down the fences.

We were followed down the fence line by a noisy ghost who liked to tap-tap along the fence as we went. When we asked his name, we heard on the digital recorder something that sounded like “Les,” and although the dowsing rods did a bit of dancing, Les didn’t have much else to say. One member of the team was touched; a ghost reached out and grabbed her shoulder. About that time, the team’s battery-operated equipment went dead, because apparently ghosts use energy to harness the strength to reach out and make contact.

Did I get goosebumps on the back of my neck last night? Did a ghost whisper in my ear? Did I feel a mysterious presence in my home when I returned to my husband and dog? No. I admit the noises along the fence were spooky. The word caught on tape could have been the wind. A team member receiving physical attention from beyond the grave? Well …

The usual grave marker at White Tanks Cemetery. They’re everywhere. Nothing more than a plaque the size of your palm.

I asked the team last night if making contact with a ghost has anything to do with how “open” a person is to the experience. They said not necessarily. I asked if some people are more sensitive to spirits than others. They said definitely. Since nothing happened to me personally (nothing ever has, and hey, I went to school at one of the most haunted universities in the United States), it begs the question: Did the ghosts sense a skeptic? And when they sensed me did they decide to lay off for the evening? I hope I didn’t ruin the afterlife juju last night, but I must admit, I’m skeptical of all this stuff—always have been—and perhaps until I begin to broaden my horizons, I always will be.

I told Tim I’d be happy to join the Glendale Paranormal Chasers again at the White Tanks Cemetery, especially since it’s a rock’s throw from my front porch. It was a spooky good time, and I do love a spooky good time. Maybe next time, that mean guy at the Porta Potty will give me a shove on the shoulder. Maybe he’ll shout, “Hey, Dobie, we’re here and we’re real, you stupid girl!” Or … maybe not.

To learn more about the Glendale Paranormal Chasers, be sure to check them out on Facebook. Thanks for letting me tag along, guys! I look forward to our next hunt!

In the middle of the field … Spook-tacular. Happy ghost hunting!

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