I hoped in Wednesday’s blog that I’d have a story to tell after I went on the Decatur Ghost Tour last night.
You won’t be disappointed. I spoke to a ghost.
I headed downtown with several work friends and my mom. We’ve done a few ghost tours together, including the Roswell Ghost Tour. Decatur is artsy and adorable, with live music in restaurants and little indie shops.
We met up with our guide, Boo, a “professional psychic medium.” I’m always skeptical when that’s how people introduce themselves. It was only our collection of people, so the tour was very relaxed.
We began at the courthouse. Boo has a great voice for this sort of thing, and we trudged through the history of the building. The main reason I go on these tours are the stories. I love hearing them, seeing the buildings, walking around. The first couple of stops were interesting, but nothing mind-blowing. There was a hanged man in the courthouse, and a man who’d been pushed down the back stairs. There was a lady named Valerie in the “alley” that is now a pub. She breaks glasses and scares the women in the restroom.
There’s a woman waiting for her son at the Presbyterian Church, not realizing she’s dead.
There’s a priest who hangs out in the upper windows of the other church down the street.
All of it was fairly routine until we arrived at the cemetery. I hung back with Julie, watching the more invested of our party reach to feel cold spots, or “pet the ghosts.” Boo showed us how dowsing rods worked, spoke to one of the spirits in the cemetery and let us see the rods cross and move away from each other. Interesting. I’d never been on an “interactive” tour before, and they several sets of dowsing rods for us to try.
We passed a girl named Anne, who’d died in a terrible carriage accident, and little boy named Robert. I got my hands on a set of dowsing rods. The little boy only said YES to if his name was Robert. The feeling them moving when you know you’re not moving them is bizarre. I could feel the energy traveling, the weight on the ends.
We moved along, apparently into the party of waiting spirits. Boo told us there were several people with us: a girl in a blue dress, Hattie, Mr. Cox (who was reportedly not very pleasant) and Terrence. Julie and I attempted to speak to the little girl, crouching down to her level. It wasn’t long before my mother called me over.
She was standing with another woman and told me to put my hand in the space between them. It was significantly colder than the surrounding area. They were speaking with Terrence. I asked if Terrence would like to come stand by me. My rods crossed: YES. The cold spot shifted.
According to Boo, Terrence was a 25-year-old man who’d died of the Spanish Influenza in the 1900s. He was–and still is–a ladies man, often stroking an arm or touching hair. He refuses to talk about his death.
I asked if he was 25. YES
I asked where he was standing. The rods point to my left.
I asked if he thought I was pretty. YES
It figures the first eligible young man I meet with an interest in talking to and dancing with me… is already dead.
Mom says, “Hey now, she’s my daughter, you know.”
I ask if he thinks my mother is funny. YES
I tease her, saying she’s always pushing me to meet men my age.
I ask if he likes to dance. YES
I invite him to accompany me through the rest of the cemetery tour. The cold spot follows me. We cross to the other side, where the orphans are buried. Julie has joined me.
We ask if he keeps the little girl in the blue dress company. YES
Does he dance with her? YES
Where are you standing now? The rods both swing over my left shoulder.
Would you like to take a photo with us? YES
Have you enjoyed our company? YES
Do you think we’re funny, walking around in this cemetery? YES
Would you like us to come back. YES
Julie asks him if he likes me. The rods crossed so quickly they go backward.
I ask, Do you have any plans to move on? The rods swing away from each other. NO
I thank him for his company, say goodbye, hand back my borrowed dowsing rods. The moment we cross through the cemetery gate, the temperature goes back up 20 degrees.
The tour ends with a young woman watching her two suitors walk across to the dueling field. The one she decides she loves is fatally shot. Her marriage is miserable, and in death she vows to change her fate.
What you don’t change in life, you can’t change in death.
I’ve never experienced anything like speaking with Terrence. I’ve heard voices and seen things on occasion, but this was entirely different. I felt the energy, the shift in temperature. The rods crossed and uncrossed of their own will.
I’m not saying it was the spirit of a young man, but it was something. Someone.
And I intend to make good on my promise to return.