Friday, March 29, 2013

The Hat

I need to start this story back in November when we were featured in a front page, five page, article in the Savannah Morning News all about the murders and our investigations in the warehouse.  We got a lot of calls and publicity from the article, which really launched us in our first few months of investigations.

Fast forward to a month ago when I received a phone call from a woman, telling us she had seen the article in the paper and wondering about Mr Hunter, specifically.  She asked a question that really raised my interest -- "Do you think Mr Hunter is still in the warehouse?"  I replied in the affirmative, and she told me she had something for us.

After taking her call, I got Garry into contact with her, and he went out one day to visit her.  He came back with this:


A top hat in a beautiful leather box that the woman's grandfather had, then the father had, and now she had.

This is where our story ties in:

When Mr Hunter was accused of the murders and put on trial, his residence was cleared out of its belongings by the woman's father.  The grandfather actually owned the property Mr Hunter was staying in at the time of the murders, and he sent the woman's father to the house to clear it out.  He found the hat amongst his belongings, and, instead of getting rid of it like everything else, he took it with him home.  The grandfather wasn't too please, so he stored the hat in the attic, away from sight, especially when Mr Hunter was eventually convicted.

Years passed, and the hat remained.  The grandfather passed, then the father passed, and the woman eventually came into possession of the hat.  Her father had told her the story of the man who was accused of murdering his wife and two other women, and she had always had an eerie, yet curious, feeling about it whenever she came in contact with it.

The hat had remained, for years, in her attic, untouched for so long she nearly forgot about it, until the Sunday morning she picked up the paper and read our story.  It reminded her of what was tucked away upstairs, and she decided she would see about giving it to us.

However, shortly after our story was in the paper, the woman fell ill and was in and out of the hospital for months, having little time to worry about the hat or our article.  Finally back at home, she decided to finally finish the thought she had months earlier -- to get into contact with us and see about Mr Hunter's hat.

Garry came to her house, met with her, and left with the hat.

Now, we're using it as a trigger object to connect with Mr Hunter and the ladies who were murdered in the house.  We hope that it can help us with our questions about the murders and whether or not Mr Hunter was the one who did it or if he's just the one who got stuck with the blame.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making the Headlines

When the Gribble House murders happened in December of 1909, the City of Savannah was stunned, and so was the nation.  Dubbed as "the most diabolical crime" to every hit Savannah by the Savannah Morning News, stories of the murders quickly blew through the country, ending up as far away as a paper in Colorado.

While researching the history of the house, Garry and I spent many hours in the Live Oak Public Library as well as the Georgia Historical Society panning through slides of old newspapers in order to make sure we got the story just right.

Below are some scans from newspapers all around the country that you can read and piece the story together yourself.





Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"See"


In Savannah, there are a lot of tour offerings in the city you can choose.  Having once worked as a concierge in hotels and a sales rep for a tour company on the streets, I used to always get asked about ghost tours, then, "We want to see a ghost!"

I love working at the Gribble House because I feel like I'm letting people experience that emotion that they're asking for.  When people say, "We want to see a ghost!" they don't necessarily mean they want to physically "see" a ghost, but they want to experience what they "see" on television.

Putting equipment in someone's hands is letting them be Zak Baggins for the night.  It's letting them explore a life they would normally not be able to experience.  They can be that TV star.  They can connect with ghosts.  They can have chills, hear voices, capture spirits.  

They can, essentially, "see" a ghost.

And that's all they wanted to begin with.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Movement

This past Wednesday, we had a crew meeting to go over some of the new equipment we've gotten over the past month and just to make sure everyone is comfortable using it.

However, as we got to talking, we realized that we all have started to see the same thing in the warehouse --

Movement.

Shadow movement.

And, apparently, we've all been seeing the same thing.

In the front corner of the warehouse, by where the Segways are stored, we've all started to see a shadow man moving quickly, like a sprinter, running from the warehouse into the wall where the briefing room is.

We've also have all seen something slinking around the staircase that leads up into the loft.

And it's all started in the last month or so.

Which leads us to wonder, what is the cause for the sudden activity?  Could it be connected to the new equipment?  Could it be that words gotten out that we're here talking to spirits, and they want the attention?

I guess we will find out, but I promise to keep you all posted.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Visuals


As we are in March, we are in season.  Season in Savannah means when tourists start coming into town, starting about the first week of March when kids go on Spring Break and ending just after Halloween.  Basically, a good six months of heavy traffic into the city.

At the Gribble House, we are preparing for what this will bring for us.  Going into our first year of business, we don't know exactly what to expect, but we do know the city and we have all worked in the tourist industry for quite sometime, so we have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen.

To prepare, we are making sure we're stocked in the best and innovative equipment there is out there.

Garry has made equipment, ordered equipment, and customized equipment for our needs and the needs of our guests.

Lately, we've been realizing a lot of people really want to "see" something, though I'm pretty sure they're not completely sure what they'd like to "see," but we know the prospect of seeing Casper jump out is always on peoples' minds when they come into the building, regardless of if that is a realistic expectation or not.

Though we can't make anything manifest at the drop of a hat, we have introduced a few new pieces of equipment that give our guests something to look at while they're on their investigations.

REM Pods have been used in all the show and generally cause a stir when they go off.  The REM stands for Radiating Electro Magnetic, and the whole device detects energy disturbances and fluctiations around the antenna of the device.  In plain terms, if you get close to it, it lights up and makes noise.  Though, I should mention, the device has a range of about six inches around it (about the size of the base of it), so you really need to be close to it in order for it to go off.  Also, the lights that are on the base will flash ad sound depending on how close something is to it.

So far, in the warehouse, we have had great success with the device, but not patterned success that would lead us to believe it's something we are doing to set it off.  By this, I mean, it doesn't go off all night every night, and when it does, it's usually in response to us asking about it.

For example, the other night in the warehouse, we were doing an investigation, and our guest was asking if there was a soldier in the room.  He got a positive response from the ghost box, and mentioned something about a friend who was a soldier and passed away.  At this moment, the REM Pod started going off with a high-pitch whine and the lights were flashing.  A couple seconds later, the ghost box loudly said the name, "Bennet," which was the friend who had passed away.  The man kept asking questions, and the REM pod kept up it's beeping and singing, until finally there were no more responses about the soldier.


Another new device we have been using is the Ghost Meter Pro.  We actually had a guest who investigates up in North Carolina bring this in, and I liked it so much I asked Garry to order one.

The device has multiple settings, but we use it for the "Yes/No" communication option.  If a spirit is near, the tip of the meter lights up orange, and you can ask yes/no questions to is and ask it to blink once for yes and two for no in response.

We've had pretty good results for it, and, if anything, it's a fun game to play.  The other night I had a couple in the Slave Quarters with me, and we were using the device.  Right after we heard the name "Michelle," come through the ghost box, the light on the Ghost Meter Pro lit up, so we began asking questions.  It replied in the affirmative that we were talking to a lady named Michelle, then, when we asked if she was married, it again said, "Yes," and the ghost box loudly said the name, "Clifford," in a man's voice, as if he was there, as well, and letting us know his name.


Finally, our last new visual device is Raggedy Ann.  I think everyone on here by now knows that I don't like dolls at all, so this one is really one I don't like to deal with, especially when I'm working on my own--I always pack it up when they guests are there with me.

Raggedy Ann is fitted with EMF detectors in her head and hands and will blink if there is any shift in the electromagnetic fields.

Unfortunately, we have captured EVPs of children in the building, so we thought this would be a great trigger object to get them to communicate with us, and it has proven to be.  No matter where it sits in the warehouse, we will usually get some sort of response from it, and, let me tell you, it's pretty creepy when its hands start to blink.

And who knows what the future might bring.  We are always looking for new equipment to use, and we find that sometimes our guests have something interesting to bring in to us, as well.