Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tales from the P.E.R.V.S. - Andy's story

So who am I and why do I like to go groping around in the dark for answers?
By day, I manage the Lotus Domino messaging infrastructure for a Northeast Ohio company and am a blogger.  I'm also a husband, Dad and geek. Several years ago, I would have thought that doing something like this would be nuts.  I used to be a complete skeptic when it came to the whole world of the paranormal.  At least when it came to ghosts.  I was more into the whole "bigfoot" thing, but that's another story.
My turn towards the paranormal really began with trips to Gettysburg, PA.  My wife Denise and I took our kids to Gettysburg for a family vacation and while there visited the Cashtown Inn.  The inn served as a headquarters for the Confederate Army as they made their march towards history 10 miles up the road.  Presently, the Cashtown Inn is a bed and breakfast that has a restaurant that serves lunch, dinner and stories.  We had gone out for lunch and while there it was a very slow day, so we were the only ones eating.  The bartender told us stories of the place and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  After lunch was over, Denise took our daughter to the bathroom and I took our son out to the truck  While I was standing next to the car having a cigarette, I was shocked to hear footsteps walking across the porch that wrapped around the building.  I turned and saw no one there.  The footsteps sounded like heeled boots walking across the wood.  Very loud, very clear.  Unmistakable.  Not two seconds later, Denise comes running around the corner looking at me and in unison with each other we asked, "Did you hear that!?"  We were sure what we had both heard from different areas of the building.  But it wasn't until our next visit to Gettysburg to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary that things got even weirder.
Since we didn't have the kids with us on our anniversary get away, we decided to take advantage of the more "adult" ghost stories that are told in the basement of the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg.  Now, I was still pretty skeptical about the whole ghost thing at this point, but this night changed it for me completely.  Denise and I purchased our tickets and went down into the cellar.  It had been pretty warm that day for late April so we were dressed light, myself wearing shorts.  The story teller was about half way through telling of the history of the house and that history surrounding it when I started to feel something weird going on.  At first, the hairs on my leg felt as if they were standing up.  Then it felt as though a hand had placed itself on my exposed knee and was squeezing it repeatedly.  I looked down at my knee but could not see anything, but I was feeling it.  Meanwhile, Denise was also having the sensations that someone was playing with her long hair. So that's when I was sold. 
Not long after that, the Ghost Hunters show started on TV and that further fueled the paranormal flames.  Then we learned of a local women, Sheri Brake, and her business Haunted Heartland Tours.  Haunted Heartland Tours is a unique business that gives tours based both on history and paranormal activity.  Denise, myself and our friends took a couple of the tours with Sheri.  It was about then that we decided why not start our own paranormal group?  So while sitting around one night playing our favorite card game, Phase 10, the idea of the Ohio P.E.R.V.S was born.  And the rest, is history.

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