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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday morning and Jackie and I pull out the cameras and all of the scientific meters. I’m downloading the video files onto my hard drive using the firewire and moviemaker program.
“Click, capture, click, publish. I will have Sally Ann on this tape, I guarantee it, maybe even her aberration,” I tell Jackie.
She answers, “Yeah Christina, sure, an aberration. I don’t think so.”
After an hour or so of reviewing the video I tell Jackie, “See, I told you there isn’t one shutter on any of those windows in the ghost town, not one! What do you say to that? Where did that banging shutter come from?”
Watching the last ten minutes of the video of the ghost town, suddenly I hear, “%^&*($#@)&%%)@#$)(&^%$$#.”
“What’s that? Jackie did you hear that?” The hair fuzz on my arms stands up.
“No, I didn’t hear anything, just static,” Jackie replies.
“Play that back, the hotel part,” I shriek.
“%^&*($#@)&%%)@#$)(&^%$$#.”
“Wow! Did you hear it that time?” Convinced.
“I think I heard something, Christina, but it sounds like noise to me.”
“Play it again,” I demand.
“%^&*($#@)&%%)@#$)(&^%$$#.”
“I heard it that time, it’s static all right. Christina, you heard static, that’s all it is,” Jackie insists.
“No, that’s an EVP. We just heard a recording of the disembodied voice of Sally Ann. She was talking to us.” I jump to my feet.
“Christina, no one will believe that noise is Sally Ann?” Jackie adds.
“We need something else, and it has to match up the with the same time line when we recorded Sally Ann’s EVP.” I’m serious.
Running to my backpack for the other meters, “Let’s get the rest of the equipment and check everything we had at the ghost town. The approximate time of the encounter was at about one hour and fifteen minutes into the investigation.”
“I’m on it,” Jackie answers, doubtful.
In the next ten minutes we take out every piece of equipment we had there and check all the readings and cross-reference everything with the time line.
“Looks like the only device with a reading is the radio frequency detector. It recorded eighty MHz (Mega Hertz), whatever that means?” I say.
Jackie answers, “I’m not sure? It must mean something?”
One thing I know, the eighty MHz of electro-magnetic radiation had to come from something. That’s why Dad’s K-2 meter was lighting up outside the hotel. Sally Ann was there.
Sometimes spirits communicate in that frequency, or so I’ve heard. It could have come from the natural magnetic field in the atmosphere or a computer screen, electric motor, cell phones, or walkie-talkies.
I nod, “I’ll prove it to you, that was Sally Ann. Hold on, hold on. I got a text from Mike. I wonder if he got the cell phone picture I sent him yesterday? Remember when I went down that hallway inside the hotel?”
I read his text out loud, “Ha-ha, pls, u r trying to trick me! U think throwing powder in the air and taking a picture of it, will make me think it’s a ghost? Lol the picture you sent me is a fake.”
“What is he talking about, I didn’t throw any powder,” I scroll to the message I sent him and look at the picture.
“Oh my God look Jackie! It’s an apparition of Sally Ann in the hotel room! I caught her with my cell camera. She’s standing in the corner pointing her finger at something.”
Jackie looks at the picture. “It looks like someone threw powder into the air. How do you know that is her? It could be her brother?”
I inspect the photo. “It’s got to be her! She’s a little bit of a thing. Kind of cute, huh. First she talked to us and now I have a picture of her. I’ve got her now!”
Besides Jackie look at the time I sent the photo, it was taken at one hour and two minutes into the investigation The EVP was recorded at one hour and ten minutes in, remember? That’s around the same time.
It must have taken all of her strength to materialize and talk to us. I wonder what she is trying to tell us?
I continue checking all the meters and digital film from the ghost town, but find nothing else. “Looks like that’s it, the cell phone picture, EVP, and we got the radio frequency field strength meter that recorded the eighty megahertz (MHz), whatever that means?” I look at Jackie.
She replies, “I kind of know, it’s a magnetic field given off by stuff, just like EMF. The RF meter measures electro-magnetic radiation given off by objects like microwave signal towers, satellite television signals, or radio signals. And it’s all measured in megahertz (MHz).”
I pitch in, “Sometimes the radiation is just hanging around in the air. But it could be a spirit trying to ‘cross over’?”
Jackie wraps it up, “Or one trying to come back?”
Dad walks in the door after returning from his Sunday morning basketball game with the guys from work.
I jump at him, “We recorded Sally Ann’s EVP. And the RF meter had a reading of eighty MHz at the exact same time we heard Sally Ann. And remember the K-2 was lighting up by the hotel?  I double-checked everything, every meter and all the stuff. There isn’t anything else. That’s everything we got at the ghost town. Oh, and we got the picture.”
Dad looks at me over the top of his reading glasses. “You got a picture?”
I reply, “Yeah, you know the one I took with my cell phone in the hotel? I sent it to Mike. He sent it back a text saying I tried to trick him by throwing powder in front of the camera. When I looked at the photo I sent him, I realized it was Sally Ann’s apparition in the picture. That proves she was there. I knew it.”
Dad motions for me to hand him my phone so he can see the picture, “Could be, could be.” He looks closer at it, “I’ll bring the picture to work and analyze it.”
I add, “I’ll send it to you.”
He answers, “I thought we agreed not to enter the buildings?”
I ignore him.
Dad says, “I’ll count up the electro-magnetic radiation given off by the stuff we had at the ghost town. Hum, let’s see, three cell phones, that’s five MHz and the cameras are about ten MHz. We have to add the radio frequency EMF and light meters, they’re about six MHz, so that’s twenty-one MHz. And the Altimeter, that’s another three, total twenty-four. That’s nowhere near eighty MHz, we have fifty-six MHz unaccounted for.”
Dad states, “I have to bring the EVP recording to work and see if I can enhance the file on the equipment we have there. I’ll give it a forensic audio treatment (FAT) and an acoustical signal analysis (ASC). The FAT will tell us any characteristics of the recording—for example distortion, excessive noise, the speed of the sound, if the tape is demagnetized or if a dropout is present. The ASC will decipher hard to hear inaudible speech signals through forensic phonetic experimentation. If it is a recording of speech, the graphical representation or spectrogram can be printed out. That will give us a voice picture of someone or something. It's kind of similar to a photographic picture of a person.”
“Dad, I double-checked everything, every meter, and all the files on the cameras. There isn’t anything else. We got the EVP recording of Sally Ann, the radio frequency reading of eighty MHz, your K-2 readings, and of course the picture.  That’s everything from the ghost town.”
I continue, “I think it proves there was something there? It’s conclusive. I know it. I know we recorded Sally Ann or maybe her brother.”
Jackie adds, “I think it was her brother, Simeon.”
“Dad, ya know I’ve been meaning to ask you, what do you do at work anyway?” I ask.
“Oh, I just test stuff, different equipment, that’s all.”
“I’ll bring this recording of Sally Ann’s EVP to work and analyze it when no one is around. You and Jackie check the Internet for information about anything paranormal that gives off fifty to sixty MHz of electromagnetic energy. See what you can find out. And remember, not a word to anyone.”


Dad is reading the newspaper at the kitchen table when he bursts out, “Hey a ghost was seen at Donner Pass.”
“What ghost?” Confused I ask, “What and where is Donner Pass?”
Dad looks over at me, “Donner Pass is in the mountains about three hours south of here and the Donner Party disaster was a historic wagon train headed west that got caught in a blizzard and most of the pioneers died.
Dad reads me the article. “Mrs. Eleanor Waldo of Phantom Hill, Texas, told her story. She said she and her husband were stopped at the overlook rest area, sitting at a picnic table when she saw it.
“’It was a ghost all right. It looked like a thick cloud of smoke with a head. But it was a woman with a stone face and a broad smile. She hovered right in front of me, staring at me.’
“The ghost asked me, ’Would you like to come to dinner?’
“I followed it up the mountain as it kept saying, ’Come with me, I would love to have you for dinner.’
“Interrupting Mrs. Waldo I asked, ’Wait a minute, the ghost said I would love to have you for dinner?’
“Mrs. Waldo looked surprised at the way I phrased my question as she replied, ’Oh you don’t think she meant I am the dinner do you? Oh my, maybe she did.’
“Mrs. Waldo squealed, and continued with her story, ’I followed it up the mountain and when we started down the other side, I saw an old rusted-out car with a skeleton sitting at the steering wheel, driving.’
“’As I got closer and closer to the car, a great gust of wind blew right through me and kicked up so much sand, I had to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes I gasped, the skeleton was gone.’
“She said she heard her husband calling her to come back. When he caught up to her she told him about the ghost.’
“He exclaimed with frustration in his voice, ’that’s nonsense Elle, it’s the heat.  It’s one hundred and nine degrees. You didn’t see anything.’
“She told her husband to hush up, then sat in the old nineteen thirty-five Buick for a while. ‘It’s a nineteen thirty-five Buick. My family had one of these when I was a child.’
“Mrs. Waldo continued her story saying, ’I checked out every nook and cranny of that car. My husband and I checked the car from its headlights to the taillights. Under one of the seats we found an old empty bottle of whiskey.’
“She said that she was feeling around under the dashboard and found that hidden compartment she and her sister had stored stuff in when they were kids. In the compartment were chips, poker chips, lots of poker chips.
“Her husband counted them up. There was twenty thousand dollars.
“’Twenty thousand dollars!’ he said again and again.
“Mrs. Waldo cried out, ’Can you believe it?’
“The newspaper reporter called the casino manager and asked how much the twenty thousand dollars in poker chips are worth?
“The casino spokesperson said, ’The chips are worth twenty thousand dollars at our casino.’”
I learned about the Donner Party in school. They were settlers headed to California in a wagon train in eighteen forty-six. There were about ninety people of all ages. Winter came early and heavy snow trapped them in the mountains. Not all of them lived through it.
The wagon train didn’t have enough food and blankets, and many of the settlers died of hunger, exposure, and frostbite. Those few settlers that did live, told stories of terrible hardship and horrible acts. They did things that people are not supposed to do.
I’m pretty sure this ghost we are going to hunt is not resting in peace, if you know what I mean.