Sunday, July 12, 2009
ABOVE: Rick McCallum, Steve Nappe, Kane Hodder, and Jim O’Rear outside of Sloss Furnace; Birmingham, Alabama.
I’ve just returned from an incredible trip of paranormal investigations with Kane “Jason” Hodder (FRIDAY THE 13TH, HATCHET), Rick McCallum (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, DEEP STAR SIX), and Steve Nappe (JASON X) of The Hollywood Ghosts Hunters and the Tennessee paranormal team V.A.P.R. We were also joined, on our second night, by Daniel Emery Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING, ROAD TRIP) and his lovely wife Ami.
Our first night we traveled to the South Pittsburg Hospital. My friends on the V.A.P.R. team first told me about this place about a month ago and shared some EVPs with me that they had obtained from their prior investigation there. They had obtained proof that this abandoned hospital had multiple ghosts (intelligent and residual) and a wide variety of paranormal activity. I mentioned the location to Rick and Kane and they felt that this was a location they’d love to see. Another bonus… the building had not been opened to the public for investigations, making V.A.P.R. and The Hollywood Ghost Hunters the first teams to do full-scale investigations of the place.
ABOVE: Kane Hodder and Rick McCallum check out one of the patient’s rooms during a daytime walk-thru of the South Pittsburg Hospital.
When we arrived at the multi-level medical building we had time for a quick daytime walk-thru of the property to get a bearing on where everything was inside the edifice before it got dark. The older part of the hospital dated back to the Civil War while newer parts were added to the building in later years. We were told that the voices of children, nurses, doctors, and patients could be heard throughout the halls as well as the sounds of opening elevator doors that no longer worked and the ringing of phones that no longer existed. Apparitions were noted to roam the halls and even carry on conversations with you. Sounded like a blast to us!
ABOVE: ABC stops by the South Pittsburg Hospital to cover some of the investigation.
After the walk-thru we did a brief interview with ABC, who stopped by to get information of the investigation, and then it was off to dinner before our long night was to begin…. and what a night it turned out to be! I’ll try to keep it short and just hit the highlights.
Since there were reports of children in the halls, Team V.A.P.R. had a variety of toys on hand… a tricycle, spinning tops, cards, a ball, etc… things that children might want to play with. Steve and Kane, equipped with a K2 EMF detector, digital recorder, and video cameras, began conversing with a young boy who seemed to be fascinated with Steve. He was very responsive to questions and even made himself visible, at one time, as a white figure. We’re hoping that the cameras picked up his voice and his visual apparition that darted quickly down the hallway.
ABOVE: The tricycle that travels down the halls on its own.
Speaking of hallways… there was loads of activity to be found in every hall… voices, footsteps, black shadow people, slamming doors, and the curious ringing of telephones (even though all lines to the building had been cut and there were no phones to be found). Every time we turned around we were chasing something else. At one point, Rick and I were temporarily blinded by a bright flash of white light from nowhere. When we asked if the energy that was in the room could do another trick for us, Rick’s video camera went dead… even though the battery had a full charge.
During one of our trips through the hallways I was suddenly startled as a piece of wood was thrown at my head, hitting the wall beside me and dropping to my feet. It missed my left ear by only a centimeter. Apparently, something wanted my attention because it was only a couple of seconds later that I was hit in the back by an unseen force. I don’t think this was caught on camera, but there was audio rolling and I can’t wait to hear what it sounded like.
ABOVE: Steve Nappe and Kane Hodder walk the halls of The South Pittsburg Hospital.
One of the most unusual things we saw was a mysterious blue light that floated in the hallway. It flew up, down, around, left, right... all different directions. If Tinkerbell was blue... this would have been her! Everyone in the building just stood and stared at it, trying to determine if it was a trick on our eyes. But, everyone saw the same thing.
ABOVE: Outside the South Pittsburg Hospital; Steve Nappe, Rick McCallum, Kane Hodder, and Jim O'Rear (the dwarf of the group).
The hospital was fantastic. Would our next stop be as rewarding? It was time to move on to the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. Sloss, an ancient steel mill, is a 25,000 ton monument to the industrial revolution dating back to the Civil War. It was a brutal workhouse that claimed an estimated 20,000 - 30,000 lives, most during the night shift under the leadership of a sadistic supervisor. It is believed that the soul of this evil tyrant (who met a mysterious death when he fell from the top of the tower into a vat of hot iron) is one of the entities that still wanders the property.
ABOVE: Sloss Furnace In Birmingham, Alabama.
As mentioned before... this night's investigation by the Hollywood Ghost Hunters and V.A.P.R. were joined by Daniel and Ami Taylor. They had never experienced a paranormal investigation and were not believers. By the end of the night, though, they would no longer be as skeptical!
ABOVE: Daniel Emery Taylor and Jim O'Rear just before the investigation began.
As in usual fashion, the groups divided up to take their respective turns on different areas of the property. The first location I hit was the blower engine room, along with Rick McCallum, Daniel, and Ami. The first thing I noticed, entering the building, was the overwhelming feeling that something did not want us there. It was a very negative energy... almost angry. As Rick turned on his camera, an unseen entity brushed across his chest followed by the sounds of footsteps retreating down the hall and a lingering cold spot. We chased the footsteps to the back of the engine room where we hit a dead end and silence. Standing still, we tried to communicate with whatever was there. Suddenly there were footsteps in the rafters above our heads and then I was hit in the back. Could this be the aggressive entity that we were told about?
ABOVE: The back of the engine blower room where Jim was hit in the back.
ABOVE: Outside the engine blower room during the daytime walk-thru.
We obviously weren't wanted inside the engine blower room, so we decided we'd come back later and give communication a second chance. What we were extremely interested in was the underground tunnel where many, many people died. We were told that multiple shadow people had been seen in there and much activity could be experienced.
ABOVE: Hollywood Ghost Hunter Rick McCallum and Chad from the V.A.P.R. group descend stairs into the underground tunnel at Sloss.
The feeling underground was completely different than that of the blower room. It was an inviting feeling with a hint of anxiety. There seemed to be no threat here. We went to the very end of the tunnel and started trying to communicate with whatever entity might be in there. It didn't take very long until the EMF detector spiked. We asked if the entity would come closer and light it up more. It did. We still wanted more lights illuminated on the meter and the entity complied. That was to begin one of the most intense EMF communication experiences I have ever been involved with.
We asked the entity to communicate with yes and no answers, lighting up the K2 meter for yes and not lighting it up if the answer was no. The entity told us that it was alone in the tunnel... it was trapped... it wanted out. After several minutes of successful communication, something happened to cause the entity to leave us. However, it was only seconds later that Daniel stated there was a man standing against the tunnel wall several feet in front of us. Almost simultaneously, Rick saw the same thing. I filmed Rick as he slowly approached this full-bodied apparition of a shadow person. When Rick was almost next to the entity, the figured stomped on the grate next to Rick's feet and disappeared... almost as if saying, "That's close enough."
We assumed that the entity escaped to the other end of the tunnel so we headed that way and asked him to come talk to us some more. He did. Sadly we found out that it was trapped there and desperately wanted out. It wanted us to help it leave.
Things like this happened all night at Sloss, but the creepiest was when Ami began to sweat while the rest of us were not hot at all. It's been reported that many people get extremely hot, just as the workers did who were working around the molten steel. This was curious and interesting until things got worse. Kris Potter, from Team V.A.P.R., started getting hot. Her back became very uncomfortable from the intense heat and upon pulling up her shirt, claw marks were discovered across her back, like the fingernails from four fingers had been raked across it. Needless to say, Kris was a bit shaken by the experience.
Well, I've rambled enough! It was an incredibly active weekend. It will be a few weeks before all of the hours of audio and video are reviewed to see what we caught, but as evidence becomes available you can check it out at:
You can also visit V.A.P.R. at:
The next hunt I'll be going on with The Hollywood Ghost Hunters will be to Waverly Sanitarium. It's rumored that we might even be joined by the lovely Danielle Harris (HALLOWEEN) and Adam Green (HATCHET), schedule permitting.
ABOVE: The Hollywood Ghost Hunters and Team V.A.P.R.
Thanks for reading,