Thursday, October 8, 2015

Guyandotte Ghost Tours 2015!

We are sorry for the silence on our blog, but things have been a bit slow for us and not many news worthy events have been going on recently. However, it is THAT time of year again! Things always get much busier around Halloween as we once again are preparing for our annual Ghost Tours of Guyandotte. Here is the information you need to know about this year's tours!



CEMETERY, RIVER & RAIL TOUR 2015

DATE - OCTOBER 16 & 17, 2015

LOCATION - 305 Main St. (Guyandotte United Methodist Church Parking Lot)

TIME - 7PM-10PM

COST - FREE!

DONATIONS -
For this tour we are asking our tour guests for some donations for this particular tour-
We are seeking donations of non-perishable food items for Grace Food Pantry in Guyandotte, which is located in the Guyandotte United Methodist Church. We are also asking for donations of new or used children's Halloween costumes to go to children at Guyandotte Elementary who are in need. Please drop off your donations when picking up tickets. All donations to our community are greatly appreciated. 

THE TOUR-
Join Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours on October 16 & October 17, 2015 for a one of a kind haunted walking tour. Our newest tour will take place, as always, in the historic community of Guyandotte. This tour will feature the oldest church cemetery in Cabell county, and will also cover some river and rail hauntings as well. This tour will meet in the parking lot of the Guyandotte United Methodist Church located at 305 Main St. in Guyandotte (on the corner of 5th Ave. just as you cross the 5th Ave. bridge into Guyandotte). 

CIVIL WAR GHOSTLY ENCOUNTERS TOUR 2015

DATE - OCTOBER 30 & 31, 2015

LOCATION - 203 Richmond St. (Guyandotte Library)

TIME - 7PM-10PM

COST - FREE!

DONATIONS -
All donations are greatly appreciated.

THE TOUR-...
Join us for our second and final ghost tour of the season when we present Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours - Civil War Ghostly Encounters Tour. This tour takes place October 30 and Halloween night, October 31. The little town of Guyandotte will be transformed into the re-created battleground of 1861 during Guyandotte's Civil War Days. Our tour will take you through Civil War encampments and you will have a chance to encounter some of the past residents of the town. This tour is much different that our tour earlier in the month, so be sure not to miss this unique experience!

INFORMATION FOR ALL TOURS
All tours are absolutely free of charge, but you must obtain a ticket at our information table in order to participate. Ticket quantities are limited each night. Please arrive no later than 7pm to pick up your tickets and secure your spot on one of the evenings tours. Ticket distribution will begin at 7pm, and tours fill up quickly. We do not offer ticket holds, tickets are given out on a first come, first serve basis only.

KEEP IN MIND-
This is an after dark walking tour, participants are highly encouraged to bring flashlights and wear comfortable shoes for walking. You may bring your camera for photos. The tour may not be suitable for small children due to the tour length and content of some of the stories.

Our tours are based on historical fact with stories handed down to us about the areas ghosts and hauntings. Tours are a great mix of fact and folklore, they are educational and fun at the same time. As always tours are free, but donations are appreciated.

CONTACT US -
Please see our website for more information - www.GuyandotteGhosts.com or e-mail for questions - tours@guyandotteghosts.com

Make plans to attend!




 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 2015 Updates

Hey everyone, its update time again! At this time there are not many updates as things have been slow for several months. But let’s talk about what HPIR was up to at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015 -


Ghost Tours – We had yet another year of successful ghost tours back in October. Our tours are our big yearly event we host and people come from miles around to enjoy a free walking tour of Guyandotte. We had such an overwhelming turn out, that we had to unfortunately turn some people away. We just do not have the help needed to take everyone on a tour when we get large amounts of tour guests. One day, I hope to have enough volunteers to be able to take everyone on a tour and not turn anyone away, but that is a tough thing to achieve. Perhaps one day we will get there. Right now we will be working on plans for our fall 2015 tours, so be sure to keep up with our information for this season’s upcoming tours.  We also want to thank Carver Paranormal and Sam from COPS Paranormal for helping us with our tours in 2014!

Investigation – Some of the members of HPIR finally decided to take on one of the bigger more popular pay-to-play sites here in West Virginia - Moundsville Penitentiary. Back in November the team did a public investigation of the prison. See below for some photos taken by HPIR team member Kelly of their night in the old penitentiary.

Buffington House Investigations – COPS Paranormal, a fairly new group to our area, came to investigate the Buffington House twice over the fall of 2014. Sam and his group were able to capture a number of EVP’s from the home, including an EVP of a child’s voice, very similar to several our team has captured. Thanks to COPS for sharing their findings with us!

Radio Show – Our Researcher Manager, Theresa was invited to do an interview on Paraversal Universe Radio out of Wisconsin on January 30th. Theresa did an excellent interview! The show talked about everything from haunted locations in the Tri-State are to our group and even some other related topics such as Bigfoot. Theresa is a walking book of information and her blog is widely diverse with many paranormal related topics, she posts almost daily on her blog, Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. Theresa’s interview can be found here in the archives for the show, listed toward the bottom on January30, 2015


Be sure to check back with our blog for upcoming articles and more updates!








Monday, October 20, 2014

Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours 2014

We are just days away from the first tours of the season! We here at HPIR are super excited for our annual ghost tours and we have worked really hard to put this FREE event together for you. Below is the information for this years tours as well as a reminder of our guidelines while you, our guest, are participating in this spooky fun event.

 
GHOSTLY ENCOUNTERS – OCTOBER 24 & 25

Forget about going to the local haunted house where a costumed ghost will jump out from behind a dark curtain to give you a fright, how about spending your Halloween with some real ghosts instead? This after dark tour is not for the faint of heart. This tour takes place in the historic downtown district of Guyandotte and it will showcase a number of historic homes and buildings some of which are over two hundred years old.



 
 
 
 
 
CIVIL WAR HAUNTED HISTORY – OCTOBER 31 & NOVEMBER 1

This tour takes place during the Guyandotte Civil War Days, an annual event that will mark the 153rd anniversary of the Civil War Raid on Guyandotte by re-enacting the events of the November 10th & 11th 1861. This after dark tour takes the participants on a mile walk through the historic section of Guyandotte. The tour showcases Guyandotte’s pre Civil War era homes and passes through authentically re-created Civil War encampments. Participants will experience the peaceful night as it was on November 10th 1861, just hours before the Confederate Army would storm the town.
 
 
 

WHERE – Guyandotte Branch Library, 203 Richmond St. Huntington, West Virginia. The information tent is located in the parking lot.

TICKETS/COST – FREE, but you must have a ticket to participate. Ticket pickup begins at 6:30pm. First come, first serve until tickets are all gone. (Approximately 125 tickets per night)

TIME – Tours depart starting at 7:00pm and continue until 10:00pm.

DURATION – This is a walking tour and will last approximately 2 hours, the tour is under a mile in length.

GUIDELINES–

  • Remain with the group at all times during the tour. If you must leave you are welcome to exit at any time.
  • Please do not leave the tour to return to any homes, all homes on our tour are privately owned and are not staged just for tours.
  • Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Children must be properly supervised during tours as well as around the information booth area by a parent or guardian.
  • Due to subject matter and length of the tour, our tours are not recommended for very young children.
  • No pets please
  • No smoking during the tour or in the immediate area around the information tent.
  • Please obey all pedestrian laws when crossing streets, your guide will safely escort your group across streets appropriately.
  • We reserve the right to refuse a tour to anyone for any reason.
  • Flashlights are highly recommended.
  • You may bring your camera for photos. No audio or video without seeking permission of your tour guide first.

WEATHER - We will generally run tours rain or shine, unless there is a threat of severe weather.

DONATIONS – Donations are always appreciated.
 
 
 

Have fun and we will see you at the tours!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Its Been 8 Years....

It’s been 8 years since the founding of Huntington Paranormal Investigations & Research and this week we celebrate our anniversary!

So much has changed these past 8 years since I decided to start a paranormal investigation group, we have experienced so much, been so many places and made some great friends. I don’t think I could have predicted that 8 years down the road HPIR would still be here, I of course hoped we would be and I am so thankful that we are still here. I have seen many groups fizzle out in 8 years, but I also have seen a few of the strong groups keep pushing forward. I know our members are the main reason we are still here, and for them I am so very thankful. We have seen members come and go over the years, some of them we still call our friends. Even those members who are no longer part of the team now have helped build a strong foundation for us to be here today celebrating this 8th year.

Our course if you follow our blog and our team, you will know that HPIR is so much more than just a group of ghost hunters. We love investigations, but our mission is much more than just chasing reports of ghosts. We want to keep the haunted history of our area alive and we want to give something back to our community too.

So here we are 8 years behind us, and hopefully many more ahead of us. I asked the group, members both old and new, to reflect on their time with HPIR. I wanted to hear from them about their favorite investigations, some fond memories and how they feel about being part of our team. Here is what some of our members had to say:

Carrie: My favorite investigations have been Bruce Chapel, Buffington House, Whipple Company Store, and the Campbell-Flannigan-Murrell House in Hinton. Each of these places we have gotten great pieces of evidence. My favorite moments are when we have had HPIR family time, getting to know each other and sharing laughs together, we have many inside jokes. I look forward to collecting more evidence, making more memories, and more inside jokes.

Lynne: In my 3+ years with our group, I have to say that my favorite part has been the comradery I have found with my HPIR family. We work together, laugh together, and sometimes disagree together, but we still are a solid group, with solid principles. My favorite investigations, would probably be Bruce Chapel, as although we froze to death, we did get some astounding pictures, and Dr. Grimes’ office, in that we all experienced some type of activity, and it is a fabulous blend of potential for the paranormal. Some of my fondest memories have been our group picnics, bonfires and just spending time with my HPIR family. They are a great group of people, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Mike: I've wanted to be a part of a real ghost investigation team. We loved volunteering with the tours and look forward to investigating. Thank you for asking us to join HPIR.

Tracie: I learned about HPIR during one of the many tours in Guyandotte. I came to like 3 tours and brought different friends. I actually followed Theresa on her blogs before I moved to WV, so it was destiny that I became part of HPIR. Mike and I volunteered for the tours and hinted that we would love to part of a real ghost hunting group. Then we were asked to join and jumped to the chance. I'm looking forward to ghost hunts. Thank you again for letting us join the team.


Thank you all and here is to many more years of the HPIR team!

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 2014 Updates

Hey all, just checking in with all of our readers for our bi-monthly update for June 2014!

Anniversary – HPIR will be celebrating our 8th year at the end of July, wow! It is hard to believe that it has been 8 years since we started our group. Although this has probably been our slowest year on record, I think we all need a little down time. By no means are we “taking a break”, it’s just going to be a much slower paced year than the past seven for us. I’ve said it in previous blogs, I am so thankful to have the wonderful people who make up HPIR; they are like an extended family. Here is to a great, yet slower 8th year!

New Members – It has been three years since we have introduced any new members to our team, but this month our team made a great decision to add two new wonderful people to join HPIR. We met Mike & Tracie back in the fall during tour season. They offered to help us by volunteering with our ghost tours. Through their volunteering, we saw their dedication to us and their desire to not only help with tours but to investigate with us also. During a meeting earlier this month, the team voted to invite them to become full members of our group, and they happily accepted our offer! We welcome to the HPIR family, Tracie & Mike – we look forward to years of investigating with you!

Joining HPIR – I regularly get e-mails from people looking to join our group, and I wanted to address this inquiry for those who have come to us looking to become a part of our team, however I am going to be addressing this in a separate blog post which you can read here: Answering Your Questions About HPIR Membership

Team Toni 5K – Once again this year we volunteered for the Team Toni 5K walk/run. We did not have any participants in the race this year, but we did setup a water station for the other 5K participants.

Tour Season – It is hard to believe that tour season is about four months away! We are looking forward to yet another busy tour season coming up. I also have another blog post up that will be addressing some of the issues we encountered last season because I feel we should stand up for ourselves against those who have went out of their way to try to perhaps, shut us down or at least have been spiteful toward us. I blogged about some issues last year, you can read that post here. And my new blog post for 2014: Guyandotte Ghost Tours 2014

We hope you guys have a great summer, we will update again in a few months!





Photos: top, post meeting bonfire, bottom, Team Toni 5K

Ghost Tours 2014 - Disclaimer

The 2014 Tour Season is rapidly approaching and I am taking a proactive approach to addressing any potential issues that might arise over the next several months as have in the past few years with other organizations in Guyandotte that may decide to offer their own ghost tours this year.
 
This information is being offered to our loyal tour guests who deserve to have the best tour experience we can provide to them.

Please see: Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours - Spooky Fun Awaits for some of the backstory on why I am posting this information for our 2014 tour season. There will be a link back to this page so that you may continue reading here.

It is June 23, 2014 and while I have no known information about what other organizations in the Guyandotte area are planning as of today but based off of the issues we have encountered the past two years, I am posting this as a disclaimer of sorts. Huntington Paranormal Investigations & Research which operates the Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours is in no way affiliated with any pay to participate tour that may be offered in the Guyandotte area this year. Huntington Paranormal Investigations & Research as Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours maintains our tours as free of monetary charge or donation requirement to the general public, furthermore we are not planning any tours to act as a fundraiser for any entity in the 2014 season.

I don't like to air our grievances so publically, but this has been so ongoing that I feel the need to stand up and say something. So to expand on what happened specifically last year: I realize there are two sides to every story and I can't say I know their side but will share the facts I do know.

Last year Swinefest teamed up with the Madie Carroll House to plan some events. In previous years we have worked with the MCH during tour season and they were wonderful in allowing us to bring in tour guests, use their property for some tour setups and even provided us with some “ghosts” inside the house during the tours. We have offered a Guyandotte Cemetery Tour for Swinefest since 2009.

What happened last year was not what we expected. The short story is that before Swinefest announced the dates of their event publically, they along with the MCH quietly reserved use of the cemetery for that weekend to do their own ghost tour for a fee. Once Swinefest announces their event dates, we have always planned our Guyandotte Cemetery Ghost Tour to go on simultaneously that weekend. What we found was that when we went to make our reservation for the cemetery space, they had already made the reservation in another person’s name. However, the person who made the reservation put it in our organization’s name, phone number and home address. So essentially they fraudulently used our organization and info to reserve the area for themselves knowing we use that area yearly for tours. It ended up backfiring on them and ultimately we got to use the space for our event.

Some of the members of those two organizations exploded on us verbally, they were extremely upset. They wanted to do their own tour without us, they wanted to draw in the crowds we do and charge them to take a tour we have offered for years for no charge. They wanted to use the tour as a fundraiser for their organization. They even asked us to remove some properties from our tour out of spite after this.
 
The thing is both Swinefest and the Madie Carroll House receive thousands of dollars in grant money and funding yearly for their events and property needs. Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours receives no type of funding, we do this on our own time, out of our own pocket and because we love to do it, nothing more. We have no required donations, although we do get small donations from tour guests, those small donations go back into our tours and even to other local organizations.

We will not be associated with the kind of people who act in this manner. We have only tried to provide something nice for the members of our community to do for free, but year after year we run into people who see the crowd we bring in and want to profit from it. This has been an ongoing thing for years now. Again, we don’t know what events other organizations are planning this year, but we just want to make our guests aware that if there are other ghost tour type events going on in Guyandotte this year for a fee, we are not involved.

All of our tours will be posted on our website and Facebook page, so please visit those pages for all the dates and information!

Answering Your Questions About HPIR Membership

If you visit our website and you are seeking to find a way to join our team, you hit the link to go to our contact page you will see a list of things to the left that you may want to contact us about. Within that list you will see a section that says joining our team and reads like this:

Joining Our Team - Currently we are not seeking to add any new members to our group. If in the future we have openings, we will make an announcement on our website and Facebook pages.
 
I want to talk a bit more in detail about our reasons we are not accepting any new members to our team because I still get lots of emails from people wanting to join. It's difficult to say no to someone who has a passion to become a paranormal investigator, and I try to reply back to everyone who contacts us and sometimes I offer them some alternatives. But here are the reasons why you may get an e-mail reply from us saying we are not seeking new members:

 
For starters, let me say we don't want to discourage anyone by telling you we are not looking for new members. We want you to be able to go out and learn about and experience paranormal investigation in one way or another (legally). But if I invited in everyone I received an email from wanting to join our team, our membership would be up to around 100+ or so by now, I would imagine. It is what it is, we unfortunately can't add everyone who wants to join us.

Currently we have 11 members, and that includes the addition of our two newest members as of June 2014. Before June 2014, our last member we added to the team was in June 2011. At our highest member count, I believe we had somewhere around 18-20 members and that was in 2007. I quickly learned that even in a very large location, that many people is entirely too many. We have had many people come and go over the years for various reasons, and it is difficult having a constant shift due to changing members and the number of people on the team. It took going through so many members to find out who and what will work for us. We wanted dedicated members, long term members and not thrill seeker types. I used an application process when we were open to new members and that helped me get a better idea of why people wanted to join. And when we did invite people to join, if our team was not for them or paranormal investigation was not for them, they moved on.

Around 2009-2010 our membership began to really stabilize and we picked up the majority of our current long term members during that time. I found people who not only wanted to investigate the paranormal passionately, but also were willing to step up and be a part of our (at the time) new ghost tours we were building. Our current membership works, we all are different but everyone is dedicated. We have a family-like relationship with one another, and each member has gone above and beyond to make HPIR the best it can be. At 9 members (up until June 2014) we felt that we were strong, stable and adding any more would make our group too large.

You are probably wondering since we are not seeking new members, why did we add two new members in 2014? - Well our two new members came to us during a time we were not looking to add anyone to our team. They had contacted us about membership and we told them that our membership was full. However, come tour time they offered to help us. During tour season we always need extra helpers and although we need that extra help badly we can't take on extra members to get that help. We allowed them to help us, and by helping us they showed us something they were willing to go above and beyond, be there when we needed them and they were there for every event we needed help with. We saw they were paranormal enthusiasts, they investigated the paranormal on their own before they became members. We enjoyed their company, talking paranormal with them and they became our friends. They were a natural fit for our team, so we invited them to join us. It came to be not because we were looking, but became they found their way to us and their persistence paid off for them. I can't say that the next person who comes along and who is persistent will automatically be added to our team, because we are at 11 members and well I thought 9 was plenty before we added 2 more.

Sometimes I get e-mails from people who don't necessarily want to join our team but just want to go investigate with us, and unfortunately the answer is no to that too. We offer public events that give people a chance to visit some haunted places, and even have allowed them to do a little bit of ghost hunting too. But in a general sense, we can't allow just anyone to come with us. Privacy of the people we investigate for is a big issue, so is liability issues as well. Our members must provide us with personal identification, sign disclaimers, sign safety forms and I keep a file on all our members in case we ever have a legal issue with any of them. Not every paranormal group is going to be quite so strict, but we are and we take what we do very serious.

But with all of that being said, right now there are so many places that are open to allow people to come in and ghost hunt for a fee, there are almost limitless opportunities to experience the paranormal world in some way. There are other groups in the area that are probably looking for members (if you are one of those groups, feel free to contact us for membership referrals), or if you don't want to join an existing group start one of your own, there is always room for more! I even have a blog post on forming your own group!

I hope this gives you a little insight as to why we are not planning to add any more new members to our team anytime soon, but hopefully you will find a way to experience your desire to investigate the paranormal!

Melissa - HPIR Founder