Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Has Led Me Here....

I have been asked many times why I decided to start a paranormal group, and while I don’t care much to discuss the main event that triggered me to start the group I am willing to explain what led me to it. So here are the things in my life that have led me here:

Growing up, I spend most of my life in a house that was built in 1890. Everything I know about the house seems to indicate that it had a colorful history, I still don’t know a lot of details about it but I do know it played a part in the bootlegging of moonshine in the neighborhood. Overall though it just had a quiet history and it was far from being haunted.

I am not sure what sparked my interest in the paranormal but I remember around middle school I would pick out books at the library about ghosts, monsters, UFOs and such and read about them. As mentioned in a previous posting I also was a big fan of paranormal television shows. Halloween was and still is one of my favorite holidays and I even worked a few times as a guide for the local Halloween haunted house.  

I think my first and one of only a few possible encounters with a “ghost” I have had so far was when I was spending the night with a friend. We were the only two in the house when I heard footsteps walking overhead in what would have been the attic of the house. I mentioned it to my friend and the simple answer my friend had for me was “oh that’s just the ghost”. I have been in a few places that I have had an overwhelming feeling of “get out”, but up to that point in my life, that’s about it.

My thoughts about ghosts are that I really want to believe that they exist, and I feel that something does exist but I am not exactly sure what. I have however experienced something that I whole heartedly believe is a real phenomenon, and it is something that I have experienced more than a few times. I have had many instances of what I feel is extra sensory perception being both the sender and the receiver, I have experienced this so strongly that I do not believe it was an odd coincidence.

The main incident that stands out to me happened on a day I lost my pet cat about 11 years ago. I am an animal lover and I had this sweet little orange kitty that was just like a little friend to me. I think I loved this kitty more than any of the others before it and he was a comfort to me when I was going through a rough time. Well I was awakened one morning by the news that my cat was run out into the road by a neighbor and was hit and killed. I lost it, I broke down hard and I cried and cried; it was like I had lost my best friend. A few hours later I had calmed down, but still upset when the phone rings. On the other end of the line was one of my close friends who I had not spoken to in 4 or 5 months, the first words from his mouth was “what’s wrong?” I kind of stood there shocked for a second then I explained what happened. My friend was surprised and saddened about my pet, but what really got my attention was how he explained to me that he was out of state and had the overwhelming urge to call me because he knew something was wrong. He tried calling for an hour but the line had been busy, but my friend didn’t give up until he got in touch with me. His call was a comfort to me on an otherwise horrible day.

I know there are strange coincidences in life, but I think this event just reinforced to me that human connection goes beyond what we can truly understand sometimes. While I have never really seen or experienced a ghost, I have more than once experienced this kind of telepathic communication between myself and others. Even now I rely on my “gut instincts” to guide me when needed. This has led me here, to find out more of what is possible in this world.

Melissa - HPIR Founder

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Local History & Ghost Stories

With the cooler temperatures finally sneaking around, it really must mean that fall is almost here! I love fall, the cooler weather, the leaves changing to beautiful bright colors, pumpkins, sitting by the fire on a cool evening and of course Halloween! Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays and the fall is absolutely my favorite season of all, and there is no better way to celebrate with some spooky ghost tours!!!

We here at HPIR began offering ghost tours in the historic Guyandotte neighborhood of Huntington back in October of 2008. Hoping for at best, 10 or 20 people to show up the first time, we set our expectations pretty low. The first night of the tour we were pleasantly and very unexpectedly surprised when we had a line forming in the parking lot of the Guyandotte Library that went almost out to the street! I think that first weekend we took about 140 people on the tour and it was a huge hit, beyond what we had imaged.

After that first tour we set out to learn more local history, more ghost stories and with getting to know some of the neighbors we were even lucky enough to have the opportunity to actually investigate some of the locations on our tour. So by the following year we had more stories, more places and some personal experiences to add to what we started the year before.

By the time last year’s tour season arrived we really ready and we were much better acquainted with what our tour guests were looking for in a ghost tour, and I think we brought that to life for them. We included some interesting aspects, opportunity to visit several homes and even had a few chance encounters with long departed citizens.

We try to keep “old information” fresh, of course our information is history and we can’t change history, but we can keep you on your toes with what we have in store for you. We will continue adding new stories and new houses and have a few surprises along the way. This year we anticipate this fall to be the best ghost tours to date! We will be able to take more people through the tours and we are always adding new information.

You may wonder why the heck we choose Guyandotte to do ghost tours, well that answer is simple: there are few places with as much history and as many ghost stories as you will find in your own back yard, as Guyandotte has. Guyandotte may have a bad reputation, but one may be astounded to see some of the most beautiful homes and hear the rich history inside this once bustling town. So while you may think of Guyandotte as a place you may not want to visit on a normal day, sometimes you can be really surprised what you can find if you just brush away the dust. So if you are enjoying a nice crisp fall evening and you are in the mood to hear some great ghost stories about a place you might otherwise pass by, come take one of our ghost tours this October and November.  Check out our website that is dedicated just to our ghost tours and to Guyandotte's rich history:

Melissa - HPIR Founder