Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Anniversary Eve

The tone of this blog is not as upbeat as I usually write as it is more on the serious side this time. There are circumstances when even during a time of reflection and celebration, you have to stop and be grateful for all the things that you have and you realize just how blessed you truly are.

August 1, 2012 will mark HPIR’s 6th anniversary as a team. It’s been a great 6 years so far, but we have had our ups and downs over those years. Our perseverance had resulted in a persistent presence in the paranormal field, and more than ever the past few years has proved our team stronger and closer than ever. HPIR is truly a family; we have an unbreakable bond that I believe will see us though another 6 years and beyond.

Today we are happy to be where we are, to be involved in our community and to help those who are in need when possible. There may be those out there who wish to see us fail, or have chosen spitefulness over kindness. Those who oppose us only make us work harder to continue doing what we love. We are in this field not for fame or fortune, but because this is our passion.

On the eve of our 6th Anniversary our team is strong, dedicated and passionate about our work. But in the excitement of celebrating another year, all news is not all great news. One of our members is in need of prayer and positive thoughts right now. When one member is sick or hurt, it has an effect on us all. Last year one of our members was badly hurt in an accident, but thankfully is doing well now. Even in the face of a difficult time or situation, we stand together and remain confident that we will get through it.

This year though, we will celebrate our anniversary in grand HPIR style, with our annual picnic coming up followed by an investigation the following week. We will endure in the hard times and we will flourish in the good times. I am very grateful to have a great team and I am very blessed to have such amazing individuals that make up the HPIR family, and I would not trade them for the world :)   

HPIR Founder

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Haunted Travels: Crystal Coast, North Carolina

Ahhh, summer vacation! It’s so nice to get away from the day to day routine and take a trip some where new and exciting. Like many, I enjoy going to be beach; I love the sand between my toes and the hearing the ocean waves crashing to shore, the beautiful sunsets, the cool breezes and…the ghosts. I prefer to spend my vacation time in quiet, history rich areas where I can take beautiful photos and learn a few more bits and pieces of America’s past. Usually areas with a rich history tend to harbor some ghostly legends, as was the case with my trip to the Crystal Coast in North Carolina. I had my sights set on a small coastal town called Beaufort; the allure of ghosts and pirates was overwhelming, so we made the 9 hour drive to spend a week just a few miles from there.

While my family and I didn’t take any of the tours (ghost and pirate tours), we did spend a good bit of time walking in downtown Beaufort exploring. While we were walking though the neighborhood checking out all of amazing historic homes, we discovered the Old Burying Grounds. I love, love, love old cemeteries so naturally we walked though it. There were some beautiful old grave stones, intricately designed wrought iron fencing and graves just everywhere. We came to one unique headstone which was covered in seashells, and other small trinkets and personal items. I took some photos and I assumed there was some sort of story about leaving a small token for the child buried there to prevent her ghost from following you home (just assuming here, remember). I looked up her actual story and she died on a ship traveling to England with her father. Her father promised her mother to bring her home safely, but she died on the journey. He purchased a Rum barrel from the ship and put her body in it, brought her back home to Beaufort and buried her there, still in the barrel.

Beaufort was also home to Blackbeard, the Pirate. His “home away from home” still stands today in the town and his ship is wrecked offshore a few miles away, with artifacts contained in the local museum today. Although we didn’t directly visit all of the sites of Blackbeard, local legend suggests that Blackbeard still haunts his old home which is the oldest house in the town.

Our next stop was at Ft. Macon State Park. Fort Macon was built 1826 as many attacks had prompted the coastal region to build a number of forts for protection. During the Civil War the fort was taken by Union forces, and later after the war was used as a civil and military prison. It was used on and off up through World War II. The fort is said to be haunted by soldiers from the Civil War era. We toured and photographed the fort extensively, it was quite an amazing place and there are many original artifacts encased in the forts museum.

Our next little adventure was to hop a ferry boat to one of the barrier islands, which is in the southern most portions of the Outer Banks of N.C. The reason we went to the island was not for ghosts really, but to search for seashells and most importantly take my horse crazy daughter to see the wild horses of the island. The island today looks pretty unspoiled and natural except for all the island visitors. However, many years ago the island had a little community with homes and businesses, but eventually the citizens of the island moved away after one too many storms destroyed homes and took a number of lives. The only thing that still remains today is a cemetery which is said to be located on the opposite end of 9 mile long island from where we were and the horses. It is believed that the horses have managed to survive on the island for 400 years. They say the horses are descendants of Spanish Mustangs that swam to shore from shipwrecks. But the locals say that the islands inhabitants may have also brought the horses to the islands to use, and perhaps were just left there when they moved to the mainland. But no matter the story, the horses are lasting piece of what is now an uninhabited island that has managed to endure for hundreds of years. There is also a light house (Cape Lookout) out on another nearby island that can be seen from the island we visited, and it is said to be haunted, but we didn’t take the ferry boat out to visit the lighthouse.
 We had a nice relaxing vacation and we enjoyed as much of the area we had time to see while we were there. I would totally recommend anyone visiting the area to check out all of the history and of course all of the hauntings of the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

HPIR Founder

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tour Talk: Ghost Stories Needed!

We here at Huntington Paranormal have been giving haunted history tours in Guyandotte since 2008. We started off with a simple history tour that exceeded our wildest expectations on the first night we offered them. We realized quickly though that people didn’t want just a simple history tour, they were asking for ghost tours. So within a year, we managed to gather many of Guyandotte’s ghost stories to include on our tour and have continued to offer haunted history tours in Guyandotte ever since. In the back of our minds, and in on and off discussions we have bounced around the idea of taking our ghost tours to new and exciting places (while continuing to do the Guyandotte tours, of course). We have considered a number of options for locations to plan for our tour expansion, but we have been so busy making additions to our original tour, we have not really sat down to work on anything but the Guyandotte tours, well that is until now!

Recently we had an opportunity to meet with some folks who want to see a ghost tour take place in downtown Huntington. Downtown tours have crossed our minds on a number of occasions, but as I mentioned, we have been focused on our existing tours. However, at this time we are planning and we are looking for ghost stories and experiences from downtown Huntington. We have a good starting base of haunted locations; however it just isn’t enough for a full tour just yet. But we are hoping that those of you who read our website and blog will step up to give us a helping hand. We want your stories, your ghost sightings and experiences so that we can take a big step forward working on our goal to expand into downtown!

If you want to help us by contributing your ghost story, experiences, sightings or just tell us about the rumors you have heard please send them to us. We have a lot of hard work and research ahead of us but the more help we get, the closer you will be to taking a haunted walking tour of downtown Huntington, West Virginia by the fall 2013 (crossing fingers)!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Group Updates - July 2012

Hey everyone, we here at HPIR hope that you are having a fun summer and are staying cool! It's time for a summer update about what's been going on with HPIR in the last few months:

 Investigations: We started summer off with two investigations; one was the Whipple Company Store which I posted about previously. Since that last post, I have added some new audio clips to our website so be sure to visit our sound cloud page to listen to some very creepy EVP’s we obtained during our investigation there. We also investigated a private home in Huntington in late May in which we obtained several EVP’s. I will be posting that investigation overview and audio clips on our website very soon. We had to postpone one investigation for later this summer due to the severe storms that swept though our area on June 29, 2012. We currently are planning two other investigations in the coming weeks, a private home and a local business so check in with us later this summer to find out more about those investigations!

Tour News: We have been staying on our toes this summer giving ghost tours. We did two public tours during the full moon in the months of May and June, we gave a private tour for a group of excited and curious children in June and during July’s full moon we gave a private tour to a local group of co-workers for an employee outing. We have had some wonderful tours this season and we are excited for more public tours coming up in August, October and November.

Team Toni 5K: In June several of our members participated in or volunteered for the Team Toni 5k memorial run/walk. The 5k experience was a first for three of our members: Meghan ran the 5k, while Carrie & I walked. Kelly had planned to walk with us, unfortunately she was feeling under the weather but she and Dustin volunteered, and were waiting at the finish line cheering us all on! We had such a great time and it was all for a great cause. Since our 5k experience, some of our HPIR “walkers” have kept up our walking and we plan to participate in another 5k this fall, with a Halloween theme!

Haunted Travels: I’m planning to get started on my latest edition of my haunted travels series with my recent trip to North Carolina for summer vacation and I also plan to blog about last year’s summer vacation soon too. I also have another up and coming Haunted Travels trip planned for September!

Mothman: This September, HPIR is planning a return trip to Pt. Pleasant, WV to attend the Mothman Festival. It has been a few years since we set up a table at the festival, and we have decided that this would be a great time to make the short journey north along the Ohio River to once again be part of the festivities.

Anniversary: The beginning of August will mark the 6th year since HPIR was founded. We are looking forward to celebrating 6 years with our annual picnic tradition. Good food, good friends and ghosts, who could ask for more?!  Happy Birthday HPIR!

HPIR Founder