Sunday, August 06, 2006

A traumatic weekend. While on the way home from a family reunion in Waupaca, Wisconsin, I got word that the beloved but bedeviled Ghost Bus was having mechanical problems. Bad news for our tour tonight, but of course, Hector and Adam saved the day. Score another for the astonishing abilities of the Chicago Hauntings team! Good thing. Friday will bring the overnight tour company, Southern Ghosts, into town for a weekend with Chicago's most haunted. We'll be staking out the Congress Hotel on Friday night, focusing on two of the building's most paranormally active sites: the Florentine Room and the legendary Gold Room. Both sites did their folklore good when Ken, Hector, Adam and I did our preliminary investigation there earlier this summer. Particularly interesting is the Gold Room, where--according to longtime night security guard Johnny D--strange photos have been taken over the last few years. Wedding guests enjoying receptions in the Room have often taken photos around the piano on the dancefloor . . . only to have their photos developed with certain people missing from them. This intriguing phenomenon reminded me of an earlier trip to the Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tennessee, where the property owner, Chris Kirby, keeps a binder of photographs that have been taken near the cave. A number of them bear evidence of the same phenomenon. Most chilling is Chris's photo of a group of schoolchildren, taken by a teacher several years ago on the steps of the welcoming cabin on the cave property. In the front row of the group of children is a child with his arm stuck out to one side in an awkward position. When asked why he held his arm that way for the photo, he pointed out that he'd been standing next to his friend, and had had his arm around him. The friend, however, failed to show up in the photo. We'll be taking a lot of pictures this weekend in the Gold Room--and enjoying what promises to be a great weekend with some of our best Southern pals. Check back next week to see what happens, and look for a full report on our Congress investigations in the weeks to come.

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