I have always been a fan of Halloween and all the spooky fun that comes with the most celebrated community holiday in the US. The first year we filmed Adventure and Romance we were introduced to a paranormal team from Paris Texas, The Northeast Texas Paranormal Society. Shelia Gay, the president, and I visited over the phone about joining them for an investigation at an abandoned sanatorium in northern Arkansas. Alicia was reluctant but I was 100% on board.
We met the team in Jefferson Texas and why not, it’s the most haunted town in Texas and the perfect backdrop to meet a paranormal team. Once we sat down at Annie Skinners for lunch we fell in love with the team. Alicia and Shelia visited about Alicia’s apprehension but Shelia’s soft-spoken words and sweet demeanor won Alicia over and the date was set.
Two weeks later we loaded up with one cameraman, Michael Jennings, and drove north to the backwoods of Arkansas. It was still daylight when we drove up on the enormous building that seem to jump out of the mountain side driving around the final bend on a private road. Five stories tall and well over three football fields long the sanatorium opened in 1909 and was abandoned in 1973. Over 60,000 people lost their battle to Tuberculosis in this building and we were going to spend the night in it.
We met up with our team on the first floor which had electricity and air and served as a base for our night of investigating. The team consisted of Shelia, Buffy, Lynn, Lisa, Jason, and Randy, a team that had years of investigation behind them. Our team meeting was much of what it would look like in a board room, large table, lots of planning, and a creepy doll in the corner of the room. If something passed in front of the doll it would laugh making it more creepy, which it did during the meeting.
Our night started in the morgue and why not, it was the most active place in the building. We no more walk into the room and one of the heavy doors slowly swings shut. My first thought was someone or something didn’t want us there. Everyone got situated and Randy placed a flashlight on one of the embalming tables. With the flashlight on, “Is there anyone here with us?” Randy asked. “If there is, can you turn the light off?” Yeah right, was my first thought. Then the light turned off. “Ok, who has the remote to the flashlight?” I asked. Everyone laughed then Michael, our cameraman, suggested they use our light. Randy asked the question again and like clockwork, our light went off.
The night consisted of crazy noises, their equipment readings off the charts, and shadows crossing the hall. We jumped, ran, screamed, and laughed at each other's reactions throughout the night. We wrapped our time communicating with a man that had died in the 1930s. A crazy night that you should watch on the link below. Our appreciation to the Northeast Texas Paranormal Society for taking us on a memorable investigation.
Our sympathies to Will Gay and the team.
May she rest in peace.