- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) — For those who have attempted to communicate with those who have crossed over and failed, there may actually be light at the end of the tunnel, or, in this case, W.E. Adams’ bedroom.

As part of Deadwood History’s Paranormal Tours series debut weekend, spirits in the historic Adams house shined a little bit of light for their subjects Friday night making it a little bit hard to debunk this bright and shining evidence.

When Scott Remboldt of Black Hills Paranormal Investigators and an assisting investigator teamed up to place a flashlight on what is likely W.E. Adams’ death bed in his former bedroom, asking for any spirits to come forward, nothing happened. Again, the duo asked for W.E. to come forward and either make a noise or feel free to turn on the flashlight. Once more, nothing.

When everyone had, for the most part, stopped paying attention, the flashlight lying on the middle of the bed suddenly turned on, stayed on a few seconds and turned off.

“Is this Mary or Lucile?” asked the female investigator.

As if in response, the flashlight went on, stayed on a few seconds, and then turned on and off, the Black Hills Pioneer (https://bit.ly/1wmKnRO ) reported.

Much shifting back and forth, looks toward the doorway of the bedroom and wide-eyed looks characterized the reactions.

Some doted and fawned on the supposed spirit.

“That’s right, you probably don’t know how to turn it off, just turn it slowly at the top, there,” coaxed the female investigator. “Good job. There you go. You almost have it. Great!”

Others simply stared in amazement, looking to make a break for it.

When the party moved down to W.E.’s library, the flashlight was laid on his desk, the same sort of questions came and once again, catching most off-guard, suddenly the light came on and slowly turned off.

It was creepy. It was rewarding. It was unbelievable. And it was, well, witnessed firsthand by nearly a dozen people who had never set foot inside the Adams House.

But was it bona fide?

Yes, it was. But to Remboldt, who has been doing this sort of thing for 20 years, well, it was no big deal.

“I’d classify what we saw tonight as mild activity, inconsequential, really” said Remboldt, a self-professed skeptic who was continually debunking strange noises, beeps from the ghost hunting equipment and possible spirit sightings throughout the night. “It’s a lot quieter in here than it has ever been before. The 8 and 10 (p.m.) tours ramp up a bit, so we’ll see.”

Black Hills Paranormal Investigators have conducted ghost hunts in the Adams House six or seven times, said investigator Charles Blanchard, who appreciates the architecture of the house.

“What makes it appealing to investigate is the fact that this house was built in 1892,” Blanchard said. “I mean, look at this place. Nothing’s really been done to remodel this home. Everything’s original, hand-done.”

While Blanchard and fellow investigators have been led on several wild goose chases within the house, hearing voices and footsteps that cannot be pinned down, he emphasizes something about the group’s earlier findings.

“One of the main things I tell people is that everyone fears the unknown, but there is nothing malevolent in this house and nothing bad has ever happened while we were investigating,” Blanchard said. “While we’ve had the experience of hearing, seeing or being touched, a family lives here. There is nothing ill-natured here.”

Blanchard said that one of the more incredible things he witnessed in the house occurred two years ago during Paranormal Tours.

“I try to be skeptical, but inside of this study, I was doing a tour and giving a personal experience and one of the people there said, ‘It’s moving. The chair is moving,’” Blanchard recalled.

An antique rocker near the corner of W.E.’s study proceeded to rock back and forth unaided for an estimated 40 seconds before abruptly coming to a standstill.

“No one ever got close to it,” Blanchard said. “I tried to debunk it, checked for unevens in the floor, drafts, nothing.”

Karen, the DHI docent on duty for the evening, said that recently the word “fire” was spoken during a tour while explaining the fire of 1879. It set the fire alarms off, and they simply could not be disarmed.

“We do everything we can to determine that something is not paranormal,” Remboldt said. “I’ve done this 20 years and I’ve never seen a full-bodied apparition.”

What Remboldt said he had seen in earlier investigations in the Adams House was a shadow figure crouching on the landing from the upstairs to downstairs staircase.

“This house has a tendency to give you a cold feeling. If you get that, let us know, because that’s huge,” Remboldt said.

While equipment, such as a ghost meter, called a milligauss by the crew, mel meter, designed to pick up EMFs (electromagnetic fields) or temperature, were going off intermittently, nothing measured off the charts. Nothing was found to be significant.

Other than the unexplained phenomenon of the flashlight turning on and off and in response to questions.

Because the Adams House is no stranger to sorrow, and much tragedy befell its former occupants before their dying days, the house is the source of much speculation when it comes to ghost hunting.

In the case of the cryptic beacons of light witnessed Friday evening, a good motto might be “Better safe than sorry.”

And the DHI docents, who make it a policy to always hold the hand railing at the top of the stairs when addressing their tour groups to avoid unexpected feelings of being pushed off balance, which they experience on occasion, take other precautions, as well.

“We always introduce ourselves to Mr. Adams before we come upstairs,” Karen said.

Now that’s a bright idea.


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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