|From the 2013 MPI Haunted Fort Wayne Detroit tour. |
Photo Credit- J. Cendrowski
After five years of producing the popular Haunted Fort Wayne Detroit program, Metro Paranormal Investigations (MPI) has taken to the sea, or rather, the Saginaw River. MPI’s latest ghost hunting excursion explores the USS Edson, a destroyer dubbed “The Gray Ghost”. The Gray Ghost of Bay City event, hosted in cooperation with the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the ship’s history and unstructured time to explore the ship without a tour guide and possibly experience some unexplained happenings.
Wayne Miracle, paranormal researcher with MPI, gave us a glimpse into what guests can expect during the evening. The next, and last, chance to visit The Gray Ghost this fall is Saturday, October 11th from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. Tickets are $60 per person (18 years old and up only). To order tickets, or view a gallery of ship photos, visit http://metroparanormal.org/edson.html. For other inquiries, call (810) 853-8573 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
KT: How did you decide that the USS Edson would be a good fit for a ghost hunting tour?
MPI: "We have investigated a number of ships here in Michigan: the SS City of Milwaukee, USCGC Acacia, SS Valley Camp, and the Boblo Steamer Ste. Clair. Living in the Great Lake State, you can’t help but get drawn into our nautical history. From our research on those vessels we found out the USS Edson was coming to Michigan a couple of years before she arrived. We started to look into the history of the USS Edson and what a history she has! Plus…who in their right mind would not want to explore a U.S. Navy DESTROYER! Talk about kids in a candy store. With her history, and the attachment sailors have to their ships, we decided to talk to the good folks at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum (SVNSM) and see if there had been any paranormal experiences aboard. They had a number of experiences to share with us. The more we learned about the ship, the more excited we got. It was after our first investigation and spending time volunteering on the Edson that we decided to see if the SVNSM would be interested in working with us to start a public ghost hunt program. As a team that investigates the paranormal, once in a while you run across a location that is too big to try to keep to yourselves. You need people to help gather information; you need their experiences to see if you can validate your own.
I know there are some paranormal teams who don’t like the public events, but the energy, the diversity, and the experiences that happen during a public ghost hunt are like no other. You can collect valid data during these events, which help us in our exploration of the unknown, all the while helping a great cause: to keep the USS Edson floating and around for our future generations to explore and learn! The Edson has done her duty protecting us; now it’s our duty help protect her!"
KT: Tell us about what visitors can expect from the tour?
MPI: "The tour is a very small part of the experience. Once the guests are registered, the event starts promptly at 7 p.m. with some brief history and safety protocols. We share some of the paranormal experiences that have taken place aboard the ship and then we take the guests into the Galley. Once on-board, we explain the rest of the evening. We start out leaving the lights on for the first 45 minutes so guests can get acclimated to moving around aboard the ship, and after that we go lights out. Guests are free to explore on their own. We have members stationed around the area so if anyone wants details about the history/experiences, or needs any assistance, we are there to help. Concessions are available and the gift shop is open all night. At 11 p.m., we offer an “Investigate with the Investigator” experience for those who have never been on a paranormal investigation. Some of our team members will take guests along with equipment into a part of the ship and show them how the equipment is used and what we do when we perform an investigation. The event ends at 3 a.m."
From the 2013 MPI Haunted Fort Wayne Detroit tour.
Photo Credit- J. Cendrowski
KT: What drives you to inform others about the paranormal?
MPI: "I think the drive is to inform others that when it comes to the spirit side of what is called “paranormal”, it is actually quite normal. You can almost take the “para” out of it. In our experience, almost everyone has had some kind of occurrence over their lifetime. If it is that common, then it’s not above the norm, it’s just unexplained. It’s okay to talk about, you’re not crazy, and a lot of other people are having their own experiences, too."
KT: What kind of equipment do you use when trying to make contact and how big a role does that play?
MPI: "We use a variety of equipment during our investigations. What we use depends on the location, and the claimed activity. Standard equipment is stationary cameras focused in the areas of claimed activity, mobile cameras, and both stationary and mobile audio recorders. Two of our most used and important tools are ourselves and a clipboard. We try to document everything from team movements, sounds, experiences, outside and inside contaminates, and everything in between. We want to know when, where, and why something is going on. I know most people want to see the fancy equipment, which we have, but it really is not needed to perform an investigation. Documentation is everything."
KT: Can you explain why historic places seem so ripe for hauntings?
MPI: "Historic places may seem to be ripe for activity, but it’s not necessarily so. I believe historic places have a lot of energy pass through them. People usually lived and died at these locations, some have thousands and thousands of people pass through them experiencing life, good times and bad. Maybe they leave an imprint, or are able to revisit once they pass. Maybe that energy creates a weak point in time and what we see as spirits are a quick glimpse into the past, or could it be another dimension? There are however, some historical places that you never hear of anything paranormal happening."
KT: Would you care to comment on why you’re no longer collaborating with Fort Wayne?
MPI: "We love Historic Fort Wayne Detroit! We love and miss the old fort. We spent six years of our lives working down there, and five of those were spent building the Haunted Fort Wayne Detroit brand. It was a huge success and we sold out almost every one of the events we held down there, plus we hosted the Paranormal Muster, bringing in 13 other paranormal teams, along with nearly if not over 400 participants to the event. As far as we know, it was the largest organized paranormal investigation in the U.S., and we won Click on Detroit’s best tour in Detroit two years in a row. Plus we had many more accomplishments with our time spent there! So why would we leave? Well, it’s hard to fight someone to let them let you help. After our last year the powers that be wanted to drastically alter the program we had spent the last five years building. It was an honor and privilege to help and work at Historic Fort Wayne, and while it was not an easy decision, the time had come to move on, and offer our help to another historical site in need. We never know where the future will take us!"