Fall, Is That You I Smell?


I don’t know what it is but, although it’s just the beginning of August, I can feel the Fall in the air! No, it’s not the Fall and Halloween decor that adorns the aisles of big box retailers with the likes of Michael’s and Target or the neon green Spirit Halloween banner that just screamed LOOK AT ME! as we drove past it. Nor was it the cost of one iced coffee, a hot coffee and five chocolate Munchkins which amounted to a total of $6.66 – mere coincidences and constant reminders of what is just around the corner.

Those that know me know that all things scary and horror is the key to my heart, so it’s no surprise that my wife is wont to catch me listening to paranormal podcasts as they serve as bedtime stories for me or watching a horror movie – the reason why I am usually watching a movie by my lonesome. Let’s just say that she does not share my love of all things scary. Understandably. I’m always in search of something different and not-so mainstream and am also in the hunt for a hidden gem to catch me by surprise; indie films are the way to go.

I recently found a movie titled, The Blackwell Ghost. With little in the way of information on the film as there is not much out there in the interwebs, I was taking the risk of wasting my time with this. Fortunately, it had a run time of 59 minutes. Challenge – accepted! And boy, was I glad!

I’m not saying that this was the next Paranormal Activity, but I would have to say that it was pretty entertaining. The acting was pretty decent, and there was an air of creepiness about the whole film; it put me in the right state of mind to get myself all geared up for the upcoming season of ghosts and ghouls. What was key, in my opinion, was its simplicity. There were no in your face jump scares and fancy (or poor) special effects to take you out of the experience, especially since the filmmaker claims that he is a documentarian out to prove the existence of ghosts. We all know what happens when the existence of the paranormal is questioned, they are usually apt to get answers and not the cute, fun loving types either which tend to make for a fun experience for us, the viewer, to partake in.

This feeling brings a lot of memories and things that I miss, one of which includes my time investigating purported haunted houses in search of all things paranormal – ghosts! Ok, so maybe I did not investigate and wasn’t actually part of a team. I was the cameraman who recorded said events. It was part of an online TV show that I was a part of as a member of the crew as videographer and editor. We visited (and investigated) such places like a Masonic Lodge in Poughkeepsie, NY, The Burn Brae Mansion in Glen Spey, NY (check out a short video on it in my vid page titled Paranormal Opening), Miss Fanny’s Victorian Party House in Wappingers Falls, NY and a painting school here in the Hudson Valley.

I can’t say that anything happened, or none that I experienced at least. The closest thing to experiencing anything paranormal was when we were gearing up for the night at the Burn Brae Mansion and checking all the equipment when the unmistakable sound of a piano came over the airwaves. Interference? Perhaps. Still, it made for a rather creepy experience being in this old mansion in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere! One of the reported hauntings involved an occupant who often enjoyed smoking cigars in the parlor while his wife played the piano. Did we hear the ghost of said man’s wife playing the piano from beyond the dead? I’d say it was interference. Whatever it was, it made us giddy!

There was also that time when my wife and I sat in on a lecture by a demonologist. No, not the Warrens but a priest who was “trained” in battling the soldiers of the Devil himself! [gulp] He gave a brief history of demonology, played an audio recording of a purported exorcism that he participated in companioned with evidence in the form of a photograph taken of the house with the actual photo of the demon! Ok, so the photo showed a black shadow in the living room – hardly concrete evidence of a demon. Still, along with the audio, it made for a spine-tingling story! 

After the lecture, there was a raffle that would grant the winners to go on an impromptu ghost hunt at the University where the lecture was being held. The story- the college’s radio station was haunted. By what? Who knows. But, that was the story. Low and behold, my wife and I were one of the lucky winners. We walked down the quiet halls of the University on a cool, dark night all the while listening to the demonologist share more of his experiences on the subject. This, I enjoyed!

We made it to the radio station, took a few readings using a thermometer and an EMF detector. Nothing unusual. We did a brief EVP session, played it back and heard… nothing. And, that was a wrap! We left the premises and walked out to a chilly Autumn night with lots to talk about. This is what I look forward to this coming Fall – this and other experiences like that time I nearly ran over a shadow (what?!), or that other time where there was a Nightmare on my Steet! I’m getting excited just thinking about it!


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