Journey 266: A Fright at the Opera

This evening I joined my sister Linda at her house to watch an episode of SyFy’s show, Ghost Hunters. The investigative team was in Carthage, MO recently, at the invitation of Keith McBride, owner of the building on the square currently housing McBride’s Antiques on the main level and John Oliver’s, another antique and collectibles shop, in the basement. The former Burlingame & Chaffee Opera House occupied the top floor of the old building, built in the late 1870’s, and is now vacant. Keith and his employees have experienced unusual phenomenon in the building since its purchase three years ago and he hoped to have his experiences validated and new information provided by the team.

ghost hunters opera house

The Ghost Hunters are Jason Hawes and his TAPS team (The Atlanta Paranormal Society): Samantha Hawes, KJ McCormick, Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango and Dustin Pari. Armed with equipment, independent research, and a level-headed, investigative style, the team first interviewed the owner, Keith, and several eye witnesses, and then spread out in the building to gather their own evidence or debunk the accounts. Interestingly, each of the three floors have their own unique activities.

ghost hunters a fright at the opera

In the basement level, witnesses have told of hearing and seeing a young girl, who died with her mother when they were thrown from their carriage and swept beneath the building in flood waters, where they drowned. The main floor most often has reports of the presences of a  child and an older woman, unexplained noises such as footsteps or the sound of objects moving around, and once, according to the owner, a luminous number 3 that appeared on the floor. Exactly 3 months later, to the day, the building next door burned down. The stairwells leading to the top floor have heavy, stagnant energy within them, and Keith told the TAPS team that he felt a great weight on him as he climbed the stairs one evening, making him feel he was going to fall.

ghost hunters opera house staircase

The top floor has reports of specters in old fashioned clothing and the sound of music playing, or a cash register ringing. TAPS carefully explored each section, taking readings with their equipment, listening and observing and documenting their findings. They experienced phenomenon on each floor, that they were able to capture using their various gadgets. The sound of a child crying was recorded in the basement, where the little girl has been seen. On the main floor the team heard the sounds of footsteps, running, when no one was there. They also set up an electronic device that is very sensitive to energy. Jason spoke aloud, asking if anyone or anything was present, and if so, to please tap the device. Immediately, a beep issued forth. He asked how many of his team were present in the room. Three beeps….which was correct, there were three people in the room. If he asked for the device to remain silent, it did. If he asked for beeps, it responded immediately.

On the top floor, music was heard, and bangs and pops emanated from the shadowy corners of the room. Going down one of the stairwells, Jason and a team member heard noises coming up from the main level, which was empty at the time, and experienced heaviness on the landing. When they shared their findings with Mr. McBride, they concluded that there was, indeed, paranormal activity taking place within the building, although they didn’t feel there was malice present.

It was an interesting show, made more so by my own recent visit to McBride’s Antiques. I was able to slowly explore the building and noted heavy energy, and movement in my peripheral vision, especially on the main floor. No matter what one believes about spirit and energy, and I believe in both, having had many, many experiences throughout my life, it was a well done and thought provoking show. I appreciated the low key attitude of the investigators and their desire to find reasonable explanations for what was occurring first. And then, they accepted the reality of what took place. As Arthur Conan Doyle said, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” That works for me!

ghost hunters team