Experiencing a ghost, and knowing it, for the first time, is quite an experience. I had a young man tell me once that, "Before the Ghost Walk, I did not believe in ghosts. After the Ghost Tour I did, but in a different way than I expected." I believe most people are tainted by some of the
The thing that I have found out over the years of giving Ghost Tours is that, when I first started believing in ghosts, about 80% of what I thought I was experiencing was a fudgement of my imagination and only 20% was actually happening for real. Now after the years of continuous Ghost Tours each week, I feel that number has reversed. My mind still plays with me 20% of the time, but 80% of the time it is real. In encourage people to come to experience the ghosts Barstow and the Mojave Desert, but keep in mind, it's not a dog and pony show. The ghosts don't perform on demand and we all applaud. If they wish to communicate with us either physically, audibly, or visually, they will....... And if they don't, they won't. (Okay.....sorry, enough of the preaching.)
The ghosts can be commonly experienced in four different ways which I will talk about. Most ghostly experiences are selective. This means that just a few people in the group will experience the spirit, not everybody. Sorry.
I will talk about "some", but not all, of the feelings that are most common while experiencing a ghost.
The "chill" is by far the most common feeling we experience. It definitely wakes you up when you get it, and it's not because it's cold out. It can also be related to a tingling feeling that can happen anywhere in your body. Most people experience it in their hands and arms. It is usually accompanied by a stat icy feeling with the hairs on your arms sticking out. Sometimes when we give the Ghost Tours in the summer nights, the temperatures are still around 95 to 100 degrees at 10 pm. I don't think that you'd be getting a chill from the cold then. The "chill" (or tingling) that we experience is stronger and more distinctive than a breezy, cold temperature chill.
The "thickness" is something you have to experience to really understand. The closest that I can describe it is like a thickness in the air, yet it is not hard to breath or anything like that. The air is just like.......heavy or something. You sometimes also get the feeling of (I love my wife's description of this) standing between two magnets with the same polarity. It's weird..........not scary...........just weird.
The feeling of a "touch" has become more common lately in the past year or so. The tap on the shoulder, the light pat on the top of the head, or even the tug on the tail of your shirt. In several areas, we even have what seems to be, a small child about 3 or 4 years old, hug your leg or take hold of your hand as you stand or walk. We believe that this is just the small spirit saying, "Hey! I'm here!". This is quite a heart warming experience.
Audibles, simply put, are things that you hear. Ghosts are trying to communicate with you by sound, either voice or noise. The strange thing is that, at least in my experiences, I have never been able to actually understand a word that the ghosts are trying to say audibly. When we have heard a voice (clearly a voice), and yes it has even been on several Ghost Tours, the several syllables have been ........shall I say, unintelligible. Clearly it was a voice, but you couldn't understand the words. It makes you want to say back, "Pardon me?"
Smells are interesting because they seam to be more distinct than some of the other experiences. Smells also seem to be experienced by more people in the group. Sometimes when we would be walking by the Print Shop or next door where Joes Saloon used to stand at Calico Ghost Town. People will say that it smells like horses. (Sometimes this accompanied by the sound of horses too.) Well this is where the old stagecoach stop used to be at Calico. People will also bring to my attention the sweet smell of perfume by the Park Office. This used to be the Red Light District of Calico.
Sightings..................Where do we start? For ghosts to actually materialize, it takes a lot of energy. The amount of energy that they can draw will determine how far they materialize. The materialization can be anything from a spot of light (an Orb) , to a faint cloud of light, to a full materialization. A full materialization is where the ghost looks absolutely alive and well like you and me. The ghosts need to draw this energy from somewhere and so they search an energy source. Electricity is the easiest source. I feel, as funny as it sounds, they prefer DC over AC, but it is just preferred, not required. Electrical power lines, transformer boxes, and outlets can supply usable amounts of AC power. As far as DC power, cell phones, watches, camera batteries, electric assistance vehicles, and the human body............yes the human body. Did you know our body gives of enough electrical energy to light a small light bulb. When a ghost gets energy from a source, the energy source is sometimes completely drained. Yep, the batteries go dead. This happens quite often on our Ghost Tours (which also helps to keep the cell phones from ringing in the middle of a tour). When the Ghosts use me to draw their energy during a Ghost Walk, my energy is really drained and I get tired very quickly. When I get up the next morning, I call it the "Ghost Tour hangover". Okay, now I'm rambling.........I'll get back to the point.
The sightings we experience on our Ghost Tours can be just a short glimpse out of the side of your eye to something straight on visible and for a long while. I had one sighting with a group of six people that lasted 15 minutes. It was really cool! (You'll have to go on a Ghost Tour to hear about that one!)
We also have "shadow people" which are ghosts that appear as a shadow. The interesting thing is that if the shadow person is appearing next to another shadow, usually from the moonlight, the shadow person's shadow is slightly darker than the real shadow. This happened at the school house one night during a tour. I was standing with my shadow against the side of the building with a couple of other shadows from people on the tour. One person on the tour happened to notice there were more shadows than people. When we all took note of this, one shadow disappeared. (These people are now in counseling.....Not really, just kidding.) Shadow people seem to be watchers and are shy for some reason. If you stand and watch them too long, they will know that you are watching them and they will move into another shadow to hide or just whisk away.