Ghostly tales from Muncy
MUNCY – Do you believe in ghosts? Apparently, according to members of the Heart of Pennsylvania Paranormal Society, there are some pretty good hot spots here in Lycoming County. Through the use of their video and audio equipment, the group was able to pick up sounds and digital images that signify an outside worldly presence. The group likes to explore old cemeteries and homes. Several sightings have been experienced at the renowned Alvira village in Allenwood explained Muncy investigator, Laura Waltz, to a standing room only crowd at the Muncy Library last Tuesday night. “The place is an old ghost town filled with cemeteries, foundations and an old bunker,” she said.
Alvira became a ghost town after the people were evicted by eminent domain when the government seized properties and 8500 acres of land to build a TNT factory and an ammunition storage facility. “We had a lot of angry farmers back then,” Waltz said, “And those farmers are still around.” 163 farms were affected.
There are 3 cemeteries, 2 old church foundations and several house foundations still remaining. Tomb stones date back to the early 1800’s. Early fall is a good time to visit if you are interested in ghost hunting, but be sure to clear it first with the Washington Presbyterian Church foundation or the Montgomery Historical Society. “Never go on public or private property without first notifying someone, and never go alone,” explained members of the group who had maps of the Alvira location.
“We only investigate areas already investigated to validate the findings or to train. We look for areas by word of mouth or by contacts from clients,” Waltz said. She showed the group a recent video with sound recordings of a bedroom closet from an old home in New Columbia where a 9 year old boy was complaining of sounds in the night. After the group investigated it, they did indeed, find something. “A voice not of mine, said ‘Get out’ while I was there and I got it on tape,” said Waltz.
Presentations and investigations are free of cost to the client. IR cameras and digital recorders check out claims to paranormal activity.
More detailed sightings about Alvira, the ghost town, are available at their website along with other paranormal groups.
When ghost hunting, look for signs like flipping shades, flickering lights, or feeling of being touched say the ghost hunters. “Put the signs together. You could coax a ghost to leave,” John Herr added. The investigators can identify the spirit or a ghost but they are not exorcists they told the group. “Do the research first. Know where you are going and why. Know the back story before assuming,” said member Cindy Snyder. “Get permission before going into abandoned houses.”
Cameras are all are Sony with Nightshot. One is digital, two are DVD recorders, and the others are all analog. “Night vision video cameras work best. They make better connections,” said John Herr who demonstrated how the wireless camera system works. Have good sensors on the cameras being used. Close ups and descriptions can be seen on their website of all equipment at www.hoppsghosthunters,com. Herr who is also from Muncy has been active with the organization since its inception in October 2008.
HOPPS is now an official member of the Ghost Adventures Crew (GAC). “You know these guys from the Travel Channel (Zak, Nick, and Aaron) who do the lockdowns and document their experiences for their show “Ghost Adventures”,” Waltz added. “We received confirmation on Sept 27th, so we can list ourselves as members now and associate ourselves with them legally.”
“There are no experts in the field but we belong to a network of other paranormal groups and often use each other’s expertise to eliminate the plausible and extract that which is not,” said member, Cindy Snyder who saw her first ghost when she was a child growing up in a haunted house in Easton. She now writes about local ghost stories.
“Anyone can do this. You must be eager and very patient,” Waltz said.
Night time is best. There are changes in temperature and manifestations usually happen at night when it is easier to draw and release energy. “It is like a static charge,” said Herr.
Muncy is a great place to explore for ghosts. There are many old places and haunted tales passed on over the years. Jacci Sutton who lives in an old farmhouse just outside of Muncy noted that she has seen ghostly pictures of farmers walking the fields. “I have lived there for 15 years and the property still has lingering spirits. The original farm burned down and family members were lost,” said Sutton.
Lurie Bay, director of the Muncy Library, replied that a former employee said that the Muncy Library has a ghost in the attic. “But I’m not about to go up there and find out,” she chided. Could it be William Penn’s daughter?