When I heard that there was an opportunity to do an expedition in Brigham City, naturally I asked my brother Zack to come with me.
Robyn wasn't exactly excited about me going. She heard the word 'ghost' and decided she should be scared. She let me know that under no circumstances was I allowed to bring any ghosts home with me. I told her I would do my best. Of course, we all know how likable I am, so it does make sense that they would all want to follow me home to spend more time together.
We arrived at the Baron Woolen Mill in Brigham City, Utah. It was built by the LDS Church in the late 1800s and was later purchased by the Baron family. It continued to operate privately until 2002 when it was abandoned.
It has never looked as good as it did when I was in front of it.
We walked in where we met Tom, the owner of Wasatch Paranormal Investigators.
I had no idea what to expect. I wasn't even sure if I believed in ghosts. My religion teaches that there is life after death and that there are spirits of those who have passed on. However, that doesn't mean I'm not skeptical about those who claim to have contact with the other side.
Zack voiced this skepticism (that he also shared) to Tom and asked him what we should do if we are skeptical but want to be believers.
"Just keep an open mind." was Tom's advice.
I consider myself pretty open minded. I think that's something I can do.
The first hour was spent with Tom. He gave us some history of the Baron Woolen Mill. He told us the stories of the 4 known deaths that have happened here. He explained to us what exactly it is that we would be doing. Finally, a man named Fred, and his wife Tracy, arrived. They were to be our guides as we toured the mill. The 3 remaining hours were divided up between 3 parts of the mill. One hour in each.
The first hour was in the main building of the mill. This was the largest of the 3 areas and had the most to look at. I commented to Fred that even without ghost hunting, it was worth the 15 dollar admission to get to explore the ruin of an abandoned mill. I thought it was super cool.
This section was also where I took the most pictures.
The vent on the boiler
This is the room where they stored the coal for the furnace.
They placed these flashlights here and asked the ghosts to turn them on. They actually turned on and off. The first time it happened it blew my mind. I told Fred that and he was very excited. By the end of the night, it was old news because it happened so many times.
This is the "Ghost Meter Pro". It detects electromagnetic fields. You ask the ghosts questions and they can flash the lights to answer. We told them to do once for yes and twice for no.
This room was for processing the wool. The big things would suck up the wool and do something magical with it.
Zack tried out the divining rods. We weren't convinced that they did much.
That first area was super huge, so we spent a lot of time exploring and not tons of time "hunting". However, we did familiarize ourselves with the equipment, which helped us on the rest of the hunt. (I'm not gonna lie, the equipment made me feel a little bit like a ghost buster.)
The second area was a smaller building that had been used primarily for storing the wool and some of the equipment. We wandered through a little bit and then they told us they were gonna do some stuff with candles and flashlights. This was the area that made me come pretty close to being a believer. (I'm too much of a skeptic to be an all the way believer, until I can verify that nothing I saw was faked.)
I know the above picture is terrible. We were sitting in pitch black. They lit 3 candles and placed a flashlight on the table. This is my excellent iphone shot of the setup.
What happened next was impressive. I'm not gonna lie. They asked the ghost to blow out the middle candle. A wind filled the room, but only the middle candle blew out.
Fred looked at me and asked, "How is your mind now?"
I wish I had caught that on video. But after that, I started taking video. They asked the ghost to turn on the flashlight, and the light turned on. I actually got several videos of that, like I said earlier, that quickly became old news. My videos are kind of lame, though, because it was so dark. You can just see points of light coming on and off.
We relit the candle and asked them to do it again. The little ghost pro devices kept saying "no" whenever we asked them. I guess ghosts get tired.
We then went to our final area.
This was an outdoor enclosure. I actually don't even know what its purpose was during the mill days. They setup this laser grid so that we could see any movement in the dark. We all took turns walking through it because it looked really cool to see figures moving.
I should have turned off the flash for this picture, so you could see the laser points better.
We sat and talked for a bit. This area supposedly has a little boy who was killed in the mill. Our guides offered the little boy some licorice. He said yes through the ghost meter.
I asked our guide, "What does he do with the licorice?" She said she's not sure. Perhaps they can still taste or smell food. Then she said the best thing of the whole night: "I can't imagine not having bacon in the next world."
Important life lesson: Bacon is the best part of this life, it's probably the best part of the next.
As time went on, they said the little boy likes to run around. They asked him to "run through the pretty lights for us". This is where the last fragment of my sanity left me. I saw a figure running back and forth through the lasers. It wasn't a full bodied form. I couldn't necessarily see the shape of a person, but there was definitely movement. If there was any trace of my mind that hadn't already been blown to pieces, that finished the job.
Soon after that, there was a glowing light, almost like an orb, that I saw for about a half second. One of the other ladies with us pointed it out. The guides tried to debunk it. They said that other tour groups were on the other side of the wall, and it was probably flashes from their cameras.
The problem was that we had seen camera flashes, and they were much higher on the wall than this light. The whole group got up and walked down to the end to investigate. I was sitting there by myself with the ghost pro device. I asked, "Did you cause the light?" The device said yes.
That was the last exciting thing that happened. Soon our time was over, and it was time to make the long, late night drive home.
In the end, I can't explain all the things I saw. Certainly there are ways to fake many of the things. Some of them would be pretty elaborate for the 15 dollars I spent, but I can't prove it wasn't an elaborate show.
At this point, I don't know what I believe. I definitely saw things that expanded my reality. Is it possible I was completely duped? Yes. And if so, they put on a show that was worth much more than my 15 dollars.
The final verdict: I'm doing this again. For science.