Rural Missouri - October 2010 - (Page 29)

Get in touch with ghosts Step into the paranormal world with a guided tour by Kyle Spradley t is the feeling you get when you walk into a dark room alone. The hair stands up on your neck and a chill runs through your body. You think you hear voices. You know you are alone, but you feel the presence of somebody or something. Whatever you may believe, you might have just had an encounter with the paranormal. A group from New Madrid is hoping to help you take a step into the netherworld and investigate spirits in this potentially haunted Bootheel city. During the second and third Fridays and Saturdays in October, the SEMO Spirit Seekers will lead ghost tours through this river town. Participants learn about the vast history of the area while having the opportunity to experience contact with the dead. Started in 2008, when it held its first tour, the group is a paranormal investigation team made up of local residents with a goal of explaining the unexplained. “What is great about our tour is not only do you get the history of New Madrid and the Civil War, but we allow you to use our ghost-hunting instruments,” says Christina McWaters, New Madrid Chamber of Commerce executive director and organizer of the tours. “You are basically on a paranormal investigation with our team.” McWaters and other SEMO Spirit Seekers will allow tour-goers to use infrared cameras, voice recorders, spot thermometers, K-II readers and the ovilus, a crowd favorite. Most of the team’s instruments record changes in temperature, air pressure and electromagnetic fields, but the ovilus transmits those changes in the form of programmed words that a spirit can use to communicate with the user. The 90-minute walking tour begins at the chamber office with a showcase of evidence collected by the group from previous tours and investigations, including pictures, video and Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), or sounds of the dead recordings. “From our evidence, everyone starts to feel creeped out and become believers,” says McWaters. The tour heads through the dark streets of New Madrid to the levee overlook above the Mississippi I SEMO Spirit Seekers member Jay Walker looks through the viewfinder of his infrared video camera as Christina McWaters uses a K-II reader to detect any ghosts inside the Dixie Theater, the final stop of the New Madrid Ghost Tour. The night-time tour leads guests through historic New Madrid to hear the chilling tales of the town’s past and to be a part of a paranormal investigation team experimenting with instruments used by ghost hunters. River to hear about chilling local tales of the bloody Civil War Battle of Island No. 10, the ax-wielding slave owner and the Christmas Eve murder of a gas station attendant. Next stop on the tour is a walk through the HartStepp House. The house is believed to be haunted by Ruby Hampton and her grandmother, Josephine Hart. At 14, Ruby died during a stay at her grandmother’s house. She fell into a fire while playing in the backyard. Doctors thought she would live, but she died two weeks later in the house. On previous tours, men say they have felt a gentle tug on the ear from what is believed to be the spirit of Mrs. Hart. The final stop on the tour is a walk through the supposedly haunted Dixie Theater, where a shadowy figure has been witnessed on numerous occasions and footsteps heard from the empty upper balcony. “We do not guarantee you will witness any paranormal activity,” says McWaters. “But the more talkative and interactive you are with the spirits, you will have a greater chance to hear the undead.” Tours are scheduled at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23. Reservations are required and tours cost $10 per person. The tours will take place rain or shine. To reserve a spot, contact the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce at 877-748-5300 or for more information visit Interested in the Parnormal? Check out a ghost tour near you. Hannibal • Arrow Rock • St. Louis • Alley Springs Branson • New • Madrid • Ghost and Haunt Tours of Branson Daily, March 1 to Oct. 31 417-423-7812 Lemp Mansion Tours and Overnight Stay, St. Louis Tuesdays and Wednesdays in October 314-664-8024 New Madrid Ghost Tours Oct. 15,16, 22, 23 877-748-5300 Haunting in the Hills at Alley Springs Oct. 9 573-226-3945 Spirits, Shadows and Secrets of Arrow Rock Oct. 30 573-881-0509 Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours Daily with additional tours on weekends 314-494-2918 Members of SEMO Spirit Seekers pose for a portrait with their ghost-hunting tools in front of the haunted Dixie Theater in New Madrid. The historic theater is the last stop on the ghost tour the group is leading in October. From left to right is Maggie Bodi, Christina McWaters, Jay Walker, Melanie Smith, Dickie Bodi and Jami Irvan. OCTOBER 2010 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2010

Rural Missouri - October 2010
Good Times on the Berryman
Elk in Missouri?
Mail Bag
Right-of-Way Management
Out of the Way Eats
Live Like a Viking
Two Men and a Cave
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Paddlin' for a Cure
Get in Touch with Ghosts
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - October 2010