Ghost Hunters unlock Cabrini’s haunted past

By Jessica Johnson-Petty
October 26, 2011

Many have heard of the haunting of the Woodcrest Estate, specifically the Woodcrest Mansion. The Ghost Hunters took over and taught students how to find exactly what they were looking for, the spirits of Mary and Xavier, the prohibited young lovers.

“Everyone had a ghost story,” Dwayne Claud, ghost hunter and demonologist, said. “But everyone is too scared to tell it, because they were scared of what people would say.”

The night began in Grace Hall Atrium with approximately 200 hundred students gathered to hear the introductions.

The audience was educated on three different ghost types: the dark shadows, the incubus and the possession.

The dark shadow hovers on the ground in a black-colored shadow. Individuals as young as 5 have experienced seeing a face in a shadow.  The incubus is a sexual demon. This type of spirit has been heard to whisper ‘give them penis’ after females have spoken. The possession takes over the body, changing voices and speeding up speech.

There are different kinds of encounters that individuals have with ghosts. Each way is individual and unique. Ultimately, “there’s no way to explain it,” Claud said.

By using ghost boxes, an audio set that scans frequencies that allowed them to ask questions, as well as other professional tools, students were sent on a mission. The mission was to find ghosts. They were encouraged to use their cameras with flashes, voice recorders and all senses to see, especially feel, if something paranormal took place.

When the lecture adjourned, the group split up into three groups. At this time, people who were not comfortable were told to leave and the head count dropped to approximately 135 participants.

The walk from Grace Hall to the Mansion had people spooked. The women’s field hockey team stayed close together, friends were linked arm-in-arm, and people paced themselves to assure that they were not the last in the pack.

The groups split immediately. The five locations covered in the Mansion were the basement, boiler room and hallway, the foyer and the infamous balcony where Mary ‘jumped’ and the hallway on the third floor.

There was a great amount of disappointment in the midst. People where taking the event as a joke.

“It’s upsetting,” Alana Fazio, sophomore early childhood education major, said. “People don’t really care. I don’t think that anyone will experience things tonight because there are too many people and many don’t believe in it.”

This held true. When the groups were smaller, no larger than nine people, people experienced things. In larger groups where there was a majority of playing around, there was no sign of any activity.

The basement and the foyer had the most activity for the night.

Rachel Knaub, freshman graphic design major, and Katie Loynds, freshman undecided major, were ones in a smaller group who experienced a lot of activity.

Knaub and Loynds described the ghost in the basement as a friendly, nice spirit that was not trying to bring any harm. Because someone gave the Ouija board  negative energy, the hall of the basement was “alerted.”

On the other hand, Peter Morrison, senior Spanish education major, was able to contact his grandfather through the spirit for about an hour-and-a-half. He started off by asking the spirit if it was anyone who once lived in the house. After a series of questions, Morrison learned that it was his grandfather. For proof, he asked about the spirit’s wife and daughter. Morrison recalled the spirit leading him to objects that began with the same letters as his kin’s first names. Before Morrison closed the conversation with the spirit, he felt a touch on his back that sent chills down his spine. He described it as “the weirdest feeling of my life.”

After it was all said and done, the crowd slowly dispersed. While some people came alone, there was not a single person heading back to the residence halls or parked cars alone.

“Kinda makes you think twice about what’s in your closet, doesn’t it?” Claud said.

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Jessica Johnson-Petty

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