The Diary of a Ghost Hunt

If you’ve lived in Savannah for a certain period of time, it doesn’t matter if you believe in ghosts or not, the paranormal tends to consume part of your life. Our hubris in describing this little Victorian city by the sea, drips like Spanish moss out of our mouths with stories of all the characters we’ve encountered. Ghost stories obviously come with the territory, as with most towns hell bent on sustaining historical folklore, but Savannah, of course, is different. People seem to be irrevocably drawn here by the beauty, the weather, and other abstract forces that when described seem like magical entities all on their own.

 

Ryan Dunn and his wife, Kim, moved here five years ago, intending to start a catering company, but when they settled in an old home in the Historic District, they started experiencing what they considered hauntings. “I have always been attracted to the paranormal, ever since I was a kid,” Dunn tells me as we walk on one of the two ghost tours his company, Afterlife Tours,  puts on Monday through Saturday.

 

There are countless “ghost tours” in Savannah, but Ghost Research Society’s Afterlife Tour is the only one where any kind of research is involved. Spoiler Alert: Most ghost tours you go on in Savannah are peddling made up stories and fake tales of tragedy. Don’t get me wrong– like most tourist ventures, the reason you go on a ghost tour is to be entertained– but Dunn and his group want to bring the eerie facts of our history to life and Savannah’s history is truly stranger than fiction.

 

When Dunn asked me to participate in one of their many overnight investigations, this time at the newly christened Barrelhouse South on Congress Street, I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive to accept, but after giving myself a pep talk on journalistic integrity, I agreed to at least understand better how they go about gathering evidence- ghosts be damned.

 

GHOST HUNTING STARTER KIT

So you want to ghost hunt?

Communicating with spirits can be as easy as turning on your phone's voice recorder and sequestering yourself to a quiet, creepy place, but if you want to investigate like the professionals, we recommend picking up some of these gadgets.

 

1. K-11

Also detects electromagnetic fields but is more sensitive.  Dunn called them "ghost bait" as they can also be placed inside trigger objects like Teddy bears.

 

2. THERMAL CAM

A point and shoot thermal imaging camera that can also take thermal snapshots.

 

3. A TRUSTY FLASHLIGHT

We know you're not afraid of the dark (right?) but keeping a flashlight on you at all times is good for peace of mind.

 

4. REM-POD

Used to pick up electromagnetic energy by radiating its own electromagnetic field.

 

5. MEL METER

Detects electromagnetic fields and usually has a temperature gauge as there is almost always a drop in temperature when you encounter a "presence."

 

6. WALKIE TALKIES

Don't go at it alone.  You need to have constant communication with your crew while you're out in the field.

 

7. EM PUMP

Provides certain energy to help manifest spirits and help them communicate.

 

GET THESE AND OTHER GHOST HUNTING GEAR AT GHOSTSTOP.COM.

To read more of Emma Iocovozzi’s thrilling ghost adventure, pick up the April/May issue of South magazine.