Our Ghost Hunting Trip

Written by Ron:

Greetings and Salutations,

I promised Drew that I would not read Rose’s writing about our excursion to Bobby Mackey’s prior to writing my own. Therefore I’d like to now provide the, for lack of a better term, “skeptic’s view”.

While I had been to Mr. Mackey’s establishment on a few other occasions, this was the first trip to one of the “most haunted places in North America” with a psychic or medium. My friend, Rose. While I certainly didn’t expect to come away from the place with empirical evidence of supernatural activity, I did hope to see at least gather some anecdotal evidence that there was something to all the stories of paranormal sightings.

As we all walked down to the basement, the site of many of the “haunting” experiences, most of us were laughing and enjoying the evening. However, upon entering the “Well Room”, the mood of some of those in our party changed. I noted that Rose had her eyes closed and was backing up slowly. She was obviously upset by something in the room. I immediately began asking her what it was that she was seeing, feeling and/or hearing. However, I could never get a definitive answer. I was instead told, as I was told by others as the night progressed, that they simply “didn’t like it” down there.

We proceeded to other rooms in the basement and I walked and crawled into every space I was allowed to go. Looking for some, or any, form of paranormal activity. I found none. Instead, I noted that even our tour guide was a little frightened as I opened a small door that she said was too scary for her to ever touch. Not surprisingly, nothing happened when I opened this door. It was merely filled with dust and cobwebs, as was most of the dank basement.

We then continued to one of my favorite places in the basement, the old dressing rooms. These rooms were once used by the dancing girls to prepare for their grand entrances through a staircase that no longer exists. It was in one of these rooms that Rose, and others, insisted they could feel something in the air. I thrust my hand into the room hoping to get the warm sensation of air that the others said existed. Unfortunately, the air was no different that any other place in the basement. I even stepped into the room, with Rose, as she told me to feel the pressure around me with my hands. Once again, there was nothing in the air.

I then accompanied Rose back into the “Well Room” on our way out of the basement. Rose was extremely reluctant to go back into this room but I somehow convinced her that it woud be okay. Once there, she seemed a little more calm and we walked over to the “staircase to nowhere”. It was there that she started talking about the use of the staircase and some impressions she was getting about throwing people into the well. When then left and joined the denim clad revelers upstairs.

While this was certainly an enjoyable evening, I must say I remain a non-believer. Perhaps the most illustrative event of the evening was when I asked our guide what a certain strange sound was and she responded by noting it was just the people in the men’s room upstairs. The building which houses Mr. Mackey’s nightclub has a long and storied history, however, I do not believe that it is still inhabited by its former guests and/or residents. Nevertheless, it makes for a great story and a fun place to visit.

In the end, I respect the beliefs and feelings of those who subscribe to paranormal beliefs. However, I still believe that it is the capacity of the human mind that we should explore. The power of suggestion and the intricacies of the subconscious are more fascinating and complex than any “haunted” place. I’m reminded of what Clarence Darrow’s character said in the play “Inherit the Wind”: “There is somehting more sacred in a child’s ability to master the multiplication table than all your holy hosanas”. In other words, perhaps we spend too much time looking for answers from a source other than ourselves.

I would submit that the “haunting” is not in an old building on Route 9, but instead only exists in the mind of the individual.

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