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After stepping into the room, Teresa stopped and took in a deep breath of cold air to help calm herself.
Using the night vision of the handheld DVR, she was easily able to see every detail of the room. Nothing stood out to her as being threatening or even out of place. It looked like a perfectly normal hotel room.
Following the example of what Kerry had done earlier, Teresa set her DVR aside and took�the audio recorder off her belt and turned it on.
"This is Teresa Hinton, I'm here with Kerry in room thirty-three fifty-seven. Kerry got an elevated EMF reading from this room so I'm investigating. We haven't seen or heard anything, but I'm going to do an EVP just in case." Teresa said before placing the audio recorder on a side table.
"What is your name?" Teresa asked carefully.
As Kerry had done, she waited for a long moment to give whatever might be inclined to answer the opportunity to do so. A sudden flash startled her, but she didn't have to look behind her to know that Kerry was taking pictures with the still camera.
"Why are you here?" Teresa asked carefully, then realized that she didn't remember what else Kerry had asked.
She waited another moment, then quietly asked, "Did you leave anyone behind?"
Suddenly feeling vulnerable, standing in complete darkness, she went back to the DVR, easily able to find it from the little bit of light from the viewfinder screen.
"Are you lonely?" Teresa asked as she picked up the DVR and did a relatively slow scan of the room.
She realized that she couldn't think of anything more to ask, so she simply said, "Thank you for your time. Peace and good rest to you."
She waited another moment, then went to the side table and picked up the recorder.
When she looked back toward the doorway, she saw Kerry watching her with a smile on his face.
"I didn't get anything." She said as she approached him.
"We won't know that for sure until we do the evidence review. You'll be surprised at how many things we can find." Kerry said encouragingly.
"Maybe you aren't crazy after all." Teresa grudgingly admitted.
"The jury's still out on that one." Kerry said with a smile, then added, "Thanks for giving it a chance. I enjoy being able to share this with you."
Teresa moved next to her husband and gave him a firm hug.
"Let's go back to our 'hot spot' and see if anything's going on."
"Do you think that the girls are alright?"
"I'm sure they're fine."
Toni was careful to keep Zoe within view at all times as her younger sister led the way down the hallway.
When they finally reached a camera on a tripod in the middle of the hallway, Toni quietly said, "Mom and Dad must be investigating the rest of their area. Let's go back."
"Where are we going?" Zoe asked as she turned her camera so she could see her sister.
"Do you remember where we set up our camera? We need to go back there." Toni said simply.
"That's a long way." Zoe said unenthusiastically.
"You've done a great job and been a lot of help, you don't have to do any more if you're too tired. Since we're already here, we can call Mom and Dad on the walkie-talkie and they'll probably be here in just a minute." Toni said honestly.
"No. I'm not too tired." Zoe said firmly.
"Okay, then. Lead the way."
"Which way do you want to go?" Malika whispered as they stepped out of room 3133.
"Let's go check out the E wing. Once we're done with that, we can go ahead and check out the rest of the F wing." Lorra said decisively then turned her DVR toward Malika to see if she agreed.
"Yeah." Malika said uncertainly.
That being decided, Lorra triggered her K2 meter and slowly started walking, paying careful attention to every detail of what was ahead of them.
"Do you think that we're going to be the only team to not find any ghosts?" Malika asked anxiously.
"I don't know. Why would you think that?" Lorra asked cautiously, maintaining the majority of her focus on her night vision camera and her K2 meter.
"Well, since we've kinda debunked our 'hot spot'... what are the chances that we'll find something else?" Malika asked quietly.
"Actually, I'd say that the chances are pretty good. First of all, this is a really old building, so I bet that there's more than one ghost hanging around here, just waiting for us to notice him. Second, you've got to remember that ghosts like us... I mean they really like us. We're both thirteen years old and we're girls. We're like their favorite food." Lorra said expressively.
"I really wish you wouldn't put it like that." Malika said honestly.
Lorra laughed, then said, "Alright. Let's just say that our psychic energy is some of their favorite food. That means that if we only find the tiniest little speck of a ghost, between us we'll be able to supercharge him and hopefully catch him on camera or video or on an audio recorder."
"Yeah. I guess you're right." Malika reluctantly agreed, then cautiously asked, "Are you getting anything on the K2?"
"Not a thing."
Charity followed along as Max led the way.
As they turned the corner where the E wing became the F wing, Max took an unexpected turn and opened the door to a supply closet.
"What are you sensing in here?" Charity cautiously asked.
"Forbidden love." Max said as he walked deeper into the room.
Once she was inside, Charity realized that it wasn't a simple linen closet, as she had first assumed but instead, a rather large room with all manner of cleaning equipment and supplies.
"What else can you tell me?" Charity quietly prompted.
"This is the only place that they could meet. This was their escape, their refuge." Max said distantly.
"Who? Max, can you tell me who they are?" Charity implored.
"On second thought, it was more forbidden than it was love. They were both caught up in the thrill of doing something they weren't supposed to. The danger was their passion." Max said thoughtfully.
"Who?" Charity asked seriously.
"Momo... that's the only name I can get. It's a nickname, I think." Max said slowly.
"Can you see when?" Charity asked as she slowly panned around the room to see if she could detect anything out of the ordinary.
"A long time ago... 1850, maybe. I can't be sure." Max said carefully, then added, "If it hadn't been forbidden, they wouldn't have had anything in common. Defiance, danger and rebellion were the foundations of their relationship."
"That doesn't sound like a lot to work with." Charity said frankly.
"It was glorious." Max said with a serene smile as he finally turned his attention in her direction.
"Are you back with me?" Charity asked to confirm.
"Yes. I'm sorry if I got lost in it for a minute. It's easy to lose myself in the sights, sounds and emotions washing over me." Max tried to explain.
"Are you up to doing an EVP session?" Charity asked cautiously.
"I'm fine. But I don't know how much luck we'll have. I think that what I was getting was residual." Max said thoughtfully.
"Still, it's all we've got so far. It won't hurt to try." Charity said as she took the digital audio recorder off her belt and turned it on.
"Timecheck: Charity and Max, E and F wing supply closet." Max said dutifully.
"What is your name?" Charity asked firmly.
Max closed his eyes and concentrated on sensing anything around them.
"What years were you here?" Charity asked carefully.
Slowly, Max began to shake his head.
"What was your lover's name?" Charity asked as she slowly scanned around the supply room for any sign of activity.
"There's no consciousness here with us." Max said frankly.
"Thank you. Go in peace." Charity said before turning off the audio recorder.
As Alana walked down the hallway of the A wing, she had a slight sensation of vertigo and it appeared that the far end of the hallway was getting farther away rather than nearer the more she walked.
Her thoughts were cloudy and her heart felt like it was trying to beat it's way out of her chest.
Every instinct that she had was telling her to run to safety; either run back to the room where she had left Marsha, or back to the conference room with its heat and light.
As her foggy mind was struggling to cope with the wildly meandering thoughts, she finally reached the end of the hallway, which culminated in a semi-circular array of doors.
Alana wasn't sure if she should be relieved that she had accomplished this part of her overall goal, or if she should panic at the realization that she had nowhere to run.
As she struggled to calm herself and make logical sense of what she was feeling, she heard a man's voice faintly whisper, "I got you."
"Why are you waiting?" Van asked cautiously when he noticed Hunter lagging behind.
"What if our 'hot spot' is actually hot now?" Hunter asked apprehensively.
"I guess it could be." Van said simply.
"Do you think that it might be worse than the 'get out' one we just left?"
"Probably not. Alana said that people just feel 'a disturbing presence' in this room. We can handle that, no problem." Van said as he inserted the master key into the door.
Hunter put a hand on his arm to stop him from opening it, then quietly asked, "What exactly is 'a disturbing presence' supposed to mean?"
"People who stay in this room feel uncomfortable, paranoid or afraid. They usually either end up leaving the hotel or requesting another room. That's nothing. It's creepy feelings. We can handle it." Van said confidently.
"Well, I guess if that's how it is, then our 'hot spot' isn't half as bad as the room that we accidentally found on our own." Hunter said as he fought down his nervousness.
"Yeah. This is gonna be a piece of cake." Van said encouragingly, then added, "Besides, we didn't feel anything when we were in here before, setting up the camera."
After a moment to gather his courage, Hunter finally said, "Right. I guess I'm ready."
"I'll go first. Have your DVR ready." Van said, wanting to take some of the pressure off of Hunter.
"Don't worry. I got your back." Hunter said, sounding a little bit more like his usual carefree self.
"I'll hold you to that." Van said with a grin as he opened the door and stepped inside.
Hunter was about to follow, but stopped in his tracks when Van backed into him and whispered, "Get back."
"Kyla? Are you getting this on your handheld?" Jack asked as he snapped multiple pictures.
"You need to get away from it." Kyla whispered as tears slid down her cheeks.
"What you're sensing is frightening you. I need for you to shield yourself and record this!" Jack snapped.
Kyla was stunned by her husband's forceful tone and fought against her natural instincts to will her logical mind to override what every molecule of her being was telling her to do.
"I'm going to need to talk to the owner of this place to see if we'd be allowed to collect a sample of the pigment." Jack said as he moved even closer to examine the shadowy figure in the painting.
"Jack!" Kyla yelped.
"What?!" Jack barked with irritation.
"I can't block it. I can't hide from it. It's seen me." Kyla whimpered, then dashed out of the room.
Jack glanced toward the door, then back at the painting and was shocked to see that the shadow figure in the painting now had two pinpoint glowing white eyes.
"Are you okay?" Derek asked cautiously as he took quick stock of the equipment that Mike and Norville were carrying.
"Yeah. It just freaked me out a little bit. I wasn't expecting anything like that." Mike said as he tried to calm himself, then thought to ask, "Does stuff like that happen all the time?"
"Nope. Beginner's luck." Derek assured him, then motioned for Mike and Norville to start walking.
Since they were walking away from the room, Mike cautiously asked, "Are we going to place the other camera now?"
"No. We're going back to the command center. Since we know that the first room has activity, we need to be sure that the wireless camera connected the way that it was supposed to and that it's recording." Derek explained reasonably.
"So, if nothing had happened in there, you wouldn't be going back right now?" Mike asked to confirm.
"Yeah. If we placed the camera and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary in the room, then I would have gone to place the other one, then back to the command center to check on them both at once. But since we know the location is active, I don't want to take the chance of missing a single minute of footage."
"Are you alright, Norville?" Mike thought to ask.
"Yeah. I'm fine. I guess from the way the ghost scared you, that that's probably why my pa didn't want me going in there." Norville said cautiously.
"It sounds like your pa's a good man who just wants to protect you." Mike said with a quick smile at him.
"Sometimes, I feel bad because I don't get to go places and do things. But Pa says that someone like me needs to be someplace where things are easy to understand and don't change too much. He says that the world away from here is busy and fast and loud and that people don't have time to care about each other or help someone who needs it." Norville said carefully.
"Yeah. Pretty much." Derek said frankly.
"You know, I think you could probably do alright out in the outside world if you had people to help you." Mike said thoughtfully.
"Everyone I know lives here."
Conversation faltered after that.
Although Mike tried to maintain his focus on the paranormal situation that they were embroiled in, he couldn't help but keep flashing back on what options might be open to Norville in the world away from the hotel.
"How do we know if anything's happened while we've been gone?" Teresa asked as they approached the stationary camera that they had positioned in the hallway before they left to investigate the rest of their assigned area.
"Well, if we have someone in Tech to monitor the live feed, they'll usually spot something as it's happening so we can react to it immediately. But in a case like this, we just look around to see if there are any signs that anything's changed while we've been away." Kerry explained.
"It sounds like not having someone watching Tech is a missed opportunity for your investigation." Teresa said reasonably.
"It's convenient to have someone stationed in Tech, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he's just sitting there waiting for something to happen and nothing does. Making sure that we have all the tools that we need and helping us to organize and evaluate the evidence is the bigger part of the job." Kerry said frankly, then turned on his flashlight.
"Don't you need to keep that off?" Teresa asked cautiously.
"I'll only have it on for a minute. I'm just checking the equipment. It looks like nothing's happened while we've been gone, so why don't we go ahead and stop in one of these rooms so that maybe we'll hear what the hotel guests reported hearing?" Kerry asked reasonably.
"Which room?" Teresa asked as she turned on her own flashlight and looked at the nearest doors.
"Pick any room you like." Kerry said as he turned off his flashlight, satisfied that the camera was working as it should be.
Teresa walked to room 3312 and used the master key to open the door. By the time she had the door open, Kerry was at her side.
"What happens now?" Teresa asked in a whisper as the door closed behind them.
"Probably not much." Kerry said frankly, then explained, "According to Alana, no one's ever seen anything, but there have been several reports of knocking and..."
Kerry suddenly went silent at the sound of running footsteps in the hall.
"Everything looks fine. I don't think anyone's messed with it." Toni said as she looked over the wireless DVR.
"What do we do now?" Zoe asked uncertainly as she looked around the 'cul de sac' with her night vision camera.
"If you want to, we can do like we did in the hallway and do an EVP session." Toni said simply, then thought to add, "Why don't you sit down over here where the wireless camera can see what you're doing? That way if something happens, we'll be sure that it gets recorded."
"Is there a ghost here?" Zoe asked as she turned her camera toward her sister to see her expression.
Toni took the K2 meter off her belt and turned it on as she said, "I don't know, yet. According to Alana, there's supposed to be one around here. While I'm taking readings, why don't you get your audio recorder turned on and get your still camera ready? As soon as you've got everything set up, we can try talking to the ghosts and see if they'll show up to answer."
"Is this ghost like Daniel and Benjamin?" Zoe asked as she took the digital audio recorder off her belt and turned it on.
"That's one of the things that we're here to figure out." Toni stated simply.
Zoe snapped a picture, then looked at the output on the little viewscreen.
While she was examining the picture, Toni finished her preliminary sweep of the area, then moved in front of the stationary camera and sat down beside her sister.
"What now?" Zoe asked cautiously.
"First off, you tell the audio recorder who we are, what we're doing and why we're doing it. That way, when we go back to look at all the evidence, we'll know which pieces go where." Toni suggested.
Homing in on the little red light, Zoe picked up the digital audio recorder and carefully said, "This is Zoe and Toni. We're doing a VVP in case there's any ghosts here."
"It's an EVP, but besides that, you did it just right. Do you want to go ahead and ask the ghost some questions?" Toni asked encouragingly.
"Yeah." Zoe said happily, then asked into the recorder, "What's your name?"
Toni took the opportunity to slowly scan around the room with her DVR to try and spot any activity.
"Is this a fun place?" Zoe asked earnestly.
Toni, still looking through her DVR, looked at her K2 meter and found that it wasn't reading anything at all.
"Is there anyone here besides you?" Zoe asked curiously and sounded to be getting more comfortable talking to something or someone who wasn't visible to her.
On impulse, Toni took her camera off her belt and snapped two pictures. She didn't really have a reason except that there was always the slightest chance that she might accidentally catch something.
"Do you stay in one of these rooms, or do you stay out here in the hall?" Zoe asked slowly.
Although Toni had gone to great lengths to teach Zoe as much as she was willing to learn about the paranormal, Toni was still surprised at the thoughtful and relevant questions that her sister was asking.
"When did you come here the first time? Do you remember what year it was?" Zoe asked seriously.
Toni snapped two more pictures in different directions.
"I can't think of anything else to ask. Did you want to ask some questions?" Zoe asked in a whisper.
"No. I think you did a really good job and asked about everything that was important. Why don't you just tell the recorder that we're done with our EVP, then tell the ghost goodbye and thank you?" Toni said instructively.
"This is Toni and Zoe. We're done with the E V P. We didn't see anything or hear anything or anything." Zoe said into the digital audio recorder before turning it off.
Toni smiled at her sister's manner of speech, but was content with the sentiments she expressed. As long as it was understandable, she couldn't see why anyone should have any objection.
"If you told me your name, I didn't hear it. But if it recorded, then I'll know it when I come back. The recorder's turned off now, but if you want to tell us anything, you can talk to us tomorrow. We'll be back. I'm Zoe. This is my sister Toni. Did I already tell you that? Anyway, we'll be back tomorrow, so we'll talk to you more then." Zoe rambled.
"Peace and good rest. Thank you." Toni said sincerely.
"Yeah. Thanks." Zoe quickly added.
After a long moment of silence, Zoe quietly asked, "Is that it? What do we do now?"
"I think we're going to sit and be quiet for a few minutes. If there's a ghost here, let's give it a chance to show itself." Toni said decisively.
"Can I sit next to you? I'm cold." Zoe asked hopefully.
"Well, there's the end of the hall. I guess we're not going to find anything." Malika said as she looked at the 'cul de sac' of doors before her.
"Shhh." Lorra hissed.
Malika froze and listened as closely as she could.
A moment later, she heard a thump which was loud enough to make her jump.
"It's coming from over here." Lorra whispered as she slowly walked with her nightvision DVR in one hand and her K2 meter in the other.
There was another sound, which was more a series of successive sounds. To Malika, it seemed like the sound of something tumbling across the floor.
"Did you hear that?" Malika asked nervously.
"It sounds like someone's moving around in there." Lorra whispered in return.
"Do you think it's one of the other teams?" Malika asked cautiously.
"Look under the door. There's no light. If it was one of us, they'd probably be using a flashlight." Lorra said reasonably.
"Then do you think it's someone from the hotel?"
"I doubt that they walk around in the dark, either."
"So, you think it's a ghost?" Malika finally asked to confirm.
"I can think of one way to find out."
After a moment to gather her courage, Malika finally asked, "Okay. What are we doing?"
"I'll take point, you stay behind me and make sure to record whatever happens." Lorra said decisively.
"Yeah. Okay. I can do that." Malika said, trying to sound confident and dependable.
"Be ready to run." Lorra said firmly before slowly turning the master key.
Malika was certain within herself that her preparedness for running was not an issue. Keeping herself from running might end up being the greater challenge.
As Lorra walked more fully into the room, Malika carefully panned around the room to record every detail of what they were seeing.
The room looked as though it had been trashed.
The couch cushions were on the floor and the smaller pieces of furniture were overturned.
"This is Lorra, I'm here with Malika in room three one six four. We heard movement in this room and it looks like someone had a pretty good tantrum in here. See the video. We're doing an EVP to try and make contact."
Malika looked at her with nightvision and saw the red light of the audio recorder in Lorra's hand.
"Do you want to get some stills while I'm doing this?" Lorra asked over her shoulder.
"Yeah. I got it." Malika said nervously, then fought to get the small camera off her belt, one handed, while continuing to record what Lorra was doing.
"What is your name?" Lorra asked firmly.
Malika was finally able to get the camera turned on with her cold, slightly numb, fingers.
"Where are you from?" Lorra asked next.
The flash from the camera surprised Malika to the point that she almost dropped the DVR and had to fight to regain her hold of it.
"Why did you mess up this room?" Lorra asked firmly.
The sound of a door slamming caused Malika to jump and she felt a tingle of fear run through her entire body.
She quickly turned toward where the sound had come from and saw a closed door which, from what she had seen in other rooms, she assumed to be the door to the bathroom.
"Get some stills." Lorra whispered.
Malika quickly raised the camera that she was somehow still holding and snapped three pictures in succession.
"What are you doing here?" Lorra asked in a voice that bordered on angry and demanding.
Beginning to calm slightly, Malika slowly panned around the room to see if she could notice if anything had changed position.
"We're going to leave in a minute. Tell us what you want." Lorra said seriously.
As Malika finished her sweep of the room, she made a point of snapping a few more stills to document the chaos.
"That's it. We're done." Lorra said decisively, then turned off her recorder.
"Aren't you supposed to thank the ghost for talking to you?" Malika asked cautiously.
"I don't feel like thanking a spoiled brat. Any ghost that would do this doesn't deserve to be thanked, they deserve to be told off." Lorra said firmly.
Malika couldn't restrain her nervous laughter at the suggestion, then felt compelled to ask, "Are you going to take the ghost over your knee and spank him for misbehaving?"
"No. But I think he needs a time out to think about what he's done." Lorra responded, then added, "Let's go."
"How are you doing, Max?" Charity asked as they slowly walked down the hallway of the E wing of the fourth floor.
"I'm fine. I'm sorry that I drifted away for a minute back there." Max said repentantly, then carefully asked, "Did we get any good evidence?"
"We won't know for sure until we do the evidence review. But as far as I can see, we've collected exactly nothing." Charity said frankly.
"Sorry." Max said quietly.
"You don't have anything to be sorry about. I'm just saying that regardless of what you sensed, we haven't come across anything that could reasonably be considered to be evidence." Charity said seriously.
After a long silence, Max finally said, "We need to go back to the supply room."
"What for?" Charity asked cautiously.
"We need to be more thorough... and more patient. That's the hot spot. I'm sure of it." Max finished somewhat distantly.
"Okay. We'll go back."
Alana spun on her heel and frantically searched for the source of the voice for a moment before making a concerted effort to calm herself.
When she was finally able to put her thoughts into some sort of order, Alana took the audio recorder off her belt and turned it on before saying, "I just heard a voice speak from directly behind me. It sounded like an adult male and I believe it said, 'I got you'. Further, I'm still having an increasing sense of paranoia, which might be affecting my objectivity. Considering the intensity of what I've been feeling, I'm going to have to disregard anything that I believe I witnessed as being brought on by an agitated mental state. I was recording with my handheld DVR at the time, so if there were an actual audible sound, that should have recorded it."
Alana took a deep breath, then said more calmly, "Since it's possible that I actually heard something, I'm going to do a K2 sweep and standard tests, including temperature readings, still photos and I'm going to leave this audio recorder running in the meantime. My location is outside room sixty-four forty-nine."
After setting the audio recorder aside, Alana proceeded to do as she had said and made a thorough investigation of the area.
"What is it? What did you see?" Hunter asked anxiously.
"I didn't see anything. But as soon as I took one step into the room, it was like I couldn't breathe. The feeling was so strong I couldn't think of anything but getting out of there." Van said anxiously.
"But you didn't see anything on the camera?" Hunter asked to confirm.
"No. It looked just the same as when we were here before." Van said as he tried to calm himself.
"It didn't hurt you or anything, did it?" Hunter asked cautiously.
"No. Nothing like that. All of a sudden, I just felt scared." Van quietly admitted.
"I think, before we decide what we need to do, that I need to go in there and feel it for myself." Hunter said and the uncertainty could be heard in his voice.
"Are you sure?" Van asked to confirm.
"If I really know what you're talking about, then I can help you decide what's best to do next." Hunter said reasonably.
"Okay. I'll hold the door open for you, so you don't get trapped inside." Van said supportively.
"Then, I guess I'd better go ahead and do it before I can talk myself out of it." Hunter said nervously.
"It won't hurt you. It just makes you feel bad for a second." Van tried to assure him.
Since the key was still in the door, all Hunter had to do was turn it and the door clicked open.
He raised his DVR and watched as Van pushed the door open for him, to clear the way.
Hunter stepped into the room and saw that Van had been correct. It looked like a typical hotel room, just the same as when they had been there earlier setting up the camera. Nothing seemed to be out of place.
All of a sudden, a feeling washed over him and, as Van had said, the fear essentially made him freeze in place. He wasn't even able to draw breath.
As soon as he could get his paralyzed limbs to respond to his commands, Hunter backed out of the room as quickly as was physically possible.
"Are you alright?" Van asked as he made a point of pulling the door closed.
"I don't know, yet." Hunter said honestly.
"How do you feel?" Van asked as he hurried to Hunter's side.
I have often heard it said that certain paranormal manifestations leave the observer with a feeling of sliminess or dirtiness.
I wonder how much was caught by the equipment. I guess we will just have to wait till next time to find out any more.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher