My Night With The Spirits, Part One
Recently I had the opportunity to spend the night in a genuine haunted house with a team of professional paranormal investigators. My fear was that nothing would happen, that the team would make the long drive from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Huntsville all for nothing. That’d there’d be nothing to show for it and I’d be left with egg on my face. I don’t own The Historic Lowry House, you see, but I am in charge of heading up its entertainment opportunities and I am on the Board of Directors. My theatrical production company regularly performs there, and on the night in question I was the one, the only one, to be on hand representing the House and its Board members. I feared nothing would happen, and, if I’m honest about it, I feared being bored out of my skull, stuck spending twelve-plus hours with a group of total strangers with nothing of interest to occupy the time. I needn’t have worried. The folks with the TUSCALOOSA PARANORMAL RESEARCH GROUP are total pros, and they’re nice people, too. As far as nothing happening and me getting bored, I REALLY need not have been concerned. My new friends with TPRG told me that it was uncommon to have so much activity all on one night. It was more than I would have dared hope for. Our unseen residents at the Lowry House sure didn’t leave me hanging! I’d hoped to not be bored. What I got was one of the most exciting nights, and some of the most intriguing moments, of my entire life!
First, a little bit of information about the House itself. The Historic Lowry House was constructed in stages, with the same family living there for several generations and each generation adding onto the House. Initially it was a log cabin, constructed around the year 1800. In the late 1830s the cabin was torn down and the lumber repurposed for the construction of the House. The “youngest” parts of the House, the most recent parts, were added in the 1920s, when the House passed from ownership by the Lowry family. In the intervening years, before the House was purchased in the late 1990s and restored by the Tippett family, it served as a boarding house. By the late 90s, it had fallen into such a state of disrepair that Louie Tippett, a local businessman, purchased the property with the intention of tearing the House down. He was persuaded by some friends who were big into local history to salvage it instead. It took three years and over a million dollars to restore it to its former majesty. Today, the Lowry House is a registered historic landmark, but at the time no one knew anything about its history. Had it been torn down, the structure that has since been called “the most important building to African-American History in the entire United States” and its historical legacy would have been lost. The Lowry House was a stopover point on the Underground Railroad, the series of safehouses that existed to smuggle escaped slaves out of the South before the American Civil War. The Dred Scott case came about, according to historian Bobby Hayden, as a result of a plot that was concocted in the Lowry House, while Scott himself was hiding out in there! The House has a “secret” room, undetectable from the outside, where runaway slaves were housed. All that history was almost lost. And the Tippett family only learned the history after starting research, trying to find out the identity of the ghost that workmen kept encountering during refurbishment of the House!
You’re going to need to be familiar with the history of the hauntings at the Lowry House to fully appreciate the rest of this account, so click on over to my blog–I don’t find it necessary to update it much anymore, since I’ve started writing for this and our sister sites, werewolves.com and darkness.com–and read up on the details, then come back to VAMPIRES.COM to find out what happened to me the night the paranormal investigators came calling!
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!