One of the many hats I wear in addition to chronicler of the weird on the trusty old interwebs is that of organizer of haunted attractions. This year, after a two-year hiatus, I returned to overseeing the annual “Family Fright Nights” event at the Historic Lowry House in Huntsville, Alabama, with a much-needed assist from author Jessica Penot. The theme for each year’s event changes; this year’s theme involved a focus on local ghost stories and legends. In addition to being a friend of mine, Jessica literally wrote the book on ghost lore in the northern Alabama/southern Tennessee area. At the Lowry House, we provide an alternative to the “chase you with a chainsaw”-type haunts that are more common. Not that there’s anything wrong with those type attractions. I love ‘em. We just can’t compete with them, so we offer a more storytelling-based event. People seem to enjoy what we do. (We also can offer something those big flashy attractions cannot. We stage ours inside a REAL haunted house.)
To make the event a bit more interactive, however, this year we concluded the tours by handing out to the patrons a pair of dowsing rods each, along with an EMF meter. Then we sent them outside to wander the grounds and search for spirits themselves. One young lady, passing within earshot of me, commented to her friend as they were ghost-hunting: “I wonder if vampires set off EMF meters?” Which got me to thinking, too. I’d never actually considered the question before. WOULD a vampire set off an EMF reader?