From Leesburg Patch: Leesburg Ghost Tours Explain the Seemingly Unexplainable
for their scientific approach to the paranormal, Leesburg ghost tours
run Friday and Saturday nights now through Oct. 31.
October when the witches decorate our doorsteps and ghosts and goblins
haunt our windowpanes, our minds turn to the super-natural. Then it is
only natural that we wonder- are ghosts real?
Ghost tours have
long capitalized on our mortal curiosity; however the Leesburg Ghost
tours has the distinction of being started by a scientist and a skeptic.
1992, Joe Holbert wanted local fork-lore stories for the Loudoun
Museum, when instead he received personal accounts of encounters with
ghosts and spiritual entities.
Cynical, he investigated and
disproved several cases, but he could not disprove 100 or so in which
multiple individuals experienced unexplained sights, sounds, smells or
objects moving on their own.
This led Holbert to find the
Virginia Scientific Research Association (VSRA) to investigate
paranormal phenomenon. What he came to find there, went on to inspire
other paranormal investigators and even the television show, Ghost
Holbert passed away a few years ago, but the VSRA
continues to host ghost tours in Leesburg. Autumn tours run on Friday
and Saturday nights at 9 pm, leaving from the Georgetown Café and Bakery
on 19 South King Street, and extending until October 21, Halloween
However, this is not the usual tour. It is not meant to
scare you, as much as educate you on the latest theory on supernatural
That does not mean that sightings are debunked. On the
contrary, they are explained; and participants are even tested to see
if they are likely to trigger a supernatural occurrence.
culminates at the county courthouse on Market Street, where tourist can
touch a potent energy field. Hauntings at the courthouse are attributed
to a slave named Mercer, who was quartered there.
the ghost tour guides, JoAnn Manriquez and Elaine Maxon, traumatic
experiences can cause ghostly behavior. Less frequently, ghosts are
really visiting spirits appearing in the flesh.
“While at first I
hadn’t had any paranormal experience at all, on the tours I’ve smelt
and heard things, I have no explanation for,” said Maxon.
she assured Saturday's group that the tour would not be frightening.
“Once you understand what is going on [with paranormal activity]," Maxon
said. "You won’t be afraid.”
Like other ghost tours, the
Leesburg tour provides historical information as well as stories of
ghost sightings, supported by references to historical events where
Besides the regular ghost tours, Keeler Hunt, who
works for the VSRA, gives her own more scientific based tours; and while
tours run on the weekend, people can request a special small group
tours as well.
More information on Leesburg Ghost Tours and the Virginia Scientific Research Association can be found on their website: http://vsra.yolasite.com/