Hunt says there are three types of ghosts. Sentients, or living ghosts,
are rare. Others are called "caspers" because they are extremely
friendly, sexual ghosts. Finally, there are the residuals.
Hunt says a residual is a memory left by a living person who experienced
an emotional event, most often a terrible one. Hunt says science can't
explain it yet, but the memory is left hanging in the air in a
particular spot until someone who is sensitive to electromagnetic fields
steps into that space. Then, the memory plays like a re-run on a TV
screen, she says.
In addition to investigating strange events, Hunt leads nighttime ghost tours in downtown Leesburg.
On a recent night, Hunt led a tour group of about 30 people along King Street.
"There are hundreds of spots up and down this street that you walk through every day that are haunted," she says.
Hunt says many ghost stories she investigates turn out not to be
entirely true. For instance, many believe the Loudoun County Courthouse
is haunted by the ghost of Mercer, a teenage slave who was hanged and
quartered after killing his owner. In fact, the courthouse was in a
different location when Mercer was executed, says Hunt.
Hunt says the story is not true, but she does think the old wooden
furniture in the courthouse is haunted because of the many people who
have gone through the emotional experience of being in court.
Hunt says out of 140 reported hauntings downtown, VSRA has debunked all but 42.
She says she's seen some creepy residuals, but Hunt has never met a
sentient she didn't like. For example, she says there's a large man who
haunts Room 4 of the Colonial Inn. He stands over the bed.
"If you see him, say 'Hi Eugene,' because he's a friend of mine," she
says. "Offer him a shot of tequila (and) he'll love you forever."
Near the end of the tour, on the courthouse grounds, the brave get a chance to touch a ghost.
A woman named Melissa tried it.
"I felt heat," she says. "I felt like I was actually touching something."
"I felt a sharp needle in my middle finger," says 12-year-old Ellie.
Jaelen, 7, says he experienced something too.
"It was kind of like the tree was a magnet and my hands were a magnet, and they were coming together," he says.
Some people who tried it said they didn't feel anything.
The final Leesburg Ghost Tours of 2011 are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Halloween night. Get ticket information here.
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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)