Tonight my mother and I attended a class called Ghost Hunting 101 held at, of course at the Billy's Bar and Grill basement room in Downtown Anoka. The class was lead by two ghost hunters with the Anoka Paranormal Investigators, LLC named Ross and Bryan. They were incredible charismatic gentlemen who were very serious about their ghost hunting. The class itself was very informative. We were shown equipment and told fun facts such as only 1 in 3 people the paranormal...even though we had about thirty people in the class with us. To which Ross would say, "There are ninety people upstairs who don't believe in this, who think you're crazy." To which I replied in my head, "Yes, well, they are at a bar on a Monday night, so who is the crazy one?"
Ghost Hunting sounds like an incredible tedious job. Not that it wouldn't be fun, not for a second, and not that I still wouldn't love to try it, but you have got to have a lot of time on your hands to do it properly. And lots of expensive sounding equipment (even though I have been told that you can buy EVP readers at Target, which seems....strange. I would imagine it would be in their House and Home section by the light bulbs.)
We also discussed the kinds of ghosts that you may run in to on an investigation. Such as the Residual Ghosts, those act more like an echo. The instructor gave the example of a phone ringing at the same time each night, only once, no matter what. You could unplug the phone, try to trace the number, not matter what the phone would ring at that particular time every night just once. Another type is what they described as a "fun one" an Intelligent or Interactive ghost. The ghosts that, you know, beat you at Jeopardy. Well, they could, but no, these are the ghosts that actively communicate with you. Then they covered Demons, which mom asked about early in the class. These guys were just as adamant about demons as my mother was my whole childhood:
Then someone asked, "Well, how do they get here?" To which the instructor replied, "We bring them here. That's why you never use a Quiji Board." This brought a fierce nod from my mother since we all know how she feels about Ouiji Boards. Another classmate then asked, "How do you get rid of demons?" The instructor replied, "You don't get rid of them, they just move on." The guy then asked, "Well, how do you get them out of your house then?" The instructor asked, "What religion are you?" The man shrugged and said "I don't really have one." To which the instructor replied "Find one." Whoa. Serious. Demon. Business. (But seriously, I don't mess around with that stuff early. We learned at an early age to just....leave it alone.)
Scary than the demons (in theory) I think are the last type of haunting, The Shadow People. WTF?! No thanks. There is no real explanation for Shadow People, they just show up in shadows and lurk about. Sometimes they are wearing hats or capes. The instructors told us a story of a bar in town they were investigating where a shadow person kept appearing. This was in the basement of the bar where the owner kept his office. They would see the shadow of a person creep across the wall and then lean over to tap whoever was nearest to them on the shoulder. They relayed this information to the bar owner who was like, "Oh, yeah, I see that guy all the time. No big." I think a Shadow Person would scare me more than any other type of ghost (non-demonic). Just because, was it a person at one point? What are they doing here creeping around?!
The instructors then shared lots of great pictures of their investigation of an "Establishment in Anoka" which the class happened to be taking place in (I never really figured out why they couldn't just come out and say it was Billy's but whatev) and some cool EVPs. During all this was when the best part of the evening happened.
Mom and I had the good fortune of sitting at the fun table! There were two self-proclaimed psychic mediums at our table, a single little blonde woman that took a shine to Mom and just two dudes there because "it was at a bar." Well, the psychic women were also apparently ghost hunters on their own and brought all their own equipment with. I half expected a proton pack to spill out on to the table. As the class was going on the women started to get reads on their own equipment. I'm not exactly sure what they all had but temperature changes were happening and one of the women wore some sort of medical pack and the batteries kept draining and she had to replace them. So, this is happening and they ask the instructors to bring over some of their equipment, which they do, and get similar reads. Then one of the guy starts snapping pictures (always take two pictures!) so I started to take some pictures too! Then after a bit the fervor began to die down and the readings began to dissipate. The instructor got the coolest picture of an orb right above my Mom's head! Here is the picture I snapped during the activity:
Later in the evening as we were listening to EVPs a loud thump came from that closet as the psychic women's readers were going crazy again! It was only a few small things but it really added to the class!
When we were taking a break we got to chatting with our table and the fact that I do the Ghosts of Anoka tours around Halloween was brought up, one of the psychic women asked me, "Oh, are you terribly sensitive to ghosts and that type of thing?" "Oh, no." I said, "I just like to dress up and costume and take people for walks around the town." Sorry to disappoint. But my tour costume is fabulous....
Anyways, once again, this class proves that Billy's is one of my favorite places in Anoka. I have had my bachlorette party there, my daughter's first birthday party, many-a drunkin' good time and it is by far, my favorite stop on the Ghost Tour. Yes, even above my beloved Party Papers.
You just can't beat the sexy ghost of a dead prostitute.