SILVER CITY, Nev. (KOLO) Assignments like this bring you to places like this on a cool October night.
It's the old Donovan Mill in Silver City and again, this professed agnostic on all things paranormal finds himself in the company of true believers, members of the Northern Nevada Ghost Hunters, one of, if not the, oldest such group in our area.
Inspired by ghost hunting documentaries on TV and spurred on by her own interest in local history, Jeadene Solberg founded the group 13 years ago with four others who shared her interest.
"And from there we kind of grew and grew and grew. I mean we're 31 deep in my group right now."
They come from different backgrounds and bring different skills, but share a common passion.
"Our mission is to preserve history one spirit at a time. That's our motto."
They are dead serious, no pun intended, and they are usually busy.
We've accompanied them before to the Comstock's best known haunt--Virginia City's St. Mary's Arts Center, the old hospital--and to the first paranormal investigation of the old state prison, and got and experienced some unusual results. Last year we came here and got nothing.
"We've been back more than 25 times since last year," says Solberg.
And they've gotten results.
So, we're back for another try. The mill played a significant role in mining history, and the Comstock Foundation has plans to preserve, restore and open it to the public.
For the moment it's all ours and we spend hours in the mill and adjacent machine shop and office. Little happens that we can capture at the moment. Batteries drain quickly. Equipment, even our own camera, fails at one point.
This is nothing new and it seems to happen a lot in the mill. This device I'm holding registers electro-magnetic and thermal imagery.
In a room at the state prison it showed the images of two team members, and two other figures with no thermal image.
I'm seeing something similar tonight as one team member is standing in a corner of the machine shop. The camera is recording, but when reviewed later, it saved nothing.
Audio recorders pick up several faint EVP's--electronic voice phenomenon--one recorded in the office is the most distinct. There's no one in the building. You can hear some of us outside talking, then a woman voice say "Run".
There are intriguing glimpses, but--as we've seen before--the best comes later after hours of video and audio are reviewed and once again, it comes from the small office building on an infrared camera that's been left running while we were elsewhere.
Loud noises--loud enough we should have heard it next door. One can almost imagine the stamp mill still crushing ore. And there's this.
We're looking at interior windows in a pitch-black building. A car passes, so we know what that looks like. Then a glow appears in one window.
The Ghost Hunters will readily debunk anything for which they can find an explanation. So far, they can't explain this.
Did I mention there's a story about a suicide in the room on the other side?