If you believe in ghosts, you will find them. You'll hear them in leaky pipes, see them through dusty camera lenses, and feel them breathing down your goose-pimpled neck. They feed on your fear, growing more powerful as your paranoia intensifies.
My first paranormal investigation took place at Wolcott Mills in Faribault, Minnesota, on a bitter October night. I was a novice reporter — a 22-year-old English major who landed a job with my school paper — and I longed for a story outside of the University. I contacted local paranormal groups, set up two investigations, and, of course, slated the story for Halloween.
The hunt began at a Faribault A&W, where I quelled my fears with chili cheese fries and listened to Jerry Ayres, the leader of the Supernatural Investigators of Minnesota, recount the site's history.
Wolcott Mills burned to the ground on November 3, 1895, after which the land was purchased by the Faribault State Hospital and used as a training ground for patients deemed competent enough to learn agricultural skills. The abandoned site is now home to a handful of crumbling buildings and a cemetery where patients and their children are buried.More »