The Hauntings Today expedition was an extremely interesting experience... even more so than we had anticipated. This is not a walking tour of the French Quarter where the tour guide tells you ghost stories; it is an organized visit to several current clients of this paranormal investigation firm. All in all, we visited two government buildings, a museum, a church, a restaurant, a jazz bar and three hotels. Some we stood outside and listened to the details of the investigations, others we actually went inside to look around, and a couple we got to walk around for a bit and explore for ourselves. In the course of all this, we had a couple of unexpected experiences that gave us pause...

Early on in the expedition Ed (our guide for the evening) explained that every experience is not a scene from "Poltergeist" or "Amityville XVI: 3D". Some things are just impressions, feelings (physical or mental) and the occasional physical apparition.

We're going to relate our separate experiences, giving as few details as possible about the physical building in case you want to take the expedition for yourself and you happen to visit the same place. We also want to relate them to you as accurately as possible. In any case, though, believe one thing - you couldn't possibly be as skeptical as we are. It's not that we don't necessarily believe that some of these things occur, it's just that fraud seems to be running rampant. What we experienced was not earthshaking, but it was enough to convince us that something supernatural was occurring in the places we visited...

Mitchel writes:

When our guide took us to one of the places where we would get to do some exploring, I was enjoying the evening immensely but skeptical that a bunch of tourists would actually experience anything. We were a small group, so we were allowed to walk around the property freely.

Our guide told us that this was a new investigation for them, and that they were still collecting data. After he told us this, he left us alone for a while. With this in mind, I started walking slowly around a courtyard area, fighting hard to keep an open mind and trying not to feel silly about the whole thing. I didn't know what I was looking for, but I didn't feel anything one way or the other.

When I'd exhausted that area, I climbed a set of stairs to go up to the second floor of the property. The stairway had a landing halfway up, and as soon as I set foot on the landing I got a really weird feeling... I don't know how to describe it. I just felt different, kind of like when you're walking down a lonely street and all of a sudden get the feeling that someone is watching you; it's nothing tangible that you can put your finger on, but it's something that you feel very strongly all over. I stepped up the stairs off the landing, and it was gone. I stepped back down, and it was there. There was something on the landing that was very, very weird.

I decided to press onward and come back later. At the top of the stairs, I took a walkway around the upstairs area. I didn't see or feel anything odd. At one part of the hallway, though, I passed a doorway that led to an adjacent hall where the feeling hit again. The feeling was overwhelming. I moved away from it and it was gone, I went back and there it was again. I was starting to really feel eerie about the place.

As I walked around further on the second floor, I passed another door where the same thing happened. If this all seems hokey to you, just stop and consider a feeling that you've gotten at some point where you *knew* something was wrong... that's how I felt on this third place (as well as the other two). I continued on, went back to the downstairs courtyard, and walked around for another few minutes. I didn't feel anything odd there, so I decided to retrace my steps in the opposite direction upstairs and just re-check everything. At all three of the points where I felt something earlier, I experienced exactly the same things again. Stepping from in and out of one of these places was a night-and-day experience.

For my own sanity, I wrote the three places down on a piece of paper that we had in the backpack. When the group finally started getting back together, I found Tami and asked if she had anything happen. She pointed and said "there and there", to the room and to the landing. I showed her my list, and she immediately put check marks next to the two things that she had just pointed to. When our guide came back in, he said that he didn't want to know anything we had experienced; he wanted to run down the list of where people on other investigations were having experiences. The first three things that he mentioned were the three things I had put on my list... you could have knocked me over with a feather. It was a very weird feeling.

Tami writes:

We were having a good time on the expedition. We'd been several places, heard about what was being reported at each, and enjoyed ourselves a lot. There were only a few of us, so our guide told us that we were going to get to explore two of the properties on our own. We arrived at the first property and everything seemed normal; everyone separated and started walking around. I was in a courtyard to start off with, and one particular corner of it felt especially eerie. It didn't appear to be any different than any other area, but standing there gave me a very unusual feeling. I wondered if this was the kind of thing that Ed (our guide) was talking about when he told us what to look for, and made a mental note to come back to this spot later. There were two sets of stairs, so I took the closest one and went upstairs. Everything was fine, until I passed a doorway (the door was closed). I had the strangest sensation; I felt uneasy, like something was wrong. As I continued walking the feeling subsided. I passed several more doors, and didn't notice anything unusual upstairs. I took the second set of stairs to go back down to the courtyard, and as soon as I stepped onto a landing halfway down I became very lightheaded - I reached out for the railing because I was actually dizzy. After standing there for a while, the feeling still hadn't passed so I just kept going. The moment I stepped off of the landing, I was fine. This scared me; I knew that there was something going on there. Back in the courtyard I walked over beneath the landing and didn't see or feel anything around it, or looking back up at it. There was actually something wrong on the landing itself. I explored a little bit more, and saw that the group was getting back together. Mitchel walked over to me carrying a piece of paper; he said that he had found three things that were odd. I was showing him where I had found things when he held up the paper... it took my breath away. The first two things on his list were the landing and the door upstairs. I took his pencil and put a check mark by them, and he looked surprised. We talked briefly; he hadn't found my place in the courtyard, and there was something else upstairs that he noticed but I didn't. Ed had joined the group by then, and said that he wanted to quickly list the places where people were having paranormal experiences. He was very specific with the list, and all of the places that Mitchel and I had found were on it (along with a few others)... it was both exciting and a little frightening.

We proceeded on to our next stop, an indoor area of a building (we're trying not to give out the exact locations in case you take an excursion and visit them). Once again we were encouraged by Ed to walk around and explore the area. We did, but no one in the group noticed anything unusual. When Ed got us back together to talk about what was being reported there and I sat down on a nearby couch, and was joined by one of the other girls on the trip. Ed had just gotten into the history of the property when my head began to hurt suddenly. It was a dull pain in the back part of my head, and I started rubbing it. Ed noticed this, appeared very curious, and asked if anything was wrong. I told him that my head had just started hurting, and the girl sitting next to me looked surprised and said "mine too - kind of in the back". Ed told us that several people on other tours had reported the same thing on the same couch that we were sitting on - we both stood up quickly, and our headaches faded. I eventually sat back down on the couch, with no other ill effects. It was spooky.

We've only described what happened to us; other people on the expedition have similar stories, and we all came away intrigued by the evening.

We loved this New Orleans experience!

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