MONCKS CORNER — Voices reaching from beyond the grave recently solved mysteries that have surrounded Stony Landing for decades.
“What we got was rather surprising and unexpected,” said Ashley Field, who with Pam Nance operates Spirit Hunters of the South. “People will be very excited to hear some of the answers.”
In March the women did historical and paranormal research on the house at Old Santee Canal Park, which was built in the 1840s. They will present their findings today at a program sponsored by the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.
They wouldn't reveal details beforehand other than to say that their presentation includes photos, audio recordings, a couple of short videos — and some answers to long-asked questions.
“We were pleased with what we came away with,” Nance said. “It validated our research and we picked up a few unknown things. There are footprints on the property of buildings and nobody seems to know what they are used for, but the spirits told us. There is also an old well on the property, and they gave us information about who used the well and who dug it. We feel like we got some pretty valid responses as it applies to the documented history and some that's not documented.”
Since 2008, the pair have conducted research at more than 50 locations. Their investigation of the Old Charleston City Jail was shown on a segment of “My Ghost Story Caught on Camera” on The Biography Channel and is available on YouTube.
Last year, at the request of Santee Cooper, they studied the Wampee Plantation House, its property in Pinopolis.
“Wampee was such a wellspring of activity,” Nance said. “Everyone's got an experience there.”
Even Nance and Field. During their overnight stay, as they sat in one room talking, a shower came on, then turned off, in another room.
“It's such a fun place,” Field said. “It's haunted, but it's got good energy to it.”
They thought Stony Landing, another Santee Cooper property a few miles away, might be haunted too, even though there have been no reports of slamming doors, flickering lights or footsteps in the night.
“I have heard stories and firsthand accounts of what I would consider paranormal activity out of Wampee,” said Willard Strong, Santee Cooper spokesman and chairman of the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center board. “But I never heard any ghost stories about Stony Landing.”
After researching the history, Nance and Field used the tools of their trade — video cameras, infrared night vision cameras, digital recordings, electromagnetic field detection devices and an SB7 Spirit Box — to capture Electronic Voice Phenomenon.
“We do a very different kind of approach to paranormal investigating,” said Nance. “We aren't interested at all in trying to prove a location is haunted. We go in to gather historical data to corroborate documented facts that we find in our research and also to reveal unknown pieces of history, as well as debunking myths and stories that seem to kind of surround these old locations.”
They started with questions about the Revolutionary War.
“We knew there were Revolutionary War battles there,” Nance said. “We tapped into that layer and received info about the atrocities that occurred right there on that property.”
They also made discoveries about St. Julian Ravenel, who designed the CSS David or Little David, the first semi-submersible torpedo boat to attack an enemy ship in the history of naval warfare. It was built in secret at Stony Landing.
Strong said he knows there are skeptics, but Spirit Hunters' work is impressive and interesting.
“We all know that through the years a lot of this stuff was fakery and fraud,” he said. “But the Charleston area is full of ghosts, and by applying historic research and modern tools of investigation, they are pushing back our perceptions of the world that we see and hear into other categories. They are definitely capturing something, and I think the way they present it lets the person make up their own mind about what this is.”
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.
What: Spirit Hunters presentation Saturday
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Santee Cooper's McCall Auditorium, 1 Riverwood Drive, Moncks Corner.
More information: 843-899-5101 (Berkeley Museum) or www.spirithunter.us.