A ghosting we will go: Paranormal/history investigators hunt spooks on the hill

Spooks Investigations team members Rick Park, from left, Jordan Park and Larry Buchanan carry cameras and other equipment into Ray County Museum, helped by museum board member Mark McFee. The investigators gathered video and audio recordings for the upcoming cable show “True Ghost Stories.” (Photo by Joy Tipping/RIchmond News)

“Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

By Joy Tipping/Richmond News Managing Editor

Those opening lines from Shirley Jackson’s classic novel “The Haunting of Hill House” were the first thing I thought of when I first glimpsed the Ray County Museum not long ago, after moving here in late December. I’ve since visited the museum several times and I must admit, the first impression stands. There’s something about the place that just screams “otherworldly.”

I’m hardly the only one who feels that way: Ghost sightings, inexplicable voices and noises, and all-around creepy feelings have been reported at the site for years. The Paranormal Task Force does an overnight hauntings investigation there every summer, and in 2010 the group Paranormal Adventures ranked the RC Museum as the third-most haunted site in Missouri.

Now TV has come a callin’. The team from Kansas-based Spooks Investigations spent Saturday night at the venue, filming for a new cable TV show called “True Ghost Stories.” Teams from around the world have been filming for the series for some time, gathering enough footage for the first two seasons. The RC Museum episode is expected to be part of Season 3 (the seasons will likely air quickly, one after another).

Rick Park, one of Spooks Investigations’ five investigators and one of two team directors for the show, said several U.S. and international major cable companies have expressed interest in the show, but it’s still unclear where or when it might begin showing.

Park, who lives in Gardner, Kan., said that unlike some paranormal groups, Spooks also delves into the history of a place, trying to get as much verifiable evidence as possible about what might be causing supernatural phenomena.

The complete version of this story appears in the Friday, May 25, edition of The Richmond News.

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