Sunday, February 24, 2013

Things That Went Bump In The Night.

I spent the weekend at Aradale as part of the AHWA Creative Retreat. It was fantastic to finally meet up with people I'd met online as well as new people. And, to top it all off, we got to spend quality time together exploring these amazing old buildings.

Aradale, a deserted asylum from the 1860s, has a reputation as one of the most haunted locations in Australia. As with most 19th Century institutions, there are many stories of pain, a history of suffering and abuse. But we need to always remember that there is also a history of love and caring as well. We were fortunate enough to bump into a woman in town who'd spent twelve years working there as a psychiatric nurse, and I thank her for the stories she shared with us.

Along for the weekend we had members of the Australian Paranormal Society who undertook investigations. They were a couple of great guys who took pains to ensure their investigation was as scientific and thorough as possible. All natural causes are considered first. Always.

Despite that, it seems they managed to get some great readings, as well as some anecdotal encounters from the weekend. I also suspect they have a lot of audio and video to work through.

I didn't see a ghost, but I did have three minor experiences that I cannot logically explain - one physical, two audible. And I have to admit that the atmosphere, the history, the reputation and my own anticipation and expectations made me look for things to happen. And yet, if I remove every single possibility, there is still one incident that cannot be explained in any way.

And I know of great stories that happened to those around me.

Even if none of it ever really is supernatural, it was a fantastic experience and opportunity to meet up with other writers in the realm in which we write.

Thanks to my fellow attendees for sharing the experience, Nathanial and Adam at Aradale Ghost Tours for leading us through the weekend, Bill and Lionel from Australian Paranormal Society for their efforts, and mostly to GNBraun (and family) for the organisation and leadership.

See you next year, I hope.

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