Ghost busters visit Woodbine

Posted 11/3/20

Madison County’s most historic structure has lured countless individuals through its doors over the years with its Victorian-style atmosphere, vintage furniture and, perhaps, unexplained guests.

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Ghost busters visit Woodbine


Madison County’s most historic structure has lured countless individuals through its doors over the years with its Victorian-style atmosphere, vintage furniture and, perhaps, unexplained guests.

Deep Woods Paranormal Team became the latest group of investigators to frequent the Woodbine Hotel in Madisonville in search of non-living entities. The event appropriately took place Halloween night and lasted into the wee hours of November.

The hotel was built 116 years ago and replaced a boardinghouse that had burned down in 1903. It has long garnered the attention of paranormal connoisseurs hoping to see or even communicate with ghosts within its antique walls.

Both current owner Shamshad “Shammy” Zaidi and former owner Susan Warmuth have reported unexplained occurrences in the hotel over the years, such as broken dishes in empty rooms, voices echoing through deserted hallways and even an eerie shadow found in a 2013 photograph.

Matt Harvey, Deep Woods’ lead investigator, was examining the Woodbine for the second time Saturday. He claimed to have stumbled on an unprecedented amount of paranormal activity at the hotel in his first visit over the summer.

Harvey and his wife Amanda have extensively studied sites of supposed paranormal activity throughout the country over the years. While his wife was home sick the second time around, his Saturday team consisted of Eric Ross, Elaina Ross, Jesse Hendricks and Christy Britton. The group came in with extensive research on the hotel and its history.

Saturday’s followup investigation included the use of a “spirit box”, an audio-only device that rapidly scans through multiple audio channels that is believed to make it easy for ghosts to manipulate a word or phrase in real time, as well as K-II EMF Meters, which can detect electromagnetic fields.

“This is probably the most haunted hotel I have ever stayed at in my life,” said Harvey, who claimed to have detected at least six spirits during his first trip to the Woodbine. “I’ve stayed in a lot of places, but we got six names that came through the (spirit box). Tonight, we are going to try and communicate with those entities and see if they will come back.”

During their first trip to the Woodbine, Deep Woods Paranormal Team recorded a web series episode chronicling their experience. The link to the episode can be accessed on their Facebook page and the video can be rented or purchased.

The investigators, along with setting up motion-sensor cameras throughout the property, conducted Facebook Live posts while asking questions through the “spirit box” in multiple rooms. Harvey was pleased to receive a number of clear responses to the group’s questions and labeled it a clear success in comparison to most sites that are supposedly haunted.

The group also stumbled upon a number of head-scratching discoveries, such as an infant’s handprint through an LED light on a dining room mirror that was recently cleaned as well as multiple unexplained “hits” on the K-II meters.

One of the “spirit box” sessions, which took place in room 4, was said to be an attempt to communicate with a young girl who Harvey believes used to frequent the room in the 1800s. Harvey and two woman on his team, chosen because of their status as mothers, attempted to make contact with the girl inside the bedroom.

During the session, Britton claimed to suddenly feel sick while attempting to communicate with the girl. Harvey quickly ended the session, citing a past incident in which he said one of his other investigators became ill in a similar situation.

Harvey, however, believes most spirits he says frequent the hotel are probably friendly. He spoke often of a “shadow boy” he called Danny, who he claimed to have witnessed and felt the presence of on multiple occasions.

“They seem happy here,” said Harvey. “They seem to like Shammy, they seem to have liked (Warmuth), we are thinking that they are happy and enjoy being here. All of the activity that happens here seems very playful.”

Deep Woods Paranormal Team’s work consists of all things paranormal and is not limited to ghosts. Harvey and his wife have been conducting research into ghosts and other paranormal activity at homes, businesses, theaters and open land for over 20 years.