The sun beating on my back feels so good today. October came so fast this year and the wicked cold followed suit. It was nice to finally have some warmth on my skin. It looks like I’m not the only one with this idea however. The Burger for a Dime drive in was hopping with customers. I love this place. It’s been here since the early nineteen fifties. It only has twenty spots to park and order but back in the eighties they put in a drive through and picnic tables. That’s where I am baking in the sun at the current moment. Waiting for Eric to get our order of burgers and fries was getting harder by the minute. I’m so tired as well as hungry. Hungry is not even a fair word to describe the hunger raging in my stomach. We were at Sandy’s house all day yesterday. This is the tenth time we have been at her house. I think she is just crazy but that is the life of a Ghost Hunter. Business has not been so good for the past year since the economy went down the toilet. I suppose everyone is more willing to put up with the strange occurrences in their homes since they don’t have the extra money to spend. My mother keeps telling me to ‘get a real job’ but I just can’t seem to let it go. The possibility that something is out there, I can just feel it. “Lost again in deep thought are we?” Eric said as he slid onto the picnic table bench beside me and sat out food on the table. “Yeah it’s just one of those day’s again I suppose.” I said as I unwrapped my burger. “Renee you know this is just part of our job. We look into everything. We’ll get a hit some day. Soon, I promise.” He smiled his boyish grin that I loved so much and gently gave me a poke in the ribs, “I know I just keep thinking about what mom said. Maybe we should consider hanging it up. We haven’t had a good reading in at least two years. Our equipment is so old now compared to what other people are using and we can’t afford new ones. We can barely afford to pay our rent let alone more equipment.” I sighed as I pushed my burger around with my finger. “First of all your mom is wrong to advise you to go anywhere other than the path that your dreams lead you on. Your good at what you do Renee, you will prove it one day I just know it.” And with that sentiment he took a huge bite of his burger and grinned at me. I couldn’t help but feel hope with the help of his encouraging words. My hunger returned and I put my burger back together and took a bite. Darn this taste good. I wish I could cook this good. As I sat and ate my burger I listened to the sounds and conversations all around me. The word “Ghost” caught my attention. I turned to see two teens sitting at a neighboring picnic table sipping on milk shakes. “Yeah I know. It was so weird for that to happen again. If I have said it once I’ve said it twice don’t go to death beach. I mean people die there all the time.” She said as she flipped her brown silky hair over her shoulder and leaned over her straw for another sip. “I have to admit, two deaths in one month is a bit of a coincidence.” Said the blonde haired girl with a pony tail. I couldn’t resist myself I had to speak. “Excuse me?” Both girls’ heads snapped in my direction with confused looks on their faces. “Yeah?” Said the brown haired girl. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation. But what beach are you talking about? I wasn’t aware there was a beach in this part of NC. The two girls looked at each other for a quick eye roll and back to me. The blonde answered this time. “There isn’t, it’s a creek that all the kids and tourist go. They call it the beach because it has a lot of sand that goes all the way up to the grass where everyone lays out in the sun.” She said with a ‘duh’ tone in her voice. “Oh, well why are you calling it death beach?” “Well tons of people die there every year. Not just drowning but mysterious deaths, like people dropping with heart attacks as soon as their feet touch the water. There are even children who drown in like an inch of water and so on. They say it’s haunted.” “Really? Has anyone seen ghost down there?” “Hey, you two are those ghost hunters that was in the paper a while back aren’t you?” The blonde said with a ‘you’re crazy’ grin. “Yes we are that couple.” I said with a sigh. “So?” I said with a bit of aggravation. “Well I meant no offence, I just think you two will be perfect to go there and check things out. It’s just down the road there, you can follow the signs.” She said as she pointed in the direction we needed to go. We apparently had worn out our welcome with the teens because she turned her back to us. I turned to Eric. “Let’s go look. Maybe it could be like our last hoorah.” I said sarcastically. Eric just rolled his eyes and stood up to begin cleaning up our trash. I followed suit and then followed him to the car. Eric headed down the road in the direction that had been pointed out by the teens. It was a well known back mountain road. Tourist came here all the time to swim not knowing the bloody history apparently because there was a parking lot close to the beach like area. We were only lucky to find a parking space when a car had backed out right as we pulled in, everywhere else was full. I got out of the car and followed the sign that said cove creek. I only had to walk a few feet however to the clearing that resembled a beach. The town had poured sand close to the water. Inside the water there was a rope with a warning sign that read ‘swim at your own risk past this point’. They had a life guard chair but no life guard on duty. There were kids playing on it so I figured the town must have run out of funds to pay a life guard or maybe no one wanted the job because of the history or just too late in the season. Looking around my first thought was not one of ghosts and misery; it was a calming site to see all the families here having picnics and the children wading in the water. There was nothing unusual about this place at least during the day and with all the people here, I wasn’t going to make myself conspicuous with my ghost detection equipment. “Lets come back tonight around midnight.” I said as I headed back to the car. When we arrived home, we immediately unloaded the equipment from last night. Sandy had plenty of plugs to plug in our equipment but out there at cove creek, we will have to rely on batteries. So I figured putting everything that we needed on the charger would be a good idea. I then went to take a shower then a much needed nap. I set my alarm so I didn’t over sleep.
When my alarm went off I looked around and Eric had already been awake for a while. I knew this was close to his heart because his brother had drowned when they were really young. Eric was determined to prove not only just to the world but to himself that there was life after death. In doing so, he could go on a mission to find his brother someday. He had always thought it was his fault. He had taken his little brother Timmy fishing, knowing full well that his little brother couldn’t swim. Eric had forgotten the life jacket that his brother always wore. Eric caught a fish and Timmy tried to scoop it up with a net and fell in. Eric’s mother told me that Eric had nearly drowned himself looking for Timmy under the water. So it was easy to understand why Eric needed to see proof of life after death. I think for me it is much simpler. I thought that I saw a ghost in my grandmother’s house as a teenager. Everyone called me a liar and I vowed that I would prove it someday. I pulled myself out of bed, got dressed and headed down stairs. I found Eric loading up our bags. “It’s about time you woke up.” He said as he stuffed more equipment into a bag. “Hey I’m raring to go! Let’s hit it!” I said as I headed out the door grabbing some sweet grass and giving Eric’s butt a smack on the way out. He just grinned at me. The mountain road that was once bathed in sun light had taken on a brand new look. The moon was full and it cast an eerie glow through the trees casting black images of leaves on the road before us. We pulled into the now empty parking lot and immediately began to unload our bags full of sensory equipment. I reached into the car and grabbed my sweet grass. When lit, sweet grass is a natural repellent to angry entities and we have run into angry spirits before and it was scary. We set our bags a few feet away from the water and set up. First I set up our infrared night vision video camera. It had a movement sensor and it would turn itself on if anything moved in front of it, that feature saved a lot of battery juice. I got out my thermo coupler, that’s a gadget that helps me to find hot and cold spots. I also brought a digital tape recorder just in case I decided to do some EVP’s. Electrical Voice Phenomena is tricky, even though you could capture something legitimate, some people will question anything they can’t see. Ok, a lot of people are skeptics. That is why it is Eric and I’s job to capture pictures, at least that is what we are trying to do. I made a big circle with the sweet grass and I lit them until they started to smoke. Sweet grass smells really great; it reminds me of the way the lawn smells after it has been cut. It almost gives me a false sense of security at night. Eric and I were finally set up and we sat down on the blanket that I had laid out on the grass in our protective circle. I checked my watch, five minutes till show time. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up in anticipation. This time felt different, I think Eric could feel it too. The silence was so loud I could hardly hear myself breathing. I couldn’t even hear any night time animals such as frogs, owls or other night time birds. It was an odd sensation that would be hard to explain in any book. Just when I was about to check my watch the light switched on the top of my video camera. I sat up a little more alert and I tried to see through the dark. I couldn’t see anything yet. Eric stood up to check the camera. He looked into the view finder. “Everything is running fine… wait… what’s that?” Eric looked up toward the creek. “What? What do you see?” I asked as I slowly stood up and tried to look in the same direction as Eric. Eric looked back into the camera. “It’s right over the water. Look!” He said as he stepped aside, careful not to step out of our protective circle. I looked into the view finder. A massive blue light was swirling above the water almost like a whirl pool but up right like a door. It pulsed every few seconds like an ‘open’ sign in a store front window. Before I could even tear myself away from the strange sight, I started to see people walking out of the whirl pool; women, men and even children. I looked up and I found I didn’t even need the camera to see the ghostly people. They all had a transparent blue color. The children caught my attention first. One of the children was that of a little boy, he had to of been at least ten. He was walking around crying and looking around every tree, every bush and he even went up to all the other ghost asking them where his parents were. My heart started to beat faster as his milky blue eyes connected with mine and he walked towards me. He stopped in front of my sweet grass. “Do you know me?” The boy asked with a watery frown. I looked at Eric then back to the boy. “No I don’t. I’m sorry. What’s your name?” “Thomas. Can you help me find my parents?” He asked with hope on his transparent face. But before I could answer he drifted away as if he knew the answer. I watched him until my heart couldn’t take it any longer. I let my eyes drift around to the other ghost. There was a lady in a bathing suit; she laid out a towel and took out sun block and rubbed it all over her body. She then lay down as if the sun was shining brightly over her cold body. Another child, a little girl, was jumping rope, a man was standing by the creek with a fly fishing rod and there was actually a life guard in the guard chair that was empty earlier today. If I didn’t know these were ghost and in the middle of the night, I would have thought this was a summer day, full of activities, picnics and sunbathers. I looked over at Eric who was filming as much as he could, smiling to himself. He finally had the proof he needed. I sat down and watched with amazement. There really was life after death, I just knew it. Too bad my grandmother wasn’t here to see my proof. I was snapped out of my wonderment when I heard a loud angry voice. It was pulsing red and headed straight for me and Eric. The closer he got the louder he became. He looked like he had been at least fifty when he died. He had shorts and a Hawaiian shirt on. He walked all the way up to the protective circle. “Just who the hell are you! Huh? Your just here to make fun of us! Leave! You’re not welcome here!” He said as he landed a few punches on the protective barrier the sweet grass provided. Our barrier vibrated all around us and that just made the man angrier. “Please sir… we are just here to observe. Please calm down!” I yelled back. The man was yelling so hard I couldn’t even hear the words leaving my mouth. I looked over at Eric and he was frozen in fear. I looked around the angry man and all the other ghost had gathered up in a tight group and looked on with fear. They all feared this man. I looked back to the man and he was staring quietly at me. His eyes began to pulse red. “You cannot have them. They are mine.” He said in a whisper. Before I could answer the man began to growl. It was a low menacing sound, unlike anything I have ever heard before, even worse than an angry dog. He appeared to be foaming at the mouth and my fear only deepened when I realized he was going from a ghost to a solid form. This was not a ghost and it was unlike anything I had ever encountered before. He kept hitting the barrier over and over as if he was imitating a slow knock on a door. He was drooling and panting and clawing at the barrier. I searched my brain for anything I may have ever heard or maybe ever read that may give me a clue as to what I should do. My mind came up empty. I looked down and decided to search my bag. Maybe there could be something in there, nope, no such luck. I looked up and I had an idea right as I saw the man’s foot cross over my protective thresh hold. Eric had abandoned his post at the camera and jumped on the angry man. I grabbed a hot piece of sweet grass and I went over to the man’s struggling face and I shoved the sweet grass into his mouth. He tried to scream but he just clawed at his face as smoke poured from his mouth. Eric and I jumped back and watched as the man thrashed around as if he was having a seizure until he became still. His body suddenly began to sink deep into the soil at our feet and then he vanished. Eric and I just stared at the spot, then at each other and then we hugged. Fear rippled through me as I realized we were standing outside the sweet grass protection. I pulled away from Eric and I looked around. The entire group of ghost had encircled us and was staring at us with different looks of shock and disbelief on their transparent faces, some were quietly whispering to each other. A small little old lady wove her way through the group of ghost, found her way to the front and she came face to face with me. “You have freed us. Thank you.” She said as she lifted her hand to my face. Had she been alive that would have been a sweet gesture but instead it felt as if I had dunked my head in ice water. Eric and I watched in silence as one by one all of the ghost returned to the whirl pool on the creek water and disappeared. I realized there was no way Eric and I could show the footage to the world. These ghosts had been real people and they had been held prisoner here by that powerful entity. Some how it felt like it would be a betrayal to their memory. As we packed up our gear, I knew that our ghost hunting days had just begun. We had to find Eric’s brother and I knew that there had to be other trapped spirits out there that could not move on. I wonder if Eric’s brother was one of those trapped spirits. All I knew at this point, was that our lives were about to change forever. I’m not so sure that is a good thing.