OPS Central - HAUNTING THOUGHTS…… from the Bald Rock Lodge at Cheaha.
HAUNTING THOUGHTS…… from the Bald Rock Lodge at Cheaha.
Written by Kevin Woodrow
As you have discovered in our “Case Files” on this site, we here at OPS were recently given the wonderful opportunity of completing a full night investigation at the Bald Rock Lodge on Mt. Cheaha. And before I get into the meat of my article, let me just say that the lodge is gorgeous. We could never be grateful enough to the kind folks up there allowing us to occupy their property for a short while. We truly appreciate the beauty of the place, and your hospitality.
Unfortunately for me, however, it was during this investigation that I experienced my most frustrating event since joining the team. This event was, by no means, frightening - just very, very frustrating.
You may have already read about the incident with a door in our Bald Rock Lodge investigation report. None-the-less, I’ll tell you again exactly what happened.
At around 12:30 A.M. Lance, Derrick, and I decided to take a walk around the outside of the lodge, while Mark and Dewey remained at our base setup (on the upper floor) in order to monitor the 4 video cameras we had in various locations throughout the building. The three of us took several photos as we slowly made our way around to the patio area on the left side of the building. Soon after arriving at the grilling area near the patio we began hearing some interference on our two-way radios. At that point we began trying to “radio” Mark and Dewey to see if they were trying to get in touch with us.
That’s when it happened. That frustrating occurrence that has bugged me ever since.
As we attempted to figure out the radio interference, we were facing away from the building and patio. Suddenly, I heard a noise coming from the patio. I turned my head in that direction just in time to see a door, which lead from the patio into the main lobby of the lodge, standing wide open all by itself. By the time I saw it, the door was in the process of the closing. I had a split second to react, and muttered something to Lance and Derrick, alerting them to the door. Just as soon as the two turned their heads to look, the door slammed shut pretty hard.
Almost instantly, Mark’s voice came over the radio, “Hey, did you guys just slam a door downstairs?!”
As we hurried over towards the door, snapping photos as we did, we let Mark and Dewey both know that we were outside at the time, and I let them know what I had seen. Immediately after arriving at the door, I tried to open it. It was locked. Most of the doors to the lodge can only be opened with a “key card” and this door was no different. We radioed for Mark and Dewey to come downstairs and check out the door from the inside. Moments later, Mark made it to the door and he said that the deadbolt on the door was engaged. He unlocked the door and it opened.
The deadbolt played a vital role as we attempted to figure out how the door apparently opened and closed on it’s own. You see, if the door had not been properly closed the last time it was used, the wind could in fact have opened and closed it, making it appear to have done the trick on it’s own. However, even if that were the case, how could the door have dead bolted itself once it had slammed shut.
We tested the door incident in several different ways, and could never definitively come up with a logical solution. We have yet to come up with a viable explanation.
The fact that we have no explanation is not what bothers me, though. That I could deal with. The part that bothers me is that we have no documentation of the incident. At the time of this event, we had four video cameras stationed inside the lodge - not a single one was facing near that door.
This is just a harsh reality that someone investigating the paranormal must get used to, however. When dealing with something unknown - something that may or may not exist - how can you conclusively predict when and where the entity will appear or become active? Furthermore, you cannot always know which way to have a camera pointed to capture the evidence. And, not having things aligned just perfectly could mean the difference between having proof and having just another story to tell.
Don’t get me wrong, though, ghost stories are great. Truly having a ghostly encounter, for the most part I’m sure, is an amazing thing. When you know you saw an apparition, heard a haunting voice, or felt a ghostly touch, that can be something that means a great deal to you, and is something you can share with others through your own words. Just because you don’t have proof doesn’t make it any less real. However, that is not what OPS is searching for. If there in fact is something of a paranormal nature at a location that we investigate, we want proof - recorded evidence that can be shared with the owners or residents of that property, so as to help them understand what is going on. And, in the process, possibly sharing our findings with others so they can come to their own conclusions about what might be causing certain phenomena.
Many times during an investigation, you may never capture anything remotely close to evidence. In fact, many times, nothing that cannot be explained ever happens. So, at the Bald Rock Lodge, when that door opened and closed, there was a slim moment in time when we could possibly have captured some intriguing visual evidence. However, as it were, luck was not on our side at that moment.
Frustrating? Definitely. I think I’ve made that clear.
But that’s the nature of the beast, I guess you could say. Missing a chance like that is a tough pill to swallow indeed. None-the-less, it’s a pill we will just have to swallow. Sometimes you just have to stop whining and take your medicine.
As we move forward, though, there is one sentence… one “saying” that makes me smile. One very commonly heard phrase that, in light of the event that has caused my frustrations, gives me hope for our future investigations. I must always keep in mind…
“When one door closes, another one opens.”
Until next time,