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written by CCIPR Investigator, Carol Starr


I attended Paracon at Pennhurst Asylum this year for the 1st time. I was with Bob from our group, CCIPR, and we also met up with some friends from another group that were there too. We started out walking through the Mayflower building. There was a really nice museum section showing what life was like during the years Pennhurst was open. We wandered from floor to floor just imagining the patient’s daily struggles. Then we went down into the basement area of Mayflower. The light was much dimmer there and we were all using flashlights to see our way around the very large rooms. We split up and I started to walk through a doorway to another section when I felt a very hard 2 taps on my right shoulder. I immediately spun to my right and did a complete circle not seeing anyone near me at all. I spotted Bob about 30 feet ahead of me. I walked up to him and asked if he had just tapped me on the shoulder and, seeing that he had his hands full with equipment, he said “No”. I told him what had happened and we kept on moving through the area.

By the time we left Mayflower, we had lost our friends from the other group. We then headed over to Devon building. We went up to the 2nd floor where all the vendors were set up. We spent an hour or so walking around and checking all of the vendor tables out, including my sister’s table for her group, The Ghost Seekers.

We headed back to the outdoor yard area for some lunch and sat in my car for a few minutes to review some of the audio. Bob came across an EVP about the same time that I had reported being “tapped” on my shoulder. I had said “It’s ok if you want to follow us through the building”, and the EVP captured was “Carol, We’re Allowed”. This was a very exciting capture!

After some much needed lunch and cool refreshments, we headed back into Devon (to deliver lunch to my sister), and to explore the floors before heading home. When we finished up and we started to walk down the hallway to the stair case to exit, Bob moved on ahead of me so I had stopped to take a photo of the end of the hall. I thought it was really interesting showing the window and wall features. I took the photo then caught up with Bob at the staircase to the exit.

When we got to my car, I quickly scanned my photos to see if anything unusual came up. All of my photos were taken in areas or rooms with no one in them. This also included the hallway photo. When I came to that photo, I looked at it and asked Bob to review it. He looked at it for a few minutes and said “I think you have something”. I couldn’t wait to get home and see it on the computer screen. 

I reviewed all my photos that I took at Pennhurst when I returned home. Each photo came out so good showing the rooms, beds, and equipment used so long ago. Then I came to the “Hallway Photo”. I know that I was completely alone when I took it, but here was a “figure” seeming to be taking a big stride across the room. The feet look so unbalanced or twisted in stride. Moving up from the feet, I notice that you can see right through the legs to the crumbling walls. As I look further up, I see something that looks as if it’s carrying something….clipboard?  Maybe. Then, the upper shoulders and neck and head seems to narrow and disappear! 

I never jump to conclusions and so I passed this photo along to several friends and members of my team for their opinions. They all seemed to be perplexed at what they were seeing. I know that there is no way I took a photo of someone that was living and walking through that hallway. Maybe it was the spirit that we invited to follow us throughout our visit there or the one that tapped me on my shoulder. In any case, I had a wonderful and exciting time visiting Pennhurst and I’m looking forward to another visit there in the future.

- Carol Starr, CCIPR.org

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