Well, it’s that time of year again; the weather turns colder, the leaves start falling, and everyone’s thoughts turn to things that go bump in the night. That can only mean one thing–I’m getting ready to take part in the annual Lima Lantern Tours!
Every October, I am usually asked to participate in several walking/ghost tours. And while some of them mark return visits for me and others are first time endeavors, the one that I always look forward to the most is the Lima Lantern Tours. Most people think that’s because of the tour’s truly unique way of dragging guests down the main streets of Lima in a horse-drawn carriage. And while I’ll be the first to admit that the horses are a huge part of it, for me, the best thing about these tours is it allows me to help create a special moment in time for some of the guests, all because of something I did on a whim.
Back in 2009, while I was attending my first Lantern Tour, I was just hanging out in the back of the carriage with the guests. Since it was my first time on the Tour, I wasn’t actually sure what was expected of me. When we arrived at the Ohio Theatre, the carriage stopped and we were all allowed to go inside. As we were standing in the lobby and the tour guide was talking about the reported hauntings, I instinctively reached into my bag and pulled out an EMF meter. I saw some of the guests look at me kind of strange, so I began explaining to everyone why ghost researchers use EMFs on investigations. Off to my right, there was a young girl, no older than 9 or 10, who just kept staring at the EMF in my hand. Without thinking, I handed it to her and said “here, give it a try.” And boy, did her face light up! She grabbed the device and immediately started scanning the walls, the floor, and, of course, her family and friends! Others in the group looked on, with perhaps a hint of jealousy in their eyes. Before long, I was digging into my bag, dispensing EMFs, ELFs, and IR thermometers to the crowd.
I allowed everyone to keep the devices for the remainder of the evening. Provided, of course, they shared them with the group. At the end of the tour, everyone thanked me and said that they had been dying to use “ghost” equipment ever since they had seen them on television. Even the young girl admitted to me that once she saw her first episode of Ghost Hunters, she wanted to try out an EMF for herself. She said that I made her night. And in saying that, she made mine.
Every year since then, I make sure to pack plenty of handheld devices to take on the Lantern Tours. Recently, I bring so much that I must have a member of The Ghosts of Ohio, usually Darrin or Steph, drag along a big ol’ duffel bag full of stuff to hand out. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing the look on someone’s face, young or old, when I had them a piece of ghost-hunting equipment and they hold it in their hands for the first time. It’s priceless.
Tickets for the Lima Lantern Tours sell out quickly every year, but you can purchase them here. Hope to see you all out there! I’ll be the one hanging on the back of the carriage with a big duffel bag!