Reboots DaMachina!: October 2004: "Saturday, October 30, 2004
Ghost hunter in Johnson City, TN
Retired Professor Hunts Ghosts in Tenn.
Fri Oct 29, 8:06 PM ET Strange News - AP
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Halloween isn't the only time ghosts and spirits haunt parts of Tennessee. Nancy Acuff should know. The retired East Tennessee State University professor has investigated many sightings in the region and helped people understand why places might be haunted.
In time for the spooky holiday, Acuff recalled some of her most interesting hunts for haunts.
A Jonesborough man called Acuff once and told her his house was haunted.
'He woke up one morning to find the image of a dead, bloody child on the floor beside his bed; very traumatic,' Acuff said.
'Sometime later, while watching television one night, he said he saw the image of two turn-of-the-century-dressed families walk through his house.'
Acuff told the man to set up a video camera in the hallway to try to capture the image. Acuff and the man reviewed the video and saw what appeared to be a globe of light at first, followed by the shadows of a man, a woman and two children.
Then out of nowhere a voice shouted, 'What are all these ghosts doing here?'
'The gentleman almost fainted when we heard that voice,' she said. 'The voice, he said, was the voice of his late wife, who had died of cancer a while back.'
Acuff found evidence that a small child had been killed on a road near the house to explain the image the man saw.
Acuff said a church was once located near the man's house, and she believes the ghosts were walking to the church.
After Acuff found some explanations, the man told her the ghostly images stopped appearing.
There have been other ghostly sightings reported in Jonesborough.
The image of 'Parson' Brownlow, a Methodist minister, founder of a newspaper in Jonesborough, governor of Tennessee immediately after the Civil War and later a U.S. Senator, has been seen walking the Jonesborough cemetery on some nights.
'He was a real fire-and-brimstone type of minister,' Acuff said. 'The thing that is puzzling is why his ghostly image has been seen here. He is buried in Knoxville.'
Some believe one of his wives is buried there. Others think Brownlow buried five to six people at a time in graves at the cemetery after they died of typhoid or cholera.
Ghosts and spirits of dead people are not to blame for all hauntings. Acuff investigated another freaky episode she attributed to a doppelganger, a German word that means 'double walker' and refers to an image or action of a person still alive.
A Johnson City woman, who Acuff described as intelligent and well-informed, told her that on certain holidays, birthdays or family gatherings she would come home and find her normally neat closet in disarray.
Acuff delved into the relationships in the woman's family to find an answer to the disturbance.
The woman's mother-in-law had Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites) and was living in a nursing home. The woman's husband never went to see his mother or call her because he regarded her as dead.
As Acuff tells it, after the family visited the nursing home and told the mother how concerned they were about her, the closet disturbances stopped.
Information from: Johnson City Press, http://www.johnsoncitypress.com"