Unexplainable readings registered on the electromechanical field meter in the Paw Paw Tunnel. Dug by hand using picks, shovels and black powder explosives, the brick canal tunnel is 3,118 feet long. “What perplexed me was the K2 meter going off at the end of the tunnel,” Steve Hall said.
Hall, a Flintstone resident, teaches an advanced paranormal investigations class at Allegany College of Maryland.
On a recent night, he led a dozen of his students through the tunnel to investigate the historic site.
Part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, many folks between 1836 and 1850 died in accidents during the tunnel’s construction, labor riots and because of diseases such as cholera.
“I don’t know it if was (radio interference or a remote car door opener) or a cell phone,” Hall said of the recent meter activity. “I want to go back and investigate it further.”
The paranormal class uses various detectors including temperature monitors and cameras to conduct investigations.
According to Hall, digital audio recorders can pick up communications called Electronic Voice Phenomenon that register in audio ranges the human ear can’t detect.
Recently, Hall’s class researched a 2010 times-news.com article on a paranormal investigation at Puccini Restaurant, east of Cumberland.
ACM paranormal class instructors at that time investigated the nearly 200-year-old building that served as a temporary hospital for wounded soldiers, particularly the battle at nearby Folck’s Millduring, during the Civil War.
Hall, who joined the ACM staff in October and is a member of the Spring Gap Paranormal Incident Response Team, was a member last summer of the now defunct Western Maryland Paranormal Society.
He said one of the most active places for the paranormal in Allegany County was the RC Frostburg 1-2-3 Cinemas.
“I thought I saw a man’s head and shoulders sitting in a seat,” Hall said.
Many folks, according to Hall, have seen figures and shadows in the theatre as well as capturing EVPs on monitoring equipment.
“Based on the research at the location, it’s the spirit of a former projectionist,” he said. “People become attached to a certain place.”
Although two members of Hall’s class remain skeptical, others say they have firsthand experience.
“Our family has had some experiences,” Jennifer Glotfelty and added said several of her family members have seen a strange apparition at their house in Friendsville.
“It is on the family farm my dad grew up on,” Glotfelty said. “My grandma saw it. All of the kids have seen it. It appears to be a male caretaker at the farm. I believe he is protective of children.”
Class member JoAnn Flinn used to work in Petersburg, W.Va.
“I would drive and I saw a man and woman walking on the road and they were in old time clothes,” she said. “When I passed them, I looked in the rearview mirror they weren’t there.”
Class member John Henry Sr., of Fort Ashby said he lives in a house that has “a lot of” paranormal activity.
While some folks don’t believe in ghosts, “I think there is an afterlife,” he said.