The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: The Moonlit Hunters

Danny Shaw
The Moonlit Hunters investigated ghostly activity in the Blairmont Country Club.

One night in Hollidaysburg, three students from Bellwood-Antis High School and a friend investigated The Blairmont Country Club for paranormal activity.

Katie Bianchini gathered her friends Evalyna Aiken and Kate Wallace, along with another outside of BAHS Danny Shaw, to go ghost hunting for her 16th birthday.

“I got the idea to do it for my 16th birthday because it is a decent milestone to reach, so I wanted it to be big and fun to enjoy,” commented Bianchini. “I talked about it with my friends ahead of time, so we were all on board for a creepy night of investigating.”

Bianchini first learned of the mysterious club from her father who is an employee at the establishment. “I had easy access for permission to be there after hours. I would hear stories upon stories of strange things happening during work after my dad came home, and unsurprisingly we got what we were looking for.”

I would hear stories upon stories of strange things happening during work after my dad came home, and unsurprisingly we got what we were looking for.

— Katie Bianchini

The haunted tale of the country club is that in the early 20th century when the club was first opened, a young women who some believe to have been called Catherine got pregnant out of wedlock. Her father, who was an esteemed member and possibly the owner of the club, forbid her from marrying the man. Out of grief and other family related issues, she hung herself in the ballroom.

The rookie ghost hunters’ main goal was to find evidence of paranormal activity in the Blairmont. The group came prepared with a video camera, but eventually decided to refrain from taking many pictures and videos in order to not upset any spirits.

The team brought an EMF detector, a tool that measures unexplained changes in electromagnetic fields believed to be created by spirits, flashlights, crystals believed to deflect negative energy, and a pendulum board.

“The pendulum board is more of an old-fashioned tool for communicating with the dead. All you do is dangle a pendulum over a piece of paper with one-word answers like ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The pendulum will swing towards the right word,” stated Wallace. “It’s like a magic-8 ball, but on paper.”

One way the hunters tested for paranormal activity was by placing the EMF detector in a room with a yellow ball beside it. The team watched the ball looking for any spikes of electromagnetic activity. After seeing nothing the team left the ball alone in the room, but it still had not moved after checking back in one it at the end of the night.

This pendulum board was used by The Moonlit Hunters to communicate with spirits via “yes” or “no” questions. (Kate Wallace)

Although their ball experiment failed, the group found success in other spooky instances.

“There was one point when we were near the bar and heard a coin dropping on the floor,” stated Aiken. “Behind the bar it sounded like bottles fell over.” Workers have reported bottles falling off shelves behind the bar the sounds were noticed.

The team also caught a picture of what they believe to be a ghost orb, which is the manifestation of a spirit’s energy that takes form as a floating, glowing orb of light. The team took several consecutive pictures of the same spot, and distinguished a prominent glowing orb from other dust particles in the pictures.

Aiken and Wallace reported they got frequent headaches whenever they visited the spot where the photo was taken. Aiken also got a headache while exploring a game room in the club.

Another common paranormal occurrence reported by the workers was the untying of the left shoe, no matter how well a person’s laces were tied.

Shaw and Wallace both reported having their shoes untied, although Wallace suggest it was because she was not very good at tying laces but after the third time she leaned more to the side of paranormal intervention.

After using their tools and searching the building more, the group believed to have made a new ghostly friend.

While exploring a back room reserved for private parties and the halls around it, the investigators noticed pennies being scattered across the floor. Aiken commented that it felt off because “none of [the investigators] had loose change.”

“We kept hearing faint clangs and would find pennies when we went to look,” stated Shaw. “There were at least eight we found. When we were using the pendulum we kept hearing similar sounds, so we took that as the spirit didn’t like what we had to say.”

The team decided to stay in the party room and conduct more investigations there. They brought out the pendulum board manned by Wallace and recorded audio of the encounter in order to try and communicate with the spirit throwing the loose change.

“It’s important to keep a steady arm while holding the pendulum so I don’t move it on my own,” stated Wallace. “I hold the pendulum loosely in my hand above the center of the paper and stabilize that arm with my other one. We started by asking if anyone was with us, and after the pendulum swung to ‘yes’ we went from there.”

During the session, Shaw stated that he felt like he was being watched over his right shoulder.

After distinguishing between dust particles and lighting, The Moonlit Hunters captured a ghost orb (bottom left). (Kate Wallace)

Wallace and the members asked the spirit questions, and discovered this was the spirit discarding the pennies everywhere. They learned the spirit was once a woman, so speculation flew that she was the one who took her life in the legend.

After more conversation with the spirit, the group came to the decision to give the ghost the nickname Penny. They also came to the conclusion that she was not a dangerous ghost, but just a sad spirit who had been alone for a very long time.

The investigators started asking more questions about her life and tried to uncover the mystery. One question they still had about the legend was: What happened to her baby?

“We knew she had a baby coming into this investigation, and through this ‘yes, no, maybe, unknown’ system we communicated with her and came to the conclusion that, when we returned next, to have more information about her baby,” commented Bianchini.

Some group members went to research information at the Hollidaysburg Public Library at a later date, but came up with little information on the Blairmont and Penny’s baby. “We still want to return to let Penny know we tried,” stated Bianchini.

The group of investigators decided to name themselves The Moonlit Hunters. “We though having a name would be fun and the one we came up with sounded cool,” commented Shaw.

The team currently has no future plans to ghost hunt together and have disbanded.

Although no longer together, each member still holds their experiences at the Blairmont as a night to never forget. “I’ve always wanted to go ghost hunting with friends because it intrigued me to do what ghost hunters do on TV shows. I just really wanted to be in the atmosphere itself to see how much of anything is actually real,” stated Bianchini.

The audio videos the group took during the pendulum session can be accessed here on YouTube.

The Blairmont Country Club does not allow non-members access to the club and does not run any ghost affiliated tours.

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About the Contributor
Kate Wallace, Staff Writer
Kate Wallace Grade 12 Years in Blueprint: 2 What do you hope to do this year: I hope to apply to Penn State and keep my grades up in school. Outside activities: Hiking and baking for my family. Why did you take Blueprint: I have always had a passion for writing, and I want to be involved with my school.  

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