The clock strikes 10 p.m., and immediately the whole room around us transforms, as a nearby train skyrockets past the Adairsville Train Depot. The once sturdy and bright entrance, now shakes violently, as our bones clink together, in tune with the constant throb of the nearby tracks.
On any given day, the clock inside the old train station strikes noon as the distant chugging of a train resonates throughout the town. However, this dark and rainy night, the train station sleeps—at least in appearances. Finally, less than a minute later, the last of the steaming devil has passed, and we are once again faced with the sleeping giant of mysteries.
Why we are in this museum in the middle of the night in the small town of Adairsville, a paranormal investigation site? The thought briefly arrests our courage, momentarily making us rethink our decision to tag along with the Northwest Georgia Paranormal Investigators. However, before we are able to verbally express any uneasiness, the team has moved into the main room of the museum, leaving us in their wake.
We stand in the doorway of the main display room, nervous yet curious about the upcoming events of the evening. The pair of investigators start to unload thousands of dollars of equipment that looks almost alien to us. There are motion sensors with bright lights, camera's, recorders, metal rods, flashlights and many other devices that never seem to end as Beth Adams pulls more and more of the alien equipment out of their carrying cases.
To further confuse an observer, they begin to saunter around the room with an interesting piece of equipment, one that checks for electronic frequencies, in an attempt to eliminate all outside interferences such as light switches and electric heaters. After all extraneous frequencies have been eliminated, they turn to us and ask if we'd like to learn how they communicate with the undead themselves.
To start, Mrs. Adams and her colleague, Joey, pull out a long pair of metallic rods with sensors on the end. These eccentric devices, called Dowsing Rods, are used by paranormal investigators all over the the world. Adams stands with her feet shoulder-length apart and begins to explain how the rods work.
"The rods work more efficiently when you are calm and your breathing is slowed. The person holding the rods stands with their elbows at their sides and feet firmly on the ground while another member of the team asks a question," she said. "You can ask the entity to cross the rods for yes, spread them apart for no, or even ask them to point in the direction of something."
After her brief synopsis, as if in response, Adams holds the rods firmly in her hands, tells one of us to ask a question and draws in a deep breath. Joey clears his throat and says, "Is there anyone in the room with us tonight? Cross the rods for yes."
Immediately, the rods merge together and everyone draws in a quick breath. Mrs. Adams smiles and tells one of us to step forward and hold the rods. She orders everyone else to spread out throughout the room. We each take turns with the rods while everyone else calls out questions. Every time the rods crossed almost instantly, convincing us that this was more than just a fun night out for a good scare.
Throughout the night, various equipment is used, such as the EMF detector, an intricate device which picks up electronic activity (which ghost hunters believe ghosts emanate), and the Infrared Thermal Scanner, which can measure the temperature with a on-point laser in an attempt to capture and record temperature changes on a specific area or body part (ghost hunters also believe ghosts can willingly drop or raise temperatures).
As we help them gather their equipment, Perry asks one last question. "Mrs. Adams, exactly why do you believe ghosts exist or try to communicate with us?" There is a long pause as Adams thinks about how she wants to answer this question.
"Well, I believe that there are some ghosts who simply don't want to move on and simply love being here, where they grew up, where they are comfortable," she said. "My main belief, however, is that there are a lot of people who have died unexpectedly and didn't get the chance to say what they wanted or to accomplish what they had hoped to.
"It's our job to help deliver that message, to say the words that they can't themselves."
With that thought we depart from the train station with a new perspective on the cycle of life and a respect for the dead and everyone in between.
—Danielle Maule contributed to this article.