First blog post! Yayyy! Okay, sorry. I guess I really should bring the tone down a bit. This is supposed to be a professional site on a somber subject. But still, I have to admit I am excited to finally get started on this project!
So, a bit about me. I'm a school teacher from New Jersey. I teach 3rd and 4th grade. Shaping the future minds of America! (Or so I'm told.) I'm a woman in my mid-40s, I live alone in a small house in a nice neighborhood with my bearded Collie, Fluffer.
What made the Ghostland Disaster so personal to me is that I was supposed to be there on opening day. The only reason I wasn't is because of a flat tire on the drive that delayed us just long enough that the park was already locked down when we got there. There were a lot of really peeved-off people wanting to get in by then, believe me. But once we heard those screams—oh boy, we did we not want to be anywhere near that place, I'll tell you that much.
I guess I should explain, because if you knew me personally or if you saw me in front of my class you wouldn't think I was the type of woman who would be interested in Ghostland at all. My friends and coworkers thought I went a bit loopy. Thing is, I've never been big into horror movies or anything like that, but I've always been fascinated by the idea of ghosts. Particularly once I started binge-watching The Ghost Brothers paranormal investigation series a few years back.
But I guess even before I heard they would be lending their likenesses to an "authentic haunting experience," what first made me actually think about going to Ghostland was seeing an interview with the inventor of the "Recurrence Field" on 60 Minutes, Sara Jane Amblin. She seemed so smart and passionate about her work and I wanted to bring back some of that enthusiasm for my own work that I'd had when I first started teaching.
Of course, the alleged "proof" of ghosts shook a lot of us in teh teaching world too. When I saw the interview, the school board was already voting to add it to the curriculum (the vote passed, it is being taught in 5th grade health in the new year). So I was definitely keen to see all of this for myself, even though I scare very easily. I brought a friend with me (she wants to remain anonymous, due to restrictions at her job) and we drove out to Maryland, to the quaint little town of Duck Falls. She's much braver than me and promised to hold my hand if I got too scared. Well, once the screaming started - and I mean really screaming, not just the kind of screams you'd hear from the roller coasters and rides like that - I sure did need that hand of hers! I'm pretty sure she squeezed mine as tightly as I squeezed hers.
I got to thinking on the way back home. In a way, this is our children's 9/11. The biggest mass national tragedy for post-millennium babies. These kids already had to deal with the fact that ghosts are real, that there really is something after death and it's probably not what they were taught in church or school, and now they had to process what had happened at Ghostland.
I started thinking about this project once the lawsuits got under way. All of those stuffed shirts talking about "liability" and "culpability" but nobody really apologizing, everyone just passing the buck. It reminded me of the BP Oil spill - gosh, it gets me upset just thinking about it now!!!
So with all this in mind, I wanted to preserve the memory of everyone who passed on April 27. I wanted to make sure that no big-time executive with an expense account and a platinum credit card could sweep it all under the rug. I wanted to be sure future generations would remember the Ghostland Disaster - because I would sure never forget!
In that spirit (no pun intended), I decided to find everything I could about Ghostland, about its founders, Rex Garrote and the Hedgewood Foundation, and about Sara Jane Amblin. I've done a lot of research that's still ongoing, and I'm making calls to all of the fellow survivors from that day. It's been a pretty daunting task but whenever Fluffer isn't panting to go for walkies I'm at my computer, typing away or researching, or on the phone with someone who just wants their story to be heard.
And I have to admit, much of this is personal. It's helping me deal with the trauma I suffered that day and I hope it can help heal the wounds we all suffered. A lot of people believe that trauma is what creates ghosts, what keeps them from moving on - according to Ms. Amblin's notes, she believed it too. If we can heal and move forward, maybe we won't get stuck in a recurrence field of our own. If that makes any sense.
Anyway, I hope you continue with me on this journey of discovery and healing. I've already got quite a few pages up and running (my younger brother is a web wizard), so feel free to have a look around! And if you have any questions or concerns, shoot me an email with the comments section below!
Thank you all for the outpouring of appreciation and support! I am truly grateful! But please, be respectful. I've had to moderate a whole lot of hate speech and delete a bunch of uncorroborated conspiracy garbage. Let me say it again for those of your in the back: there is no proof this was anything but a technological breakdown. Wild speculation about Rex Garrote being still alive has no place here. People have been traumatized enough without feeding the fire.
Anyway, enough of the negative stuff. If you're a returning visitor, I've added some more photos to the Bright Falls Sanitarium page. I was able to find pics of Morton Welles, the so-called Bright Falls Zombie, as well as Emma Lou Amesbury, whom the Know Your Ghosts pamphlet calls "the Nun"! There's something really creepy about those eyes of hers, don't you think? But also, I don't know - powerful, maybe? I've also added a handful of interviews from online news and a segment on MSNBC.
Okay, I've officially had to close the comments section. Gosh, what a dumpster fire, as my fourth-graders would say! "If you can't play nice I'll confiscate your toys," is what I tell them. I hope you Garrotegate people are happy. We were having some great discussions that needed to be had, and you ruined it for everyone. Go back to 4chan or the dark web or wherever it was you skulked out of and let people have something nice for once.
Sheesh! I deal with 9 and 10-year-olds all day long and none of them behave as childish as some of you. You should really be ashamed of yourselves.
Anyway, sorry for all of that unpleasantness. From now on I will only be responding to legitimate emails through this site. For those of you who hav been pleasant and respectful, I'm sorry to have to do this. But it's the only way to maintain my sanity.
Only two updates today: someone sent me a park map they found. You can see it in the Photos & Artifacts section. It looks like it really went through the ringer! I bet it belonged to one of the survivors at one point.
Also, some big news! I've got an interview lined up with one of the people who worked at the park. So that should be a fountain of information. Stay tuned!