It’s nearly October and time to think about some haunted history and ghost stories. I pulled a skeleton (story) out of my closet that just might make the hair on your arms stand up on ends. On a past press trip to Foley, Alabama, myself along with ten travel writers took a tour of the Holmes Medical Museum. And the rest is, well, history.
During the trip to the small charming town, something unexplainable happened. Look closely at the photos and what appears to be a shadowy figure next to me. Was it some sort of energy? A ghost?
The museum is housed in a former hospital that was built in the 1930’s and closed sometime during the 1960’s. Many babies were birthed in the hospital, in fact, the docent giving the tour was born in the hospital. Doctors also performed surgery and took care of whatever ailed the townspeople. The equipment looks medieval compared to today’s standards.
As I was walked up the stairs to the second floor of the hospital, I began to feel a little uneasy. It was dark, the stairs creaked, and the antiquated medical items on display made me feel a bit nervous. I eyed long needles sitting next to a needle sharpener. They didn’t have disposable needles in those days, so they used the same needle over and over while sharpening it from time to time.
When I walked into a second-floor room filled with antique medicine bottles on display, my eyes caught the site of a skeleton hanging at the far corner. A professional photographer on the trip, Patrice Raplee, asked me to stand next to the skeleton to have my photo taken. As I neared the skeleton it appeared to be R-E-A-L! Yikes! Afterwards, the docent said it was a real human skeleton. I let out a shriek once I saw up close that this was not one of the plaster ones from our childhood teachings of the human body.
Before I go on, keep in mind that this was a cloudy day. There was only one window at the opposite corner of an approx. 200 square foot room, no other people were in the room, no shadows to cast, and no flash was used. Patrice had a long lens on her camera (about 10 inches). I leaned in toward the skeleton to make it appear that I was touching it when in actuality I was slightly behind it.
I posed smiling while Patrice snapped my photo letting out a gasp, “OH MY!” I asked what was wrong. She said, “I’ll show you in a minute …let me take another photo.” She snapped another photo immediately. Then others began coming into the room to find out what happened. Upon showing me the first photo I too gasped! Yikes! I could not believe my eyes. The photo showed me standing next to the skeleton, and appearing in front of me was a black, wispy, transparent, apparition (for lack of a better description). It looks like a person standing with their arms in the air. No, this was not Patrice’s hand or fingers. She was holding a long telephoto lens and I saw her take the photo.
So I leave it to your eyes. View the photos, the first with the black, transparent figure in the dark corner compared to the photo taken immediately after. Keep in mind there was nothing to cast shadows, no flash, no one else standing in the room.
Upon her return to Seattle, Patrice took the photos to the University of Washington to show it to a few professionals. She explained to me that the consensus among the professionals was that the shadowy figure had nothing to do with the camera and it could not be explained.
The museum’s docent had told us that other visitors have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange moans. And she left it at that.
So I ask, does the Medical Museum in Foley have ghosts? You may have to visit to see for yourself.