Monday, June 17, 2013

Half Gone Already!

Hi All! We know that it has been a while since we put anything on here, but sometimes the urge to write just isn't as strong as it is other times, so one must wait until something is whispered in ones ear to sit down and compose...or at least that is the excuse we give ourselves!
Looking at the calendar, we see that we are well into the month of June, and that means that the year is almost half over already. Where does the time go? Friday will be Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and the shortest night also. Some say that the veil is thinner on this night, and the spirits can reach across easier. Is this the truth? We don't know, but maybe you will check it out and let us know!

One of our team members just recently completed a medical trip to Haiti. Taking in the scenes there, one really understands how good we have it in this country. A lot of homes are sticks with tarps, some actual tents, many concrete or adobe style rooms with small windows. So many homes without running water or bathrooms, community outhouses are common, and in the mountains even that is lacking. It does make one realize how lucky we are to live in a country where we enjoy so much more than we really need, and have the resources to obtain our goals in life. We hope that everyone will stop and reflect on what they have, and say a word of thanks for all that they have been given in this life. And the next time you pass a collection location, drop in a little bit of change to help, you would be surprised how far that would go, especially in a location where people live and care for their family on less that a few hundred dollars a month.

Which does bring us to our latest investigation....the old YMCA building in Granite City. This building was used from about 1926 to 2004 as the community YMCA. Regulations caused it to be too costly to continue to operate as a Y and it was deeded back to Granite City. There have been several reported deaths in the building, some under mysterious circumstances. More research will be necessary to see if these deaths can be verified. Or will this research lead to more mystery? One never knows.

Our team had the pleasure to investigate this building recently. After Dark Paranormal now calls this building home and is doing cleaning and so much more work to enable the building to be used for events surrounding the paranormal. Part of the money goes back to Granite City, part goes to St. Jude's, and the rest goes to the team to support their work and supplies. They have a lot of work ahead, but have also completed a lot of clean up of the building, and they will be doing the research mentioned above, and be learning more about the history of the building.
We had to, of course, do the YMCA stance made famous in the song by the Village People..isn't that a standard??? But in doing so, we were drawn to what the building stood for when it was constructed. Today when you mention going to the Y, most know that it is a place to exercise, or take classes in various subjects. But the YMCA used to do so much more.

The first YMCA was started in 1844 in London by George Williams. Years later, retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a marine missionary, noticed a similar need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851. In 1856, the nation’s first-known English as a Second Language (ESL) class was held for German immigrants at the Cincinnati YMCA. YMCA housing began in the 1860s to give young men moving to cities from rural areas safe and affordable lodging. Facilities included gyms, auditoriums and hotel-like rooms. Chicago’s Farwell Hall, the first known YMCA dormitory, was completed in 1867. Between 1922 and 1940, YMCA accommodations grew from approximately 55,000 rooms to more than 100,000, more than any hotel chain at the time. In the 1890s, YMCA instructor William Morgan thought basketball was too strenuous for businessmen, so he blended elements of basketball, tennis and handball, and called his invention “mintonette.” In 1896, at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., the name “volley ball” was first used to describe the back-and-forth manner in which the ball flew over the net. Today, more than 46 million Americans play volleyball. In answer to a YMCA campaign “to teach every man and boy in North America” to swim, George Corsan arrived at the Detroit YMCA in 1909 to teach swimming using radical new methods: group swimming lessons and lessons on land as a confidence builder. [This information was taken from the YMCA site and can be read in more detail at this link:  ]

Many small rooms occupy the 2nd and 3rd floors. A large immigrant population from Central and Eastern Europe settled in this area, and possibly called this building home. Possibly they saved money and sent it back home to their families. Small rooms, cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Community bathrooms, community dining rooms, community social rooms. A small price to pay for a safe place to live and food to eat.
We experienced a thunderstorm while we were investigating, and this always leads to the question of whether there is more activity with storms or not. Review of evidence will let us know if it happened this time or not. And if any of the residents of the building still roam the halls. But for us, we enjoyed the opportunity to make new friends, talk some paranormal with experienced investigators, and to be able to see inside a building not yet investigated by many teams. And even if we don't obtain any evidence, we will have enjoyed the night greatly, and are very appreciative of our friends at After Dark Paranormal for the opportunity to visit their "new digs" and to see their vision of the future of this grand building.

You can visit After Dark Paranormal:
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