Joyce Perrin being interviewed at the Josephine. (Photo by Faye Gaston)

Joyce Perrin being interviewed at the Josephine. (Photo by Faye Gaston)

By Faye Gaston

Ghost hunting is the practice of going to supposedly haunted locations to investigate ghosts' presence (deceased human beings). Their investigations are beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation. Ghost hunters are riding a wave of popularity, having their own "reality" shows, taking advantage of society's craving for thrills and chills.

It is a fascination with the occult (supernatural) for a technological age. A team of ghost hunters came to Union Springs on Thursday, March 25, through Saturday, March 27, 2021. Shane Pittman (Columbus, GA), Josh Purvis (Macon, GA), and Ray Causey (Warner Robins, (GA), plus two camera operators and three cameras, came as a production company, "Dynes Media."

The finished product would be used to pitch to TV networks and Streaming Platforms. They said they had filmed their ghost hunts in hundreds of locations in many states. Shane Pittman came to Union Springs eight years ago to investigate ghosts' reported presence in the old Josephine (Hotel) Arts Center, old Pauley Jail, old Courthouse, and the old (Confederate) City cemetery.

He said that he saw a "whole body apparition" (ghost) at the end of a hall on the second floor of the Josephine for the first time, and he was terrified. Pittman said he has been coming back to Union Springs because "It is a welcoming town, a unique town," and some of his most "impactful experiences" have been here because "everyone has a ghost story."

He said the team's purpose is not to convince people to believe in ghosts but to find out "what it is and why it is happening." History is highlighted through these stories. On Thursday, two local women who know a lot of Bullock County history were interviewed and filmed at the Josephine. Joyce Perrin told about ghost stories related to the historic Josephine Hotel, now a museum about Bullock County.

Barbara McLaurine told about the deaths associated with the old Pauley Jail, now a museum, such as a lynching and hangings. Sheriff Raymond Rodgers was interviewed in his office in the courthouse. The team would be in Union Springs for two more days to use equipment to film and record locations of cold spots in the air or voices or sounds or lights, indications of a "ghost infestation."

Living in the Bible Belt, questions were asked concerning what the Bible said about ghosts, meaning spirits of people who have died. The Bible does not say anything about the practice of "ghost hunting," but it says a lot about spirits and the occult. In the Old Testament, God's law forbade contacting the dead, and communication with the dead was associated with evil.

Deuteronomy 18:11-12, an abomination---Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27, don't turn to "mediums:," a person who supposedly talks with the dead; Also 2 Kings 23:24; I Samuel 28:1-25. According to the Bible, the only true instance of a haunting would be due to the presence of demons. (Acts 19;14-16). Demons are the fallen angels, one-third of the angels, who rebelled against God with Satan and were thrown out of Heaven with Satan. Christians believe that so-called ghosts are demons posing as dead people, trying to deceive us. Scripture says when people die, their spirit and soul immediately go to Heaven or hell and do not wander the earth (2 Corinthians 5:8) (Relating to thinking Jesus was a ghost, Luke 24:37-39, Matthew 14:25-27.) "Give no regard to mediums or familiar spirits, do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God." (Ephesians 6:11-12 (KJV)

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