The Richmond Register

Local News

April 2, 2012

Ghost hunters detect spirits at Boone Tavern

BEREA — Is Boone Tavern, the 103-year-old hotel and restaurant owned by Berea College, haunted?

The 40 ghost hunters who spent Friday and Saturday at the hotel think it is.

The haunting is nothing to be alarmed about, however, said Patti Starr of Ghost Chasers International Inc., who organized the search.

Contrary to all the ghost stories told to frighten children, the spirits usually are shy and almost always benign, Starr said. In fact, they can be helpful to us, and we may be of help to them. If people with bodies help those who have passed on, however, they can return the favor.

Although the spirits often are all around us and may sometimes startle us, for the most part we remain unaware of their presence, Starr told those who came to learn or improve their ghost-hunting skills.

Spirits are easier to detect if the hunter has special equipment that can detect the energy fields and vortexes of beings without bodies.

This past weekend’s event was all about where to look and about using the right equipment.

An abundance of spirits were present at Boone Tavern over the weekend, Starr said before the sleuths broke into small teams Saturday night for their final search of the event.

“This place is like a train station with spirits coming and going,” she said, after numerous vortexes were detected on the property.

Most were detected in the basement, but some were located on the first and second floors, Starr said.

Matter may be converted to energy, but neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed, according to a law of modern science, said Chuck Starr, Patti’s husband.

When a person dies, the body no longer houses its spirit. Where the spirit goes remains a mystery, but a nearby spirit’s energy can be detected with devices that respond to electro-magnetic radiation.

Once contact is made, the radio-like devices can be used for voice contact.

A rebuilt Edison telephone was the first basic ghost-wave detector, said Jennifer Kirkland of Harrodsburg, who learned ghost hunting from Patti Starr and now has her own enterprise.

The group gathered in a darkened rear area of the hotel lobby as Kirkland turned in the spirit detector, which crackled like a short-wave radio. After a strong-steady sound was obtained, Starr said it had located a vortex.

Those huddled around the set held out digital recorders and snapped photos with cameras.

Starr then called out, “Are there any spirits here? If there is someone on the other side, please say hello.”

“Hey,” a faint garbled voice replied.

“Are you happy over there?” Starr asked. “Quite a bit,” the voice said.

“Do you have any advice for us,” Starr asked, hoping to continue the conversation.

Only static could be heard.

“Is there anyone you’d like to speak with here?” Starr asked, but the contact was lost.

The group split up to try their luck as smaller teams elsewhere in the building.

Members of the hotel staff spoke to the group and told how the voice of a boy named Timmy had been heard in the hotel basement over the years.

Starr, who has organized previous ghost-hunting weekends at the hotel, said the sleuths once made contact with a spirit of a doctor who had tried to save Timmy’s life. Although the doctor had failed to save the little boy, he had resolved to look after him “on the other side.”

A few people with special sensitivity do not need special equipment to communicate with the spirits, both Kirkland and her friend Susan Rushing said. Rushing, a Kentucky native, lives in Atlanta, where she works as a professional medium.

Bill Robinson can be reached at or at 624-6622.

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