Monday, August 14, 2006

A Haunting in Americus?

I love a good ghost story. Always have. But this one hits close to home. My dad was born in Americus, Georgia and graduated from high school there. With family still in the Americus/Cordele/Lake Blackshear area, we made frequent visits to see them from time to time.

The undeniably most recognizable symbol of Americus is the famous Windsor Hotel. No, Queen Elizabeth and her relatives don't own it or stay there. It just bears the name. Since nearby Plains is too small for appropriate accomodations, the hotel has hosted dignataries from around the world passing through the area to visit Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. People like the late Egyptian Pres. Anwar and First Lady Jihan Sadat have enjoyed its beautiful old surroundings. I have a cousin that has a vivid memory of George H.W. Bush in 1976, then the CIA director, visiting the hotel. Mr. Bush left rather angry as President-elect Carter had just informed him that he would not be retained. Perhaps Bush decided right then and there to make his first run for the presidency in 1980 within the very walls of the Windsor.

But according to the Albany Herald, the Windsor has a couple of non-paying guests too.

Robinson, who has been with the hotel for six years, said she fully believes the ghost of a maid and her daughter, killed in the early 1900's, still roam the halls of the hotel.

"I am very much convinced," said Robinson, who has not had any paranormal experiences outside of the castle-like hotel.

And now a team of experts is trying to find out if otherworldly spirits inhabit the hotel.

The Big Bend Ghost Trackers, of Tallahassee, Fla., who have been featured on The Learning Channel, the History Channel, CNN, Time Magazine and UPN, spent the night Sunday night to try to catch some evidence of spirits in the hotel.

Betty Davis, a member of a four-woman team at the hotel Sunday, said they use infrared cameras, motion detectors, thermal and electrical sensors and other equipment to document any non-human changes in the environment that can indicate the presence of a ghost or spirit.

"Ghosts are everywhere," Davis said.

And it's not even October yet. ;-)

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