The Society of Paranormal Investigations & Research In Tennessee (S.P.I.R.I.T.) has started its annual Ghost Walk Tours through downtown Murfreesboro and has four more Fridays and three more Saturdays slated to begin at 7pm each of those nights. The 5-year-old ghost hunting team could not be happier at the amount of interest the people of Murfreesboro have in the haunted history of the buildings that surround the Square.
“Last year was our first year (leading the tours), and in five nights, we had 852 people come through taking the tour, and the biggest majority were completely in awe of what these brick-and-mortar buildings held besides modern businesses,” says Terry Mayo, the founder and director of the team.
“We are going for nine nights this year, simply to handle the crowds better. We also have a lot of new stories to tell besides the ones from last year,” he continues. “Each building on the tour has been investigated by our team, and it is amazing some of the evidence of the past that lingers, still taking care of what was once theirs.”
Just as last year, the tours start at the alcove of Big B Cleaners.
“We are blessed to have the wonderful folks at Big B letting us use their business as a starting point, to handle the crowds from cold winds or rain. But last year on the final night in a blinding rain, we still had 150 people show up for tours . . . they could have cared less that they were getting soaked,” Mayo says.
On the tours this year, Smotherman’s Antiques, the Blue Rooster, the Courthouse, the Voter Registration Building, the old Health Department, and the City Cafe are just some of the many buildings talked about, all having been investigated by S.P.I.R.I.T. and technical ghost hunting equipment.
“Twice we investigated the Blue Rooster, not leaving until sun-up. The building has a lot of non-paying patrons listening to the music and having a good time; you just can’t see them, and they don’t leave after last call. We have the evidence to prove that,” says Mayo.
“We continue to have the crowds we had last year, and the great thing is, it is only $5 per person. And this year, every 25th person is free. We will be handing out fliers as well for discounts at Fast Express Espresso over at Jackson Heights Plaza and for our Seminar at the Thomas House Hotel in Red Boiling Springs.”
That seminar will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 6-10:30 p.m., and includes a buffet dinner. Special guest Brett McGinnis from this season’s SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters Academy will be speaking about his ghostly encounters and signing photos. The cost is just $40, but you need to call the hotel for room reservations if you wish to stay overnight.
“The hotel is the most haunted building I have, or the team has, ever been in,” Mayo says.
Also, the S.P.I.R.I.T. team will be conducting tours for the third straight year in the Log Cabin building that houses the Murfreesboro Little Theatre on Monday and Tuesday nights, Oct. 25 and 26. The tour starts at 7 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. both nights. The 71-year-old facility has been investigated and declared haunted by the team; of course, any actor who performs regularly at MLT can tell you that. Participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight and camera to this annual event, as all four levels of the building will be toured in the dark. A three dollar donation is asked, but no one will be turned away.
“All proceeds and donations, as in the past, will be given to MLT. This is our contribution to the theatre each year, and we deeply appreciate them letting us use the facility for this event,” the team leader says. “We guarantee a lot of fun and some spooky moments.”