Category Archives: non fiction

Investigating the Paranormal: A Brief overview of the SCSI.

Hi, Max here. I have been asked in the past why I formed the South Carolina Supernatural Investigations; what were my motivations and why I eventually decided to found a paranormal investigations group? I have always been a skeptic when it comes to anything dealing with the realm of the supernatural. I like to use hard evidence to prove paranormal occurrences rather than senses or feelings. I have never been what some might call a medium, or a sensitive. However, I have always had a knack for analytics and critical thinking. It is by using those skills that I approach all analysis of findings and evidence throughout an investigation.

The first time I encountered anything paranormal was when I was 7 years old. My family had given me a Polaroid camera that I absolutely loved taking pictures with. I had been spending some time at a childhood friend’s house one day when I snapped a picture of the garage in his backyard. Now, this was a large garage; big enough to hold a boat and a couple of cars. On the side of the garage was an awning held up by some support pillars. When the picture I had taken finished developing I saw an image that has stuck with me my entire life. From behind one of the pillars was a completely dark figure leaning out waving at my friend and me. This was long before the idea of shadow people had become prevalent in pop culture. My 7-year-old self didn’t think much of it at the time. I sit here almost two decades later searching for evidence as clear as what I caught on that day with that little camera of mine that has long since been lost to the depths of time.

It wasn’t till 2004 when the show Ghost Hunters first aired on the Syfy channel that I realized what I had found in that picture taken 7 years prior. I started watching that show every week as it aired and always thought to myself, “this is what I want to do.” So I set out to learn as much as I could about the supernatural realms. Reading and researching everything from Bigfoot to the Bermuda Triangle; with every question answered only leading to more questions. Later in 2008, I watched the show Ghost Adventures for the first time and still felt the same drive towards paranormal investigating that I had felt 4 years earlier. I felt what some would describe as a calling. I would think to myself that this in not only what I want to do, but, what I need to do.

Let’s jump to the year 2014, I was working for a company who has long since gone out of business. But, it was here at this place I met my partner and good friend, Aaron Sprouse. Aaron and I both had an curiosity in the supernatural realms. It was at this point in time that Aaron and I decided to found the SCSI and pursue the paranormal ourselves. We started investigating places all across the Upstate of South Carolina as well parts of Georgia and lower North Carolina. Our investigating persisted for nearly a year. But, in mid 2015, personal responsibilities got in the way of us being able to dedicate time to  the SCSI. Aaron has since gotten married and had a beautiful baby boy. He is currently the Chairman of The Cherokee County Libertarian Party as well as working full-time job. While, Aaron does not have the time to pursue the paranormal unknown anymore, he still shares our passion and is always supportive of any endeavors the SCSI may take part in.

For a long time it looked like the SCSI would be lost to infinite depths of the internet, given up on and abandoned. But, in August, 2016 I was contacted by Craig Whyde. Craig and his partner Mike Feria were looking to perform investigations under the organizations umbrella. I welcomed Craig and Mike into the SCSI shortly after being contacted and have been completely impressed by their professionalism and dedication. Thanks to Craig and Mike the SCSI is now back in full swing and will be performing investigations of paranormal claims on a regular basis. Now that Aaron lacks the time to investigate for the SCSI, the core members of the SCSI are Craig, Mike, and I.

If you are reading this and feel any sort of interest in joining feel free to contact me. Also, if you feel like the things that go bump can be attributed to paranormal causes we are always available to investigate to try and bring you piece of mind. I look forward to a bright future with the SCSI and will strive to find answers to life’s most unexplained questions. Until the next time,

Maxwell Alexander    Founder/SCSI

 

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Revisiting Booger Jim Bridge Pt. 1

Nothing there huh? Her words resonated through my mind over and over again as i walked away from the local resident of Cherokee falls community of Blacksburg, S.C. The legend, the mystery, the dying cumminity deserved another visit. I had to give it to them. To all of you, our fans, you deserved another look at the legendary tale of “Booger Jim.”

On December 6th 2014 I walked across the bridge frustrated by the sounds and movements in the busy woods of cherokee falls. The air was bitterly cold and I was limited to the amount of equipment i had with me. I recorded for 45 minutes and snapped several pictures. There was nothing unusual about the photographs but something very strange did occur. My entire 45 minute recording was nothing but white noise. I immediately tested my recorder and everything worked fine. Paranormal? Probably not!
Extremely weird? Absolutely.

The entire SCSI will conduct a second full length investigation here. Stay tuned for the story.

Case status: Reopened
-Aaron Sprouse

Do ghost exist?

People are good, and evil simply doesn’t exist. Humans are truly good at heart and the only thing outside of our physical understanding is the endless skies and mysteries thereof. There is no such thing as ghost.
Or is there?

Everything is black and white, and there is no grey area. There is no good, other than good intentions. There is no evil, other than bad decisions. There is no god and there is no devil, no heaven and no hell. There are no angels and demons or ghosts and goblins. None of it exists outside of our own perception. There are no monsters other than the monsters we create inside of our minds. There is no hell other than the one we build around ourselves. There is nothing to be learned except invaluable lessons where the subjects are destined to repeat the same mistakes time and time again. No truths, only subtle undertones. No openness, only emotional masquerades where one hides what is really felt. There are no true heroes, only those who dream of courageous acts and those who have no choice but to act. Both of which are characters in this hopeless tragedy, drowning in a pool of romanticized emptiness.

We spend life thinking how they tell us to, writing our stories according to their standards and believing what they say we must believe in order to obtain salvation. Are they the monsters? Are the ghosts we see anything more than our bottled thoughts and lost desires? Simply misplaced energies searching for an outlet? Searching for a way to be seen, to be heard or to correct those wrong decisions? Are they the demons and the things that goes bump in the night are nothing more than ones broken mind and soul? Have they been misleading us our entire lives, or have we been lying to ourselves? Are we the monsters?

Humanity as a species will take an innocent mans life. We take what isn‘t ours, we rape and we brutalize those weaker than we are then we lie to cover it up. We cross our families for money, we break the hearts of those who love us the most and none of it is justified. We often feel no remorse nor regret for our actions and too many times fail to notice the pain we cause other people. So much pain inflicted upon other souls… That when you truly think about the feelings and energies emitted from such pain you begin to question everything including your very own existence. Upon examination you see that we leave a trail of emptiness, hopelessness and desperation without even batting an eye. You begin to see the sheer destruction caused by the lusts of man, leaving little room for hope inside your heart. We are indeed monsters.

I can attest with the utmost honesty to having seen and heard things which can not be explained. I, Aaron Corey Sprouse bear witness to things unseen and things unknown. I have stood in the scariest places in the southeast and challenged any entity that could respond. I have stood in homes where the most outlandish things were reported to have taken place and I never ran. I spent my time and money on researching these events. Every lead leads to another question and every question leads to another lead. Was I ever doing anything more than challenging myself? When examining the fallacy of man, these are the kinds of questions we musk ask ourselves. No matter what your opinion on the subject is, the same questions beg to be answered. I urge you to share with me your ghost story. Whether it be a thrilling tale of a dark entity that plagues the halls of your home or shattered hopes forever trapped somewhere due to the anguish you felt or caused.

Are ghosts real? Are they anything more than myth or is there any substance at all to the claims? I want to know what you think. Have you seen a ghost? Have you encountered unexplainable phenomena or have you created ghosts? Were you left nothing more than a ghost, a shell of your former self, by someone’s selfishness? Ask yourself was it worth it, the decisions you made? Was the hurt you inflicted upon someone else’s soul worth whatever momentary pleasure you received? Think these things through very carefully and please share with me your ghost story.

All the love in the world,
Aaron Corey Sprouse

The T- Bridge- (Gaffney, SC)

The T- Bridge– (Gaffney, SC) “It is said that if you run across the t-bridge with out stopping a car will come behind you with no one in it. it is also been said that if you stand there for 10 minutes you will see an old lady carrying a basket, and that if you walk up to her as you getting there she will disappear ” YES, WE FINALLY INVESTIGATED THE -T- BRIDGE

If you’re expecting an in depth, in your face story like the others; then you can forget it. The T-Bridge is nothing more than an urban legend. It is purely myth. All data collected was negative. There was no apparition. There was nothing paranormal.
Bridges, bridges, bridges. Is it just me, or does it seem that every bridge is allegedly haunted? They sure have a bad reputation and a lot of mystery surrounding them but nine times out of ten; They’re not haunted. When this myth faced scientific method, it could not stand.

case status: closed
case conclusion: NOT HAUNTED

-Aaron Sprouse, South Carolina supernatural investigations

HARD TIMES WILL ALWAYS MEASURE GREATNESS (South Carolina Supernatural Investigations)

“HARD TIMES WILL ALWAYS MEASURE GREATNESS”


    In many ways we feel like we let you guys down, we just vanished and did not post any new stories for months. We have a responsibility to you all in the paranormal world and nothing will stop us from consistently delivering our fans the top notch investigatory work that they are used to.

     The SCSI as a group has faced many recent hardships. I quit my job, thinking i would find another one fast; I was wrong. I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with payments that i couldn’t manage. I took a job with Mayflower, a relocation company, (which meant i was going to be gone 90% of the time). I spent most of the time in Richmond, Virginia. I enjoyed it, but i missed home. I missed the SCSI. When I was able to come Home, it was for maybe one to two days, every 2-3 weeks. It just wasn’t enough time. In my stead, Maxwell Alexander continued to showcase spectacular skill, instinct and know-how. Though we are a team; at this point in time we were technically solo. During that time period, Maxwell Alexander was arguably the best solo paranormal investigator in South Carolina.

I investigated everything I could. If I thought that it may be paranormal, i was at  least gonna try and record some audio. Even things I would never guess were haunted, got investigated. I wanted to stay sharp, extremely sharp, so I did. I continued to perfect my craft, always aiming to push this field to the next level. I do not approach paranormal investigation that way because i want us to be better than the next guys. I am serious about what I do, because I love this field. l love this science. This Job gives you an amazing connection with what’s in nature, the physical and the Spiritual world. The every day energies that are around you, it is an incredible feeling. Being the driven person that i am, I kept testing myself (hard) throughout the duration of my absence.  I tested myself everyday. I re-analyzed every aspect of investigation. I would constantly train myself. I studied material that i know, SO I COULD CONTINUE TO PUSH THIS FIELD. I taught myself all over again how to operate equipment, and how to manipulate entities. I studied different types of spirits and why they are here. I studied theological significances. Demonology (my first love), multicultural mythologies; and countless provocation techniques. Expulsion, invocation, and other group’s techniques. I even went over everything that I have learned over the years by observation, knowing that some day I would be right back in the battle!

  What obstacle could possibly stop Maxwell Alexander and Aaron Sprouse? At our ages, we are highly regarded as the most thorough, realistic; and most practical paranormal investigators in the state of South Carolina. Though i was out of town, I knew Maxwell would continue to progress. I knew he would continue to collect mind boggling data. He would continue to teach rookie investigators how to properly engage an entity. I knew he would also hold steadfast in **SEEKING THE TRUTH** Max would find answers, not make ghostly assumptions. I knew Maxwell Alexander would use science. Knowledge and logic will always prevail when Maxwell is on an investigation.

So without me, the others continued to conduct investigations here in South Carolina on the home-front. I wasn’t worried, they were all capable. Like usual though; problems soon arose. Former case manager and field Investigator “Sarah Freyta” Had to take time off, for maternity leave. People wouldn’t answer phone calls or put any effort into case planning, preparation, execution or analysis. Several members were not taking their duties seriously. They treated the SCSI as if it were a joke. We were getting used, friendships were being ruined and there was nothing I could do about it in Virginia.

Prior to me leaving for Richmond, Maxwell underwent several setbacks as well. His then roommate(s) failed to pay their portion of the rent. Max had left his second shift job at a warehouse before  to primarily focus on investigation.Things were still going great for him but he had to move due to another lessee not paying his due portions. Maxwell simply did not have the extra funds to cover it.

     Hard times seemed hit max and I at the same time. I was living on the road. Sleeping many nights in a tractor trailer, just barely getting by, While Max was forced to move out of his home (our headquarters). Max landed a third shift job, in order to survive. The money is good, and Max really loves his job. His personal life is flowing much smoother and his investigatory skills have increased dramatically. In my opinion; Maxwell Alexander, is one of the best paranormal Investigators in the southeastern united states. We refuse to give up and i think that is something that makes our group special. When facing situations that would make several other investigation societies crumble, we came out stronger.  We came out of this better. I moved home to South Carolina and decided it was time for serious changes within the group. If we wanted the SCSI to function and operate at an extremely high level, we had to let people go.


We started seriously enforcing the book of investigatory protocol.https://scsupernatural.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/what-sets-the-scsi-apart-our-investigatory-protocol-professional-tips/


and have since found several new prospects that are willing to take the job serious and give their all to this field. We have never asked anyone to perform a task that we would not perform. We never lied to, cheated, manipulated or took advantage of anyone on the team. We are no longer being taken advantage of, and are essentially carrying the entire load ourselves. We pretty much always have. Maxwell may not be able to investigate a haunting every night anymore, but his guidance and expertise is always there. His words resonate with the younger guys, and they know that what they learn from max and I, it will be Grade “A” paranormal knowledge, UN-matched, unequaled and unrivaled. We are back, and Better than ever.

Be safe. Always take precaution when presumably dealing with a spirit. -Aaron Sprouse   (aaronscsi@gmail.com)

Edited by: Maxwell Alexander

Poinsett Bridge

Poinsett Bridge 104_1978th Via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poinsett_Bridge “Poinsett Bridge, named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, was built in 1820 as part of a road from Columbia, South Carolina to Saluda Mountain and is one of the oldest extant bridges in South Carolina. The bridge includes a 14-foot Gothic arch and stretches 130 feet over Little Gap Creek. It may have been designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument. Though no longer in use, the stone bridge remains largely intact. The bridge is part of the 120-acre (48.6 ha) Poinsett Bridge Heritage Preserve. A picnic area and walking trail are planned. The bridge is off U.S. Highway 25 north of Greenville, South Carolina. After passing South Carolina Highway 11, turn right onto Old US 25. Then turn right onto Callahan Mountain Road near North Saluda Reservoir. Poinsett Bridge is on the left side of Callahan Mountain Road. The bridge was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.” 104_2072 (Maxwell inside of the Gothic Arch) Via: http://theshadowlands.net/places/southcarolina.htm “Rumor has it that a slave was once hung under the bridge and his ghost still haunts it. Several of the locals say that they have been unable to start their cars when they got ready to leave. Several locals also report that they hear a loud scream when the light gets to them.” Wow, what a beautiful piece of History. What an Investigation! Not only is this place an amazing relic of South Carolina History, It is Known as a dark and mysterious breeding ground for evil. Maxwell and I (Aaron Sprouse) headed to the Fabled DARK CORNER. The Air was clean, crisp and cold. The darkness that plagued the surrounding forest was breathtaking. It was almost as if I couldn’t breathe as we walked across the bridge. The both of us immediately felt as though we were being watched. Chills ran through my body at every whisk. Every word spoken, every provocation of a spirit increased the feeling of overwhelming fear. Maxwell (the biggest investigatory skeptic I know) heard a whisper in his ear, that slightly burned, and the heat flowed down his neck. We had a baseline EMF reading of around 72.00 before, but as Maxwell encountered the whisper it immediately spiked to 145.6 and stayed at that level for approximately 45 seconds. While atop the historic bridge we decided to have a sitting recording session. We asked several questions and both heard faint whispers. I had an overwhelming urge to snap pictures to my left (the sounds of running startled me.) The hairs on my neck were standing erect as I snapped several photos, all of which were blank, though Flash was on. The camera had a full battery and repeatedly shut off. The voice recorder would shut off as well, and a working EMF meter went all the way down to zero as if some entity had drained the power out of our devices. We made our way down the embankment to the beautiful Gothic arch under the bridge. There we attempted to hold a recording session, but the raging water of little gap creek made all of our recorded data useless. While down there Maxwell and I both heard what sounded to be a carriage traveling across the bridge. Though it was awesome (SCARY AS HELL) we had no evidence of his. Then we heard it again, we rushed to the top of the bridge in hopes that we could snap a picture of the ghostly carriage, another blank photograph. As a paranormal group that usually disproves hauntings and debunks urban legends, we were convinced. Eager to go over our photographic and audio data our excitement was through the roof. What did we find? Pictures of a beautiful place, and oddly blanked out pictures. Only empty responses on our voice recorder….. NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF THE PARANORMAL, WHATSOEVER. Due to the unbelievable experiences we had there, yet the lack of evidence; we cannot rule either way. Nor can we close the case. CASE STATUS: OPEN CASE CONCLUSION: UNDECIDED 104_2079 I RECOMMEND YOU GO CHECK THIS PLACE OUT; IT IS A BEAUTIFUL PART OF South Carolina History. 104_1970 (we’re here to get your ghost ) – Aaron Sprouse

THE DEVIL’S TRAMPING GROUND, NORTH CAROLINA

The Well known spot according to Wikipedia.com “The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a camping spot located in a forest near the Harper’s Crossroads area near Bennett, North Carolina. It has been the subject of persistent local legends and lore, which frequently allege that the Devil “tramps” and haunts a barren circle of ground in which nothing is supposed to grow.

Stories about the ring are well known in local communities. These include the disappearance of objects left within the ring overnight, dogs yipping and howling not wanting to go near it, and strange events occurring to those brave enough to spend the night within its boundaries. It has been alleged that nothing has grown within the 40 foot ring for a hundred years. Legend says that this is the very place the devil himself can rise from the depths of fiery hell, and come to earth. It’s at this place that the devil is supposed to walk in circles on certain nights and bring his evil into this world.[1]

John William Harden (1903–1985) of Greensboro, N.C., journalist, newspaper editor, author, and advisor to North Carolina governors and textile executives, had this to say of the Devil’s Tramping Ground:
Chatham natives say… that the Devil goes there to walk in circles as he thinks up new means of causing trouble for humanity. There, sometimes during the dark of night, the Majesty of the Underworld of Evil silently tramps around that bare circle– thinking, plotting, and planning against good, and in behalf of wrong. So far as is known, no person has ever spent the night there to disprove this is what happens… (Harden, 1949)”

Satan’s home turf, Old Scratch himself hangs here. The notorious tramping ground; a place of legend, horror, Satanism and witchcraft. The initial vibe is downright terrifying. The location almost seems to scream “leave now!” The Air is thick and the trees seem to bellow in pain as the wind cascades through their branches. Animals seem to navigate away from the circle, avoiding it’s ominous vibe. The legend has survived the test of time and will no doubt continue to thrive and bring outsiders to the town. I was in awe at this historic, and strange place.
The circle is indeed mysterious, No vegetation grows inside of it. Does that make it haunted? I’m afraid not. Despite the dark vibes that one gets here, despite the rumors, it had to be formally investigated. We set out on a two and a half hour trip to the tramping ground; excited, nervous, and anxious. We had heard several stories of unruly locals who do not take too kindly to intruders. Their way of dealing with the “derelict trespassers” is to make noises in the wood’s, shake tents, and move item’s from inside of the circle. This remains a popular spot for people from all over the state of North Carolina to come camp, despite the locals and their shenanigans. We went on a Friday night and saw that there were indeed campers there, very nice people who were more than willing to give us an interview. We talked, laughed, and observed the area in it’s entirety.
We conducted several EMF sessions; picking up nothing unusual. Many recording sessions revealed no EVP’S. Our photo’s revealed no entities. The video footage had no signs of Satan whatsoever. The feelings you get here can be attributed to the ominous legend, the dark stories and the mystery of growth in the circle, nothing more. After you get used to being here the vibe changes. You realize that it is nothing more that a weird circle in the woods; albeit they are creepy woods. I do urge you to check it out, but please be mindful of the property owners. Do not litter and do your best to clean up.
-SCSI