Thursday, June 7, 2012

Health And Safety Hazards Investigating Hales Bar

 UPDATE:  Monday, July 23, 2012

Hales Bar will no longer be open for paranormal investigating. Here are some links to webpages regarding Hales Bar Marina and future paranormal investigating at this location!  The following links are pages from Team PROSE and Hales Bar:

UPDATE:  Monday, June 11, 2012

Michelle from PROSE has been working with Pete since June 3rd to try and resolve things after our experience at Hales Bar on that Saturday.  As of today, thanks to Michelle, the manager/owner of Hales Bar has refunded us our money for the night of our investigation due to the experience we had encountered.  Also due to our experience, along with Michelle and the rest of her group sharing our concerns with the owner, he has decided to take action and make changes so that the place is more secure from here on out.  A happy ending to a bad experience!

First and foremost, this blog entry is not meant to 'attack' or 'bad mouth' anyone.  It is my own personal experience at a haunted location.  I am simply putting it out there to let other investigators know about the health and safety issues of this location.  And I strongly urge any and all investigators to think twice before going to Hales Bar to investigate.

My husband and I have been all over the United States investigating haunted locations.  We have been to places that are rundown and dirty.  We are in no way new to paranormal investigating.

On Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 my husband, Mike, a good friend of ours, Pete, and myself were set to investigate Hales Bar in Tennessee.  We had heard negative things about this location from several investigators after putting the deposit down on the location.  We decided to go and check it out for ourselves ... not everyone is going to like every place out there or the people associated with the location.

To start off, the place is an active Marina and Hales Bar Dam is located at the marina.  Before we even started our tour we knew that the investigation that evening was going to be difficult due to outside noise interference.

There are at least five open doors and/or entryways that are not locked and cannot be locked from the general public.  ONE, a fence across an open archway that can easily be scaled; TWO, a big wooden red door (main door) cannot be locked and (if you're lucky) can be pulled shut at least; THREE, an open area that you can walk through (stepping over some debris) and go right through an open doorway into the building; FOUR, a door in the tunnel system that has chains draped on the outside to make it look locked but doesn't actually lock; FIVE, a double door in another section of the tunnel (control room) that doesn't lock, but closes.  There is, in fact, ONE door in the tunnel system that is welded shut for your safety.

As for security, which is included in the price for investigating ... he does not stay at the location while you're there.  You can only reach him via text message due to the lack of cell phone service at the marina.  He does live somewhere at or around the marina though.

As for the general safety of the location, Hales Bar is an active marina with people staying on boats and rented cabins.  Music, voices, boat engines, et cetera can be heard at all times.  Birds actively nest and fly around inside as all the windows are broken out.  With birds comes bird droppings and that is dangerous.  Birds can carry all kinds of infectious diseases and parasites.  And bird droppings are especially dangerous when dried, because fine particles can be released into the air and then inhaled ... and it was basically everywhere.  In the short amount of time we were there Saturday night we all had headaches, to some degree, from breathing in all that stuff.

The railing around the whirlpool area on the inside is not safe at all.  Do not lean on it or you are falling into the water below.  There is a spiral staircase in the floor that is open with tiny orange cones circling the opening for your safety.  There are nuts/bolts protruding out of the floor throughout the dam that are not marked or identified.  There are some pretty hazardous openings in some places that can cause some real damage if you fall.

The upper front of Hales Bar where the show Ghost Adventures had captured a pretty interesting thermal image has an open floor right outside the doorway with a 50-foot drop into the water.  There is an actual door there than can be closed but the gentleman giving us the tour stated that he is afraid to even try and shut the door because it swings right over the opening.  So if you are investigating there at night, this could be a disaster waiting to happen.

There is an enclosed rec area which we had a key for.  This is where we were told we could lock our equipment in.  Apparently the keys to this building are not always returned (either from being lost or misplaced) after they are given out.  Coincidentally that night, when our 'tour guide' went to look for the key in the designated 'hiding' spot it wasn't there.  Not to worry, he had an extra key that he had brought with them.  We decided not to use the rec area to house our equipment for this exact reason.

Here is a link to Hales Bar Marina and Resort regarding tours (and ghost hunts):

Please note #12 on the list of ghost hunting guidelines.

“12. Keep in mind that a lot of the places you will be investigating will be secluded.  Because of this you should always bring along some form of protection.  I suggest pepper spray or a stun gun.  I am of course talking about protecting yourself from bad people, not bad ghosts. *smile*”

I think it's pretty tacky to add a "*smile*" to the end of this guideline considering this is a hot spot for drunks to wonder into ... and obviously by this guideline a known fact.

Now the group that gave us the tour and set up the investigation for us is PROSE.  PROSE members were extremely nice and gave us a tour of Hales Bar.  But after the tour neither security nor the team were present during the investigation.  If PROSE is going to actually associate themselves with Hales Bar, I would think that their team has to take some of the responsibility to make the location safer for investigators.  They are branding their team name with the location and organizing the investigations.  I would think it's a huge liability and wouldn’t want to be them if someone was assaulted and/or hurt.

The price PROSE quotes is $350 (for up to six people) for overnight stays and $50 per person after that with a $100 deposit.  Now, PROSE does state that their team is available for security for your group for a separate charge.  It's stated on the following website:

“8. Our team is available to run security for your group. This is a separate charge. Please inquire when you book your investigation if this a feature you would like to add. "

I find this to be a complete joke because you are already paying for security in the initial payment.  Remember the guy who apparently doesn't stay on location and can only be reached via text message.

I also wonder why you really have to pay all of this money when apparently anyone can and has walked right into the location without paying.

With all of this being said; here is an account of our $350 investigation:

After the tour PROSE left for the night.  Mike, Pete and I walked over to the red door to enter Hales Bar and start our investigation.  Mike pulled as hard as he could on the red door until he was able to pull it shut.  We decided to do an EVP session by the opening in the floor where the spiral staircase is located.  While we were recording, two people were wondering around outside the fence with flashlights.  Shortly after that, the same two people scaled the fence and started shining flashlights down our way.  They were there for a good 15 minutes or so.  Luckily they decided (for whatever reason) to turn around and leave.  During this incident I had sent my first text message to our security guard.  I received no response back from my text message nor did we see him at all.  Keep in mind that the security guard isn't right outside keeping people away from the entryways.

After this the three of us decided to hit some of the 'hot spots' before being interrupted again.  We decided to check out the tunnel system to conduct a few EVP sessions.  We set up in the tunnel system in the area where there is a 'reported' ghost of a little girl.  This section is the only section with a door to the outside that is welded shut.  We no sooner started an EVP session and heard people outside lurking around.  We stopped for a bit until the people decided to leave.  Then we started back into our EVP session only to be interrupted by a group of people outside again.

This time the group of people, which consisted of SIX drunken young adults (totting beer bottles AND flashlights in their hands) decided they were coming into the tunnel system.  They entered through the door that "appears" to be locked by having chains draped over the outside of the door.

This was only TWO hours into our night of investigating.  And instead of attempting to confront them by telling them that we paid to be there and that they would have to leave, we chose to play it safe and just leave for our own safety.  Keep in mind that I did, in fact, send security a second text message stating that there were six drunks that just entered the tunnel system with no response back via text or in person.

Everything we were told about the location and the difficulties people have had were absolutely correct.  And we just so happened to have experienced it all in a two-hour time period Saturday night.

Now, with all that being said, Pete has spoken with Michelle from PROSE about the incident.  She apologized and offered us another overnight stay at no charge but we declined.  She asked what she could do and Pete mentioned a partial refund. She said she would contact the owner about it and would get back to him this week.

This is place is totally unsafe for people to go and investigate.  Before we started our tour we had asked about security, about doors being able to lock, people breaking in, asbestos, et cetera  ... all of these questions were sidestepped in one way or another.

Please think twice about spending money to investigate Hales Bar for your own safety and the safety of your team members.