Ghost School 

click to enlarge Woodruff-Fontaine House
  • Woodruff-Fontaine House

Please don't bring your Ouija boards or Necronomicons to the "Paranormal 101" classes being conducted at the Woodruff-Fontaine House by Expedition Unknown (EU), a group of Memphis-based investigators who gather evidence of hauntings and chronicle local legends. EU founders Tanya Vandesteeg and Stephen Guenther want all potential ghost hunters to know that they are taking a serious, scientific approach, and no "provoking of spirits" is allowed.

What should you bring? For starters, you'll need a flashlight. Video cameras and digital audio recorders are encouraged, as are electromagnetic-field meters if you just happen to have one of those lying around. The beginner-level class introduces students to the tools and techniques of paranormal investigating, then, in the great tradition of every slasher film/Scooby Doo episode you've ever seen, it breaks students into bite-sized, investigator-led groups to search for signs of life after death in the sprawling 143-year-old mansion, a jewel of Millionaire's Row on Adams.

A word to the faint of heart: Expedition Unknown has been to the Woodruff-Fontaine House before, and Vandesteeg and Guenther have posted a number of videos to YouTube, most of which include still images of the house and sounds that might be best described as grunting, groaning, or footsteps. For the most part, it's pretty tame stuff, although there is one audio clip where a menacing, whispery voice distinctly says one of the few words you really don't want to hear when you're tracking down supernatural forces: "Kill."

Yikes.

"Paranormal 101" Class at the Woodruff-Fontaine House and Museum, Saturday, April 19th, 7 p.m.-midnight. $40 per person. Expedition-Unknown.com

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