Archive for February, 2009

Ghosts In Real Life

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VernonChism

It’s not everyday y0u see a man walking around the nearly-abandoned Turfland Mall with a cowboy hat and coke-bottle glasses, so I stopped to say hey.

This is Vernon Chism Jr. Kroger cashier, preacher, certified ghost hunter.

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Told you.

He does a lot of ghost hunting with Patti Starr, who founded Ghost Chasers International, based here in Lexington. We talked for a while about Bardstown, Perryville, Gettysburg. He says that a lot of Civil War sites are hotbeds of ghost activity. He even said that he believed there was an old battlefield where the mall now stands. Several times during our talk he’d stop mid sentence and say, “did you feel that? Somebody just walked past me, and you better believe that wasn’t no wind either.”

We even spent a couple minutes listening. Just listening, trying to hear paranormal activity. I tried my damndest, but for all my effort I couldn’t hear anything. He’d say, “I just heard a cart go by. Something like an old hospital cart.”

I was thinking too much about what I was hearing. I was rationalizing every sound I heard. The cars going by, the train rumbling down the tracks, the kids playing. I tried to switch my brain into overdrive, trying to pick up on every little noise I heard, but that was the problem. What I needed to do was turn it off and just let it happen. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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Trials & Troubles

In April 2008 18-year-old Connie Blount was hit and killed by Shannon Houser. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, possession of marijuana, and tampering with physical evidence after he allegedly removed the vehicle’s damaged grill. Last week was his trial in Fayette Circuit Court.

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Houser’s mother, Donna Hoyt, wipes her eyes as she asks the jury to recommend the minimum sentence for her son after he was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with physical evidence.

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Houser’s wife sits on the witness stand while giving testimony on her husban’s behalf.

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Prosecutor Ray Larson points at Houser while giving his closing remarks.

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Houser says one final goodbye to his wife while his mother and daughter look on before he is taken into custody. The jury recommended he serve five years for leaving the scene of an accident and one year for tampering with physical evidence. Both are the maximum sentences.

You think journalists are sensational? Go sit in on a jury trial.

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