Now, I am all for a thrill-seeking experience. There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling the blood rush through your body as you face your fears and dive into danger. But, I draw the line at haunting experiences.
For me, there is absolutely no appeal in traipsing around an abandoned space in the pursuit of poltergeists. Firstly, it’s a pointless exercise given that there is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of ghosts. Secondly, I struggle to think of something more morbid than hunting for the souls of the dead.
What’s wrong with bungee jumping? Or, skydiving? If you’re really that desperate for a kick of adrenaline, why not cliff jump or ride a motorbike? The list of wild activities is endless, which makes it very difficult to fathom the craze for ghost hunting.
Of course, I am in the minority here given that shows such as Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters exist, both of which have a cult fan following.
Not only that, but there is a huge community on YouTube, who upload video clips of themselves exploring abandoned areas in the hopes of finding something paranormal.
One of those people is 38-year-old Xavier Hunter (the name, I presume, is not a coincidence) who received the fright of his life after venturing into a deserted mine 25 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
His aim? To encounter a ‘Tommyknocker’. For those who don’t know, a tommyknocker is a mythical creature which inhabits mines. According to folklore, they are mischevious creatures who have been held responsible for stealing miner’s tools and equipment.
More sinisterly, the ‘Tommyknocker’ is said to be one of the final things a miner hears before the mine caves in. Their high shrills and laughs have been documented by miners throughout history. Others say that the noises are actually the spirits of those who have previously died in mines warning those underground that the mine is about to collapse.
In summary, they’re not the type of creatures that you want to get particularly close to. But that didn’t stop Xavier from going underground in pursuit of one…
But it didn’t quite work out how he’d have liked. Instead, the whole adventure ended in disaster…
Entering the old mine in the dead of night – of course – Xavier was hopeful and nervous about what he’d find. Almost straight away he and his companion, Kaytie, claimed to be able to smell “burning pig flesh”. Not only that, but they were convinced that they could hear something growling.
Scared, they decided to leave the mine. However, that wasn’t before Xavier saw something that made his blood turn cold and his heart race uncontrollably.
Off camera, to Kaytie’s side, Xavier was convinced he’d seen a hooded figure. Freaked out, the duo fled the mine. Watching the footage back, the pair were quick to notice that what Xaveir had seen wasn’t just a figment of his imagination. On the screen, very clear for all to see is a hooded figure looming ominously.
Talking of his terrifying experience, Xavier explains:
“I was not afraid to enter the mine, I was curious to see if these legends were true. So we went in with an open mind not expecting to catch anything.
“The figure appeared to be hooded, it was completely black. We didn’t immediately see it. We saw it after we began to review the video.
“The odd thing is that around the same time the figure appeared I began to feel sick and nauseous, I threw up and felt extremely dizzy.
“We did not record that moment because Kaytie was trying to help me figure out what was happening. I was shocked, especially after feeling sick right after capturing the figure on tape.
“I have no idea what it could be. I suppose that a possible explanation could be that it was our own shadow? But why would I feel sick right after it appeared?
“Right before the figure appeared we had found women’s clothing deep inside the mine. We were questioning why the clothes would be so deep in there and who had left them behind. The mine went too deep for the clothes to be left that far in.”
“We immediately felt uneasy to go any deeper but we decided to keep going. I attempted to communicate with the dowsing rods and began to hear noises, some sounded like growls and whispers.”
“The presence we both felt in there felt malevolent. Kaytie had smelt rotting odors of what she described as ‘burning pig flesh’.”
Despite this harrowing experience, Xavier plans to revisit the haunted mine. Clearly, the ‘Tommyknocker’ didn’t scare him enough the first time around!