There’s nothing like listening to a good ghost story, especially in a dark candlelit alley. Ghosts are an interesting topic for me. I’ve never really believed in ghosts but at the same time, you’ll never find me spending the night in a haunted house..just in case. No matter what your beliefs are, it only takes one little thing to change everything.
Robby and I try to find a ghost walk everywhere we visit and Newport, Rhode Island was no exception. Most ghost tours are the same. You walk past buildings, down dark alleys, and eventually pass through a graveyard hearing stories of the city’s haunted past. That’s what we thought we were signing up for when we decided to go on a ghost walk with Ghosts of Newport. Little did we know we were signing up for an evening of communicating with ghosts.
We went out with one of the best tour guides we could have asked for. Her name was Tori and she is a physical medium, and according to her, there is a portal to the other side at her home. Upon hearing this, we knew our night was about to get interesting.
Shortly into our tour she pulled out a set of divining rods which are used to communicate with different spirits and ghosts. You may know them as dowsing rods as the actual act of communicating with a ghost is called dowsing. Some people even call them witching rods. The rods work by using yes or no questions. If the rods turn outwards, the answer is yes. If they cross, the answer is no.
At first, watching her do it, I was a little skeptical. She would ask a question and the rods would move. I was pretty positive she was doing something to make them move but I would stare and stare at her hands and nothing. She wasn’t doing anything. Still, I wasn’t convinced. And then she let me try it and things got real.
You start off holding a rod in each hand. Divining rods are “L” shaped. You hold the short part in your hand so that the longer part is in a horizontal position in front of you. You have to be completely relaxed in order for them to rotate freely. That’s not a problem though. There’s no reason to be tense. All ghosts are friendly and chill like Casper, right? Okay, maybe not. But still, you have to be relaxed. Even though I never really believed in ghosts, I was a little on edge so that wasn’t easy. When it’s time for the questions, you start with something simple to find out if there are any ghosts around that are willing to talk such as “Is there someone with us?” followed by “May we speak with you?”. If they are willing to communicate, you ask them something like, “Is there a message you would like to get out?” and go from there.
I tried this outside of the White Horse Tavern, the oldest tavern in America. Legend has it that back in the early 1700’s, there was a pirate who was hanging out at the tavern one night and then slept in a room upstairs. During the night, the pirate mysteriously died from an unexplained cause. His true identity was never known. It is said that the ghost of this pirate remains at the White Horse Tavern today.
I believe the pirate is exactly who I was communicating with, mostly because I asked “Are you a pirate?” and the rods turned outwards, which means yes. I asked this ghost several other questions and was surprised at how easily the diving rods moved. I wasn’t doing anything. They never moved at random times either; it was always right after I had just finished asking a question. Honestly, the experience freaked me out a little so I ended the conversation early by thanking him and asking him kindly not to follow me home.
Was I really communicating with a ghost or was it just some magnetic force in the earth? I don’t know. I’ve even heard the movement could have been caused by my heartbeat. Whatever it was, the fact that I may have communicated with a ghost, and a pirate at that, is a really cool thought.
Do I believe in ghosts now? Maybe a little.