The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail in Warrenton was filled Saturday with people in period garb re-creating some of the building’s most haunting moments in history.
A team of paranormal investigators plan to spend Saturday night in the jail in hopes of collecting evidence of spirits.
The Twisted Realm, a PBS program in its second season, will highlight the jail’s history and popular ghost stories with volunteer re-enactors. The team will also try to communicate with the same spirits from the ghost stories.
Some of the stories they will explore include a hanging and sightings of apparitions that looks like a lady in white, playful children and civil war soldiers.
“I think it’s important to celebrate the history and to show that, yes, there may be spirits out there,” said Tonna Lotts, co-founder of Twisted Paranormal Society. “And it’s important to find out why they’re here.”
Lotts said she was inspired by other paranormal investigation shows and a desire to find out for herself if spirits really do exist when she and her husband started the group.
“It’s a great thing for Warrenton that this group is here and wanting to focus on the museum,” said Lori Gibson, board member of the Fauquier Historical Society and volunteer re-enactor. “It helps people relate to history and feel like they are a part of the experience.”
Christina Herold, a Haymarket resident who has been participating in living history groups and events for two years, said she found out about the filming when she came into the museum to make a donation for repairs to damaged historical headstones in the Warrenton Cemetery.
“When you’re passionate about history, it’s a really good way to share it with people and make it tangible,” she said of her past-time.
Herold said she is especially interested in the paranormal investigation because she has had her own ghostly experiences inside of the jail.
“I get this really strong feeling of being sick and dizzy, especially in the old part of the jail,” she said. “Also this feeling like I’m in a fun house when I’m upstairs.”
Joseph Sandy, founder of the Shenandoah Valley Area Paranormal Society, is re-enacting in today’s filming and his team will conduct its own overnight investigation on Aug. 4. Sandy said when he scouted the location, he sensed an overwhelming heavy feeling.
“You can tell there was some suffering that had gone on in the jail,” he said. “I had a personal physical experience while I was in there.”
Karen Lovitt, chair of the museum committee, said she had an experience of her own while she was readying the jail for filming this morning.
“I was fixing a light bulb in the back building and we had just changed that light bulb not three weeks ago,” she said. “I was pulling on the chain and the lightbulb just burst and the glass shattered.”
The broken glass cut Lovitt’s hand, she said.
“The ghosts are either really excited or really upset,” said Lovitt. “We’re going with excited.”
For updates, check The Twisted Realm Facebook page.