‘The thrill of the chase’

Paranormal team offers tours of Ellerbe Springs Inn

By Kevin Spradlin

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Mark and Donna Buckeridge will soon open up Ellerbe Springs Inn to the public as a campground and bed and breakfast. The facility has been shuttered since since 2012.

Before that happens, though, Ghost Commander Paranormal, a six-member team of paranormal investigators, will set up shop to see what — spirits included — remains behind on the 43 acres of land, for which records date back to 1790.

And you’re invited.

Haunted Night at Ellerbe Springs is a fundraiser for Richmond County Animal Advocates, an animal rescue and welfare organization. Tours of the main house will go form 7 p.m. to midnight both Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1. Tickets are $10. For an additional $5, a hayride will take curious adventure-seekers on a tour of the McCaskill House.

ghostMembers of Ghost Commander Paranormal will have a variety of equipment set up. During the tour, the public is encouraged to use the equipment.

“It’s a little different than a traditional haunted house,” said Allison Sweatt, RCAA executive director. “This is more real.”

For that reason, Sweatt said the event is only for adults and children 12 years and up with an adult.

“I feel like this would kind of spook little kids more than the traditional haunted house,” Sweatt said. “We’re really excited. The place looks phenomenal.”

While a public tour, the event will serve as a real-life exercise for the paranormal investigators. Case manager and team member Linda Collins said she’s looking forward to it.

“We’re looking for a big crowd,” Collins said. “We want to do scientific paranormal investigations. We want scientific evidence, which is why money has been invested (in equipment) to either prove or disprove spirits are among us.”

Collins said the partnership between Buckeridges, who are “animal lovers as well,” and RCAA is a natural one.

“Allison has huge bills with RCAA in helping ensure animals aren’t euthanized,” Collins said. “We decided to do a Halloween fundraiser. It’s something that would be out of the norm, a fundraiser and public awareness to the field of paranormal activity.”

Collins said there’s a reason for the age limit.

“This isn’t your haunted house where you’re going to go in and somebody’s going to jump out at you,” she said. “This is an actual investigation. We already know there are spirits there. We are just going to bring the public there (and) hopefully get some evidence that night. The public will be able to use our equipment.”

Collins said the group has access to the inn and to the McCaskill House. Being on a tour with a seasoned paranormal investigator, she said, there “are things we can bring up that the average person may not realize.”

A sudden temperature drop, for example.

“We help bring out what that evidence is,” Collins said.

Spirits aside, it’s a chance, Sweatt said, for the public to once again see Ellerbe Springs Inn in great shape.

“The place has such a big history in Richmond County,” said Sweatt, who was married there. “When it closed, it really upset a lot of people. A lot of people got married, celebrated birthdays … and when it closed, it was just this kind of sad day.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to RCAA. The paranormal team keeps nothing beyond the cost of covering expenses.

“I’m just down for the hunt,” Sweatt said. “They in it for the thrill of the chase.”


Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors

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  • Rita Goodwin

    Cant wait

    • karen

      I went to a couple of parties there when I lived in Ellerbe

    • karen

      that was back in the 70s didn’t see any thing spooky then and they lasted well into the night the inn was closed down then and had been for yrs. but it was a lot of fun .. I don’t live there any longer im just say n

  • Rita Goodwin

    Im so excited, see you there!

  • http://peedeepost.com Trucker

    I, too , am an animal lover and the upcoming event is a good fund raiser. The “thrill of the chase” may just turn out to be that. Ghosts and spirits thrilling to the chase off of unwanted “thrill seekers.” You would not catch me in that big old house after midnite. I know it far too well. So I will forget it as a bed and breakfast. I might stop by for breakfast but I won’t be spending the night and using a bed. No wonder the place has been closed since 2012. The spirits ran them all off and word got around. Oh, the stories I could tell !!!

  • archie

    THe stories about that place is real?

  • brenda

    What was the reason for that restaurant shutting down? My husband and I ate their one night with some friends went back about 2 mths later and it was closed.

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