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Wednesday, October 24, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 45


Happy hunting: Ghost-watching goes digital

By Jim Parsons
Daily Cougar Staff

These days, there's very little that can't be done on the Internet. Shopping, finding a spouse, getting a college degree -- it's all just a few mouse clicks away.

And now, thanks to the Internet, you can get in the Halloween spirit and ghost-hunt from the comfort of your own home.

Several intrepid ghost watchers have set up digital cameras that feed images to Web sites; anyone can log in and view the photos, and most sites encourage guests to
report anything unusual they see.

Many so-called "ghost hunters" claim digital cameras are ideal for capturing images of spirits because of their sensitivity and the ability to instantly view pictures. Decide for
yourself with a look at these Web sites, which we think are the most interesting and reliable in the online ghost-watching community.

The Lexington

This camera is located in the engine room of the USS Lexington, a famed World War II-era aircraft carrier in Corpus Christi. The ship was commissioned in 1943 and was
named for a carrier sunk in the Coral Sea when work on the present ship was being completed. The Lexington was decommissioned in 1991; at that time, it was the
oldest working carrier in the U.S. Navy.

The ghost of the Lexington is a young man dressed in summer Navy whites, described as fair-haired and handsome with piercing blue eyes. And he's polite: According
to an article in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the ghost makes a habit of explaining the ship's engines to visitors. Former crewmembers say he's told them things even
they didn't know about the ship.

The sailor isn't the only unexplained guest aboard the Lexington, though. Other people report having seen a U.S. sailor and a man in a Japanese aviator's uniform in one
of the ship's hallways, but both disappeared before they could be approached.

Find the Lexington's ghost cam at

The Queen Mary

A different type of ship -- but one that is apparently just as haunted -- is the Queen Mary, the 1930s luxury liner that's now permanently docked in Long Beach, Calif.

Perhaps the most paranormal reports come from Door No. 13 in the ship's engine room, where in 1966 a crewmember was crushed during a watertight door drill. But
other legends deal with apparitions in the former first-class lounge and in various suites, and some stories deal with deaths related to the ship's service in World War II.

The online camera is trained on the old first-class swimming pool, where people have reported seeing women dressed in vintage bathing suits wandering the decks near
the pool and trails of wet footprints leading from the pool to the changing rooms.

The site contains a collection of legends about the ship and reports from people who claim to have encountered spirits on board, including at least one person who claims
to have traveled on the Queen Mary in a past life. Visit it at

The Willard Library

The Gray Lady has haunted the 1885 Willard Library in Evansville, Ind., for more than 60 years. Legend has it she was first seen in 1937 by a janitor who came to the
building in the middle of the night to shovel coal into the furnace. He was surprised to see a woman, dressed completely in gray, in the basement.

Since then, several people claim to have smelled, if not seen, the ghost -- she apparently leaves a scent of heavy perfume wherever she goes.

Some say the Gray Lady is the ghost of Louise Carpenter, the daughter of the library's founder. Carpenter once sued the library, asking for the building and its holdings
to be turned over to her family because her father was "of unsound mind and was unduly influenced" when he established the library. She lost the suit, and rumor has it
she'll continue haunting the building until the property is turned over to the heirs of the Willard Carpenter family.

In any case, the Willard's ghost hunters are among the best on the Web. The site's "spoof" section contains photos of a variety of unexpected visitors showing up in the
reading room, including Richard Simmons, Wonder Woman and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Visit the Willard Library cam at

The Snohomish Library

Whether it's the isolated aisles or the mysterious silence, something about libraries must attract ghosts. This camera is located in the Snohomish Library in Everett, Wash.,
where a ghost reportedly roams the 90-year-old Carnegie section of the building.

One employee reportedly heard noises coming from the building's third-floor loft, then saw a gray-haired woman in a blue dress come downstairs and enter the public
section of the library. When the staff member went to look for the mysterious woman, she had disappeared.

Some say the ghost is that of Catherine McMurchy, the librarian from 1923 to 1939. She was very popular, and it is believed she continues caring for the library years
after her death. See for yourself at


This site features cameras placed around the New York City home of June Houston. Ghost watchers can monitor the interior of a platform under Houston's bed, the
interior of some storage trunks and certain spots in her basement, among other sites.

This site contains page after page of reports from visitors, some of which are more convincing than others. The sheer number of cameras and archived reports will keep
you entertained for hours. Check it out at

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