Sunday, June 5, 2011

HPIR Investigates Colonial Lanes!

(Photo taken by, and property of Melissa Stanley-HPIR President/Founder)

In late April of this year, HPIR finally made it around to investigating one of Huntington's iconic haunts...the Colonial Lanes bowling alley, located on the west end of town.  As Historical Research Manager and lead interviewer for the team, I had the pleasure of interviewing the onsite staff to find out just what had been going on there recently in the realm of the paranormal.  (HPIR Investigation of Colonial Lanes)

Since the staff interviewed only worked nights, we only got a small sampling of possible paranormal activity that goes on during the bowling alley's off-hours, but what was fascinating was that the activity being reported today closely matches activity that has been reported for over 10 years by various persons with various ties to the establishment.  Here are a few of those stories:

For starters, the stairway leading from the snack kitchen to upstairs storage and office space is said to be QUITE creepy, creepy enough that some kitchen staff refuse to walk up the stairs at closing to turn in their nightly deposits.  One member distinctly heard footsteps clomping up the stairs one night.  When HPIR investigated this area, we did find extremely high levels of EMF coming from a fuse box at the top of the stairs.  This high level of EMF may be attributed to the feelings of being watched while at the sink, or the feelings of disorientation...but not necessarily account for the actual footsteps being heard.

Other stories also center on different parts of the second story.  One section is set aside as a nursery-type room, with an access stairway located near the men's locker room.  Employees have heard noises coming from this upstairs room, mainly the sound of children running and playing after hours. 

The Rebels and Redcoats side of the bowling alley seems to be another hot spot.  While sitting on the stairs to the nursery (located on the opposite end of the bowling alley) one employee distinctly saw a bowling ball, previously resting securely on a rack, lift itself up about three feet in the air, and then be gently placed back into place.  The same employee was vacuuming one night with the radio up loud when it appeared as if someone had come out of the tavern, and yelled, "It's like a dance floor out here!"

A further hot spot includes the area behind the pin set-up.  Pins seemingly fall on their own...or at least SOUND as if they fall on their own.  One maintenance person was fixing the machine in Lane One and as he was working, he kept hearing someone yell "Hey, Adam!" every few minutes.  He was alone in the establishment.

Random electrical disturbances are also commonplace.  The TVs often turn themselves on and off, and in one instance, all the lights in the building went a row.

Although no one is certain who haunts the bowling alley, there have been a few deaths associated with it that some feel contribute to the haunted atmosphere.  One death includes an elderly lady bowler.  While waiting her turn at the lane, it was assumed that she fell asleep, but when they went to check on her, it was discovered she had passed away.  Another popular candidate for the paranormal activity is a former employee who died on the grounds nearly 20 years ago.  He was taking trash out one evening out back and was shot to death right outside the door.  Rumors abound as to WHY he was shot, but the motive remains a mystery.  The bowling alley still has his time card stored upstairs.

During the actual investigation, HPIR members did have some interesting experiences.  At 1:13am, the Ovilus spurted out the word "bowl," minutes after being turned on for the first time that evening.  At 1:14, movement was noticed at the end of Lane 7...the lane directly in front of where the Ovilus was set up.   Please see our investigation page for more information!

Colonial Lanes Original Write-Up on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State

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