Two businesses cater to those seeking paranormal experiences

Steve and Pam Barry welcome guests to their new business, Historic Haunts of Waynesboro, at the former Toll Gate House on East Main Street in Waynesboro. NANCY MACE/FOR LOCAL.NEWS

Steve and Pam Barry are embracing the “spirit” of Waynesboro’s history at their two local businesses, Historic Haunts of Waynesboro and The Hoover House Bed and Breakfast.

The two paranormal investigators host guests at The Hoover House, 227 W. Main St., which they own along with Jim and Yvonne Wyrick, and a booking secures ghost and history tours of the property.

The Barrys also own the Historic Haunts store at the former Toll Gate House at 323 E. Main St., where they sell metaphysical and paranormal investigating equipment and other items from their former store in Gettysburg. The property also boasts a healing center in the Hands of Light Reiki Room, according to Pam, a Reiki master. “I do healings there and we’re going to give classes soon also,” she said.

Starting in mid-September, they will host ghost walks and history walks throughout Waynesboro. “We’re very grateful to John Poniske (of Waynesboro), who gave us all of his materials (from his walks). We’re doing this with his blessing. Tickets will be $10 each. We want to keep them affordable, so that people can enjoy and remember the history of Waynesboro and be proud of it.”

Pam, who worked in a retirement village, said she interacts with the ghosts of former residents of The Hoover House, which was an assisted living facility. “I tell them ‘Please be careful. Watch your step.’ Someone answered me when we were doing an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session on the third floor and we played it back for our realtor and she heard it.”

Pam also noted that “we’ve had people knock on our door wanting to see their grandparents’ rooms (at The Hoover House). We had one guest, a businessman traveling home to Boston, who said someone unseen in the middle of the night threw his clothing throughout the room. He said he didn’t believe the house was haunted (as advertised), but he does now.” 

Among the couple’s discoveries at the bed and breakfast were two pairs of shoes underneath floorboards, a Bible in German and a box of photos of a family’s vacation. “We found another pair of baby shoes in the Rosebud (queen) Room in the rafters as we were moving things. We put a piece of plexiglass over where we found them,” she noted. “They’re going to stay there. Someone put them there for a reason.”

Pam also said she captured “an amazing photo of a dark shadow in the basement when we were down there doing an investigation.”

The couple, paranormal investigators for the past 30 years, met at Wilson College during an investigation. Steve used to accompany his mother, a member of the Audubon Society, when the group did grave rubbings. “I was about 9 when we heard a voice telling us to get out of the graveyard,” added Steve, who was a paranormal investigator on the TV show, “Paranormal After Party” from 2010 to 2015.

The couple, who recently joined Waynesboro Historical Society, are effusive in their praise of Waynesboro “as a gem of forgotten history” and pledge “to help people remember it.”

They also invite area residents to attend the sixth annual paranormal convention, Gettysburg Battlefield Bash, Aug. 19 to 21 at the Wyndham in Gettysburg. “Tickets are $20 and all proceeds – we raised $10,000 last year – benefit Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors and Heroes 4 Higher,” Steve said.

Historic Haunts of Waynesboro is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 717-521-7465.

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