"Is it really haunted? That's one of the questions asked most often about Falcon Rest Mansion in McMinnville.
Special tours in late October will give the curious a chance to find out first-hand, as they follow two real-life ghost hunters on actual paranormal investigations of the historic -- and allegedly haunted -- 1896 Victorian mansion.
Falcon Rest has teamed up with Full Spectrum Paranormal Investigations of Tennessee, headed by Debbie Pendleton of McMinnville, for tag-along ghost hunting tours on Friday and Saturday, Oct., 23 and 24, and Friday, Oct. 30.
By day, Pendleton is manager of a national medical billing service. By night, she is a paranormal investigator and researcher with six years' experience, specializing in Instrumental TransCommunication and Electronic Voice Phenomena.
A short history of Falcon Rest and an introduction to paranormal investigation techniques will begin each tour. Then Pendleton and her co-investigator J.R. (photographer and principal debunker) will lead groups through the mansion using a combination of audio and video equipment, along with computers, infrared temperature gauges and probes, to seek out its spectral residents.
"We plan to take visitors through the veil and into the paranormal while they learn about the history of Falcon Rest and maybe even get to hear from the more spirited of those who permanently and happily dwell inside their beloved mansion," says Pendleton.
The first purported "ghost sighting" at Falcon Rest was an appearance to his young grandson of the original owner, Clay Faulkner, just a few years after his 1916 death. The building served as a nursing home and hospital from the 1940s through the 1960s. It was abandoned for over 15 years, and opened to the public in 1993 as a magnificently restored historic tourist attraction. Rumors of mysterious happenings have persisted throughout the years. It's not uncommon even today for tourists to report various encounters with unseen inhabitants.
What can tag-along ghost hunters expect to experience? "Who knows?" says Debbie. "Spirits simply do not act on command. We cannot guarantee that phenomena will occur. On the other hand, the friendly spirits of Falcon Rest may decide to party hardy with the group. Whatever happens, we are confident that participants will learn a great deal about ghost hunting and will have a lot of fun."
Two tours will be offered each night. The first, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., will be demonstrations of "Ghost Hunting 101" techniques appropriate for both adults and older children, who must be accompanied by a parent. The second tour of each evening, from 8 to 10 p.m., will be more of an actual investigation and open only to adults 18 and over. As the number of participants each tour can accommodate is limited, advance reservation and payment are required.
For more information or to make reservations, call Falcon Rest Mansion at 931-668-4444 or visit online at www.falconrest.com.