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By ROBERT VILLANUEVA firstname.lastname@example.org Most everybody has heard them: stories of disembodied voices, unexplained noises or even sightings of people who no longer are alive. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you don’t have to look very far to find stories about them. In fact, Hardin County has lots of ghost stories and legends of places that are reputedly haunted. Stories range from objects moving with no visible help to apparitions that roam through buildings in broad daylight. So you want to hear more about them? This is, after all, the time of year for spooky stories and tales of terror. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone go in and check out some of these places? So who you gonna call? No, not those guys! Me! Yep. During the entire month of October, I’ll be visiting locations throughout Hardin County reputed to be haunted and writing stories about what I find. I might not have one of those high-tech ghost-trapping devices like in that 1980s movie “Ghostbusters” or have a clinical or educational background in parapsychology like the characters … Wait … why am I doing this again? Oh, yeah: I volunteered. (Perhaps I was a bit too eager.) Nevertheless, every week I’ll spend a couple of hours at a haunted place, interviewing people and seeing first-hand if I experience anything paranormal. Stories about my experiences will appear in Friday’s paper each week in October. Will I experience paranormal phenomenon? Will I just be sitting and twiddling my thumbs? Will I uncover fiendish hoaxes by local groundskeepers who will then lament, “And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.” (Which would be weird because I stopped being a kid about 30 years ago.) I’m not sure what to expect. But I’m interested in finding out about some of these places. Admittedly, ghost stories and hauntings fascinate me. How much I believe the stories I hear varies greatly, but I am pretty open to things. All in all, I tend to be a see-for-myself type of person, though. I go only by what I experience first-hand. I’ve talked with many people who have experienced things they can’t explain. Some might believe there are always logical reasons for what others term paranormal activity. Others don’t dismiss things so easily. Maybe you’ve heard some of the stories. Is downtown Elizabethtown truly rife with ghosts that wander through offices, theater balconies and business stairways? Do other old towns in the county have old inns and restaurants that entertain more than hungry tourists and visitors? Obviously not every story can be true. Some stories even contradict each other. But one thing’s for sure, ghost stories persist. And I’d like to see for myself. Sure, I might be in for hair-raising experiences. Sure, I might end up exiting a building without opening a door, leaving a busted-out shape of myself behind. But I feel the ethereal grasp of the past pulling me to do this story series. I feel the cold embrace of the departed welcoming my visits. I feel — Aw, heck, I was just interested in the subject. You could say the spirit moved me. (Or maybe you’d avoid such an obvious pun.) Whatever the case, I’m ready to investigate. So maybe by the end of the month, I’ll have come up with nothing but a handful of air. Or maybe I’ll actually end up telling people: “He slimed me.” Robert Villanueva can be reached at email@example.com or (270) 505-1743.