Next weekend, a highly unique paranormal party is slated to take over the infamously spooky Stanley Hotel, which, of course, provided the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining. Part paranormal investigation and part dance extravaganza, Feel the Energy, as its been dubbed is a party that exists in an entirely different plane -- the spirit world.
The schedule for Feel the Energy is packed with a feature film premier, ghost hunts, panel discussions and of course, dancing, with the soundtrack provided by DJ Inferno, better known to some as Billy Tolley of the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures. "I'm very excited about this particular event," Tolley tells us, "because I get to do the two things I love to do the most... DJ and hunt for ghosts."
Tolley is a self-made success in the DJ world. He started a mobile DJ business out of high school and didn't seriously pursue a career playing clubs until after he moved to Las Vegas. He earned a gig at the MGM Grand in 2004 and never looked back. Dozens of clubs later, he currently has a residence at Mandalay Bay's club, The Foundation Room, and the Luxor's Cat House.
It was Infernos dual passions -- reality TV ghost hunter and world class DJ -- that served as inspiration for the event, according to the Stanley's resident ghost hunter Callea Sherrill. As you're no doubt aware, the Stanley is a hotbed for paranormal activity -- enough that the luxurious hotel has its own resident ghost hunter. Sherrill met the Booth Brothers, who will be debuting their new film, Children of the Grave 2, during Feel the Energy, at a horror convention in Kentucky. She wanted to do an event at the hotel, and they wanted to visit the notoriously haunted spot, so she figured they'd set up a weekend full of events and invite Inferno along to make it a real party.
Saturday's events include a who's who of paranormalists, including Tolley, Chris Dedman (from A&E's Paranormal State) and renowned psychic medium Rosemary the Celtic Lady, among others. Special guests will discuss various theories regarding possible outcomes of 2012 phenomena, which will be followed by a ghost hunt through the hotel grounds.
The experts might use high tech gadgets that try to detect everything from inaudible sonic occurrences (electronic voice phenomena) to disturbances in naturally occurring electromagnetic frequencies that could signify the presence of ghosts, but Sherrill says the best tool Feel The Energy attendees have is their own five senses.
"It's important to pay attention to what you're hearing, what you're seeing, what you're feeling," she advises. "Notice what is normal in a building so if something abnormal or possibly paranormal happens you already have an idea of what's normally going on."
Sherrill has had a number of encounters over the years, including some that defy any easy explanation. "It was maybe 8 or 9 at night," she recalls. "I was coming up the grand staircase, and I noticed there was a woman standing at the bottom of the stairs. I hadn't seen her when I came in the door, and I thought that was kind of strange. As soon as looked more closely she disappeared right before my eyes."
What isn't certain is how the spirit world will react to the throbbing, low-end frequencies of the dance music pumped out by Inferno. Not all the spirits occupying the hotel are from the early days of the hotel, so some of them might want to feel the bass as much as their human counterpoints hope to feel the energy. "We've got a maintenance man who passed away in 2005, who seems to still be around," Sherrill points out. "Then we have a girl who is in her mid-twenties from the late 1970s. We call it Disneyland for ghosts."
"I'm not sure how they will react," Tolley allows. "I guess we'll find out soon enough! Hopefully they like to dance."
So far, Sherrill has been experimenting with the sounds during ghost hunts in the concert hall, playing MP3 of Inferno mixes, and there does seem to be some interaction between the ghosts and the music.
"Maybe three times per month we do a ghost hunt in the concert hall, which is the location where we're gonna have this party," Sherrill explains. "We have a flashlight that if you set up in the right way, when we turn on Billy's music, the flashlight will begin to pulse to the beat of the music almost like someone's enjoying and maybe dancing to it."
The hotel room isn't included in the price of the ticket to Feel the Energy, but the cost for this kind of experience -- unique doesn't even begin to do it justice -- is definitely worth it if you want to take a trip to the freaky side for the weekend.
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