By car, I live about ten minutes from the Emmitt House. Standing on a corner along US 23 in Waverly, the Emmitt House looks every bit as historic and haunted as it is. Smoke is the best-known of the ghostly manifestations which have plagued this restaurant and inn for a long time. The Emmitt House is named after Pike County’s first millionaire, whose money was earned largely from a distillery which he used to make whiskey and “Emmitt’s Discovery,” a snake oil cure-all he “discovered” when a mule kicked a can of fuel oil into a vat of spirits. (What made him want to drink it is anyone’s guess.) The hotel did a brisk business with travelling salesmen and other people who passed through. People sometimes see a woman in a motherly kitchen apron cleaning things when no one should be there, and two ghostly children roam the building. Also, people often encounter the ghosts of slaves who may have died there en route on the Underground Railroad. They sometimes make loud noises and change the syrups on the soda fountain–which any bar employee can tell you is a gross job.
On January 7th, 2014, in the darkness of the early morning hours was a scene fitting for a paranormal horror movie. In that darkness, envision the light of blazing fire, vigorous wind, billowing smoke from every opening in the building, and the spray of water from the fire hoses freezing before falling to the ground. The temperature was 35 below zero with the wind factor, chilling! The burning of the haunted Emmitt House was in progress. Equally eerie, I saw four life-size human forms standing in a room on the third floor, all four walls blackened. They were manicans which have remained in that same spot through several different owners of the building, several owners in the nine years of my residence in Waverly, Ohio. The figures were easily visible because the fire crew knocked a whole in the wall where they stood. Every room of all three floors were covered with blackness to leave evidence of the burning of the haunted Emmitt House.
The Emmitt House is nationally known as a haunted building, receiving notoriety from major television networks that covers paranormal activity. Historically, the Emmitt House is said to of been a safehouse for southern slaves smuggled to the freedoms of the north. However, not every smuggler had honorable intentions for their cargo, and under the guise of promising freedom, the smugglers tricked, betrayed, and brought the slaves to a place of horror beyond rational boundaries. This brings me to the smoke in the ice.
The smoke in the ice inspires me to declare that it summarizes the mystery behind the haunting of the Emmitt House. I will share what I saw at 8:30am that morning, hours after the vigourous and chilling wind was blowing through the fire, water, and smoke. As I surveyed the building with my eyes, in seven degree temperature, I was saying within myself, “astounding,” and “stunning,” while looking at the ice draping over the Emmitt House, and nearby power lines. There was an eerie coloration of the ice, smokey in appearance but with a chilling and haunting “feel.” The coloration was Confederate Blue! I’ve never seen ice like that before. In conjunction with the coloration, the ice formations were irregular with swirls, curves, and illogical angles. This wasn’t natural ice-sycles nor sheets of ice from gravitational pull. I was wondering how the unnatural formations could occur, then a reasonable explanation came to me; the wind was blowing vigorously as the billowy smoke and freezing water began to intertwine—the walls of the Emmitt House became the canvas for wind blown artwork of a haunting design.
Herein comes the mystery of the smoke in the ice; Discovering smoke in ice is akin to doing a toxicology on a cold and lifeless body and finding poison. In addition, imagine placing a piece of ice in your mouth, unaware of the poison in the center, and with the melting of the ice there is seepage of death into your body. From here, let’s continue with this article, “Smoke In the Ice: The Burning of the Haunted Emmitt House.”
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO THE DIVINITY OF THE SOUL. The slaves knew that freedom meant being able to live from the divine presence living within them. Therefore, coming to the free states would provide an environment allowing them to thaw, or soften, towards the deity of their inward being. However, if smugglers of those slaves were pretenders of freedom, then warm attitudes to the supernatural presence would result in deadly consequences. The melting of ice within, allowing the divinity to live through them, would result in toxix responses to desolate their tranquility, murder their life, leave them in darkness concerning their fate, and drain them of positive realization of their own identity. There was smoke in the ice for those warming to the internal place of divine freedom.
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO THE MOISTURE OF THE SPIRITUAL FRUIT. The slaves were soft enough inwardly to experience faith to allow others to smuggle them to a place of freedom. They held inner intentions of peace, love for humanity, and perseverance in divine traits. However, their warm attitude for the moist qualities of the spiritual fruit was met with fierce coldness. As their soul would melt to allow blossoms of kindness, goodwill, meekness, gentleness, joy, goodness, patience, and self-control, there was the horror of the smoke in the ice. From the pretenders of freedom came icy cruelty, bringing toxicity to finalize the slaves death, simply for experiencing life in the fruitfulness of the living deity. Smoke was in the ice for those warming to the internal place where the fruit of the spirit lives.
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO THE WELFARE OF OUR HEALTH. When our soul melts to give us a positive attitude for physical health, we want to enjoy the freedom to choose healthy habits. However, from the icy coldness of “smugglers” comes tragedy and pain as we attempt to show compassion for bodily health. They want us to experience unpleasantness in what we eat, drink, breathe, how we rest, and during elimination. Their purpose is to bring death to the comfort that lives within our body. There is smoke in the ice for those warming to healthy intentions. Let’s be patient for our soul to melt into fruitfulness, have self-control towards tormenters of our comfort, and persevere from the moisture of our inner being.
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO OUR SAFETY. When there is melting within our soul we begin to feel inner tranquility with hopes of peace existing wherever we go. When that melting begins, the softness is opposed by the icy coldness of “smugglers” who threaten feelings of serenity. They want us to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the elements that bring death to the peace of the soul. There is smoke in the ice for those warming to a safe and secure environment. Let’s be meek to blend with the melting of the soul, respond gently to our tormenters, and let peace flow from our inward moistness.
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO OUR PLACE OF BELONGING. Our inward soul melts to enable us to experience life from loving exchanges with one another. When that melting begins, the softness is opposed by the coldness of those inciting hatred, intolerance, exclusion, and sexual abuses. Their intent is to cause death to feelings of compassion. There is smoke in the ice for those warming to feelings of love, tolerance, acceptance, and sensual intimacy. Let’s be kind to blend with the melting of the soul, respond with love to our tormenters, and allow goodwill to blossom from our inward mopisture.
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO OUR SENSE OF WORTH. The melting of our soul enables us to sense optimism for our own worth, and to esteem others in a wholesome way. As that melting begins, the inner softness is opposed by the icy cold of those who debase others to exalt their own dominance. Their intent is visible by their aggression against equality through inward fruitfulness, tranquility, respect for life, divine light, and positive energy. There is smoke in the ice for those warming to equality through mutual respect of the divinity in each soul. Let’s revere the divine presence of our inner being, which id the source of our worth.
SMOKE IN THE ICE RELATING TO OUR IDENTITY. The melting of the soul enables us to experience optimism for who we are, as seen by our self-expression. When that melting occurs, the softness is opposed by the iciness of those instilling sadness, desapir, and evilness towards all that we are. Thier intent is to bring death to positive attitudes, words, and behaviors that exist within our identity. There is smoke in the ice for those warming to feelings of happiness for who they are. Let there be goodness within the melting of our soul, faith amidst torment, and allow joy to blossom from our inner moisture.
We can assess that there might be smoke in the ice as we warm to the divinity of the soul, That divinity creates spiritual fruit by the melting of our inner being. The diagnosis is that the avenger of the wrongs done to spiritual children is the supernatural presence of the supreme deity. In that light, we plan to live from the soft moisture of our inner being to honor the supernatural realm. We implement that plan by returning a positive attitude to those who are cold as ice to our soft sentiments. We know our success is certain by the presence of the divine hauntings around the world, and by our desire for the internal blossoms of the spiritual fruit.
The Frozen Lake That Mirrors My Frozen Emotion
“Who can withstand His icy blast?” Psalm 147:17b
The deep lake, beautiful, but frozen, greeted me. Snow covered the lake and men walked from shore to shore. Water peeked out one small hole, where water flowed.
Soft, white, snow melted and thick, hard, ice surfaced. My friends and I walked across the lake. The ice rumbled, and the wind’s icy blasts burned our cheeks.
The suns’ unfailing warmth slowly melted the ice. Water surfaced where thin ice kissed the shore. Icy blasts blew in and out, and the ice froze again.
The lake gleamed like a silver mirror. Gentle rays of sun pierced and softened the hardened ice. Spring breezes swept over the lake, and the big thaw began.
The warmth of unconditional love swept over my soul; Gentle, piercing, love softened my frozen emotions. Gods’ love swept away my soul’s cruel winter.
My emotions surfaced—shame rose from deep inside. My wife and spring arrived —we walked beside the lake. The water in the cove was free—we watched the ice retreat.
I dared to pray, “God thaw the lake before she leaves,” And all the water flowed before we kissed goodbye. I dared to pray, “God thaw my emotions before I leave. “(birds sang their courting songs and splashed their colors against the sky— squirrels playfully ran in pairs and leaped from tree to tree— timid chipmunks stared from safe refuge—bunnies hopped away— geese flew in formation—loons cried upon the lake this is the season of new life—i Am ALIVE!) God did all this for me—not just for me—but all for me.
The big thaw began the first day of spring. A sign of God’s promise, given in God’s providence. We watched the water—the current was strong for a lake. Then we saw the current change direction. The current is not strong—breezes make the water flow!
The Psalmist sings: “He stirs up His breezes and the waters flow.”
Morning sun filtered through clouds and rested on the lake. Alone, I gazed—the waters seemed frozen. And then I saw the flowing. I wonder, will the lake freeze again? Not while His breezes blow, and waters flow. I wonder, will my emotions freeze again? Not while His breezes blow, and feelings flow.
“Praise the Lord. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord in might and power. His understanding has no limit. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving. The Lord delights in His unfailing love.” Psalm 147