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Everyone loves a good ghost story, don't they? The weird and wonderful ones, the ones that leave us with chills... even the ones that are just plain daft. But very rarely do we hear of the stories that leave people being physically sick. Now that's a level of fear very few of us have experienced.
But it's something ghost hunter, Xavier Hunter (coincidental surname?) knows all too well as he has revealed the terrifying footage that caused his unexpected bout of illness.
It was a moment the 38-year-old won't forget any time soon as he claims that he was stalked by a suspected 'tommyknocker' ghoul in a haunted mine.
Superstitious locals had told Xavier about the 'restless spirits' of miners who had been trapped in the dark tunnels and wanted to carry out further investigations.
Intrigued by the spooky tales, Xavier ventured into the mines at night, located 25 miles outside Las Vegas, Nevada, armed with his camera and pal Kaytie. Threatening and dangerous equipment, we're sure.
After discovering smells of rotting meat and strange growling, the duo decided to flee the tunnels after Xavier thought he saw a ghostly apparition appear in front of Kaytie, off camera.
However when later checking over their footage, he was stunned to discover a 'hooded figure' lurking in the darkness behind them as they left.
The creepy video shows the figure appearing to step backwards into the gloom so as not to be seen by the pair - but it fails to avoid being caught by the passing camera.
The presence was 'malevolent', Xavier says, causing him to became nauseous and dizzy. Once out of the tunnels, he was sick - thankfully off camera.
However he believes the figure could be that of the feared 'tommyknockers' - a trickster type of ghoul that tries to lead people astray in the dark.
Xavier said: "I was not afraid to enter the mine, I was curious to see if these legends were true. So we went in with an open mind not expecting to catch anything.
"The figure appeared to be hooded, it was completely black. We didn't immediately see it. We saw it after we began to review the video.
"The odd thing is that around the same time the figure appeared I began to feel sick and nauseous, I threw up and felt extremely dizzy.
"We did not record that moment because Kaytie was trying to help me figure out what was happening. I was shocked, especially after feeling sick right after capturing the figure on tape.
"I have no idea what it could be. I suppose that a possible explanation could be that it was our own shadow? But why would I feel sick right after it appeared?
"Right before the figure appeared we had found women's clothing deep inside the mine.
"We were questioning why the clothes would be so deep in there and who had left them behind. The mine went too deep for the clothes to be left that far in.
"We immediately felt uneasy to go any deeper but we decided to keep going. I attempted to communicate with the dowsing rods and began to hear noises, some sounded like growls and whispers.
"The presence we both felt in there felt malevolent. Kaytie had smelt rotting odors of what she described as 'burning pig flesh'."
The origins behind the superstitions involving tommyknockers is creepy - and is believed to originate from the knocking sound that was heard shortly before a mine collapsed.
Legend spread that they were malevolent entities that deliberately caused the cave-ins and the knocking sound was caused by them hammering on the timbers.
They were also thought to be tricksters who would lead miners dangerous areas unless gifts and trinkets were left to appease them.
However others saw the tommyknockers in a different way, believing them to be the restless spirits of workers who had died in the mine trying to warn others of impending doom.
Xavier, who goes by the name 'Cryptid Hunter' for his investigations, said: "I had heard stories that there was a haunted mine near Goodsprings and so I went out in search for it.
"After speaking to several of the locals they pointed me in the direction of it and they've also told me some of the legends attached to it.
"Some said that people would go in the mine to practice witchcraft and that there was a woman who was killed there many years ago.
"Another local told me that the mine was cursed and haunted by tommyknockers that had caused a cave-in where at least one miner had died and now his restless spirit haunts the mine.
"So I decided to do some research and found out that the tommyknocker was a trickster type of entity that takes form of a human or a gnome who would play tricks on people. They are also said to cause cave ins if the miners wouldn't respect them or bring them 'gifts'."
Despite the startling footage that he captured, the ghost hunter has been returning to the mine in a bid to gain further evidence and perhaps re-encounter the suspected tommyknockers.
Sounds like a brilliant plan, Xavier, you fearless bastard.
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media
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