I stared at the dark figure for a few seconds before I spoke.
Surely, my imagination was misleading me. Or maybe my eyes were just tired and blurry.
It was the middle of the night and I was on a ghost hunt with paranormal investigators in the Chickamauga Battlefield, part of the nation's oldest and largest Civil War park.
In the beginning, I was skeptical because I had already been on one hunt in LaFayette's Marsh House and experienced nothing - not even when they sent me crawling around in the dark, dirty basement of the antebellum home.
I also was naively optimistic that if there was anything paranormal in nature at the battlefield, I would somehow be able to prove it - capture it on camera or have an indisputable interaction with a ghost.
Yes, I pictured myself breaking a huge story, getting an exclusive interview with a ghost. Don't laugh.
Back to the story. I was walking the large field near Snodgrass Hill, looking toward the tree line that surrounds the large grassy space. I stared at the dark, shadowy, upright figure in the distance for a few seconds, wondering if I was going crazy. Or maybe I was delirious. Or maybe I was looking at a reflection, a shadow, something explainable.
I waited a few seconds, staring, searching my brain for answers, and attempting to make sure that I wasn't about to over-react or make a fool of myself.
Finally, I pointed at the moving figure and asked the other members of my group if they saw it. By the time they answered, "What, where?" it was gone.
And, of course, none of the cameras were working well because of the cold temperatures.
So I came away from my second ghost hunt with no hard proof of the paranormal and facts are what a journalist lives by.
I question my sighting - although the investigators said my experience was credible because there were other similar ones - because I can't prove it.
But even though I came away with no hard evidence, the experience was exciting. Simply having the opportunity to roam the battlefield in the middle of the night was amazing. Living in downtown Chattanooga, I sometimes forget how bright the stars are.
Even though I didn't get my big break and capture undeniable evidence of a ghost, I did something not many get to see. Even though it was so cold I could see my breath, it was a beautiful night.