It was like paddling through mobile crazy paving. The route Places to travel in China I’d hoped to take became closed, and one to the side opened up, yet when Places to travel in China I was in it it began to narrow. With some urgency I back-paddled; there was no room to turn around, and the paddle blades struck the ice unless I put them close beside the canoe. Back-paddling and glancing over my shoulder I realised with dismay that I was too late, the crack was closing, and although it moved infinitely slowly I would not get there in time. When it came to the crunch I stuck my paddle against the smaller ice-plate and pushed it, a long steady push. The crack was no longer narrowing; it didn’t look as though my pushing was doing any good yet it was obviously having an effect.
I would not be disappointed. The first recording came at 12:05 a.m., just minutes after we left the recorder in the room. It was a single, mournful word, “Angel.” As the hushed voice came through the headphone, I had to fight back a sudden sense of remorse. Through research and reading eyewitness accounts, we had learned the dead children were often referred to as Angels.
At 12:23 a.m. another disembodied voice was captured. Again it was a single word, “Annie.” Was the voice calling out to Big Annie, Anna Clemec the Auxiliary President who had arranged the Christmas Eve party? Big Annie desperately attempted to calm everyone during the panic. Could someone be calling out to her even now?
Another EVP was captured shortly after 1:00 a.m. The four of us had entered the ballroom and Kat began to set up her camera. At that point I remarked, “We’d love to talk to you. Don’t show yourself until the camera’s up.” The very obliging response was, “Happy to.”