It's Halloween time! And, you know what that means. Ghost stories... WooooOOOoooo... Not many people know this, but the Oracle office in Santa Clara, Calif. (formerly the Sun Microsystems, Santa Clara campus) where I happen to work, was built on the same site as the Agnews Insane Asylum which was orginally built in 1885.
Unfortunately, in 1906 the original Agnews Asylum suffered a fire during the San Francisco earthquake and became the site of Santa Clara Valley's "greatest loss of life" resulting from the quake. 117 patients and staff were killed and buried in mass graves on the site (same place as where I work now). The main building (seen in the photo) and some others were irreparably damaged. Ever since then, there have been strange reports of workers witnessing apparitions, hearing strange laughter and screaming, sensing cold spots and seeing freezer doors fly open violently and eject their contents (which is pretty darn scary, if you ever saw what's been left and forgotten in our breakroom refrigerators over time by co-workers).
Quite frankly, late some evenings, after a long day at work, I've smelled something strange burning in the air. Usually, it's someone who microwaved their popcorn too long in the breakroom. But, it could be ghosts...
Here's a quote:
Following this disaster, Agnews was reconstructed in the so-called Mediterranean Revival style, resembling a college campus of two-story buildings; it re-opened circa 1911 as Agnews State Mental Hospital.
That second mental hospital mentioned in the above quote lasted until Sun Microsystems demolished it and built an office complex on top of that, then Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems including the Santa Clara campus and here we are today.
So, what better way to celebrate Halloween than by building an Internet of Spooky Things (IoST) ghost sensor connected to a Raspberry Pi running Java Embedded to track ghosts in our office building. I'm going to show you how you can build this too for your Raspberry Pi then run a Java Embedded app to collect ghost analytics.
We'll see how many ghosts we can detect with our IoST gateway device here at the Oracle Santa Clara campus office by placing my embedded device and sensor in different locations throughout our office building in the next few weeks... WoooOOOooooo... Stay tuned...