Tag Archives: paranormal

Ghost Tours: Marketing Hype or Spiritual Quest?

18 Oct

This post is a re-print of an article by:
Barbara Franco, Independent Scholar on April 10, 2017

The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot begins with an actual ghost causing problems after a docent finishes a tour at a “haunted” historic house museums.

Many museums and historic preservation groups have been unsure how to react to the growing popularity of commercial ghost tours over the past twenty years.  Some museums have tried to avoid any connection to what they perceive as inaccurate, theatrical, or just sensational uses of history. Others have embraced the idea and offer their own versions of ghost and cemetery tours as part of their historical interpretation. How should museums react to public interest in these tours and how can their appeal help museums understand the needs and expectations of audiences?

What might have been a once-a-year Halloween special event has developed into a burgeoning heritage industry, with many communities advertising themselves as the most haunted city or town. Ghost Tours of Philadelphia advertises that, “We bring history back to life.” Ghost tour companies in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Cape May, New Jersey; Baltimore, Maryland; New Orleans, Louisiana; Boston and Salem, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia are only some of the places that you will find in an online search for ghost tours.

Spiritualism has a long history in European and American cultures. Many nineteenth-century authors, intellectuals and reformers, many of them women, found spiritualism attractive. Arthur Conan Doyle, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Lydia Maria Child were all involved in the spiritualism movements of the nineteenth century. The current ghost tour companies across the country generally date back about twenty years.  How can we explain this increased interest in ghost tours in the 1990s?

The first Ghostbusters movie was released in 1984. Parapsychology, although generally not embraced by the scientific community, is studied at a number of universities, including the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies. Paranormal television programs have developed as a sub-genre of reality television that presents supposedly scientific investigations of paranormal phenomena, as opposed to purely fictional representations. The 1990s saw an increase in this type of programming with History’s Mysteries (1998-2006) and Haunted History (1998-2008) on the History Channel and Ancient Mysteries (1994-1998) on A& E. Listings of paranormal television programs show a decided uptick from 2000 to the present.

Nowhere is interest in paranormal history more prevalent than Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the standard battlefield tours have been joined by ghost tours designed to attract tourist audiences. As the site of so much death and dying, the Gettysburg battlefield, and the surrounding houses and farms that cared for the wounded, draw visitors seeking to make a connection to this historic and possibly haunted place.

In the summer of 2012, Pamela Cooper-White began a study of Gettysburg’s ghost tours. She interviewed scholars, and attended ghost tours and investigations as a participant observer, as she described herself.  A professor of psychology and religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and author of Braided Selves: Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God, and Persons, Cooper-White set out to conduct a cultural analysis to determine, “what draws people to these experiences, and what cultural and/or spiritual findings might be found in them?” (Cooper-White 34.) Her findings have been  published as “Haunted Histories: A Cultural Study of the Gettysburg Ghost Trade,” in Gettysburg: The Quest for Meaning by the Seminary Ridge Press in 2015.

The ghost tours in Gettysburg began in 1994 when a former National Park Service ranger and author of a book on Gettysburg ghost stories was asked by the Chamber of Commerce to give ghost tours to help develop Gettysburg as a heritage destination. Today, Destination Gettysburg, the tourism promotion organization for Gettysburg, explains on its website that “Dozens of teams have conducted investigations on fields, homes, and taverns; discovering spirits left behind from the Civil War and other periods. You are invited throughout the year to tour our streets, our bridges, and buildings and discover for yourself what has lingered…” Their website lists seven different ghost and paranormal tours.

Cooper-White identifies three levels of engagement with these tours: 1) a folklore or storytelling aspect that is primarily theatrical in nature; 2) a ghost hunting level to observe and experience ghostly activity; and 3) a paranormal investigation level that applies scientific methods to collect evidence of paranormal activity (Cooper-White, 37). Many of the tours stress the accuracy of their historical research and information, and Cooper-White identifies a relationship between the ghost tour community and the reenactment community in their interest in individual and personal stories.

She identifies the ghost community as “a subculture within the larger culture of middle America.” From her research in Gettysburg, she reports that:

The demographics of this group are fairly homogeneous…almost entirely white and solidly middle class, mostly middle-aged, born in the North or Midwest, and from Christian backgrounds…Some are members—mostly nominally—of Catholic or mainline Protestant churches….Many have drifted without prejudice away from institutional religion, stating that they no longer need it when they have direct knowledge of heaven, the afterlife, and God. (Cooper-White 37)

She also notes that she did not encounter evangelical or fundamentalist Christians, Jews, or other religious traditions in her research. Although she encountered few people of color in the course of her research, one African-American visitor, who she interviewed, had had numerous ghost experiences. He felt that belief in ghosts was more acceptable in his family, church, and culture than in white middle-class culture. A Native-American naturalist, whom she questioned, responded that ghost sightings were not a question, but just part of the spirituality of his culture—a natural part of life. There is evidence that many present-day Americans also share a belief in spirits. In fact, she reports that about two thirds of the participants on every ghost tour she attended raised their hands when asked if they believed in ghosts.

Cooper-White set out to determine whether or not a spiritual hunger motivates ghost tour participants. While some visitors are simply drawn to the entertainment factor and dramatic presentations of history, she concludes that “many individuals come with spiritual questions, or even on a deeper level, a personal quest—for validation of their own unexplainable experiences, for the possibility of contact with a lost loved one, and for the greater certainty that there is truly life beyond death.” (Cooper-White 42)

Her research documents a spiritual component to how some Americans experience and interact with history through ghost tours and paranormal investigations. Can we still dismiss ghost tours as just a marketing fad to boost visitation, or do they represent a significant trend in how Americans relate to both religion and history? If visitors are looking for opportunities to interact with history in spiritual quests for meaning, we may need to take the popularity of ghost tours more seriously.

For more on this subject, see:
Pamela Cooper-White, “Haunted Histories of the Gettysburg Ghost Trade,” in Gettysburg: the Quest for Meaning, ed. Gerald Christianson, Barbara Franco and Leonard Hummel (Gettysburg, PA: Seminary Ridge Press, 2015).

Lanes End Audio Book/Video of Chapter One

5 Jan

This is a spoken-word, or audio book version of Chapter One of Lanes End,
a Journey Into the Paranormal
. Just to help your imagination a bit, I’ve included some imagery. Hope you enjoy it . . .

About the Author/How to Order

Copyright 2017, Paul Hill
All Rights Reserved
For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog page
Visit our website
All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill.

Investigating Our Own Home, or “I never believed in orbs before, but…”

5 Aug

Lanes End information



Photo #4 – “Orb Chain” Anomaly

Light in the Dark Paranormal recently investigated the home of two of its members. While this is not recommended, the two resident ghost-hunters already knew of the existence of ghosts in their house, and felt it was about time to formally introduce themselves.

Photo #1- no orbs; flash off

Photo #1-small orb (not camera flash reflection); flashlight off

The above image was taken as a still photo during a sweep of the second floor loft while conducting a flashlight communication session (the flash can be seen on the island in the middle). The team had succeeded in getting whoever was there to turn the flashlight on and off in response to their questions (we have an unedited video of this session on YouTube).

At the same time, one team member was conducting an EVP session with her digital recorder, with the recording revealing an unexplained knocking sound. This sound + the flashlight activating itself + the above photo taken all at the same time demonstrate what we feel to be from a single paranormal event.  It was recorded by three different investigators using three types of recording media (video, audio recorder and a still camera) all starting and stopping on the same timeline.

Photo #2- no orbs; flash on

Photo #2- small orb; flash on

The large photo above reveals a an anomaly appearing in the right center of the image, and seems to be emanating from behind the stove in the kitchen area. You can click on this photo to obtain a separate larger image (we suggest blowing it up to maximum size to see the detail of the phenomenon). Upon closer examination, note what appears to be a series of interlocking orbs! They seem to be contained within a tube or conduit of some sort, whose source seems to be from just behind the oven door, and whose other end tapers off into a dissolve. If this were a hair or other piece of debris on the camera lens, it would be in front of and covering the background, not coming from it, and the end of it would be definite, not fading away.

Photo #3- orbs visible; flash off

Photo #3- orbs; flash off

This anomaly was not present in the photo taken seconds before it, nor in any taken seconds after (each photo is numbered in the order taken). Also note the presence of the more traditional “orbs” of the type observed by many investigators over the years. These began to appear in the prior and subsequent photos, but then they too disappeared.

One of the advantages of investigating your own home is that you get to go back and validate what you might have documented earlier. In this case, we took the same series of photos the next day at exactly the same time during similar outside weather. No phenomenon whatsoever was present (one of the disadvantages of investigating your own home is that you have to go to sleep there after your investigation, regardless of what you may have riled up).

Photo #5 - orbs; flash on

Photo #5 – orbs; flash off

We discussed our investigation the following Sunday with Rob Henry and Jason Olivo, hosts of Living Paranormal on the web. To listen to the entire show, which includes some amazing EVP’s recorded in previous investigations at other locations, click here to hear an archived version.

Photo #6 - orb; flash on

Photo #6 – small orb; flash on

Also tuned into the show that night was acclaimed psychic medium Reverend Robyne Marie. Using her technique of photo scrying, where Robyne claims that she can actually see live spirits present in a photo, she said the following about ours as she studied it during the show:


Photo #7-orbs gone; flash on

We have physical bodies walking through here . . . remote viewing.

I saw the main character and all the other bodies with them. This is their heaven. So many of them together . . . we have doppelgangers! They mimic you. 



Paul Hill is the co-founder of Light in the Dark Paranormal,
and he has a brand new ebook: 
A Journey Into the Paranormal 

Its now available! Read excerpts from the book

Lanes End Cover

Copyright 2015, Paul Hill
All Rights Reserved

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog:

Visit our website:  http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com

 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill.

Home is where the heart…what was that!?

14 Jun


On Sunday evening, June 14th, Light in the Dark Paranormal will again be guests on Living Paranormal, from 7 to 9 pm, MDT (9 to 11 Eastern). Along with co-hosts Jason and Rob , we’ll be talking about the investigation of our own home, which isn’t always the recommended thing to do!

We’ll reveal some startling evidence that you can access from the show’s website.

Hope you can join us streaming live at http://www.livingparanormal.com/live . If you can’t, you can view an archived version of the show anytime from their website, http://www.livingparanormal.com .









Better Ghosts and Gardens

7 May
Living Paranormal Show-May 10th, 9 pm EDT

Living Paranormal Show-May 10th, 9 pm EDT

UPDATE: We already did the show live, and it was great! But you can still hear it as a past show by going to the Living Paranormal website, or get the podcast from I-Tunes…

On Sunday evening, May 10th, my wife and I are going to be on Living Paranormal! The title of this episode is Better Ghosts and Gardens, where we will discuss stigmatized and haunted real estate for sale with co-hosts Jason and Rob.

The time is 9 pm to 11 pm EDT, and the link to their live show is http://www.LivingParanormal.com/live . Its a live streaming Internet broadcast–you can just listen or join in the discussion with questions and comments via their chat room. If you can’t make it for the live show, drop by their website anytime thereafter and look it up as a past show.

We’ll be talking about the Cripple Creek Piotrowski house of Ghost Adventures fame, the Jon Benet Ramsey home, and the haunted old Logan County Hospital. This will be a fun couple of hours! We hope you can make it.

Vision of a Massacre

26 Nov

Outside, among the hills.  There, down in the valleys.  Up in our standing brothers, the trees.  Sometimes horrible events are recorded onto the landscape of where they occurred.  One can sense the story they tell us from years or centuries before.  Places like the mining settlement of Ludlow, Colorado; the battlegrounds of Gettysburg, the dry-then-frozen hills of Wounded Knee, the camps hidden in Nazi-occupied Poland, (including Auschwitz); the villages lost in France, the beaches of Okinawa in Japan, the equatorial highlands of Rwanda, the tropical killing fields of Cambodia, or even Donner Pass in the mountains of Utah–all have born witness and speak to us still.  The ghosts that inhabit these places and others like them still vibrate with the evils committed there…the outcome of battles, mass executions, genocides, murders, massacres and exterminations–violent death on a massive scale producing hauntings in equal parts.

forsaleThey are a permanent part of the past still growing with newly-tainted places like those being spawned in the deserts of Iraq and Syria.

One part of this dark past is the site of the Sand Creek Massacre.  Its a relatively flat piece of the high arid desert of southeast Colorado in the American outback.

November 29th is the 150th Anniversary of that event.  In 1864, the territorial Governor and his minions sought to eliminate the “threat” of Arapahoe and Cheyenne native Americans living on the these dry plains.  Using propaganda techniques practiced by some of today’s religious extremists, they planned and succeeded in exterminating these tribes from those lands not just to insure the “safety” of their own settlers, but to do it in the name of their religion.


Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians! … I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under God’s heaven to kill Indians. … Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice.

Col. John Milton Chivington  [quote from Dee Brown,”War Comes to the Cheyenne”-Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee]

Colonel Chivington was also a leading minister of his church.  Invoking the name of God, he and his troops were directly responsible for the massacre that killed and mutilated almost 200 Indians, about two-thirds of whom were women and children.  We don’t need to detail the atrocities here, as they are well-documented elsewhere.  They were some of the worst ever recorded in the annals of human history.

The perpetrators of crimes against humanity often justify their actions in terms of their spiritual superiority, but their real motivation may simply be to steal land and acquire political and economic power.

Almost a century and a half later a woman named Karen visited this place, but not to conquer, impose her religion, or steal land.  There was no one left to kill, enslave, or take from, as the original inhabitants were long gone, at least in the mortal sense.  Instead she came to pay her respects to what she knew about the tragedy that happened there.  Karen was not your typical visitor.  She is clairvoyant–a “seer” of the past and present.  She is one of those fortunate souls who can see what most others cannot, including the ghosts of the dead, the spirits of departed loved ones, and replays of events that have long since played.

She felt drawn to the site, and walked out onto the battlefield about 100 yards from the viewing area.  This was before the site managers put up a fence with signs telling visitors not to go there.  As she walked, she thought she heard voices.  Singing?  She continued on, and the sound morphed into the clatter of distant horses coming closer and closer.  Sitting down in the dirt, she caught out of the corner of her eye the silhouettes of men on horses in the fog of dust kicked up by their steeds.  They rode toward her and the flat field ahead, appearing not to notice her.

She felt compelled to look in the direction the riders were speeding toward, where she perceived the vague outlines of Indian tepees.  There were people both standing around and rushing in and out of their buffalo-hide lodges.  Some looked right through her and fixed on the riders coming out of the haze.  The adrenalin started to rise in Karen’s body, and a sudden jolt of fear seized her when she realized what was about to happen.  She knew the riders were intent on doing harm to the inhabitants of the settlement, with no hesitation and no offering of the chance to surrender.

A group of small children were lingering by the edge of the settlement as their panic-stricken mothers tried to round them up to hide them.  They knew what was coming.  The horse soldiers rode in, grabbing the little ones by their arms and lifting them up without even slowing down.  They proceeded to slam the poor children against rocks, one by one.  Not one of them survived.

Karen hid her face in her hands, unable to watch the spectacle any longer.  As she sat there unnoticed, the sounds stopped and all was unearthly quiet.  She looked up and again saw the field as empty as when she first saw it.  The event was over, and she slowly got up and returned to the viewing area.

Years later, Karen recollected…

Very hard n rough experience, but I will go back.
Grandmother (earth) n grandfather (sky) still hurt from it.


On November 22nd, a group from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois held a ceremony on the shore of Lake Michigan to pay tribute to the victims of the Sand Creek Massacre.  My friend Rich was there.  I’ll let his words describe the event…

Hoka Hey! from the head heyoka!  

As you may know, John Evans was the founder of Evanston, Illinois.  He was also the co-founder of Northwestern University, the founder of the University of Denver, and the territorial governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs of Colorado.  He was a Methodist like his friend, Colonel/Pastor John Chivington.

Current Native American students at NU have made the university appoint a task force to find ways to atone for their founder’s part in the massacre.  So today one of the events had native speakers with a tribute to the victims.  For the first time I really understood the native concept of time…that things that happened in the past are very close.  Things that happened 150 years ago happened yesterday.  The Red Line drummers from the American Indian Center sang several songs and we hiked out to the shoreline and built a giant bonfire while a priest read an account of the massacre.  The atrocities were unspeakable.

The amazing thing was that he started reading as they lit the fire, and as it took off the flames were 20 feet high!  I had positioned myself upwind and 15 or 20 feet away, and the heat was intense.  The fire perfectly mirrored the spoken account of the massacre, and as the speaker was finishing, it magically died down as he was relating the last few killings and the aftermath.  This fire had wood stacked up 4 feet high and at least 10 feet wide.  I couldn’t believe what I saw.  There was absolutely no way this synchronicity could have been planned.  

The entire experience was so emotional it was incredible.  Everyone was crying or holding back tears.  The Eagle Staff bearer thanked the Great Spirit for making it rain to hide our tears.  The Northwestern students made 200 pair of moccasins to line the walk across campus to the fire ring on the landfill near the shore.  I kept the child’s pair and left the adult pair I had as a tribute.  Amy West put her pair in the glowing coals as part of her prayer.  

You are absolutely right about the past being still with us.  I find it remarkable that almost all aboriginal people know, understand and deal with this. Western science is just starting to scratch at the edges of where the physical meets the metaphysical.  

Oh well, I have had moments of power from the Great Spirit during my lifetime, and we (you and I) will do the best we can as we begin to review the remaining days we have on Mother Earth.


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Copyright 2014-2015
All Rights Reserved

Hose Co. No.3 Fire Museum Investigation

6 Feb
the Museum

the Museum

Last Fall, we investigated what was once called Hose Company No. 3, an old firehouse in downtown Pueblo, Colorado.  Active for many years as a source of protection and informal community center for the city, it is now a museum dedicated to the life and memories of the brave firemen who worked there, including those who died in the line of duty.  Do their ghosts haunt their former workplace to this day?

One of our investigators is Terry Milsom, a former volunteer firefighter. He had suggested that we investigate the many strange goings-on reported at the Museum, and contacted curator Mark Pickerel, himself a Pueblo firefighter.  A few weeks later we arrived for our investigation, and Mark told us about the history of the station and the paranormal events that have occurred there.

Several other investigations have been done by different groups over the past few years, including the Haunted Collector folks.  Now it was our turn.  Rather than repeat what I have already written in our Field Report to Mark, what follows is an excerpt that cuts to the chase…

Discussion/Analysis of Investigation:

Weather and time of day had no influence on the investigation, but certain environmental conditions did. The building was half-surrounded by hi-tension power lines. Within15 feet of the north and east sides of the exterior walls these power sources were emitting heavy EMF radiation which penetrated the building interior as measured by our baseline sweep of the building. When we later took K2 readings in the UL bunkroom while trying to talk to whoever might have been there, we continued to get these same readings while close to the windows, but also slightly weaker readings in the more interior space of the room. These appeared to coincide with questions we were asking, but could have been the same random energy fluctuations from the power lines penetrating the room. Because of this electromagnetic field contamination, we have to disregard any other EMF readings captured in the building.

Also, we note that there was no other evidence of a paranormal presence in that particular room other than 2 EVP’s recorded there by Louise & Adrian. 3 more EVP’s were recorded elsewhere in the building.

Before we discuss these EVP’s in detail, let’s discuss other possible evidence. The video clips noted in #1 above we will dismiss as inconclusive, unless the host can give us an additional explanation or insight. Of the photos taken, none showed anything paranormal. What we’re left with are the EVP’s. But we also must note that considerable acoustic contamination (sound spillover) was an ongoing problem due to not only the traffic outside the front door, but the existence of the firepole toward the front interior. Since it had to run unobstructed from the UL down to the LL, there was a considerable “hole” in the floor so firemen could pass through it. This allowed sound from our team upstairs in the bunkroom to easily drift down to be heard by our team on the LL, and vice versa. This kind of spillover can easily contaminate the results of an audio recording (are we hearing a paranormal entity or us?).

While we dismiss any other video or EMF readings as inconclusive or the result of natural causes, we do maintain that the following EVP’s are evidence of possible paranormal phenomena.

EVP #1 (Class A): Toward the end of the investigation, Paul & Louise are downstairs near the firepole, recording both on audio and video in an attempt to contact whoever might be down there. Louise felt that there was. 1:24 into the audio track of the Pocket Cam video recorder carried by PH, we hear a faint but clear voice of a small child (boy?) saying Get Mom.

This seemed to be in response to Louise asking about the time where a mother brought her nearly drowned boy to the fire station for help, as the story goes. The boy died at the station. Louise said, “…over 100 years ago; just wondering what had happened.” Less than 10 sec later, we hear the EVP on the recorder which neither Louise nor Paul heard with their own ears.  Listen to EVP (you may want to use earphones; the EVP is clear but faint).

EVP #2 (Class A): On the same Pocket Cam session at 3:57, Paul asks if the “person” we were trying to talk to is the same person who Louise & Adrian contacted earlier upstairs in the bunkroom. No response was recorded on the Pocket Cam audio track. But on Louise’s audio recorder, which she was using at the same time standing next to Paul, one can clearly hear the response of “No” to his question.  Listen to EVP

EVP #3 (Class A): Earlier, in the bunkroom in the UL, Louise & Adrian were recording an attempt to contact whoever might have been in that room, using Louise’s recorder. Adrian is talking, and asks if the “person” would like them to stay and talk for awhile longer. An emphatic “No” is clearly heard.  Listen to EVP

EVP #4 (Class A): Later, towards the end of the investigation, Louise was by herself down in the LL. She had her recorder in the “ON/Voice Activated” mode, which means that the unit would start recording only when something was “heard” by the recorder. She was not talking to anyone, and noticed the voice activation light go “on” on the unit. She heard nothing herself, and about 4 sec later asked “Is there someone here?” When she reviewed this session later in the kitchen, she heard an unidentified voice starting the voice-activated part of the recording (when the light went on).It said “There’s someone here.” 4 sec later, she heard on the very next voice-activated recording her own voice asking “Is there someone here?” The first voice was definitely not Louise’s, nor was it Adrian’s who was not with her at the time. But it sounded like a woman’s voice.  Listen to EVP

EVP #5 (Class B): Louise and Adrian’s first session was carried out in the UL bunkroom. The audio recorder was on voice-activation, and when the question/answer session was reviewed, the very first word heard was “Dies!” in response to nothing said by the investigators. Though non-interactive, it was said in a clear, harsh male voice, and the meaning of this word could have been a noun rather than a verb, e.g., “Dyes,” if it was a proper name.  Listen to EVP
(the EVP is at the very beginning of the clip).


The “hotspots” in the Hose Co. #3 Fire Museum were near the firepole in the lower level and the bunkroom upstairs. Previous investigations and stories indicated that the Chief’s office and the top of the stairs had paranormal activity, but we noted none there on the night we investigated. The evidence we captured was strictly in the form of EVP’s (electronic voice phenomena) caught on our digital audio recordings, although there are other modalities through which hauntings are typically evaluated.

Is the Museum haunted? Based on our findings, we would say “Yes,” as the EVP’s were of high quality and unlikely to have been produced by any coincidental natural source. Based on those, we could conjecture that there are at least 4 different entities or residues of past lives present in the building: 2 adult males, 1 adult female, and 1 male (?) child. We were unable to associate any names with them, though one male may have been a “Dyes.” A child and perhaps his mother may have been present. Was this the child who died of drowning after being brought to the station by his mom (“Get Mom”)? Is he trapped in time, unaware of his passing and still looking for his mother?

We would like to return for a follow up investigation, if for no other reason than to free the spirit of this poor child from his earthly confines. There are methods for doing that, including calling in someone who specializes in such transitions.

Did previous investigations and activities manage to reduce or increase the paranormal activity that has been reported over the years? We don’t know. But in the meantime, the Museum in all probability still remains haunted by the presence of those firemen and other people who lived, worked, or died in the line of duty.

nvestigator: Paul Hill, Co-Founder Light in the Dark Paranormal
Date: November 30, 2013
Paul Hill, Adrian Hill, Louise Bosche,Terry Milsom

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Copyright 2010-2014
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Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

22 Nov

After much analysis, we are almost ready to publish our findings from the Pueblo Firehouse investigation.  Just to pique your interest, we can tell you we will have some extraordinary EVP’s, including the plaintive cry of a trapped child.  We will also invent a new term for a certain phenomenon–reverse interactive EVP’s.  New to us, but perhaps you have run across it before as an investigator.

Coming soon… DONE!

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 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved

Our New Website!

31 Oct

After many months, we have finally hit our self-imposed deadline of
Halloween 2013 to launch our new website!

http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com is live and open for business.  We can’t thank our graphic designer and website developer enough for her great work–Michelle Tschetter (http://www.zoomadesign.com).

While we will continue to post ongoing information about the paranormal and our investigations here on our WordPress blog, our website will always have current and updated videos, photos, and articles all in one place.

Have a great Halloween!  Its our favorite time of year…

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog:
 Visit our website:  http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com

 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved


We don’t believe in no ghosts! (do we?)

30 Oct

On this eve of Halloween 2013, we at Light in the Dark Paranormal would like to acknowledge both the believers and the skeptics.  There are still more who don’t believe in the reality of paranormal phenomena than those who do, but we suspect that most of the non-believers have never had a convincing supernatural experience.  Many who have don’t like to admit it.  But for those who have come out of the dark closet, bully for you!  Here are some interesting stats from one who has studied the issue…

Claude Fischer, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, explored Americans’ persisting beliefs in some supernatural phenomena in a recent blog post.

“As we approach Halloween, note that most American adults in the 21st Century say that they believe in life after death and in the devil,” Fischer wrote, citing data from Gallup and other sources. “Over one-third say that they believe in the spirits of the dead coming back; about that many also say they believe in haunted houses.”

Source:  http://living.msn.com/life-inspired/18percent-of-americans-say-they%E2%80%99ve-seen-a-ghost


For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog:
 Visit our website:  http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com

 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved

New Investigation

29 Oct
the Museum

the Museum

On Saturday, October 26, 2013, Light in the Dark Paranormal investigated Hose Company No.3 Fire Museum in downtown Pueblo, Colorado.  We are still analyzing the results, but we can tell you this now:  we have some amazing EVP’s (electronic voice phenomena)!

Stay with us for our more detailed analysis, including the EVP’s, video, and photos when we’re done.  We can also tell you this at this point:  its haunted.

To give you some background in advance, here’s an article from a TV news station when they covered the story just before Halloween last year…






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 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved

How Do We Investigate (a Haunting)?

22 Oct

Our investigations rely on various pieces of equipment used to measure and record any paranormal phenomena that we might encounter.  I believe that the most complex and effective piece of equipment we have is located between our ears. Although our brains are used for lots of things other than perceiving the paranormal, it remains the best mechanism for sensing, recording, playing back and analyzing such things. We only use inorganic external hardware when our brains are incapable of registering events and experiences beyond our senses, such as sound above or below the normal range of hearing.

Other phenomena our brains can’t pick up on include electromagnetic fluctuations too small for us to notice, or images too fleeting or ephemeral to be seen and remembered. Then we have to rely on digital or electromechanical devices like K2 meters, digital recorders, and video and still cameras.

What we do not do is over-rely on hardware. When I was in the video production business some years ago, I noticed a certain handicap that every videographer has to deal with, whether shooting a wedding or a haunted investigation: having his/her eye stuck on the camera most of the time. The operator then fails to notice “the big picture.” Though an expert on recording every micro-event caught by his camera, he often looses track of what is going on around him outside of the frame he is focusing on. That ends up excluding almost everything else.

In the context of paranormal investigation, it is important for the investigator to keep her eyes and ears attuned to what’s happening all around her, not just what is registering on a meter or showing up on a screen. So we bring in the required minimum of equipment. Then we rely on ourselves.

A word about ourselves…

Our team is made up mostly of individuals who are “sensitives.” A sensitive can be defined as someone who subconsciously uses his or her brain to receive and process signals that most people don’t perceive or don’t remember through their normal senses. In other words, the sensitive will notice what many others do not. The “what” can be vibrations, visual images, sound, fear, hormonal rush, telepathic communication, or any of a host of other things that paranormal events can generate. The ability to perceive these things is also referred to as intuition, clairvoyance, or ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). But perceiving phenomena is pointless if we cannot act on those perceptions.

Once we notice unusual things, we will first try to “debunk” them, i.e., find a logical, natural explanation on the spot. For example, when our K2 meter was going crazy at the Piotrowski house investigation, we tried to find a source of any stray electromagnetic activity before we attributed it to paranormal activity. Searching for even an electrical outlet nearby was fruitless, so we considered outside wiring just on the other side of the exterior wall. Sure enough, when we went outside to check, we found a bundle of coaxial cables running down the building. But when we followed them to their source, we realized they were connected to a satellite dish that was quite dead. There were no signals being received by it that night.

The ability to communicate with paranormal entities is very important for us. Once we knew that the K2 readings were not from “normal” sources, we concluded that they might be paranormal, and began our conversation with the unseen force. We were rewarded with Class A EVP’s (clear and interactive electronic voice phenomenon recorded on our digital recorder).

Our modus operandi is simple: we first interview the owner and any other eyewitnesses with stories to tell. Next, we travel to the event site and establish baseline readings and feelings by touring the entire property, not just the known “hotspots.” We pay attention to our innermost feelings and intuitions as well as the readings on our measuring devices. Then we try and debunk any anomalous information. If it appears to be paranormal, we try and establish communication using any known historical facts (names, dates, events, etc.) we would have researched before we arrived.

When we are done anywhere from 4 to 8 hours later, we return to our office to analyze what we found out. A written report is then sent or personally presented to the owner of the property. We will say if we think the property did not present enough evidence to be called paranormal. But if we have the data, we have no problem with saying that a site is haunted.

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
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 Visit our website:  http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com

 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved

How Can We Get Rid of Ghosts?

10 Oct


Getting rid of ghosts sounds like pest control. A better question might be should we get rid of ghosts? One answer is no…ill-conceived or incompetent attempts to do so might only enhance the unwanted activity. Another more important no is that ghosts may exist at a site in order to protect a surviving family member from danger, or perhaps to correct an unrighted wrong.

One of the mistakes some investigators make is the misidentification of a ghost, or a misunderstanding of why they are there. If a ghost seeks to find out why they were a victim of foul play, or to protect a mortal from the same fate, who are we to argue with their reason for existence?

Other investigators work from a religious point of view, and feel it is their spiritual duty to get the ghost to move “into the light.” My opinion is that its a bit presumptuous to think that a ghost is merely “stuck” in its present position, and with the right “push” will happily move on to the next level. As investigators, I do not think we should be in the business of saving souls. We should leave that to the clergy or others who specialize in the treatment of the human spirit. They can be and often are called in to help clear more serious situations. On the other hand, it is our duty to research and identify the people who lived at the site and the circumstances of their passing. Often the revelation of those facts is enough to get the ghosts to move on all by themselves.

There are some justifications for encouraging a ghost to pack it up. The most significant one is when the ghost is exhibiting malevolent behavior, or is actually causing harm to someone else. Yes, evil ghosts can arise from evil people. Then the offending party has to be removed by any means necessary.

Another less serious circumstance is when a home owner is trying to sell, and wants to do it without ghosts included. Another may be where the living occupants are tired of hearing phantom footsteps in the hallway every night, and need some sleep!

Get rid of the ghosts? Maybe. Some recommend that we tell the ghost in a loud and clear voice: Go Away! We don’t want you here. That may work. But sometimes what is really needed is communication between the living and their counterparts. Then no one has to force anybody into anything.

RELATED LINK: Paranormal Investigation: Are Ghosts Draining Your Energy?

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
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 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
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Is Your Place Haunted?

9 Oct

There is no better personal ghost detector than what’s between your ears. Your own brain and central nervous system have been designed by thousands of years of evolution to perceive what we call “paranormal.” The problem is that modern civilization has failed to keep certain parts of our brains properly exercised, and now most people don’t even know they are there. With all of our education and sophisticated technology, we have successfully filtered out the things that go bump in the night from registering in our consciousness.

Though some folks are better than others at detecting the presence of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena, it is an aptitude that can be developed and refined. That being said, most don’t have the time or the inclination to do that, so they have to rely on others. But before you call us or any other ghost hunting team when things get strange, there are a few things you can do and ask to help determine if your place is indeed haunted…

Symptoms: unexplained sounds, like knocking, footsteps or voices; unexplained sights, like people who wander through a building seemingly unaware of the real people around them; unknown smells, like cigar smoke, perfume. or certain cooking smells that appear to have no origin; bad or disorienting feelings that have no reason; cold areas in rooms that should not be there; items falling off shelves; hearing your name called when there is no one present; shadows that seem to move on their own with no cause; electrical fixtures that malfunction or turn on/off with no apparent operator; new batteries in devices that suddenly drain; waking up with visions of strangers in your room; personal items missing and turning up in a different place, etc.

Some Natural Explanations

  1. Is your building old, say over 100 years? Old buildings may emit strange sounds due to settling, or in the winter when old heating systems are turned on. Uneven flooring can cause items to fall off shelves, and nearby highway or flight path vibrations can have the same result.
  2. Is there a natural or man-made power source nearby, other than the usual connections to utilities? For example, is your place near a flowing creek or moving underground water? Is it near high-tension power lines or unshielded electrical conduits? Any source of a strong electromagnetic field can make people or pets feel or behave strangely.
  3. What about your local geology? Any seismic or volcanic activity? Any known concentrations of mineral deposits or certain underground strata like limestone?
  4. Are there nearby military or private research facilities that could be the cause of strange sights, smells, or sounds?
  5. Are there any family members, friends, or strangers who may be playing tricks for various reasons?

Of course there are other reasons and causes of strange happenings in buildings (or even around outside sites, like cemeteries and forests). But when you’ve eliminated the natural explanations and the symptoms persist, what’s left may be supernatural…

Some Supernatural Explanations

  1. Same question as #1, above: is your building or outside event site really old? While there’s nothing about “old” itself that contributes to genuine hauntings, its just statistically true that the older a place is and the more people had lived, worked, or played there, the more likely it is that some event had happened that resulted in a haunting.
  2. Is the site on, over, or nearby a cemetery or other burial site? Some believe that the simple proximity to such places can open the door to supernatural entities. Funeral homes, morgues, or old hospitals or clinics have been known to produce similar effects.
  3. Has anyone, friend, family member, or total stranger, recently died on the premises? Has anyone died there in the history of the building or site? Ghosts may originate from sudden, violent, or unexpected deaths. The deceased then linger in the place they died.
  4. Has the event site ever been a source of continuing conflict? Some buildings absorb the negative vibrations of any kind of violence or abuse, including fights, arguments, or other negative but unresolved human interactions.
  5. Is the place the site of a story about sudden death, violence or an unrighted wrong? Did anything really happen there as depicted by a very sad story about unfortunate things happening to good people?

In determining whether your property is experiencing paranormal activity, first rely on your own instincts. Try and eliminate the obvious natural explanations. If what you’re left with just can’t be explained and the phenomena persists, contact us!

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog:

 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved

How NOT to Buy a Haunted House

9 Oct

Worried About Buying a haunted home?

Haunted houses have been the source of many a scary story, and the practice of real estate has not been immune to them. Ask any real estate broker who has been in the business long enough if he/she has ever had a strange experience in one of the homes they were showing or selling. Whether a believer or not, many would admit that they did.

Consider the broker who is selling a home in a nasty divorce situation.  Sometimes one can just sense the acrimony, even though it may now be vacant. There is a spectrum of energy left in homes, ranging from just a little bit to downright humongous! Consider a home where there was a murder, a suicide, or some other kind of violent energetic episode, and you may be considering a haunted house!

How do you as a buyer of real estate know whether a house is afflicted with negative energy? Your own perceptions are the first to be acknowledged; if you just don’t feel good there, perhaps it is best to move on. But if you are persistent, and you think the home is just “too good of a deal”, some remedial action is possible. Hiring a feng shui consultant or a house healer may be in order. In more extreme cases, a priest or minister can be asked to bless the house, or a psychic can be called in for a session. If you’re more inclined to the high tech approach, bring in your local ghosthunters with all the latest equipment. We won’t talk about exorcisms, the most extreme solution.

What if a broker thinks that a home for sale is haunted? Does she have a duty to tell the buyer? Colorado real estate law does speak to this issue: under Section 38-35.5-101 of the CRS Statutes:

Nondisclosure of Information Psychologically Impacting Real Property

We note in Paragraph 2:

No cause of action shall arise against a real estate broker for failing to disclose such circumstance occurring on the property which might psychologically impact or stigmatize such property.

In other words, Colorado law makers didn’t want brokers to be able to inadvertently stigmatize a property by saying it was the scene of emotionally violent acts like murder or suicide, let alone haunted (see Related Story for a different state’s interpretation).

On the other hand, you as a buyer would certainly want to know this before you inherit some things in the house you may not want. What if a property has a well known reputation of possibly being haunted, like Briarhurst Manor in Manitou Springs? When it was recently on the market, the listing broker made no bones about disclosing the “haunting.” But since it was purchased there has been no further news. If it were to come up for sale again, would I as a broker disclose that possibility to an uninformed buyer (Better to Disclose)? Probably. It would be hard to stigmatize a property that already has such a well-established reputation.

But what if that property in Colorado* did not have such a reputation, and you were shown it as a buyer? What if you sensed something wrong? Even if you were convinced it was haunted, and the broker showing it agreed, the next time he showed it to a different buyer he would not be required to disclose his opinion.

Haunted Houses are part of the real estate market and part of our modern culture, regardless of what you may or may not believe. Whether you’re buying or selling, it dosen’t have to be Halloween to sleep well in a haunted house!

Paul Hill

*Each state has its own law regarding disclosure of paranormal properties. Consult your local broker or department of real estate for details.

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog:
Website:  http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com

The above article written several Halloweens ago is partially reposted here.  All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill, Copyright 2010-2013
All Rights Reserved

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