Caution Ghost Crossing! could easily be a sign encountered quite often by members of the Southeastern Ohio Paranormal Investigators. And on a Saturday in February, ghost hunting appeared to be a very popular subject as the auditorium at the John McIntire Library in Zanesville, Ohio was packed with adults seeking to learn more about ghosts. While the curious were gathering, videos of ghost hunts were being shown to whet the appetite. Members of the S.E.O.P.I. were on hand to give information about the technical aspect of ghost hunting, historic research involved, as well as psychic and metaphysical connections.
Started four years ago, the S.E.O.P.I. has become a popular source for people who feel they have a ghost on their property, and even for those wanting help getting their ghosts to move on. Tom Robson, lead investigator, said that while they continue to explore all possibilities, “There can’t be an expert in a field with no scientific evidence.” As a youngster, Tom had an experience with the paranormal as well as a deep interest in history. Now he has discovered how the two seem to be closely connected. What started out to be just a part time hobby for him has nearly turned into a full time job.
The evidence that has been captured is 90% on audio and only 10% on video. There was a nice display of the instruments used to capture the sounds and pictures at the various haunted establishments. Some of their favorite instruments included: the Olympus digital audio recorder, Zoom H1 microphone, and Zoom H2, which was so powerful they said you could hear raindrops three rooms away.
For example, during an Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) session on the Triangular Field in Gettysburg, questions were asked of a spirit and there were many responses recorded that were easily understood. Responses were short such as : “Right”, “OK”, or “I know”. When leaving the field, the team said, “Blessings to all,” to which a voice answered, “Thank you.” The recording equipment produces some very interesting results.
Historian, Gary Felumlee, presented paranormal research tips, because knowing the time period you are dealing with could be vital for a successful communication. His goal is eventually to show by scientific means that the unusual activity is from the spirit world. Gary recently wrote about one of these historic paranormal experiences in a book entitled Public Spirits Of The Old Putnam District Of Zanesville Ohio.
An interesting observation that Gary pointed out was the fact that you need to introduce yourself to the ghost. That will make them more comfortable and more likely to stay in the vicinity and if you are lucky even answer your questions. So he suggested that you say something like, “My name is ***** and I’m here to learn about you.”
The metaphysical side of investigations was also covered with April Lovejoy explaining the world of crystals and meditation. Often team members wear particular crystals as protective devices from the spirits. She actually had the entire audience practice five minutes of meditation to learn to focus their mind in one place. This helps, too, when on a paranormal investigation as it permits the team a close connection to the place they are visiting.
Well know psychic, Ellen Bone, described an actual investigation where through psychic connection they were able to find the location of the spirit and release it from the residence. Ellen’s natural intuitive qualities were always encouraged by her family where psychic activities were accepted as part of the norm. She believes we are all connected, and does her work with honesty and kindness.
Evidence was shared through recordings, photos, and videos. It was surprising how many establishments in the area have had some paranormal activity. They presented information on several places where the S.E.O.P.I. team had been welcomed to investigate. These included many places right here in Ohio: Penny Court, Col. Taylor Bed & Breakfast, and Cambridge Performing Arts Centre in Cambridge; Zak’s Restaurant, Papa Chuck’s Pizza, Zanesville Community Theater, Stone Academy, and Schultz Mansion in Zanesville; Licking County Jail in Newark; and The Captain’s House in Dresden, just to name a few.
Door prizes, including gift certificates, tee shirts, books, and pictures were given out throughout the program. To make the prizes extra special, all were donated by businesses where paranormal activity has been a frequent occurrence.
What do you think? Have you encountered any ghostly experiences in your world? Time to decide: Believer or Skeptic!
Southeastern Ohio Paranormal Investigators are a select group of researchers from many walks of life. The group is based in Zanesville, Ohio and assists residents and businesses that encounter suspected paranormal activities.