Local Ghost Hunters teach “How To” conduct a paranormal investigation

Eager teen reporters tag along for Museum of Idaho Haunted tour

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Local Ghost Hunters teach “How To” conduct a paranormal investigation

Morrison Jones-Thiede, Reporter/Page Editor

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Yes, this is serious. No, there is no guarantee that you will or will not find a ghost or other worldly entity. Please use caution and conduct at your own risk.  

The process of conducting a “Ghost Hunt” or Paranormal Investigation is by no means an easy process. It requires planning, strategic placement of equipment and a little help from Casper (or you better hope you were your great grandma’s favorite grandson). All kidding aside, ghost hunting can be time consuming; however, it is fun and exciting if you do it right. 

 

THE LOCATION

 

While the rest of the school was at the Emotion Bowl, I went to my very first ghost hunt, and trust me, I was just as skeptical as the next guy. But when you go downtown and see the building I saw, the old stone Hasbrook building, you’ll see what I mean. I’m not going to lie; I thought I might be leaving with one less kidney then I walked in with. 

The whole interior of the building has been gutted as it is under renovation. There is a small wooden stage on the main floor with two wooden staircases leading upstairs on either side. Everywhere you looked was either wood, large and old lava rock walls or leftover scraps of metal from the construction being done during the day. 

First, I introduced myself to the investigators from the Southeast Idaho Paranormal Organization (SEIPO), Kevin Bowerman and Scott Brian. Next was the set up.  The pros use a few gadgets that can be necessary to document legitimate proof that your favorite grandparents really are still watching you, or that the thumps from your closet and items being moved around aren’t “just your imagination.”

TOOLS OF THE TRADE 

 

A good  audio recorder and camera are a basic staple for capturing evidence. Video proof of objects or spirits moving, or actual unexplained voices on a recording (called EVPs or electronic voice phenomenon) can prove a supernatural existence. This team set up two complete home security systems with all of the little cameras connected to various flat screen TVs for easy  monitoring and recording, and they all held handheld digital audio recorders everywhere they went.

Another tool we used during the investigation was an Electric Magnetic Field (EMF) meter. The EMF meter, or K2, was used for detecting areas where a ghost could be since investigators believe an entity can interact with electromagnetic waves; Because of this, it was used to ask questions of the ghosts, with the readings being interpreted as “yes” or “no” responses. The investigators ask such questions as “If there is anyone here right now? Could you touch this box and make the lights come on?” and if the EMF picks up any detection of energy, well, they have their answer. 

Another device we used was a Temperature gun. When you pull the trigger, a laser hits whatever you are pointing at and it gives the exact temperature of it. This can be used to detect cold spots that can prove there could be an entity. An alternative to this would be a thermal camera, which uses infrared to make an image with a spectrum of heat applied to the picture, which can reveal cold spots or even outlines of spirits.

Many of these types of devices can be downloaded as apps to a smartphone, but the SEIPO investigators don’t believe the quality is really worth much since smartphones don’t have the specific types of sensors required to detect paranormal activity, so they buy the actual devices. Most can be found on Amazon and range in price from cheap to quite high.

 

THE INVESTIGATION

 

After we said our hellos, the fun part began: planning out questions and spots of interest. We decided to investigate all three floors: the main floor on the stage, the second floor by either side of the stairs and finally, the best for last, the dark basement. As night came we moved in. We didn’t get any luck upstairs, very little on the main floor and just as I was starting to have my doubts about the whole experience, the dreaded part came. The basement. It was dark and creepy during the day, shadows being cast from the support beams mixed with open holes in the ground, which already made me feel uneasy to be there. 

We started with basic questions like “Are you male?” As I waited in the darkness, I saw a light go on in response. “Did you used to work or live here in this building ?” At this point, my eyes locked on the EMF as silence and uneasy anticipation started to fill the room. 

Kevin, one of the investigators with us, tells us that the heat gun has stopped working. We wait in anticipation as he powers it off and changes the batteries. Still nothing, “Do you not like the red light that my tool is making? Turn on a light, and we won’t use it.” Within seconds, three lights on the EMF turn on. 

At this point I am stuck in amazement sitting on the cold basement floor in the dark next to the EMF, eyes glued to it, my heart racing with adrenaline for another response. A few more questions get asked, no response. Then the question, “Do you want us here? Do you want us to leave? If you do can you make, let’s say three lights. If you want us to leave, make three lights com-” 

At this point all five lights of the EMF come on. With that, we took our gear and returned upstairs. For the next half to an hour and a half I heard stories of their many adventures of Pocatello High School and the Great Western Warehouse here in Idaho Falls. The investigators have countless stories and photos and audio clips to go with every single one of them. Most of their research is posted on their website Ghostology.com, and they also present locally at the library and at the Museum of Idaho each year.

If you follow some of these steps–along with careful planning and dedication–you could very well one day capture your own creepy evidence and earn your status of a genuine ghost hunter.

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