If there’s something unusual
In your locality
Who you gonna contact?
Central Minnesota Ghost Hunters!
Have you noticed something a little … off about your home or place of work? Small objects inexplicably moving from where you last set them down? Cold air in a room that a draft can’t reach? Viscous red goo oozing out of the seams of your wallpaper accompanied by the sounds of unearthly caterwauling and clattering chains?
Well, Shop.Dine.Live. doesn’t have an official stance on the existence of paranormal entities, but Joelle Swanson and Danae Kylander of Central Minnesota Ghost Hunters might just tell you that you’ve got a haunt on your hands.
“The members of our group all live normal day-to-day lives,” said Joelle. “We have nine-to-five jobs, families, dogs and cats at home. What sets us apart from others is our love for the unknown, and our shared desire to make contact with otherworldly entities. Even people who don’t believe in ghosts secretly want to avoid them. As paranormal investigators, we’re inviting ghosts to reach out and touch us.”
“We do have to be careful about just how we ask ghosts to touch us,” added Danae. “When we investigate a location that may have unhealthy spirits, like a prison or an asylum, we obviously don’t want them to reach out to us. A malicious spirit might accept an invitation to touch you by pushing you down the stairs or throwing you into an empty prison cell. I had rocks thrown at me while we were investigating the old Ohio State Reformatory, and one time at an abandoned school I was pinched so hard on the shin that I yelled out in pain.”
“We never enter a location with the assumption that ghosts are there,” Joelle continued. “If there’s a mundane origin for the phenomena our client is experiencing, then finding it is the most important part of our job. For example, we were once called to a house where things were falling down all the time. We set up a network of cameras to monitor the house overnight, and only confirmed that it was infested with rodents.
“When no other logical explanation exists – no uneven floorboards, no minute air currents, no rogue electronics sending out electromagnetic fields – only then can we conclude that the phenomena may be paranormal in origin.”
“We use a range of equipment in our field of study,” said Danae. “Thermal cameras and camcorders can pick up slight abnormalities, and digital microphones detect sounds that the unassisted human ear can’t. At an old Confederate estate in Kentucky we recorded what we believe to be the spirit of an old man saying ‘You have disturbed my peace.’ Then he said something I’m not sure you want to put in your magazine.
“We carry flashlights, but not just for their obvious function. They can flicker on and off in the presence of a spirit, and even roll back and forth on the ground. We also use what’s called a ‘trigger object’ – basically something the spirit can interact with if we invite it to. We often bring a Raggedy Ann doll with electric lights in her hands and head to our investigations. We have witnessed her light up in response to yes or no questions, and even flash to the rhythm of an otherwise imperceptible drumbeat.
“This was not a freak occurrence. A nearby flashlight turned on and off in perfect synch with the doll.”
“People might call us when they hear voices or footsteps, or notice that things keep falling off their walls,” said Joelle. “When that happens, we first conduct a phone interview to lean more about the occurrences and the place they’re happening in. We do encourage our clients to start keeping a journal, since they’re necessarily able to spend more time at the site than we are. We try to limit the amount of equipment we bring to a site so as not to overwhelm our client, and of course we honor a strict code of confidentiality.
“The important thing to keep in mind is that a haunting isn’t a dog and pony show. If a spirit doesn’t wish to interact with you, there’s no way of forcing them to – not that we would want to anyway. Sometimes an investigation is bound to end up inconclusive. But the anticipation that we might make contact, or record evidence to be discovered back at our office? It makes every investigation worthwhile.”
The Central Minnesota Ghost Hunters wish to emphasize that you should under no circumstances attempt to contact or interact with supernatural entities in any way, and not just because they would rather you ask for their help. To learn more about the investigators and engage their services, please visit centralmnghosthunters.com.
By David Scheller