Thursday, July 9, 2009

So...we might have a ghost?

Last night the crack ghost hunting team from PARA (the Paranormal Activity Research Association) took up residence within the confines of the shop to see who else might be in residence. Armed with audio and video recorders and a variety of electronic gizmos, they looked and probed and questioned and were generally open to communicating with anyone on the “other side” who may have been here.

I must confess to a considerable amount of skepticism about all this. I don’t believe in ghosts. And I honestly don’t think we’ve got one. At the same time, there are people I respect who tell me that I am 100% wrong on this score. So I’ve elected to doubt my infallibility, and follow this through to the end.

(In case you’re just now coming in on our paranormal exploits, you may want to read some of my other blog posts, from January 3 and July 7, for some background.)

We turned off most of the lights, and the stereo, and sat quietly. And we asked questions; simple, direct questions. Things along the lines of, “What is your name?” And “Do you like it here?” And “Do you mind answering some questions for us?” Each question was followed by a period of silence when we waited for an answer.

We did three different recording sessions, in three different areas of the shop: one by the Westerns and comic books, once in the Whodunits and once up-front near the coffee table. Each session lasted about 30-minutes.

Three different digital audio recorders were going during each session. The theory is that although we might not hear an answer, the recorders would. The files were to be downloaded into a computer and analyzed using special software. Any responses we received (called EVPs, or Electronic Voice Phenomena) would be isolated and enhanced.

I took some pictures of all this, and posted them on our facebook page. If you'd like to take a look, click here.

Kathy Rothenberger, the team’s sensitive member, said she was receiving a number of impressions. She claimed to feel a “psychic pressure” which indicated, to her, a presence. She said that she believed that there were actually multiple entities in here.

Much of this eminated, she said, from our “Blue Monster” display of military artifacts and political buttons. But not all.

She said that she was hearing a muffled conversation between men (two or more) and a woman. It was faint, though, and she couldn’t make out what they were saying…rather like the sound you’d hear from a TV set several rooms away. It sounded, she said, animated and jovial.

She also said that she was getting the feeling of some sort of medical emergency. She had the impression of bandages and either alcohol or ether and something (someone?) being crushed.

Brett Nease was the guy with the electronic gear. After we had finished the third session, he downloaded the audio from one of the recorders to his laptop, and started running it through the analyzing software.

One minute and thirty-five seconds into our first session he detected the first EVP. He found the second about a minute later in that same session.

I heard them. They are distinct and they do sound like a male voice answering a question… but they are pretty faint, and I couldn't make out what was being said. I've got to say that it did sound like the voice way saying something. According to Brett, more work needs to be done to hear exactly what is being said.

He’s going to do the work. He anticipates that by this time next week, he will have at least the preliminary results. I am to look for a report from them then.

When I get those results, I will pass them along.

And all this is to say: we might have a ghost.