Team investigates those unexplained bumps in the night

by Mark Zenow

This is the time of year when cool gusty winds blow acorns from their treetops and dogs howl at the moon.  A bump in the night can lead the mind to wonder about spooky, other worldly things.

So perhaps it’s no coincidence that a small group of enthusiasts from the Charlotte area that investigates the presence of ghosts has been answering an increasing number of calls lately.

“We simply listen to the client’s claims and try to prove or disprove whether or not a ghost exists in a particular location,“ explained Jason Porter, the founder and director of the Carolina Paranormal Society.  “Our first priority is to debunk a claim.  When we can’t disclaim, we try to capture evidence of a ghost.”

The group is comprised of part-time ghost chasers who get a thrill out of hunting for evidence of paranormal happenings. They claim their investigations capture unexplainable “activity” about 15 percent of the time.

“We never know if we’re going to capture evidence or not,” explained Mat Owens, a team manager for the society who helps coordinate investigations in people’s homes and public places.   “It’s not very often.”

“We wish we could get more, but it’s all up to chance,” Porter added.

Experiencing even one unexplained “incident” is enough to make some people lock their doors or sleep with a light on, but these guys seem unphased by brushes with the unknown.

And apparently, they are not alone.

The duo is preparing for a conference in Myrtle Beach in which they’ll give a lecture about the tools and techniques of the trade.  They’ll explain how to use investigative equipment such as video and voice recorders, and some gizmos they call K2 meters.

A few weeks ago the society hosted an educational event closer to home, in an area long-rumored to be haunted by folks from the past – the town of Gold Hill in Rowan County, where gold was discovered back in the 1800s.

Forty folks showed up for a 90-minute seminar, then they split into groups of 10 and hit the town in search of ghosts.  Apparently, ghosts tend to be night owls.

“We were up there till 2:30 or 3 in the morning,” Porter said.  “It went really well.”

In fact, on three occasions when Owens and Porter investigated in Gold Hill, they found activity.

“That’s probably the best place in the area where you could say there was something going on,” Owens said.

“The jailhouse, the mine shafts, miner’s hall, the general store, the powder house, the whole area has activity,” Porter elaborated.

It’s something the town of Gold Hill promotes prominently on its website, which encourages those who are curious and brave enough to check out during guided haunted tours and ghost story sessions.

Even closer to home, area residents can breathe easy, as the guys claim they’ve never received calls from nearby But other ghost hunting agencies have. Last year, the North American Paranormal Society spent some time investigating some claims at Latta Plantation.

Denver and Mooresville have been  hotbeds of activity recently as the Carolina Paranormal Society has investigated two claims from residents in those areas during recent weeks.  And now, they and the clients are waiting for the results.

“It’s quite the process to do evidence review,” Porter explained, pointing to the time-consuming process of reviewing hour upon hour of tapes from multiple video cameras and voice recorders, not to mention thousands of photographs they’ve captured during their search.

According to Owens, the residents in Denver and Mooresville had “activity” in their homes and wanted validation it was happening.

Typically, a report of “activity” means clients have experienced oddities like cabinet doors and drawers opening or closing on their own, or had feelings of being touched or pushed.

“I’m still very skeptical,” Owens admitted.  “I don’t always believe what I see is paranormal and I always look for a reasonable, logical or scientific explanation to explain it.  Now if I can’t, then I have to resolve to the possibility of what I experienced was the paranormal.”

As you might imagine, skepticism abounds, and Porter acknowledged he gets mixed results when people learn about his pursuit.

“I was sitting on an airplane today next to a lady who never looked like she would be intrigued by the paranormal,” he said.  “She asked me all kind of questions.   But the lady next to her was looking at me like I was nuts.”

See for yourself

To learn more about haunted happenings in the area, check out the Carolina Paranormal Society’s website at www.carolinaparanormal.com.

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