Category Archives: Hunting

Paranormal Investigative Equipment: What’s Your Pick?

Sheila Renee Parker recently asked the question, when you go out ghost hunting, what equipment do you take with you?

Back when I used to hunt I used a digital camera that wasn’t the best, but did the trick. On two separate occasions I had it take pictures by itself, and only during hunts. That was awesome and creepy at the same time. I also had a Sony Handicam that was a Hi-8, and I had a voice recorder that recorded on tape. That was all I took out, and it was more than enough for me.

When I went to the Ohio State Reformatory for an overnight, I saw a lot of dedicated people with tons of equipment that made me laugh. Not because it was funny or ridiculous, it just seemed to be a bit overboard for me. They were going to get the same kind of evidence I was, but they spent hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars more on their equipment than I did. I hope it pays off for them, but it never would for me.

With that said, check out Sheila’s article and let her know what you use on your hunts!

There are so many different types of equipment that one can use while conducting a paranormal investigation, even supposedly fully equipped ghost hunting kits that claim to have everything one needs. Interesting…. do these kits come with an unlimited supply of batteries? Ghosts are known to drain batteries for the energy. So, if these kits don’t come with batteries, they’re not fully equipped now are they? Just a random thought…

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A Small Flicker

This isn’t a big story, it was just something that happened to me on a delivery to yet another hotel.

I’ve been to this place more than a few times and I’ve never experienced anything there until last night. Even still, what I experienced wasn’t even that big or crazy and could have been anything, but I thought I’d share it anyway.

They only have three floors of rooms and the floors are basically big rectangles. The two end halls are fairly short with just a few rooms on them, but the two side halls are pretty long with about 30 rooms on them. My delivery was to the second floor, room 215, almost exactly in the middle of a long hallway.

I made the delivery and began walking back to the elevator, which is in the front hall at the front of the building. When I got halfway back down the hall, the lights lining the hallway flickered off and on, like a blink. Just once, and only about four or five of them that I could see. I don’t know how many behind me did it, but it was also just the lights on the left side of the hallway. Of the lights I could see, not all blinked. Just those four or five.

Suddenly I felt a strong electric in the air and I immediately thought I was about to be struck by lightning. Then I realized what the feeling was, as the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I felt like someone was standing right behind me, or following me down the hall. I turned around to look and nobody was there. But, when I looked behind me, the static in the air rose just a bit. To me it was like I caught something trying to sneak up on me.

I turned back around and continued on my way to the elevator. The feeling of being followed didn’t really continue, but I could still feel the electric in the air. Once I was off of the floor it subsided, but I was still a bit creeped out. I asked the front desk girl if she had ever experienced anything strange there, and she said she didn’t know what I was talking about, so I left it at that. That was the first and only time I had ever seen her there. Usually it’s two guys at the front desk.

I do plan on talking to those two guys to see if they’ve ever experienced anything. I’m sure I’ll see them soon enough.

The Inn Pt. 8 & The TAPS App

I mentioned once how Jason Hawes and TAPS got together with Fuzzywhite Technology to put out an app for smartphones and iphones that will help you ghost hunt while keeping the cost of equipment down.

I purchased the app just the other day and have used it twice. Once was last night at The Inn, as something happened to me there again.

Typically when I’m hanging out there over night I sit in the same spot in the lobby, because there’s an outlet nearby where I can plug my phone in to charge. I need that, because while I’m there, my phone is my entertainment, whether I’m reading something on my Kindle app, or I’m watching Netflix. Or whatever else.

When I first got there, I noticed right next to the chair I always sit in was a speaker and a stereo system. They use this to play music for kids at certain times of the day to get them to dance and burn some energy. All of the equipment was plugged into a power strip, which was plugged into the outlet where I plug my phone in. The power strip was off. I noticed this, only because when I looked at the power strip I saw no lights. That was what I remembered, not so much the fact that it wasn’t on.

A few hours go by and I started to hear a tiny beep, and it was coming from the speaker. I looked down and saw the power strip lit up. It had been turned on. Not by me, and there was nobody else around that it could have been without me noticing. I told my wife about it and she said to turn it back off, so I did. The beeping stopped. It never came back on.

I decided that would be a good time to use the app, so I put my phone in airplane mode and turned the app on. This was the second time I got to use it. The first time I was just messing around and checking it out.

Here’s my official review of the app. As far as what happened next to me, I got no evidence.

The app comes with a help guide that shows you how to operate everything on the app. Except in order to access that help menu, you have to start a new case (or open an old one) to get inside the app. When it firsts opens, all you get are two links, one to start a new case and one to open an old case.

If you start a new case, you get a form to fill out, which you can skip I guess, or at the very least just name the case, such as the location or whatever. Then you move on from there. That’s when you get to see the three types of equipment the app gives you, and that’s when you get the help link that opens all of the information on the app itself, including a tutorial on how to use it. Seems to me like that might be something that you should be able to open from the main screen.

There’s a learning curve, and you should definitely go through the tutorials to figure out what everything does, or you’ll probably be lost. I was. I also noticed that the app lags quite a bit. That could just be because of my phone, which isn’t the best (it’s supposed to be, but somewhere along the line it turned to crap), but the app is pushing three different recording gadgets at one time, so a lag is to be expected. But, that makes it hard to analyze stuff while in the field, or to get things working. I clicked a button to start recording something, and the button, which all of them are small, didn’t turn on right away, so I wasn’t sure if I clicked it. So I clicked it again. But it was just a lag, so a second later it clicked on, then off, because I had hit it twice. So I fought with that for a few minutes, instead of investigating. Then there’s stuff that looks like buttons but don’t do anything (I don’t think) and are just there for looks, I think…

Then the EVP recorder turned itself on, apparently, while I was trying to figure out the other two things, and neither of them were recording that I could tell. I tried stopping the EVP recorder, and it stopped, then started recording a second file. I felt like I had no control.

Basically, I’m sure if mastered and on a faster phone, it would be a great app, and the three tools it gives you are great things to have. But for my needs, I really only care to have an EMF meter. I have a voice recorder already, and I don’t really care to have a geophone. The good news is, they put out an EMF meter app, and it’s only 99 cents, and I plan to get it.

Aside from that, my other complaints were, the pictures used in the tutorials don’t match what I see on the app, nor do the pictures Jason posted on his website match what’s on the current app. So when looking through the tutorials to figure out how to use the app, I was still a bit confused because I wasn’t looking at what I was trying to learn about.

Lastly, the app crashed a few times on me, and that’s not good. Again, that could be my phone, but I think the app is trying to do quite a bit at one time, and that’s going to push any device hard. On my phone I can’t transfer the app to my SD card, so it’s using space on my phone that I really don’t have, and I’m pretty sure the evidence it’s recording is also being collected on my phone and not my SD card, again, using space I don’t really have.

Overall, this app isn’t for me. I think it’s a great idea, and I trust who put it out, but it’s actually more than what I need. Like I said, I only need the EMF meter, which I will be getting, because the price for all of this stuff can’t be beat.

If I could design a similar product I’d make a few changes, but ultimately they’ve done a great job, and if you’re on the fence about whether or not to try it, it’s only $4.99, so you have nothing to lose by getting it.

It would be nice to be able to use the camera on my phone, or even the camcorder, during an investigation, which I can’t do while using this app. Then again, both my phone’s camera and camcorder aren’t as great as actual cameras or camcorders, so I’d rather stick with the real ones anyway.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the EVP recorder records extremely low, and I haven’t figured out if there’s a way to change that or not. But I held the phone in my hand just a foot or two away from my face and did an EVP session. When I played it back, I could just barely hear myself speaking. I’m definitely not going to hear any ghostly voices whispering on it.

That’s my review. If you’re wanting to try it out, do so, and I hope it works out great for you. It just wasn’t for me.

The Ghost Truck

Yesterday on my regular blog, I followed a Daily Post prompt and wrote about getting lost while driving. In that piece I brought up one of the cool things that happened to me when I used to go driving around all night with my buddy, and here’s that story in full form.

We were out late one night, as per usual, just driving around. Most of the time we had no goal other than to have a good time. Just driving around, all over the place, always gave us that good time. But sometimes we would have a mission, and on this particular night we had one.

My buddy was in the market for a new chainsaw. At the time he was working as a tree guy, cutting down peoples trees for good money. I can’t remember what I was doing at the time, probably nothing good or worth talking about.

Since he wanted a chainsaw, he did his research, as he does with everything, and he decided he wanted a Stihl. He also located all of the official stores that sold those particular saws and he wanted to go to those closest to where we lived to see what their business hours were.
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Local Urban Legends: Oxford Ghost Light

In Oxford, OH, right down the road from Miami University, is an age old legend about a ghost motorcyclist who rides up and down the road. For a few of the stories about its history, Creepy Cincinnati has them all laid out. You can also check out this Google search, that comes up with Youtube videos of people doing this, as well as others tales of when they went.

The story I was told was, a man had gone off to fight in a war and when he came home he rode his motorcycle over to his girlfriends house to surprise her, only to find her with another man. Upset, he rode his motorcycle away from her house, speeding down the road at night in the rain, and he ran off the road, killing himself.

Now, if you park in a particular spot at the top of one of the hills on the road, and you face a certain way, and you turn your car off and flash your headlights three times, he’s supposed to come riding towards you. You’re supposed to see only the headlight from his motorcycle riding over one hill, then the next, then the next, then disappearing as it gets to you. The light from his headlight is supposed to be very bright but not reflect or shine off of anything.

Great story! That’s the stuff urban legends are made of! Now, here’s what happened the first time when I actually saw it.

I was 18. I was dating a girl, and her older brother had gotten me a job where he worked. One day we were standing around talking and he told me about the ghost light. I had never heard of it before, and since Oxford was just under an hour away from me I thought it would be awesome to check it out. I pestered him and pestered him all day until finally he gave in. He said to me something like, “I haven’t been out in a while, I’ll have to call my buddy to get directions.” Yet earlier he told me he used to go out with his buddies all the time and he had been out there hundreds of times. Since he took me my first time 16 years ago, I’ve been MAYBE 5 times, the last being about 14 years ago. I can still find it, as it’s not hard to find. Yet at the time, I didn’t catch what he had said and thought nothing of it.

A few days went by and every now and then I’d bring it up. Finally he said he had got in touch with his buddy and “everything was set up.” I didn’t catch that either.

We planned a night where he and his girlfriend drove me and my girlfriend, his sister, out there to see this light. We drove to the spot and past it once, he never said why and only now do I know why. We circled around and went back to that spot and stopped. He shut the engine off. It was in the summer and just about dusk.
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My Work

I don’t think my current place of employment is haunted, but I really don’t know. I mean, on one hand I hear things from time to time that make me wonder, while on the other hand I haven’t felt anything there. So I just don’t know.

I mean, every now and then I’ll hear someone talk to me, only to discover nobody is there. And then I wonder if I had heard anybody speak at all. Things like that. For those of you who don’t know, I work at a pizza place.

Well, last night might have changed my mind. I got to work at 11 PM and clocked in. As I was doing that, out of the corner of my eye I saw someone walk from one wall to another. Where I saw it was where we stack our extra pizza boxes along the outside of our walk-in cooler. That’s where whoever it was started. Then they walked to the opposite wall, which is where our sinks are for doing dishes. Between me and the sinks is a wall, so whoever it was disappeared behind that wall, but there was nowhere for them to go except to the sinks.

On the computer where I clocked in I noticed there were only three other people there, and one had just left on a delivery. The other two I could see. Curiously I walked towards the sinks and I saw nobody was there. I then asked the manager on duty if anybody else was there and he said there wasn’t.

Later when the head boss came in, I was in the walk-in cooler with him telling him about it and he said it was creepy. I left and went to mop the floor, exactly where I had seen whatever I had seen. And while I was mopping I heard what sounded like someone knocking on a wall, or on the back door, or pounding on it… I’m not sure what the noise was, but I’ve heard it before and there’s nothing in the store that I know of that could make the noise. I don’t know if some kids were just being idiots and banging on the back door, so I’m not holding too much stock in the noise. But I know what I saw, and I swear I saw someone walk from the wall to the sinks.

Even later last night after I left work, I was driving up the road and had to quickly swerve out of the way, because a raccoon was SITTING in the middle of the lane I was driving in, facing me. As I swerved, he calmly stood and walked away, as if his job was done.

Last night was just a strange night.

Ghost Hunting

There are many reasons why one would want to hunt for ghosts. There could literally be a different reason for each and every one who goes out with a camera in the middle of the night to a creepy abandoned farm house in the middle of nowhere.

My reason for doing it? I was given a gift. I can sense the paranormal. I don’t expect you to believe that, most of the time I don’t. So I’ve prepared another reason why I ghost hunt. Because I love the thrill, but ultimately, because I want proof. Because the stuff I sense isn’t proof to anybody but me. So naturally, I want the hard evidence that all paranormal investigators want.

It is my firm belief that if you’re going to hunt for something, your motive should be to get proof that it exists. You should be looking at your evidence with a skeptical eye, and you should be weeding out any possibility of a non-paranormal explanation. What you should be left with are pieces of evidence that leave you puzzled. They leave you asking questions. They have no logical explanation for what they could be. And then maybe, you’ll be one step closer to finding that golden EVP or digital picture. You’ll be one step closer in finding that definitive proof that there are ghosts walking the earth.

You’re not trying to prove it to the believers. There’s nothing anybody can say to me to make me believe ghosts don’t exist. I have lived through things that there were no logical, non-paranormal explanations for. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, in my heart of hearts, that there are ghosts among us. But I look at all evidence as a skeptic, and all ghost hunters should do the same.

The problem is, hard boiled skeptics feel the same way about there being a logical explanation for everything, that there are absolutely no such thing as ghosts. There is nothing anybody can say to change their minds. Nothing. Everything has an explanation.

Trust me, I know. I’ve talked to enough skeptics to realize they will go above and beyond to come up with the craziest of scenarios to make what should be a haunting turn out to just be a hallucination brought on by the foreign chemicals found in tap water. That’s a serious conversation I had with a skeptic. And that was the sanest of his theories. He would rather come up with the most off the wall, illogical, crazy reasons for something to happen, than to just say “it was a ghost.”

So guess what, ghost hunters… no matter what proof you get, it’s never going to be enough. For the better part of a decade I have thought long and hard about what could be definitive proof, and I have come up with nothing. Because each and every year that passes, technology keeps getting better. With that comes better CGI, and more people who know how to make good CGI on a shoestring budget. No matter what technology you can come up with to make ghost hunting easier and more definitive, there’s going to be the same amount of technology on the flip side to help create on a computer what it is we’re seeking to find in real life.

To top it all off, there are those who treat ghost hunting as a fun hobby. Just something to do on a Saturday night. Those who believe orbs are ghosts manifesting themselves and not possibly just dust, and those who would rather believe an urban legend is a real thing than to hear the truth about it.

I hate to call one person out on this because there are so many who do this, but there is a very popular website called Forgotten Ohio. It has been around since 1999 and has been one of the bigger websites on the subject of ghosts and urban folklore to ever come about. At some point I may have read every page on that site. I love it. The guy who runs it has done a great job with it. Although it needs some TLC and maybe an overhaul, it’s most likely going to be around for a long time and it’s going to entertain people for years to come.

With that said, I once sent an email to the guy who runs it, Andy, to tell him a few things about some of the urban legends on his site. Specifically about Munchkinland (he calls it Tiny Town) and Buffalo Ridge. On his site he mentions, “Buffalo Ridge is also located near the legendary Tiny Town, and I once spent the better part of an evening driving up and down the road looking for it. Apparently it’s located nearby but not actually on Buffalo Ridge.”

In my email I told him that they are nowhere near each other. I explained how to get to both and I also cleared some things up about both, giving him the real stories to both places and discrediting the folklore. I never got a response, and both of those pages still say what they say. He never updated them, leaving the folklore and incorrect information on them.

With that said, I don’t know if he actually updates anything on the site anymore. But if I had one of the most popular sites online about the paranormal and I had incorrect information about something on it, and someone corrected that info, I’d fix it. Because if you’re willing to leave in information that is false and you’re going to keep the unbelievable in the spotlight, you’re also helping to discredit the paranormal.

Again, I love that site and I discovered a whole lot about Ohio that I may not have known otherwise, but at the same time I have to question everything on the site if I know he’s going to keep incorrect info on it.

And if you’re a ghost hunter who only wants to get a scare and have stories to tell, have your fun, but don’t ruin the experience for people who are ghost hunting because they want to catch the proof. Those who are on a mission and don’t just look at ghost hunting like a weekend hobby, but as a life mission.

What I don’t like is when I’m out ghost hunting, especially at one of the most haunted places in the United States, and I’ve paid money to ghost hunt there, and I’m surrounded by people who are looking for orbs and are laughing and joking the entire time and not taking it seriously.

I once did a ghost hunt at Mansfield Reformatory. I went with a girl who contacted me because she wanted to learn how to be a ghost hunter. She went with me to Mansfield. Before we went in she smoked a joint. She already failed as a ghost hunter. While we were walking around inside the Warden’s Quarters, she was knocking on all the wood. I asked her why the hell she was doing that and she said she was looking for trap doors. I bet there’s more than one person who was there that night who went home, looked through all of their evidence, and found ghostly knocking that couldn’t be explained. Sorry buddy, but I can explain it. No matter how many times I told her to stop knocking, she continued.

If you’re not going to take it seriously, skeptics aren’t going to take it seriously. And as a ghost hunter, as a believer, we need all the help we can get. It’s not that we need people to believe us, but it would be nice if I wasn’t looked at like a freak when I tell people I enjoy looking for ghosts and being in haunted places. It would be nice if someone caught that golden evidence. I don’t care if it’s not me, I’d just like to see the evidence that changes the mind of all the skeptics. That would be some incredible evidence!

All I ask is that you take it seriously. For every ghost hunter out there who is on the same mission that I am, there are more who are creating a fake haunting on their computer, uploading the video to Youtube and calling it proof of a real haunting. Sadly, things aren’t going to change for the better, but that’s what I want. For those of us looking for proof to all have one goal in mind. Can we attempt that, please?