Tag Archives: ghost 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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Day Ghosts

Hey folks! I know I haven’t been around much lately, but I’ve been busy and I’ve had nothing to talk about. Until now.

ViralNova, a site I really enjoy, just posted this piece about Day Ghosts. I don’t agree with aspects of it, and of course I’ll share my thoughts here. Normally I love ViralNova, but every now and then they post something that makes me wonder.

The title for this piece is, One Couple’s Theory About Ghosts Is Unheard Of…But Oddly Makes Sense

If you’d like to read it first, that would probably be best. My problems start immediately with the title of the piece. Only one couple has that theory and it’s unheard of? No, it’s not unheard of, because more than just that couple believe it. Apparently ViralNova aren’t that into ghosts. I’ve been saying it for years that ghosts come out at all times of day and night. I’ve heard them say it on Ghost Hunters before.

The fact of the matter is, people who go ghost hunting do so at night because there’s not a lot of traffic going on outside, things are typically more quiet, and because everything is dark you have to focus your attention on those things you can see, such as where you’re shining your flashlight. If you know ghosts hunters who only turn their equipment on at 3 AM, they’re terrible hunters and probably believe everything they see in pictures are orbs.

Lastly, the couple in the article says they’re going to live on different sides of the country because, “To cover more ground and further their research, the power couple has decided to become bicoastal, with Ted in New York and Mary living in Los Angeles. They believe these cities have highest concentration of day ghosts in the country.”

That’s just terrible. I love their dedication, but seriously, it’s not worth it. They’re living a part from one another to study something that people have been studying for decades and still haven’t come up with anything solid enough to get everybody on board. And why do those two cities have the highest concentrations of day ghosts? Why is “day ghosts” being used as if it’s a thing separate from night ghosts? Ghosts are ghosts, they come out when they want. There aren’t different ghosts coming out just in the day or night. I think they went to LA and NY just to get more publicity somehow. Otherwise, why wouldn’t you go to where there are likely more ghosts? Not just more “day ghosts,” like Gettysburg or New Orleans for example?

This whole article is just terrible and makes me think ViralNova is running out of stuff to post.

Interview with Robb Demarest of Ghost Hunters International

Sheila Parker just posted a really cool interview with Robb Demarest of Ghost Hunters International! Stop by her place to read it, and to find out how you can go ghost hunting with him in person this October! Thanks so much for the awesome interview Sheila!


Today I’m welcoming paranormal investigator, Robb Demarest of Ghost Hunters International. He’s also investigated on Haunting: Australia and on Seekers. Thank you, Robb for stopping by!

Sheila ~ Why the paranormal? Is it something that you’ve always been interested in or was there a particular instance that started it all for you?

Robb ~ It mainly started because my mom would take my sister and I to empty buildings in the area where we lived. Many of these buildings, of course, had received the reputation of being haunted. While I did not see any ghosts lingering about, it became a life-long passion.

Sheila ~ What was it like working with Jason, Grant and the rest of the crew of Ghost Hunters?

Robb ~ The funny thing is that, while it was great meeting them, I have never actually investigated alongside any of them. We have been in the same location…

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The Warrens

When I was a kid I grew up in a haunted house, yet I was wise enough to know that not every seemingly paranormal thing that happened was actually paranormal, and I could look for a real solution to any event before writing it off as ghostly. That’s why I respect TAPS, because they do the same thing. I’ve watched MANY other paranormal and ghost hunter shows, and they’ve all come across as terrible, at least to me, because most, if not all of them, make evil demon ghost mountains out of regular non-paranormal mole hills.

When I was a kid I first experienced the original Amityville Horror. It was terrifying. My dad told me it was based off of a true story, and I grew up thinking it was all real. I even had an experience in my childhood haunted home that resembled a famous part of that movie. Except I was there, I saw it happen, and I know it actually happened. In my house, that is, not Amityville.

Then, as a teen, I discovered the haunting aspect of that house, the basis of the original book and movie, were a hoax. The guy, George Lutz, made it all up to make money and get out of bankruptcy. He was found out and served prison time because he lied about actual events to make money.

I then, years later, found out that wasn’t true. But even more recently I discovered many other people have lived in that house and none of them ever had any experiences.

I then watched a documentary called My Amityville Horror, where Danny Lutz, now a grown man, speaks about living in that house as a young boy. He comes across as sort of an asshole, which I guess given his history is to be expected, but the entire time he’s talking I feel like I’m being bullshitted. It was still an interesting watch, but it just further made me question what actually happened in that house, if anything.
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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.

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?

Local Urban Legends: Lick Road/Amy

I haven’t been to Lick Road in a long time. I used to only go for the legend, and this is what I had been told by people about it.

It’s a dead end road, but apparently it used to not be. There also used to be a train that crossed that road. The last time I was out there you could still barely see a rail road crossing sign painted on the road, which I always thought was cool since the road doesn’t continue and there’s no tracks anywhere.

What I was told was, many years ago when the road went through and the train intersected it, a woman named Amy was getting ready for her wedding. She was running late, so she was in a hurry. She drove up Lick Road quickly, but just as she came to the train tracks she was hit by a deer and her car spun out of control. It stopped spinning on the tracks, and Amy was knocked unconscious. She came-to just as she heard a train coming. She couldn’t get her car started in time and the train hit the car, killing Amy.

As sad as that is, it’s an urban legend, so chances are it never happened. I don’t know if anybody has ever actually looked into this to see if it really did happen, but despite it being an urban legend, the people around the area know of it and Amy. For many years her name was spray painted on road signs both on Lick Road and on Kemper Road, the road that Lick is off of, and I want to say there were 5 in total that had her name on it. In recent years all of the signs have been replaced. I remember my friends and I all believing her name was a ghostly reminder, because as you would pass the signs the name would vanish from them. It was just a matter of lighting and angles, but it was creepy.

I was told that if you go out to the end of Lick Road and turn your car so that you are facing back towards Kemper, and you flash your lights three times, she’ll appear. I tried that many times and never saw a thing.

However, one day I was told by a friend’s sister that she heard you had to flash your lights once, then three times, then repeat, once then three times. She said if it works, you go through what Amy did. You hear the hooves of a deer alongside your car, then your car jars as if it was hit. Then you hear a train coming, your car shakes a bunch, and then it all stops. Amy then appears and asks you for a ride to the church where she’s to be married. Apparently you have to give her a ride, or bad things happen.

Well, after hearing this we decided to go give it a try. I parked, shut off the engine, and flashed. Once, then three times. After a few minutes of flashing my headlights, I heard what sounded like hooves on the road next to my car. In the dark I couldn’t see much, but I could see enough that there was no deer visible. I do swear that I heard the hooves on pavement, though.

The car didn’t shake or jar or anything, but shortly after the hooves I heard what sounded like an old whistle, one that might belong to a train. My friend’s sister got scared and said she wanted to go, so we left.

I don’t know what I heard, but I still have yet to see Amy. I went back a few more times after that and tried her method, but never even got the hooves or the whistle.

Should you decide to go, remember, there are people who live on that road, but not many. Sometimes they get suspicious of cars traveling on their street and they will call the cops. Never mind them calling, the cops patrol the area regularly. Since this is a popular spot, you might run into a bunch of other people out there trying to see Amy, too. Don’t vandalize anything if you go, be respectful.

For another take and more info on this story, check out Creepy Cincinnati! (They looked into it and Amy most likely didn’t really exist.)

From I-275 you can take either the Hamilton Avenue or the Colerain Avenue exits, and head north.
From Colerain, turn right on Kemper. Lick Road will be on your left a few miles up the road.
From Hamilton, turn left on Kemper (there is a UDF on the corner). Lick will be a few miles up the road on the right.

Click for bigger image.

Click for bigger image.