It was Halloween night 2001, and Stephen Slapinsky was tagging along with some friends ghost hunting in a cemetery.
As the Bethlehem resident roamed the hallowed grounds, the sound of a little girl giggling startled him.
He shined his flashlight in all directions to find the source of the laughter only to find several children’s tombstones surrounding him.
The stunning incident helped inspire him to create the Lehigh Valley Organization of Supernatural Studies.
“I was always open to the idea of spirits existing but I wanted to find out for myself,” Slapinsky said. “I heard the little girl giggle and it blew my mind.”
There are a growing number of paranormal research groups with at least 11 based in the Lehigh Valley, according to paranormalsocieties.com, an online directory for those seeking haunting assistance.
Equipped with video cameras, audio recording devices and other high-tech gadgets, people like Jim Willing head into the creepiest locations to gather evidence of the supernatural.
The surge in interest in paranormal research correlates to the popularity of TV shows like Syfy’s successful Ghost Hunters, Willing said. A huge fan of the reality-based show, Willing enlisted the help of his friend Chris LaBarge in 2008.
The duo of professional electricians formed Lights Out Paranormal and they have been investigating claims of paranormal activity ever since.
Haunted hotel rooms, mischievous spirits and voices of the departed are just some of the reasons people call for help from the Lights Out team.
The group will visit a location for several hours an evening and report their findings to their client hoping to explain the unusual occurrences in a way that gives the client some peace of mind.
Image from MorgueFile.