Middletown’s ghost-hunting team debunks or confirms paranormal activity

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog, Uncategorized

MIDDLETOWN >> After Kurt Knapp’s mother died when he was 11, he found himself immersed with researching the paranormal world and what happens after death.

While serving in the military police for the Marines in Okinawa, Japan, Knapp heard many a ghost story about Japanese soldiers from World War II running out of the jungle. That piqued his interest further.

“There’s fear sometimes, but we want to know why or how,” Knapp said. “I was interested in if you can communicate after death or visit after death.”

That was when Knapp really jumped into the paranormal world, eventually forming the Ghosts of New EnglandTree Research Society.

“I read as much as I could about everything strange and unusual,” Knapp said. “I retired four years ago and devoted my time to putting the team together. New England has layers of history.”

Knapp’s team, known as GONERS, has 10 local members and two in Bermuda and they investigate throughout the area.

“People buy a home and find someone else is there beside them,” said Knapp, which is when GONERS is called in.

When people call GONERS, Knapp works with them to further understand the circumstances. With an electrical engineer and someone knowledgeable in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and home construction, the team rules out normal occurrences before delving into the paranormal. Knapp’s daughter, Melanie Knapp, also begins research on the location to find out anything about its historical significance including family history, murders, suicides or anything that may be useful to the team.

Read more here. 

Image courtesy of Morguefile.

Teen Paranormal Society Project in Wildwood

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog

WILDWOOD -A group of teens set out to conduct an unusual research project in Wildwood Monday.

“Anything paranormal related,” said Teen Paranormal Society member Alex Arico.

You’ve heard of paranormal activities, well a group of teens are researching their own paranormal project in Wildwood.

“I’ve always really been into the whole psychic and medium thing,” said Teen Paranormal Society member Alexis Leestrahn.

The group consists of 5 teens learning the art of paranormal research from professional paranormal researchers, with the ultimate goal of all 5 performing their own research project.

“At first I was like kind of spooked out,” shared Leestrahn.

The paranormal research project takes place at the George F. Boyer Historical Museum in Wildwood, which was once a funeral home.
“We have a criteria.  We look at the history, the reputation and the location in any property we decide to conduct our research on,” explained Clayton Borneman, Cumberland Co. Paranormal volunteer.

“Yeah it’s creepy back there if you take a walk back there you can still smell the embalming fluid,” described Arico.

The initial research project begins by collecting data with the use of state-of-the-art monitoring equipment.

“We do a lot of stuff with science and collecting data.  We do different theories on static with like radios and picking up frequencies and finding anomalies and like video or audio,” said Leestrahn.

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Image courtesy of MorgueFile. 



North Platte paranormal investigators eye proof of life after death

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog

Ever wonder what goes bump in the night? Three paranormal investigators from North Platte do — and they’re intent on finding out.

“If people are uncomfortable in their homes and we can go in there and disprove assumptions and ease their fears — then we’ve accomplished something,” said Evelyn McConnell, investigator.girl

She, her husband, Dennis, and Andrea Clark make up Research and Investigation of Paranormal Activity team, also known as RIPA. They examine unexplained occurrences from Kearney west.

The team uses state-of-the-art technology in its efforts. That includes digital recorders, shadow detectors, thermal imaging cameras and a REM-Pod, which uses an antenna to create a magnetic field around the instrument. The field is influenced by objects that conduct electricity.

“When we investigate, we go in with the idea that 80 percent of what people are hearing or seeing can be debunked,” Dennis said.

Clark said people tend to exaggerate and let their imaginations run wild – especially if they are sitting alone in a creaky old house.

Other times, the tales have substance to them. That proved true during an investigation in Ogallala at a site where a little boy claimed to have made friends with a dead girl.

“He laid out toys and a blanket for her to play on. When questioned about it, he said the little girl found him because she was looking for her mother. Then, he said her mom died like this,” said Andrea, snapping her neck sideways. “His mother contacted me at that point.”

Click here for more. 

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.


Do musicians at The Legendary Dobbs in Philadelphia perform for more than the living?

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog

In addition to the paranormal, I have a diverse range of interests — music being at the top of the list.

Recently, my love of music lead me to an allegedly haunted location — a venue I’ve visited many times.

New Jersey-based rock band Dive played a show at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street in Philadelphia on July 18. Being close friends with the band members, I was checking the Facebook event page to see who else from our close-knit group was attending. 

I saw several posts from a woman who I wasn’t familiar with, so, being the reporter that I am, clicked on her profile.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover she is Nina Kelley-Rumpff, the current owner of Dobbs.

So, I found the friend request button, clicked “add friend,” and was accepted with open arms and a quick message from her.

“You’re a paranormal investigator?” she questioned, noticing that my profile lists my involvement with Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society. “We have serious ghosts at my club, The Legendary Dobbs, for real.”

Boom, and I was hooked.

I told Nina I was planning to come out to see the Dive show, and so we made plans to chat when I arrived.

OrganAs soon as I got there, while catching up with friends, I spotted Nina.

“I’m Kelly, the ghost girl,” I told her, and we hit it off.

The Legendary Dobbs was established as J.C. Dobbs in 1974 and has played host to countless musicians over the years from Bo Diddley to George Thorogood to Green Day.

Nina told me that just two weeks ago, during a wedding on the second floor of The Legendary Dobbs building, a microwave mysteriously fell to the floor.

“It’s a heavy microwave,” she said. “It was securely on the table and I saw it fly off the table.”

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Image courtesy of MorgueFile. 

Hunting ghosts in Kenilworth Lodge

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SEBRING — A group of people, all experienced ghost hunters, is immersed in the dark of the basement level of the Kenilworth Lodge late Saturday night. They make their way through a narrow hallway, ears perked in case of any sign of paranormal activity.

LodgeOne of them hears a swishing sound — like running water, he says — and they all stop in the hallway. They stop talking and listen. They let their ears do the work. Finally, one of them steps up and offers a simpler explanation: it was actually just his wallet scraping against the brick interior wall of the hallway.

This is at least one reality of ghost hunting. They analyze what they hear and rule out every possibility before looking at the situation as something paranormal. At the 2014 annual Paranormal Information Association (PIA) conference, held for the fourth time at the Kenilworth this past weekend, experts of many different schools of thought converged to talk, speculate and share.

This ghost hunt, in which they were split up into teams to search different parts of the Kenilworth, was the culmination of the three-day event.

The most intriguing piece of ghost hunting technology is a teddy bear. Invented by Paul Bradford, formerly of Ghost Hunters International, and Shawn Porter of ghost hunting equipment retailer GhostStop, the bear is no ordinary stuffed toy. Instead, it is a sort of all-purpose pocketknife of ghost hunting.

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Image from flikr

Teen paranormal researchers are spirited in their pursuit

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog, Uncategorized

WILDWOOD — “What’s your name?” Alexis Strahan, 18, calls out to no one in particular as she sits in the dark at one of the long tables in the George F. Boyer Museum. No one answers.

It’s only 6:30 p.m., so some sunlight still shines through the front windows, but all the lights are turned off. There is omagnifying glassnly the tiny red light on her tape recorder.

“Do you want to talk to us?” Strahan asks, getting no response. Then, with a hint of impatience, she asks, “Do you even know you’re dead?”

Strahan, of Atco, is one of seven members from the Teen Paranormal Society who set up night vision cameras, recorders, laptops and sound equipment throughout the Pacific Avenue museum Monday in hopes of catching evidence of “activity” to be used for a paranormal tour there planned for Oct. 25.

By unwritten rule, the group refrains from using words like “ghost,” “spirits” and “haunted”; they consider themselves researchers who are collecting evidence of strange activity in old homes, cemeteries, and this week, the George F. Boyer Museum.

Sometimes in their investigations, they are able to determine that a door that occasionally opens on its own is getting knocked ajar whenever a large vehicle comes down the street. Once they discovered that a woman who got an anxious, eerie feeling each time she did laundry in her basement was actually experiencing the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning from gas that was slowly leaking from her dryer.

“You start mentioning ghosts, and people start looking for Casper. Sometimes there’s an actual explanation,” said Clay Borneman of Cumberland County Paranormal, who co-founded the Teen Paranormal Society with John Pacelli of Great Northeastern Paranormal. Both serve as adult mentors for the teens.

But then there are the times that they catch an unexplainable sound on their recorders in response to one of their questions, or when something will set off a device that detects electromagnetic fields, or a thermometer will show that the temperature suddenly dropped several degrees – and everyone will get goosebumps.

“Things go ‘bump’ in the night, and people want to know why,” Borneman said.

He suggested that the Paranormal Society come to Wildwood and present a paranormal tour based on research the teens collected through a series of investigations. The George F. Boyer museum was an ideal location, he said, because its history, reputation and location make it a probable paranormal hotspot.

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Image courtesy of MorgueFile.

The 7 Scariest Ghost Encounters A Paranormal Expert Has Ever Had

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog, Uncategorized

Anyone who has done paranormal research knows that investigations are typically hours of boredom intermingled with a few minutes of excitement. Most of the excitement is due to prosaic reasons: a breeze or creaky floorboards… but some of the time it is not.

HauntedThose unusual incidents are the ones that keep investigators going. I have experienced some incredible things on investigations and have been with others who have. When it happens, it definitely changes your perspective on life in a hurry.

My new science fiction novel, The Tesla Gate [Open Road Media, $16.99], deals with what might happen if ghosts were suddenly among us in huge numbers. And I had no shortage of creepy experiences to draw on. These are the scariest moments of my career.

#1: A Father’s Voice
Of my personal experiences, I will save the best for last. I will start with EVPs, which are Electronic Voice Phenomenons. These are recordings that collect ambient noise in the room during an investigation, or they can be interactive: the investigators will ask questions to an alleged entity. Usually nothing out of the ordinary is sensed by those present during the recording session. But when the recording is played back and analyzed, well, it can make your hair stand on end.

I have recorded several incredible examples over the years, but there are three that really stick out. First, we did an investigation at a home where an old man had died of lung cancer just months earlier; the house still reeked of cigarettes and death. One of the investigators asked if he was mad and wanted us to leave. The response we picked up on the recording was a very angry and raspy, “Yes.” The homeowner, who was the deceased man’s daughter, broke down in tears when she heard the recording and identified it as her father’s voice.

#2: The Jovial Ghost
In 2010 we investigated a 120-year-old home that now houses a museum. The original owner of the home died in the 1930s. He was well known in the community and famous for his jovial and boisterous laughter. During an EVP session, someone asked if he liked to laugh. On the recording we picked up a loud belly laugh from a man. I was the only male present in the house at the time.

#3: Still Singing
Probably the most incredible EVP recording I’ve heard occurred at a tuberculosis sanatorium. There is a particular hallway where people have had experiences with a little girl. Hospital records from the abandoned sanatorium are sketchy at best, but it is believed that a little girl and her mother died there sometime in the 1940s. We had just finished an EVP session and were packing up our equipment to move to another section. I left my recorder running on a wooden platform as we packed away cameras and other equipment. When I went back and listened to my recorder the next day, my jaw practically dropped to the floor. As we were quietly talking amongst ourselves about the equipment, a little girl can clearly be heard singing, the volume going up and down as if she were moving around. Finally, just a few seconds before I shut down my recorder to move on, she can be heard a short distance down the hall in a sing-song voice saying, “I’m down in this room.”

Click here for more. 

Image courtesy of freeimages.

4th of July Paranormal Corner: If Philadelphia’s walls could talk, we’d hear America’s history

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog

On the surface, Philadelphia is a bustling metropolis, filled with eager business people, honking traffic and a multitude of opportunity.

But if you squint your eyes and take a moment, the spirits of our country’s founding fathers are lurking around every corner.

Independence Hall, originally known as the Pennsylvania State House, is one of those buildings with walls we wish had the ability to speak.

FreedomGeorge Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the Independence Hall assembly room back in 1732. The chair he sat in can still be seen there.

Then, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted in that same room.

But on July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress actually voted for total independence from England.

While speaking walls aren’t reality, if you listen closely, you may hear, feel or see a piece of history that is not immediately obvious.

Co-worker Michelle Caffrey, a self-proclaimed “history-loving, sentimentalist,” recalled that, on that night 238 years ago, the weather was similar to what it was this year.

In David McCullough’s biography of John Adams, he wrote, “Outside, more rain threatened, and at about ten came another cloudburst like the day before.”

“I was reading that right around 10 p.m. and it was storming and it gave me chills,” Caffrey said.

McCullough continued, writing that the “vote went rapidly.”

“So, it was done, the break was made, in words at least: On July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, the American colonies declared independence. It was John Adams, more than anyone, who made it happen,” McCullough wrote. “Further, he seems to have understood more clearly than any what a momentous day it was and in the privacy of two long letters to Abigail, he poured out his feelings as did no one else.”

McCullough then transcribed some of Adams’ words from one of those letters: “The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epochs in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

Since Adams wrote those words, the holiday has been celebrated on July 4, instead of his wishes of July 2, so could the thunderous roars the region heard on July 2 have been President Adams’ way of celebrating all these years later?

There have been many stories of ghostly apparitions in and around Independence Hall, where so much of this country’s history was born.

Back in 2012, I joined a ghost tour presented by Historian Joe Wojie, owner of Grim Philly Twilight Tours, that explored ghost stories from the Independence Visitor Center to Washington Square Park to the Commodore John Barry statue that stands behind Independence Hall.

It was there, amid the long shadows of the stately building, that Wojie told the story of a young bride who may still roam the grounds.

During the Revolutionary War, Judge Edward Shippen — a lawyer, judge, government official and prominent figure in colonial and post-Revolutionary Philadelphia — was part of the population of people who were considered “neutral.”

Wojie explained that Shippen was on the fence about which side of the dispute he was actually on.

“Once he saw the Americans were getting help and would most likely win the war, he went with America and decided to marry his daughter to the cause,” he said. 

The American man he chose for his daughter was none other than Benedict Arnold.

Shippen’s daughter Margaret married Arnold and went to live with him. However, as soon as she learned that Arnold was a traitor, she left him and attempted to return to Philadelphia.

However, because of her marriage to Arnold, she was not welcomed back to the city.

Wojie said the Americans “kicked her out of not only Philadelphia, but the entire state of Pennsylvania.”

At the time, the patriots burned a 30-foot-high, paper mache representation of Arnold in the streets surrounding Independence Hall.

Click here for more. 

Image courtesy of MorgueFile. 

Personal experiences during paranormal investigations

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog, Uncategorized

When I tell people that I’m a paranormal investigator, the first thing they ask is if I’ve ever “seen anything.”

My answer to that question isn’t as cut and dry as the answer some of my Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society team mates would give.

Plantation house 2I could say “no,” as in, no, I’ve never seen a door slam or a scary face pop out at me from the shadows.

However, I have seen our equipment react in a way that tells me something I actually couldn’t see was present at the time.

One of my most memorable experiences was in the garret at Barret’s Plantation House Bed and Breakfast when JUMPS Founder and CEO Doug Hogate Jr. and I attempted to play the “flashlight” game with any spirits who may be near us.

We sat a twist-on flashlight onto a wooden board, placed that wooden board onto the bed, then left the attic guest room.

“I just put my flashlight in that room, on the bed,” I said outloud. “It’s off right now, but it you just touch the end that lights up, it will come on.”

I had seen T.A.P.S. investigator Amy Bruni do this on SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters” many times, and decided to try it in this very active location.

It didn’t take long for the flashlight to flicker to life.

We noticed that the heater had clicked on around the same time, so we weren’t convinced the flashlight was being manipulated by a spirit.

Hogate felt the board, and tested the light, and came to the conclusion that the flashlight was not turning on because of the heater.

Just as the flashlight turned back off, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye — that’s always where those visions are — and also got a “weird” feeling.

“If you’re right here, touch my hand,” I requested.

But instead of being touched, the flashlight illuminated again. This time, the heater was off.

From that point, we continued to get responses to questions and requests via the flashlight. 

Hogate would say, “If you understand, make the light go off,” and the flashlight would turn off.

Then he would ask for whoever was present to turn it back on, and it would come back on.

That was an amazing interaction that I won’t soon forget.

Click here for more.

Image courtesy of MorgueFile. 

‘Spooked’s’ Julian Curtis and Derek Mio

Written by salemwitchtrials on . Posted in Blog

“Spooked” is an upcoming web series about a semi-professional team of paranormal investigators who track down ghosts, aliens and anything else that happens to go bump in the night. From Bryan Singer and Felicia Day, “Spooked” stars Julian Curtis, Ashley Johnson, Neil Grayston, Derek Mio and Shyloh Oostwald.

Preview the show with Zap2it‘s interview with Curtis and Mio.

Zap2it: How would you describe your characters and their places on the show?
Julian Curtis: I play Connor who is the leader of the Paranormal Investigation Team (the P.I.T.) He started the team in order to help his sister Piper recover from the death of their parents. Since the death, Piper has been relatively mute except for when she taps into her ability to speak to the undead. Though you will see the bond that forms between the whole team throughout the series gives him more and more reasons to pursue further cases. Helping others heal seems to be a driving force for him.

Derek Mio: My character, Elliot, is the unapologetic fanboy of the P.I.T. crew. He is constantly finding correlations between the case at hand and paranormal pop culture references of the past, which allows the show to pay homage to the genre classics. At heart, he just wants to impress his team members with his insight and support his best friend, Connor, in his mission to help others.

What does your character bring to the ghost-hunting team? Paranormal
JC: I would say he tries to lead and be the glue that keeps a dysfunctional group of people together. He spends a lot of time reminding everyone to be professional and yet you will see Connor guilty of making some very foolish mistakes that threaten to tear the team apart himself. It’s an interesting line he walks.

DM: Elliot’s passion for paranormal investigation is always maxed out, which can open up leads to a case or drive the team to prove his theories utterly ridiculous — either way, his enthusiasm pushes the team forward. He’s a lot of fun to watch.

Click here for more.

Image from http Linux-Wallpaper.


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