Ghost Hunters of the South

Ghost Hunters of the South

Alan Brown
Copyright Date: 2006
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2tvj5n
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  • Book Info
    Ghost Hunters of the South
    Book Description:

    Southerners are accustomed to hearing stories of a residence, an old hotel, a mansion, or a battlefield being haunted. InGhost Hunters of the South, Alan Brown shows that ghostlore is no longer enough for some. The forty-four ghost hunting groups he profiles in this book pack cameras, Geiger counters, thermal scanners, oscilloscopes, tape recorders, computers, and dowsing rods to find and record elusive proof of supernatural activity. With candor, the directors and team members reveal the passions and even obsessions that lead them to this expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes dangerous and chilling pursuit of evidence of the spirit realm.

    Brown interviews enthusiasts from twelve states--Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.Ghost Hunters of the Southtakes the reader along on exciting and fearful investigations of places such as the Myrtles, St. Francis Inn, Chickamauga Battlefield, Bob Mackey's Music World, Old Talbott Tavern, North Carolina State Capitol, Granberry Opera House, and 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant.

    Brown participates in some of the investigations to gain a full and objective understanding of teachers, doctors, accountants, housewives, and law enforcement personnel, who devote much of their free time to a quest that many outsiders view with skepticism if not scorn. In fascinating, frightening, and sometimes humorous accounts, Brown highlights the determination of these individuals to answer the question: "What happens to the soul after death?"

    Alan Brown is a professor of English and director of the Writing Center at the University of West Alabama.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-144-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-X)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. XI-XIV)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. XV-XVI)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. XVII-2)

    The history of paranormal investigations can be traced back to the 1850s during the heyday of spiritualism. In 1848, two mediums from upstate New York, Kate and Margaret Fox, began receiving messages from the dead in their home in Hydesville, New York. Within a decade, they began holding séances for some of the country’s most prominent celebrities, including Mary Todd Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, James Fenimore Cooper, and William Cullen Bryant. By the end of the 1850s, hundreds of mediums began holding séances in homes throughout the United States and England. These “home circles” became the nucleus of the spiritualist...

  6. ALABAMA

    • Birmingham Paranormal Society BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
      (pp. 5-9)
      Donovan Murphy

      The Birmingham Paranormal Society is a good example of a relatively new group whose members have years of experience in the field. The director, Donovan Murphy, has been a ghost hunter for ten years. He founded the Birmingham Paranormal Society in 2004. At the time of the interview, his group had six members, most of whom have college degrees. Donovan, a former zookeeper, is now a lab supervisor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Two of his coworkers are members of his group.

      Unlike most of the groups interviewed for this group, the Birmingham Paranormal Society does not have...

    • The Mobile Order of Paranormal Investigators CHUNCHULA, ALABAMA
      (pp. 9-14)
      Vada Cejas

      As a child, Vada Cejas saw figures and shapes that seemed to be otherworldly. As an adult, she became reading books about the paranormal: “I became curious to prove that there was something out there, that it wasn’t just me.” She became part of a local ghost-hunting group in 2002 but split off in 2003 and formed her own group with several other former members. Instead of taking someone else’s word that a place is haunted, the members pack up their equipment, do a walk-through, take readings, and question the witnesses who experienced the activity. Then they pick up with...

    • Ghost Hunters of the South MOBILE, ALABAMA
      (pp. 15-19)
      Russ Bennett

      Ironically, the only paranormal event the founder and director of Ghost Hunters of the South (G.H.O.T.S.) has ever witnessed occurred when he was ten years old. At the time, his family was living in an air force base in Oklahoma: “My sister and I were playing hide-and-seek. I was hiding in a dark closet. It was really dark. No lights came through the doors. I saw a hand reaching toward me that was darker than the darkness of the room. It scared me, and it made me afraid of the dark. To this day, I still have a phobia of...

    • Ghost Research Society of North Alabama JEMISON, ALABAMA
      (pp. 19-24)
      Shane Danzey

      As a boy, Shane Danzey’s grandfather introduced him to the world of the paranormal by driving him around town and pointing out all of the haunted sites. His first “close encounter” with the spirit world occurred one night when he recorded himself playing the guitar: “The funny thing about it was that when I played it back, it was a growling kind of noise. Then I heard a voice say, ‘Let him!’ twice, and it was separate from the growling.” At first, Shane thought that something was wrong with his tape recorder, so he taped over the first recording. This...

  7. ARKANSAS

    • Ghost Hunters Inc. LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
      (pp. 27-33)
      Lynette Chapin

      Lynette Chapin says that she and her husband have always been interested in ghosts since they were children: “My mom laughs about it and says no matter how much she tried to beat it out of me, I still held on to my interest in ghosts. She said I was just her weird little kid. I told my mom I could be doing something really bad.” She credits television with inspiring her to start up a paranormal investigating group: “Back in 2000, my husband and I were watching the Discovery Channel or Sci-fi. It was a ghost-hunting program, and it...

    • Spirit Seekers ROLAND, ARKANSAS
      (pp. 33-40)
      Alan Lowe and Angela Lowe

      One might say that Angela Lowe’s connection to the paranormal is “in her genes”: “The women in my family have been sensitive to the spirit world as far back as my great-grandmother, who practiced ‘white’ witchcraft My grandmother was extremely psychic, as is my mother and her sisters. One of my sisters and I have seen spirits all of our lives. Until I was an adult, I did not realize that it was unusual.”

      One of Angela’s first paranormal experiences occurred she was ten years old. Shortly after her grandmother died, she and her sister began holding séances to contact...

  8. FLORIDA

    • Daytona Beach Paranormal Research Group DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
      (pp. 43-49)
      Doris Smith

      Doris Smith claims to have become interested in ghost hunting quite by accident while she was on a ghost tour in St. Augustine: “I took some very unusual photographs that particular night, and when I found out that it wasn’t a problem with developing, that it was actually something with the negative, I began researching what it was. I discovered that there was this whole subculture of people who do this. I was hooked. That was it.”

      Doris founded the Daytona Beach Paranormal Research Group in 1997. The group became an official nonprofit corporation in 2000. “Our mission is to...

    • Florida Paranormal Research ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA
      (pp. 49-55)
      Tim Tedana

      Tim Tedana’s interest in ghosts was the natural result of growing up in a haunted house: “When I was seven or eight years old, I shared a room with a sibling, and we were sitting there talking like kids do, and all of a sudden, we heard the back door to the house open up and slam. Our parents were at church at the time, and the doors were all locked. Then we heard feet stomping, like somebody had on combat boots. It walked through the kitchen into the living room. We could hear it coming all the way up...

    • Halifax Hauntings: Investigations and Research HOLLY HILL, FLORIDA
      (pp. 55-65)
      Scott Ferencz

      Scott Ferencz claims to have been into ghost hunting all his life: “I had my first experience when I was a little kid. I saw my great-grandfather in the hallway of my old apartment building. I was eleven. I was coming up to go eat dinner at five p.m., and as I was going up the stairs, he was standing there looking at me, and he stood there for about thirty seconds. I was a little scared, and I wasn’t quite sure—my mind wasn’t quite processing what I was seeing, so I called for my mother to open the...

    • North Florida Paranormal Research, Inc. MIDDLEBURG, FLORIDA
      (pp. 65-73)
      Jeff Reynolds

      Jeff Reynolds, who has been actively pursuing the paranormal since 1990, received his training at Cassadaga, a spiritualist community founded in 1894 by George P. Colby, a trance medium from Pike, New York. The group has been incorporated since 2001. “I’m not an active member of the Spiritualist Church at Cassadaga, but I used to be,” Jeff says. “To drive two hours to go to the Cassadaga church and then come home is not very smart. The spirits can come see me. They know where I live.”

      Jeff believes Cassadaga is a wonderful place to visit as a spiritual retreat:...

    • South Florida Ghost Team MIAMI, FLORIDA
      (pp. 73-80)
      Shaun Jones and Richard Valdes

      Shaun Jones founded the South Florida Ghost Team in January 2003. The group started out as a gathering of friends who shared an interest in the paranormal and then gradually developed into something much more structured.

      The members come from a variety of backgrounds. For example, Shaun Jones is an electrician; Dan Cronin is a health-care adviser; and Tom Palazzo is a firefighter. One of the group’s first goals was to dispel the image many people have of paranormal researchers. “We don’t go on ghost hunts,” insists the cofounder of the group, Dan Cronin. “We go on investigations.”

      Typically, an...

  9. GEORGIA

    • Blairsville Paranormal Research Team BLAIRSVILLE, GEORGIA
      (pp. 83-88)
      Joel Goyne and Sean Rice

      The Blairsville Paranormal Research Team is one of the newest—and youngest—paranormal investigating groups in the entire South. It was founded by three high school students—Sean Rice, Joel Goyne, and Matt Prentice. Sean Rice says that he and Matt Prentice became inspired to start their own group after he and Matt started surfing the Internet and found the “Shadowlands” Web site, which lists haunted sites in every state, including Georgia: “Some of the sites around Georgia were pretty close to us, so we started going to them. It was interesting to see if we could find anything. We...

    • Foundation for Paranormal Research LOGANVILLE, GEORGIA
      (pp. 88-94)
      Rick Heflin

      One of Rick Heflin’s sharpest memories of growing up in south Mississippi was the alleged abduction of two fishermen, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, who claimed to have been abducted from a wooden pier on October 11, 1973. His burgeoning interest in the paranormal culminated in the founding of his group in 2001.

      The Foundation for Paranormal Research now has twenty members, including doctors, lawyers, and housewives. Rick is in charge of receiving in a warehouse. “The people I work with think it’s great,” Rick says. The membership also includes a member of the clergy, whom the group could use...

    • The Georgia Ghost Society MACON, GEORGIA
      (pp. 95-104)
      Robert M. Hunnicutt

      Robert M. Hunnicutt’s interest in the paranormal began in 1975. At the time, he had just graduated high school in Tuscon, Arizona, and had gotten a part in a bicentennial play as an extra: “One of the theaters that we were having rehearsals at in Tuscon naturally had an old history about it. It was the Pima Community Theater. There was supposed to be the ghost of an old wardrobe employee there. One evening around ten o’clock or so after dress rehearsal, I went into the wardrobe room and turned in my costume to the lady sitting there, and when...

    • Georgia Paranormal Research Team DUBLIN, GEORGIA
      (pp. 104-109)
      Andrew Calder

      Andrew Calder has been interested in the paranormal since childhood, but he did not really develop this interest until he became an adult: “I first got started into paranormal investigations with a friend of mine out in Texas whom I had known for a number of years, but little did I know, she had been suffering from some paranormal phenomenon for a number of years. Through my contact with her and trying to find help for her, I came into contact with a lot of people in the field and was eventually asked to start a chapter.” Andrew founded his...

    • Ghost Hounds Paranormal Network ATLANTA, GEORGIA
      (pp. 109-120)
      Patrick Burns

      Patrick Burns passed through most of his adolescence believing that ghosts did not exist: “Of course, back then, Mom and Dad always told me there’s no such thing as ghosts. They’re just the subject of scary stories. Then I took note one day in a bookstore that there were books on haunted houses and ghosts in the nonfiction section, and I thought that was a very curious place to find phenomena that supposedly didn’t exist.” Patrick found the supposedly true ghost stories to be especially fascinating because, like the old saying goes, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

      Until Patrick was...

    • Northwest Georgia Paranormal Investigation Team LAFAYETTE, GEORGIA
      (pp. 120-128)
      Mike Watkins

      Unlike most investigators, Mike Watkins does not really know how he became interested in the paranormal: “My family experienced a lot of paranormal events, and I guess I just became curious. I work in law enforcement, too, which tends to make me more curious than most people. I’m trained in how to proceed in an investigation.” Mike formed the Northwest Georgia Paranormal Investigation Team in May 2004. The group has six members, two of whom are provisional. All new members go through a trial period to see if they will follow the group’s established protocols and to make sure that...

    • Paranormal Investigators of Georgia LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA
      (pp. 128-133)
      Angie Madden

      Angie Madden’s life was changed forever after reading a book calledUnexplained Mysteries of the Universe: “I enjoyed reading about sightings in places like theQueen Maryand sightings over in England and in different castles, stuff like that. I’ve been interested in it for a long time, and now I’m getting a chance to check into it more.”

      Angie joined a paranormal group for a while, but then she and two other members splintered off and formed their own group in 2002. “We’ve got one person who’s an electrical engineer, and he can explain what’s going on with our...

    • West Central Georgia Investigators of Paranormal Activity TALLAPOOSA, GEORGIA
      (pp. 134-138)
      Scott McClure

      Most of Scott McClure’s members had had paranormal experiences before they joined the group. Scott’s occurred at the age of eight when he and his family moved right across the state line to Alabama: “All my relatives either raised hogs or chickens. We didn’t have central heat or air conditioning on hot summer nights. All we had was an attic fan. With that humid air circulating through those pig houses and hog wallows, you want to close your window. This one night, I hadn’t really gone to sleep yet. I was going to bed, so I went over to close...

  10. KENTUCKY

    • Appalachian Ghost Hunters Society WEST LIBERTY, KENTUCKY
      (pp. 141-147)
      Danny Akers

      Danny Akers says he was transformed into a ghost hunter between 1990 and 1993 when he lived in a haunted house: “The house was built in the 1920s or 1930s. I always felt like I was intruding on someone upstairs. My bedroom was originally the living room with the stairway to the second floor in it. I once awoke to the sound of voices. I knew it was the old man and woman who once lived there. He was trying to tell me something about the house.” Danny had a personal encounter with one of the spirits in the house...

    • Ghost Chasers International BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY
      (pp. 148-157)
      Patti Starr

      Patti Starr claims that she has always had a heightened sensitivity to the unseen world: “All my life, I’ve had experiences. Of course, when you’re little, they tell you it’s just your imagination, or you had a bad dream. As I got older, I had children and became more sensitive, I began to think, ‘There’s something more to this.’” When Patti’s children were little, she took them on little “ghost hunts” through old abandoned houses to see what they could pick up. In 1995, she began taking pictures at haunted sites, and she began looking closely at the anomalous images...

    • Louisville Ghost Hunters Society LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
      (pp. 157-166)
      Keith Age

      Keith Age credits a girlfriend for instilling in him an interest in the paranormal. When he first met her, he had been on the road with his band playing across America. He was troubled by her reluctance to introduce him to her mom and dad: “I figured it was because I had hair down to my butt and a beard and was a rock and roller.” The real reason became clear after returning her home one night from a date: “I tried to kiss her goodnight, and something threw me through the door. She was pretty upset. At first, I...

    • Southern Paranormal Research BURNSIDE, KENTUCKY
      (pp. 167-174)
      Roger Johnson

      Death has been Roger Johnson’s business for most of his life: “I used to be a coroner. I was a volunteer assistant chief of the fire department. I worked as a medical technician, and for many years, I taught people to be instructors in American Red Cross courses. I’ve done it all. And a lot of it was done at the same time. I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve [observed] over two hundred and fifty autopsies.” He now calls himself a “full-time” ghost researcher.

      Roger became inspired to start a ghost-hunting group as the result of a trip to...

    • Western Kentucky Ghost Hunters Society PRINCETON, KENTUCKY
      (pp. 175-180)
      Jason Brooks

      Jason Brooks’s interest in the paranormal was sparked by books he read on mythology and demonology as a young man. After he married, Jason and his wife began going to areas that were supposed to be haunted and took photographs, some of which showed some strange anomalies: “We were getting some things. We went on the Internet and started talking to people and showing them some pictures, and a group just formed.” The Western Kentucky Ghost Hunters Society, which started in 1995, now consists of seven members. Jason, a deputy jailer, believes that his profession makes him a better investigator:...

  11. LOUISIANA

    • South Louisiana Ghosthunters PRAIRIEVILLE, LOUISIANA
      (pp. 183-192)
      Pam Gates

      Pam Gates comes by her psychic abilities “honest,” as they say in the South. When Pam began having psychic experiences at the age of five, her Cajun grandmother, who was a clairvoyant herself, told her she had a gift. Pam’s gift became apparent to the entire family at the age of seven when she contracted scarlet fever: “I was very ill. I was lying on the couch in the living room, and my mom came in to check up on me. I sat up and said to her, ‘Barbara’s here.’ And she said, ‘Who? What?’ And I said, ‘Barbara’s here.’...

  12. MISSISSIPPI

    • Mississippi Paranormal Research CARROLTON, MISSISSIPPI
      (pp. 195-200)
      Sonia Lindsey

      Sonia Lindsey developed an interest in the paranormal after she and her husband moved to Mississippi from Dallas, Texas. They moved into an old house out in the country in Lexington. “I was told that the house was about one hundred and twenty years old,” Sonia says. “We had heard stories from people who had lived there before. It took a little bit of time before we began noticing anything.” The first indication they had that the stories might be true was the sound of blues music playing when neither the radio nor the television was on. Then they began...

    • Orbservations MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI
      (pp. 200-205)
      Gigi Ahrens

      Gigi Ahrens was raised to believe that nothing is truly weird. “The paranormal was not considered to be something odd or off the wall,” she said. She maintained her interest in the paranormal after marriage but did not really act on it until she found other women who shared her fascination with the unseen world. “Most of us are bored housewives,” Gigi says. “We’d sit around and talk about goofy phenomenon, stuff that’s unknown and mysterious, and one day, I said, ‘Instead of just sitting around talking about it, why don’t we do something about it?’” In 2004, she and...

    • S.P.I.R.E. PONTOTOC, MISSISSIPPI
      (pp. 206-214)
      Jeff Harris

      Jeff started reading about the paranormal in the 1980s when he was in college. His interest waned for a number of years. Then in 2001, he began investigating on his own. In 2002, he began recruiting members for a group: “I put a random e-mail out on a message board saying, ‘I want to form a group.’ You’d be amazed how many people responded. But I was picky. ‘If you do drugs, you’re out of the group.’ ‘If you’re too young, you’re out of the group.’ I wasn’t trained to throw people out, but you’ve got to have a believable...

  13. NORTH CAROLINA

    • East Coast Hauntings Organization BATH, NORTH CAROLINA
      (pp. 217-228)
      Christine Rodriguez

      Christine Rodriguez is, first and foremost, a writer. She started out by writing a book on the effects of feral dogs on wildlife. It was picked up by Tufts University Veterinarian School as a textbook. It took her five years to sell the book because it was so bizarre, but after it finally sold, she went on to other things: “I have written fiction and nonfiction. I wrote a fiction horror book in the same vein as Stephen King. Then I wrote collectible guides for a number of years. I coauthored with my twin sister. I did some collectible Sci-Fi...

    • Foothills Paranormal Investigations MARION, NORTH CAROLINA
      (pp. 228-238)
      Rena Harp

      Rena Harp has had paranormal experiences all her life. Her first experience occurred at the age of ten when her father died: “I had a seizure, and they pronounced me dead. The ambulance drivers had called it in. Then I sat up in the ambulance and scared everyone half to death. I didn’t see any white lights.” Afterward, as Rena’s psychic abilities seemed to grow, she accepted the fact that she had a gift. “I was encouraged by a local psychic here—Angela Moore—to follow my intuition,” Rena said, “and she told me that if I just started a...

    • Haunted North Carolina CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA
      (pp. 238-250)
      Jim Hall

      One could say that Jim Hall was destined from childhood to become a paranormal investigator: “There are stories of hauntings and strange things happening in our house. Some people in the family have said, ‘Yeah, I remember that. It didn’t happen exactly that way.’ But when you’re a child, you believe everything, so that’s what got me interested in the paranormal.” Jim’s career as a ghost hunter began almost as soon as he got his own car and license and was able to drive around to places of interest, chasing down folklore and legends. He became interested in the scientific...

  14. SOUTH CAROLINA

    • Coastal Spirit Chasers MURRELL’S INLET, SOUTH CAROLINA
      (pp. 253-256)
      Jennifer Latka

      Jennifer first became interested in the paranormal when she lived in a haunted house in Myrtle Beach: “It was a rental. I moved in when I was twenty-one and moved out when I was twenty-five. A Civil War soldier appeared in my room one night, and he actually took me back to the war, and I got to see everything that was happening, and I saw everything he was feeling. Before he left, he told me his name. The next morning, I got on the Internet and looked up his name, and sure enough, he was in the Civil War....

    • Ghost Takers CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
      (pp. 257-264)
      Gordon Small

      Ghost Takers is unique among southern paranormal investigative groups in that it has only one member. Gordon Small is the business manager in a floral decorating and events coordinating company called “Celebrations by Appointment.” Gordon says he became interested in the paranormal after reading a book about Edgar Cayce: “I read the first book about him. This just makes sense to me, the universal mind concept. When you read about Edgar Cayce, the man with such minimal education, and the things he could do, and everything is so well documented. There has to be a great deal of validity to...

  15. TENNESSEE

    • Memphis Paranormal Investigations Team MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
      (pp. 267-280)
      Michael Espanjer

      Although Michael Espanjer has been fascinated by the supernatural since he was a boy, he did not really get into the field seriously until October 2003, when he started his group: “At that time, I noticed that [the paranormal] was starting to get more popular on TV and in movies. I knew that we had something that a lot of groups didn’t have, so I guess that makes us more successful. I don’t mean to brag or anything. We focus more on the spiritual end of it.” The group’s reputation has grown to the point that the members are occasionally...

  16. TEXAS

    • Central Texas Ghost Search CISCO, TEXAS
      (pp. 283-288)
      Sarah Zell

      Some might say that Sarah Zell was destined from childhood to become a ghost hunter: “My parents’ house is haunted, so I kind of grew up in that environment. I was only scared once…. the ghost liked to hide things and move things around. Lights would come on, and I would walk over to unplug them, and they weren’t plugged in. I’d hear people walking around when I was home alone, and it always seemed to happen when I was home alone. I’d hear people walking in the kitchen. Then it progressed to things flying out of the top cabinets...

    • Lone Star Spirits HUMBLE, TEXAS
      (pp. 289-295)
      Peter Haviland

      Peter Haviland’s initiation into the world of the paranormal occurred when he was twelve years old: “I was watching television in my parents’ house, and my dog was with me, and I felt the room start to get cold. I felt the hair on the back of my head stand up. My dog stood up and turned around and started walking up the stairs—my parents had a two-story house. I saw my grandfather walking down the stairs, and my grandfather had passed the year before. He walked down the stairs and into the closet. I was never afraid of...

    • Metroplex Paranormal Investigations CARROLLTON, TEXAS
      (pp. 296-301)
      Vicki Isaacks

      Vicki Isaacks traces the birth of her interest in the paranormal to an old horror movie: “I was six years old. I watched my first horror movie,I Was a Teenage Werewolf,[starring] Michael Landon. It was my birthday. I had gotten a new bike for my birthday, and I had left it out front of the house, and my dad made me walk through the back porch so nobody would get a hold of it. And as I walked up the steps of the porch, he flung the door open and scared me, and he continued to do stuff...

    • Society for Paranormal Investigation DALLAS, TEXAS
      (pp. 302-309)
      Joel-Anthony Gray

      Joel-Anthony Gray is one of many paranormal investigators who have been interested in it the supernatural their whole life: “It’s a combination of being fascinated by the dark, the mystical, the forbidden. Since childhood, I’ve been reading ghost stories. When I got older, I went to the library, and I was always in the ‘Weird Phenomena’ section, where they talked about UFO’s, the Bermuda Triangle, things like that.” Joel-Anthony speculates that most people are interested in the paranormal because it’s one of the final frontiers: “We’ve got to have something to push against to test our mettle and our resourcefulness....

    • Texas Paranormal Research Team DAYTON, TEXAS
      (pp. 309-316)
      Matt Novotny

      Matt became an enthusiast of the paranormal as the direct result of the purchase of a sixty-year-old house in 1997. He bought the seventy-five-thousand-dollar house when he was still in college. At first, he dismissed the strange events that began shortly after he moved in. As the number of unexplainable occurrences began to increase, so did his curiosity: “That’s when I became interest in trying to seek out to see what it was. So I spent three years doing research and reading.” Eventually, Matt reached the point where he could no longer keep the eerie side of his house all...

  17. VIRGINIA

    • Center for Paranormal Research and Investigations BLACKSTONE, VIRGINIA
      (pp. 319-331)
      Bobbie Atristain

      Bobbie Atristain’s two main interests—science and the paranormal—appear on the surface to be mutually exclusive. However, she seems to have successfully reconciled the two fields: “I am a programmer analyst for a local university. I also teach at a technical college on occasion. I have received no flak from colleagues about what I do. It’s on my resume. I think it’s a good resume builder. I just wrote my first article dealing with my research. My special interest is the effects of the paranormal on brain chemistry. I just had my first article on my preliminary research published...

    • Tidewater Paranormal Investigations NORFOLK, VIRGINIA
      (pp. 331-335)
      Connie Picard

      Connie Picard is unique among directors of southern paranormal investigating groups in that she is a wildlife rehabilitator in the Hampton Roads section of Norfolk, Virginia: “Being a wildlife rehabilitator is a handful. A lot of these birds and animals are orphaned or injured. Spring and summer are our busy months during baby season, so we get a lot of orphans. We nurse them back to health and release them back into the wild.” Although biology is her professional field, she has always been fascinated in the paranormal and occult studies. Curiosity about the local legends and history or her...

    • Virginia Science Research LEESBURG, VIRGINIA
      (pp. 335-344)
      Joseph Holbert

      Joseph Holbert is a rarity in the field of the paranormal. He is a full-time investigator, with an assortment of part-time jobs: “I don’t have a day job. This is what I do. I wrote a book, which helps. I give tours. I do a lot of public speaking, and I am an E-bayer, so I guess you could say that is my day job. I have a store on E-bay where I sell books and antiques. I’ve gotten some strange things on there, like a human skull.” Not surprisingly, the tours he gives are ghost-related. He began giving tours...

  18. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 345-354)

    The interviews I conducted with forty-three directors of groups from the South revealed more similarities than differences. All of the directors were proud of the diverse composition of their groups. Ghost research crosses all kinds of professional boundaries. It is not at all uncommon for physicians, housewives, law enforcement personnel, and lawyers to go out onto an investigation together. The ages of the members vary as well; however, because of the physical demands of investigating, most of the individuals in the core groups were under the age of fifty. Twenty-seven of the forty-three directors were male, but the composition of...

  19. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 355-358)
  20. FILMOGRAPHY
    (pp. 359-372)
  21. TELEVISION SHOWS
    (pp. 373-378)
  22. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 379-380)
  23. INDEX
    (pp. 381-393)