Sept 2003 and Feb 2004
St. Petersburg, Florida
Part of the problem with parapsychological study is the unpredictable nature of the field. Researchers cannot control all aspects of the investigations, as control factors are limited to place, participants, and time. Homes and businesses are far from clinical laboratory settings.
In addition, the subject of ghosts, itself, has been debated since the time of the ancient Greeks. Do they exist or don’t they? If they do, then what rules of nature do they obey? Why do some people sense them while others do not? This 2500-year-old argument shows no signs of letting up any time soon.
We have attempted to work on a process that eliminates as much of the unpredictable nature of the investigations as possible. Information is limited to a one person “contact”, home addresses and last names are kept from team members until the time of the investigation, and homeowners are interviewed after we have completed their findings.
A silent walk-through allows members to write out individual, and private, sensations, readings, and impressions. These ideas are shared after the walk-through is completed. Then the team focuses on agreed upon “hot spots” of activity for the remainder of the time.
After the completion of these procedures, the team shares the findings with the homeowner. It is at this time that the property owner explains activities experienced at the site.
The team also utilizes a follow-up procedure. If at all possible, homeowners are asked to allow the SPIRITS to re-investigate an area after several months have elapsed.
The investigation at 11th Avenue illustrates the importance of this procedure. The first investigation took place in September of 2003. The team was called in only a few days before the homeowners were moving out of the location.
Almost immediately activity began. Several sensed a presence watching from a front window as the team approached. An older man was “felt” in the area of the stairs, and a young boy danced in the loft bedroom.
Homeowners reported odd behavior of their 2-year-old son, who spoke in his sleep, avoided certain areas, and talked about “a man” in the house. Homeowner research matched with census records prior to the 1950s discovered that one sensitive had correctly named the old man, but the boy remained a mystery.
The second investigation fell to February 2004. The homeowners, who moved out of the area, reported receiving phone calls from a St. Petersburg area code. No one was on the line, and when the number was redialed it was “dead.”
The wife also communicated with a sensitive person via a chat group who, without any knowledge of the area or the team, told her of the ghostly activity and advised that she contact paranormal investigators for a recheck.
The team assigned to the secondary visit was an assortment of members who had visited the site before, experienced members who had not been there, and two new people on their first investigation.
This time, activity started before anyone arrived. One member had a “visit” from the little boy earlier in the day at her own home. He greeted her again when she arrived in the house.
The building, though emptied of furniture, had a couple of anomalous findings in it. EMF registered outside the home, near the garage, and one team member with an impaired sense of smell was pounded with a terrible aroma.
Upstairs in the loft bedroom a strange yellow toy car was discovered in one of the storage cubbies. The homeowners did not recognize it and it was not there when they moved out.
We broke up into two groups; one explored upstairs, the other downstairs. EMF activity registered downstairs at the same time as digital cameras and battery packs failed in the bedroom loft directly above. The activity lasted approximately five minutes for both teams. The downstairs activity corresponded to the cubby area where the team found the mysterious yellow car.
Again, sensitives picked up on the old man for a fleeting instant. The boy spirit bounded about playing with others.
If nothing else, the investigation reconfirmed that the site was haunted. Activity paralleled that which was found before and expanded it with the placement of the toy, which the team returned to the cubby before leaving.
The paranormal phenomena that took place on both the upper and lower stories was quite impressive and also a team first. This investigation had enough people to split into two independent teams, each headed by several experienced members. However, it also taught us to take better records of what happened at exactly what time; though we know activity corresponded with both groups the order of phenomena is confused.
We continue to try to streamline and improve its investigation techniques. Recently, homeowner and business response has been more open to re-investigations. Perhaps with consistent methodology and techniques, and the kindness of those who ask us to investigate, the team can find solidified proof of ghostly phenomena. After all, isn’t 2500 years of questions enough for one topic?