Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 2013 Updates

It’s creeping closer! We here at HPIR are so excited that the Fall/Halloween season is almost upon us because we love this time of year. Things are about to get hectic within HPIR, because it’s the busiest time of year for us. We are fast approaching tour season and with summer mostly behind us, I will get you caught up to speed with what we have been up to and what to expect in the coming weeks.

Investigations – Our last investigation was at the old Harverytown Elementary School, but today it’s better known as Huntington’s Museum of Radio and Technology. We investigated this really neat museum back at the end of July. While we didn’t walk away with much in the line of evidence of hauntings in this building, the stories we were told about the activity really led us to believe that much of what happens there is residual in nature. Either way, we had an enjoyable evening there.

Anniversary – In August we had our 7 year anniversary as a team! We held off for the celebration a little longer than usual and just recently held our annual picnic to celebrate in September. This year we hosted the picnic at our favorite haunted house, the Buffington House. We had some fine ghostly decorations, some delicious food and plenty of friends and family of HPIR to celebrate the occasion with. We even did a little ghost hunting after everyone filled their tummies, and were surprised when we all heard a pitter patter of what sounded like little feet that quickly moved across the floor in the adjacent room from where we were sitting. We had an enjoyable night with a neat, possibly ghostly experience to end our evening.

Buffington House Ghost Hunts – We ended out the summer with one last ghost hunt at the Buffington House for the season. WTHWT Paranormal spent an evening investigating the house. They told our group they had some really great experiences while they were investigating. We have one last team who had to reschedule, we are closing out the Buffington House ghost hunts until sometime in 2014. We of course will post updates and information as to when the hunts will resume at a later date.

Team Toni – We continue to work with and support the efforts of Team Toni! Once again, we will be giving our time to this worthy cause and helping sponsor their upcoming event, the Team Toni 2nd Annual Poker Run coming up on Sept. 14, 2013. This will be the second year that HPIR has volunteered our time for this wonderful fundraiser.


Ghost Tours – I posted a blog about our upcoming ghost tours last month, but to refresh your memory we are planning our annual tours this October and November. The tour dates for this year are 10/18, 10/19, 11/1 and 11/2. We have made some changes in our schedule this year as we do our Halloween tour a week earlier than normal. Also due to some previous issues we chose to cut our Guyandotte Cemetery Tour this year but instead will be offering something completely different! And as a reminder, our group will not be offering any ghost tours during Swinefest this year and are replacing that weekend event with a new event.
Public Ghost Hunts – I mentioned above about adding something completely different to our schedule and we have decided to offer ghost hunts to the public this October. These hunts will be organized much like our tours, however instead of visiting a dozen or so locations and learning about the history and hauntings, we are going to take you into a haunted house to spend some time and learn about ghost hunting. This will be a more hands on approach for those who are really interested in learning more about ghost hunting. We hope this event will become just as popular as our ghost tours!

That about wraps up the September updates! We hope we will get the chance to meet many of you this fall if you come out to take a tour or experience a first hand ghost hunt!

NOTE - We no longer have the GuyandotteGhosts website, you can now find all that info on our Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/GuyandotteGhosts/

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours - Spooky Fun Awaits!

The Halloween season is quickly approaching and the cooler weather is really making fall seem so much closer. When fall arrives, we will be in our busiest season of the year trying to keep up with investigation requests, tours and Halloween events going on around us. Of course our biggest event of the year is our ever popular ghost tours we host in Guyandotte each fall. Our schedule is not quite complete for the year, but our two main tours are set as always. In order to keep our tour guests from getting burnt out on the same stuff each year we always make some changes, switch up a few things and of course add new scary ghost stories to our tours. This year there will be some changes with the tours, and unfortunately we decided to eliminate on of our most popular tours we do each year (I’ll explain shortly). But with those changes, we want to keep people interested and coming back for more so we are coming up with a whole new exciting event this fall to give our paranormal enthusiast friends something a little different and exciting to do this year. See the update below for information about the new event!

So back to the event we have decided to eliminate from our schedule this season. While I don’t like to air our group’s grievances publically, I feel in this case it is fully justified. Over the past four years we have offered the Guyandotte Cemetery Ghost Tour during the weekend that Swinefest takes place in Guyandotte. We have made a difficult decision to pull this tour off of our schedule despite its extreme popularity due to the attitude of some Swinefest organizers toward us last year. Instead of working with us to ensure we had a successful tour last year, they chose to cause conflict. While most of the problems were resolved for us, it was not until we made complaints to them and by that time the damage had already been done.

 This year it is my understanding that the Swinefest organizers are planning to do what sounds like a very similar tour to what we have been doing in the Cemetery the past four years. They most likely feel that they will take over and do the tours in our place and perhaps have people believe that our group is giving these tours. If you attend Swinefest this year, please know that Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours and Huntington Paranormal Investigations & Research will not be conducting any type of ghost tour during this event. (but please see our latest update below!)

We spend many hours fact checking for accurate historical information with the tours we give and while the legends and ghost stories we tell have been handed down to us, we do not embellish any of the stories we have been told. The quality of the tours we give is extremely important to us and since we have been doing the tours for the past 5 years we have really learned so much. I think our tours reflect our desire to deliver educational historic info but sort of in a sneaky way as we tell you stories that send chills down your spine.

We may resume our Guyandotte Cemetery Tour in the future, but it will not be conducted on the same weekend that Swinefest takes place. And of course we will continue our regular schedule around Halloween and Guyandotte Civil War Days, just check our website for some date changes from previous years. In all, we hope to bring you a fun filled Halloween season with some exciting events to keep you shaking in your boots! It’s unfortunate that we have had to deal with some of the nonsense out there while just trying to provide exciting events to our community, but our struggles only make us work harder. Our tours may be imitated, but they will never be duplicated. Join us for an ORIGINAL Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tour this fall!

UPDATE* - We have decided to replace our Cemetery Tour this season with an exciting new event! On the evenings of October 4, 5, and 26, join us to experience a guided ghost hunt of the Haunted & Historic Buffington House! Our new guided ghost hunts will be organized similar to our ghost tours; however instead of visiting a wide variety of locations you will actually get to spend up to 1 hour and 30 minutes with your guide, exploring real haunted locations. You will be with a small group of people and will be taught basic beginner ghost hunting skills all while participating in an active ghost hunt. (ages 12 and over, children must be accompanied by an adult).

Just like our tours, we are offering this event for free. We do however appreciate your donations which help us continue keeping our tours and events running, but we also donate a portion of what you donate to us to other worthy causes as well.


SEPT. 28 UPDATE* - As previously mentioned, we decided a while back that it was best to no longer be associated with the Swinefest event in Guyandotte after last year. The Herald-Dispatch printed a front page piece in their paper yesterday that reinforces our reasons we are no longer associated with the festival. But as it goes, when you treat others poorly and make selfish decisions, those things can come back to haunt you. Here is the article from yesterday's paper: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/x1945021250/Commission-denies-funding-for-festival

Link back to Guyandotte Ghost Tours 2014 Story


Our ghost tour site is no longer available - visit our Facebook page for more ghost tour information - https://www.facebook.com/GuyandotteGhosts/

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lucky Number Seven!

So here we are, we have made it to lucky number seven! The beginning of August 2013 marks HPIR’s 7th year as an organized team of paranormal investigators. I like to take this time when we celebrate our anniversary to reflect back on our past years and to look into our future as a team.

I recall this time last year the tone of this blog was much different than today, we had a member who was ill and facing a serious surgery and at the same time were had been dealing with some resistance from those who had hoped to see us fall down. Thankfully though today our team is still standing solid and strong and the health of our team member has greatly improved. We are truly blessed to have such strong members who all have stood together for the team and for each other to be there when we needed each other the most.

I feel our team is so much more than just the group of ghost hunters we had back in 2006. As we have changed over the years our mission has grown into something so much more. We all still love hunting ghosts and we still do that as much as possible, but we have really turned what we do into something more meaningful to us. I think our enthusiasm for the paranormal field, our close bond as friends and our goals to keep moving onward and upward have kept us in this field for this long. We love what we do and that love has kept us alive in a field where so many others have stopped short. We plan to move forward into year eight with the same integrity and mindset we have kept throughout the previous seven. We know there are many more great things in store for us and we can not wait to see what the future holds.

As traditional for us goes, we will be celebrating our anniversary with an annual picnic and ghost hunt following our feast. We invite not only our team, but our close friends and family also to come celebrate with us. Later this fall, we have some new things coming for the other paranormal enthusiasts in our area. Those announcements will be coming in a few weeks. Our tours will return this fall as well as we hope to continue the ghost hunts at the Buffington House in 2014. Thank you to all who support us and follow our adventures in the paranormal world, we appreciate you! Here is to 7 lucky years, and many more to come!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 2013 Updates

Time flies when you are having fun, so much so we have not updated the blog since May! In fact we have been pretty quiet on the blog and our other pages like our website and Facebook page but it’s not because we have not been hard at work. Here is a look at what we have been into since the last update and what’s going on for the remainder of the summer:

Tours – We have plans to add a new location to the tour schedule but unfortunately, our plans to do the tour in June just didn’t go as planned. When we are planning out a tour, especially new locations, it takes a lot of time to research and gather the stories we need to put together a great tour. We feel at this time we do not have enough information to do a full ghost tour of this location. However, we hope that with a few more months of research and information gathering we can have our new tour ready to go by this fall. We are excited about this new tour but its going to take a little more patience and a lot more work to get it to where we want it. Our other annual tours are still on the calendar so please join us this fall for one of our fun and spooky ghost tours!

Team Toni 5k – On June 15, 2013 HPIR once again took part in the Team Toni Memorial 5k Run/Walk. HPIR was a sponsor of this event this year and we set up a water table for the runners and walkers as well as had two members participate in the run/walk. The proceeds from this event went to help a young man with cancer. Later this year HPIR will once again be volunteering with the Team Toni annual poker run, we will provide updates on that event this fall. Visit the Team Toni website to find out more about their mission or to volunteer.

Buffington House Ghost Hunts – We have continued opening up the Buffington House to established paranormal groups for the opportunity to ghost hunt in a real haunted location. In May & June we welcomed Mid-OhioValley Ghost Hunters and Adena Paranormal to the house for paranormal investigations. We have really enjoyed meeting all the other teams and getting to know them a little. We will continue the ghost hunts through the rest of the summer before we get into our fall busy season at which time we will not be booking any investigations. Currently all of our available spaces are booked. This fall we will most likely begin booking several more investigations for the winter and for early 2014.

Investigations – We just got back from Hinton, WV this past weekend for an investigation we eagerly had been waiting to do. Our investigation took place at the Campbell Flannagan Murrell House Museum, built in 1875. We do not have anything to report just yet on any paranormal findings, but be sure to visit our website in the next few weeks to find out more about the history of this old house and our experiences there. We have many photos of the house posted on our Facebook page too. And if you are in the area, be sure to stop by to visit and take a tour of the house! We have several other investigations on the horizon this summer to some new places we have never investigated before. We hope to have those complete by our next update!

Ghost Hunt Weekend – Our new friends at Adena Paranormal are planning a paranormal conference and ghost hunt weekend in October. We won’t be able to participate because this event falls on a ghost tour weekend for us, but for anyone who is interested in the paranormal field this event is an exciting opportunity to learn more and go on a ghost hunt. Contact info and prices can be found on the poster I have posted as well as on Adena’s website.
 
That is all I have for our updates, check back with us in the fall to find out what else is going on with us! Happy Hunting.

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 2013 Updates

Hey all you loyal readers, its time once again for an HPIR update! I am a little behind this month in getting the update done, but as always we stay pretty busy most of the time. So here is a little of what’s been going on the past several months with the team and what’s going on this summer:

Team Toni 5K – We are prepping for the second annual Team Toni Memorial 5K Run/Walk to be held on June 15th 2013. This year several of our members will once again be participating in this event. Part of the team who will not be walking will be volunteering and setting up a water station for all of the runners and walkers. I addition to the water table HPIR has decided to become a sponsor of the event this year as Haunted & Historic Guyandotte Tours. We proudly stand behind and support Team Toni and all that they do!

Buffington House Ghost Hunts – As mentioned in a previous post, we have gained permission from the owner of the Buffington House in Guyandotte to allow paranormal groups the opportunity to investigate this historic house. So far we have welcomed Mason County Paranormal Investigators, Meet Me Out There Paranormal, and Appalachian Regional Ghost Hunters to the house for private ghost hunts. We also have several more paranormal teams booked throughout the summer. So far, everyone who has completed their evidence review has gotten some sort of evidence or experienced some activity while investigating the house. We have enjoyed meeting the other teams and look forward to allowing more groups to come in and investigate the home. Learn more about the Buffington House Ghost Hunts here.

Investigations – We have been fairly busy with the ghost hunts at the Buffington House this year and have done only a few formal private investigations ourselves. This year we of course have been spending much more time at the Buffington House and in turn have captured some new EVPs. In addition to that we made a return trip to the Roseberry House and investigated a new location which may eventually find its way on our ghost tours in Guyandotte. We will post any updates to those investigations on our website in later weeks.  

Equipment – I don’t put much emphasis on the equipment we use because I personally think its a little show off-y to list all of the equipment your team has. While ghost hunting tools are important, I don’t see much need to post a laundry list of our equipment on our website. But we do get excited when we get to add new pieces to our toolbox! We have just acquired some new investigative equipment, including a Tribo-Electric Field Meter and the new Ovilus among some other items.

HPIR Awards – Our group likes to get together outside of the seriousness of investigations and have a little fun. Last year we decided to incorporate a little awards ceremony into one of our get-togethers and ended up having so much fun and so many laughs that we did it again this year. Our second (and most likely annual) HPIR Awards ceremony and picnic took place in April. I once again put up the tent in my backyard, pulled out the gold stars and we celebrated with cupcakes and a pot luck type indoor picnic (it was a bit chilly that night). Award certificates, trophies and funny speeches were given. Everyone received an award and fun was had by all who attended!

Photos – Our newest team photos were done in April and can now be seen on our website, go check them out!

Summer Investigations – We have an investigation booked for July at a historic and perhaps haunted location in Summers County, WV. We are also working out some dates for two other local investigations. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for any additional updates and information on those investigations.

ToursTheresa has been working her tail off for us this spring gathering haunted and historic information for a brand new tour in a brand new location coming soon! This tour we hope will become an annual event much like our tours in Guyandotte currently are. We also have our sights set on another new tour and location in 2014! We plan to announce details about this upcoming tour in the next few months so keep your eyes on the website and Facebook pages for more information.  

 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ghost Hunts of the Buffington House in Guyandotte


Attention Paranormal Groups! A brand new investigation location is now available in Huntington, West Virginia. This year, with permission from the owner of the Historic Buffington House in Guyandotte, we will be allowing paranormal teams to come in and investigate.
 The Buffington House is one of the oldest standing homes in the Huntington area, dating back to 1816 making it the second oldest house standing in Guyandotte. The homes extensive history has connections to several prominent families in Guyandotte, it has ties to the Civil War and a heart wrenching story of one little boy who met with an untimely death. The activity in the home has been very consistent, from the collection of EVPs and audible sounds to even a few who have claimed to see the spirits of the home with their own eyes.

If you want to experience the ghosts of the Buffington House first hand, here are some guidelines and information you and your tram need to know before you book a hunt:

  • Teams of no more than 8 members will have 6 full hours to investigate the house.     

  • You will be provided with a 30 minute tour of the house upon your arrival to learn about the history and paranormal activity of the property.

  • The fee to investigate the house is a minimum donation of $65 per group to investigate.
  • Participants must be age 18 or over in order to investigate.

  • At the request of the homeowner, several members of our team will be on site during the investigation; however we will remain out of the house and investigation areas and will not participate in any investigation unless otherwise requested.

  • Groups will be required to sign a waiver of liability to participate. If your group has insurance, you must provide a certificate of insurance. Insurance is not required.

  • Smoking inside the house is not permitted.

  • No Ouija boards or séances shall be permitted on the property.

  • General care and respect of the home and property will be expected during your time on the property.

  • No provoking. The activity in the home has never been malevolent.


If your team is interested in booking a night at the Buffington House this spring or summer, please continue on to our website and fill out the form on the bottom of the page. We will contact you within 5 days with additional information about the house and setup an investigation date.


Contact us at:  HuntingtonParanormal@yahoo.com

Monday, March 4, 2013

March Updates

It’s about that time again, for HPIR’s bi-monthly updates! Over the past few months even though we have not been investigating, we have been quite busy. Here are our recent updates:

Website Update:

I have been feeling that our website was in serious need up an upgrade for a while now, but I know that the work involved would not make that an easy feat. I put it off and I put it off some more until I literally could no longer put it off any longer. Basically I was using an outdated program to design the site, and our website host decided to no longer support our outdated program for file/page uploads so it was time to start searching for a new design program. I found a program that I was pleased with and was easy to use to take on our website upgrade.

Not only do I handle the website for our site but also our ghost tours site and in addition to that I also manager several other sites as well. Since HPIR’s site is the largest of the ones I manage and I knew it would take the longest, I began a complete rebuild of our website in February. After working on the new site for several weeks, I uploaded the finished site last week for everyone to enjoy! If you are using a search engine to look for us or have an old page book-marked you may encounter some broken links to old pages.

*Note in Nov 2016 we closed our website, you may now follow us here on our blog or visit us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonParanormal/


Buffington House Ghost Hunts:

Since we have been doing our Haunted & Historic GuyandotteTours, we have had a fair amount of interest from people who would like to investigate some of the properties in Guyandotte. Most of the homes on our tours are occupied and privately owned and majority of the home owners are not interested in having people come in to investigate their homes, especially from multiple sources. We have had the opportunity to use the Buffington House on multiple occasions for investigations, tours and even dinners. After some discussion among our members and the homes owner, we have gained permission from the owner to allow supervised ghost hunt at the house!

Starting in April, we are going to host a number of planned investigations at the house for established paranormal groups. If our initial ghost hunts go over well, we will entertain the idea of perhaps doing more later on this summer and fall. We already have inquiries from several groups and the dates have been booked for our preliminary hunts.  We want to give others the opportunity to investigate this amazingly historic and haunted property and at the same time, give something back to the Buffington House. The majority of the investigation fee will be given back to the Guyandotte Improvement & Historical Association, the organization which is housed there. If you have an established paranormal group and you want to learn more about the guidelines to Ghost Hunt at the Buffington House, visit our website page for more info. https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonParanormal/

History Day:

We returned to the State Capitol this year to attend History Day to promote our haunted and historic tours. We setup an information table inside the capital near the Senate chambers this year and had an outstanding amount of visitors stop and talk to us or take some information on our tours. We enjoy this event because it gives us a chance to promote the history side of what we do and meet to others who love history and want to see the history of our state preserved as we do. We always enjoy our trip to Charleston for History Day and we plan to return again next year.


Other Updates:

Be to check out our new 2013 group photos in a few weeks.

We will have our Ghost Tour schedule coming out later this month.
Melissa
HPIR Founder

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The "Orb" Experiment

This is sort of a follow up to my November 2011 blog and an experiment that I have been considering doing for some time now. By now it would seem to me that most seasoned investigators understand that about 99% of those orb photos out there are nothing more than products of a camera flash and the environment (see my previous blog, Orb-session). As I’ve mention before in previous blog posts, I have done my homework on photography, I enjoy taking photos and I personally don’t believe that orbs are anything paranormal. I chose to take a few of my team members out last night and conduct an overdue photography experiment. I am aware many orb/photo experiments are out there on the web, but in this case we decided to conduct our own on a local research basis and in hopes that others may try these experiments or similar experiments on their own.


We headed to a nearby cemetery with a camera and a video camera in hand, a flashlight and water spray bottle and a notebook and pen to record time and temperature. We began at 6:05pm, the sun was setting and it was 41 degrees and clear. It was still light enough to take noticeable flash vs. non-flash photos. I started off by taking a number of photos in one direction without any flash; my camera was set on the automatic setting – which is what most people use. After the first succession of non-flash photos, I began taking photos with flash. I also alternated flash vs. non-flash photos taking multiple photos in the same areas for a time. During the sessions of photos, we took a number of photos while spraying a water bottle in the camera’s view, but not getting any water on the lens. The water experiment was used to show the difference of the water particles in the air with the flash on and again with no flash.

 
After the first series of photos, we moved to another location in the cemetery and at this time it was starting to get darker. We took out the video camera and also grabbed the flashlight at the new spot. This time I started out with an alternating flash/no flash session while holding my camera directly over the video camera as it recorded. The video camera was used to capture real time video in the exact direction and the same field of view as my digital still camera. So if in fact something paranormal were to show up on my camera, in theory it should show up on the video camera too.

With the flash photos there were noticeable orbs, but when the flash was not used, there were no orbs. We did this over and over and each time the result was the same, no orbs in non-flash photos. Orbs only showed up in photos where a flash was used, but they didn’t show up in all of the flash photos.

Next we took the flashlight and held it directly underneath the video camera to illuminate the area directly in front of the camera. When particles in the air passed the camera, the light illuminated those particles. We saw the particles float by that were illuminated by the flashlight but there were only a few and rather infrequent. But when we had one investigator rub the sleeve of his jacket the amount of particles in the air increased dramatically.  I took several photos with flash as he was rubbing his jacket sleeve, and again without flash. The results were the same; flash produced many orbs and without flash did not produce any orbs.


 
We also did the same thing alternating flash and no flash while videoing our breath from behind the lens of the camera. We simulated holding up the camera to use the viewfinder and breathing out by moving close behind and to the side to the camera and video camera. By this time the outdoor temperate was 39 degrees. The results were similar to the orb photos, we did not pick up the “mist” from our breath in the non-flash photos, but in the flash photos our breath was very clear. The breath did however show up on the video camera most of the time.

Overall I took 212 photos in the cemetery; no photo where a flash was not used produced any orbs, only photos with flash produced orbs. Not all flash photos produced orbs. However, if there were no particles within the “orb zone” at the time the flash went off, there would be no orbs produced.

I’m not going to get into the basics of photography and depth of field because I have covered that in a previous post, all I want to do here is show you my results and I completely ENCOURAGE you to try this experiment for yourself. You can try indoors, outdoors, summer, winter, rain or snow. Learn how your camera works, read the camera manual and try turning your flash off on occasion when ghost hunting. Let us all move past the orbs and focus on something that is really important…figuring out the answers to the truly unexplained phenomena!

 
Here are my photo results, you can click on the photos to enlarge:

Photos on left side the flash was used, photos on the right side no flash used. Orbs aka air particles can be seen in the flash photos.

The top left photo is water spray with flash, top right water spray without flash. Bottom left water spray further away from lens with flash, bottom right is water spray further from lens without flash. The flash of the camera enhances the water particles.

Left side photos are breath with flash, the right side photos are breath without flash. The flash enchances the breath while without a flash, the breath can not be seen.

 
The photos on the left the flash was used as our investigator rubbed his jacket sleeve. The photos on the right were taken with no flash as our investigator rubbed his jacket sleeve.
 
Also just for reference I was using a Kodak Z980 digital camera with 12 mega pixels. Typically the less mega pixels your camera has, the better potential for more dust orbs.
 
 
Here are video clips from our experiment.
 

Update - I was informed that another member in the paranormal community (in which we have no relationship with) feels that this article specifically targets them by having claimed that our group is accusing them of faking their photos. I just wanted to make a statement in regards to that claim: This article is a long overdue offshoot of an article I wrote in November 2011. This article and experiment is in no way is specifically targeted to any individual or group, nor is it accusing anyone of falsifying anything. This article was written with the intent to inform those who may not understand how orbs are produced with photographic examples and a video showing clips of our experiment. The information I post on our website, Facebook page and blog is posted for anyone and everyone as means of informational, educational and/or opinion content. I believe that the information we have posted publically in this article has been extremely misinterpreted by this individual due to differing opinions and beliefs. I have made some minor updates to the article to hopefully prevent any further misinterpretation.

Shadow People: Who or what are they?

Shadow People: Who or what are they?

That question has been asked by paranormal researchers for many a year now, and despite some evidence to suggest what they could be, we are really no closer to answering this question than when it was first asked. As with other entities, present scientific equipment and practices make it extremely difficult to answer this question to the satisfaction of most researchers, and let's face it, because of this most scientists refuse to even acknowledge that they could exist because they can't get a tangible sample of them under a microscope.

Please don't misunderstand me, science has advanced the knowledge of man greatly over the years, but it only accepts what can be seen, touched, and examined in a physical sense. If it exists beyond this realm of "physicality" it is basically dismissed as imagination or written off as non-existent altogether. On the upside of this, science is beginning to discover that not all things that exist can necessarily be handled and examined under a microscope. One example of this is wind, science accepts the concept of wind, it cannot be gathered and examined under a microscope, yet is accepted based on observations that can be measured with other scientific devices, devices developed over the years to measure something that has no real substance, yet does exist.

I see no difference between the existence of wind, and the possible existence of ghosts, shadow people and other assorted entities other than the fact that the necessary scientific devices needed to positively identify them just hasn't been developed yet.

I'm rambling, so let's get back on the subject here...

Shadow people (also known as shadow men, shadow folk or shadow beings) are a purported supernatural phenomenon in which observers report seeing a dark form at the edge of their field of vision, that disintegrates, or moves between walls when noticed, usually within a split second.

Reports of Shadow People are similar to purported ghost sightings, but differ in that Shadow People are not reported as having human features, wearing modern/period clothing, or attempting to communicate. Witnesses also do not report the same feelings of being in the presence of something that 'was once human'.

Some individuals have described being menaced, chased, or (more rarely) attacked by shadow people, there have also been reports of Shadow People appearing in front of witnesses, or lingering for several seconds before disappearing. There have also been some alleged photos taken of these Shadow Folk.

Most accounts of Shadow People describe them as black humanoid silhouettes with no discernible mouths, noses, eyes, or any expression whatsoever. Though purported witnesses have also described child-sized humanoids, or shapeless masses. Some reports also include glowing red eyes. Generally, they are described as lacking mass, though their specific nature varies from a two-dimensional shadow to a vaporous or distorted 3 dimensional form.
Their movement is often described as being very quick and disjointed, or they may first move slowly as if they were passing through a heavy liquid, and then rapidly "hop" to another part of a witness' surroundings. Some witnesses describe this movement as though the shadow entities they have seen "danced" from one wall to the next. Typically, encounters are accompanied by a feeling of dread, although this may be simply distress of viewing such an event.

Some have odors associated with them while most don't. These accounts have been reported all over the world. However reports of beings fitting the description of Shadow people have been recorded for centuries in literature all over the world.
Accounts of shadow people are, in many respects, different from accounts of ghosts. Ghosts are said to be the disembodied spirits of people and are usually said by to take on the appearance of people, orbs, ectoplasm or mist when seen.
While ghosts are often said to resemble actual people, accounts of shadow beings generally do not.
Direct visual contact is rarely reported by most eye witnesses of shadow people. They are said to usually disappear before they can be seen clearly, and are seen "in the corner of one's eye." These beings are also said to often appear in mirrors.
There are many proposed explanations of this phenomena.
One of the more creative theories is that shadow beings are manifest thought forms, meaning that they are collections of negative psychic energy from areas where traumatic events have taken place and evil people frequent. The negative psychic energy begins to manifest and takes on form and motive, thriving on fear and negative emotions for sustenance.
Shadow beings have also been described as forms of ghosts, demons, inter-dimensional beings. The most popular explanation seems to be that they are some sort of other-dimensional beings whose dimension of origin occasionally overlaps with ours, which is said to explain their ethereal appearance and fleeting nature.

As with most supernatural phenomena there is usually a proposed logical, scientifically valid explanation for credible experiences that neither vilify eyewitnesses, nor require violation of generally accepted scientific principles. Here are a few of those proposed explanations:

There is a condition known as hypnogogia (waking sleep) which amounts to a state of semi-consciousness in which a person can be thinking clearly and yet perceiving images that are being dreamed. This state is probably responsible for most so-called supernatural experiences by honest, rational people.

It has also been proven recently that areas with erratic or powerful electromagnetic fields can interfere with the electrical impulses or firing synapses of the human mind, thus influencing people subjected to such environments over time to believe that they are hearing or seeing ghosts, aliens, or perhaps shadow beings. Such environments include old buildings with substandard wiring, power plants, and areas with naturally occurring strong magnetic fields.
Under the right conditions, electromagnetic fields can interfere with the functions of the temporal lobe of the brain; creating altered states of perception in which auditory and visual hallucinations can occur.

Using electromagnetic fields, researches have been able to recreate many of the experiences reported during paranormal encounters under laboratory conditions (including those of Shadow People). Researchers have also documented correlations between variances in naturally occurring magnetic fields and areas where paranormal events have been reported.

Perhaps the only aspect of alleged eye witness accounts of shadow people that remains difficult to explain in objective scientific terms is the similarity of the beings being seen in these alleged accounts, especially the "tall man with a hat" that is reported as often by 4 year old children as it is with adults.

In most instances, witnesses report seeing Shadow People in the peripheral areas of their vision. This area of vision is linked to the areas of the brain that recognize patterns, however it provides less detail to the brain than Macula (Center-forward) vision. This can lead to a condition know as Pareidolia, in which the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns of light/shadow or texture as being familiar patterns such as faces and human forms. The same condition can also be observed in Macula vision in low light conditions, or when viewing a complex but random image. A common example would be perceiving a shadow, thrown by an item of furniture in a darkened room, as being a person.

These are just some of the "accepted" explanations for shadow people, but by no means all of them.

I encourage you to do some research and come to your own conclusions on what you think they are.


Written by former member, Steve W




 


Paranormal Photography

Paranormal Photography

One of the simplest tools of the paranormal investigator is a camera. A camera is used to record various types of anomalies. It is thought that a camera can pick up things that we can not see with the naked eye. When photographing any site that is thought to be haunted, we must be careful to avoid taking any photographs that will yield False Positives in photos. Some of these things include reflective surfaces, rain, fog, etc. Here is a list of general rules of taking photos, these are very important and should be practiced at every investigation.

Always make sure the camera lens is clean and free of fingerprints, spots, and dust.

Always keep the camera strap away from the lens, if photographed it can appear as a false positive in a picture.

Take lots of pictures, and take several pictures in one area before moving to the next area

Try to avoid using the viewfinder on your camera. Hold the camera out in front of you when you take photos. This will help make you aware of the things you are photographing such as bugs or dust that may lead to false positive photos

Try to avoid taking pictures of shiny surfaces such as mirrors, windows, and shiny grave markers, also take note of any light in the distance.

Always walk around the area you are investigating for at least 15 minutes before snapping any photos to get a feel for your surroundings.

Pay attention to how you feel, if you get goose-bumps, hair stands up on your arms, feel a cold spot or anything unusual, snap some pictures.

If you get the feeling to snap a photo of something, follow your instinct to do so.

Always tie back long hair and keep loose clothing from getting in the way of your pictures, again it is easy to pick up false positives in photos this way

Electrical Sensitivity & Infrasound

Electrical sensitivity (ES) -

Sometimes also called electro sensitivity or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) - is a condition in which a person experiences physical or psychological symptoms reportedly aggravated by electromagnetic fields or other electromagnetic waves at exposure levels tolerated by the general public.

To date, controlled studies have not found the symptoms to be correlated with the presence of electrical fields or waves

 Infrasound -

Is sound with a frequency too low to be heard by the human ear. The study of such sound waves is sometimes referred to as infrasonic, covering sounds beneath the lowest limits of human hearing (20 hertz) down to 0.001 hertz. This frequency range is utilized by seismographs for monitoring earthquakes. Infrasound is characterized by an ability to cover long distances and get around obstacles with little dissipation.

Infrasound has been known to cause feelings of awe or fear in humans.

Since it is not consciously perceived, it can make people feel vaguely that supernatural events are taking place

Electrical sensitivity & Infrasound from Wikipedia.
 It is important to understand the ways our environment can affect us. Electrical sensitivity in essence is just a theory but it is certainly possible that high levels of electromagnetic field can have adverse effects on our minds and bodies.

Many believe that higher level electromagnetic fields can cause many unusual symptoms such as headaches, nausea, panic attacks, ringing in the ears, feeling vibrations, and dizziness to name a few. Other more severe symptoms include hallucinations, paralysis, psychosis and stroke.

Such is similar with Infrasound; it is believed to cause feelings of uneasiness in humans causing a variety of symptoms.

We know these things are there even though we can not hear, feel or see them. It is entirely plausible that infrasound and electromagnetic fields can have different effects on different people.

Certain animals are more in tune to infrasound than others. In fact many animals can hear and feel infrasound where as we humans can not. This could be a factor as to why we tend to think animals have a “sixth sense” about such things as earthquakes.


We can not say for certain that “paranormal” activity is caused by infrasound and/or electrical sensitivity, but they are some ideas to think about and to be aware of during investigations.

Paranormal Photography:EXIF Data

Paranormal Photography: EXIF Data

 Digital cameras save JPEG (.jpg) files with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data. Camera settings and scene information are recorded by the camera into the image file. Examples of stored information are shutter speed, date and time, focal length, exposure compensation, metering pattern and if a flash was used.

Many camera owners study EXIF to compare successful photos to those that are not. Data provides insight about how camera settings affect photo characteristics such as exposure, depth-of-field and subject movement.

EXIF is read by applications that support JPEGs. They include web browsers, image editing and organizing programs and some printer drivers. The printer drivers use the information to automatically enhance images, which can result in a better looking prints.


Preserving EXIF information

If an edited image is saved correctly to preserve EXIF data, the information can be viewed online at photo hosting sites. Some photo hosting sites, such as Flickr, use the word "properties" instead of EXIF.

Article from: http://www.digicamhelp.com/learn/glossary/exif.php

It is important to know how to check the EXIF data of any questionable digital images after photographing paranormal investigations. What may seem like a photograph with a ghostly image may turn out to be something much less exciting.

Take for example the photo below, this was a photograph taken by one of HPIR's investigators. It appears that a "ghostly" shadow figure is standing in front of this old plantation house. After reviewing the photo's EXIF data we discovered that this photo was the result of a long exposure.

While trying to adjust to the low light conditions our investigators camera shutter stayed open for 8 seconds, allowing time for a second investigator to wander into and back out of the area being photographed. The investigator was unaware of his camera's hiccup, and didn't notice the other investigator wandering around the area in front of him as he was trying to get his camera to take the picture.

At a later time we attempted to recreate this photo in the same conditions as the night it was taken, our results were not exact but very similar to the photo below.

In order to be a credible investigator it is important to always know how to use your equipment, and always check and double check all photos and video that have questionable content.

EXIF data is just one way to ensure you are providing quality evidence to the public in your quest to research, photograph, and find some proof of paranormal phenomena.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Outdoor Investigation Tips


Outdoor locations, such as parks, cemeteries, etc., can be great places for newer investigators to practice their skills and for the testing of new equipment. Unfortunately, due to the lack of having a controlled setting, outdoor locations have additional problems to overcome. Here's a brief run-down of some of the issues that commonly arise with outdoor investigations...and some tips on how to overcome them and get the most out of your investigation!


*Obtain permission to be there:
Acquiring proper permission for an outdoor location is often overlooked, but is one of the most important steps. While a place may be void of "No Trespassing" signs, it is still owned by SOMEONE, usually in the case of an historical area or cemetery, the city or county. All efforts must be taken to establish proper ownership and obtaining permission to be there, especially at night when most public locations are technically "closed" (WV Code generally states that public cemeteries close at dark, for example). Should no official owner be found, its always a good idea to inform any neighbors in the area and/or local law enforcement of your presence, to distinguish yourself from vandals. This has an added benefit in that once in awhile, you'll get some valuable information regarding the history and the folklore of the area from these sources. Lastly, if you ARE stopped and asked to leave, do so immediately without fuss. Also bring a photo ID, just in case.

*Do a thorough daylight walk-through in order to get a feel for the layout, and observe any potential hazards. Make a map of the area, pointing out any dangers and sites of interest. If you will be investigating the area in the dark, glow sticks are awesome for marking off potentially dangerous areas. Take note of anything else that may cause false positives later in the investigation, such as proximity to neighbors, train tracks, running water, etc.

*Understand the types of wildlife in your area of investigation and the noises and sights associated with them. Certain big cats, and even rabbits emit a scream that sounds like a human woman screaming...and many animals' eyes will glow either green or red. Foxfire, swamp gas, etc. are also things to take into consideration.

* If possible, avoid investigating if there is any precipitation, or if it is overly humid. Both conditions can cause false positives in photographs. Also, be mindful that cold temperatures also produce potential false positives. If you DO investigate in cold weather, hold your breath for a few seconds before taking pictures, and shoot away from anyone else present. Similar to breath, cigarette smoke will also cause false positives, so do not smoke at the investigation site. Instead, designate a break area away from the investigation area.

*Experiment with how sound carries in the location. Split up into groups and vary your distances apart...talking normally, loudly, coughing, giggling, etc...to see what it sounds like so that you don't pick up someone several hundred yards away and think its an EVP. Windy and hilly areas can have some weird accoustics and carry sound in odd ways. Most investigators add "voice tags" as well as written notes during recording sessions whenever a naturally ocurring background noise is observed. There will be LOTS of background noises outside, so its important to identify those to the best of your ability if you choose to implement audio in your investigation.

*Take notice of any street lights and street signs (street signs will give off a glow in photos), or anything else that may give off a reflection or glow. Take notice of the postion and phase of the moon as well...as the night progresses and clouds roll by, it could cause odd light anomalies. Take plenty of test shots so that you have a basis for comparison. Also, try to park in a fashion where you're unlikely to get reflections from the back lights of the vehicles...and carpool as much as possible, as parking in some places is limited.

*Experiment with how traffic sounds and headlights from cars effect the investigation. Any odd shadows or lights need to looked at extremely carefully.

*Dress sensibly and seasonably. Outdoor locations are often muddy, woody, and full of bugs. Wear comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting dirty and that you can hike in...and dress appropriately for the weather. Light layers are practical and can be adjusted for changing temperatures. I personally recommend keeping an extra set of shoes in the car, just in case! Bug spray is also a must-have for outdoor locations. If you'll be in a wooded or brushy area, consider wearing long pants and a long sleeve top for added protection against scrapes and bug bites.

*Travel light--you may need to leave the area in a hurry. Bring the basics, and consider a headlamp over a traditional flashlight...one less thing to carry. Lots of stores, including Walmart, have fishing vests that have many pockets for organization, and can make carrying multiple items much easier.

*And on the subject of flashlights...red lights are great for preserving night vision and cutting down on your light pollution. However, they often don't provide ample light for traipsing around outside at night. Consider having a brighter light handy for moving around. Many headlights have both red light, and normal led functions.

*Keep safety a TOP priority. If at any reason the investigation becomes dangerous, leave immediately. (Examples: Another person is observed in the location, lightning is noticed, etc) And...as with any investigation, refrain from horseplay and take a first aid kit along. A first-aid kit containing a basic snake-bite kit is also a good option.

*Be respectful. Leave the property in the same or in better shape as when you found it. Make sure all trash is picked up, and nothing is disturbed.

*If you DO observe any type of vandalism or property damage, document it, and notify the owners at their and your earliest convenience so that you don't get blamed for it.

*And lastly, just be careful and practice common sense. Don't let anyone wander off alone...and make sure you have walkie talkies, or cell phones, so that the groups can keep in contact with each other. Make sure someone outside the group knows where you'll be, and when you're expected back. NEVER go alone on an investigation, especially a night-time investigation.

As far as equipment tips....

Make sure you have accurate weather detecting equipment, and get up to date, accurate readings on line for wind speed and direction, moon phase...all that good stuff, and document it. I use a free program called Ghost Weather that gives all that, plus tracks geomagnetic and solar flare info.

Unless you want to run a power cord to your equipment from your car through a converter or some other means (which is usually impractical), make sure you've got plenty of charged up and ready to go batteries for all of your equipment. Bring more batteries than you think you'll need--at least 2 sets minimum for every piece of equipment you bring.

Also, since you'll probably want to do this when its dark...easier to see an entity if its emitting its own light...make sure whatever video equipment you have is equipped to work well in the dark. For the first go around, I would imagine handheld devices would be more practical than setting up stationary cameras. IR boosters for most camcorders are relatively inexpensive and there are plenty of affordable options in regards to both video and still photography night shot capability. Experiment with your equipment's capabilities, and find out what works best.

If you have nightvision goggles, definitely implement them! And if you have a hand held GPSr, it may be handy to have around for several reasons. You can waymark areas where specific activity is witnessed, so you know exactly where to go back to if no other markers exist, and if you venture out away from your vehicle, you can easily find your way back.

And don't rush this...plan an excursion where your conditions allow for optimal results and if feasible, go back several times under different circumstances...like different seasons, weather, etc...to see if there is any differences.


Theresa - HPIR Researcher Manager



The Paranormal Investigators Toolbox

The Paranormal Investigators Toolbox


Paranormal investigators use many types of tools to gather evidence during an investigation.


Although it is not required to have loads of expensive equipment, these basic tools can be proven useful during an investigation. Here is a list of some of the basic items used in investigations, and their purpose. This would be a good list to get anyone started with ghost hunting.


* Camera - A camera is the most basic of all equipment that every investigator should have. A simple disposable camera will work as well as any other camera. There are some drawbacks to digital cameras, such as they tend pick up reflective "orbs" such as dust particles and moisture droplets more frequently than a standard 35mm.

* Flashlight - A flashlight is basic common sense for safety's sake. Every investigator should keep one handy just in case, and have spare batteries as well. Adding a red lens attachment is also a good idea to help preserve night vision.

* Notebook and Pen - It is essential to keep records of your investigation. Always write down the date, weather conditions, moon phase, solar activity, temperature, start time, stop time, EMF readings, feelings, and anything that might be relevant. Not only is this a professional approach, but may help later when reviewing camera or EVP evidence.

* Electro-Magnetic Field Detector - Also known as an EMF detector, this device reads the natural electromagnetic fields during an investigation. It is used to hunting experience to a new level. Not only are video cameras good for backup evidence alongside a still camera, they can show much more than what a still camera can. Many of the video cameras on the market are equipped with night vision which uses infrared light to see in the dark.

* Thermometers - The two types of thermometers used in paranormal investigations are digital and infrared. . A digital thermometer usually will not be an instant read, but it still can detect a change in temperature. Digital thermometers are typically less expensive and more easily found in stores and are locate and track energy sources. An investigator will use this device to take initial readings around energy sources such as electrical outlets before starting an investigation. Abnormally high EMF can have a negative effect on some people. These devices were not built to detect ghosts, they should be used for their intended purposes.

* Video Camera - A video camera or camcorder is another potentially useful item. While a still shot camera is wonderful, a video can take your ghost good to measure ambient temperature and humidity in the area you are investigating.

* Digital Voice Recorder - In paranormal investigations, a voice recorder is used for picking up disembodied voices, also called electronic voice phenomenon or EVP's. The best voice recorders to use are digital recorders because this eliminates the mechanical noise that a typical tape voice recorder would produce. Some recorders are voice activated, which can be a great feature if you leave the recorder in a room while you investigate elsewhere. Either type of recorder is just as capable of picking up EVP's, but digital tends to have the best clarity. You will also want either a USB cord to transfer the audio to a computer for analysis.

* Batteries - Essential to have for any investigator, batteries power the majority of equipment. It is a good idea to keep spare batteries on your equipment case or bag. And if you can afford to spend a little extra on rechargeable batteries they are very useful and and will save you money.

Basic Guidelines for Ghost Hunting

Ghost Hunting and Investigation is pretty much common sense, here is a list of the basic guidelines to always follow when conducting an investigation.
 

Never go alone, always go with at least one other person. This is important for safety purposes.


Always observe "No Trespassing" signs and always get permission to investigate if you are on private property.


Always bring along your ID, so you can prove who you are, just in case you are questioned by the police.


Find out all the history you can about the location you will be investigating. One of the investigators main tools is research, don't be afraid to use it.


Always walk around the area to get familiar with the location for your safety.


Always conduct your investigations in a professional manner, it is best to be organized and knowledgeable.


Always follow your instincts, if you get an extremely uneasy or uncomfortable feeling, quietly leave the area immediately.


Always keep a log of events that occur during an investigation. This will help validate any findings.


Be skeptical, always look for a natural cause for unexplained phenomena, by eliminating common explanations the evidence you collect becomes stronger.

Ghost Hunting: Getting Started

For anyone who wishes to join or even start their own paranormal organization we have provided this educational section to give you the basic knowledge and know how to start working in the field of paranormal investigation.

Some of the information provided within our educational section is from outside sources, but it is a reflection of what our group believes in.

So you want to be a ghost hunter?  

The number one most important value of being a successful paranormal investigator is to have a strong passion for what you do. Usually a lifelong interest in the paranormal draws those who desire to find answers to this field.

It is important to gain as much knowledge about paranormal investigation as possible. It can be difficult to sift through all the information out there because there are so many sources, some of which can be misleading. Always use common sense and good judgment about the evidence you collect during your investigations. It is easy to say that something you don’t understand may seem paranormal but in fact if you do some research you may learn otherwise.

Of course we all want to find proof of the existence of the paranormal world, but we should do it with a healthy dose of skepticism. It is necessary that we first look for natural explanations that may stem from the particular environment that we are investigating before making conclusions. We want to get the facts straight first before we can determine our opinion of whether a place has unexplained activity going on.  If even the activity presented is something you can not explain, it still may not be paranormal, it is very important to do your homework.

Never solely rely on what you can see, hear or feel, to determine a case because there is an entire world out there full of wonders that we can not sense with our "human antenna". We may be tuned in only to just a few stations of energy with the possibility of many more beyond our known perception.

Professionalism is a must if you want to be taken as a serious paranormal investigator or group. It is ok to enjoy what you do and even have a little fun with it in the right circumstances. But you should take your job as a paranormal investigator as serious as you would any job or career.

Never stop learning, learn as much as you can about things such as geology, science, regional history, genealogy, photography, video, chemicals, optics, and sound just to name a few. There and many other things can be environmental factors that may simply explain the presence of unusual occurrences.

Being an investigator is both fun and hard work, but with determination and passion you can become one more of a growing group of individuals helping to find the little pieces of a great and mysterious puzzle.

Happy Hauntings!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January Updates 2013

Out with the old and in with the new, a brand new year that is! 2012 was one of our best years of the almost six and a half we have had so far. I’d like to take a little time to give you some insight into our 2013 year.

2012 will go down as a year of strength for HPIR largely because our team has formed the strongest bond that we have ever had. Our current members have really laid a solid foundation for our future as a group and we will continue to build onto that foundation well into 2013 and beyond.

Our plan for the New Year is to continue searching for answers of the paranormal world as well as to uncover even more history of our area.  We don’t know exactly which roads we will take this year, but as always we hope to learn something from each investigation we conduct and in the process help others learn as well.

Investigation plans for 2013 have not been cemented yet, but there are several new investigations we hope to book this year and we may possibly return to former investigation sites as well. We also have several investigation possibilities for the next month or two so if those work out, we will no doubt be updating our information to include anything new.

Other plans this year include the expansion of our ghost tours. We have been considering an expansion for some time now and while the process is a little slow, we hope to have some new stuff ready to go by this summer. We of course will continue our Guyandotte tours, but there will be some notable changes in our schedule this season and our full 2013 Guyandotte schedule should be announced around March.

Personally 2013 means another new year of haunted travels! I always look forward to exploring new places and I’m sure to come across some amazingly wonderful haunted places during my travels. I’m already working on ideas for locations, and I can’t wait to get started. My earliest trip should be around February or March so keep and eye on the blog this spring for more haunted travels.

2013 is looking promising and we hope to have lots of new stuff to share with you all this year. Happy Hauntings!

 
Melissa
HPIR Founder