By JIM MISUNAS
ST. JOHN — Investigator Steve Stults and his crew have heard whistles, discovered objects that have moved and have seen motion detectors activated in their presence.
Stults considers himself a skeptic who has witnessed unexplained forces that exist which have created discernible and measurable sounds and actions during his investigations.
Old School Paranormal from Hays researches paranormal mysteries reported by homeowners and property owners. Stults and other investigators enter a property with an open mind, but often leave with compelling paranormal evidence.
“We’ve come across a lot of things that we can simply cannot explain,” Stults said. “It there energy, or something out there? — I think so. I was a skeptic when I started this. I figure there has to be a reasonable explanation for all these things.”
Christie Snyder, St. John USD 350 librarian, invited the group after an adult summer reading program, “Escape the Ordinary,” at the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library.
Old School Paranormal members explained their equipment and the process of preparing the site for the investigation through research. The group invests several hours of research to interpret whether any paranormal information is available from audio and video recording equipment.
Each Old School Paranormal member cited an incident that caused them to believe that the electronic voice phenomena they heard or what they saw or felt was authentic.
• Scott Stults’ scariest memory was discovering a knife that was stuck in his tire while visiting the Hays Cemetery.
• John Kreutzer remembers finding a deflated beach ball moved from where he placed it on the top of a staircase to another location.
• Kevin Sauer recalls seconds after a morgue door was opened, his pant leg was tugged on a visit to Wamego’s Columbian Theater.
• Neal Dreher was visiting a property in Villisca, Iowa when a door opened for no apparent reason.
The group has consistently reported perceptible sounds and visions on their recording equipment.
The most striking location was a Ford County property where a male voice says, “Look out.” A girl’s voice was heard saying “What?” and “Shut it off.” An unexplained orb was photographed.
Stults said buildings which have housed theater productions appear to have a life of their own. Often, there is a historical fact associated with the property that gives the paranormal activity an explanation.
“There is a lot of history associated with theaters,” he said.
The group attempts to “debunk,” what they’d heard or seen by making sure they are not caused by alternate explanations — the wind or an exterior sound by checking all the doors and windows.
Stults said during their investigations, they seek genuine and tangible evidence and are careful about the presentation of this evidence — ensuring that it is legitimate, researched and analyzed before being presented to a property owner.
‘We document everything. Everything is based on research,” Sauer said. “There are several hours of investigation required to review recordings and images. We can watch for hours until we see something that has no explanation.”
The group may not be superstitious, but they are especially cautious to start and end with a prayer and engage in their research with a positive frame of mind rather than possibly attract not-so-friendly spirits with negative energy.
Sometimes, Old School Paranormal discovers no unexplained noises or visions.
Old School Paranormal’s website is http://www.oldschoolparanormal.com/
Locations visited include Ellis, Hays, Victoria, Ford County, Ness County and the Dodge City Theater, Concordia’s Brown Theatre, Wamego’s Columbian Theater, the Ellis Railroad Museum, the Grainfield Opera House and the Walter Chrysler home in Ellis.