Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 1, 2013

Paranormal activity

Greenup group motivated by curiosity about the unknown

GREENUP — Every culture that has ever existed has had some belief in things that go beyond the normal occurrences in day-to-day life.

Stories about ghosts have been part of the written record since writing was invented.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 1800 B.C., is considered some of the earliest writing, and it includes a story of the hero, Gilgamesh, speaking to the ghost of his dead friend.

While this isn’t necessarily proof of the existence of the paranormal, it does raise a question: why, after thousands of years, are people still looking?

For Steve Gartin and members of the Greenup Paranormal Society, curiosity — more specifically, the need to explain what often defies explanation — is the prime motivator.

“We don’t go into a place that is supposed to be haunted and try to prove that there is a ghost,” said Gartin, one of the founders and lead investigators for the society. “We do everything that we can to reproduce an occurrence. Most of the time we can, but sometimes there isn’t any obvious or ‘normal’ reason for the things that happen.”

The 12-member group offers its services for free to anyone in the area who has experienced occurrences of paranormal activity. “Basically, what people consider to be a ghost is the energy that is left behind,” Gartin said. “And there different types of what people consider ghosts.”

Gartin went on to explain  there are two basic types of hauntings, which he qualifies with the terms “residual” and “intelligent.”

As the terms imply, a residual haunting is one where a portion of spiritual energy is left behind and will “replay” like a recording under the proper circumstances. An intelligent haunting, Gartin said, is one where the energy left behind by a spirit also includes some of that spirit’s intelligence. How that type of haunting interacts is based on what type of person the spirit was during their lives.

“If you were a good person while you were alive, then your spirit will most likely be good,” he said. “If the spirit was a bad person during their lives, then they will probably be even worse as a spirit.”

“I have always been asked what got me into this,” said Karen Thompson, a lead investigator and “mom” of the group. “And the answer is that I have always been interested. We see or experience things when we are younger, and just deny them or put them out of our minds because we don’t want to think about it.”

Thompson said numerous experiences and actual EVP’s (electronic voice phenomena) have led her to express her feelings on the subject with a simple statement: “The truth is that we aren’t alone here. Trying to get proof of exactly what else surrounds us is what is difficult.”

The group members are grounded in the Christian faith, and both Gartin and the third lead investigator, Jayson Scaff, are ministers. They don’t believe that their faith precludes belief in the paranormal, but rather gives them a unique perspective on how to deal with the possibilities that the numerous theories bring to bear on the issue of the paranormal. They say they believe that their faith in God helps them to be more logical in their research and less likely to be impulsive or irrational.

Scaff believes that the spirits that people commonly see as ghosts are those who have left their lives with unfinished business, typically those who met with a violent end. He even acknowledges the possibility that some spirits aren’t actually aware that they have died.

“One of the questions that we ask when we are trying to get the spirits to communicate is whether they know that they have died.”

The three lead investigators all say that they have experienced things that cannot be explained by conventional means. They have captured EVP’s with strange sounds and voices, photographed things that could be interpreted as paranormal and seen things that seem paranormal in nature. But they acknowledge that these things do not constitute what the scientific community would consider to be empirical evidence, or definitive proof of the paranormal.

“There are so many things that we don’t understand,” Gartin said. “Our senses and our technology aren’t capable of registering everything that might be out there. We may never truly know what is in the paranormal realm until we pass and become part of it. But that isn’t going to keep us from looking, or from trying to understand.”


Text Only
Local News
  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0114.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • guyp-rodnew.jpg 'Uplifting people'

    The snow kept gospel singer Guy Penrod chilling a little longer than it should have this spring.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418star0024.jpg Raising the roof

    Leaks will soon be a thing of the past at Star Elementary School, where workers are busy putting up a new roof.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at Russell care facility

    A care facility for the elderly in Russell was temporarily evacuated following a fire in the kitchen Wednesday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

    A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone