Analyzing the unearthly

From left, Angie Gartin Lowe, Steve Gartin and Karen Thompson of the Greenup County Paranormal Society.

GREENUP Many believe in the paranormal, but few seek evidence. Understandably so, as proof remains elusive.

That hasn’t stopped Steve Gartin of the Greenup County Paranormal Society, who has been investigating the paranormal for years.

Gartin said part of the problem with producing proof of paranormal activity is understanding what is causing the activity is a challenge.

“There are different types of hauntings,” Gartin said. “And not everything that might be causing the activity is a human spirit.”

Some activity is passive (residual) and merely plays itself out regardless of whether there is anyone present to witness it.

Active paranormal activity, he explained, is activity with which an individual or a research team can participate.

“If you hear a knock, for instance,” Gartin said, “it is hard to say whether it is passive or active. You might hear a knocking sound at 11 p.m., then not hear it again until the next night at the same time. But if you can communicate with the entity, and have that noise repeated, you know the entity is aware and active.”

Another problem is, ironically, too much information before conducting the investigation. Previous knowledge, Gartin said, might skew interpretation of the evidence collected toward proving research rather than the group’s research revealing an unbiased body of evidence. “We try to discover what is there, rather than try to prove what someone told us was there,” Gartin said.

This is especially important, Gartin said, when trying to determine why something is causing activity. In some cases, paranormal activity seems to be generated by violent trauma and/or death at a location. But Case Manager Angie Gartin Lowe said she believes some spirits are attracted to a place where they felt most happy.

“There has to be some connection,” Lowe said. “Why would you return to a place after your death that wasn’t important to you in life?”

Lowe said it’s especially true in the case of child spirits, who often return to places of happiness such as schools or playgrounds in an attempt to recapture what happiness they had experienced in their life.

Lead Investigator Karen Thompson said  some spirits are attracted or attached to items.

“Sometimes a home or even a piece of jewelry meant so much to a person in their life that they remain attached to it after their life is over,” Thompson said. “We have picked up energy and activity from a lot of different things. Maybe it’s Grandma’s ring or a necklace. Maybe it is a house where they lived for decades; and those things are still important to them.”

In addition to all the possibilities for why  spirits might be attached to a place or things, some can be called into a place or item, Gartin said.

“We were contacted about a building that used to be a school years ago,” Gartin said. “There were a lot of rumors about things that had happened there, including a rumor about children being murdered there. When we researched this, we found out there was no evidence to support that rumor.” artin said there was very dark energy he immediately felt was not caused by a human spirit.

“They were making this building into a Haunted House,” Gartin said. The building to which he referred was the old graded school which has been converted into the West Russell Scare House. “And while they were decorating, someone drew a bunch of pentagrams and other symbols in one of the rooms. After this they started experiencing some serious activity.”

Gartin said he and his group performed a cleansing, but during this and the subsequent investigation, they gathered a lot of evidence, including more than 29 electronic voice phenomena. They also have experiences of physical contact — with Gartin, members of his group and people who ran the haunted house. The dark energy is now gone, Gartin said, but there is still paranormal activity on the property.

Gartin said the Greenup County Paranormal Society is happy to share the evidence they gathered there and at other locations. The team will be at the Things That Go Bump in the Night event at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park at 6 p.m. Thursday and at the Monster Bash event at the Kyova branch of the Boyd County Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday. They will present evidence and answering questions at both events.

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