Monday, August 07, 2006

What's it like to be part of a ghosthunting team? Some days, you receive utterly intriguing posts like the one I got today, from a young woman who recently moved into the parsonage of a Northwest side Lutheran church in Chicago:

While living in the house provided by the church my family has been experiencing various paranormal activity or things we can not explain. Our events have varied from knives spinning on counters, mysterious figures walking in the halls, to bleeding scratches on my stomach in the middle of the night. We are also hearing voices call our names when there is no one home or making noises. My mother was pushed in to a wall with no one in the house. My sister has had her bed made and unmade in several cases when it was not done by anyone in the house. We have heard people walking in the kitchen (which) can be heard with no one there. We would like it if these events could some how be explained weather it be lights from cars, pipes clanking, or actual paranormal activity. Would you please rest our minds and help my whole family?

It's both exhilarating and unnerving to receive requests like these. On the one hand, they are invitations to observe firsthand the "spontaneous phenomena" that are so elusive to us as investigators, but so necessary for the further understanding of the paranormal. When something like this happens, we as a team experience two reactions: we are grateful, and we jump at the chance. On the other hand, it's hard to escape feeling the chaos of those families or individuals involved--and often traumatized--by their experiences with the events in question. Can we help to figure out what's going on? Will our efforts help to alleviate their personal fears? We never really know. All we can do is try.

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