IN THE DARK WILDERNESS OF GHOST HUNTING, SOME CASES CANNOT BE EXPLAINED. WE FOUND A GROUP THAT WANTS TO FIND THE REAL STORIES OF THE PARANORMAL
A few days ago the HORROR REPORT discovered a Ghost Society from North Caorlina that uses a more scientific approach to find ghosts, dispel rumors of them, and weed through the fakery in turn to find the real ghost stories that are truly unexplained. Jason Porter is the head of the Carolina Paranormal Society, and he said 90% of ghost stories can be explained away.
That leaves 10% ..
The HORROR REPORT was able to speak to Mr. Porter in more detail about his organization.
The Carolina Paranormal Society is four years young now, beginning in 2008. Before moving from Maine to North Carolina, Porter has his own ghost hunting team. In North Carolina, he wanted to join a new one. But he didn't find what he wanted to.. Not impressed by the groups that existed, he started his own, formed a website, and put a call out for a team.
It worked. He has 17 people now and wants to eventually have 32, which would be two full teams.
Porter's team travels a 100 mile radius around Charlotte. They have traveled further than that to speak at conventions. I asked him would it would take to go beyond the 100 mile range. Porter said, "In order for us to HAVE to go there, it would have to be a really cool location with a lot of history, decent claims of activity, not had many (preferably none) previous investigations, and we are NOT paying anyone to investigate."
According to his society's history, about 25% of cases that get reported are even worthy of investigation. Often if they tell people to 'document their evidence' for 1 month, most don't even call back. Legitimate cases then get sent to a case manager who weeds through.. people accepting a ghost hunting team on their property must agree to terms.. it can take some time. But as Porter said, "If they are really wanting us to investigate, they will gladly endure the whole process. The process that we have come up with is not perfect. It's the paranormal, nothing is normal."
As said, Porter's approach to finding ghosts is to debunk those that can easily be explained--which is a high amount according to his experience.
So here was my thought: What do people who are convinced a ghost in their home or business think when a ghost hunter comes in and tells them 'no it's not a ghost'? Porter said, "We have had several people get upset when we told them that we debunked all their claims. I had a guy in Maine that got VERY upset when I told him that we debunked everything and that the evidence that he sent us was faked (which it was and we proved it)." Porter went on to explain just how upset the man got. "He got irate, telling me that we didn't know what we were doing and he told us we were never allowed on his property again. After looking around the internet, I found a website that he had put up with his evidence that he faked, trying to get people to come to his "haunted hunting lodge."
So people can get upset.
Porter did say though that most people are thankful if their haunting can be expained..
Speaking of evidence, the Paranormal Society website hosts a number of different video evidence and audio clips of EVPs. Porter said, "I think the best evidence anyone can get is an EVP. You are actually hearing someones voice that isn't there. Most of the time, the best EVP's come when you are having general conversation. Most people don't like to be interviewed, same goes with ghosts. They are people too. It's easier to just jump in on a conversation rather than to be interviewed."
I recall fondly (sometimes frighteningly) listening to ghost hunters playing EVPs on Art Bell's program from the 1990s through early 2000s. Many of those EVPs contained children's haunting voices. Interesting, Porter has not had the same experience as other ghost hunters seemed to have. "We really don't get many EVP's of children. I assume that if a team is getting EVP's of children then they were investigating a location that children would be, such as a children's ward of a hospital, an orphanage, or a school."
Have voices on EVPs ever said their names? How do you ask? Jason Porter has an easy answer: "You can simply ask, and hope they respond on the audio." But what if they lie? "Can you be sure that you are talking with Elvis or JFK? NO! Humans lie, ghosts are humans, ghosts can lie too. Hell, I could have a ghost in my living room claiming to be Napoleon, can I trust that it's him? No, he could be lying."
It makes sense. If ghosts exist, why would they be any less or more honest than they were as humans?
There has been a blizzard of ghost hunting TV shows that grace homes now. From those where the hunters turn off the lights and taunt spirits, to others where they are visibly upset running through abandoned mental facilities screaming. You can see it all. But do these ghost hunting shows help or harm? Porter said, "What I see that bothers me is the fact that we are called in many times to investigate locations for the simple fact that someone wants to see an investigation first hand, for the novelty of it. What most people don't understand, when they call us in for the novelty of it, they are wasting our resources. It cost us time, money, gas, possible equipment damage, all to fulfill someones curiosity. When we could be helping someone in true need that is on the waiting list. ."
In follow up, we asked if he'd consider a TV show: "ABSOLUTELY. I can't stand when these shows that are fake. The viewers need to understand that an investigation isn't 1 hour and they rarely yield true evidence. I don't even watch paranormal shows anymore." Porter was emphatic with the HORROR REPORT that he even if his group was featured on TV, he would set the ground rules: No doctored footage and no spicing up the camera shots just for entertainment purposes.
There are fundementally large issues at the heart of what the Jason Porter's Carolina Paranormal Society are doing. Is there life after death? Where do souls go? If there is an afterlife, why do spirits seem to stick behind and haunt? Maybe they are just lost? On those issues, Porter has as much trouble as everyone else. He said, "Are there ghosts? I believe there are ghosts. What are they? No one truly knows. Are they what humanity has deemed them to be, the souls of the dead? Are they people from a different dimension, and our dimensions are bleeding into one another? Are they people from a different time, and our time period is intersecting with theirs. All these theories exist, but no one truly knows the answer. What are ghosts, and is there life after death? These, in my opinion is the questions that true investigators are trying to answer."
Indeed they are. Questions that we all want to know the answers to. Which is why the HORROR REPORT will support any group that weeds through fraud and fakery to find the real cases that help get closer to answers about the mysteries of life.
-BRYAN SMOLOCK, THE HORROR REPORT, 9/3/2012