Paranormal investigations group takes hauntings seriously
The same daft haunted house attractions pop up everywhere this time of year, wrought with the same old bags of tricks: mish-mashed concoctions of typical characters that are culled from popular horror movie villains that attempt to make you think that you’re in utter danger and had better hang on to the guy in front of you as you’re herded into the next room full of Halloween cliches. The gang from the Huntington Paranormal Investigations and Research (HPIR) group can show you where the real phantoms are found.
During the summer of 2006, Melissa and Dustin Stanley founded the research team and set out to document evidence of paranormal events that take place, or prove that there are completely logical explanations for seemingly unexplained occurrences.
The Huntington Paranormal Investigations and Research team – a research group that investigates homes and establishments locally and regionally – are a reputable group of researchers. They operate under the notion that many events can be otherwise explained naturally, and they go about their investigations with the utmost integrity.
When it comes to conducting their investigations, the group is extremely thorough and gathers pieces of truly legitimate evidence – either way – that are gleaned throughout their explorations. HPIR’s approach is not quite that of the one taken by their sensationalized television ‘ghost hunter’ counterparts.
This story begins on a foggy Saturday night, when I met with a few integral members of the team. The chosen location was the historical Buffington house on Main Street in Guyandotte. The mansion itself is quite a large structure. Upon entering, its rich history was evident throughout the mansion.
The group’s cache of equipment is quite impressive: Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors that come in several forms, infrared (IR) still camera, close to a dozen IR night vision monitoring cameras, IR flashlights, a static detector, sensitive temperature gauge, the Ovilus (electronic speech-synthesis device), digital voice recorders, what seems like miles of cables capable of running through an entire structure, a high-quality central observation monitor, and just about anything else one might see on the popular paranormal television programs. They are quite amply equipped.
In attendance were co-founders Melissa Stanley, Dustin Stanley, Theresa Racer and Carrie Kinder. Once Dustin had all of the equipment set up and in place, we took a brief tour of the selected locations that they considered to be key spots all over the house, as Carrie kept watch over the monitor.
One room upstairs in particular, much to my surprise, had a completely different atmosphere to it that was quite unsettling. After Dustin pointed the rooms in the area out, he, Melissa, and I went to the basement just to see its setup. While we were down in the basement, Dustin playfully rapped on the ceiling that went through to the floor where Carrie was positioned. Her reaction was one of surprise; not only because she had been startled by the bumps from downstairs, but because just prior, she had indeed heard a series of footsteps emanating from the stairwell directly beside her.
Once everyone had reconvened on the ground level, the investigation began in the dining area off of the living room where the apparition of Dr. Buffington – one of three suspected presences that still inhabit the home – had previously been seen by Carrie on a recent visit. After some time, Melissa, Theresa, and I headed up to a large bedroom where the second presence – a four year old child named Willie who died around 1897 – is said to reside most of the time.
There were a few wooden blocks arranged in the floor in case Willie would choose to come out and communicate. Their approach to communicating with the presences in the house is a bit different than seen in the television shows: they typically engage in light conversation, asking specific questions intermittently to address the target presence. This method has proven to be rather successful during other investigations, but more on that in a bit.
Deciding to move on, we then went directly into the area where I had personally experienced the change in atmosphere earlier on. After spending a matter of minutes, it was off to another bedroom, of which, interestingly, this house seemed to be full. Again, a few questions were asked directly to whatever entity might be present, and then more light conversation ensued.
After a little under an hour, everyone headed back downstairs and engaged in more conversation about past investigations and experiences. When Dustin and Carrie began the tedious process of wrapping the investigation up, I joined Carrie in the room where Dr. McGinnis had once been seen.
She cued a few files on their laptop, handed me some earphones, and proceeded to play a host of EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) that had actually been captured in that very location not long before. The recordings were quite astounding. It seemed that the entities responded to their conversations, rather than direct questions (all of these recordings are available on HPIR’s website).
Two of the recordings were clearly the voice of a single child speaking in the background while the investigators were conversing with each other. The first example has a small male child in the background making an inaudible sound, though he was clearly trying to make his presence known. The second was a bit more chilling, even emotional as the child behind the ongoing discussion in the foreground clearly says, “Where’s mommy?…I’m scared.”
In addition to the clips with Willie, there was another EVP caught in that location seeming to respond to a team member talking about instructions to something, when a gruff male’s voice chimes in, “there are no instructions!” All three of these examples were in fact caught in this very location on recent visits. There was more in terms of vocal evidence that had been obtained at another location.
The night was quite an interesting one, to say the least. The team was totally hospitable and extremely knowledgeable about their field. It is evident that they are among the most reliable of investigation teams in the area, as they go in as true skeptics making attempts to find logical and rational explanations first. Some are even complete skeptics, which is a fresh notion with all of the televised programs out today that sensationalize and exaggerate for the sake of ratings and fame. The night was educational, enlightening, and quite interesting.
The gang at Huntington Paranormal Investigations and Research offer public and private tours. Anyone interested, whether believer or skeptic, should, without a doubt, check into what HPIR is doing and inquire about hopping aboard a trip out. Maybe you’ll get something and maybe you won’t. The goal is to educate and put these things into proper perspective. Besides, they’re really great people and were nothing but gracious. Hats off to HPIR.
On the web
www.huntingtonparanormal.com – Info about the team and what they do. There is a contact page and a page with links to the true evidence caught on previous excursions.
www.guyandotteghosts.com – Information about the tours that are coming up in the coming weeks.