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Pursuing the paranormal

Jeremy Jackson

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He’s a 21st century Ghostbuster, fully equipped and poised to nab the garden variety specter that crosses his path. But rather than duping his otherworldly prey with ectoplasmic guns and proton packs — the contrives of Hollywood film — his trade is rooted in reality, employing equipment that is specialized in tracking down and communicating with whatever, or whomever, is on the other side.

“It’s well known that our bodies work off electrical pulses,” said Mike Hon, paranormal investigator and senior Electronic Media and Broadcasting major at NKU.

“When you die, that electrical energy has to go somewhere.”

Often that energy, with no viable body of its own to occupy, attaches itself to an object, such as a house, an abandoned prison or even a living being, Hon says.

“We experience all types of cases, from mild to wild,” said Chris Maggard, co-founder of Tri- State Paranormal of Northern Kentucky (T.S.P.), the company which Hon works for.

“There can be small activity in a home or business, to something that can be stronger, like an ‘attachment’ entity or poltergeist activity.”

The attachment entity is what the experts in the field refer to as any object that is possessed by an entity. According to Hon, attachment phenomenons occur in part to the tremendous amount of sentimental emotion the entity might have towards an object while still in a living state.

“That is why you stand the chance of taking home an entity when buying something at an antique shop,” Hon said. “You might buy a table and weird things begin happening around the house.”

Although unseen, the entities that Hon and T.S.P. pursue can be the culprit of any number of creeks and rattles one might encounter at their home. Often, the object that repetitively gets moved for no apparent reason, the television that sporadically initiates itself to turn on and any number of unexplained phenomenon, could be linked to an entity attempting to communicate with the living. That is where Hon and the other paranormal investigators come in.

The team gets is asked to visit a home or business suspected of having paranormal activity. Hon begins to perform his duties as Technical Manager, setting up the highly sensitive audio equipment (electronic voice phenomena recorders) and infrared digital video recorders — all required gear to pick up a frequency that is beyond the naked senses’ comprehension.

“We use all the equipment in tandem,” Hon said. “If we happen to catch an apparition on the infrared camera, we attempt to get it on the audio equipment. We are highly skeptical and don’t consider the presence of an entity proven until we begin to track it on more than one piece of gear.”

Although the investigators use highly advanced technology, they often employ simple techniques to prove a presence, such as dowsing rods. The copper rods are held in the investigator’s apposing hands, and are akin to the Y-shaped dowsing rods that have been utilized throughout history to locate ground water.

“We hold one rod in each hand and begin to ask the entity questions,” Hon said. “We might ask them if they were killed in this house or if they are searching for something, like their children.”

The entities are instructed to cross the rods if they are responding “yes” to the question, and to pull them apart if they want to communicate “no.”

“We usually start by asking if the entity is even in the room with us. From time to time we get the eerie whisper of ‘Yesssss,’” Hon said.

“That’s when this job gets creepy. But that’s why I got involved in this kind of stuff in the first place.”

The 25-year-old Hon admits that he’s been interested in the paranormal all his life. From watching The X-Files to staying up late to catch the occasional haunting flick on TV, Hon has been searching for answers.

“From early on I wanted to know the truth,” Hon said. “It seems that religion is what many equate to truth. I’ve searched many religions, but ended up not committing to any of them.”

A self-proclaimed Atheist for most his life, Hon was certain that religion could not satiate his inquisitive nature. That is, of course, until he experienced a life-changing encounter within the confines of his own home.

“My girlfriend and I were living with a friend in Newport at the time. We just started living together and everything seemed normal,” Hon said.

But normal took a peculiar turn. While lying in bed one night, Hon began to experience strange noises coming from the floor, as if something was scratching its nails across the carpet. What seemed bizarre at the time, Hon soon dismissed, and life continued on as usual — until his roommate began showing up with unexplained scratches on his body.

“It all started with these scratches. Everyone began getting marked up, without any idea of what was causing it,” Hon said.

Other forms of aggression began to mount. Unexplained bouts of hair pulling would overcome Hon’s live-in girlfriend, Keleah Collins.

“It was freaky. I would be in the bedroom and all of a sudden my hair would get yanked,” Collins said.

What started out as innocuous scratches across the carpet, soon took a turn for the worse. On one particular evening, the couple went through their normal rituals before turning in for the night: brushing their teeth, smoking the day’s last cigarette, and eagerly planning their agenda for the next morning — before tip- ping off into complete slumber.

“I was jolted awake by Keleah. She was sorta’ just sitting over me, nudging at my body,” Hon said. “And her look, it was like nothing I had ever seen. It stared right through me.”

According to Hon, Keleah’s stare was accompanied by a devious grin that soon gave way to sexual advances.

“I’m not that kind of girl. Plus, our relationship was still new and we weren’t intimate that much,” Collins said. “He said the whole incident lasted about five minutes and occurred three more times that night. I don’t remember any of it.”

Hon was dead set on getting to the bottom of the strange occurrences. In a fit of confusion, he enlisted the help of his colleague, Maggard, who attempted to purify the home by burning sage and repeating a prayer that evoked the name of Jesus Christ and Saint Michael. Four days had passed and the incidence of scratching continued.

“The strange thing is that the occurrences started to happen more and more when Keleah and I would get intimate, as if the entity was jealous of her.”

His prior bewilderment was reaching a level of desperation. With little hope in sight of resolving the unwanted presence, Hon — who subscribed to no religion — turned to the local clergy, convincing a priest to pay a visit to the couple’s home.

“When he got here, you could tell right away that he was uncertain, maybe even afraid.” Hon said. The priest began to bless the house, flinging Holy water into the air as he hesitantly traversed from room to room. A clattering noise began to erupt from the vacant rooms upstairs, echoing into the ground level. The noise continued to build, reaching a crescendo as the priest made his final round.
And then he stopped.

“The noise just went away. I’m not sure how or why it worked, but when the priest left, the house just seemed lighter, as if we were living in a basement before, and all of a sudden, we weren’t.”

Days had passed and the couple was convinced that the house and their lives were no longer being haunt- ed. The unexplained bouts of hair pulling and scratching remained dormant, but other strange occurrences began to arise.

“The original entity stopped, but there seemed to be another entity in the house, like a kid or something,” Hon said.

Items began to show up out of place as if children had been curiously picking objects up and leaving them tipped over or transporting them to other parts of the home. The child-like entity would remain in the house until Hon and his girlfriend moved away.

“It was a really strange and life-changing experience.” Hon said. “That whole situation made me rethink everything.”

The man who for years, had regarded himself as a self proclaimed atheist began attending church, transforming into a Christian.

“I’m not what you would call a devout Christian, but I certainly believe more now.” Hon said. “When it comes to defending yourself against something you can’t see — like an entity — you realize just yourself is not enough. That is why I turned to the help of God.”

Story by Jeremy Jackson

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Pursuing the paranormal