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How To Find/research A Local Paranormal Investigative Group

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#1 DC1346

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 07:24 PM

Hello All!

I am a high school teacher. I teach Culinary Arts and because I was formally trained and have industry experience, I always wear chef's whites (complete with toque and black trousers) while at work.

During this past summer I transferred within my district from the Las Vegas area to a small rural school. Aside from the fact that I like living in small rural communities, I especially liked the fact that my class sizes dropped from having 54 students per class to as few as 12. My kitchen is much larger than it was at my last school and my building administration has basically given me carte blanche to do whatever it is I need to do to transform a former home economics classroom into a viable Culinary Arts program.

For the last few months, I've been having some odd experiences. On four separate occasions - either early in the morning around 5 AM or at mid-evening around 8 PM, I've heard a young voice addressing me. The voice has always come from behind me and the voice always says the same thing; "Hello Chef!"

Each time I've turned around, there has been no one there. The kitchen or adjacent classroom has been empty. There has been no one in the hallway. During each occurrence, the exterior doors to the school have been firmly locked. In one instance, the exterior doors  leading to the school hallway from my kitchen and adjoining classroom were also locked.

I have no explanation for why I have been hearing voices.

A few weeks ago while passing through the administrative offices, the school psychologist waved at me and after stopping to say hello, she asked me how I was doing.

I thought about it and finally blurted out something that the psychologist probably hadn't expected to hear.

"Am I crazy? Do I need professional help?" I looked up and down the corridor, leaned forward and whispered, "I've been hearing voices."

The psychologist raised an eyebrow. I told her about the voice that has been saying, "Hello Chef."

She laughed and told me that I wasn't reporting anything that she hadn't heard before. She then told me that our school was haunted. The theater in particular, which is directly across the hallway from my kitchen and classroom is reputedly a center for paranormal activities.

In talking to her and other staff members, I've learned about some very odd occurrences at my school.
  • One custodian reports having seen a shadow walking down the hallway. The shadow was not on a wall the way you might expect a shadow to be ... but was rather a dark cloudy figure walking in the center of the hallway as though it was a person. The custodian said that he was with another staff member when this happened. The shadow came striding down the hallway, flitted BETWEEN the two people, and continued down the hallway.
  • The drama club teacher told me that the lighting system, stage lights, and sound system for the theater has come on by itself.
  • At least one custodian and one teacher have reported seeing figures moving across the stage in the theater ... but when they turned on the lights and checked out the stage, there was no one there.
  • Teachers have told me that their laptops, desk top computers, smart boards, and AV projectors have turned themselves on for no apparent reason.
I haven't met anyone who has been harmed nor have I met anyone who has had a ghost speak to them.

I HAVE learned that although no one has actually died at our school, our building is sited on what used to be a Native American burial ground. How much of a cliche is this? I feel like I'm in a remake of the movie Poltergeist and I most definitely DO NOT want to be in any such movie.

Although we have not had any deaths on campus, I have been told that we've had some memorials for students who have died. We have also had a memorial for an elementary school teacher who died at the hands of an abusive drunken husband. In point of fact, one of the custodians told me that he thinks one of the ghosts may be the spirit of this dead teacher. He said he once tried addressing this person in the school theater. When he said, "Hello Mrs. X, is that you?" there was a sudden burst of static from the sound system which was supposed to have been turned off. After the custodian metaphorically pulled himself from the ceiling, he mustered his courage to say, "God Bless you Mrs. X and I'm mightily sorry for what happened to you, but ma'am, you need to move on." There was another burst of static from the sound system and the custodian fled from the room.

I am 55 years old and have previously had about a half dozen different paranormal experiences in three different states and one foreign country. I know that in some instances, what some people have experienced have been like sounds or images caught on an old 16 mm. film. They play over and over again, always doing the same thing like walking down the hall but they're benign and non-interactive.

The fact that a voice has been saying, "Hello Chef" is source of concern for me because this suggests some degree of awareness. Instead of a generic, "Hello" which could apply to anyone, the voice has been saying, "Hello Chef" which is person specific since I'm the only instructor at my school who wears chef whites.

I wrote about this in my introductory post, "Hello from Nevada" and one respondent suggested that I might look for a local investigative team. I was advised to "do my homework" and to find a legitimate team and not a group of thrill seekers.It was also suggested that I might care to investigate this myself but I am NOT a thrill seeker and I would just as soon as not disturb anything that goes "bump in the night." I'm perfectly happy with peaceful coexistence.

With this being said, it would be nice to confirm that I'm not going senile, that I'm not hearing things, and that my colleagues really have had the experiences they've reported.

QUESTION: I know I can google paranormal teams for my local area ... but how do I research them to find out if they're legitimate and not thrill seekers?

QUESTION: Since I am not aware of any bad things having happened to faculty, staff, or students as the result of paranormal activity, should I just leave well enough alone?

I must admit that I'm now a bit nervous being at school really early or staying rather late. I don't want to have a conversation with whoever has been saying, "Hello Chef." Although I have enjoyed watching TV series like the Ghost Whisperer and Medium, I really don't want to interact with any spirits.

Interacting with ghosts is far, far, far beyond my realm of training or expertise. I have as previously stated, had other paranormal experiences at other locations and in every single instance, the experience has just happened. I didn't go looking for it and given a choice, I would rather not have had it in the first place.

Is there an otherwordly realm out there? Yes, I believe there is. Do I want to know more about it? No, not really.

I estimate that perhaps half of the faculty and staff at my school have had some sort of paranormal experience at work. The other half remain blissfully unaware of any unusual activities. I really wish I could be blissfully unaware as well.

With this being said, sticking my head in the sand and wishing that these experiences hadn't happened would be an exercise in futility.

I think my school is haunted but as to who and why and what they may want, I really don't know nor do I want to personally have to delve into this mystery because I'm afraid of what  I might find .... or what I may awaken.

I would be happy to hear any constructive thoughts or suggestions.

#2 CuriousGeorge

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 10:19 PM

If you've found some groups in your area, take a look at their website or facebook page if they have one. See how active they are. See if they investigate mostly 'pay to play' places. These are locations that charge a fee for groups to investigate. That's an indicator that the group is possibly just out to have fun. Groups that investigate private residences and businesses, are, in my opinion, more focused on finding answers, instead of collecting 'evidence'. (Although it is difficult to find private places to investigate, so many groups do the pay to play because it's better than nothing.)
I would suggest contacting them without giving solid details. Just say you've had some experiences in a location, and you are interested in possibly arranging an investigation. See how they respond.
Remember that you are 'hiring' them, so don't hesitate to ask questions. What is their investigative approach? What will they do on the investigation? Will they give you a full report, including video and audio results? Do they use a psychic? Can they provide references? A prior client you can contact? What do they consider credible evidence?
What experience do they have? How long have they been investigating? Why did they get into the field? What are they trying to accomplish by investigating?
A serious group will come across as professional, organized, and should have ready answers to all of these questions. Our group does a pre-investigation interview with as many people involved with the location as we can. We also do research on the location before we investigate. If we can, we do a walk through with the client, taking pictures, notes and some measurements such as EMF detectors. We make note of possible sound or light anomalies, like rattling heating vents or creaking stairs.
We then make a plan of how we will investigate, and how we will minimize known issues that could contaminate our results.
Then go with your gut. Come back here after talking to them. I'd be glad to discuss it more with you.
Sigh I wish you were in my area.

#3 DC1346

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 08:05 PM

View PostCuriousGeorge, on 24 December 2015 - 10:19 PM, said:

A serious group will come across as professional, organized, and should have ready answers to all of these questions ...Come back here after talking to them. I'd be glad to discuss it more with you.
Sigh I wish you were in my area.

This is GREAT ADVICE. Thank you!

I will google local groups and will make initial contact ... but my building principal would have to give final approval for any group to be here after hours. I would probably have to be with them if for no other reason than the fact that we'd have to turn the building's security system on prior to leaving. (sigh)

I will let you know what happens.

#4 Vlawde

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 06:51 AM

You can tell a lot about groups by their websites.
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#5 CDS

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 08:15 AM

Some, myself included do not post evidence of private residence investigations unless we have permissions. We ussually have some kind of NDA.

:investigate:

#6 Vlawde

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 08:48 AM

^^^^ Another good way to find out a group's ethics. Most of our clients were fine with us sharing evidence, but some didn't want themselves indentified
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#7 CDS

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 11:08 AM

View PostVlawdeGStudy, on 26 December 2015 - 08:48 AM, said:

^^^^ Another good way to find out a group's ethics. Most of our clients were fine with us sharing evidence, but some didn't want themselves indentified

I think that goes largely so depending on the case and or maybe location(s). ALL of the private residences I've been involved with did not want anything publicly released, especially the location or anything near the location that would indicate something "wrong". I guess our area leads us to serve clients with the up most privacy. Quite a few rich and private folk around here...

#8 DC1346

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 05:30 AM

My building administrator has approved my idea for finding a paranormal investigation team to check out the theater. The only requirement will be that this group must be discreet. They will not be allowed to mention my school's name or location due to concerns about public relations.

Prior to approving this idea, the principal unlocked the doors to the theater and asked me to walk inside BY MYSELF in almost full darkness. She asked me to check out two areas where paranormal activities have been experienced.

Until my eyes adjusted, I couldn't see anything. The darkness felt oppressive ... but I figure that this may just have been my imagination.

I introduced myself and asked if anyone was in the theater. Since I couldn't see anything, I pulled out my cellphone and turned it on. I tried engaging the video camera on the off chance that it might pick up a sound but I couldn't get the camera to record. I then sat in the specific section of the theater where activity has reportedly happened. I chatted quietly as if talking to a real person. The feeling of dark oppression fell away and I felt an odd sense of peace ... but nothing happened. I continued trying to activate my video to no avail and I finally left after 10 minutes.

The strange thing is that after leaving the theater, the charge on my phone was down to 27%. It had been at 98% when I entered the theater. I cannot understand what happened to my phone.

Once I was in the hall outside the theater, I was able to engage the video function.

Edited by DC1346, 29 December 2015 - 01:09 PM.


#9 MsISeeYou

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 09:19 PM

Hi DC!

Assuming you're in Nevada based on your post, I had recently looked at moving to Nevada but opted for Seattle instead.  One of the reasons is that Nevada is known fo have a lot of spirits.  I've read that "aliens" are there too, assuming they meant Area 51.

So I would say you are being spoken to by a spirit.  It's okay and it's not very hard to believe.  Nevada is a state that allegedly has an abundance of them.  I opted against moving there because it's in the desert and something just didn't sit right with me with the state.  Was gonna move to Henderson.


Elaine

#10 Vlawde

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:59 AM

Overall I don't care much for Nevada, with the exception of Lake Tahoe...one of the most beautiful places around. If I was rich enough to retire, I'd love to live there
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#11 DC1346

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:21 AM

Hey - why are some of you knocking Nevada?

My cost of living since I live in a rural area is quite low AND with our tax season rapidly approaching, guess what? I DON'T HAVE TO PAY A STATE INCOME TAX. Nevada, like Texas, does not have a state income tax.

So while the rest of you who live in the states have to file your Federal AND STATE INCOME TAX on or prior to April 15th, think about me living in Nevada with no state income tax. (Hah-hah)

When the temperature rises to 110 degrees or so come summer, I think I'll fan myself with all the money I didn't pay through taxes this year. (Smirk)

Living in Nevada is a huge boon for me compared to having lived in Pennsylvania where residents have to pay Federal, state, AND COUNTY income taxes. I don't miss having to pay a county income tax at all!  The county I lived in also had an occupational privilege tax that I had to pay simply for being a resident. It was basically a head tax that had to be paid for every person residing in a given household. I don't miss that tax at all.

#12 Vlawde

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:25 AM

Bah!!  *shakes fist**  ;)
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#13 DC1346

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:28 AM

I forgot to mention that for those of you who are foodies, Nevada (particularly the Vegas area) has some world renown restaurants owned or operated by celebrity chefs. Buddy (of Cake Boss fame) has a bakery in Vegas. Emeril Lagasse and Gordon Ramsey both have restaurants in Vegas.

Even though I'm in a rural area, I'm within 5 miles of a Harrah's Casino and for $17, can enjoy all I can eat crab legs, roast beef, and other delectable foods from a dinner buffet.

What's not to like?

#14 Vlawde

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:33 AM

Vegas itself is very nice. But driving there is like driving thru hell for hours!  The highlight of my last road trip to get there was a motel in Barstow with giant cockroaches climbing out of the bathtub drain
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#15 DC1346

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:28 PM

Better giant roaches than scorpions. Have you ever been stung by a scorpion? It feels as though the area you were stung is literally on fire by burning hot embers that have been placed on your skin. Not fun.

#16 Vlawde

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 09:24 AM

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that there are few options to get to Nevada from California. You either head in on the north portion on I-80 like you're headed to Reno, or have to drive for hours down south  towards LA.  Just seems there should be more entry points so you didn't have to drive as far
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