No matter how old we get, there will always be a special place in the imagination for most of us for all things paranormal. Even the most skeptical, if coaxed into letting their guard down, can tell a story or two of some strange event they’ve experienced in the wee hours of the night or while alone in the deep dark woods or in an old abandoned house or building- an event that could not be explained.
What is it that keeps us interested in ghosts and ghouls and witches and banshees, even years after we’ve outgrown the concepts of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and pots of gold at the end of rainbows?
In recent times, such television shows as “Ghost Hunters” and movies like “Paranormal Activity” have caused a resurgence in public paranormal interest and mom and pop ghost hunting clubs have been cropping up across the globe. Small groups of friends, many middle aged and older, have been rekindling near childlike fascinations for ghosties and ghoolies and have taken to the graveyards, backwoods, creepy houses and other areas of alleged hauntings and doing their own investigations, attempting to answer that age old question; are ghosts real?
I recently asked John Francis, age 51 and self-employed in the IT field, several questions about his group Alaska Ghost Hunting and of his personal take on the paranormal. John’s wife Cheri is also self-employed and involved in the Alaska Ghost Hunting Team.
“I have been interested since having some childhood experiences which I just wrote off as a wild imagination, until about 1983 when I had a man die while I was performing CPR on him in the U.S. Coast Guard,” John says. “I felt his soul pass through my body which resulted in me feeling the emotions he was having mixed with mine. It took me several days to realize what had happened and it changed my life forever. Ever since then I started researching death and the afterlife. I did some Ghost Hunting back in the mid to late 80’s but stopped because my now ex-wife did not support it and thought I was losing it.
“About 9 years ago my current wife Cheri began watching the television show Ghost Hunters which I thought was just another fake paranormal show on television. One night I actually watched it with her and told her that I used to do what they’re doing, but using much older equipment. We started doing a few small investigations using limited equipment shortly after that for several years.
“A couple years later our oldest Son & Daughter showed interest in what we were doing so we gathered some more equipment and started investigating with them. One thing led to another and now we are the oldest and largest Ghost Hunting Team in Alaska and I believe one of the best in North America.
“Besides the man that died in front of me, my best experience was at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. My wife had just fallen asleep when I heard a woman’s voice clearly say ‘Wake up, weak up’ right next to where she was sleeping. This was also recorded on the audio recorder I had running in the room.
Another great experience was at a Bed & Breakfast in Longview, Washington where we caught a woman crying while saying “I didn’t know what it was.”
One of the things our team does is use technology not just to catch voices but to use enough of them to verify or debunk the voices one recorded caught. So many times a voice caught on one device is something completely different making a noise which sounds like a voice in another room.
As for people that don’t believe in the Paranormal they just need to have an experience to change their mind. I read what critics & naysayers write about groups like us and understand their criticism somewhat with other groups, but if the group is run properly with good honest people, they will over time become reputable within the paranormal community.”
You can follow Alaska Ghost Hunting on their Facebook page.
*Kevin E Lake is an Iraq War veteran and an author. His books, including Amazon’s previous #1 rated ghost novel in customer satisfaction “From the Graves of Babes” can all be found on Amazon.