By Lawrence Miller
Investigator for Houston Paranormal Research Team
Contributor to Normal Paranormal
It’s generally interesting the first time you tell someone you hunt ghosts. While there are tons of fascinating people in the paranormal community, sometimes we encounter people from outside it. Imagine, if you will, someone who thinks a digital voice recorder is just for recording lecture notes? These people (and I hesitate to call them "normals," although I want to a lot), the uninitiated, can react in a lot of surprising ways.
Most often, they ask a question for clarification. I’d say (and this is a total guess) that about 80% ask a question involving one of the many ghost hunt TV shows.
It seems weird that real-life ghost hunting involves fewer jump scares and less walkie talkie action than it does sitting in the dark for hours at a time while nothing happens. And then watching multiple recordings of yourself sitting quietly in the dark for hours while nothing happens.
Ours in an odd hobby. We can admit that.
We’re all adults here, right? On New Year's Eve, we weren't.
My friend Mike was over for nachos and celebration and he brought his son, Caleb. Caleb is a pre-teen, still polite to grown-ups and what I’d call a "Nacho Enthusiast," which I attribute to maturity and good sense.
Confession time: I wasn’t always this self-assured a Paranormal Investigator. When I first started doing solo hunts I actually felt a little silly running around in the dark with my EMF detector and talking to myself in the digital voice recorder.
Firmly believing that ordering stuff on the internet can solve any problems related to feelings, I upgraded my look.
These days, I wear combat boots and a black tactical assault vest over my black Houston Paranormal Research Team t-shirt and jeans.
The vest has pockets for all my gear and I’ve taken to draping it over the back of a chair at the dining table right inside the front door. It’s ready access in case of a paranormal emergency but also I’m a bit too lazy to find it a permanent spot somewhere reasonable.
Since I’ve been wearing the vest no one has questioned the legitimacy of my methods. I can’t attribute that to any major change in procedure — it’s 100% about fashion. (I’m going to cover that unexplained phenomenon in a later article.)
Anyway, Caleb found the vest. When an adult finds a tactical assault vest brimming with weird electronics, calls to the authorities are likely made. When a kid finds it, he thinks it’s the coolest thing ever! While he did not previously know that I crawl around in the dark hunting ghosts in my free time, he’d seen his share of Ghost TV.
My subdivision sits just south of the Old Greenhouse Road Bridge near Houston. It’s haunted and pretty well documented (as well as that documentation works) so feel free to Google it.
I’ve also seen the lady that haunts it, and that’s even better than Google for me.
We set out on foot for the bridge, Caleb and his dad and I. Caleb carried the EVP meter and examined every possible thing all the way there. We split up and worked both sides of the bridge, the fog rolling down Bear Creek adding an awesome ghostly vibe to the whole thing.
We spent about forty-five minutes in total, with a lot of it my detailing the night I came around the corner in my car and my headlights clearly illuminated a woman in a long white dress who was gone by the time she should have been in my rearview mirror.
Full disclosure, the ghost did not make an appearance on New Year’s Eve. More complete disclosure, it didn’t matter at all. Caleb had a blast. And I sent my meter home with him, where I hear he has fully investigated all the appliances in the kitchen.
Telling adults you hunt ghosts carries a stress with it that doesn’t exist when you share that with a kid.
For an evening, I was a rock star! I’m not recommending dragging a kid to a full-on, middle-of-the-night investigation in dangerous ancient buildings, but walking a few blocks with one while his eyes light up like a K-II meter is not an experience to be missed.
Happy New Year, investigators. Resolve to make time to remember how cool it is that we do this.
And maybe look into getting a vest.
Articles for investigators, researchers, paranormal enthusiasts and curious minds.