Local "ghostbusters' investigate hauntings and happenings

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By The Staff

By Jimmie Earls

Sun Staff Writer

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” - William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” - Ray Parker Jr.

If you’ve ever been in a house late at night and thought you heard a strange sound, it could have been the house settling after a hard rain, or maybe it was due to a sagging foundation. But what if that is not the case, and something else is at work? That’s where a local group of investigators get involved and try to find the source.

“We go in as skeptics,” said Francisco Vazquez, co-founder of Springfield Paranormal Investigators. “Most of the time there’s a perfectly logical explanation for something.”

It’s the group’s task to eliminate the obvious sources and figure out what could be causing the supposed “hauntings.” It could be a high reading of electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, which can give people a feeling of uneasiness or make them imagine things. High EMF readings can be caused by thin shielding around electrical wiring and fuse boxes.

But sometimes things cannot be explained, and that’s where the group tries to draw the line between the natural and the supernatural.

“All paranormal means is that it’s not normal,” added Vazquez. “That doesn’t mean there’s anything Satanic going on.”

Mike Lawson co-founded the group with Vazquez about four years ago after each had done some investigating on their own. Over the years, the group had grown to include Tim Mattingly, also from Springfield, who serves as the case manager. He’s the contact person for the group and sets up a lot of the investigations. Lebanon resident Steve Tungate is the group’s equipment manager, at times inventing the equipment they use on cases.

“I’m working on laser traps right now,” said Tungate. “If something breaks the beam of light, it will take a picture.”

During a recent visit to the Cocanougher House in Washington County, Vazquez had an experience that made even a skeptic like him start to think about the possibilities.

The group also got strong electromagnetic signals inside the house, although the electricity has been shut off for over 50 years.

During an investigation of Spalding Hall in Bardstown, the group supposedly picked up EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) evidence of what sounded like a child singing and another voice that said, “don’t go.”

“It’s not all fun and games at times. A lot of people take this seriously,” said Tungate. “Sometimes we act as counselors for people, they just want to know that someone believes them.”

“Nobody has the answers,” said Vazquez. “If I had questions before, I have even more now.”

For more information about the group, visit their website at www.springfieldparanormal.com.