LANCASTER — A group of 12 or so gathered at twilight recently at The Owsley House here. It was a singular mix of people comprised of the knowledgeable, the skeptical and the curious.
Knowledgeable about the historic site or paranormal investigating — or both.
Skeptical of what ghost hunters do.
Curious about the site, the investigators and their methods.
Rebecca Spanyer was heading up the group of ghost hunters from Paranormal Investigating Chicks of Central Kentucky. She is a co-founder of the group with Brandi Todd and two others who preferred to remain anonymous.
The evening started with “smudging” and a quick prayer. The smudging was to clear the area of anything negative surrounding the investigators. Spanyer said it could be done with sage or lavender.
Touring the house
Judy Adams led the tour of The Owsley House for those who didn’t know the history of the site. Spanyer and the investigators split up and headed off to different areas of the house. Spanyer returned to the touring group sporadically to point out places where paranormal activity had been recorded or observed.
With her was an EMF detector, or electromagnetic field detector. It is used by paranormal investigators to detect a ghost’s magnetic energy.
A paranormal investigator for the past five years, Spanyer always has been interested in the paranormal.
“After having a paranormal experience where I used to work, I began reading about ghost hunting and the paranormal,” she explained. “I was so curious about ghosts, spirits, types of haunting and the other side. I started audiotaping different places to see if I could capture any EVPs. And to my surprise, I did.”
An EVP is electronic voice phenomena. These are sounds or voices captured on electronic devices that aren’t heard during an actual investigation.
Spanyer said the EVP she caught was the voice of a child and a woman.
“The child voice said, ‘Hide, hide'; and the woman said, ‘Hello.’ I was hooked,” Spanyer explained. “I wanted to know more and more about the paranormal and if we could communicate with the other side.
“My mother passed away April 2, 2005, from Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and my father passed away July 2, 2006, from a brain aneurysm. (These events) propelled me into seriously wanting to know more and more.”
Spanyer said she attended a basic ghost hunting course followed by an advanced class and became a certified ghost hunter. “I attended the classes given by my friend Patti Starr in Lexington. She teaches at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.”
Formed a Central Kentucky group
Seven months ago, PIC of Central Kentucky was formed.
“All of the co-founding members have such an interest in the paranormal and wanted to start a formal professional group. We have approximately 12 members at this point,” Spanyer said.
PIC of Central Kentucky has been on five investigations — three public places and two privately-owned facilities.
“We have investigated the Owsley House twice and the Lancaster Cemetery,” Spanyer noted. “I personally have been in numerous locations, including four cemeteries and two churches. We are planning to investigate several locations in Perryville and some local cemeteries.
“The really big places we would love to investigate are Waverly Hills (Sanatorium in Louisville); Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, W.Va.; Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio; and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo.
Before an investigation, the group likes to find out all the history it can about the place. The most interesting evidence the group has found in its investigations is EVPs, Spanyer said.
“They are just amazing, and I have taken some interesting photos,” she added.