BARSTOW • Six hours of combing the Harvey House from the basement to the attic did turn up some evidence of ghostly activity, but the founder of a local paranormal group says he wouldn’t go so far as to call the building haunted.
Members of the High Desert Paranormal Society were able to detect voices in the Harvey House basement, heard a woman’s scream on the upstairs floor and captured several pictures of orbs hovering in midair when they searched the 100-year-old building last week.
But Craig Case, the society’s founder, says that the evidence the group came up with isn’t enough to say the building’s haunted.
“It definitely warrants further investigation considering the amount of stuff we did get,” he said, adding that he would do another investigation, but didn’t know when that would be.
The paranormal society began its search at 8 p.m. Aug. 6 using video cameras, infrared cameras, motion sensors and electromagnetic field detectors. The group wrapped up its search at 2 o’clock the next morning.
As part of their investigation, members listened to the stories that have reached the ears of Jeri Justus, executive director of the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce, and her daughter Julie Justus Morales, who stayed at the building during the search.
Morales told society members the story of a man who was taken down to the boiler room, beaten and buried alive. Case said some of the creepiest activity last Friday came from that location.
“Team members heard a distinct voice saying, ‘Ow,’” he said, adding that no one in the group could have made that sound. “(It was) a low, deep voice and it’s really creepy.”
There were some locations in the Harvey House, where society members expected a lot of paranormal activity and didn’t detect anything. Justus and Morales say that when the eastbound Amtrak train pulls up at about 10:55 p.m. the platform feels like it’s full of people.
On Friday, Morales said the temperature dropped by five to seven degrees when the train arrived and didn’t return to normal until it left. But Case said that despite the entire paranormal group being on the platform when the Amtrak train pulled up, their equipment didn’t detect anything.
When asked if they think the building is haunted, Justus and Morales have both said no.
“I won’t say it’s haunted,” Morales said. “But I would say there are spirits there. They just don’t know where to go.”
It will take about two weeks for Case to review and compile the evidence, but a hard copy of their report will be turned over to the city. Justus said she’ll likely post the group’s report on the chamber’s Web site.
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