It all started with a rusty, old, broken music box.
A gift to his brother from their grandmother, that music box hadn’t worked in years — until late one night. Their grandmother had passed away and Chad Foster, then in his early teens, woke to the sound of music. The delicate notes drifted through the quiet dark of night coming from that very broken music box across the room. Chad stared in wonder before switching on the lights and bringing an abrupt halt to the haunting song.
Still wide eyed, Chad examined the music box closely, picking it up and turning it about in his hands, winding it up, trying to open it — it was still broken.
To this day, Chad recalls that moment fondly and without fear.
“There was a sense of happiness,” he said. “Even today, I can sometimes smell her perfume.”
That night launched an obsession with the paranormal that would blossom into a hobby with a surprising following.
He’d seen all the ghost hunting shows on television, but they couldn’t begin to satisfy his curiosity. In January 2009, Chad decided to start his own paranormal investigative team. His first assignment was Valentown in Victor. That’s where he met Tom Jacobs, a Walworth dad who was hunting with his son for proof of ghosts among the rumors.
As a child, Tom’s mom was a Spiritualist and would often take him with her to church. Fascinated with the idea of spirit beings, it wasn’t until his son turned 2 his curiosity peaked. Tom found his toddler waving to empty space before saying, “Bye-bye grandpa.”
Tom’s father had died two months prior.
The duo’s chance meeting was what helped launch Chad’s organization, Haunted ROC Paranormal Society. Since then the group has grown to nine team members, three of which are lead investigators. Together they have tackled 34 investigations, residential and commercial.
Among their favorites, the Old Wayne County Jail in the Wayne County Museum of History in Lyons. There, they recorded the sound of disembodied footsteps and, last June, captured an unexplained gun shot on video and audio.
“We’ll investigate anywhere,” Chad said.
A typical investigation begins with a walk-thru so Chad and Tom can strategically set up their equipment where reported activity is highest. This also allows them the opportunity to debunk certain activity with scientific explanations. Then the team begins setting up.
They have a plethora of equipment, including two handheld night cameras, three electromagnetic field detectors, a motion detector and two ghost boxes. Chad and Tom admit, it’s an expensive hobby, but the equipment is necessary.
“If you don’t catch it for the whole world to see, it’s just a personal experience,” Tom said.
Around 9 p.m., the hunt is on and the client is welcome to participate. But this hunt doesn’t require stealth while stalking dark hallways. They move freely and talk freely, asking questions of the darkness and allowing a few seconds for an answer. Around 2 or 3 a.m., they pack up and spend the next week examining countless video and listening to hours of audio. Any evidence captured is presented to the client — and it’s all free of charge.
Chad and Tom don’t claim to rid a place of ghostly entities, but they do offer to help their clients to understand what is happening and make suggestions to help them cope.
“A lot of people are afraid of what they don’t know,” Chad said. “We can help ease their fear so they can learn to live with it.”
Haunted ROC Paranormal encourages anyone who might be looking for answers about the strange things happening at their home or business to give them call. The team has traveled as far as Buffalo in their search for evidence of the paranormal.
For more information about the team or to talk about launching an investigation, call Chad at 335-8308 or Tom (585) 703-6353. Visit them online at www.hauntedrocparanormal.com.
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