Spirited Private Eyes
Today I read about a new (new to me, anyway) paranormal investigations group in my region. They call their business Spirit PI (for Spirit Paranormal Investigations). I’ll state upfront that I don’t believe in ghosts, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading about people who conduct paranormal investigations, and I sometimes watch such shows on TV. In that light, I enjoyed reviewing Spirit PI’s website, which has an Evidence page that shows photos from their investigations, including an apparition of a man’s head in red mist and something unidentified talking into his ear. Entertaining stuff, especially this time of year, but when it comes to being a believer, I’d need the opportunity to capture the evidence myself.
I Once Took Photos at a “Haunted Hotel”
Several years ago, I visited the Stanley Hotel here in Colorado and took its Ghost Tour. The “Stanley” is known for its Room #217, where Stephen King first began writing his book The Shining. I took photos during the Ghost Tour with my digital camera, and others in the group (including the tour guide) said I’d captured “orbs” that indicated the presence of spirits. The Paranormal Encyclopedia says that “both skeptics, and many ghost hunters, agree that photographic orbs are most often, if not always, caused by natural elements such as dust, pollen, or water vapor.” I don’t know what caused the orbs, but if I’d seen, oh, a spectral figure in the photo that wasn’t in the area in which I took the photo, well, then I’d believe I’d captured evidence of a ghost.
By the way, the Stanley Hotel has enhanced its offerings of ghost tours (Ghost and History Tours for $15/person) to include a Ghost Hunt ($60). Participants must be at least 18 years old, and the ghost hunt lasts for approximately 5 hours. Wonder if any of those people have found ghosts? One thing’s for sure: The Stanley Hotel is making a chunk of change charging each person $60.
Claims of Ghosts, But When I Visited…
I’ve visited other supposedly haunted hotels and other buildings around Denver, Colorado. My experience at each is listed below.
The Brown Palace Hotel
I’ve taken the ghost tour several times at the century-old Brown Palace Hotel here in Denver. Both times, I heard fantastic stories about ghosts who haunt the hotel, from a long-dead string quartet that still practices their music to a ghost-like train conductor who walks through walls. I would have loved to have seen or heard one of these apparitions.
House of Mirrors
Seven or so years ago, I was writing a book that featured a ghost character (Sweet Talking Guy). My fictional ghost lived during the late nineteenth-century silver-boom days of Colorado, and in my research I read where a famous madam, Mattie Silks, from that era was supposedly still haunting her old living quarters (the House of Mirrors). One spring afternoon, I visited the House of Mirrors, which had morphed into a bar/restaurant. The place was closed, but a friendly bartender let me in to walk around and look at spots where the madam’s ghost had supposedly been seen and possibly heard (whisperings on a certain staircase, for example). Did I see or hear any ghostly going-ons? Unfortunately, no.
But the bartender wanted to share his personal stories with me. Claimed that late at night, when he was alone cleaning up, sometimes the elevator would suddenly start working, its doors opening…and no one would be inside. And then there was the night when, alone again, an entire shelf suddenly fell off the wall.
I wish I could imagine ghosts in those happenings, but it seemed to me that both the shelf and elevator were in serious need of repair.
You Can Earn a Diploma in Paranormal Studies
Flamel College offers a diploma in Paranormal Studies, for which you study how to investigate haunted areas, how to conduct witness interviews, how to document paranormal phenomena, and how to undertake special investigations in graveyards. I dunno…sounds similar to what I do as a normal investigator. I investigate areas, conduct interviews, take photos/video, and I’ve ended up in a few graveyards myself while working a case. But, if a person wanted to hang up a shingle that they conduct paranormal investigations, having such a credential would, I suppose, add validity.
btw, I’m not endorsing Flamel College. If anyone reading this is interested in their courses, I’d suggest doing a little background research first — get student recommendations, check for any comments about the institution, and so forth. Better yet, hire a private investigator to conduct a background check. Not a paranormal investigator, just a regular one will do.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Related Articles and Resources
“What Is a Paranormal Investigator?” via Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes
Mostly Ghosts: Ghost Hunters: Real or Fake? via mostlyghosts.com
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2011 – 2012 Book Blog Tour Articles
January 14, 2012: Interview w/ Colleen at Chatterrific
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February 14, 2012 Terry's Place: Lust, Ethics, and the Private Eye
February 17, 2012 Savvy Authors: Tips from a PI-Tracking the Bad Guys in Stories
February 27, 2012 Elizabeth A White blog: Do Private Eyes Solve Murders?
February 28, 2012 Book Reviews by Elizabeth A White: The Zen Man
March 10, 2012 StoreyBook Reviews: Interview and Review
March 22, 2012 Minding Spot: Book Review
April 17, 2012 Fresh Fiction: 5 Hot Private Eye Heroes