Thank you to Ella Nayor and Oliver Pioquinto for a awesome article and pictures!
All present for the theater investigation was Scott, Sprout, Toni, Stacy, Phyllis, Ella, Oliver, Amanda and Madelyn. A report will be listed soon on our investigations page
Sun Newspaper
Sun Newspaper Toni
Sun Newspaper Me and Stacy
10/31/05
Ghost hunters search for paranormal activity Scott Walker has had as many brushes with the dead as most have with the living. It started with his grandfather, Babe Lesky, who departed the living in the 1980s. He would see him around as though he -- well, never left. These sightings became routine for the 39-year-old Walker.
This experience among several other unusual events parlayed him and his partner, Ellen Sprout Dvorak, into examining the world of the hereafter.
In one case, the tall, soft-spoken man said he helped a troop of Civil War soldiers in New Orleans. The men were trapped in the world of the living, and Walker said he helped them pass over to the spiritual domain.
To the couple who operate their own ghost hunting group called Peace River Ghost Tracker, aiding spirits in the netherworld is just as ordinary as helping someone fix their car. The nonprofit group works to prove the existence of ghosts and to help anyone experiencing paranormal activity understand what is happening. "We rule out any, natural-known cause," Dvorak, 37, said. And just in case you're not sure -- a ghost is a form of energy.
Most consider ghosts to be spiritual matter of once-living beings. Ghost hunting has gained more attention with the recent airings of shows like "TAPS: Ghost Hunters" on the Sci Fi Channel. Aside from trying to establish if an unearthly presence is around, the local ghost hunter group also tries to help ease the fears of the living by explaining supernatural phenomena found in homes or businesses. "If you have a ghost appear, you're going to be scared because you don't understand," Dvorak said. "It's the fear of the unknown."
So without fanfare, the eight members of the Peace River Ghost Trackers gather up their arsenal of electronic gadgetry that includes infrared thermometers (temperature supposedly drops when a ghost enters the room) and head out to look for signs of nonlife.
The ghost hunters have been called to many residential and commercial buildings over the past five and a half years. In their latest investigation, the group checked out the theater at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County.
The investigation It was about 8:30 p.m. on a cool October night. The still dark air seemingly clung to the occupants as they waited for something -- anything -- to happen in the 1960s-era theater.
Then it began.
Walker adjusted several high-tech cameras as roundish white orbs shot across the room. Flashing silvery lights zipped across the stage and old-vaudeville style dressing rooms. At the sight of this unusual activity, Walker, Dvorak, and the other members of their group sprang into action. The team tinkered with super sensitive equipment including, video cameras, infrared thermometers, digital tape recorders and electromagnetic field detectors. The air seemed to become prickly as the ghost hunters trekked across the wooden stage and aimed their gauges and sensors in different directions. The equipment measures temperature drops, electromagnetic energy, voices and, of course, apparitions. Just because something registers on their equipment does not guarantee a ghost or other supernatural activity is about.
The evidence must go through a rigorous examination. Often evidence is dismissed if it doesn't meet the ghost hunters' standards. For instance if an orb floats about, it must exhibit a sense of intelligence as it moves -- like it is moving in a particular direction, Walker said. At one point, while Walker walked along the front of the stage, little balls of light began flitting about -- as if they were following him. "Scott's our ghost bait," Dvorak said with a laugh. Like a divining rod to water, Walker seemed to lead whatever or whomever across the stage.
While the paranormal investigation team tested the air and even spoke gently to possible disembodied souls, Amanda Segur, the theater's manager, barely moved in her seat as she watched. "I think it's great whether we find anything or not, or we just explore the science they brought," she said. "It is interesting." Segur said the theater was built in 1967 and recently renovated after Hurricane Charley struck.
Dvorak said theaters often attract paranormal activity because of the amount of emotion expressed in them. Dvorak looked up to the shadowy ceiling and questioned a possible ghost and asked him or her if they would like to communicate. "Were you an actor in the theater?" she asked.
As the night wrapped up, Walker said they would have to examine the evidence before making a determination of paranormal activity.
The results
After several days of poring over audio and video tapes, Dvorak and Walker said they detected four unknown electronic voices. One male voice said "Hi Christina," and the other was supposedly of a young child's voice, Dvorak said. But the ghost hunters remain cautious in their findings. "We can say there's possible paranormal activity," Dvorak said.
The Peace River Ghost Tracker is interested in helping anyone investigate anything that may be considered paranormal. They do not charge for their investigations, but will accept donations for their batteries and equipment. If a resident or business owner does indeed have a spirit present and wants it relocated or removed, the ghost hunters can get them the help they need to do that, Dvorak said. "We'll go anywhere," she said. "Anybody that's experiencing a haunting, we can see what's going on."
The Peace River Ghost Tracker can be contacted through its Web site at www.peaceriverghosttracker.com .
You can e-mail Ella Nayor at enayor@sun-herald.com .
By ELLA NAYOR Staff Writer © 2005 All rights reserved.
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