In June, the Turlock Journal put a call-out for readers who were interested in joining a paranormal investigation team at the Groveland Hotel. The response was tremendous; and two local readers were picked to become paranormal investigators-in-training and join the team at the Sept. 23 ghost hunt.
Readers had two ways to win a spot on the investigation team: writing a winning essay or collecting paranormal questions and answers printed in the Journal and then sending them in with their name and address attached for a random drawing.
The winner of the random drawing was Karen Reeves of Turlock. She and her guest will be joining the essay contest winner — Leisa Williams of Turlock and her guest — at the Groveland Hotel.
The Journal would like to thank all those who sent in their essays and paranormal questions and answers. Your enthusiasm was inspiring. All of the essay entries will be published in the Journal’s Halloween special section on Oct. 30. The results of the Groveland Hotel investigation — as well as reports on three other local investigations — will also run in the Oct. 30 edition of the Journal.
Below is the winning essay submitted by Williams.
Why I would be a good paranormal investigator
BY LEISA WILLIAMS
Why would I be a good paranormal investigator?
I could start off by telling you that I have watched most all of the paranormal shows on television … “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Hunters International,” “Ghost Hunters Academy,” “Paranormal State,” “Fact or Faked” (Paranormal Files), “Psychic Kids - Children of the paranormal” … faithfully each week.
Then I could try to amaze you with the fact that I know what EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) detector, thermal scan and disembodied voices are. Having this type of knowledge should be to my advantage, right?
The truth is while I have knowledge of what all the equipment is, I have never used any of it before, nor have I ever knowingly set foot in a seemingly haunted location since about the age of 17. I believe everyone, skeptic or not, at one time or another has considered the paranormal side, but out of fear of being ridiculed, don’t vocalize.
What makes a good paranormal Investigator?
I don’t think that it is necessarily something you can buy, teach or learn. I believe either you are born with a special gift or it is an experience you have had that leads you to want to find the answers to the many questions it has awakened in you.
Mine is the latter reason.
There is a determination to find the truth and to prove to yourself as well as others that yes, this does exist, but while in this course, keeping an open enough mind to be able to process any personal experiences you might encounter or data you might be collecting and try to find alternative reasons for their occurrences. The following is my experience with the paranormal which awakened my curiosity and is the kindling used to help fuel my interest in the paranormal.
At the time that I was 5-years old we lived in what was known as the Marine View Apartments in Ketchikan, Alaska where I shared a room with my two older siblings and my twin sister. My father’s younger brother, my Uncle Jerry had just moved out of the apartment leaving free for the taking a bedroom that adjoined with us kids’ room. The only way in or out was through our room.
Not one of us kids would take the room; we all stayed clear of the room. My parents tried to reason with us and tell us “it was just noises from the apartment next door we were hearing” but we all knew better. One night I awoke in the middle of the night and, although my twin sister had climbed down to share my bunk with me, she and the others were all fast asleep. I heard a creek as the door from the empty room opened up into our room. I looked up in time to see that peeking around the end of the door at me was a ghost. It didn’t have a form; I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman, all I know was that it was curious about me. I froze; not knowing what to do. So I did what most 5-year olds would have done … I pulled the covers over my head and squeezed my eyes shut, hoping it would go away, and waited for morning and my family to wake up. That next morning over breakfast I told my parents about my experience but they wrote it off as a dream. I have never forgotten it!
This past summer while attending a family reunion in Fresno was the first time since I was that scared 5-year old that I have had another encounter with the paranormal. This time it was in a hotel room in the middle of the night with a disembodied voice whispering a message in my ear.
Was I scared? You bet I was. But as I lay there going through the possibilities of what had just happened, how it could have happened, and working up the courage to check it out, I realized I wasn’t afraid of the voice and I knew it meant me no harm.
The next morning I told my family about my experience. Did they laugh at me and tell me it had to be a dream? You bet they did. Did I listen to their reasoning and contemplate each explanation? Yes I did. Did I let them sway my beliefs? Not one bit.
So the question remains “Why would I be a good paranormal investigator?”
I believe I would be a good paranormal investigator because my experiences have not only opened my mind to the possibilities of what is out there, they have also peeked my interest so much that I want to have the opportunity to find out what exactly is out there.
I also have enough sense to realize a lot of people have things happen to them that they believe to be paranormal that actually have rational explanations and would love a chance to help prove or disprove either way.
I work well with others and I am a team player. However, I don’t let other peoples’ beliefs or opinions become my own. I like to check things out and form my own opinion.
Finally, I feel I am a good people person and when people are going through this type of thing, whether it proves to be real or not — it’s real to them and they need to feel that there is someone they can trust who is there for them. I am that person.