Ghosts? Anomalies? Or things that can be explained away?

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

As part-skeptic, part-believer in some things unexplainable, I was always eager to tag along each October with a friend turned certified ghost hunter while I was a reporter in Kentucky.

Each October for several years, I’d catch up with Patti Starr, a once-restaurant manager who now leads an interesting life as a full-time ghost hunter. Patti teaches a ghost-hunting course at a Kentucky community college and takes part in a traveling lecture series with well-known psychic/medium Chip Coffey.

She shares her experience—complete with photos, videos and audio recordings—as part of a ghost walk back in my hometown of Bardstown, Ky.

When she and her husband Chuck aren’t busy with their Lexington, Ky.-based equine art gallery, they’re out and about touring potentially haunted locations trying to find out what’s behind some of the things that leave property owners with goose bumps and stories of the unexplained.

For the past several years, Patti has been named one of the Top Ten Ghost Hunter Paranormal Investigators in America. You may have even seen her somewhere yourself. She has appeared on A&E’s “Airline,” “The Montel Williams Show,” and Food Network’s “Best of Fright Food.”

She’s worked with the staff of A&E’s “Paranormal State” and has rubbed elbows with well-known paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of SciFi’s “Ghost Hunters.”

Although my relocation to North Carolina has put a kink in our annual get-togethers, I’m finding this time of year is good to relate some tales from our “ghost hunting” adventures.

On one outing, we ventured to a historic home now site of a winery in Bloomfield, Ky. We toured the house during daylight hours. Patti had a number of audio recorders with her, including one she carries in her ghost hunter’s vest. Chuck followed along with a video camera.

One of Patti’s techniques includes the use of dowsing rods. The brass rods are held in Patti’s hands and she believes the way they move directs her to spirit energy. She also believes the rods can be used to give her yes and no answers to questions she asks.

Standing on the second floor of a circa-1857 home during this particular adventure, Patti indicated she had made contact with the spirit energy of a little girl. She instructed those with her to say a name of a girl.

Oddly, all of us chose names that ended with an “uh” sound—Sarah, Hanna, Laura.

Later, Patti reviewed the audio recording and found what physic investigators believe to be an electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). On the recording you can hear Patti speaking and asking for a name. You can hear the group of us speaking over one another with the uh-ending name.

That is immediately followed by a whispery voice saying, “My name is Laura.”

During these “ghost hunts” I’m always careful to watch Patti, making sure there are no sleight of hands or other bobbles that could influence what she later tells me.

That day I didn’t hear a voice say, “My name is Laura,” and I didn’t see Patti lean into her own recorder to whisper that. To my knowledge she also isn’t gifted with the ability of ventriloquism.

I’m not saying what is on the recording is ghostly, but it is something I can’t explain.

Can you? Listen for yourself by going to http://www.ghosthunter.com/evp/orangeCD/Track05.mp3.

The other unexplained event happened on a “ghost hunt” at a private residence. Again, Patti was using her dowsing rods. When she told me she felt a great deal of energy, I tried to use two cameras to snap a photo. Neither would work and both, which were equipped with fully charged batteries, went dead.

After changing out the batteries, Patti passed the rods to another member of her team. Soon, she too was drawn to the same area. The teammate said she could feel a surge of energy moving through her body.

A photo from that time reveals two glowing red anomalies at the end of the brass rods. Shot outside at dark in front of a hedgerow, I am unaware of anything immediately surrounding that could have reflected such light. Could the tiny rods flashed back light that large? I don’t know.

The red blobs are also on the negative and I was told by the developers it was not something created in the developing process.

What caused those red lights? I don’t know, but maybe you can figure it out. Check out http://www.ghosthunter.com/gallery/pattisPics/Copy%20(143)%20of%20pic.htm and let me know what you think.