Dalton's Own 'Ghostbusters'
Published: October 31, 2013
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From the Abington Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7069 in Clarks Summit, to a Factoryville house that was once part of the Underground Railroad, members of the Dalton Paranormal Society have made contact with the great beyond and have the stories to tell.
Society founders Jim Burger and Scott LaCoe met while working at the Dalton Lumber DoIt Center but never realized their mutual interest in the paranormal until the debut of "Ghosthunters" on the Syfy network.
"Scott and I were interested in joining a paranormal group, but there was nothing like it around, so we decided to start one," Burger said. "Our interest was sparked by this building [the Dalton Lumber DoIt Center on Rtes. 6 and 11] because we thought it was haunted. We started purchasing the equipment and here we are four years later."
Investigative equipment includes digital voice recorders, digital cameras and EMF (electronic frequency) meters.
The five-member society has gone on ghost investigations throughout the Abingtons and beyond. Deborah Stoppard, who is the group's audio specialist, described the voice detection process, which tries to capture sounds that are not audible to the human ear.
"In the nursing home I worked for, there was a woman, who was a resident there, and every night we would hear her talking," she said. "She was in a private room, so we would go in and ask her who she was talking to. She said, 'My son, Frankie.' But Frankie had been dead for about three years."
"One night, I happened to be reviewing voices on my recorder, so I just took it in," Stoppard continued. "I had heard her say, 'Frankie, your wings look so beautiful.' About three hours later, after she fell asleep, I heard a male voice on there saying 'mother' as plain as day. The nursing homes have a lot of activity."
Besides trying to capture voices, society members also try to preserve photographic evidence of their findings, as explained society photography specialist Vicki Fenton.
"I've caught mist and fogs that will be in one picture but gone in the next," she said. "I've captured very large orbs that are about the size of the moon. I've also captured very bright lights."
"You can tell when you have a real orb or some kind of anomaly because they have their own light," Burger added. "Sometimes they are in different colors."
Burger explained that, although naysayers believe that there is no such thing as ghosts, theories about what happens to humans after death abound and that there isn't one that has been generally accepted.
"There are so many theories out there about what happens to you after you die. Does your energy stick around? Do you stick around where you liked to be or around your family members? Do you go to Heaven? Can you go to where you were supposed to be and come back and visit?," he said. "We've heard that if you have a relative or loved one who has passed away and you think of that person and get very emotional, at that time, that person is on your shoulder. There's a lot that can be said."
Stoppard believes that proof that the paranormal exists is made obvious by the society's evidence, all of which is available on its website, www.dalton-paranormal-society.com."
"I've had two investigators, two females, in a room, but when I reviewed the tape, I've heard a male's voice saying something. 'I see a blonde girl' was something we heard once," she said. "I've heard way too much and seen way too much to tell anybody that there's no such thing as ghosts."