LORAIN — For some time now, members of the Black River Historical Society have been hearing things.
“They’re squeaks and noises and the sound of little things falling,” according to John McGarvey, chairman of the board of trustees of the society, which has called the West Sixth Street residence of former mayor Leonard Moore its home since 1994.
A good number of the sounds seem to emanate from the attic, but, when anyone goes to investigate, everything appears normal.
“Nothing seems changed, and nothing has been moved,” McGarvey said. Still, “it can’t all be squeaking wood.”
“We think it is Leonard,” McGarvey said matter of factly, referring to Moore, who built the house in 1906. Moore was a bank trustee, businessman and contractor before getting into politics, serving on City Council and, eventually, one term as mayor from 1916-18.
“He must have become sick because he died a few years later,” McGarvey said. “That’s why he only had the one term.”
Enter Banded Spirits, a group of northern Ohioans with a passion for seeking the supernatural. This weekend eight members of the group will descend on the house to see if they can capture any visual or audio evidence of Moore — or any other spirits.
“They claim he’s watching over the house, and that they feel like they’re being watched,” Karlo Zuzic said. A Parma resident employed by a Cleveland-based mailing house, he serves as project manager for the 18-member group formed in 2007 by Chris Page and Amy Cobb, both of Fremont.
The group uses ghost-hunting gear, such as infrared cameras, digital voice recorders and equipment that registers changes in electromagnetic fields, which paranormal probers claim can mean the presence of unearthly spirits. But it is digital voice recorders that offer the best chance for picking up evidence of otherworldly voices, according to Zuzic, who said investigators ask basic questions seeking names of presences or spirits, as well as why they feel compelled to remain at a specific location.
One of the commonly accepted tenets of paranormal work is that a person’s spirit lingers in a fixed spot following a tragedy, accident or extreme emotional distress. But Zuzic believes there are cases in which presences remain under far more tranquil circumstances.
“Sometimes they go back to where they felt the most comfortable, where they were loved,” Zuzic said.
The group recently visited Brunswick Heritage Farm, where members say they recorded the voice of a spirit named David who owned the property in the mid-1800s, according to Zuzic.
The group and members of the historical society plan to stay in the house for several hours one night, said Zuzic. “If any activity picks up, we’ll stay a little longer.”
After compiling reports and any recordings they make, the Banded Spirits group will present its findings to historical society members, Zuzic said.
If someone or something is manifesting itself in the house, it isn’t scaring anyone, according to McGarvey.
“It hasn’t hurt anyone yet,” he said.
For more information on the ghost hunters, visit www.bandedspirits.com.