LORAIN — Some were faint. Others were surprisingly clear … for the “voices” of ghosts, that is.
“We didn’t feel anything pulling at us or watching us or touching us,” concluded Chris Page, co-founder of Ohio Researchers of Banded Spirits. “Spirits return to places they loved, places in which they were the happiest.”
That place, in this case, was Lorain’s Moore House Museum, home of the Black River Historical Society, where recordings of voices believed to be those of a man, woman and child were made by a team of ORBS investigators during an eight-hour session inside the 1906 two-story brick house the night of June 20.
Known in the paranormal trade as electronic voice phenomena, the “voices” were recorded with the help of highly sensitive audio equipment designed to pick up noises within a broader sound spectrum beyond human hearing.
The historical society asked the group to check out the former home of Lorain Mayor Leonard Moore (who served 1916-18) after members reported some odd incidents. Frank Sipkovsky, a former president of the historical society who now serves as the museum’s buildings and grounds chairman, was one of those who thought something was amiss.
“I’ve felt breezes and a goofy, chilly feeling,” Sipkovsky said. “I’ve heard steps creak when I was doing some painting, and there was nothing there.”
Banded Spirits uses equipment such as infrared cameras, digital voice recorders and apparatus that register changes in electromagnetic fields to try to document spirits in specific locations.
But even with all the technology, Page admits “it’s not an exact science by any means.”
Despite the great sensitivity of today’s digital cameras, “90 percent of what we observe (as movement in light) is dust,” he said.
Whether people believe in things that can’t be rationally explained depends largely on their own beliefs as well as the power of suggestion when it comes to deciphering supposed “ghost” voices.
“That’s why we always come in teams,” Page said. “Sometimes things are a case of mind over matter.”
Formed in 2007 by Fremont residents Page and Amy Cobb, Banded Spirits numbers 18 members today. Its investigations have had members looking and listening for ghosts in private homes, as well as places like the old Mansfield Reformatory and Twin City Opera House in Marietta.
Earlier this week, the group held a debriefing of sorts — playing back the alleged voices captured during the night there using a laptop computer. Some of the sounds were unexpectedly distinct — with a faint, raspy voice that sounded as if it were saying “It’s my house,” and another, child-like voice saying what sounded like, “Time to go.”
Was it the power of suggestion?
Sipovsky said he will take the group’s findings to the leaders of the historical society to decide whether to pursue similar events or to open the house periodically for paranormal tours to generate money for the nonprofit.
Page said regardless of what the historical society does with the findings, he’s confident his group heard what it heard and is willing to let others be the judge after listening to the audio.
“We put our reputation on the line with this, but you have to be careful,” Page said. “Groups can definitely manipulate equipment and fake sounds. There’s a lot of thrillseekers out there.”
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.