The small meeting room of the was crowded, with standing room only for those who were unable to get on the reservation list, by the time I took my seat in the corner. The thirty plus crowd was chattering while members of CT Ghost Hunters, a paranormal research group based in New Haven, set up the computer and projector for their presentation.
I attended this event at the Smith Library with some hesitation. Unsure as to what to expect, I wondered if this was going to be a sales pitch for another ghost finder group or an informational demonstration on paranormal activities at familiar sites in our area.
I have long believed in an afterlife of some kind, a place where energy lives side-by-side with our living world. I also believe that the dead can and do communicate with us, though not in the traditional way. I’ve read the story, Heaven is For Real and other stories about people who died and came back to life with stories about another existence. For this reason, I was curious about this organization’s approach to ghosts and paranormal activity.
Looking around, I noticed that there were mostly middle-aged women in the crowd. I wondered, does this mean that women are more interested in the supernatural, are they more open to the possibility that we just move on to another existence when we die? Or, are they more curious? Are men less interested, or do they just dismiss it altogether as nonsense?
There are lots of shows on TV about ghost hunting and the afterlife, so there is a lot of interest in the subject. Perhaps we need to believe that our lives don’t end on earth when our bodies expire.
Several people from the CT Ghost Hunters group shared their experiences during the presentation. Though the stories were interesting, having so many speakers injecting comments tended to make the presentation seem a little disjointed. When Laura Bryant, founder and lead investigator, spoke, however, her thirty years working as a ghost hunter displayed a confidence that secured the attention of the audience. She also spoke about her experience as a medium, which the audience seemed most interested in.
With extensive research to back up their claims, the group made it clear that they go by the strictest measures to support their information. Yet, I find myself still skeptical of some of their finds, especially the photos that seem rather fuzzy, with shapes too vague to be left to one interpretation. While the explanations seem reasonable, with the mind biased by paranormal discussion, perhaps the images were just suggestive. Maybe you had to be at the site to get the full impact of their experience.
I found the sound bites that were recorded rather interesting. My only thought was that no one was around to witness the recordings, as they were done overnight with planted recorders, so how do they know for a fact that the sounds were not from some outside influence? The children’s voices and cries that were sandwiched between the heavy static noises surely tug at your emotions. Was that meant to secure our attention and win us over? It certainly was convincing.
In summary, the CT Ghost Hunters presentation was thought provoking. No doubt people will continue to search for clues about a possible afterlife and how it might affect the living.