A Ghostly Presence

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    When John Seahorn was a boy on his uncle’s farm in East Texas, he said he saw some things that were not quite normal.Along the banks of the Sabine River, a group of Native Americans were squatting by the water gathering some supplies. The problem is, there had not been Caddo Indians in this area in more than 100 years.

    This was one of Seahorn’s first experiences with paranormal activity.

    Seahorn, now 62, is a member of Tarrant County Paranormal, a group dedicated to investigating and finding answers to explain the unexplained.

    More Than Ghostbusters

    In 1984, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray created a comedy classic that put paranormal investigation into the mainstream with “Ghostbusters.”

    Unfortunately for Seahorn and fellow paranormal investigators Jason Ausman and Karen Norwood the film put a stigma on their hobby.

    “People have always seen ghost movies, but what was involved there always had a lack of credibility,” Seahorn said.

    Credibility is what Tarrant County Paranormal strives to uphold – not necessarily to prove skeptics wrong, but to show there is more to investigating these “spirits” than just ghost hunting.

    “We serve to give evidence to what people believe on blind faith,” said Ausman, 34.

    Ausman described his belief system in the paranormal as something that is constantly under evaluation. Believing in the so-called ghouls and ghosts sometimes takes more than simply saying these spirits exist, it also requires hard evidence. Trying to prove something in a new field of science is something that is easier said than done.

    Unlike just going out for scares or chasing apparitions, the crew of investigators works to help these spirits find a place.

    “Think about it. If you were gone for maybe 100 or 200 years and didn’t know you were dead, you would want someone to help you,” Seahorn said.

    The triumvirate of Ausman, Seahorn and Norwood work together to try to prove there is more than just the universe people live in.

    “We approach every investigation with an open mind – we are not always here to immediately debunk something,” Norwood said.

    A Night In The Church

    In order to find the ever-elusive proof, the crew conducts investigations about three times a week in various locations in North Texas. An old church in Springtown marked with a sign that says “Texas Historical Site” is one of their prime locations.

    The building, with its boarded windows, cracked flooring and antique wooden pews, would not get coverage in the real estate section of the paper. There is no altar, but something – or someone – else is in the church, they say.

    Seahorn and Ausman say they are not out for cheap thrills.

    With a few specific paranormal investigating tools, magic happens inside this house of worship. Perhaps, magic is the wrong word, but, they say, something beyond normality goes on in that building.

    The setup for an investigation is simple: two shoebox recorders, a Tri-Field EMF reader and three K2 meters.

    These tools are nothing more than objects that will read some of the surrounding magnetic fields, but amazing forces can control this equipment without any human touch.

    Ausman and Seahorn took the precaution of turning off all cellular phones, and there is no electricity inside the decrepit church. This makes the odds of a false reading more slim and contact with the spirits more probable, Ausman said.

    In silence, the men stand staring at the dark walls of the church.

    The two begin talking into darkness.

    “If anyone is here please come out.”

    “Let your presence be known.”

    It was not the glorified spirit-summoning seen in movies where 13-year-olds sit in a circle and light candles. This was two men talking to somebody who they could feel was nearby.

    “If you feel a little bit of a tugging on your jacket it might be one of them,” Seahorn said. “We have caught on tape the voice of a little girl saying, ‘Mommy, help me,’ and we think it’s her.”

    Silence.

    Lights dance on the back wall. There are no cars on the back roads. No flashlights are turned on. Something is in this building with the investigators.

    Some dogs and coyotes yip in the distance.

    “If anyone is here please come out.”

    Light from a harvest moon makes its way through the front door.

    The two discuss white noise being caught on tape.

    “On an audio recording, we get responses and voices that are only on tape,” Ausman said. “We have heard on an EVP (electronic voice phenomena) one say ‘Help me.'”

    Without warning, the meters before the investigators began lighting up and contact was made. The cameras are off. There is no electricity, but somehow electromagnetic waves are coming in contact with the tools.

    “They use energy to set off our equipment,” Seahorn said.

    The lights flash and Ausman converses with the spirit.

    “Is this the little girl who was here last week?”

    The lights flicker once more, and then they are gone. Only twenty seconds of perceived contact, and the night in the church has not been an empty encounter.

    The Evening Continues

    Another car rolls up, and two more investigators come out to try their hand at contact in the church.

    “I grew up in the area and heard a lot of stories about some of the haunted buildings in the area,” said Carla Speck, a local investigator from Springtown.

    Speck was there with fellow investigator Tony Redden, and the two were going to try to find some of the forces inside the church.

    As for Ausman, Seahorn and Norwood, the Tarrant County Paranormal group was preparing to end their evening in Springtown.

    “We will sometimes be here for three hours and not get anything,” Seahorn said. “No readings, no contact, no sounds, but a night like this and twenty seconds of contact makes it all worthwhile.”

    The Future of Ghost Hunting

    Tarrant County Paranormal has been around for about two years, and only one of the original members remains. Together the group works to continue finding some evidence regarding those who may not be easy to see, but do exist in some form.

    When there is something that may be contested or controversial, Ausman is always ready with his tagline, “It’s dust,” to show he still is a mild skeptic.

    Some voices come through on the white noise of the tape recorder. A jacket is tugged by a little girl. Some lights appear on the walls.

    There are things that cannot always be explained. There are things that may defy logic.

    These ghost hunters are there to show why one should think twice about that faint voice calling your name. Next time, try to talk back.

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