FLORIDA GHOST BUSTERS
Local group explores the paranormal
Local group explores the paranormal
Very few unexplored frontiers are left for humans to delve into in 2016, but one remains well out of reach: the afterlife. The “other side” has intrigued many throughout the ages, from the first recorded ghost story penned by Roman author and statesman Pliny the Younger in the first century A.D. about an apparition of an old man with a long beard and chains rattling around him, while haunting a house in A thens, Greece.
Although ghost stories have persisted ever since, in modern times those stories are coming in the form of paranormal occurrences recorded on scientific equipment as “real-life” proof that ghosts do exist.
Accounts of paranormal research are popular, promulgated in the mainstream media and on the Internet. Filtering through all the fake and explainable information out there has tossed a heavy veil of dubious beliefs in the existence of life after death. Every piece of “evidence” floated on the Internet is endlessly questioned.
Southwest Florida has its own investigation team looking into
such matters. Haunted Apparition Hunters (HAH), based in the Naples area, investigates paranormal claims throughout Florida, all at no charge to the client. The group does, however, offer nonmembers a chance to see what a paranormal investigation entails by allowing them to go on one for $35.
HAH co-founders Eric Kincaid and his wife, Alex, started the group in 2010. Their interest in capturing concrete evidence of the paranormal has driven them to basically every dark corner of the Sunshine State.
“Our goal is to go into the investigation to prove to the [clients] that they are not crazy,” Eric says. “There is a reason they are calling, because they either heard something, felt something or their home just doesn’t feel right. We will go in and try to get evidence on video, audio or photography and do the best we can to push that spirit out the door, if the owner chooses to.”
The challenge of proving that paranormal activity does, in fact, exist—and capturing solid evidence that will make even the biggest skeptic pause—is a daunting one. It starts with the equipment HAH uses. The team incorporates science into its investigations through the use of four-channel DVR static infrared video cameras, an
We will go in and try to get evidence on video, audio or photography and do the best we can to push that spirit out the door … ”
—HAH co-founder Eric Kincaid
audio boom system, handheld infrared video cameras, digital voice recorders and K2s (to measure electromagnetic fields, or EMFs). “Our biggest pieces of equipment are the DVR and boom systems,” Eric says. “We use the boom system to listen for disembodied voices, which we as humans otherwise can’t hear.”
Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are some of the most common pieces of audio evidence that paranormal researchers capture. An EVP is recorded on a digital voice recorder during an ongoing investigation, and sometimes voices will pop up that shouldn’t be there or that were not heard by the human investigators at the time. “People can only hear to a certain range, and recorders can pick up on the higher frequencies we can’t hear,” explains HAH lead investigator George Gibbons.
The other piece of equipment commonly used by electricians in the paranormal field, the K2, works on the theory that spirits emit EMFs. By doing a base reading before the investigation to measure the explainable EMFs (those emitted by electronic equipment, for example), investigators can then detect an unseen entity with the measuring device.
“The reason you feel cold spots sometimes is because the spirit is pulling energy out of the air,” Gibbons says.
The investigators at HAH have captured plenty of evidence to convince themselves that there are spirits walking among us. “We were investigating an opera house in the area, and we caught one of the phantom masks moving by itself,” Eric recalls.
Another area investigation in which evidence was captured was at the Ted Smallwood Store Museum in Chokoloskee. “That place is definitely haunted,” Eric adds.
Not all investigations spawn paranormal evidence, though. “Sometimes, there isn’t anything there, and sometimes the spirits don’t come out on cue,” Alex Kincaid says.
Regardless of what it finds, there is one rule HAH always follows when investigating: Treat the spirits with respect. “They once were humans just like us. You need to treat them with respect,” Eric says.
HAH is open to any investigations inside the state of Florida and can be contacted through its website (hauntedapparition hunters.com).
The Haunted Apparition Hunters (HAH), based in the Naples area, investigates paranormal activity. The group includes Alex Kincaid, Brendon Kincaid, Eric Kincaid and George Gibbons.
The investigators at HAH have captured plenty of evidence to convince themselves that there are spirits walking among us.