The following Q&A is part of our "Faces of the Paranormal" series, profiling local paranormal investigators and ghost hunters. For more Haunted Tri-State coverage, click here.
How many cases has Cincinnati Research & Paranormal Studies done?
We have done more than 60 investigations as a group.
How did the team get started?
We were friends who discovered we all had an interest in all things paranormal, so back in October of 2005 we headed to Mansfield Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio for an overnight investigation. After that, we were hooked. I think there were probably six or seven of us on that first investigation, and since then we have added some and others have left -- but basically Cincinnati Research & Paranormal Studies has 10 members right now.
How many of the cases you've handled over the years do you think you truly experienced something paranormal?
That is really hard to say, some skeptics (and we do have those in the group) would say that we have never captured anything that was definitely paranormal. Since there are no scientific standards in the field, it's really hard for me to point to something and say that it is definitely paranormal. I can say that I feel we have experienced something paranormal at least 50 percent of the time.
How often are you called to investigate a home or business?
We get several calls a month, where people believe they have paranormal activity in their home. We do not investigate all of them. I would say we've done investigations at more than 20 private residences and businesses.
How do people find out about you?
They hear about us in a variety of ways: friends, Internet searches, some folks have taken our Music Hall tour and talk to us afterward about their concerns.
How did all of your current team members come together?
Most of us were co-workers who became friends and stayed friends after some moved on to other jobs.
What made you want to do this?
I can only speak for myself, but I have always been interested in paranormal activity. When I was very young, I lived in a house in Clifton (on Calhoun Street) that was haunted. Doors would open and close and you would hear someone walking up the stairs to the second floor. My mother gave the ghosts names (Gertrude and Heathcliff) and we all just accepted it. I was never afraid of them.
Is this a side-gig for all of you?
Yes, it is a hobby for all of us. Our actual occupations range from paralegal to working for a content and eCommerce company to administrative support for a customer service company to office manager for a tax preparation company.
Do people ever mock you for doing this?
I always think of the quote from Stuart Chase: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” If I worried about people mocking me, I probably wouldn't be doing this interview.
Do you think it's important to believe that there's something after we die?
Personally, I do believe there's something after we die. There are folks who have had near-death experiences and been revived and talked about it, but scientists say that their experience was their body's reactions to shutting down.
Have you ever dealt with a "non-believer" and changed their mind?
People who are non-believers normally don't contact us.
What's something you've seen or experienced that you have no other explanation for other than it being paranormal?
I can only speak from personal experience. I have had several experiences that I have no explanation for: I saw a full body apparition of a doctor in a lab coat leaning against a window frame at Waverly Hills Sanatorium. At Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, I felt someone holding my arm on the children's floor. At Moundville (former WV State Pen), myself and another member of the group were walking down a hallway and she was taking photos over the top of her head to shoot behind us. When we got to a lit area, I asked what she was photographing and she said, "Didn't you hear those footsteps behind us?" and I replied "Yes, I just wanted to know if you heard them too."
How do you tell the difference between a good and bad spirit?
I don't know, I think in some cases it's just a feeling you get.
Have you ever needed to use a demonologist or an exorcist?
No, but we have referred clients to them or to someone else to get them the help they need depending on the situation.
In your opinion, what's the single most haunted place in the Tri-State region?
Music Hall, the stories of paranormal activity there go back years and continue to this day.