The Graveyard Shift
Halloween, now more a season than a day, has people flocking in search of ghosts. Southeast Texas has a glut of haunted houses, museums and spook houses open the entire month of October (See sidebar) promising gobs of ghosts, goblins, ghouls and creatures from the deep that will jump out and make you SCREAM … AAAAHHHHHH!
For the members of the Graveyard Shift Paranormal Society (GSPS) established in August of this year in Southeast Texas, ghost hunting is an everyday activity; Halloween is euphoria.
“Halloween is good for trick or treaters,” said Brett Wright, one of the two founders of the GSPS. “It’s white Christmas for those of us in paranormal because people entertain the idea of going to haunted houses and are willing to go a little bit off the beaten path and go into a situation that actually is haunted.”
Wright, with ghost hunting bud and co-founder Kerry Cooper, have conducted more than 25 paranormal investigations in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, including investigations of the Jefferson Theatre, the Brown Center in Orange and the Julie Rogers Theatre. In January they’ll investigate the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. They are teaching a Ghost Hunting 101 class of sorts at Lamar State College-Orange and have a proposal into Lamar University for the same.
Wright, a delivery driver for DMC Carter Chambers, and Kerry, a weekend weather buff, take ghost hunting seriously. They have equipment, requirements for their investigations and even qualify people who request investigations.
Ghost hunting equipment, beyond iconic the black ghost-hunting mobile, includes a K2 Electromagnetic Field (EMF) meter that picks up and records frequencies from 30 to 20,000 hertz. The meter can distinguish sounds that the human ear cannot. Wright and his crew listen on a headset so they hear the sounds coming through the meter for instant communication with ghosts.
Other devices used for intelligent haunting include DVRs for filming and downloading video and IR cameras to see in the dark in order to catch shadows or ectoplasm, moving mist that denotes movement of a spirit.
The pair, often accompanied by the curious and those who call for investigations of their properties, businesses, residences or loved one’s gravesite, carry flashlights because most paranormal activity happens at night. Wright says the best time for ghost hunting is during a full or new moon.
“Paranormal goes on 24/7, but more responses after dark — during a full moon and new moon and during electrical storms because of electricity in the air — draws them out and we get more responses when that happens,” said Wright, who is originally from Sulphur, La.
And 24/7, Wright and Cooper are getting calls to investigate possible paranormal activity, which has required them to set standards for their services, which are free thus far.
“We have to weed out the crazies and asked personal questions,” said Wright. “When someone calls to request that we investigate a home, I ask what’s happening there — why they suspect paranormal activity. If I have concerns I ask questions like, ‘Are or should you be taking prescription medications?’”
Not all hunting investigations result in activity but it oftentimes does, although not scary as most would think or wish. In fact in all of his experiences of ghost hunting, Wright has only been afraid two times.
“Majority of them (ghosts) are friendly,” said Wright. “Seventy-five percent are friendly; only 25 percent are bad.”
So are there ghosts in the Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana? Find out for yourself. The Graveyard Shift Paranormal Society is hosting ghost tours this Halloween season and everyone is invited. Oct. 28 tours are 6-8 p.m., 8-10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight. Call (337) 499-4404 for more info. You can also find them on Facebook.