Photos by Sue Cook – Joey Robinson, left, explains the audio clip they are playing. Matt Roeseler operates the laptop and Brian Bogan provides extra information.
By Sue Cook, staff reporter
MEDINA – The Medina Area Paranormal Society (MAPS) revealed their ghost-hunt findings at a talk at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library last night for more than 75 people.
The group conducted investigations at three locations in Medina: the Greek Revival at 107 Pearl Street, NAPA Auto Parts and the Medina Historical Society.
Catherine Cooper is the director of the Lee-Whedon Library and is a board member of the Medina Historical Society. She invited the MAPS group to reveal their findings to the public to generate interest in the history and because the Halloween season is approaching. MAPS was invited to each location because the owners of each location were experiencing something they believed to be paranormal.
The Historical Society has hosted cemetery tours and ghost walks, with the events drawing good-size crowds. Cooper said there is community interest in the paranormal.
MAPS originally started in 2008 with seven members, when the group members were in high school. As time went on and graduation approached, they disbanded. In 2013, Joey Robinson and Matt Roeseler decided to reform the group and included Brian Bogan and Scott Barber in the four-person team.
Provided photo – A strange mist was captured in the front room of the Medina Historical Society, across the hall from the war room. Their K-II electromagnetic meter was stating they had a high reading and this was photographed at the same time.
“These guys got interested in doing their own research here locally so we asked them last year to speak,” Cooper said. “They’ve done more research this year and so we invited them back. We like the fact that there are young people interested in investigating the past and they’re using new technology to support their interests. They’re very professional.”
MAPS was inspired by watching the television show “Ghost Hunters” and uses similar equipment to conduct their own investigations. They use tape recorders, flashlights, temperature gauges, a camera and K-II meters, which measure electromagnetic fields.
They have also made some of their own equipment such as a full-spectrum camera, which captures non-visible light; an electromagnetic field generator, which is thought to possibly energize spirits; and a ghost box.
Roeseler explained the ghost box, saying, “There’s a lot of different variations of it, but we’ve got a radio that scans through the stations really quickly. I put it in a foil box so it cuts down on the actual voices coming through so it’s more white noise and more validation.”
The Medina Historical Society welcomed MAPS back into its building at 406 West Ave. for a second time. The museum was built in 1841 and belonged to the Merritt family. It was turned into the Town of Ridgeway building and eventually became a museum.
“I’m sure over time people have died there because it was a home and people tended to die at home in the past,” Cooper said. “I think the reason that the Historical Society might be haunted is that we have a collection of items that were of personal use and personal interest and had attachment to people that have gone on. I can only surmise.”
“At the Historical Society, some of the members would be very skeptical and others would be believers,” Cooper said. “Of the believers, a few of the board members attest to having seen a person in the kitchen.”
MAPS also investigated the NAPA Auto Parts building. It was constructed in the 1830s and held a jail cell in the basement. There were also more upper apartments, but a fire destroyed them. At least one death has occurred in the building, but possibly more.
“The owner has the upstairs apartment,” Joey Robinson said. “We validated some of the stuff he’s heard go on there, like he says he hears knocks all the time and these unexplained footsteps.”
The Greek Revival building on Pearl Street was constructed in the 1850s and served as a rooming house for a while. There was a murder at the location in the 1980s.
The audience listens intently to the clips, trying to determine what is being said in them.
MAPS captured electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) at all three locations. EVPs are voices of supposed spirits captured on a recording device that can be heard during playbacks. Many of the recordings are cryptic in nature because the voices are quiet and words can’t always be heard clearly.
Some of the more distinct recordings this year included children’s laughter at the Historical Society and a male voice at NAPA that is possibly saying, “What have I got in my pocket?” The Greek Revival produced an EVP of male voice saying “hey” and another of a little girl saying “matches” in response to the members trying to find matches in the room.
Other sounds the group recorded are footsteps and banging. All the evidence is scrutinized and people may interpret the evidence differently. Much of it can be left to personal interpretation and some people may be highly skeptical of it.
The group works hard to find scientific explanations that may disprove the evidence as well. They have disproved some experiences as light from car headlights, sounds from plumbing or exterior noise. Exposed electrical wiring can even create an electromagnetic field that can cause the brain to send signals to make a person feel like they are being watched or even experiencing something paranormal.
“People can contact us,” said Robinson. “If someone calls and says they have something in their house, we’ll come and investigate their house. As of right now, we’ve done commercial business areas and the museum, but we’re willing to branch out and do other places around here. We like it enough we’ll probably be doing this for a little while, so wherever it goes, it goes.”
To contact MAPS, visit the group’s Facebook page by clicking here.
Historical Society members also welcome people to join them on the last Monday of every month at the Lee-Whedon Library to learn more about local history.