The Minnesota Paranormal Study Group (MPSG), as well as the Northern Lights Paranormal Society (NPLS) of Grand Rapids, gathered in the parking lot of the Greyhound Bus Museum Saturday night.
Their mission — to observe and document any sound or sight inside the museum that could not be explained through conventional methods
MPSG, based in Hibbing, was founded by Adam Nori. Nori started the group to help people or businesses who may have problems with hauntings. MPSG conducts investigations for free, and the owner of the property has the option of keeping the results confidential.
Don Larsen, MPSG’s tech manager, explained that the social stigma of ghosts is a factor for people seeking help.
“Most (people that we work with) just want physical evidence that they aren’t crazy,” Larsen said. “I bet at least 80 percent just want to know that they’re not nuts.”
Larsen and other MPSG are committed to what they do.
“We take this very seriously,” said Larsen. “You don’t goof around, because you’re going to somebody’s house or business.”
Nori said that an important part is building a relationship with the owner seeking the team’s help and making them feel comfortable.
The group uses a variety of tricks and tools in their investigations, including infrared illuminators, simple voice recorders and both stationary and hand-held cameras.
This investigation was the third and final time the group would work in the Greyhound Bus Museum. Glen Katzenberger, assistant director of the museum, first brought the museum to the attention of MPSG.
Katzenberger became a believer in ghosts two years ago when he noticed objects moving around the museum and bus windows being opened without any explanation. When he saw MPSG at the “Field of Screams” in Chisholm, he approached them and asked if they would be interested.
Nori, who said he enters every supposedly haunted locale with skepticism, paid a visit to the museum. Katzenberger gave him a tour, during which Nori saw that the windows on all the buses were closed. When they went back through a few moments later, the windows had been opened, even though they were the only people in the building.
Although nobody on the team or Katzenberger can say for certain who or what is causing the phenomena, they suspect it has something to do with the close proximity of the museum to the North Hibbing cemetery.
“I just know that things happen,” said Katzenberger.
For Nori, ghost hunting has become a family affair. His fiancee, Kristin Rice, is also a member of MPSG, along with her uncle, Mickey Rice.
“History is what we’re dealing with,” said Mickey. “It’s the unknown (I like) — you never know what you’re going to come across.”
Kristin had a less-than-positive experience on her first visit to Greyhound. She and Nori were on one of the buses, performing an electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) session.
During an EVP session, a member of the team asks questions or makes requests of ghosts to see if they can record responses that aren’t always audible to the ear.
Kristin said she became nauseous during their session on the bus, and she and Nori eventually left. She spent the rest of the night in the lobby, watching the main camera monitor. When the footage of them on the bus was viewed later, the phrase “get out” was heard.
Kristin said a rule of the team is to never jump to conclusions.
“We’ve learned to debunk things,” she said. “If we can recreate it, we throw it out.”
This investigation marked the first time MPSG had worked with another team, NLPS.
“It’s nice to see what equipment (MPSG is using),” said Lisa Karnes, of NLPS. “An investigation is always a learning experience.”
The teams set up four stationary cameras and equipped most people with night-vision camcorders and voice recorders. They broke into three teams and investigated the bus garage attached to the museum, as well as the buses outside.
Members reported unusual sounds and rapid temperature changes in some spots.
Nori said of the investigation, “It went well, but the equipment is going to tell the story.”
Nori and his team will spend the next few days going through the hours of video footage and voice recordings. If they find evidence of something that cannot be explained, they will post it on their Web site, www.minnesotaghosts.com.
Larsen said that the team is composed of people who understand that ghost hunting is not glamorous.
“A lot of people think, ‘oh, I can be in a group and go to all these cool places.’ It’s not like that,” he said.
The teams spent two hours alone setting up their equipment.
“The biggest word I think to describe our group and what I want out of it is integrity,” said Nori. “It’s the biggest thing you can have in the field. You can have billions of dollars of equipment, but if you don’t have integrity, you don’t have anything.”
Larsen added, “To me, it’s a rush. You don’t need to do drugs — just go into a really dark basement. That’s the rush. Most people are scared of the dark. I’m not.”