Paranormal unit opens up in Shippensburg


Mckenzie Henry and Jaime Yaukey

Hauntings throughout Shippensburg may come to an end with the help of a new group of paranormal investigators from Crawford County. John Lewis, the owner and lead investigator of the new group known as Baelfire Paranormal Investigations brought his group to Shippensburg after his marriage to the now co-owner of the company, Christina.

The team has over 30 years of experience in paranormal activity and will provide their service to anyone, free of charge. “We feel that, even though our services involve a lot of time and work, the rewards for helping a family understand what is going on around them is payment enough.” Lewis said, “Our goal is to help people. In 2001, Lewis was introduced to paranormal investigations. “I grew up in a spiritual family and have had experiences of strange occurrences since I was a young child.” Lewis explained.“When I was living in Oil City, PA, I had a friend who was studying Parapsychology [Field of study concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena] who I told about my experiences. She asked me if I wanted to learn how to Ghost Hunt. I thought the idea was awesome, so we started a group.”

Lewis said that due to some family issues, the investigation team took a short break. Since they’re back in the swing of things, during a normal week, they receive around 15 calls and emails regarding suspected paranormal activity. The team always investigates at night, during which the team will see two types of hauntings: Intelligent Haunts or Residual Haunts. Lewis said that they have seen the two hauntings about the same amount of times.

According to Baelfire Paranormal Investigation’s website, Intelligent hauntings are when the spirit can directly interact with the living, and there are three reasons believed for intelligent hauntings. The first reason, and the most common, is that the spirit has unfinished business. The spirit may have something they need to say to the one they are haunting, or they need something done in order to “cross-over” into the afterlife. The second reason is that the spirit doesn’t realize he or she is dead because they may have died a tragic death, and the spirit must be communicated with and helped to “cross-over”. The last reason is that someone may be holding the spirit to Earth due to being unable to let go of their loved one they lost, which is actually a very common occurrence. When this case occurs, the living person must be counseled and worked with to let go of the spirit, and until the living person lets go of the spirit, the spirit will not be able to “cross over”. A residual haunting is believed not to be an actual spirit, but instead a psychic imprint of a tragedy that happened at a location. An example of a residual haunting is seeing soldiers on the battlefield in Gettysburg.

The team uses seven tools while investigating, first on the list being a camcorder for recording the activities of each team. The camcorder must have night vision and an infrared light attached. Next, an EMF detector to measure the Electromagnetic Fields. Third, a digital camera, used during the walk around the site in an attempt to try and capture the spiritual manifestations. Also, a digital voice recorder, used to try and catch electronic voice phenomena. The voices captured are believed to be the spirits- after all the voices of the team members are ruled out. An infrared camera, believed to capture spirit light images and the movement of teammates, just in case anything were to happen. Also, a full spectrum camera to pick up on the ultraviolet spectrum. The last tool the team uses is an infrared thermometer, which is used due to the belief that spirits can manipulate temperatures, making “cold spots”. So, these thermometers are used to locate these cold spots.

When taking a picture of a spirit using a digital camera, the spirit can take on three forms of photography. The first is an apparition, which is an actual figure of a spirit. The second is an orb, a ball of light with its own light source. The final is a mist, which is just a misty figure. “The orb is the most common, however, you have to be careful when seeing orbs in pictures.” Lewis explained. “If the orb is not perfectly circular, and completely solid, then it is not an orb. It could be dust or even a bug.”

When investigating a place, the team is usually in the area of the supposed haunting from 8 P.M. to four A.M. Requests for investigations with children are always put top on the list. In fact, Lewis said that one of their creepiest cases had to do with a child having nightmares. We were at a residence in North-west PA where a child was being plagued with nightmares. We did the investigation and were analyzing the audio recordings when we heard a voice say ‘Who is the Demon?’” Lewis said.  “Another voice promptly replied a name. I researched the name and it was a name in The Lesser Seals of Solomon, a book that King Solomon wrote describing 72 demons he encountered during his life.” Lewis did not want to give the name that was said because he believes that saying a demon’s name gives it power.

The latest place that the Baelfire Paranormal Investigations team investigated was Sachs Covered Bridge in Gettysburg, PA. “Using our sp-7 Spirit box, a radio that scans the frequencies so fast it can not lock onto a station, we heard several names come through. We were also told to ‘Leave’.” Lewis said. “We asked that if they wanted us to leave to light up the lights on our K-2 EMF Meter. We heard “leave” again and all the lights on the meter lit up.” The Baelfire team considers all cases that are brought to their attention,

In a poll on PawPrint, out of 24 voters, 4 responded that they believed in ghosts and spirits because they’d seen one themselves. Five responded that they didn’t believe in them, but they have seen unexplained events. Hanna Durff, freshman, is one of the seven that doesn’t believe in them and hasn’t seen one. “A lot of people believe in that stuff so maybe it is real, and if these people are investigating they’ll find things that nobody knew about.” Durff said.

If anyone should want to hire an paranormal investigation team to get something checked out, Baelfire Paranormal Investigations can be called at (717) 458-4155 or a request can be sent in by using their website, .