Monday, January 26, 2009

A Baffling House

The client contacted us with issues that ranged from electrical interruptions, footsteps, window blinds ticking, to full body apparitions and someone being hit. Normally, that’s a call that draws my attention, but this one had another element that intrigued me. The client lived in Mesa, AZ right between where the HoHoKam water canals had run centuries ago before the people vanished from the Earth. The area around their old waterway canals has always intrigued me as a source of potential spiritual flow. The reports of hauntings in this particular neighborhood are exceedingly high.

The investigators were just myself and my closest hunting buddy. We both grew up in very old homes in the East Coast, both of us dealing with haunting situations in our formative years. It has given us a bond that is hard to explain. Something like living through and airplane crash and feeling like those folks on the plane with you are the only ones who can understand. We have a similar take on investigations and are both highly skeptical by nature, trying to weed out the explainable from the extraordinary.

We didn’t hold out a lot of hope this house call would be particularly productive. After all, they rarely are. The chance of these things occurring during the sparse hours you’re visiting are very small. The chances of getting it on film or audio, even more scarce. Still, there was something about the home the moment we stepped inside that made both of us stand at alert. It was a familiar feeling. A kind of tingling of the senses that makes you hyper-alert and a weird sense that you know exactly what parts of the house are active before the owner opens her mouth.

The owner took us around to explain where things had been seen and heard. Some of the characteristics like someone walking down the hall and trying doorknobs was very familiar and sounded like a common complaint in active homes. Other things, like full body apparitions were more intriguing. It took quite a deal of effort to produce one of those. We tested the places where the apparitions were seen and were unable to reproduce similar findings with changes in lighting and positioning.

The woman told us how the hall light was out and the cat sat on the floor and studied the wall and the light just went on by itself. This is where good listening comes in. Earlier, she tried to show us the hallway but the light wouldn’t go on. It was intermittent, she explained. This shot down the cat seeing someone turn on the light. We turned the switch off, hit the wall a few times, and found that it turned itself back on. The wiring was obviously the issue there.

Explaining and debunking aside, we were highly distracted by two interesting finds: 1. The EMF in the house was ridiculously high. The average was 1.4 and in places went up to 3-4. There was no place in the house that read under 1. That was very unusual. The highest readings were in the floor in the hall. I admit to being intrigued by high EMF readings. Of course, we already knew the electrical in her hall was screwed up and the house was fairly older. We couldn’t get the same reads in the same places which intrigued me even more, as if it were electrical, it should have read similar in the same spots.

Studying the hallway which was the seat of all the activity, I paced up and down and noticed a vent. The owner explained the vent at one end of the hall near the floor was some kind of vent for helping with air-conditioning. I asked if it were tied to the air-conditioner and she said that, no, it wasn’t. It was simply a dirt tunnel under the hallway that led to another vent at the other end of the hall. It was some kind of air return. When it rained, she told me, water ran under the house. What an amazing combination of conditions.

If you believe in geology and feng shui, this house was truly screwed.

She was kind enough to let us unscrew the vents and lower a camcorder with night vision into the hole to study the tunnel. Nothing found, except a constant sense of cool air moving in dirt tunnels.

We finished the hunt and reviewed our tapes, film, and audio with no findings. During the hunt we used the camcorder, digital cameras, digital audio recorder, EMF meter, laser thermometer, and I even tried out a strobe light because the theory is that if ghosts move too fast, you won’t see them and the strobe slows everything down. It managed to give me a disco headache, but proved nothing other than I know why I don’t disco anymore. The audio, we discovered was completely negated by the fact we let the owner watch TV in the other room while we investigated. (It pays to keep a sterile environment). Although we found no objective evidence of a haunting, the house continued to haunt my thoughts.

The owner let us know a year later they were still having issues and another full body had been seen. Intrigued, I quickly offered us up to investigate again. This time, we hope to have complete control over the environment and a chance to really look up the geology of the land she’s living on and the canals pathways in regards to her home. We also hope to review her EMF readings and see if they’re tied to the electrical or not. Living with such high EMF levels continually could be irritating. I know the alarm clocks near the head of the bed were ridiculously high (they often are—keep that thing farther from your head). I hope to do a few more tests such as having the owner turn off all the breakers and rechecking the EMF readings to determine if this is electrical or not. All things being said, I'd like her to keep a diary of in what kind of weather these happenings occur. I'm thinking that rushing water under the house might create a kind of energy pathway that's irresistable. Of course, it's all theories until you find ways to test them and find patterns. That's why I'm in this biz. It's one mystery after another.

I’ll keep you updated on our re-visit.


  1. I can't wait for the update! What a fascinating case study! I live in Mesa and hear stories every now and then from the old timers in my family (distant family-but very nice) about things -I think the UK is probably the most haunted place on earth -but the US sure does have some interesting stories of its own-best to you as always!

  2. Thanks. If you live anywhere up in the region around Country Club and Brown--you're in the heart of weird and freaky activity. I agree that places like the UK simply have a longer history than we do, so more buildup and more possibilities for activity. If a place has seen a lot of residents or a lot of people have shared the's going to be active.