UC Irvine students were able to gain some ‘paranormal’ enlightenment with a visit from the Orange County Ghost Hunters to Vista del Campo Norte on April 18.
According to the flier, VDC Norte brought OCGH to validate any paranormal sightings or hearings reported in and to explain how they will detect anything beyond VDC’s natural environment.
The OCGH is a group of seven individuals, including a demonologist, ordained minister, debunker, empath and paranormal archeologist, that investigate reported paranormal activity.
VDC Norte Community Assistants Nick Castello, Matt Lahana and Sara Wei sponsored the event, which included a chance to win autographed books by members of the OCGH.
Second-year political sciences major Lahana said, ‘I have always been interested in ghosts, [although] somewhat skeptical, after hearing ghost stories from fellow anteaters about Irvine and Norte, I decided it was time to do something about it.’
While they may sound similar to the popular team ‘Ghostbusters,’ the OCGH assures that they are completely different. Ghost hunter Don insists that ‘those shows [on TV] are for entertainment.’ Instead, the OCGH concentrates on paranormal investigation, which is actually a long, drawn-out scientific process.
Instead of simply going out and hoping to find ghosts, the OCGH actually make their outings a formal project, including detailed written reports of paranormal experiences and formal interviews with clients.
In fact, they sort through all data after an investigation to identity every single possibility that could logically explain any phenomenon they capture on camera, a job specifically for the debunker.
‘We don’t jump to conclusions,’ said Diana, the founder of the OCGH, ‘It isn’t helpful to us or our clients.’
Their visit to Irvine was more informational than investigative. VDC Norte residents were able to get a first-hand look at the high-tech equipment used on every job. Every piece of equipment is essential for the team to do a thorough investigation of both the physical and spiritual realms.
One very important object is their infrared camera, which is used to capture possible spiritual activity and was actually running during the presentation. Residents also learned the importance of an electromagnetic field detector, various types of cameras, radios and flashlights. Two different types of thermometers, an ambient and non-contact version, are used on jobs to find ‘cold-spots.’
On a more unusual note, the OCGH brought along a Geiger counter since spiritual activity is believed to have some radioactivity to it. In addition, the team explained the use of dowsing wands. When held steadily, the wands can point a ghost hunter toward nearby paranormal activity.
Although the constant movement of all the equipment may seem taxing, its use has proved useful to the team, as was evident from their presentation of possible scientific evidence for paranormal activity.
The OCGH mainly focuses on what is known as ‘orb phenomena.’ Orb phenomena are balls of light in varying colors that move around a room. However, it is also controversial due to the ease of their replication. Yet the OCGH has what may be evidence for such sightings from their numerous cemetery and ‘haunted house’ investigations.
On one particular investigation, the team was able to spend a night alone in an old estate that had been previously used as an experimental mental institution.
In the early morning hours, the ghost hunters reported an unusual loud bang that echoed throughout the house, lots of orb activity, moving cold spots and even an individual being tapped on the shoulder when no one else was around.
While such discussion may have frightened residents, that was not the main message that the OCGH emphasized with their visit. To Diana, the main objective of their team is to assist others. By helping individuals become more at peace with and knowledgeable about the spiritual world, the OCGH shows compassion in their business.
Fourth-year public health policy major, Sara Wei said, ‘I enjoyed [the program] because the OCGH taught us not to fear ghosts