CEDAR RAPIDS — When you’re investigating the paranormal, it’s apparently important to keep an open mind.
Paranormal investigation, otherwise known as ghost hunting, can inspire a strong group of followers, as well as skeptics. But those in the industry say there are a lot of misconceptions.
“We don’t go in assuming a place is haunted, we go in assuming it’s not,” said Annette Strube, a co-founder of the Cedar Rapids Paranormal Society. “I think a big misconception of paranormal research groups is that we’re all kooks and blindly go into everything thinking it’s a ghost or a demon. We go in and try to find the causes of the experiences.”
Strube said she’s been seeing a growing interest in paranormal investigation, a trend she thinks may come from an increase in paranormal television shows and movies.
“It’s been a booming hobby and interest,” said Katie Hass, a member of a group of paranormal investigators called Unknown Darkness.
The group, which also includes members Josh Hopkins and Brittney Pamperin, will host an event Saturday at the Ambroz Recreation Center with the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department. Hass said Unknown Darkness investigated the building in January and found electronic voice phenomena of what they believe to be a child. The event will have an educational portion, followed by a group investigation of the building.
“We are recreation for all,” said Rob Wagner, the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation program supervisor. “This one (event) may be a little bit out of the norm, but there is definitely an interest in it.”
Wagner said he never has had a paranormal experience himself, but other employees have reported doors closing on their own and other unexplained happenings on the second and third floors of the more than 100-year-old Ambroz Recreation Center late at night.
Those interested may register for the event, being held from 6 to 11 p.m., upon arrival. The event costs $45.
Hass said the group does not charge for investigations at someone’s home or other locations, but are charging a fee at this educational event because it is working with Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation. Strube also said people should be wary of organizations that charge for an investigation.
The Cedar Rapids Paranormal Society is willing to take on new members, but attending meetings for training is a must. Unknown Darkness isn’t necessarily looking to take on new members, but it hosts multiple paranormal educational events.
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ON THE WEB
Go to thegazette.com online to watch Unknown Darkness lead a paranormal investigation through the Buchanan County Home last November.