Americans of all ages know the answer to the question “Who you gonna call?”
Yes, anyone would scream “Ghostbusters!” back in your face in reference to the 1984 film or the famous song that accompanied it.
But, would you know what to do if you did actually have an evil spirit for a roommate? (And not the kind that leaves dishes in the sink or forgets to put the lid back on the peanut butter).
Bob Brown, owner of Dweller in the Cellar paranormal investigation, is trying to help those affected by spirits and hauntings in their home.
His interest in the topic began like most: he watched paranormal investigation shows like Ghost Hunters and had a paranormal encounter of his own.
His first investigation was about two years ago in an abandoned farm house on his friends property in Plevna, Mont. At the time they weren’t using any formal equipment to measure paranormal activity, but were trying to summon any spirits by asking them questions and using a pendulum to gauge their answers; it would swing one way for yes and one way for no. When they later returned with equipment where they encountered temperature drop and rapid battery drain from their cameras.
Since then, Brown, has accumulated more equipment and proceeded with paranormal investigations. “I’d get divorced if I went out and bought it all at once,” Brown jokes.
He might be on to something, since collecting all the equipment can be pretty steep. The GhostHunter Store, sells products for ghost hunting. Some products on the site Brown uses in his own investigations: electromagnetic field(EMF) meters, audio/full spectrum video equipment, and thermal sensors.
By day, EMF meters are used by electricians for wiring issues, but by night EMF meters can pick up spikes in electrical current that could suggest a spiritual presence. Using EMF meters and thermometers along with long periods of audio/video recording helps diagnose what kind of activity is occurring.
A REM-Pod is a similar piece of equipment that usually comes with different colored LED lights that blink when there’s a change in electromagnetic field or temperature.
Brown swears by two tools: a tripod and the Lord. The tripod eliminates jiggle that can create shadows or false evidence. As for spirituality, he says, “Our faith is the only protection we have against these entities. If you use religious provocation[attempting to contact spirits through religious symbols/readings] without being religious, you have no protection against what you’re battling.”
Using the equipment and recording data on site is only about ten percent of an investigation, according to Brown’s estimate. The majority of a paranormal investigation is background research and data analysis.
Though based in Baker, Mont., Dweller in the Cellar offers service to many other states, their biggest investigation to date took place in South Dakota at the haunted Hotel Alex Johnson. You can see footage of a dark shadow appearing while Brown slept in his website gallery.
“Encounters that happen in your sleep will really make your hair stand up,” Brown said, adding that his wife doesn’t participate in investigation anymore.
Locations like Hotel Alex Johnson are known for their hauntings (you can see our list of Montana’s most haunted here), but a haunting in your own home doesn’t appeal to most. This is where Brown is here to help.
“We don’t charge people to do investigations. I’m not doing it for the money, this is to help people. If [an investigative service] is charging a lot of money I would stay away from them.”
Though Brown’s services are free, you may feel inclined to grab some equipment and investigate yourself. This is discouraged since you often become accustomed to sounds, drafts, loose shelves and other happenings that might be caused by the paranormal.
As far as the culturally-popular ouija board Brown says, “If anyone ever tells you to use a ouija board, they don’t know what theyre talking about it. It’s like walking out on the street and yelling come on in. You might never get it out once it comes in.”
Getting rid of spirits can be done through exorcisms, house cleansings, or house blessings. They aren’t always effective and sometimes residents feel packing a U-Haul is their only option.
You can cleanse your home with smudging, blessing and burning incense like sage. It is recommended that you first look into the proper way to perform cleansings. The GhostHunter Store can provide a book on blessings and sage bundles to help you in your endeavor.
Convinced your house is haunted? Call a specialist like Bob Brown or live dangerously and conduct your own research. Just remember not to open doors if you’re not ready for what’s beyond them.