A local paranormal group investigates those bumps in the night. – By Gigi LeGault | Eagle Magazine | September/October 2011
IF I ASKED YOU TODAY, IF YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL ME? Would you launch into a story? Maybe you would laugh and tell me you don’t believe in “all of that”. With the popularity of horror films and television series about haunting, it really doesn’t matter whether you believe or not. Someone out there does.
Years ago I worked the night shift at Micron and would keep people awake by asking “The Question of The Night”. One morning, around 4.00AM, I asked “Do you have any true scary stories?”. Everyone had one for me. Sometimes the story started “I had this friend, who knew a guy who said…”. But most people could tell me something directly from their own past. They ran the gamut from ghost stories to parked cars that moved on their own to strange Ouija boards answering questions no one else could possibly know. Trust me, all of us stayed awake that night. I think we had the most productive week in history for our area. We were all glad to be day sleepers.
Another great ghost story I once heard that won’t leave me is about a haunted house a family was renting not far from Eagle. It was fascinating to hear a first-hand account of a spirit that would engage this man’s youngest son – a toddler at the time in hour-long crib conversations through crib railings. He and his wife would wake to hear their little boy babbling and then there would be a brief silence before he would continue, like he was having a discussion with a good friend. When they checked in on him, he would be sitting, staring through the bars at something they were unable to see. Every time they would open a brand new jar of pickles, one would have a bite taken from it. Every doughnut package would have a couple nibbles gone. They never felt any sort of animosity coming from their house guest and they lived there for quite a while.
What if you weren’t so comfortable with the ghost sharing your space? What if those bumps in the night made your skin crawl? I suppose you could search online for an exorcist. According to an online search (I typed in “exorcism united states”), there are still plenty happening across the nation. Still…I keep thinking of the movie, which doesn’t bring me any sense of peace. Kind of creeps me out, actually.
With popular shows like Ghost Hunters, more people are familiar with paranormal investigators. Idaho has its own group, Boise City Ghost Hunters, a non-profit team that has plenty of experience in the Treasure Valley. Michael Hroma, founder and lead investigator, says “T.V. grabs a lot of people and, because of all the hype, a lot of people go to the paranormal”. BoiC.G.H. was created because “We knew there could be things out there”. That said, Hroma and his team are skeptical and don’t automatically assume those night noises are a haunting.
“I like horror films; I don’t let it drive my path. None of us are afraid of what could be out there”.
The idea was always to go out and help others that are having experiences. “We’re either able to see what they’re seeing or find the cause,” says Hroma. “We want to help people as much as we can”.
The astonishing thing is that this is a team of volunteers. These people have families and jobs. They aren’t looking for glory or attention-they really just want to calm the fears of the people who call them. Most of the time, it isn’t anything supernatural and BoiC.G.H. doesn’t go in expecting that it is. “We’re very leery” says Hroma.
We’re anti-ouija and usually anti-psychics. Though we have worked a couple of times with mediums. We need evidence. Everything we do has to be solid”.
Because they want everything to be provable, they use an amazing amount of equipment. “Because everything we do is theory based, we don’t charge a fee”. They use high quality recording tools-both audio and visual, electromagnet field readers, K2 readers, I.R. cameras (night vision), ambient thermometers (to check for hot and cold spots), and still photo cameras (though they are anti-orb). Most experiences they have had as a team have been audible rather than visual.
A lot of times the cause is not paranormal at all. There are animals in attics or other house related creaks and groans. Hroma does not mind calls that turn out to have plausible explanations, “We don’t go in assuming it’s a ghost”.
Three-and-a-half years into it, he says “most investigations lead to non paranormal results. Not every time, though”. “We were in one house that reported a lot of noises. Mid-investigation, we heard a loud thud from the floor above us-nothing had fallen and it didn’t show on our audio-recording. The entire group, five investigators, heard it”.
Often the calls BoiC.G.H. receives are people having a bit of fun. This was something they anticipated and so they created a long list of questions. “We go through alot to get through that game”. Nonetheless, they are always willing to help those that are sincere, even if it turns out to be raccoons. If you have any questions, contact them online at http://www.boiseghost.org.
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