- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) - There are sounds of chains clanging in the attic, unknown voices filtering through the house or mysterious footsteps creaking along the stairway when nobody is there.

Who are you going to call? Well, of course, the ghostbusters.

Well, actually, ghostbusters or ghost hunters are not what the men and women who search high and low for things that go bump in the night like to be called in the new age of high-tech equipment, gadgetry and computers.

“Paranormal Investigators,” said Frank Lee, 35, of Pell City, who is founder and lead investigator for the Central Alabama Society for Paranormal Investigation and Research.

It all sounds sort of, well, spooky.

“We’ve seen quite a few ghosts that turned out to be busted water pipes or some type of electrical problem,” said Lee, who along with a team of eight other ghost seekers, investigates possible paranormal activity.

It’s those the unexplainable things that keep CASPIR members going back for more, searching for those ghostly answers.

“We have witnessed legitimate paranormal activities,” Lee said. “We’ve seen things people would never believe, unless they were there and saw it for themselves.”

Lee, who is a member of the U.S. Army National Guard in Talladega, said CASPIR members come from all walks of life.

“There’s a lot of talent in the group,” he said.

Their paranormal investigations take them to private property sites, homes and businesses, he said.

“We stay pretty busy,” Lee said. “We try to focus on places in central Alabama. We have traveled some, northwest Alabama and Montgomery. I guess we do two or three investigations a month.”

He said the team also meets to discuss new cases and to talk shop about the latest paranormal investigative equipment.

Lee said he has always had an interest in paranormal phenomena.

“And I’ve always liked helping people,” he added. “This was a way to do both. Our focus is helping people.”

Lee said he enjoys history and is a “huge science nerd.”

He said the group not only does paranormal investigations, but they also participate in volunteer cleanup efforts at historic sites. CASPIR members are avid supporters of preserving historic buildings and sites.

Lee said team members also enjoy history and research.

He said CASPIR does not charge people for paranormal investigations.

“Over the past few years there has been an increase in reports of paranormal activities,” Lee said. “It could be because paranormal television programs have become more popular. It may be more acceptable to people now.”

So how does the group begin a paranormal investigation?

“Each case is different,” Lee said. “We try to be as objective as we can. It’s always good to have someone there who is skeptical.”

Lee said they have seen some cases that point to something as simple as a rodent problem. In other instances, the answer is not that simple.

“If we can’t explain something naturally, we look at it being a possible paranormal activity,” he said. “We are not thrill seekers. We try to conduct it (the investigation) professionally.”

Initially, the team interviews people who have witnessed the strange occurrences at the residence.

The group researches the history of the property, and also looks at the geologic survey of the immediate area.

He said the group takes various readings with electronic equipment, and even environmental temperature readings are taken.

CASPIR also inspects the electrical and plumbing systems of the structure and anything that could play a part in causing the alleged paranormal activity.

If more investigation warrants, the group sets up night vision equipment, audio recorders and camcorders, as well as other monitoring equipment inside the residence.

Lee said cases vary, but generally most cases only take a few hours once a preliminary investigation is completed.

Sometimes the investigation continues throughout the night or several nights “to see if we notice or witness anything like they (the residents) have reported.”

Lee said a determination is usually made about whether there are paranormal activities taking place.

He said in most cases residents are relieved.

“They have a sense of comfort,” Lee said. “They are assured that they aren’t going crazy.”

Lee said members of his group have experienced numerous unexplained paranormal occurrences, like voices and outlines of shadows when there is nobody else around.

“There are things we couldn’t explain,” he said.

Only a few weeks ago, Lee experienced his most profound paranormal experience ever.

“We saw a 20-pound end table with marble top thrown across the room by something that wasn’t there,” he said. “It’s pretty wild.”

___

Information from: The Daily Home - Talladega, https://www.dailyhome.com

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