Paranormal investigators in the Triad explore the unknown
By: Terry Rader
Do you believe in ghosts? This is the first question I asked lead investigators Rick Aiken, 1992 founder of Piedmont Triad Paranormal Investigations and Bonnie Jones, 2012 founder of Gray Wolf Paranormal.
“For myself, I have to have some sort of evidence,” Jones said. “I need scientific proof. When I was 10 years old, I saw a full apparition of a girl sitting on my bed. She disappeared as I began screaming for Mommy and Daddy. That experience stayed with me, and as I got older, I began doing research to better understand what I had seen.”
Jones said she wondered if it was just her imagination or if she saw an actual apparition.
She said her mother showed her a photo of her aunt, who had passed at age 14, and she said it resembled the figure that she saw as a child.
“I not only learned that I had an aunt, but I also felt that I had seen a ghost.”
Aiken told me that he is “what you call a skeptical believer.”
“I believe there is something and we are always looking for proof for our clients,” he said. “On our first assessment visit, we may bring a couple of electronic instruments to sweep the property for electromagnetic activity as well as relying on some of Bonnie’s metaphysical tools. Sometimes we are able to dispel the problem right then, and our clients are always grateful when we can give them some answers.”
When Aiken was 9 years old, his 113-year-old great grandfather passed away. He said every morning he believed his great grandfather’s spirit would come into his bedroom, give his shoulders a shake and then leave to go fishing.
“My family said it was a dream, but it wasn’t a dream to me,” he said. “When I grew up, I went to the library and researched all kinds of religions to try to understand what happened after death. It became a personal study hobby of mine for 27 years, but I’m still a skeptical believer.”
Aiken said some memorable hauntings included cases involving what he referred to as “residual activity that results from events being burned into the electromagnetic field.” He explained that it’s not something that interacts with a person, but it can be witnessed visually or audibly. Aiken said he has smelled blood and iron gunpowder in an old Civil War hospital field and was not alone in seeing foot soldier apparitions and the sound of cannons. He said that the most unforgettable hauntings are in residential homes.
He explained that “active entities” in a home could feed off of negative energy and amplify it, but he added that paranormal activity is not all bad; it’s just trapped energy.
“We caught an anomaly in Winston-Salem a couple of years ago,” Aiken said. “It looks like a bright flashing light on the video. It was something I couldn’t explain to the client, so I took it to the forensic lab in Charlotte, and they tested the DVR, camera, and cable and certified it all to be in perfect working order and had not been tampered with.”
He said that incident was classified as unknown.
“We’ve also captured 1,000s of [electronic voice phenomenons] audio recordings, and they are classified as follows: Class A denotes a very clear conversation. Class B is questionable; different people hear different things. Class C is conversations that are heard in the background, but you can’t make out what they’re saying. Class D is so unclear; we throw these out.”
Aiken said everyone on the team has had their “Class A moment.”
“One guy disappeared from the site when he had his,” Aiken said. “When we found him outside, he was visibly shaken.”
Jones recalled a time when she was pushed. She said she was physically moved but wasn’t fearful of the situation.
“I’m not saying I’ve never been afraid at an investigation, but at that moment, I didn’t feel aggression,” she said. “You really have to check yourself when it happens.”
Aiken shared that everyone on the PTPI team has day-jobs and include trusted members of law enforcement, firefighters, plumbers, electricians, EMFs, retired military, clergy and others of all ages, and they all give their time freely.
“We do not charge a fee nor ask for donations, but we can accept tax-deductible donations when offered as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3),” Jones said. “All of our team members come from different backgrounds. We learn from each other and mesh well together. Our clients are different, and it takes all of us to be educated in as many different ways as possible. They trust us, and we sign confidentiality agreements for those who do not want their results shared and others who do, you can find on our website. Sometimes people feel all alone when they are experiencing unexplained paranormal activity. They don’t have anyone to turn to with the supernatural, so we want to be there to help them.”
TERRY RADER is a former ad agency pro creative director, branding strategist, Earth Harmony columnist and storyteller on a mission to write stories to promote creative people, grassroots, sustainability and underground happenings in our community while she pet/home sits and writes her personal stories, songs, poems, and nature essays.
On Oct. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be a free PTPI lecture at High Point Public Library, located at 901 N. Main St. See Piedmont-Triad Paranormal website and Gray Wolf Paranormal website (networking, open to all) or their Facebook pages for future lectures, as PTPI will take a much-needed fall sabbatical until mid-November.