On October 29th the Maryland Gazette featured an article on our organization
written by staff writer Allison Bourg
Here is a scanned copy of the article, below it is the full text for easier reading.



WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
By ALLISON BOURG Staff Writer
Published 10/29/08


William Heck was standing at his daughter's grave in Cedar Hill Cemetery, digital recorder in hand. He felt a chill on his shoulder.
Later, when he pushed the recorder's play button, he heard what sounded like a little girl whispering:
"I'm touching you."
It's tough to be certain, but he believes the voice was that of his daughter, who died at age 4 of a chromosomal abnormality. He also believes she was touching him, just as the voice said.
"My shoulder was cold," said the Baltimore man, a member of the Pasadena Paranormal Society.
The society's mission is to find spirits just like Mr. Heck's daughter.
Even though Halloween is on Friday, members aren't looking for ghosts in white sheets that jump out and scream "Boo!" or anything that looks like it could be ripped from the set of a horror movie.
They're more like scientists, using high-tech infrared cameras, digital recorders and other equip-ment to detect electromagnetic activity in the air. Such activity, they say, indicates the presence of something otherworldly.
"The unknown is intriguing or frightening, depending on which way you look at it," said Dave Schmincke of Pasadena, the group's co-founder.
In the two years since he and Scott Duncan, also of Pasadena, formed the society, members have investigated 27 spooky scenes all over Maryland.
Cedar Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn Park has been a particular source of intrigue for the group. On several different occasions, members have recorded voices whispering short phrases and even singing songs, which can be heard on videos they have posted to YouTube.
The Engineered Piping Products building in Curtis Bay, where Mr. Schmincke and Mr. Heck work, is believed to be another site of paranormal activity.
They say they've seen unexplained shadows and heard loud footsteps that seemingly vanish into thin air.
"It piqued our interest," Mr. Schmincke said.
As with Mr. Heck, a family tragedy prompted Mr. Schmincke's interest in paranormal phenomena. His brother-in-law, Adam Swick, suddenly died at age 30 of a rare heart defect. The Pasadena man was a well-known lover of Halloween and all things scary, and his family now hosts a haunted Halloween trail in his honor.
"My wife would ask me how I knew he was in heaven, and I was trying to find a way to substantiate what I was telling her," Mr. Schmincke said. "Now, I'm a skeptic ... in fact, I'm probably the group's biggest skeptic."
Electronic voice phenomena - called EVP - the group has recorded has made him think that maybe, just maybe, ghosts do exist.
The group also includes Mr. Duncan's wife, Crystal, Mr. Heck, Rex and Kelly Miller of Pasadena and Colleen Beaver and Tony Whittington, two investigators in training.
At the center of their investigations is a camera that captures images up to 100 feet in total darkness, and several EMF detectors and K2 meters.
EMF detectors use a needle that moves up and down to indicate electromagnetic energy. K2 meters use a light display. If electromagnetic activity is present, the lights begin to flash, possibly a sign of paranormal activity.
Whatever is being recorded may be something that ghost hunters can't see or hear without the aid of a digital recorder.
"You can go out and feel like your whole investigation is a bust," Mr. Schmincke said. "Then you go through the evidence."
Society members say their recorders have picked up EVPs whispering phrases such as "Play with me" and "I'm touching you," which Mr. Heck heard at his daughter's grave.
Ghost hunters are divided on how EVPs show up in digital recordings, but can't be heard without assistance from technology.
"Some people believe it happens psychically. Some people believe that a digital recorder is just that much stronger," Mr. Schmincke said.
Thanks to the growing popularity of shows like "Ghost Hunters," the Pasadena Paranormal Society is generating its share of buzz, too.
The group's Web site attracts hits from all over the world, and members have been summoned to check out possible hauntings across the area. They've gone as far as Calvert County, where a family was troubled by slammed doors, moved belongings and apparitions - one of a young girl in period clothing. Their home was built over an old church cemetery.
An investigation turned up numerous EVPs and a moving, pulsating light, which showed up on the video the group recorded. But ultimately, their findings were inconclusive.
Sometimes that happens. And other times they've found that there is a logical explanation for a so-called haunting. The group recalled one investigation, when a homeowner reported pictures were falling off her walls without any explanation. It turned out the push pins on which the pictures were hanging were sliding back into the walls, causing them to tumble.
"It's not an exact science, so you kind of learn as you go," Mr. Schmincke said.
They've heard some rumblings from people who want to learn right alongside them.
They want to be clear: They want people who take the craft seriously, not people who are just looking for thrills.
"No flying skulls and things like that," Mr. Duncan said.
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To learn more about the group and to view pictures and videos of its findings, go to www.pasadenaparanormal.com. Copyright 2008 The Maryland Gazette and Capital Gazette Communications, Inc.
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