Halloween stirs up discussion of hauntings and unexplainable events; however, this is the reality for Michigan State's Paranormal Society year-round.
Whether it's checking out Mayo Hall, the Howell Opera House or Soop Cemetery, Co-Presidents Emily Springer and Brienna Shear are well-versed in Michigan's haunted scene.
"We investigate and look at different paranormal anomalies that occur, anywhere between ghosts to aliens to conspiracy theories and cryptids," Shear said. "One of our big things that we do as a club is go on paranormal investigations."
To complete their investigations, they use basic equipment such as flashlights, cameras and voice recorders. They also have more advanced equipment like electromagnetic meters, BooBuddy and a spirit box.
BooBuddy is a stuffed teddy bear that notifies the group of temperature changes and encourages child spirits to interact, Shear said.
As for the meter, Shear said the theory is that spirits can manipulate the electromagnetic field. The meter detects fluctuations in the field; however, the group has to stay away from lights, phones and outlets.
"It's very interesting when you're in the middle of the woods, and there's nothing around and you have it (the electromagnetic meter) suddenly spike all the way up," Shear said.
Another type of equipment is the spirit box, which Shear is skeptical of. The box scrolls through radio channels at a fast pace, creating white noise that spirits can manipulate.
The group has had several unexplainable events. Shear said the group heard voices of children at the Howell Opera House and smelled a sweet scent over the grave of Elizabeth Soop at Soop Cemetery. According to Shear, Soop was supposedly a persecuted witch who lingers around the cemetery where she was buried.
"That place (Soop Cemetery) is really spooky and almost every time we go there, we get evidence of some sort of paranormal anomaly," Shear said.
The group also explores campus areas such as Mayo Hall, which Springer said is rumored to be haunted by Mary Mayo.
The rumors are Mary Mayo "can still be seen walking around after dark. Like, there's a piano in the hall that plays by itself," Springer said.
"The main thing is the red room, which is I think that closed down fourth floor, which people say it's been closed down for asbestos," Springer said. "People who know no one should be up there (say) that someone's clearly moving around."
Shear also mentioned Beaumont Tower, which is rumored to be haunted by a woman in white and a soldier.
"That's kind of where the story of the legend of kissing under the tower comes from," Shear said. "The two were long lost lovers searching for each other."
After a night of paranormal investigation, the group analyzes footage and recordings and discuss their findings.
"We never usually come to any conclusions as to if it's haunted or not, because who knows? We're just doing it for fun and it's fun to share experiences with each other," Shear said.
The group does more than investigating, Springer said they also have game nights and discuss how religion and the paranormal intersect. Additionally, the group consists of skeptics and believers which gives way to plenty of debating.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has traded searches for spirits for presentations and discussion over Zoom.
As for potential group members, Springer said everyone is welcome.
"We're a very fun club and you don't even have to believe in the paranormal or ghosts," Springer said. "We like skeptics to join as well."
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