Postcards: From scout campout to jail-cell haunted house to ghosts, The Hill was a-buzz

By Linda Emley

It was a very busy weekend on The Hill. Around 200 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and their families camped out behind the museum at the Ray County Fairgrounds.
I was a den mother many years ago and I don’t ever remember having that many people together for so much fun. There were tents everywhere and lots of people coming and going all weekend.
They had a science fair set up in the Eagleton Center, a campfire, a hay ride and many other really cool activities.
The Ray County Museum got to be a part of all the fun by hosting a small version of a haunted house. We opened up our basement after dark and you could walk in one door and exit out the other end a few minutes later. It didn’t take much to make our basement seem like a haunted house after dark because we have six jail cells and many dark corners.
There was another event at the museum Saturday night that fit right in because it was paranormal night at the museum. I want to give a big thanks to my PRI friends that helped with the haunted house before they started their paranormal research. Thanks Nick, Mary, Danny, Amy, Jesse, Julie, Kevin and Erin for making it a fun night at the museum.
Paranormal Research Investigators have visited the Ray County Museum on several occasions and have been documenting activity and validating claims of something unearthly happening here.
Dr. Nick Spantgos, founder of PRI, takes paranormal research to a whole new level. This team’s approach is “Logic First, Paranormal Last” so they take their investigations very seriously.
Nick and Keith Ross founded PRI in April 2007. Their team has investigated over 360 locations and only found potential evidence of the paranormal at 60 of these locations.
Their mission is to advance the field of paranormal research through systematic, logical and thorough investigations while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and quality. They are very critical when reviewing evidence and only say a location is potentially haunted when there is absolutely no other possible explanation.
The PRI team has held several public events on The Hill, including a paranormal 101 class. This class explains the scientific approach to investigating while sharing experiences and educating the public about the paranormal. It also explains how to have a good time while exploring the paranormal.
Nick explains,“Our goal for public events at places like the Ray County Museum is to help secure donations for the historic preservation of these buildings and bring awareness to the history of local business.”
Nick has filmed several documentaries, including one about PRI’s time at the Ray County Museum and the Belvoir Winery in Liberty. This past June, Nick appeared on a Syfy channel episode of “Ghost Hunters” filmed at the winery.
Nick wants people to know that real paranormal research is not like what you see on TV because it takes many hours to conduct an investigation. One of the most common misperceptions is that ghosts will perform on command and you should be able to document their presence in an hour, which simply is not true. Generally an investigation will last five to eight hours with every piece of equipment recording data during that time. If you have 10 digital voice recorders, five night vision camcorders, a full spectrum camera, a regular digital camera and a thermal imager all running at the same time, that’s 18 pieces of equipment.
For an eight-hour investigation, that means it takes approximately 144 hours to review all the data from those 18 pieces of equipment.  So if you think paranormal investigating is a piece of cake, think again. For those that are truly serious and have a passion for discovering the truth, it’s a quest for unraveling the past.
Did I forget to mention that we started our Saturday night out eating cheeseburger pizza at Hometown Pizza? This has become a PRI tradition that always adds to the fun when the crew comes to visit our quiet little town of Richmond.
Once again I must say, “I have one of the best jobs in town because you never know what kind of fun we are going to have with each new day on The Hill.”

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