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January 14, 2004

The Life of a Ghost Hunter

By Brian Leffler

Lets face it; being a ghost hunter is kind of an off- beat hobby to say the least. It is very enjoyable to some, offensive to others, and perhaps a little bit quirky to the rest. It touches all of us in some way at some time during out lives. It is inevitable that we will all eventually die and pass on from this existence to whatever lies beyond. Of course that is the point of our hobby, to find out what waits for us upon our death. I dont know who has the idea right or who actually has it wrong. Who cares, the investigation itself is what really puts my mind at ease about death itself.

To begin with, I have seen a great many things that bear no logical explanation at all. They have been occurrences into what we call the paranormal. They have no explanation that our minds can accept as normal so we dub them with this term. My first paranormal experience that I can remember happened late one night while watching TV. I was sitting in the living room and from that vantage point I could see the kitchen sink from across the dining room. The sink had a lever-type faucet that has to be lifted up to turn it on. It must have been about one oclock in the morning and while everyone else in the house was upstairs asleep, the faucet turned itself on full blast and kept running like that until I got up, walked over, and turned it off. It never did that again in the eight months more that I lived there. I did, on many occasions, hear people walking upstairs when nobody was there, and also heard voices as well as having the classic being watched feeling constantly. I learned later that the house used to be a place for wayward boys and later on a gentleman blew his own brains out with a shotgun there. This is where I got the interest in the paranormal and began to research the subject, although casually. It was about ten years later that I got actively into the investigation of the paranormal.

I hadnt given it much thought as I said for about ten years, but after moving into a house with, as we found out later, seven spirits in it, the time had arrived to start taking things much more seriously. I began reading a lot of books on ghosts and investigating the existence of them. I then began to start buying equipment to take their picture and record their lost voices on tape. I got some pretty nice pictures in the house and recorded some voices that would make the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up on end. The one thing that I found was that I wanted to find out more. I wanted to be able to make my own judgments about what the paranormal was and how ghosts existed in our world. I also kept very close track of what was happening and when, trying to put together some sort of pattern or rhyme or reason to what was happening in the house. As I did all of this, I started to come up with my own theories and put together some things from many other sources as to what I believed to be the truth about what a haunting actually is. A belief is exactly what it is all about for all of us individually. We all have things that influence us and guide our thinking about such an abstract subject as the paranormal.

After months of struggling with the haunting in our house -- and it is different when it happens in your own residence -- I decided it was time to expand the research out into the world. I began putting together a paranormal research group that we call the Northern Minnesota Paranormal Investigators or N.M.P.I. This really started the ball rolling for me. I found some interested people in the area that didnt think I was just crazy and we set out investigating cemeteries and looking for old abandoned buildings where there were many deaths and trauma to investigate. Now our group is growing and we are getting even better haunts to explore.

It is a little strange at times for me when people think that I am nuts for not only believing in the paranormal but also actively investigating it. It has paid off for this ghost hunter though; I have recently proven at least to myself if nothing else, that ghosts do in fact exist. On December 13th 2003, we actually captured a ghost on videotape and that was the concrete evidence to convince us for sure. Now it is just a simple case for me to try and figure out just what is on the other side and exactly how it works and who knows perhaps some day I will hit on that one too.

Oh yes, as for the theories. My biggest theory is best summed up by an analogy. I believe that our world is a plane of existence and the ghosts world is another plane of existence. Okay, we are probably all on the same page there. I look at it as both worlds each being a long length of rope, one piled on the other. They are two separate things that touch in many places but also dont touch in a great many other places. The places that they do in fact touch are where you have vortexes and they are able to cross from their world into ours. These places are where you have the most famous and active haunts in the world. Places such as the Winchester house, the Rams Head Inn, the Myrtles plantation, and such. I think that the spirits can move out from these places and go wherever they want to go, usually places that have meaning for them from when they were living. I also am a believer in the theory that the older the ghost is, the more powerful the ghost is as well as having more ability.

All of this has put me on the path that I am on in my life. I am hoping to be able to make contributions to the science of paranormal research. I guess that even if I dont make any kind of difference in the study of the paranormal, at the very least, I have made a difference in my own life knowing that there is something more to us than just our bodily shell that we currently occupy.

Brian Leffler is the Founder of Northern Minnesota Paranormal Investigators (N.M.P.I.).

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014