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There are things that happen in this world in that are not easily explained, and Grand Rapids is no exception to this rule.
One group in this city that is helping to find an explanation is The West Michigan Paranormal Investigation team (WMPI). WMPI is a team of investigators who get together in their spare time and investigate claims of strange happenings. Tim Kesler, the lead investigator of WMPI, explained that people get into the field of paranormal research for many different reasons. Some may just be curious about the unknown, others may have experienced something they cannot explain in their past and are looking to find answers. Whatever the case, the reasons are personal and numerous.
“The two main reasons for such skepticism when it comes to the paranormal investigation are religious beliefs or fear of the unknown," Kesler explained of why people resist acknowledging something they cannot explain. "However, there are those individuals who simply will not believe in anything unless they can see it with their own eyes.”
Kesler also explained there are many paranormal investigation groups out there. Some of these groups operate on a professional level. Due to the popularity of television shows such as Ghost Hunters, there are also many thrill seeker groups hoping to get a thrill or become famous. These groups, unfortunately, make it very difficult for legitimate groups to be taken seriously.
When WMPI receives an investigation request, the first thing they always do is schedule a meeting with the client. The purpose is to get as much information as possible and discuss how to proceed with the case.
Depending on the severity, some tools will be used more than others. After the investigation is finished, WMPI analyzes all the collected data. This process can take up to a few days. Once the information is processed they schedule an appointment to meet with the client to share their findings. At that point they discuss any and all paranormal occurrences witnessed by the team. A copy of all evidence is provided for the client. If the activity is potentially dangerous, WMPI can provide the client with a list of contacts that may help them. WMPI does not cleanse or exorcise any entity.
“Most investigations can be explained. The investigation will reveal that the suspected paranormal activity was simply a rare occurrence in the household. However, just because we may not have gotten any evidence the first time, it does not mean there may be nothing paranormal. Additional investigations can be a possibility,” Kesler said.
All investigations are conducted free of charge. The investigation team does accept donations, but this is merely for purchasing the equipment it takes to conduct an investigation. This equipment can be quite expensive.
The video shows a few examples of the equipment that WMPI uses. One of the tools is called the electro-magnetic field detector, also known as EMF detector. Each one of us contains a certain amount of electric energy in us. When a person dies, the energy is released. Investigators believe that ghosts are made up of electrical energy. The reason people feel cold or drained when they come in contact with an entity is because it steals energy from the person in order to manifest itself. In the video you will notice the flashlight turning off and on. The investigators will twist the Maglight flashlight right to the point that it is ready to turn on. The entity uses the electrical energy to make it turn on.
Another piece of equipment is the electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recorder. Electronic voice phenomena is one of the most popular areas of paranormal research today. Human-sounding voices from unknown origins are recorded on these EVP recorders. The voices are not heard at the time of the recording; it is only when the recording is played back that the voices are heard. The WMPI website features an area where people can hear actual EVP evidence that the WMPI recorded on one of their many investigations.
It is an uneasy feeling not to know what is going on in your house or business. WMPI is fulfilling a market demand in this city to help the citizens who cannot rest easy at night. I know with them on the case, "I ain't afraid of no ghost."
My name is Michael Tuffelmire. I was born and raised in downtown Grand Rapids. I am a father, decorated veteran and community advocate on issues of community violence, smarter government,local history, and neighborhood revitalization. I am a community organizer and Aquinas graduate with a Masters of Management and a Masters in Sustainable Business. I have been writing for the Rapidian since its infancy in October 2009 and received the 2010 Volunteer of the Year award from the Community Media Center for my writing – an honor for which I am extremely proud. My hobbies include bicycling, camping, paddling, historic preservation, travel, reading, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.
Reports on: Inner-city neighborhoods,progresive urban issues, local politics, environmental issues, local events