Fringe Paranormal to reveal findings of Packo’s, Birmingham Branch Library investigationsWritten by Kevin Moore | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ghost hunting has become a national phenomenon in recent years with the popularity of such TV shows as Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters” and the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” But Ohio has a rich tradition of ghost lore that has intrigued believers in the paranormal since long before the avalanche of cable network ghost shows. The five installments of Chris Woodyard’s “Haunted Ohio” book series from the 1990s are evidence of that.
On March 4, Fringe Paranormal, a Toledo-based paranormal investigation group, will share the evidence it collected from recent investigations of the Birmingham Branch Library and The Original Tony Packo’s.
Fringe Paranormal was founded by Don Collins, Kelly Scheufler and their fellow paranormal researchers in 2009 to “explain the unexplained.” The group uses reason, logic and the latest in science and technology to explain claims of paranormal or supernatural phenomena. Sometimes these claims have become publicly associated with well-known businesses and landmarks, and sometimes they come from private individuals who report strange occurrences in their homes.
“There are quite a few groups that do this kind of thing, and maybe four or five in this area,” Collins said. “We range from Michigan to Kentucky, and we’ve gone as far Cleveland.”
Their investigations have taken them locally to The Oliver House and the old South Main school in Bowling Green as well as renown paranormal hotspots like the Mansfield Reformatory in Mansfield and Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville. The team even did an investigation of the “Christmas Story” house in Cleveland as part of a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
“We were connected to the Birmingham Library through an investigation of the Maumee Branch Library we did in 2013,” Collins said. “Birmingham librarians had reported hearing odd noises, and we had heard of shadows being seen in the basement of Tony Packo’s as well as workers reporting merchandise having been moved in the gift shop when they arrive in the morning. We decided to investigate both in one night since they are so close.”
During the investigation, the Fringe researchers heard footsteps at the Birmingham Library, and two members claimed to see shadows in the Tony Packo’s gift shop. Collins and Scheufler said that their K2 Meters and REM-PODs picked up some unusual disturbances, which they concluded could not have resulted from their radio equipment, and that their recorders had picked up some “suspect” audio. One librarian, who was working alone in the library during the investigation, heard noises while the Fringe investigators were still at Tony Packo’s.
“I just assumed they had come back from Packo’s. I didn’t realize they were still gone until they actually returned several minutes later,” she said.
Fringe Paranormal will share the results of the investigation during a free presentation at the Birmingham Branch Library, located at 203 Paine Ave. in Toledo, at 6:30 p.m. March 4. The group will also discuss general topics related to paranormal investigating and will be on hand to answer any questions of those interested in the subject.
When asked to conceptualize a ghost hunt, most people will think of investigators spending a few hours scanning a dark room with an infrared camera, spotting shadows darting in the distance, and asking questions in an empty room in hopes that a tape recorder will pick up some kind of a response. But the process of investigating a site for paranormal activity is quite involved.
“Usually someone will contact us with their claims, but sometimes we’ll contact them because we had heard some claims about a site,” Collins said. “To get started, we do an interview with the person to see what’s going on. Then we do preliminary information into the site’s history. We’ll try to find out the names of people who had lived there, any significant dates related to the property and if anyone had died there.”
“We spend about a month to a month and half on an investigation,” Scheufler said. “If we conduct an eight-hour investigation overnight with two tape recorders and two or three cameras, then multiply each of those by eight hours for how long we have to review the evidence. We end up listening to a lot of silence.”
Over the course of an investigation, Fringe investigators utilize a whole array of equipment: video cameras, tape recorders to catch electronic voice phenomena (EVP), and K2 Meters and REM-PODs, which measure changes in the electromagnetic field. The investigators are mindful when using the latter devices as they can be influenced by radio waves and the investigating team’s two-way radios.
When people call Fringe Paranormal to investigate suspected activity, they report such things as hearing voices and footsteps, seeing shadows at the end of the hall or seeing figures at the foot of their bed. But the researchers at Fringe are realistic about their expectations of catching evidence of something paranormal. Claims of the paranormal are often random and unpredictable, and much of paranormal investigating involves being at the right place at the right time.
“What are the odds that we happen to be there on the one day out of the month strange activity happens?” Scheufler said. “There are times when you feel you experienced a lot live only to find there is nothing on the recorder, but then other times you’ll leave what you thought was a quiet investigation and find an interesting piece of evidence. Sometimes when you go back to a site that was really active only to find nothing.”
Despite the odds, Collins, Scheufler and their team press on in hopes of one day finding that solid piece of evidence of the unexplained. The results of Fringe Paranormal’s investigations are available on their website.
For more information on Fringe Paranormal or ghost hunting, visit www.fringeparanormal.com.