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The life of a ghost hunter
OCT. 24, 2011
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Patty Larson of Cokato shares what fascinates her about ghost hunting

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

COKATO, MN – From the experiences Cokato resident Patty Larson has had, she believes there are spirits that, for one reason or another, linger, even after death.

Because of this belief and fascination, Larson is a transcriptionist by day, but a ghost hunter by night.

She is a team member of PROPHET of Minnesota, Paranormal Research of Poltergeists, Hauntings, Entities, and Tragedies.

“I’ve always been into Halloween, creepy things, and ghost stories,” Larson said.

She loves watching shows like “Ghost Adventures,” “A Haunting,” and “Paranormal Activity.” “I have all that stuff [on DVR],” Larson said. These shows also got her thinking that this was something she could do.

Five years ago, Larson bought her first piece of equipment for paranormal investigation, a digital recorder.

A digital recorder is used in investigation to pick up EVPs, or electronic voice phenomenons. This is the most popular captured evidence since it’s much harder to get video or see evidence of paranormal activity with one’s own eyes, she explained.

First, she started investigating cemeteries, since she didn’t need permission like she would someone’s home.

Then, three years ago, Larson investigated her first house that was suspected to be haunted, near Hutchinson.

The home was more than 100 years old and was her friend’s parents’ house.

She was told that the owners had seen a lady in white walking down the stairs and a guy standing by the bay window looking out to the barn. The son also reported that while he was in his bedroom downstairs, he heard the next door bathroom toilet lid shut and feet shuffling across the carpet.

In Larson’s investigation of the home, she did pick up an EVP that sounded like two young girls laughing.

The owners didn’t suspect anything suspicious or tragic happened in that home and told Larson that spirits appear to follow the dad.

Larson explained the theory that if someone can sense spirits more so than others, the spirits are then more drawn to that person.

From her own personal experiences, Larson recalled the first Christmas following her father’s death.

The family was together celebrating in her parents’ living room.

Those in the room noticed how the dog would drop his ball at the end of the couch and look up, as if he was waiting for someone, who wasn’t visibly sitting there, to throw the ball.

“We wondered if it was Dad looking over us,” Larson said.

Her sisters and mother also reported finding dimes in the most random of spots.

After feeling a bit left out, Larson asked her dad for a sign.

Now, she and even her daughter, have found pennies in the “oddest spots.” She even found one in the garden, of all places.

“It makes me believe,” Larson said.

Investigations

Investigations can be exciting, but they can also be quite boring, since they often require reviewing video and EVPs after.

Larson and her team don’t charge for investigations, and owners get a copy of everything they record, whether it be video or voice recording.

“A lot of times, people think they’re crazy . . . they are afraid to tell anybody” what they’ve heard or seen in their own home, Larson said.

“We’re just here to help people out,” she said.

Sometimes, what people experience isn’t paranormal at all. For example, a door opens or closes on its own.

The PROPHET team will try and recreate what’s been happening and will oftentimes find a reasonable explanation, such as opening and shutting one door creates a draft that shuts another door, Larson explained.

If they can’t find a reasonable explanation, the team will use their tools and try to find a reading or communicate with the spirit if there is one.

First, the team will walk around using the K2 meter to assess where there may be any electromagnetic energy set off by appliances or electronics.

Then, they ask, if there is a spirit, to come close to the meter for confirmation. Larson can attest to this happening on various investigations.

“It’s kind of scary, but it’s such an adrenaline rush,” she commented.

She also hasn’t experienced anything really negative, like scratching or hitting, during her investigations. Nor has she witnessed anything demonic in nature. She has had her hair gently stroked, which was reaffirmed by another teammate.

From her investigations, spirits aren’t always human either, she said.

One woman would experience what felt like a cat jumping onto the leg of her recliner. It felt like it was kneading the spot, as cats tend to do before they lay down.

This particular investigation was during the summertime, when most of the team was in shorts.

Three out of the four members felt something brush against their legs, like a cat would.

Another tool the team will use during investigations is a flashlight. This has a dual purpose since most of the investigations take place in the dark, but it can also be used as a response tool when communicating with spirits.

In this same home, the woman’s husband had passed away, and she would feel someone sit at the end of her bed at night.

The team would ask different questions and tell the spirit to respond by turning the flashlight on. On several different questions, this would happen, particularly when they asked if they were speaking with Bill, the woman’s late husband.

“He really wanted her to know he was around,” Larson said.

Reasons behind paranormal activity

Larson believes there are various reasons for paranormal activity. Some of the reasons may include:

• if someone was killed or left this life quickly;

• if a loved one was still here, they might come back to comfort them or try and communicate with them; or

• someone negative may just want to stick around and torment the living.

Larson and her husband, Ken, have two children, ages 4 and 5.

“[The kids] think it’s neat,” Larson said. Her daughter will ask her if she is going ghosthunting.

Some people she talks to thinks it’s really cool what she does and want to know more, while others don’t want anything to do with it, she said.

“I’m not here to convince you,” she said.

The shows on ghost hunting appear to be very exciting all the time, but much time is spent just sitting in the dark, Larson said.

But when they get something, “It’s boom – your heart is racing and you’re ready to go,” Larson said, who considers herself an “adrenaline junkie.” “It’s scary, but it makes you want to do it that much more.”

To learn more about PROPHET and to see videos of past investigations, visit www.mnprophet.com. To schedule an investigation, contact the team lead, Brian at (612) 201-1104.

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