Local paranormal investigation team hosting Ghost Tours of Troy
By Natasha Habib
If haunted hayrides just aren’t scaring you enough, try visiting buildings haunted by real spirits during Ghost Tours of Troy on the evenings of October 28 and 29. Local ghost-hunting team Cryptic Investigations hosts the tours.
Cryptic Investigations has been investigating homes and businesses for about four years. The team of 11 uses various equipment such as video and voice recorders, EMF detectors (used to measure electromagnetic fields) and an Ovilus — a device founding member Jeannine Davidson says spirits can manipulate to speak English words, and works by combining temperature, barometric pressure and EMF readings. Davidson said spirits can interact by moving objects, tapping on walls and making noises.
“We’ll ask them ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions,” said Davidson. “We’ve used bells, we’ve used flashlights. You know, ‘turn on the flashlight once for ‘yes,’ turn it off for ‘no.’”
Davidson said she’s often been able to confirm what she’s discovered through her investigations with research and conferring with the home-owners or business employees.
“We’ve heard things on our [voice] recording that we can’t hear with the human ear that a voice recorder can pick up because it’s on a higher frequency,” said Davidson. “So we get EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) and we can show them, ‘this is what we heard’ and then they’ll confirm … it doesn’t make any sense to us, but it makes sense to the person living there.”
Some residents do move out after Cryptic Investigations confirms spirits haunt their homes. Some gutsy people, however, choose to stay and live with them. In one of these instances, a woman and her kids were noticing mist, strange noises and a general feeling of sadness in their home. During the investigation, Davidson said the Ovilus gave them a name for the spirit. After some research, they confirmed a man by that name who had been killed was a previous resident in that house. The family chose to remain in their haunted house.
“We have been able to help ghosts pass over,” said Davidson, “when we find out what it is they’re wanting to say. Sometimes it’s a message to a loved one.” Davidson has had personal experience with these situations. During an investigation of her friend’s house in Michigan, the woman’s brother communicated that he wanted his sister to know that he loved her, something Davidson said her friend had always been unsure of.
Though most of the spirits Davidson has encountered have been friendly, she has come across some hostile ones as well. In addition to the spirits calling the investigators derogatory names and telling them to get out, Davidson has seen some spirits get physical.
“They are capable of hurting you,” she said. “You have to be very careful. I’ve been scratched and had my hair pulled.” In what is probably a worst-case scenario, Davidson said a demonic spirit possessed the founding member of a different ghost-hunting group she used to be with.
“He just starting acting weird, starting doing off-the-wall stuff, starting talking in tongues,” said Davidson. In that case, they called Bishop James Long from Louisville, Ky. to perform an exorcism. Davidson said members of Cryptic Investigations have taken classes in demonology and have been taught how to bless houses with holy water by Long. If they do encounter evil spirits they can’t get rid of on their own, they call in Long.
During Ghost Tours of Troy, Cryptic Investigations will be sharing ghost stories of local businesses, as well as sharing the findings of their own investigations. This is the third year for the event, but it includes new locations and stories. Tours start and end at Around About Books and include locations such as the Miami County Courthouse, Iliad Florals and Café, the Brandiff house (part of the Underground Railroad), A&A INK Tatooing and Piercing, the former Submarine House location, Redman’s Club, Winans and The Brewery.
Around About Books is definitely haunted, Davidson said, and they conduct an investigation there after the tour.
“The spirit there -— they’ve named him William -— he actually shows himself,” she said. “Customers have seen him … any time of the day.” Davidson said William has been known to pull hair, throw books and even slap people on their rears. “We have talked to him,” she said. “We’ve used flashlights to communicate with him; we’ve got EVPs of him.”
In addition to Ghost Tours of Troy, Cryptic Investigations participates in other events, such as next year’s Paranormal Kicks Cancer, to benefit the American Cancer Society. Cryptic Investigations is actually a nonprofit group whose members fund it themselves, and they provide investigations free of charge.
“We’re trying to change the image because a lot of people think, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re out here doing evil.’ And we’re really not; we’re out here to help communities.”
Ghost Tours of Troy costs $5 per person, with all proceeds going to Troy Public Broadcasting, channel 5. The tours, recommended for all ages, will run every half hour from 7 to 9 p.m. on October 28 and 6 to 8 p.m. Octtober 29. The tour lasts about an hour, so plan accordingly if you’re participating in the Zombie Walk, Thriller dance, or other activities during Terror on the Square October 29. Reserve your tour times and purchase tickets from Around About Books at (937) 339-1707.
Reach DCP editorial intern and freelance writer Natasha Habib at NatashaHabib@DaytonCityPaper.com.