It's a question as old as time itself. Where do we go when we die? Is death the end or is there something more?
Spirit Realm Investigator LeeAnna Jonas suspects there is, and she's using technology – digital recorders, infrared cameras, night vision video cams, electro-magnetic field detectors, and something called an Ovilus, a device that converts spirit energy into words – in her search for proof.
Jonas leads what she calls a "Three-girl Paranormal Investigative Team (her partners are Lolli Huges, and Allyson McNeil) to try and communicate with spirits from the other side who have either been trapped…or who have unfinished business and have decided to stay," she said. "None of us are scientists, but we try to debunk everything before we acknowledge it as actually paranormal. We look for every possible explanation before we accept it as genuine."
"A beacon for this kind of stuff," Jonas saw her first apparition at the age of ten in the basement of a friend's house.
"We were playing with a Ouija board and performing a séance," she said. "We called upon a spirit we had heard about on the news, a baby sitter who'd killed a baby and herself. We looked up and saw a misty apparition in a rocking chair, with a baby in one arm and a knife in the other. We all three saw it and we ran upstairs screaming and told the mother of one of the girls. Ever since, I've known there was another side, and that there are unknown questions that need to be answered. I knew immediately that I was different and that I had this capacity. The other two girls don't even remember it. They totally shut it out. But I didn't."
She's had a number of paranormal experiences since then. One particularly hair-raising event took place at the WW2 Exhibit aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, a ship that is widely believed to be haunted. She noticed the knob on a closet door "jiggling back and forth," and tried to communicate with the spirit behind it. Later, in the elevator on Deck 3, she pressed the Down button, and felt the elevator descending. But when the doors opened, she was still on Deck 3.
"This happened something like five times," she said.
These and similar incidents sparked a desire in her to know more about "the other side." She started watching shows like Ghost Hunters on the Syfy Channel, and Most Haunted, which was produced by the BBC and shown on the Travel Channel. Eventually she came across a program called Paranormal Challenge in which teams of spirit realm investigators compete to see who can gather the best evidence for the existence of a ghost in a designated location.
Jonas placed an ad on Craigslist, put together a team of investigators, and won a place on the Challenge. In July, 2011 they appeared on the show to search for ghosts aboard the USS Hornet. Although they didn't win the competition, they were able to detect indentations in the sick bay beds, as well as changes in the electro-magnetic field around the beds.
In March of 2013, her team appeared on the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story, investigating paranormal activity at the Gilpin County Court House in Central City.
"We caught EVPs (electro voice phenomena) and picked up actual voices on a digital recorder," she said. "To me what this means is that Spirits are amongst us at all times. It proves that not everyone crosses into the Light. Our job as spirit realm investigators is to prove to skeptics that spirits do exist. Our team is also there to help the spirits if they ask for it. We have a psychic who enlists the aid of archangels. If they want to get unstuck, then we will try to cross them over."
For more info:
LeeAnna Jonas www.facebook.com/SpiritRealmInvestigativeProject?
The Ovilus www.digitaldowsing.com
Gilpin County Investigation on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIP3uO7Do7Q&list=TLQkxo6QEDlMywbkS94Z7tI13cXTHqvENC
Click on "Subscribe" at top of page for free email notification whenever a new article is published. Don Morreale is putting together a collection of the best of his Examiner stories. "Cowboys, Yogis, and One-legged Ski Bums" will be published this Spring. Watch this space for more info.