gouldshawghosts

STARTING POINT — Betsi Conner-Hamilton, Kara Bogner and Michelle Simon take preliminary readings in the attic.

Nor-Cal Paranormal Research Society spends a second night in Cloverdale’s historic home

On June 15, Cloverdale’s own Nor-Cal Paranormal Research Society headed to the Gould-Shaw house to do what they do best — investigate areas for possible paranormal activity.

The group, albeit with a slightly changed roster, first visited the house in mid-June 2018. They said they hope a yearly check-in will become a new tradition.

“We formed in April or May, and we decided that, since June 16 was our first investigation there (at the house), we wanted to go back every year and revisit where we started,” said Kary LaMaster, one of the group’s founding members.

LaMaster, along with Betsi Conner-Hamilton, Crystal Lloyd (the group’s identified open-minded skeptic), Kara Bogner and Michelle Simon spent time in the Gould-Shaw house in June. Groupmember John Lorence was unable to attend the investigation.

Going off of some of the information they gleaned from last year’s trip to the house, the Nor-Cal Paranormal Research Society was able to enter into this year’s investigation with a predetermined starting point — they already had an idea of the paranormal beings they believed may be occupying the house, and what areas of the house had had the most activity.

“We focused on the residents of the home that we identified last time,” Conner-Hamilton said.

They also focused most of their energy on areas like the house’s front bedroom and the kitchen, since those exhibited high-activity when they visited last year.

The Gould-Shaw house is in the hands of the Cloverdale Historical Society and is home to Cloverdale’s museum. The house was built for local blacksmith Thomas J. Gould in 1862, was sold to Thomas A. Shaw in 1869 and sold again in 1875 to Isaac E. Shaw (no relation to Thomas Shaw).

During their 2018 trip to the house, the group thought they heard both male and female voices, whereas this trip only yielded anomalous experienced from male voices.

“Right off the bat when we turned on our spirit box (which sweeps radio frequencies on an AM frequency) we were getting voices coming through right away,” LaMaster said. “I feel like we had more activity this time.”

In a January interview with the Reveille, LaMaster said that their first trip to the Gould-Shaw houses resulted in minimal voice activity, and instead had more photo-based light anomalies.

As of press time, the Nor-Cal Paranormal Research Society was still going over some of their footage from the night.

“We need to try and debunk what we get,” Conner-Hamilton said.

The act of debunking involves looking at recordings and photos that may look anomalous and trying to disprove them. If the group is unable to debunk something, they consider it unknown or paranormal.

While this process can lead to the group discovering things they at first didn’t see or hear — like the sound of someone not in the group answering a question in a piece of audio — it can also result in some of the more exciting moments of the investigation being debunked.

In one case, they had poured some baby powder on the floor in hopes that an imprint would later be made in it. When they came back upstairs to check the powder, they found the shape of what looked like the top part of a child’s footprint in the powder. This, however, can be explained by a closer look.

“I think somebody stepped with the back of their shoe,” LaMaster said, describing her hesitation to take the print as something paranormal. “It looks like somebody may have stepped on it with the back of a shoe and it (the tread) looked like a baby footprint.”

In other cases, reviewing footage can lead to the discovery of new, possibly paranormal, happenings.

“I had 30 seconds where my volume on the recording device I was using spiked, but when you looked into the playback there was no noise at all, it was complete silence,” Lloyd said.

“We got this orb of light coming out of the closet next to Crystal who was standing next to the camera,” LaMaster added. “This ball of light came out and moved around her and then shot off toward the camera.”

The Cloverdale Historical Society may be involving the Nor-Cal Paranormal Research Society in events going forward. While an official event hasn’t been planned yet, LaMaster said that the group may be giving a presentation about their findings.

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