Paranormal investigators say Laurel Museum is 'active'

When Jared Tracey left the Laurel Museum last month following an investigation into possible paranormal activity at the site, he wasn't sure what kind of results would turn up.

After analyzing hours of video and audio recordings taken from the investigation by his group, the Pasadena Paranormal Investigators, Tracey is convinced that there is paranormal activity at the site.

"It was more than I thought leaving," said Tracey, 35. "Leaving that night, I didn't know exactly what we had. ... It seems to me it was rather active, and a really good investigation."

The Laurel Museum is operated by the Laurel Historical Society out of a restored 19th-century mill worker's house adjacent to Riverfront Park. The museum opened in 1996 and has been the society's official headquarters ever since.

The investigation began after employees and volunteers at the Laurel Historical Society began experiencing strange encounters, most notably hearing footsteps upstairs while alone in the building. On July 19, Tracey and his team, consisting of Brendan and Ben Smith, brothers and Tracey's childhood friends, spent four hours at the site attempting to connect with spirits.

Tracey said video footage using laser imaging technology from Xbox Kinect, a video-game system that maps people's movements on a computer screen, captured outlines of a person who wasn't there.

He added that he thinks he heard a spirit trying to communicate with him using two devices he brought with him: an Ovilus and a Spirit Box. According to the team, both devices use electromagnetic energy, which they believe spirits can use to create vocal sounds or messages.

Tracey said he heard two names come through the devices: Evan and William. He said he doesn't know if those correspond to names of people who lived there, but that, if they do, it could be the start of something.

"The next step, I would love to have another investigation there to delve further into what we already got. Because now we have information, it was hard going into it because we had no information," he said.

Marlene Frazier, a volunteer with the society who organized and was present for the investigation, said the society was pleased with the experience and would be willing to open the museum up to Tracey and his team again.

She said she thought the findings were "very interesting," and added that she was amazed during the investigation at how much equipment they had.

"It was unusual, and I thought it was interesting that there were some things in the clips you didn't see or hear when you were there," she said.

Frazier added that she's not necessarily a believer in the paranormal, but she's also not a skeptic.

"I don't disbelieve, but I believe almost anything is possible," she said.

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