Editor's Note: On Sept. 8 a paranormal group investigated alleged supernatural phenomena at various locations in Potosi. In addition to the Missouri Paranormal Research (MPR), a Daily Journal reporter along with the newspaper's information technology manager participated in the investigation. The following is the first of a three-part series that deals with the investigation.
POTOSI — Does the ghost of James Long haunt the Long-Banta House? Is there a trapped soul from an alleged suicide at the Austin-Milam-Lucas Store?
The Mine au Breton Historical Society invited Missouri Paranormal Research (MPR) to conduct an investigation in September to attempt answering those questions.
It would be up to MPR to dispel haunting tales of sounds — unexplainable footsteps and falling books — inside the Long-Banta House and unknown voices inside the Austin-Milam-Lucas Store.
Missouri Paranormal Research is a research group based in St. Louis. In 2006 MPR conducted a paranormal investigation at the Arcadia Academy (formerly Ursuline Academy) in Arcadia which became the subject of a three-part series that ran in the Daily Journal. Missouri Paranormal Research has also been featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Suburban Journals.
Greg Myers is the president of MPR and was also a founding member of the organization. Myers is a lead investigator and Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) specialist. Myers' first encounters with the paranormal began when he was just a teenager.
Myers uses a humanistic approach during investigations. He recently appeared in the film "Children of the Grave" and was added to the League of Paranormal Gentlemen.
Myers spearheaded the Arcadia investigation and oversaw September's ghost hunt in Potosi. Approximately 15 members of his group participated in the Potosi investigation, several of which also participated in the Arcadia investigation last year.
"According to several accounts, these historical locations have been a magnet for paranormal activity," Myers said. "We hope to either capture some of that activity on video or on a voice recording. If we can't capture any supernatural activity, perhaps we will be able to give a rationale explanation as to why some of these alleged experiences may have occurred."
MPR's photographer Tom Halstead also participated in the Potosi investigation. Halstead was recently honored at the 2007 Ghost World Conference for capturing the "Best Ghost Evidence of 2006." Halstead photographed what is believed to be a ghost entity at the Waverly Hills Sanitarium.
"You may take dozens of photos and not come up with anything," Halstead said. "Then you might take one and there it is. The key is to take lots of photos."
During the Potosi investigation video recorders with and without infrared extenders and night shot capabilities were used. Various digital still cameras, EMF meters, voice recorders, IR thermometers and radiation detectors were also utilized throughout the investigation. Also experimentation was done with ultraviolet light in conjunction with a night shot camera.
The investigation would last nearly eight hours, going well into the early morning hours of Sept. 9. Did evidence show that James Long still takes up residence at his historical estate, or can unexplainable events be chalked up to an overzealous imagination? Is there a trapped soul walking the floors of the mercantile store, or are history's lessons playing tricks on the mind? Find out in Tuesday's edition of the Daily Journal.