“Is there life after death? I want to go out and prove that there is another side to life.”
Miles Slauson, head of the Niagara Paranormal Research group, has performed over thirty paranormal investigations over the past seven years. He has travelled from Niagara to Hamilton, Kingston, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Michigan seeking the answers to his question.
What peaked your interest in the paranormal?
It was more of a curiosity than anything. Ghosts, Bigfoot and UFOs – are they real? I started watching some of the paranormal shows and typed in Haunted Niagara on my computer. Next thing I knew, I had a list of all these places that are supposedly haunted. From there, I got some equipment and put a group together and we just started going out. Over time with the investigations you learn more and more and you end up believing more and more.
What places in Niagara would you recommend to go and investigate?
Drummond Hill Cemetery is a good place to start if you want to be learn to be a paranormal investigator. There’s a lot of noise and traffic and people walking through there, so you learn basic debunking skills.
A lot of people say the Screaming Tunnel, to me its more folklore. I’ve yet to pull any proof out of there, but it’s always worth a try.
St. Andrews Cemetery in Niagara on the Lake is good too. At nighttime it has a real creepy factor to it. During the war they would kick the tombstones over and do the amputees over the tombstone. That place has a lot of history there.
I’ve been fortunate to have a really good working relationship with Iron Island Museum in Buffalo. For the last six years I’ve been running around that museum learning how to be a paranormal investigator. You’ll see shadows and light anomalies. I’ve seen people emotionally break down there. I photographed a full black shadow sitting in a chair at 11:30am on a Saturday. If you can get over there, I would highly recommend the museum.
So, say I wanted to go out on an investigation, what would I have to do?
I would suggest that you contact one of the paranormal groups here in Niagara, there are a few around. See if you can get permission to go with them on an investigation. Bring a voice recorder, a flashlight. Start small. I’ve seen people with 3000$ worth of equipment that they don’t even touch. Make sure you have the right equipment, so do your research.
A lot of people will see things on the ghost hunting shows and rush out and get it. A lot of people don’t really need that stuff, or don’t know how to use it. Keep things very simple. When it comes to camera equipment, a cell phone or point and shoot camera wont work. You want to look for something with Night Vision or with Infrared capabilities. You’ll also want to look for a good EMF meter that measures the magnetic field in the area.
So then you have to think about, if you get audio, do you have video? Do you have a photo? Do you have a measurement, the temperature, the time and date?
Also, I prefer going a group, you never want to do it alone because of safety reasons, but if you have evidence you also have people there to back it up. But, if you’re there by yourself the credibility isn’t there.
When did you first experience paranormal activity?
My first true paranormal experience was in the West Virginia State Penitentiary. I was walking down the cell block and I felt like I walked into somebody. So, I was about to say ‘sorry’, but there was no one there. I felt this energy pass through my body and my body temperature drop. Essentially I had a spirit pass through my body. Later I went back and took a pack of cigarettes with me, because cigarettes are like money in jail, so I said ‘hey, I have some smokes, who wants one?’ At the time we didn’t hear anything, but upon listening to the audio recording later we heard a ‘hey’ and a ‘hello’, so then we pushed our luck and went back a third time. We were walking along and I was taking pictures all of a sudden I felt the energy going through my body again, I felt someone come up behind me and whisper in my ear to say ‘turn around’ so I did. I took some pictures and in each picture you see a full black shadow of someone standing there. So when you get stuff like that you get hooked into it, because there really is something there.
Miles Slauson presents ‘An Evening of Real Ghost Stories with Niagara Paranormal Research’ at the Thorold Public Library on October 25.