Hunting the unknown
By Michael Brooks
With television shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, searching for the paranormal went through a bit of a boom in recent years. Paranormal groups formed all over the country, some large operations, and some smaller with just a few investigators.
Lone Star Paranormal, an investigative group out of San Antonio, reached out to the Herald-Tribune to share what they do when they perform an investigation, and talked about some of their encounters. I talked with team members Brittany Cervantes and Kenyon Cooper about their process.
The Lone Star Paranormal team consists of Brittany Cervantes, Andrew Valenzuela, Kenyon Cooper, and Margaret De Hoyos.
How long have y’all been investigating?
Cervantes: “I’ve been doing this for nearly three years. We made it official when we brought in Kenyon and Margaret and put out our Facebook page, Lone Star Paranormal, in August.”
What kind of prep work do you do beforehand?
Cervantes: “We use social media. We do our research on the location to try to find out if anyone says they saw anything. We always try to get sufficient information before we go investigate. But, when you investigate the paranormal, you don't always have substantial evidence. Everyone expects it, but that really doesn’t happen.”
What is the process on the night of the investigation?
Cervantes: “Before we head out and turn on our camera, we always bless ourselves. Our scripture is the Archangel Prayer.”
The prayer reads “Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.” It is said that to recite the prayer, is to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.
Cervantes: “After that, we set up our equipment.”
Cooper: “Sometimes we wait until it is dark, or scope out the place before the sun goes down, so we don't have any issues. So we don’t have to worry about security closing the doors while we are inside and so we can looking for squatters.
“We usually keep a camera rolling at all times, and we have different devices. We use an EMF reader to see if it spikes. We also have a spirit box as well, and we use radios.”
An EMF reader is Electro Magnetic Field reader. The device measures electronic fields in the area. For example, if an electronic wire runs through a wall, the EMF reader would show a spike in the magnetic energy in the room. The theory in ghost hunting is, if there is a spike in the reader, with no electronic device to cause the spike, there could be an apparition in the area.
A spirt box is a device that rapidly scans radio frequencies. It is used as a conduit for spirits to speak through.
Radios and walkie-talkies can also pick up EVP’s-Electronic Voice Phenomenons-on their frequencies.
Cervantes: “Then we go through some footage. If we see some kind of activity, we will go over that footage. Then we bless ourselves before leaving and say another prayer.”
Is doing the blessing and prayers before and after something y’all have always done?
Cervantes: “We do that because Kenyon got scratched multiple times at an investigation, and one team member had a series of bad luck, just after Kenyon was scratched.”
Tell me about what went on when the scratching happened.
Cervantes: “It was the experience that spooked me the most. We were in the cemetery in Boerne, and we caught a voice over the radio. I sat near on a bench, near a headstone. Kenyon had the voice box. For two or three seconds I saw a figure floating on him. It looked like a mist, or cloud, or a figure over him and then it ran into the ground. I asked Kenyon if he was okay.”
Cooper: “When we were finished and started heading back, my body temperature dropped and I started feeling horrible.”
Cervantes: “Our friend Josh is a minister at a church. He’s had a lot of demonic experiences. We will sit down and talk to him about the experiences he has had. We talked to him about what happened to Kenyon and he suggested we do a blessing.”
Cooper: “I told him I found a scratch on my chest and leg. Josh said that is a sign, and I need to pray, and pray a lot.
“I actually noticed the scratches the next day because, I wasn't feeling right, and suddenly I had really bad pain. The scratches were there and were noticeable I was also cold. I was shaking because of how cold I was. I sent Josh a text and he told me I may have inadvertently volunteered to draw a host.
“I wasn't able to sleep all night. I was up and couldn't rest all day.”
But that wasn’t all they experienced at the Boerne cemetery.
Cervantes: “We use walkie-talkies to keep up with each other. A noise came through a walkie. Something was talking to us. It said “sign the papers,” in English. We looked around to see if anyone was in the area. Boerne is a quiet town, that late at night. we really don't see anyone that could have said that.”
Cooper: “We captured that footage on a GoPro. All of us were on the same channel. We looked around and saw a headstone. We thought maybe the voice was a worker, was trying to communicate with us. I also thought maybe it was a glitch. We tried to debunk it but never found out who said it.”
Were there any other investigations where a phenomenon occurred?
Cervantes: “We recently investigated a mausoleum in Mission Park, in the Dominion. After that, we would hear the music from the mausoleum at home. I’ve been having really bad dreams. My first instincts was to sage the house.”
Cooper: “At that mausoleum, there were three shadow figures we all saw with our own eyes (not through the equipment). So, we went lights out. We turned the flashlights off and we felt the energy.”
Cervantes: “We had a lot of activity there, so we went back for a second time. We really liked the place and was trying to get more footage. We were outside and there was a feeling we were being watched. Across the river was the mausoleum. We saw a figure in the glass window. We were standing about 200 feet from there. We went up to it but couldn't see it anymore. It was really spooky.”
Lone Star Paranormal have done a few other investigations that yielded some results. If you would like to lean a bit more about them, visit their Facebook page, Lone Star Paranormal. They are open to preforming investigations in Jackson County, if anyone wants to reach out to them.