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Ghost Hunt In Wellington: Do You Hear The Voices?

Kansas is home to a surprisingly large number of paranormal investigation groups. Many of them are volunteer-driven; members buy their own ghost-hunting equipment and spend their own time researching locations and recording their own data.

In this sense, Moonlit Ghost Hunts or MGH is unique. It's a business that lets amateur ghost hunters--or people simply curious about the paranormal--research along with the paranormal investigators.

MGH does a preliminary investigation at a site that's reported to be haunted, and if they find something spooky--like electronic voice phenomena, orbs, or ghosts on photo or video--they go back a second time. And this time, they let people buy tickets and go along. They provide the ghost-hunting equipment, crunch the data,and post the results on their website.

Darin Peterson and Lori DeWinkler started the group a few years ago. Peterson said they were driving back from an investigation with another group, and they got to talking about how often people request to come along on ghost hunts.

"We bought some equipment, started doing some marketing, started an LLC, got a logo, got everything started," he said. "This probably the 50th (investigation) with this organization.”

DeWinkler said they spend a lot of their investigation time trying to prove that phenomena is not actual spirit activity. Things like water leaks, bad wiring or dust on photo lenses could all falsely seem like ghostly activity.

Moonlit Ghosts Hunts recently held a ghost hunt in Wellington, Kan., at the town's old high school. The building was constructed in 1928 and used as either a high school or junior high until several years ago. MGH recorded strange voices and lights there on its preliminary investigation.

DeWinkler said they always have some new people at each event, but many people are repeat customers.

“People are like, 'Where are you going next? I wanna go!' Because when we’ve come to check out locations, we’re gonna check it out first," she said. "Even if it’s said to be haunted, if we come here and there’s really nothing, we’re not going to make you pay to come see it.”


Here's what some of the guests said about ghost hunting in Wellington.

1) Guest Sheree Smith on what she heard on the second floor, near the old fall out shelter.

"We were walking on the second floor by the boy's bathroom...They had the radio thing, and they were asking, "Is anyone in here?" And they got a very clear "yes." It was, uh, "static, static, static, distinct yes."

Here's what she heard. Can you hear a voice answering, "Yes?"


2) Guest Kim Sponsel on her experience investigating in the foreign language classroom:

Can you hear a ghostly voice say "Oh!" in the middle of her story?


What Sponsel and her friend reported afterward:

Did you hear the ghost box say "stay" while they said "stay?"


3) Guests Neil Crouch and Eric Ochs on using dowsing rods in room 212:

Eric: We got a lot of activity on the dowsing rods. We went into 212 and...

Neil: They told us to leave.

Eric:  I think it was getting annoyed with all of the people coming in here tonight. I asked a question, saw the rods move. Basically, it was the quickest activity I ever had on the dowsing rods. And then I asked, 'Are you OK with us being in here?" and they did not move.  I asked if he would prefer--I guess Neil asked if he would prefer for us to leave--and they whooosht! spun real quick. This is probably the most activity I've had on the dowsing rods. It's probably the most I've ever had on the trips that I've been out.

When she's not out making lattes in her mobile coffee bus Sunflower Espresso, Kate Hutchens is a fill-in host for KMUW. She has worked in broadcast journalism at KFDI, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and at KMUW as Morning Edition host, which she did until March 2017.