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‘Ghost hunt’ to raise money for Chesapeake Center

CHESAPEAKE — It was hard to determine the age of the tall man leaning over the banister at the Chesapeake Community Center one night last fall. He was close to 6 feet tall and slender in build. His clothes were indistinct.

But David Maynard was convinced he had captured the stranger’s attention.

So much so he stopped the conversation he was having with center director Ruth Damron.

“It startled me,” Maynard said. “I bolted up the stairs to chase after it.”

But there was no one there.

Some might question what Maynard saw. Was it his imagination or perhaps wishful thinking?

As far as the paranormal investigator is concerned it was a definite phenomenon. And one he wants another chance of checking out.

“It had its hands over the railing and was leaning over watching,” Maynard said.

Strange sightings have become almost the norm at the center including the well-known one of a young girl with blonde hair wearing a blue dress who roams through the hallways.

Finding out if there actually are paranormal occurrences at the old Chesapeake school will be the mission once again as the center hosts the second annual All Hallows’ Eve Ghost Hunt.

Co-sponsors PRIOV or Paranormal Research and Investigations of the Ohio Valley and Quest Paranormal Investigations will offer the hunt for four days with only a maximum of 24 participants each night.

“There are a lot of people who watch these paranormal shows and you end up going to pay hundreds of dollars with 2 or 3,000 people there,” Maynard said. “You can’t hunt with 2 or 3,000 people. There is an actual paranormal investigation.”

Tickets cost $15 with part of the proceeds going to the community center and its ongoing capital improvement projects including a massive roof renovation. Part will go to local charities.

Each hunt begins at 10 p.m. and last until 2 in the morning.

“We will go into the gym and talk about what has been seen,” the investigator said . “Then we break up into groups, seven or eight people and we will take one group upstairs, one on the main floor and the other in the basement.”

Investigators will look for phenomena by sight, video and audio recorders.

“That is similar to the modern séance. You ask a question and hopefully what is there will imprint (its voice) on the recorders,” Maynard said. “If you hear it with your ear, it is a disembodied voice. If you hear it on the recorder, it is an electronic voice phenomenon.”

Investigators will also search for cold spots throughout the center with non-contact laser thermometers.

“To manifest, spirits will draw energy from the environment and it will leave the surroundings cold,” he said.

After two and a half hours, the groups will meet in the gym for a snack and to share findings. Then participants in smaller groups can go out and explore on their own.

“We do this because we love to do it and it helps the community,” Maynard said about the hunts, scheduled for Fridays Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, and Saturdays, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. For more information or tickets contact Ruth Damron at the center at 867-4532 or David Maynard at 533-7619.