Strange footsteps. Mysterious shadows. A piano that plays by itself. What spirits lurk in the James Memorial Library? A group from Minot is trying to find some answers.
Roger Allard, Wendy Kimble, Stephanie Pinkey and Brian Huntzinger are Paranormal Investigators of North Dakota, and between them they have more than 20 years of experience investigating and documenting supernatural occurrences.
They have investigated places all around the state, searching for answers and evidence of paranormal activity. Armed with an array of equipment meant to detect and record the appearance of an apparition, the group will be spending the night at the James Memorial Library in Williston on Saturday investigating claims of ghostly occurrences.
"We have what is called a Spirit Box," Pinkey said. "It rotates through radio frequencies in reverse, and the theory is, since spirits are basically energy, that they can manipulate energy within the radio frequencies and sometimes words will pop out."
Along with the Spirit Box, Pinkey said Allard, the group's founder, has created a way to identify the presence of spirits in human form using his computer and modifying an Xbox 360 Kinect. The Kinect uses a webcam to detect motion and create a physical image of the person in front of the camera.
On the monitor, Pinkey said, the form appears as a stick figure, but only if the program recognizes the shape of a human being within its field of vision. The group also employs the use of EMF (Electromagnetic Field) detectors, full-spectrum cameras and an array of computers in their investigations.
Both employees and volunteers of the James have told stories of unexplained incidents, having claimed to hear footsteps echoing across the empty gallery late at night, or the phantom tinkling of notes from the piano in Center Stage.
Built in 1911 and serving as Williston's first library, the James Memorial has a lot of history in the area. Do the spirits of former librarians walk the halls at night? The P.I.N.D. are hoping to gather some solid evidence.
"When we go in to a place, we try to debunk as much as we can," Pinkey said. "But if we sense something, what we try to do is get physical evidence that people can see or hear. And then if they feel threatened by anything, we try to cleanse the place or maybe try to communicate with it."
The Paranormal Investigators of North Dakota will spend Saturday night and early Sunday morning at the James, and will be streaming live video to their Facebook page throughout the night.
Pinkey says many people watch the group’s live videos, often commenting if they hear strange noises or see something out of the ordinary. The public can find out the outcome of the investigation on Oct. 26 during the James' annual Night with Poe event, where members of local cosplay charity group the Northern Plains Ghostbusters will reveal the results.
Find out more about the Paranormal Investigators of North Dakota and watch the live-stream of their investigations by visiting www.facebook.com/Paranormal-Investigators-of-North-Dakota-224540878364593.