Who you gonna call?

Christina Stavale

For one Kent couple, ghosts are a pastime

Several members of the World Paranormal Investigations Team discuss an equipment issue during the Carriage House Nite Club Investigation. DAVID RANUCCI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The World Paranormal Investigations Team splits up into two groups and takes turns patrolling the building for ghosts. One team roams around the night club while the other team watches the monitors in a staging area. The teams then switch. DAVID RANUCCI |

Credit: DKS Editors

The Carriage House in Louisville is like any other night club.

The former trolley station is on an offset street in the town just outside of Canton.

Spotlights line the dance floor, and two bars, one upstairs and one downstairs, greet visitors with a large sign reading, “Order here.”

But sometimes, bartender John Devins says, customers’ order forms mysteriously move from the downstairs bar to the upstairs bar, or vice versa.

And sometimes when he or other workers at the Carriage House enter the building alone, they hear footsteps pacing the upper level of the night club and see things out of the corner of their eyes.

Devins, who has worked at the Carriage House for 15 years, says these paranormal experiences have happened to him and almost every other employee.

“You get used to it, actually,” he says. “You kind of expect it.”

That’s where the World Paranormal Investigations team came in to play Sunday night. Devins, who has always been interested in the paranormal, wanted a group to investigate the night club for spiritual activity. The group, whose co-founders Bea and John Brugge are from Kent, has been conducting these investigations for four years, mostly throughout Northeast Ohio.

Before the investigation begins, the group sets up its equipment. The group has DVR cameras, audio equipment and devices to measure temperature fluctuations and electromagnetic fields. Lower temperatures and higher EMF readings may indicate spiritual activity.

Devins admits he has no idea who the spirit could be. He recalls several major accidents that happened at an intersection down the road and a number of deaths that happened right outside the night club.

“It could have been someone who died out here,” he says.

Meanwhile, the investigation team sets up the final cameras and equipment. The team is ready to begin.

A small room that normally houses bands that play at the club has transformed into the team’s base room. Three investigators remain here monitoring cameras while the other three walk the building, all lights out, trying to communicate with the spirit.

Bea, John and another investigator, Jake Tolin, are the first to walk the building. John is the spiritual medium, meaning he can communicate with spirits.

“If there is someone here tonight that would like to communicate, would you please do so at this time?” he asks. “We come in peace and mean you no harm.”

As John sits on a bench, Bea snaps pictures and Tolin measures the electromagnetic fields. As Tolin continues to do this, he comes across nothing out of the ordinary.

As the three pace the upstairs level, John continues to ask questions – whether the spirit is a male or female, if the spirit is a previous owner of the bar and if the spirit would touch one of the investigators or move something to make his or her presence known.

But no one feels a touch, and nothing moves. Bea asks what John has picked up so far.

“Nothing strong enough to go off of,” John replies.

But he has a few speculations.

“If there is someone here, it’s someone who frequented the bar – not an owner,” he says.

He motions to a corner of the bar, and says as he paced this area, an image came to his mind – a man in his 60s with a full snow-white head of hair, wearing a light-colored golf T-shirt.

“The vision is nothing dramatic right now,” John says. “I will talk to John Devins about whether this is someone who may have frequented the bar.”

Though that was the closest bit of evidence the group found that night, its work at the Carriage House is not complete. Tolin said the group still has about 20 hours of video footage to review.

“Some investigations, we find nothing that night,” Bea said. “Then we find evidence when we look back.”

She said the team will release the final results for the Carriage House in November.

On other investigations, spirits have responded to the group’s inquiries by moving things when they were asked to. Videos and audio of such experiences can be found on the group’s Web site, www.wpiusauk.com.

Contact editor Christina Stavale at [email protected].