Paranormal activity in West Michigan? | News
(WZZM) -- If you've ever heard something that goes bump in the night or saw something you just can't explain you may want to read this. A growing number of reports claim dozens, maybe even hundreds of West Michigan homes and businesses are haunted.
"We had one where there was a little boy and he had been killed by a car in the area and knew the children there in the area and he would come at night and ask the children to play with him. After helping him crossing over children never reporting seeing him again," said Edwin Lelieveld, a member of the Michigan Paranormal
Lelieveld and members of his group say whether ghosts and spirits are creeping about in dark alleys, prowling or West Michigan's most popular and historic buildings, they are definitely trying to make their presence known.
Brenda Dyer agrees.
"I would say this area is a mecca of paranormal activity," she says.
Dyer, owns Cityscape Adventures and has created Grand Rapids Most Haunted Field Investigations Unit. They offer tours of some of Grand Rapids' most notorious haunts - places like the auditorium at Saint Cecilia Music Center, the basement at the Ritz Koney, and the mysterious red room inside the Masonic Temple - places rich with history and often times marked by tragedy.
"I really believe where here is history there is always mystery," she said. "The thread there is some of these haunting go back to the struggles of the earliest history of building the city and making it what it is today. I think they are very attached. There must be some attachment to these places because it seems that almost every building that is considered historically significant does report paranormal activity."
Dyer to a group of curious ghost seekers at St. Cecilia, "There are shadow people in this auditorium where guests have reported seeing them and captured some photos."
Dyer, who called herself a skeptic at first, says landmarks where past murders and mysterious deaths occurred generations ago are the very same places she says are documented to have apparitions today. She says there is a growing amount of research that supports the presence of supernatural beings.
"We go and match the stories we hear to the history of a place. The stories so far we have found to be very compelling," she said. Guests have reported many different type of paranormal activities or sensations such as being touched being squeezed. Their coat being tugged or their hair being pulled on."
David Matson, founder of the Michigan Paranormal Alliance, says he and a group of co-workers had a similar experience years ago while working as a nurse at an area hospital.
"We experienced what we call shadow persons. That's what we saw originally and we couldn't explain it," he said. "We were just at work standing around giving report and we all saw the shadow person walk straight across the hall. There was no one down there. We all went down there and checked and there was no one explanation for it."
After that the started M.P.A. to help families that are being haunted or bothered by paranormal activity in their homes. The group of real life ghost busters have been together for more than ten years helping people who say they're being haunted.
"They are hearing noises. Things are being moved in their home They are being touched. They are hearing their names being called. Doors are slamming and that kind of thing," said Matson.
When asked if people were allowing their imaginations get away with them, Matson replied, "Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't.
But we go in and every little thing we try and debunk and look for for alternate explanations."
Their ultimate mission is to find the undead spirit and remove it.
"We use holy water. we use prayers. we use our energy and we use sage and we cleanse the house to get rid of what's there," said member, Barb Nelson.
That is what they did one night at the home of Rosemary Lelieveld. Lelieveld is a psychic medium and fellow member of the group. She says because she is a "sensitive" ghosts and spirits frequently follow her home. In fact, she says her entire family have encountered them.
"There is activity in here as well. We actually hear things move around in here," said Lelieveld referring to her basement which she calls the hot spot in her home.
Her husband, Edwin, says there is "lots of activity, mostly down here in the basement area and in the kids' rooms. The kids have seen apparitions. They've seen shadow people they've seen fog or mists hanging around in their rooms."
On this particular night the group set up cameras, recorders and other equipment to find out who's here.
"Is there someone here who would like to communicate with us," asked Edwin during a session.
And like with every vigil they first rule out the natural. "Okay, that's the baby upstairs," said one member after hearing a noise." Before presuming the supernatural... "Did you hear that? I thought I did. Uh huh. It was the same time as the water heater but it was different," they concluded.
Edwin asked, "if that was you could you do it again please? Can you come touch one of us?"
At first everything was pretty routine and then I saw it first.
"Do you have a window in there? No. There was just a light on the wall in there," I asked referring to a small room with a water heater and some storage items.
I thought I saw a light shine on the wall similar to reflection of a car's headlights. Rosemary and Edwin assured me there were no windows in the room.
Edwin got up and went in the room with Multi-Media Journalist Blake Naftel who was shooting video for me. After checking things out Edwin found a small penlight on top of the water heater. He figured I saw something reflect off the lens and everyone in the group proceeded to move on, thinking nothing of it. That is until the light came back for everyone to see.
Through the excited chatter in the room you could hear members of the group say "okay what is that? What is that? That is that flashlight it came on by itself."
The penlight needed to be pushed to come on and pushing it made a very distinct sound. One that none of us heard before the light mysteriously appeared.
So now the skeptic in me had to go investigate to make sure nobody was hiding in the room and pulling my leg. I found nobody in the room.
Now the excited group continued trying to communicate to see if a ghost would make itself known , hoping to make it turn the light on or off, or do anything on command.
"Is there something you want to tell us," said Edwin. Nothing happened.
"Spirits are not like an animal, a dog or cat, where you can sit or stand, do this now. Especially the intelligent ones. They are human beings or were human beings," said member Lisa Sekeet.
In the end I had more questions than answers. And while there is no hard evidence ghosts and sprits dwell among us, there is also no proof they don't.
Members of the Michigan Paranormal Alliance say they offer services at no charge and claim to have a 95% success rate at removing ghosts permanently. Their website is http://www.m.p.a.org