Back from the Delta Paranormal Fest

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spectators_2This weekend, I had the pleasure of heading up to Greenville, MS, for the annual Delta Paranormal Project Conference and Paranormal Investigations (or, as commonly called, ‘ghost hunts’). I got into town late Friday night, a result of a little lack of planning and hungry bellies (of my traveling partner and me) in Vicksburg, MS, but I went to the meet and greet and had a blast anyway. I could make a whole series of posts on how to prepare for conferences and conventions, which I may do and post to New Age Writer, but I digress.

After a few adult beverages, I returned to the hotel for a some shuteye, and off I went to Kepler’s off of Highway 82 for the conference portion of the event. The only thing that I didn’t like about the conference was the fact that Greenville had no less than eight competing events in town the same weekend, and one of them was a blues festival. As I related to some friends afterward: ghost hunting has become mainstream, but you’re not going to beat out a blues festival, especially when they have huge names attached to it. Since most of Delta Paranormal Project’s (DPP) interest comes from the local residents in and around Greenville, we were a lot slower than we thought we would be. However, this was good for the other arm of my business, formatting for print and ebook, since there were several other writers at the conference looking to improve their workflows. And I never scoff at the potential for a business relationship down the road; networking is a wonderful thing.

As you can see from the picture below, I also got a little writing done on the fourth book in the fantasy world of Bloodmyr, which is presently entitled “A War of Magic.” The title could change between now and publication, so don’t plug that into your search trackers or anything like that just yet. And yes, I would love to give you a release date, but I don’t do that anymore; I think pushing back or missing dates is more irritating than not knowing in the first place. But, as always, once I know for sure, I’ll tell you.

When the conference concluded, we broke for supper, and then we all met at the Greenville Armory building for the paranormal investigations. Now, I went to this event with a completely open mind. I didn’t judge anyone or put anyone’s beliefs down. That’s really the only way you can approach something like this, to watch and observe and make your own conclusions.

We had an investigation at the armory, the Democrat, the old firehouse–now a museum–and the E.E. Bass Performing Arts Center. The most interesting experiences were at the armory and the old firehouse. Before I talk about the investigations, a couple of things should be stated:convention_table_1

  • Paranormal investigators attempt to add science into the process of investigation.
  • As a result, they have special tools to measure increase/decreases in electromagnetic activity, along with sensitive thermometers and other gadgets.
  • Rooms are measured for static EMF activity and ambient temperature, in order to have a base reading from which to derive activity. (Bursts of EMF activity and sudden, dramatic changes in room temperature are noted as possible paranormal activity for further investigation later.) They also carry sensitive audio equipment which is processed after the investigation.

So, with that in mind, let’s keep rolling. The firehouse is said to be haunted due to a fire which killed several of the men on duty at the time. I don’t have any of the supporting information about this event because I didn’t have anything to take notes with at the time, and unfortunately, it’s difficult to find anything about Mississippi history online. And just try searching for information on haunted firehouses in October; the Halloween events are overloading the search results.

We went into the upstairs of the building, and to make a long story short, there were several spikes of electromagnetic activity in the room after questions were asked aloud. Does this indicate the presence of ghosts? Not necessarily. I was rather impressed with the team on this aspect; they tried very hard to debunk every spike of EMF, every noise, and every other strange occurrence in the room. It was nothing like the show Ghost Hunters or any of the others, which seem more about the entertainment than anything else. These people wanted to find the truth, whatever form it took, instead of trying to spook, scare, or entertain any of the people there.

After the firehouse, we went to the armory. And there, we had several abnormal EMF readings and some strange audio. One of our investigators asked, “What is your name?”, and a man’s voice said, “Bill”, on the speaker. Does this mean that a ghost named Bill was in the room communicating with us? It may or it may not; just like police investigators, real paranormal investigators don’t put too much faith into the evidence they find until it’s been processed and analyzed, gone through the full debunking process, and so forth. Once every logical and natural test has been put to the evidence, they see if it stands up. If it hasn’t been debunked, it is placed in the pile of evidence of paranormal activity, and each piece of solid evidence is analyzed together. It is a meticulous process, and given that we may not understand everything about the universe or the afterlife (really, we’ve barely scratched the surface on either), I was impressed with the process, the scrutiny of the evidence, and the professionalism that the team had to finding the truth, whatever it was.

And they’re a great bunch of people, too. They’re very friendly and have never met a stranger.

If I’m able to go to the conference next year–which I understand will be in Mobile (or possibly Gulfport)–I’m going to do everything I can to attend.

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