Local ghost hunters share their story for the Halloween season

With a history steeped in vice, crime, and even murder, its no surprise that some feel wayward spirits are drawn to towns like Borger, and spooky sights like this back alley sign dont do much to ease those fears.
By: 
Tabitha Fleming
Staff Writer

With October's chilly nights and the summer trees losing their leaves, ghost stories seem to fill the air much like the expectation of candy fills the minds of children dreaming of trick-or-treating. The stories that many have heard for years about locally haunted places, Plemons Bridge, Stella's Tree, the baby graves. What if they are all true? What if in actuality, there really are spirits, either malicious or kind haunting Hutchinson county? Some say it's childish nonsense, but others disagree. The majority of Americans it seems, think ghost stories are just that, stories, but a strong minority, 42 percent according to a 2013 Harris poll, believe in the other worldly spirits, and you can count the members of the Pampa Paranormal Research Society among those 42% without question.
For a certain generation, the question, “Who you gonna call?” will always be met with a resounding, “Ghostbusters!” That's what the Dan Guthrie, founder of the Pampa Paranormal Research Society [PPRS] is in a sense. The group is no comedy fiction from 1980s pop-culture however, they are a very serious, and highly dedicated group of individuals serving a need in the community. Whether recognized by all or not, their mission is to investigate other-worldly experiences, and try to soothe the relations between the spirits and the living.
The process is a very professional and serious one, and begins with a call to Guthrie, or contact via his facebook group (http://on.fb.me/1jw1ujS). The homeowner or resident that is experiencing unexplained phenomena speaks with Guthrie and gives a brief overview of the happenings. From that point, Guthrie sends a case manager to meet with the haunted individual and assess the situation, if the case manager finds that there is basis to believe the haunting, or unexplained circumstances merit further investigation, the team then sets a time and meets at the location with their investigative equipment.
“What we try to do first,” says Guthrie, “is debunk everything. A lot of times [the alleged ghost] could be just the electrical [wiring] of the house.” According the Guthrie, electrical wiring that is improperly grounded can cause people to believe that they are seeing spirits, and fixing the faulty wiring solves the problem immediately. “That happens some of the time, but some times there are cases that there are things, and that's when we go in and investigate with our various ghost hunting tools.”
The team usually meets at night, not because paranormal activity is limited to the hours between dusk and dawn but simply because the city noise, or any background noise is limited during the night. The normal sounds of people traveling to and from work and children playing in the street are quiet during the wee hours of the morning, and that means the sound canvas, so to speak, is blank. “I've done some investigations during the daytime,” said Guthrie, “in remote country places without any background noise, but usually the quietest time is in the middle of the night.”
PPRS doesn't charge people for their services, which they provide as a way to help people who have nowhere else to turn. It's not as if there is an actual “Ghostbusters” listing in the phone book, and the people that reach out to the group are often afraid and have nowhere else to turn.
“What we have to do is communicate with the entity,” said Guthrie, “usually it's just that there is some sort of unfinished business, or the person simply doesn't know they're dead,” and once that's communicated, usually the haunting stops. There have been more serious instances that required a pastor to be called in to bless the home, and in some instances, the catholic church has had to assist with an exorcism. Guthrie admitted that the cases where exorcism was necessary were frightening, but he said, “You don't want to show that you're afraid to the client, because they are already scared.” Most times, Guthrie said, spirits aren't dangerous, in fact, as far as danger goes, “I'm probably more scared of the living.”
Guthrie and his team at the Pampa Paranormal Research Society can be reached via Facebook or by calling 806-664-0416. The group doesn't charge a fee for their investigations, but they do accepts donations. The recording visits which only last about 4-6 hours for homeowners are just the beginning. The real work is after the home visit when the team spends nearly 150 hours pouring over video and audio recordings to confirm and debunk any abnormalities that team members find.

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