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Paranormal activity investigated during Pleasant Hills Library session

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 1:21 a.m.
Hauntings researcher Rick Varlotto shows Josie Moore, 7, of Jefferson Hills what paranormal investigators seek as evidence through a camera.

Does the Pleasant Hills Library have ghosts?

Members from Hauntings Research and a little more than a dozen paranormal enthusiasts attempted to find out on a dark and stormy Tuesday night as part of a live investigation and seminar at the public library along Old Clairton Road.

“Maybe they'll hear voices, or see pictures, see any orbs,” said Stephanie Mueller of Emsworth. “Hopefully we'll see what happens.”

Pleasant Hills resident Greg Belding said he has seen shadows move in his home, and came to the program to learn more about strange phenomena.

“I come here to see if I can find anything that would prove what I'm seeing,” he said. “I kinda learned some of the equipment they use to capture some of the stuff and how to do it. I'm enjoying it here. I'm still skeptical, though.”

Hauntings Research president Norm Torisky showed attendees some of the equipment investigators use, including digital recorders, cameras and electromagnetic field detectors.

He also discussed previous investigations like the ones at the former Homestead police station and the Larimer Mansion Bed & Breakfast in North Huntingdon Township.

Pleasant Hills Library is the community library of Hauntings Research founder Ed Ozosky. The group got its start in 2009 and conducts 10-12 investigations per year.

They also conduct about four seminars a year where they explain what they do. Tuesday night was the first investigation open to the public.

“It was Ed's idea,” Torisky said. “Ed, being a resident here, had heard there were some areas in the library that people didn't like.”

Pleasant Hills Library adult program coordinator Shirley Gealy said she has not had any personal paranormal contact, but other staffers reported getting cold sweats while in a nonfiction section of the children's department. Strange activity also was reported in the Mary Green Community History Room.

Torisky said usual findings include something saying “help me” or “thank you.”

Tuesday night was not the first time Hauntings Research was at the library.

“We've had them here before, so we're not too shook up about it,” Gealy said. “Last time they were here they told us about other investigations they were doing, and we did get a group of people that seemed to be really interested. We thought it would be interesting to do more of a demonstration where they actually show what they do when they're on an investigation. That seemed to be more interactive.”

Investigators used infrared lights and several other devices set to pick up movements and sounds.

Mueller said she developed an interest in the paranormal while thinking about her family.

“I think it has something to do with my grandparents,” Mueller said. “I never knew my grandfather, so I've always been interested to see if they were still around. My grandmother's house was haunted, so we think. It's just kind of been in the family. My dad tells me that my great-grandmother was a witch. It's always been that kind of stuff.”

Hauntings Research will return to the library on July 23 to reveal their findings.

“We don't expect anything,” Torisky said.

“We never know what we're going to get ... There's no expectation whatsoever. Every (investigation's) different.”

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or