Paranormal investigators set out to see if Carnegie houses ghosts

| Monday, Oct. 31, 2011

Two paranormal research groups recently spent an evening at the Carnegie Free Library to see if the building is haunted.

"One worker has seen numerous sightings of a male and a female," said Casey Sirochman, director and head librarian at the Carnegie Free Library.

Sirochman said other possible evidence of the spirits occupying the building includes hearing footsteps upstairs when there's only one person in the library and water faucets beginning to run by themselves in the rest-room. Sirochman herself has experienced an incident first-hand.

Sirochman said library workers and volunteers were conducting a book recycling program and packing away books. Sirochman told another worker that the spirits wouldn't be happy about what they were doing with the books.

"All of a sudden, one book flew off the shelf," Sirochman said.

Even before Sirochman even joined the library staff, interest in the building's possible hauntings came from the Pittsburgh Paranormal Society, which sent letters to the library, asking to conduct an investigation.

"What drew us to this was the old building with lots of history," said Shawn Kelly, founder and lead investigator of PPS. Kelly visited the library with two team members late last week.

Joining PPS at the site were paranormal researchers from the newly formed Paranormal Investigation Hauntings Team, a local club from the Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology out of Uniontown. This was this group's first investigation. They were taking lessons from Kelly about the proper techniques and equipment use.

"This is a great opportunity to do this with someone else," said Amy Dawson, who along with Ryan Langley, founded the Paranormal Investigation Hauntings Team.

One step in conducting an investigation, said Kelly, was to debunk the belief that the study must be conducted from dusk to dawn. The time to look for evidence of spirits is from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Kelly said it is also important is respect the client. Clients shouldn't be sent to a motel for the night or accused of being crazy.

"They need answers. They need to know why," Kelly said. He said if a client asks a question, he believes in always answering honestly, even if it means an investigator admitting not knowing the answer.

Kelly said the same courtesy should be extended to the ghosts.

"Treat the spirits with respect, they'll give you what you want," Kelly said. "You treat them like crap, they'll laugh at you."

Kelly uses cameras for still photography, a motion-sensor deer camera, a video camera, a voice recorder and a K2 meter, which detects electromagnetic fields that ghosts are supposed to affect.

But for Kelly and the PPS, it's not about finding the spirits. With more than 1,000 investigations conducted, he no longer needs proof of the existence of the spirits, but continues to do it as a way to educate clients and the public.

"We want to teach people spirits still exist, how to live with them and accept them and know why they're there," Kelly said.

Kelly said there was some activity in the library's conference room, he and the members of the team are currently going through what was recorded that night and will soon release the results.

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