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East Hills Paranormal group looking for signs of spirits in Western Pa.

| Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, 11:18 p.m.
Members of the East Hills Paranormal group investigate around the Providence Quaker Cemetery and Chapel in Perryopolis.  The church sits in a small cemetery dating back to the early 1700's and is rumored to have been a location where black magic was practiced.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Members of the East Hills Paranormal group investigate around the Providence Quaker Cemetery and Chapel in Perryopolis. The church sits in a small cemetery dating back to the early 1700's and is rumored to have been a location where black magic was practiced.
Members of the East Hills Paranormal group investigate around the historic Providence Quaker Chapel in Perryopolis, a site rumored to be haunted.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Members of the East Hills Paranormal group investigate around the historic Providence Quaker Chapel in Perryopolis, a site rumored to be haunted.
East Hills Paranormal's Fred Broerman of Pitcairn looks over an area along a trail as he investigates Livermore in the Blairsville area by the West Penn biking trail.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
East Hills Paranormal's Fred Broerman of Pitcairn looks over an area along a trail as he investigates Livermore in the Blairsville area by the West Penn biking trail.
Sage is burnt as members of the East Hills Paranormal investigate a rumored-haunted site.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Sage is burnt as members of the East Hills Paranormal investigate a rumored-haunted site.
East Hills Paranormal's Josh Shelton of Pitcairn takes photographs with a digital camera as he searches for paranormal activity on one of many investigations by the group.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
East Hills Paranormal's Josh Shelton of Pitcairn takes photographs with a digital camera as he searches for paranormal activity on one of many investigations by the group.
East Hills Paranormal's Fred Broerman of Pitcairn looks through a tunnel on one of the groups many excursions to investigate stories of hauntings.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
East Hills Paranormal's Fred Broerman of Pitcairn looks through a tunnel on one of the groups many excursions to investigate stories of hauntings.

As day fades into night, members of the East Hills Paranormal group gather at the edge of a small cemetery along a Murrysville road.

Hankey Church Cemetery is rumored to be haunted. It's the type of place the group loves to investigate.

“If there's any spirits here, please show a sign of your presence,” says Josh Shelton as he stands along the road with an audio recorder in one hand and a small digital camera in the other. “We are not here to harm you.”

He pauses, waiting for a response. With each breath and pause, he lifts his camera and snaps pictures in different directions, hoping to capture orbs, small circular lights that ghost hunters believe represent spirits captured by cameras.

A few seconds pass and he continues:

“If there's anybody here now with us, please speak into my little red light here. What's your name? How did you die?”

While Shelton waits for a response, the rest of the group walks among the headstones, their flashlights illuminating names and dates. They gather at a few grave markers clumped together just over a small grade, their silhouettes stark against the deep blue sky.

“We're not here to harm anybody; we're paranormal investigators,” Shelton says. “We'd just like to prove that there is life after death.”

Justin Merriman is a Trib Total Media photographer. Reach him at jmerriman@tribweb.com.

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