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The spirits are alive in Hobart- The society is not just about ghost hunting

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on May 22, 2019 with No Comments

by Steve Euvino

Gabby Fink, 15, a freshman member of the Griffith High School Paranormal Society, takes an energy reading on wedding dresses in early May at the Hobart Historical Society Museum. The GHS group took readings that evening at the museum and at Hobart’s Old Settlers Cemetery.

The spirits were out and about two Wednesday evenings in May. The Griffith High School Paranormal Society has the readings to prove it.

On May 8, the GHS group investigated the presence of spirit life at the Old Settlers Cemetery along Indiana 51 and at the downtown Hobart Historical Society Museum. The two sites, steeped in history, provided positive, if not somewhat unnerving, evidence that spirit life is real.

One week later, the Griffith ghost hunters returned to take readings at Crown Hill Cemetery in Hobart Township and the Pennsy Depot, a former train station that is now the home of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce.

Traci DePozo, a mother and chaperone with the Griffith High School Paranormal Society, takes readings on the presence of spirit life inside the Hobart Historical Society Museum. The GHS group took readings May 8 at the museum and at Hobart’s Old Settlers Cemetery.

“The spirits are really very busy,” said GHS freshman Gabby Fink as she took readings on old wedding dresses in the museum. “There’s definitely something there, either attached to the clothing or moving through the area.”

Spirit life was also detected at the cemetery, the final resting place of one Mexican War veteran and three Civil War veterans.  With the oldest known grave dating back to the 1840s, the small graveyard was big on readings, as measured by the Griffith group.

Led by moderator and School Resource Officer Pete Ghrist, students used a structured light-sensitive camera with the capacity to identify humanoid shapes not visible through human eyes.

Students also used melmeters to measure energy spikes supposedly emitted by spirits. But, as Ghrist noted, spirits don’t always reveal themselves to man-made devices.

Pete Ghrist, moderator of the Griffith High School Paranormal Society, takes readings on the mausoleum of Elijah and Rebecca Guyer May 15 at Crown Hill Cemetery in Hobart Township. The Guyer family constructed the Guyer Building in downtown Hobart that burned in January and was recently demolished.

“We go into this, expecting nothing to happen,” Ghrist said, “so when something happens, it’s pretty exciting.”

The GHS group has been in existence for six years, during which students have made more than 75 investigations. The society currently has 72 members.

“This is a very positive group of kids, all looking to do something and really enjoying it,” Ghrist said.

The GHS group also uses flashlights placed on grave markers. Students ask a question of a spirit, with the response coming from the flashlight turned either on or off. Spirits responded at the cemetery and other sites.

“It’s fun seeing all the cool things that are hard to explain,” Fink said, “and kinda thrilling.”

Danny Sheffield, 15, another freshman, added, “It’s cool to learn about history. Plus, we’re dealing with ghosts, so there’s a little bit of an edge to it.”

The society is not just about ghost hunting. The group, which will investigate Hobart’s Pennsy Depot on May 15, will plant 100 U.S. flags on veterans’ graves. They also contribute to restoration efforts and operations at cemeteries they visit.

Once at the museum, students took energy readings on displays of vintage clothing, Native Americans, schools, and the military.

Paula Isolampi, Hobart Historical Society president, said the museum, a former library opened in 1915, does not have a reputation for being haunted. However, Isolampi noted, at least one person swears a mannequin wearing a Girl Scout uniform has moved.

At Pennsy Depot, Isolampi noted, “We saw a shadowy figure several times.   One of the girls was hugged, and Pete [Ghrist] was poked.  When I went to turn off a light, I saw the light switch move and the light went off.  The closest person was Pete, and he was at least three feet from it.  Several things were shoved over in the basement.”

While at Crown Hill Cemetery, the GHS group took positive readings at the mausoleum of Elijah and Rebecca Guyer, the folks behind the former Guyer Building in downtown Hobart. Dating back to the 1800s, the building burned in January and was recently demolished.

Traci DePozo, a mom and chaperone, loves history and learning about other communities. “I enjoy seeing the kids get excited,” she said. “Seeing them make discoveries makes it even more exciting.”

According to contacts made in the museum basement, five spirits inhabit the lower level. They include long-time Fire Chief H.R. “Dick” Harrigan and local blacksmith Gustaf Lindborg.

This dabbling into ghostly life does not seem to frighten students.

“It’s fun just getting to see a little bit more of history,” said sophomore Nina Rodriguez, 17. “I’m used to this, because I’m pretty sure my house is haunted.”

 

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