Whatever your personal beliefs in the paranormal, it’s likely that you have at least heard of, or are aware of, the concept of paranormal investigation. These are the people who go to houses, business, and historical sites to either debunk or prove claims of paranormal activity. I was a part of such a group myself: The Vermont Spirit Detective Agency.
The men and women of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) were not the first to do this, and they won’t be the last, but they have set the standard for all paranormal investigators of any level of experience.
Their rules are simple:
They will try to recreate and/or debunk any claim using real world knowledge and problem solving skills.
They will give priority to cases where children may be involved.
If they take your case, they won’t charge you a dime.
I actually haven’t watched the series in a while, but I owned the first four seasons. In the beginning, the SyFy original Ghost Hunters, which chronicles the investigations of the TAPS team was more of a reality show than a documentary series. The first two seasons drew heavily from the drama of balancing this unusual pass time with the pressures of real life, including family, work, and the strain of long distance travel, as well as maintaining the professional image they had garnered in the years before the show’s debut.
After Season Two, it was like the editors said, “Lets just focus on the actual evidence of ghosts, because that’s what makes people tune in.” Then the reality show became a documentary series.
Yesterday, the SyFy channel was airing the most recent season, and an episode that will be near and dear to my heart played: The Southern Vermont College case.
As you may have guessed from my title page and the name of the blog, I am from Bennington, Vermont. Southern Vermont College is just a short walk away from where I was born and the entire campus, mountains, buildings and all, was my playground. I went to Upward Bound in the summers of my high school years, and it was the place where I opened my very first e-mail account among other things.
So when I found out that Jason Hawes, Steve Gonzales, Dave Tango, and the TAPS team would be visiting the one place in Bennington that I remember with %100 fondness, I thought, “Yes. Yes please.” Alas, I was in Salem at the time, so seeing the final product of their efforts was the great consolation prize.
John tolerated me squealing in delight as I pointed out the Bennington Monument, the Bennington Bookshop, and some of the other features of my birthplace for about 45 minutes before going to bed. As always, the TAPS team handled the claims with respect and professional curiosity, gathering great evidence and reminding me that while I live in a town that claims to have loads of paranormal activity, I was from a town where the activity has actually been confirmed.
My own team actually visited Southern Vermont College a few years before the TAPS team recorded that episode. And actually, I do seem to recall someone telling me TAPS had been there for a presentation of some kind, but of course I was not there for either of those times.
But I guess if I couldn’t be there in person, it’s especially nice to know that that when the people I respect and admire were there, I was present in spirit.