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Ghost Hunters Teach Tools of the Trade in McKinley Park

By Casey Cora | November 1, 2012 3:27pm | Updated on November 2, 2012 11:38am
 Part of the investigations team with TNT Paranormal. The group will be hosting a Ghist Hunting 101 session at the McKinley Park branch of the Chicago Public Library.
Part of the investigations team with TNT Paranormal. The group will be hosting a Ghist Hunting 101 session at the McKinley Park branch of the Chicago Public Library.
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tntparanormal.com | Used with permission

MCKINLEY PARK — Budding ghostbusters, this class is for you.

The TNT Paranormal Investigators will teach an introductory ghost-hunting session Saturday at the Chicago Public Library’s McKinley Park branch.

The class begins at 1 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Investigators with the all-volunteer group will teach participants the dialect and devices used in their hunt for paranormal activity, including Infrared cameras, camcorders, audio recorders and electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors.

“We’ll be describing the equipment, how and why we use it,” said Melissa Tanner, the group’s founder and lead investigator.

Tanner said TNT’s investigators have embarked on 28 ghost hunts so far in 2012. Citing nondisclosure agreements with clients, Tanner wouldn’t say those inquiries turned up.

But she did say a typical investigation may include dissecting electronic voice phenomenon — “basically the voices happening outside the range of the human ear and the recordings are picking up what our ears cannot.

“And occasionally,” she said, “something happens where you get a voice that wasn’t from one of your people.”

While that might be enough to get you spooked, Tanner said much the group’s work actually involves debunking, not supporting, their clients' claims of strange noises and apparitions.

Still, homeowners and commercial property owners routinely report “shadows apparitions or lights they can’t explain,” which keeps the group busy year-round.

TNT Paranormal is based in DuPage County and is comprised of 11-volunteers who investigate, research and review cases. Tanner cautioned that Saturday's session is only for beginners, and there won’t be much in the way of demonstrations.

But the class just might pique your interest in the paranormal.

“The purpose of the class isn’t to become an investigator. That depends on their ability to commit. We have cases and we deal with clients, and when we deal with clients we have tight deadlines and it becomes a full-time job for my team members, but we don’t get paid,” she said.

As for the library, ask around and you'll hear about dramatic swings in temperature and random flickering lights.

Signs of paranormal activity?

"If [library staffers] told us there was activity there and they wanted us to investigate, we would," Tanner said.