Hamilton man Josh Carroll is sceptical of haunted places. It’s strange because he is a paranormal investigator. He detests the term ghost hunter – “It’s appalling. It brings up connotations that we’re seeking them out like they’re some sort of prey that we’re going to capture and deal with.”
Since he was a child he has always been “spirit sensitive.” It’s what started him out in this work 25 years ago. “I’ve always been able to sense things and see things other people weren’t … It used to terrify me when I was a child, but as I’ve got older it just started really fascinating me … When I was a teenager I used to go to abandon buildings by myself and check things out.”
He had been working solo up until last week. Carroll assembled a paranormal team. They are called Midnight Paranormal Hamilton and they research and investigate claims of paranormal activity in the Waikato. Carroll said he has had a lot of work in Frankton. But many in Waikato don’t know the group exists.
“A lot of people, especially in the Waikato, have no idea that there are actually people around that they can contact, that will take them seriously and listen.”
His team work for free and all of the spirit detecting equipment Carroll owns he pays for out of his own pocket. He has a range of audio devices and basic digital cameras. “I also use EMF (electro magnetic field) detectors, which electricians use to check out electro magnetic fields that are coming off electrical equipment and appliances and wall plugs,” he said.
He also uses land and building information to assist in ruling out causes. “Every case we go into the house and we rule out natural causes for what they’re experiencing. Whether it’s electrical, plumbing, structural (house) and what the environment is like.”
He says it’s his thorough research that rules out the paranormal in most cases, with the remaining 25 per cent of his cases termed unexplainable. But he can’t prove without doubt they are haunted.
“You can never say 100 per cent because it’s an unproven science. No one in the field can claim they have 100 per cent proof,” Carroll says.
“We can show the client what information we’ve gathered; whether it’s audio, pictures or something else and discuss it with them.”
Midnight Paranormal Hamilton doesn’t cleanse places of spirits. He is sceptical of psychics and mediums; if clients want their home cleansed of what they might think are unwanted spirits he suggests going to see a church. He also detests paranormal hunting shows on YouTube- they’re too dramatic.
Vicki Hyde, spokesperson for NZ Skeptics said although these types of stories are entertaining they should be taken with a grain of salt. “We are always going to have unexplained things, we live in a world we don’t know 100 per cent of what goes on. However it’s a big jump to go from ‘I feel weird in this room’ to ‘that must mean there is life after death and there are ghosts haunting this house,” she said. If there was scientifically validated evidence of hauntings it would be worldwide news. That simply hadn’t happened.. “Take it with a pinch of salt.”
If you have want your home analysed for spirits you can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their Facebook page Midnight Paranormal Hamilton.