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Paranormal investigators to teach ghost hunting at Tipton-Haynes

Brandon Paykamian • Mar 16, 2020 at 9:53 AM

A team of paranormal investigators will bring their expertise to Tipton-Haynes Historic Site to take a closer look at what lurks there and teach others how to hunt ghosts.

The Southern Research Society Paranormal team, based in Glade Spring, Virginia, will visit later this month to teach skeptics and believers alike about their profession and the methods they use to investigate the paranormal.

Founder Matthew Sorge said they will “teach them how to separate what we believe are actual paranormal experiences from explainable things.” Sessions will be March 24 and 27 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

Sorge said that “over 95% of what people experience can be explained,” but based on past visits to the site, Sorge believes there’s something strange going on at Tipton-Haynes.

“We have had several really good interactions there with several different spirits. We believe there are a couple of spirits that frequent that location. Some of it is related directly to the history, and some of it, we’re not sure exactly what connection it has to the property,” he said, adding that the spirits of Colonel John Tipton and Landon Carter Haynes walk the grounds. 

To draw these types of conclusions, Sorge said his team, founded in 2007, brings different areas of expertise to the table.

The team includes Kevin King, lead investigator; Al James, case manager and investigator; Dr. Ronda Caudill, lead psychic investigator and author; Nikita Foxx Boggs, psychic medium and spiritualist investigator; Wes Spurgeon, team historian and Tipton Haynes co-director; Michelle Woods, investigator; and Khristina Bowen, a photographic analyst who worked for the Atlantic Paranormal Society. 

Sorge said SRS Paranormal uses the “latest technology with advanced techniques, spiritualist methods, and psychic readings of the locations to validate or disprove the claims and experiences at each location,” making use of the team psychics’ “uncanny” abilities. 

“The meters we use are a variety of different tools. If you’ve ever seen any of the ghost hunting television shows, they all use similar meters. Basically, we take environmental data points and then we try to see if they fluctuate when activity occurs,” he said, adding that the team also uses a variety of different types of cameras. 

Sorge said he welcomes skeptics to come and see what his group does, since he was once a skeptic himself. In 2005, Sorge said he experienced two paranormal experiences while hunting for historical artifacts and relics. As he researched similar instances, he said he found that some experiences do not have “earthly explanations.” 

“I was a hardcore skeptic, and I never had a paranormal experience in my life. Long story short, I had my first experience. It changed my life, and it made me start this journey to figure out more about the paranormal, what it is and why people have these experiences,” he said.

“I spent the next two years digging in, researching and trying to understand theories of why people experience these things,” he continued. “Fifteen years later, having traveled all across the country to some of the most haunted locations as a team, I’m a believer that’s still very skeptical.”

Participants must register ahead of SRS Paranormal’s visit to Tipton-Haynes. To register, email [email protected] or call 423-926-3631. Slots will fill quickly, and the cost is $25 per participant. There will be a limit of 20 participants each night that must be 12 years or older.