Tuesday, June 19, 2012

got me thinking today!

Been while since I posted, sorry about that!  I got busy, and have barely been online!

A friend of mine from another group asked me today, what I thought of paranormal groups that use "provoking"?  And the honest answer, is, I'm okay with it! Now, before you get all up in arms, let's examine the word itself:

Websters defines it as such, as seen above in the link:
1)  Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
2)  Evoke or provoke to appear or occur
3)  Provide the needed stimulus for
4)  To call forth; to call into being or action; esp., to incense to action, a faculty or passion, as love, hate, or ambition
and finally:
8)  To appeal. [A Latinism]

Putting aside the negative attributes of the word, I can't really say any group DOESN'T technically provoke.  We provoke when we walk in the door.  We provoke, when we engage in conversation with a possible ghost or spirit.   And we provoke when we leave out a ball for someone to play with, or flowers on a grave, or play music or do art or even think of someone who's past...the very memory of them calls forth their memories within us.   Everything we do as paranormal investigators, "provokes" in a sense.  The flashlight trick commonly seen now on TV, asking "could you touch this antenna on my MEL meter?" is all provoking when you think about it.

You can't get honey from a tree without disturbing the hive inside, for example.  And no one can reasonably expect to catch a fish, where there is no water.  By simply engaging in the exchanges we do, as investigators, we are provoking a memory, an emotion, a soul, and reaching out to it. 

Do I believe it's okay to taunt, or curse at, or belittle a ghost or spirit just for a decent K2 hit or a solid EVP?  Absolutely not.   But finding that trigger that lights the fire and re-awakens them sort of provoking?  yes, I do.   But it's sad since many groups out there associate the word with only the negative connotations of the word, and often take provoking to mean you have to incite rage or anger.  And this isn't always true. 

As a whole, I think the community could look at HOW it does what it does, maybe re-evaluate some of what it sees on television, and try to look at things from a more spiritual perspective sometimes.  Not that many groups do not...but you know what they say..you catch more flies with honey...but to do that...into the beehive you go! ;)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Story of Jay Road and Investigating Legends

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the area that I had grown up in and my family has lived in for generations (and my husband and I own land in that we hope to build on) was also home to a ghostly legend. I had never heard about this legend until I found it online one day, years ago. I was on the Shadowlands website and found my tiny little unincorporated hometown was listed - Boltonville. Specifically the area of Jay Road outside of Boltonville. Soon after, the legend was also featured in a book about all of the weird things that exist in Wisconsin.

So what's the legend? It says there was an old woman who lived alone with her cats until she perished in a fire started by troublemaking kids. Now her ghost haunts the road and her cats' descendants roam the area. Really? Not only had I never heard of this ghost story before finding it online, I also had never heard of this fabled woman and her burning house. I will say there are a lot of cats in and around Boltonville. But it's because a lot of people have unaltered outside/barn cats and they roam, littering the area with their offspring. Nothing paranormal about cats doing what nature intended them to do.

The other part of the legend involves a woman jogger who was supposedly killed by a car and she now haunts the road as well. I never heard of this before either and believe me when I say in our tiny, TINY town we would remember stories like this.

Another claim is that the road has parts that are dark even on the sunniest days. Yeah...there's something that gives off shadows like that. Ever heard of trees? There's many parts of the road that have trees growing together above the road. It's almost like driving through a tunnel. Unless someone cuts down those trees, it will ALWAYS be dark there. Again, nothing paranormal about it.

I decided to dig further into these stories. I thought, perhaps I just don't remember hearing any of these stories because they were before my time. So I asked my older relation. Again, my family has lived in the area for generations. I have the family tree on Ancestry.com to prove it. We're all very familiar with Jay Road, or Seven Bridges Road as many of us still call it. My family used to take the road to Lake Michigan. You used to be able to literally drive the road straight to the lake (there is now a private subdivision of houses there, so it no longer goes straight up to the lake). My mom is very familiar with the road after the night she took the family car out on it (even though her father specifically told her to avoid the road because of the rainwater going over the road near the bridges) and got stranded in the stalled car in the middle of a huge puddle (that really was almost a pond!).

Anyways, I ask my family. Not a one of them has heard of any of the claims. One would think that a ghostly legend that has enough notoriety to be featured in a paranormal book would garner enough local attention that every kid would grow up fearing the area that it was set in. This was not the case, though. Finding nothing of interest, I figured it was something that someone made up and posted on Shadowlands to be funny or something. I sort of forgot about the legend and time went on.

Now there's a new rash of Legend Trippers going to the area and posting their antics on YouTube. I was just there this weekend for the local firemen's picnic and brought up the topic again. This time I asked other people as well, not just my family. Again, everyone looked at me like I was crazy. They had never heard of any of it. Even a man who is very interested in history and also has had family in the area for generations had never heard of the legend or of deaths in the area like that.

Which leads us to - are these stories true? I highly doubt there is any truth to them at this time. If anyone has factual evidence (like newspaper clippings that show stories about the two deaths), I would love to see them. Perhaps there is some dark side of Jay Road that even the locals are oblivious to.

How do we as paranormal investigators know if a story is true or not? Well the obvious first place to start is with the facts. We need to find evidence to back up the claims. There is something else that most myths/legends have in common, though. If you spot this in a legend, it would be wise to approach the claim with more doubt than belief. Many state something that would be impossible for someone to know. Have you ever heard something that ended like this: "...and then the man saw a [insert scary monster or ghost here] and heard a [insert ghostly sound here] and was never heard from again."? If the man was never heard from again, please tell me how everyone knew his story? How did everyone find out what he saw and heard right before he died/disappeared? The Jay Road legend is similar. It states that the old woman was "heartbroken and angry" so she chose to stay in the house after the kids started it on fire and perished. If she lived alone like the legend says, who was told by her that she was heartbroken and angry so she chose to die in the fire? If you spot a story like this, I suggest proceeding with caution before you start believing it.

I think one of our responsibilities as paranormal investigators is to help people understand how legends are formed and show them what to look for before they believe something without checking into it. I'll admit I question the ethics of groups who spread ghost stories without checking into the claims. It's one thing to have fun talking about ghost stories but it's another to spread the stories as believable events without anything to back them up.

Unless I am presented with some hardcore evidence, I'm not going to believe that Jay Road is haunted and I shake my head in disbelief by how many groups of Legend Trippers head out there thinking they will catch something. My one request if people feel they MUST continue to do this - please be respectful. Don't take video of peoples' personal homes and post it on YouTube, talking about how it's all haunted. Don't horse around on the road, endangering your life and the lives of those around you. And remember that many people, like me, will question your methods if you believe a place is haunted just because someone posted it on the internet even though there is nothing to back up the claims.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A game changer for all of us

This is a topic I've put off for awhile, because it's sort of a sensitive topic...Legend Tripping.  Long story short, Legend Tripping is the adolescents' version of Paranormal Investigating.  You don't actually investigate anything...you pile in a car, drive somewhere someone else has already been, freak out, take a few pictures, and go home.  It's what sophomores do for fun in high school...heck I did it too when I was 16 and got my car!  But now there are groups that do this, seemingly full time, and it's caused a bit of an upset in the field.

It used to be places, homes, businesses, were actually HAPPY to have us come in. They called us, begged us to come, and were grateful for our help.  We were providing a service to people.  But then, the legend trippers came out in full force.  Blame the media, blame society, blame the fact that gas prices finally leveled off a bit, but in the end, it all came down to the trippers.  Because they were so numerous, and came and went so quickly, businesses came to see it as an opportunity, and began to charge people just to walk into a doorway at night.  

I remember doing some big places in my time...the Oshkosh Theater (The Grand), JFK Prep, and the historical societies of many cities (just to name a few), and I did it all for free.  On my own dime.  Everything - the tee-shirts, the equipment, the cases, the tapes and batteries, the evidence review and the car...everything.  And it's a costly sum, too.  We currently own thousands of dollars of equipment, and have invested hundreds in apparel and accessories.  This isn't just a group of juveniles hyped up on Red Bull in their moms' car...this is a TEAM that actually tries to HELP people, free of charge.  And now, you can't hardly go to a place without them asking "What's in it for me?" or "You need to pay the $50+ fee up front".  And the fees have been as low as $10-$20, and as high as in the hundreds.  And all this time, we've been asking for nothing and are now being charged for our charity?  That would be like having a Good Samaritan stop, pull you from your burning car, and you sending them a bill for your hospital expenses later.  Insanity, they call that.

From the business perspective, I get it.  I really do.  Letting groups come in all the time is a liability, and that costs money insurance wise.  But it's the number of legend trippers that have caused this upsurge of places charging to come in.  Back when we got started in early 2003, I could count the groups in this state on one hand.  Now, I swear to God if I went to a bar tomorrow and exclaimed that I heard some county park is haunted, there's 20 groups canvasing the area before the weekend is over.  You can't hardly throw a rock before some teenager squeals "What was that!?" and makes a fly-by-night group.  And more than them, even, it's the dissension of groups - splitting up and re-forming, making new groups, and thinking they have rights to lay stake to some kind of claim of property just because they were "from the area" or "it's in their town".  There's just too many, like a city full of McDonald's restaurants.  No place to fill up in gas, no place to cash a check, just burgers and fries everywhere.  Eventually prices will go up, people stop buying and move on, leaving a ghost town in their wake. 

There are many good groups out there, and some have been around a long, long time.  But there are a lot of groups out there who are doing this for "fun" and not for its intended purpose.  And those groups are dangerous, because they litter graveyards with vandals and they fill properties at night with trespassers, and roadways in the countryside with thrill seekers.

And it is these thrill seekers that have caused so many places to charge, since they all assume that's what every group is now.  I mean, you can't blame them, they must run across 10 thrill seeker groups for every one decent group out there, how are they to know the difference?  They collect the money and walk away!

KMPI is not a group of thrill seekers.  We're a group of people, a team of people, furthering the science and providing much-needed peace of mind to regular folks.  We're volunteers, and advocates for the community, and we're educating those who have an interest and a few who just have a few questions or concerns.  We are, what we are.  But we're not a bunch of thrill seekers looking to bum around on a Friday night all giddy and hyped up after the latest episode of  Ghost Adventures.  We're real people, with families and jobs, and we're making a difference.

Something should be done, though...a registry of sorts, maybe?  Something to differentiate the actual groups from the thrill seekers.  Because unless something gets done soon, the legend trippers and thrill seekers will have ruined the credibility of actual groups everywhere, and turn the whole thing into one big joke.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Updates and reflections and new members, oh my!

Firstly, I'd like to begin this blog by welcoming new member and investigator-in-training Lauralye! She contacted us awhile back, but at the time I wasn't sure I was looking to add another member, not to mention that I was in the middle of the big Campbellsport Inn project! But I talked it over with the group, and we agreed, not everyone can always make it to every investigation, which is totally understandable and so we brought her on as our guest when we did the Berlin Tannery On Friday the 13th, and she did very well for her first time. She's got the heart for it, and that's what's really important. Heart, and intent. I hire the heart, and I can always train the rest into them! ;)

That being said, we just wrapped up our first busy four months of the year with the investigations in Baraboo, three times to Berlin, Campbellsport, the assist in Hartford, and Saukville. We're now going to be headed next to a location that's huge, but sadly we cannot disclose the location publicly due to previous problems the owners had with another group. Once it's done, however, we'll be sure we get the info out as soon as we are legally able! It IS in wisconsin, however! ;) We have another residence pending in the Milwaukee area as well.

In the meanwhile, KMPI added a few new cameras to the mix, thanks to Jim and Deb, and we updated some of our older equipment this year. Hooray for upgrades! The site went under a renovation, and we restarted the message boards and began the C.A.S.P.E.R. program, which so far has done nothing but good for the community as a whole, and has brought the paranormal closer to being accepted by the mainstream public thru our services and volunteer efforts. Helps us to get out in the daylight, and show people that we're not all scary looking people, rummaging thru closets in the dark or trespassing on private property in the middle of the night in some obscure sense of legend tripping. KMPI has always held itself to a standard of integrity and has operated on the premise of helping people, and our C.A.S.P.E.R. program has finally given that dream a form. It's still getting a slow start, but when you look at everything else we've done in 3 and a half months, it's really quite a lot considering that Sarah, our web programmer and co-founder, is also in college, working, and a full-time mother! Probably one of the most amazing women I know!

Up for May, besides the big investigation, is a second meeting (the first big meeting) for the 2012 Phantoms of Fond du Lac. This year is shaping up to be huge, and planning began as early as December last year on my end! We've got new buildings to open, a new route, and a new theme to work with. A lot of work, but it all goes for multiple good causes, and we're proud to be a part of it all. Sometime in May or June, a team photo!

Beyond May, we're working on finding and setting up our next investigations, as well as 3 (THREE) separate public events, and three presentations on top of those! All between May and August! Needless to say, we're pretty busy for the year, but I'm grateful for it, it shows that our name and reputation alone has carried us in a time when many groups have disappeared as quickly as they popped up.

All the new members of KMPI have proven themselves to be a vital part of KMPI and it's goals, and I am grateful for the all the mental, physical, and spiritual support I have gotten this year. KMPI is stronger now, and larger now, than ever before, and I really owe it to my team. The active participation online has allowed us to negate the need for monthly meetings and sav an enormous amount of travel time and meeting set ups. I know it isn't easy for us all to get in the same place at the same time, and that's why we did end up expanding the group, so that we didn't have to worry about short-handedness! Nothing worse than when a member gets sick the day of an investigation, and you are without a sub! But I really cannot stress how grateful I feel for you all to have found our way to us...I guess the time was just right for a change!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reputation in the Paranormal Field

KMPI has done a few presentations and there are common questions that we get asked often (so often that we should maybe add a FAQs page to our site!). One of the questions is how we've lasted in the field since 2005. There are other groups that have lasted much longer than us but even more groups that have ended after only a year or two. What's the secret?

There really is no hidden secret. Maintaining a group is hard work and I think many groups break up because the effort to stay together just becomes too much. We had a rocky time about 1 1/2 - 2 years ago but we were dedicated to making it work and are now a much stronger group. We realized what was holding us back and are very glad that those problems are now gone. Many groups don't survive those hard times, though.

There are really many reasons to a group's success but we were just discussing two of them, so I thought I would post about them here.

The first reason is related to a blog I read by Portland Ghosts. You can see the blog here: http://portlandghosts.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/intent/ I think this post is very well written and brings up some interesting points that many people overlook. We at KMPI believe in integrity. We try to maintain integrity in all that we do. All of our members go in to investigations with the proper intent. We treat clients (and the spirits as well!) with dignity and respect and try to stay as professional as possible. Because of this, we have built a fairly good reputation. We have many clients who have not hesitated to invite us back or recommend us to other people.

Many groups do not operate like this. Word travels in the paranormal community, so believe me when I say that we (and other long-standing groups like ours) know the groups who we believe are giving the paranormal community a bad name. Recently, we've discussed other such groups with other more respected groups. There are groups out there that are only interested in furthering their own fame to the detriment of their group and also the clients they serve. They go into investigations in a very unprofessional manner, sensationalizing things (like saying they feel demons or evil energy constantly), breaking things or leaving garbage lying all over, or treat the clients like they should be honored to be chosen by the group as a place to investigate. We've even heard about these groups from the CLIENTS themselves. Often, we have to convince a client to let us in because they have been burned by a bad group before.

These groups do a huge disservice to the paranormal community. The only thing we can do is distance ourselves as far away from them as possible and spread the word to other groups to do the same. Then we hope that the bad groups will burn bright and fizzle out, never to be heard from again.

Which brings up the second part that we've been recently discussing - oversaturating the "market." I think this is another mistake that some groups make. They come into the field like a firestorm: contacting the media to always stay in the paper, trying to get as many "likes" on Facebook as possible, and thinking up projects that will make them the "next big things," whether those are books, articles, television shows, or ghost tours.

Let me stop and say there ARE good groups out there that have books, television shows, or public ghost tours. But many of these groups built up to that. They didn't start in the field with this grand idea. I wanted to make it clear that I am not bashing groups who have the above things. KMPI has done public ghost tours before and we also are no stranger to media attention, but we've treated all of these things with integrity as mentioned above.

Anyways, back to the oversaturation of the market. Groups who do this eventually annoy the people around them. The community doesn't want to hear about it anymore and the group dies out. It's similar to a one-hit wonder in the music industry. That band or singer may become very popular for a short time but then it's done. It's better to be the group that slowly gains fans and in turn is around for years and years.

KMPI has not only worked hard to present ourselves with integrity but also to become a group that slowly grows. We'd rather be around for another 5, 10, maybe even 20 years instead of having 2,000 fans on Facebook.

On a sidenote, if anyone reading this is wanting an investigation but isn't overly close to us, please contact us and we will give you a good recommendation for a reputable paranormal group. We network and have connections throughout Wisconsin and also in some other states. We want to make sure any future clients have a good experience with a good group so that we can avoid more bad experiences bringing down the whole paranormal community.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

PR at it's finest

I read today an article on the Jeffrey Dahmer Tour, the big one down in Milwaukee that retraced the nefarious killers steps and reminded people of the tragedy that this was (I'll link the article at the end).

It got me thinking...why do so many people protest the things we do as paranormal investigators? For ages, people have been fascinated by the human mortality, morbid as it may be. We've been drawn to the macabre and grisly truths that often goo unspoken. And this was one of them.

But I think it's all in the presentation. When KMPI brought Mush Bauers chair back to the Campbellsport Inn, we didn't make a big deal about the haunting aspect of it. Sure, it was part of it, but the truth was, it was only a small part of a bigger picture. The results have been nothing short of extraordinary. Business picked up for the Inn, and people came from cities, counties, and states away just to once again view the famous chair that Mush himself build and could be seen sitting in in his life. Just as they did when he was alive, just as they did for his funeral. And they continue to come.

Then again, comparing a man like Mush to Jeffrey Dahmer is just insane. Mush was a huge supporter of the community and the local kids baseball teams and athletic clubs. He donated much of his time and money to anyone who needed it, and has always been remembered as a great man. Mr Dahmer on the other hand, was a severely troubled individual, a recluse and a sort of reject of society who knowingly committed heinous deeds.

Still, the two go somewhat hand in hand. Both attracted the paranormal community as well as the community as a whole. Even our haunted house met with it's share of protests, some of which we thanked the people for their concern, and some of which we had to address more directly. The haunted house (Phantoms of Fond du Lac) was a touchy one, because of the level of gore involved, and again I think this is where the line is drawn. While the paranormal is often faced with traumatic deaths and ghastly historical events, many people would often just rather this all be left covered up. And the truth is, I think often we have to face a level of tactfulness and integrity to pull it off successfully.

In the case of the Campbellsport event people want to know if indeed someone does haunt the Inn yet. Rumors have flown around about this since the last owners back in the 70's. I received an email awhile back from the newspaper informing me of the calls she's been getting about it, so I know the interest is there, and we are meeting very, very soon with the owners to discuss what we found. And then, we will be meeting with the public, based on what the owners decide. And again, we have yet to encounter one protest on the issue, which is great!

So I think it really comes down to tact, and integrity. I think some groups that focus on the gore, and sensationalize the Hollywood version of a ghost or demon or zombie, tend to get frowned on publicly because, while we all have a secret draw to the paranormal, we all want it to be professional. And so maybe its me on my high horse, but when I see groups senstionalizing the darker side of paranormal, even in the name of "art" by putting it on tee shirts and stickers, I just know it's going to end up as a PR nightmare. As a general rule, my group has solved way more problems than we caused, and we've helped kick-start a number of events around the state now. So I really do listen when I complaint comes in about something we are doing, because even if what we deal with is sometimes a bit dark and scary, we try to shed a whole new light on the situation, that people can walk away more informed, and less afraid.

The haunted house? That's a different story! But it's also not paranormal ;)

To sum it up, for the groups out there reading this...keep it clean, and keep it real. Sensationalize the darkness, and turn it into a media frenzy, and you're inviting trouble that affects all groups everywhere. So be respectful. Of our clients, of our science, and of each other.

link to article:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flames of passion...they burn!

So this blog goes against the direction of the last, but in lieu of recent events, it seems a fitting tribute. KMPI got our start years ago, no one new me, we weren't big...it was just me and my crazed ambitions, and my semi-supportive girlfriend who, lets face it, for awhile thought I was probably suffering from an over-active imagination. When TAPs, or Ghost Hunters, first aired on Sci Fi network, it wasn't just some docu-drama, it was a voice for the many people and groups that, for the most part, were doing something unique and forward, and wasn't mainstreamed like it is today. Most people didn't believe it, or understand it, and there certainly wasn't such a fan-based sub-culture of science geeks, spiritualists, and skeptics that could get these three opposing forces in the world into one room at one time for a common theme or goal.

Ghost hunters changed that. They came on like a fire storm, and in their wake, they left the trail they blazed wide open for people to come out of the closet and join the movement that IS the paranormal. Paranormal became true to it's name finally, "Along-side of Normal", or "Parallel to reality" instead of the ostracized group of teenagers tromping thru a cemetery at night. We became unified to a cause, part of something greater than ourselves, and the dark and macabre history so many buildings had tried to hide came seeping out in truths, bit by bit, by the investigators. The voices of the dead were echoing across televisions across the globe, we could hear them and the world could hear us. This wasn't just a hobby anymore, it was a way of life for many. And like it or not, TAPs became the example we all set forth...many of us differ in styles and beliefs and structures, but no group is immune to the shadows of the shows they watch.

That's not to say TAPs has it 110% right, either, but to finally SEE an example, let others create something from that mold. TAPs broke the ground for many of us, and it came back for season 2 and paved the way for the other shows to try to catch up.

Now, I sympathize with Grant's leaving, because as a group leader, I feel his pain. Whatever his reason, when he went to talk to Jason, you could just tell, the guy was burnt out. With everything, the travels and the shows and the TV filming and book signings and so on, the guy probably hasn't been able to take the time to watch his kids grow up or spend time with his family. And I can relate...burn-out is high in this field. Most groups are lucky to remain past their 1st or 2nd year. The fact that KMPI has held on as long as we have is impressive, for sure, but I feel for TAPs, because the immense popularity of the show probably magnifies the burn out rate ten-fold. I can remember a few times where I asked myself..."Is this even worth it anymore?" and honestly, I will probably again someday, but I always seem to come back. But the time and energy, the money and equipment, the sleepless nights, and the continual disappointment of cancellations and not finding anything builds up on you over time. No one is immune to that.

I believe Grant is leaving TAPs, for sure. Will he stay gone? Who knows. But anyone in this field who's been in this field long enough knows...you might suffer the occasional burn-out, but you never lose your passion for it. Maybe it was something at home. Maybe it was the new group dynamics. Whatever the reason, with a heavy heart, we all say goodbye to Grant Wilson from TAPs and wish him well on his new endeavors, but I think we all know he wont be gone long.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Renewed Flames of Passion

I'm a self-diagnosed sensitive, an empath of sorts. I have always felt what people are feeling, I get feelings and sensations I cannot see, and I tend to adapt myself to those around me.

Years ago, someone told me that I had lost my passion for the paranormal. That got me thinking...maybe I had. I mean, I had been to some really amazing places and seen really amazing things, but for a few years, it seemed like KMPI got stuck into a rut. No NEW clients, just a few tried and true places we had good relationships with, return visits, etc. We had such good results and a lot of fun, but it didn't seem like there was progress anymore. Like everything we did was just to maintain KMPI, and not grow and expand. And so, maybe I HAD indeed lost my passion. Maybe I was no longer amazed and wowed by everything I experienced, maybe there was no fascination left in it all for me...Or, maybe I just needed something new. A new location, something new, and exciting...something untouched, something to get the blood going again. But my group disagreed with me. They wanted to stay where we were.

The next few months would be filled with the challenges that decision brought me. A lot of heartache and struggles and re-inventing. And now, over a year later, I can finally say that I again feel excited to do investigations, to do evidence review, to just BE a part of it all. But it's not just the group...I think a lotof it was being tied down. I think we got comfortable as a group, and no one wanted to escape that comfort zone. But what is the paranormal without pushing the limits of science and spirituality? I think we, as investigators and hobbyists alike, need to have not only a passion for what we're doing, but also a little bit of insanity to push beyond the normal day to day routines and lives if we are to experience everything there is to experience. Each new piece of equipment we bring in, I find myself more and more intrigued and more and more interested.

In the next few months, we'll be doing more testing with the repaired ovilus, a few tactics, and the new ITC. We'll also get a video ITC unit up and running and hopefully, in the end, we'll have something to report. I already noticed something interesting about the ITC last night, and it's got my head spinning into physics and math that I can barely think anymore!

I don't think I ever lost my ambition and passion....I think maybe it was stifled for a bit by routine and comfort-zones. But it's time, again, for us to push those boundaries and barriers and make KMPI all it is supposed to be. And I think I have the team who's passionate (and crazy) enough to help me get it there!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The C.A.S.P.E.R. program is a new development that sort of began years ago, with a small haunted house and show in West Bend, and has grown and adapted itself to well beyond the aspects of paranormal investigating itself. The C.A.S.P.E.R. program is really so much more than what KMPI does, and while it remains affiliated with KMPI, and is largely sponsored by KMPI's members, it's really it's own entity.

C.A.S.P.E.R. stands for Community Activism and Supportive Projects for Education and Revitalization. That sound slike a mouthful but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. The name came easy, we wanted it to be known as sort of the helpful, friendly ghost-type of a entity, which it really is. The goal of C.A.S.P.E.R. is simply...to bring awareness and educate the community as a whole, to the paranormal community. To let them know who we are and what we can do for them. But it's also for the Community Activism, the Supportive Projects and Revitalization of the local businesses and economy. So many of the historical properties we deal with from time to time, are theaters, restaurants, and hotels. Many of them are owned by an individual or family, and in todays market,many of them are struggling.

The C.A.S.P.E.R. project is a simple one. We get called in or approach a company. We find out their thoughts on a plausible haunting of the building, see if there's even a remote chance of there being activity, research the property, and then we see what KMPI and C.A.S.P.E.R. can do for them. In exchange for a private (or public) investigation, KMPI will do some free-lance advertising and research into your company, maybe make a few suggestions for you to be able to draw people in. As a general rule, anywhere we go seems to garner a lot of attention just by itself. On our recent excursion we had a few people in the bar waiting around to talk to us. Sometimes, simply the interest is enough to get people in, and if people have a good time, they might recommend the buisness to others! That example is a simple one, so here's a better one:

Our most recent one, on-going now, is at the Campbellsport Inn, located in Campbellsport, WI. Our dealings with the FDL Historical society granted us access to ask for a favor...so we got the personal chair of Edward J Bauer, back for one short month, to the Campbellsport Inn. Ed Bauer ("Mush") was well known in this small town, world wide. He was listed in the guiness book of worlds records as the heaviest man to operate a bar, and at nearly 800 pounds, thats not too hard to believe! But almost as well known as the generous and likeable Mush, was his personally-built, custom leather chair, which he was known to be seated at every day for most of his time as the barkeeper. Now, ironically enough, we managed to bring this chair back on the anniversary of his death (was not discovered until after the dates were already set!) and so we took advantage of the situation, and ran a paranormal investigation...two of them, in fact, to test the theory on trigger objects. (Results pending review this week)

In addition, KMPI gathered up a lot of historical information we could find, newspaper clippings, stories and info on Mush's life and death, postcards, pictures, and even the historical ownership and building information of the Inn itself! We also handled the media release to the local papers and made flyers to put up around town for the chair being there.

The same day we brought the chair in, the parking lot stayed full nearly all day. Co-incidence? perhaps, but an increase in buisness that big only proves C.A.S.P.E.R. has worked for them in many ways...media, sales, advertising, and to top it off, they got to be a part of a paranormal investigation, one of the more popular "hobbies" sweeping the nation. Really it was a win for everything.

Phantoms falls into this category as well, although we didn't have a name for it yet, we knew this was where we were going with the program. Campbellsport might not garner the $20,000 jackpot that Phantoms did, and we cannot guarantee that you'll made tens of thousands of dollars with C.A.S.P.E.R., but in the right situation, C.A.S.P.E.R. DOES work, and CAN and WILL help a local business in some way or another.

C.A.S.P.E.R. events can be anything from a presentation, public ghost hunt, tours, haunted house, or private investigation, and beyond. It's limits are the imagination, and we're only limited by the size of your building and the number of our volunteers. For more information on what C.A.S.P.E.R. can do for you, head over to:
...and fill out the form. My team looks forward to hearing from you and working for, and with you! More info on events we've done is located there.

C.A.S.P.E.R. is really about people helping the local economy in a rough time, and getting the message of who we are and what we do out to people. It's a great way to unify the public with the paranormal community, since sometimes people might feel we've sort of formed our own clique, and arent sure about what all goes on. C.A.S.P.E.R. is about transparency and a mutual respect between people of all walks of life.

And so far, it's been met with open arms and has had amazing results!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Been a long time, my apologies

Sorry guys, been a crazy few months. Personal lives, being sick, jobs...that's not even into the paranormal! Sometimes we get so swept away just trying to keep up, I forget to update the blog!

Last year ended on a really high note. In December, we finally met and worked out a battle plan. We met our three newest members, Bekki, Dave, and Jenn, and we sat down to do some major brainstorming. As it works out, it payed off! Our first big investigation of the year was at the Old Baraboo Inn. We're STILL reviewing that information (three weeks later) since it was an overnight investigation, and we let the equipment run all night. That's 6 cameras, 6 recorders, and 4 digital cameras, not to mention all the emf and temp readings! Over 16 hours worth! From roughly 6pm until 10am the next day! Over all, it was a success. We ran into a few trip-ups but over all, the team did pretty well and we worked through everything really well.

Our current project is one I started months ago, and has finally come around to being a reality. The Campbellsport Inn, formerly the old Amber Inn of Campbellsport. Rumors are abound of the former owner still haunting the place in a light-hearted way, playing tricks and trying to be noticed. We were given the AMAZING opportunity to test out the trigger object theory with a very personal item of the late "Mush" Bauer himself, and one cannot imagine a better way to test the object unless I had his personal underwear! Mr. Bauer was a legend in his own right, tipping the scales at nearly 800 pounds and being in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest bartender and hotel operator in the world! Hundreds of friends, family, and fans came to Campbellsport just to see Mr. Bauer, and we hope hundreds MORE come back to check out the Campbellsport Inn's menu and fine bar! During the month of February, the chair will be there open to the public for viewing. Hopefully the little bit of PR we can bring him will draw attention to his business and kick-start the economy in town a bit! ;)

And up next is...oh, wait! I can't spill that just yet! But it's going to be big, and new, and quite public soon enough! We also have another 4 business investigations pending for a date and a handful of private homes pending as well. Not to mention our usual lineup of annual appearances and events, including the 2012 Phantoms of Fond du Lac! Last year, your support helped us raise OVER $20,000 for the Solutions Center (and there-by kept the homeless shelter open last winter!) and the Fond du Lac Historical Society! he support and funds were much needed and well received throughout the community, and I anticipate this year to be bigger, better, longer, scarier, and just as much fun! We're opening more buildings, have a bigger budget, and a bigger crew already!

I cannot express my thanks to everyone who made last year, and this year, possible for KMPI. From the people who supported me emotionally and believed in my crazy ideas, to the people who gave me the kick in the butt I needed to pour my heart and soul (and what was left of our bank account!) into the event. I personally thank you all.

Look for more from me this year, I'm going to try to update this blog weekly, if not bi-weekly. Hopefully some topic will pop up for me to go on! ;)