Butler County Times Gazette
  • Paranormal investigators share insight into ghost hunting

  • Darin Peterson and Lori DeWinkler, owners of Moonlit Ghost Hunts, LLC, shared some insight into their paranormal investigations during a presentation at the Butler County History Center Friday evening.
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  • Darin Peterson and Lori DeWinkler, owners of Moonlit Ghost Hunts, LLC, shared some insight into their paranormal investigations during a presentation at the Butler County History Center Friday evening.
    Between the two of them they have investigated between 300 and 400 sites, mainly in Kansas.
    Peterson said he got started after he lived in a residence after just getting divorced and having three kids. He kept hearing voices and footsteps and more, then he found out his house was where the Andover tornado had hit. That is what got him started investigating.
    After being paranormal ghost hunters with another group, they left and formed their own group because of requests from the public to be able to go with them.
    “We go out and check out a location and if it looks suitable we list it on our Web site and will take the public out for investigations,” Peterson said.
    One such location is the Hot Rod Cafe in El Dorado, where they headed to following their presentation. One area Peterson wanted to investigate was the tunnels below the Hot Rod, which he said used to be a brothel. They aired their investigation, which was from 9 p.m. to midnight, live on their Web site.
    In addition to going out to locations, DeWinkler also researches a lot of history.
    “I love to share the history,” she said. “I love doing the research and finding out the history and who lived there.”
    “One unique thing about what we do is we won’t tell you it is haunted,” Peterson said.
    He said they tell people what has happened at a location, show them how to use the equipment and let them make up their own minds.
    During the presentation, Peterson showed several different pieces of equipment they use, including different types of cameras, radios, a spirit box, laser grids and equipment to read electromagnetic fields. They also use four video cameras to record everything, as well as digital audio recorders, which can capture sounds a person can’t hear with just their ears.
    They also talked about several of their experiences, some unexplained occurrences, as well as some that could be explained, such as rats.
    “You’re up against something different very time,” Peterson said.
    He said they can go to the same place multiple times and there is always something different.
    “I want to make sure what I get is accurate,” Peterson said, adding that he is a big skeptic and will keep checking equipment to make sure it is working properly.
    Page 2 of 2 - While he hasn’t seen a ghost, he has been at locations and seen a black shadow walk across the hall.
    “It takes two or more people to call it evidence,” he said, explaining he always encourages people to take someone with them.
    They do their investigations from 9 p.m. to midnight usually.
    “We investigate at night because it is quieter,” he said. “You just have to have peace and quiet and focus.”
    One example they gave was of trips to the abandoned hospital in Augusta, where they heard a “hello” and Peterson also had someone ask him where they were going but no one was there. Other times he has had something touch him.
    “I’ve never had anything follow me home,” he said. “It’s not a scary thing.”
    To learn more or to watch some of the videos visit www.moonlitghosthunts.com.
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