“I’ve always been into it,” Buchta said. “I’m a big fan of the paranormal shows.” On those shows, investigators go to an allegedly haunted location — a house, prison, hospital, business or wherever there’s been reports of a ghost — armed with video cameras and gadgets. They spend the night, and they look for evidence.
For a while, watching it on television was enough for Brad Buchta, of Newton, Kan. It held his interest — for a while.
But then he started thinking he could do what he was watching on cable. He could investigate the paranormal.
“I’ve always been into it,” Buchta said. “I’m a big fan of the paranormal shows.”
On those shows, investigators go to an allegedly haunted location — a house, prison, hospital, business or wherever there’s been reports of a ghost — armed with video cameras and gadgets. They spend the night, and they look for evidence.
They use equipment like digital recorders and Electro Magnetic Field detectors to see if they can communicate with the dead.
“I started looking at the equipment, and I decided to try it for fun to begin with,” Buchta said.
And he thought Newton, Kan., with its storied history, would be a great place to look for ghosts.
“We lived in a house here in Newton where we experienced some paranormal activity,” Buctha said. “I would love to go back and investigate it, even though it scares me. I still get anxiety attacks every time I drive by the house.”
Buchta has put together a team and has found a couple of favorite spots to investigate, with an old schoolhouse a familiar haunt for his group. Legend has it that a young boy died at Kellas School, and his team has been there several times on investigations. While there, they have heard footsteps and humming.
“When you hear something, you tend to play it off,” Buchta said. “But these were noises you can’t ignore.”
Like those investigation teams on television, the team has recorded unexplainable videos and “EVPs,” or electronic voice phenomenon, often which sound like whispered words. Other times, it’s a thump or a random noise. Sometimes, things can get downright creepy, like at a house in Minneapolis the team has investigated.
The EMF detector was showing a magnetic field, and the homeowners had suspected there was the spirit of a woman in the house.
“I asked her to talk to me,” Buchta said. “I got a cold sensation, and every EMF light came on.”
At a bridge near Valley Center, Kan., investigators heard what sounded like a large animal — in the middle of the bridge, where nothing was visible.
“It sounded like a large horse,” Buchta said. “And our recorder picked up another one we couldn’t hear.”
The team always asks permission of a homeowner prior to an investigation and starts the investigation with prayers of protection. But they won’t ask a spirit to leave or try and “clean” a home. That’s not why they are there.
They are there to see what they can find, some form of proof that spirits do exist.
“What scares other people makes us curious,” Buctha said.