KNWA recently connected with a team of paranormal investigators from Northwest Arkansas to learn how they go about finding evidence that spirits are among us.
According to a Huffington Post/YouGov Poll nearly half of all Americans believe in the existence of ghosts. Eighteen percent say they have actually seen one themselves.
“I bring that consistency and validity to those who do have hauntings and do live in fear,” NWA Ghost Connection founder Lori Davies explained.
Lori Davies heads up a team of locally based paranormal investigators. Her unique path began in the 90s, when she claims she and her children experienced a haunting of their own.
“Nobody was really out there that could help us,” Lori Davies shared. “And if we talked to our preacher or a pastor, whatever clergy they kinda’ looked at you a little funny.”
So Lori Davies researched the paranormal and how to deal with it. That led her to create her team in the early 2000s. For those who have a hard time buying into the idea spirits walk among us, Lori Davies says that is just fine.
“I know that what I do brings relief and help to people and that’s my ultimate goal,” Lori Davies offered.
We met up with the NWA Ghost Connection team at the Clayton House Museum, in Fort Smith’s Belle Grove Historic District. The old Victorian house is said to be haunted. In fact, Clayton House Registrar Sarah Pair admitted she saw things she could not explain almost immediately after starting her job there.
“It’s been fairly steady,” Pair stated as a matter of fact. “Mostly, it’s flickers out of the corner of my eyes like whenever I’m coming in and heading to the office it kind of looks like I’ll see the shadows of someone’s legs going up the stairs.”
Pair let the team of paranormal investigators know they were in for an interesting evening.
“I warned them there was something going on tonight,” Pair said with a laugh.
Lori Davies and her team try to be fairly clinical in their approach.
“Typically we’ll just go in, interview them, set up, schedule a time to go in and investigate,” Lori Davies shared.
The NWA Ghost Connection team investigated the area, armed with a lot of technology with them. Those tools include thermal imaging FLIR gun, a device that can sense any vibrations near it, various voice recorders and a large multicamera setup.
“We have four cameras set positioned in specific locations that we did our walk of the house and these areas, we felt, would have the most activity,” NWA Ghost Connection Team Member Cody Peternell explained.
After all the equipment was in place, the team went into one of the bedrooms and started asking questions for any possible spirits listening. Electromagnetic frequency meters were also used to measure any EMF activity changes along with a couple of flashlights sitting out. After a few moments passed a response came at the same moment Pair noticed something.
“Guys, it’s cold where I am,” Pair observed.
At that moment the flashlight designated as a way for spirits to provide a ‘yes’ response turned on by itself.
“Oh, there’s one,” Nate Kuester pointed out. “Hey, thank you for doing that. Can you turn that off for us?
“Again that’s the ‘yes’ flashlight. Can you turn that one off?”
A moment later the flashlight shut off on its own.
“Thank you,” the group said together.
Team members Brian Davies and Cody Peternell employed a device called an ovilus, which is said to convert environmental readings into words. The group claims spirits can manipulate it to provide responses. After asking who the little girl is, that has been seen at the house over the years, the name Grace appeared on the screen.
The team asked if Grace was speaking to them. It was then that the designated ‘no’ flashlight turned on.
“That is validation right there, it’s not Grace,” Brian Davies said.
“Do you know Grace,” Peternell asked.
Then, the designated ‘yes’ flashlight turned on by itself.
“Yes,” Peternell said as a way to vocalize the response by saying it himself.
“Now we have both [flashlights] on,” Nate Kuester observed. “Can you turn those off?”
Both flashlights turned off by themselves even before the last word of the request was finished.
The strange encounters happened elsewhere in the house too while we were in the darkened drawing room. Lori Davies, who says she’s a medium, announced we weren’t alone.
“I can see him, Lori Davies said. “He’s right there.”
“In the doorway,” Nate Kuester asked.
“No, he is in front of the couch again,” Lori Davies specified.
“He’s in front of the couch,” Kuester asked.
“He’s staring right at us,” Lori Davies stated in a somewhat tense tone.
Lori Davies informed us that what she saw was none other than Powell Clayton, the former Governor of the state of Arkansas and brother of William Henry Harrison Clayton — whom the Clayton House is named after. If that was not strange enough Lori Davies told us the spirit recognized photojournalist Joel Kattner and Nate Kuester from a previous investigation at the 1886 Crescent Hotel, when they had stayed in the Governor’s Suite two years ago. Powell Clayton helped bring the famous hotel to Eureka Springs.
“This is Nate,” Lori Davies explained to the spirit. “When he was staying in the Governor’s Suite, there did you ever communicate with him?”
The designated ‘yes’ flashlight turned on by itself away from the view of Lori Davies.
“Yes,” Lori Davies answered for what she believed to be the ghost of Powell Clayton.
“Well that flashlight turned on ‘yes’ as well,” I shared.
“Oh, did it,” asked while leaning back to check it out for herself.
It is safe to say that got a reaction out of us.
“Look at those goosebumps,” I said to photojournalist Joel Kattner.
The group’s investigations provides a number of thrills like the one we encountered, however they said it is not about that. Rather, the people they are trying to help.
“That is very important to me and my team, that we give them the comfort, the counseling and the help that they need in order to push through another day,” Lori Davies explained.
It is important to note that none of what we we experienced provides any concrete proof ghosts exist, but it did give us something to think about. What you just saw is just the tip of the iceberg of what took place.
Click here to see a full uncut video of the moment Lori Davies says she spoke with former Arkansas Governor Powell Clayton. You can also see the full uncut interview with Davies to learn about how she came to believe she is a medium and can talk with spirits. Click here to see one of the strangest moments we came across during the investigation.
The Clayton House Museum also invites you to come visit the historic home and explore it yourself. Click here for more information on the museum.
You can also click here to visit the Facebook page of the NWA Ghost Connection team.