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Fruit of ghost hunters' labor on display in W.Va.

October 23, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Supernatural believers and skeptics alike are invited to the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters' first display of ghostly images and audio recordings at the Martinsburg (W.Va.) Mall. The free Ghost Photo Show will be held in the mall's community room from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.

"We're out every weekend trying to capture the supernatural on film. We think the images are fabulous," says paranormal investigator Susan Crites, founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters. "Our question is, 'What do you make of this?'"

Society members will display more than 200 images and a variety of digital audio recordings collected during investigations of alleged haunted houses this year in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, Crites says. Show visitors can cast their ballots to vote for photos of the best orb, full-figured entity, miasma, vortex, and the best recording, she says.

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Crites describes an orb as supernatural energy in a bubble-like form, a miasma as a "ghostly fog," and a vortex as "the place through which supernatural energy moves from its reality to our reality," aka a "ghostly door."

Trophies will be awarded to photographers of the top images and sound recording at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The ghostly voices that Crites and her fellow ghost hunters have digitally recorded during their investigations will likely shock show visitors, she says.

"What we get are voices saying everything from 'Help me' to 'Get out of the house,'" Crites says. "It is astonishing."

She hopes the show will help dispel some of the fear often associated with the supernatural.

"I'd especially like children to see that it's more benign than the horrible images they see on TV and in movies," Crites says. "They don't have to be frightened. They don't have to have nightmares. It's just fascinating."

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