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Lou Bernard, Clinton County historian and field investigator with Lock Haven Paranormal Seekers.

Lock Haven, Pa. – Do you think your house may be haunted? Lock Haven Paranormal Seekers Field Leader Lou Bernard explains how to investigate.

"For me, it's all about the proof. It's not about what I think or theorize, though in all honesty you'll hear me theorize plenty," Bernard said. "However, it's what I can back up and show you and prove."

The Seekers use a process of elimination to separate the normal from the paranormal.

For example, if a homeowner complains about a door that mysteriously opens by itself, Bernard and his team will check to see if it's properly hung. If someone complains about strange noises, Bernard will ask if the home might be settling.

"We check everything we can, see what we can find, and try to rule everything out. After we come up with as many different explanations as we can, what's left may be the truth: there's our evidence," Bernard said.

Certain places tend more towards hauntings than others, according to Bernard.

Did someone die violently in the home? Violent, young deaths are more likely to produce paranormal activity than, say, an elderly woman who died contentedly in bed, Bernard said.

Narrow passages like hallways and stairwells also seem more apt to be haunted, Bernard said.

"People spend more time collectively over hundreds of years walking down stairways. Your path varies in an open room, but if there is an energy connected with dead people, it’s likely to be in places where people spent the most time," Bernard said.

The Lock Haven Paranormal Seekers uses a variety of tools to investigate a haunting, including easily accessible public records.

Here's how you can look up the history of your own house - including who lived and died there.

City Directories
Kind of like a reverse phone book, a city director allows you to search by street and house number to see who owned a home in the past, Bernard said. Once you know who lived there, you can search for more information in the obituary records.

Obituary records
The Ross Library maintains obituary records dating back to 1813, before Clinton County even existed. These records can tell you who died in the county, and sometimes where and how, Bernard said.

Digital recorder
"It may be the most powerful tool in our whole arsenal," Bernard said. "We do an EVP session where we sit, let this run and record and ask questions to try to get some kind of response."

Digital thermometer
"Typically I will check for hot or cold spots," Bernard said: Extreme temperature fluctuations may be another indicator of a haunting.

Non-contact voltage meter
"It's thought that ghosts give off electromagnetic fields," Bernard said.
A non-contact voltage meter can pick up on electromagnetic activity.
"This is mainly used by carpenters to avoid drilling into wires, but sometimes these things will go off when there is no reason to, and then maybe you've got signs of a haunting," Bernard said.

Ghost tours
To learn more about paranormal activity in our area, you can attend a ghost tour with Lou Bernard. Bernard will offer ghost tours from Oct. 19 to 30, with limited availability due to COVID precautions. You can register for one of Bernard's tours by calling the Ross Library at 570-748-3321.