Spirit connections sought in program

Bri Aultz, Features Editor

About 60 students, family and friends celebrated Halloween early Saturday with a visit from paranormal investigator and psychic medium Chris Moon in the Student Union’s Cambria Room.

Other investigators in previous years have visited campus, and the event has been popular among students.

Freshman Isabelle Fields said she was excited for Moon’s presentation and subsequent campus ghost hunt, and wanted to see evidence of paranormal events.

“I definitely believe, though I’ve never had an encounter myself,” she said.

“I think the most spooky thing I’ve ever done was doing candle readings and having my friend give me a tarot reading.”

Programming Board advertising chair Casey Ansbro has a theory on the event’s popularity and purpose.

“I believe that this event usually has a better turnout because it’s close to Halloween and it amazes people while getting them spooked and excited about campus. You can feel the Halloween spirit during this event,” she said.

Prior to the presentation, Ansbro said Moon also would provide some learning experiences.

“We may find out facts about our campus that we have yet to know. The mystery that fills this event is what draws people in. The adrenaline rush is what keeps them coming back,” Ansbro said.

“Many students have heard rumors about spirits on our campus. We are not bringing Chris Moon in because we think we have ghosts, but rather for a fun Halloween event and learning experiences.

“If Chris Moon just so happens to feel a spiritual presence on campus, then that is just the cherry on top.”

Ansbro said she doesn’t fully believe in paranormal phenomena, having never had an encounter. However, she said she has a fear of the unknown, and enjoys the occasional superficial scare of a haunted house or horror film.

Moon described paranormal investigation techniques, such as Electronic Voice Phenomena, or recording and using audio software to capture ghostly voices, and paranormal photography, a highly debated topic among investigators.

As Moon prepared his investigative equipment after the presentation, nurse Patty Lavan revealed that she also has a gift similar to Moon.

She was anxious to visit the campus memorial. “There is a spirit connected to that piece of steel,” Lavan said.

Moon led the group to the memorial to snap orb photography. It was a brief stop, and Lavan lingered at the site, perturbed by lack of spiritual communication.

She had hoped that Moon’s ghost box, the Telephone to the Dead would be utilized there.

The group then headed to Blackington Hall for some more orb photography.

In darkness, audience members gathered around Moon and his Telephone to the Dead.

Moon first instructed the group to plant both feet on the ground, then asked his technicians (those whom he says aid and instruct the spirits to come through the device) if it was safe to begin the session.

The first questions from the group were basic.

Group members asked whether the spirits were former students or professors, whether they were from Johnstown and whether they were content in the afterlife.

Then some in the group asked to hear from departed loved ones. Several were apparently successful, and some became emotional during the session.

During a dramatic moment, Patty Lavan called out to her deceased father, received a response, and was called in closer to the telephone.

Her son Brad  Lavan also came to her side.

The group laughed at the voice when Brad Lavan began communicating with what Patty Lavan assumed to be her father’s voice.

“He’s big,” said a voice from the telephone, when the Lavans stepped forward. Brad Lavan said he got his height from his grandfather.

When asked whether the family had a place to stay in the afterlife, the voice told Patty no, and she made the group laugh with memories of him.

She said he has made contact with her many times.

During the Telephone session, the apparent spirit gave Patty Lavan a special message.

“You’ve done more than you could ever know,” the apparent spirit said.

Fields enjoyed the event, and even got a chance to ask the ghost box  to hear Mary Louise, her deceased grandmother.

“She apparently said ‘Hi’ but I wanted her to say her last name. She didn’t, but I think what the spirits were saying to the other people were valid because it was things they would’ve said in life,” she said.