I have investigated and conducted paranormal investigations in various locations. From famous hotels to abandoned reform schools for boys. From WWII aircraft carriers to the home down the street from you.
But this past Friday night was a whole new experience for me that would no doubt test my abilities and very core.
I had the rare chance to investigate the Dorothea Puente house in Sacramento.
Her grisly murder spree made national news in the 1980s and 1990s. In California, she has become one of the state's most notorious--and unassuming--serial killers.
To get into Puente's shady and checkered past would take volumes. Suffice it to say, her fate was sealed when she began renting rooms to people in the 1980s. Mainly drug addicts, the elderly, and the mentally handicapped.
She preyed on the most vulnerable people she could find, would steal their government checks, and then murder them and bury their bodies in her backyard of her quaint little house on F Street.
When neighbors complained of the intolerable stench of decay coming seemingly from her home, she played it off as back up sewage and that it would be taken care of.
Circumstances ultimately led to police digging up 7 bodies in her yard. But even then, she was so unassuming and looked so non-threatening that the investigators let her do down the street to get a cup of a coffee at a nearby hotel WHILE the bodies were being dug up!
The rest of the story would take far too long, but can be easily researched on the Internet.
It was so strange to pull up to Puente's old house late on Friday night. It was in the process of being moved into by a new family and the buckets of paint in the rooms signified a new start for this notorious home.
We investigated the upstairs where Puente lived and was very protective of her space. Boarders were not to go upstairs but had to stay in their rooms downstairs, where we also spent a good amount of time.
And the back and side yards where the bodies were buried and later exhumed? Tragic and sad and life changing.
The whole night it was so hard for us to get our heads around the fact that such horror and evil was committed there.
One of the instruments that paranormal investigators use is the EMF detector, which I have written about before. It measures the electromagnetic fields around you. High EMF can be harmful with prolonged exposure. But it is also believed that spirits are able to manipulate the EMF around them as they try to manifest and that high levels of EMF can be energy sources for them.
One such EMF detector is the KII (see an earlier blog of mine for a detailed essay on it). There were only 4 of us investigating and my KII had the most activity, registering consistently with blips into the red--the highest level of EMF detected. This is while we were holding them in our hands and directing questions of any possible spirits present.
I have also written about debunking, which is the act of trying to disprove supposed paranormal activity. So it occured to me that we should swap out KII units amongst each other.
In other words, if there was a fluke with my KII which led to the bursts into the red, it should do it when the other investigators were using it, too. It only stands to reason.
Well guess what? THEIR KIIs were NOT lighting up with anywhere near the activity of mine. Even when they held mine, and even when I held theirs, the activity seemed to revolve around me.
This always fascinates me--but it can also creep me out to a degree.
Why was a possible spirit hanging out around ME and following me around the home??
Can spirits be stalkers?? Actually, yes. I, like many investigators, have been followed home by wayward spirits who don't mind hitching a ride. We always try to say a protectiion prayer to implore the spirits to not do that.
Imagine my shock and surprise when I was literally touched on my right hand. It was a significant touch--like someone running their index finger firmly against your hand. It was definite and beyond any doubt.
The paranormal investigator's best friend is the digital voice recorder. These devices range in price from $25 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the quality of the mic and its abilities.
These are used to pick up EVPs, or electronic voice phenomenon. These are literally the voices of the dead, as crazy as it may sound.
EVPs have been recorded since the earliest days of recording capabilities and even Thomas Edison believed such transmissions to the world of the living were possible.
Most evidence from investigations will come in the form of EVPs. Usually a stray word or two. When you are lucky, you sometimes get a whole sentence. The really cool EVPs are the intelligent responses to directed questions.
And I can't tell you the sense of shock and awe when you hear a spirit calling you by NAME! It happens!
Another investigator has already captured EVPs from the Puente house and I will begin my own evidence analysis very soon.
It was an amazing and incredible and bittersweet experience to say the least. We were the lucky few to get into the house. Many of the big ghost hunting shows have apparently had their requests to investigate turned down.
I would like to go back and spend more time in the house and with the spirits that could very well still roam its rooms and hallways.