On Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10, from 7 p.m. to around midnight, the Blue Mountain Paranormal Society will lead a public ghost hunt at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe.
In previous investigations at the Opera House, BMPS detected sounds, temperature fluctuations, electromagnetic field changes, and once, an investigator video recorded an apparition.
BMPS investigator Beth Dennis of Lansford was standing at the entrance to the balcony, looking toward the stage for a sign of a paranormal occurrence when she felt a tingling on her face and body.
"I'm very sensitive," Dennis said. "I feel things, and I'm right about them 95 percent of the time. Toward the end of a night of investigating the Opera House, I sensed something like little needles pricking all over my body, mainly my face. I had the sense that sense that something was happening, so I pointed my video camera toward the hall entrance to the balcony.
"The next day when I reviewed the video, I saw the outline of a gentleman wearing a hat," she said. "It was dark when I took the video, so I didn't actually see anyone at the time, but I remember hearing sounds."
John Bernhard, a BMPS investigator, oversees a suitcase full of electronic equipment used in the research. The equipment includes video recorders, electronic voice recorders, infrared temperature detectors, and a variety of electromagnetic field meters.
Bernhard favors the K2, a detector that uses lights to indicate EMF levels.
"We will ask, 'Are you here? Is their anyone here with us?'" Bernhard explained. "If a presence is detected, we ask a series of questions and watch the meter's lights blink on and off. We try to find out things like why they are in the Opera House, and what it is like on the other side."
"This is a way to further my skills and my gifts," Dennis said. "I enjoy helping people."
"I have a blast doing it," Bernhard noted. "I believe in the paranormal. I like our scientific approach. We won't call something evidence unless we have documentation."
"I think we are very thorough and scientific," said Bob Schaeffer, founder of BMPS. "We screen on four or five levels before we declare it as evidence."
The BMPS Opera House Public Ghost Hunt is limited to 20 participants per evening. All proceeds are for the benefit of the Mauch Chunk Historical Society and the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Reservations are required, and can be made at: bluemountainparanormal.com.