This column won't be for everyone, but if you wondered about ghosts and whether they truly exist, I want to share my first hand experience after 14 years of searching for your consideration.

Finally I have seen a true phantom as solid as the newspaper you are reading at least for a few seconds and I was not alone when it occurred. A friend was with me and saw the specter from a different angle and we have described it to each other on tape. If you don't believe, then you probably will want to stop now, otherwise join me because I want to share with you this event.

Due to confidentiality, I cannot reveal where I was nor will I use any full names, but I am willing to sign a sworn statement as to the events of this investigation. I started exploring paranormal anecdotes and stories in 1996 and over and over heard stories from people who saw apparitions and specters. I took notes, photographs and recordings but time and again nothing showed up as evidence.

Teams I have led and worked on have heard disembodied voices, recorded Class A EVPs and many experiences from clients, but I never saw anything so it was always a matter for me of whether it was a trick of the light or a wishful illusion. Now I have a totally different perspective.

It was evening and we were in a house in which the owners reported sighting the ghost of a young girl over the years. We were asked to provide validation of these encounters or an explanation to disprove it. I fully expected nothing to come of the evening, but that conclusion was premature.

About 20 minutes into the investigation in one of the bedrooms, our three person team started hearing a high-pitched murmuring in response to questions we were posing to trigger responses that we hoped to capture on a recorder. At first we thought it was a pet of which we were unaware, but we learned later after playing the tape for the owner they had no pet that made this sound. The noise sounded like a child in distress.

We recorded a half dozen instances of this voice always occurring at the end of one of our questions. When the noises stopped we moved into another room, and I picked up a fairly strong energy field. The field persisted for several minutes without pulsing or disappearing and as I observed my instrument called a MEL meter to measure electromagnetic fields, I started to become physically ill with nausea. I left the room to bring my partner Dan into verify my findings with his KII meter. A KII meter is another instrument that measures such fields with lights. The more lights the stronger the field.

How can we communicate with a ghost using lights? Well, simply stated a normal field will not move toward and away from such a meter causing fluctuations except for a regular pulsing. We determine if there is something to the field that is out of the ordinary by seeing if it responds irregularly to questions on a consistent basis. This requires interrogation like tactics including repeating and rephrasing questions. This is what we did for several minutes until the energy totally disappeared. One second we had readings, another second it was gone.

We moved into another room and picked up some abnormal KII readings that did not match earlier baselines we recorded. A third investigator joined us standing near the doorway. She began to well up with tears for no reason and then told us she was feeling a smothering sensation on her chest like an anxiety attack. When such feelings occur in a suspected area of paranormal activity to someone who doesn't normally have such experience it is another clue that something may not be normal.

I asked her to move away from the doorway and Danny was standing off to the side. A split second after she moved forward into the room, both Danny and I saw her in the third investigator's former location. There was an apparently solid figure about four foot tall totally shrouded in inky blackness but the silhouette was unmistakable.

It was a girl with hair at shoulder length possibly tied in some way. We could see her right arm which was away from her body at an angle and showing the short sleeve of a dress. The forearm disappeared into the silhouette. Scanning down toward her feet, we both saw a dress bouncing out just above the knee giving the appearance that this child was wearing a sun dress or play dress. She was visible for only a few seconds before instantly disappearing and it was over after that.

Fortunately a digital recorder captured our conversation as we jointly described what we were seeing in real time and what was most interesting was that we both saw this figure from two different angles. It was amazing and I felt truly lucky to have that experience. It really tells me there is more to the world than what we see or experience physically. Can I explain it? Not even close. I have theories like the next guy, but now I know for sure there is something beyond life. It wasn't a flitting shadow, a wisp of smoke or even a suspected sighting out of the corner of my eye. This was in front of me and in my face just like your newspaper is in yours right now. And it was amazing.

Til next timeā€¦