FATE Magazine picks the brain of a Midwest grown ghost hunting group.
by Christine Goodrich
Name of Group: Supernatural Investigators of Minnesota (SIM)
Date Formed: 03/13/2010, Founded by Jerry Ayres
Names of Members Jerry Ayres, Mae Kelley, Stephanie Ayres, Katie Sonmor, Kacie Ayres, George Donaldson, Andrew Jaffe
Contact Information: 612.703.9399 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Describe the members of your team. What are their areas of expertise?
Our team is made up of seven members, and all have full-time careers outside of ghost hunting. The SIM Crew is made up of a variety of people from all walks of life. We have several who are sensitive to paranormal activity, a couple who are skeptics and we also have a psychic on board.
What makes your group different from other groups?
Supernatural Investigators of Minnesota strives to acquire true evidence of the supernatural. The SIM Crew has members who have seen and felt ghosts all their lives, one of whom is psychic, and we know that the supernatural is all around us, all the time. It is our mission to provide evidence of the supernatural.
We are a thorough, thoughtful, factual bunch, and we do an incredible job of validating paranormal activity. Oh, and we might mention that we can be very excitable, which is why we have a couple of skeptics on board to settle us down when need be. We really have a well-rounded team, and we all keep each other in check.
We sift through all the evidence obtained during an investigation in attempt to find an explanation for what was captured. Only data that is unexplainable is considered by SIM to be a true substantiation of the supernatural.
What got you interested in the paranormal?
All of the SIM Crew has been interested in paranormal activity for most of our lives. With the advent of reality television and the ghost hunting shows, we became aware of the fact that we too could be paranormal investigators. In the year that we have been a bone-fide paranormal investigative group, we have captured much fascinating evidence.
What has been your most challenging/active location on an investigation?
Last fall we did a confidential investigation on a very large property in Northern Minnesota. The 100 plus acre property had many buildings, and there were only five of us! The sheer amount of space to cover was daunting, but we went about our business and had a phenomenal investigation. We saw, felt, and heard ghosts there, and we captured a lot of evidence on this property. We were thrilled with the substantiation to what we had seen and felt there, and we revealed it all to a group of about ten people. They were quite interested and very awed at what we showed them about this property, and were excited to see it in a different light. The investigation was a huge success, and the property owners have asked us to come back for a second investigation to take place later this year. We are quite excited to go back to this highly active remote location.
What type of equipment do you use during a typical investigation? Which is your favorite?
We typically use EMF detectors, KII meters, digital voice records, video equipment, and still cameras on our investigations. We have recently acquired a new piece of equipment called the eprobe, which is a cross between a KII meter and an EMF detector made by a fabulous company called Coparatech that we will be using it on our next investigation. We have gotten amazing EVPs as well as videos and still shots. I guess we don’t really have a favorite.
What has been your best piece of evidence?
We have captured several excellent pieces of evidence. We captured the apparition of a woman on a still photograph as well as an incredible EVP on that same investigation.
Are there any cases you won’t take on?
We are hesitant to take on cases where there may be dangerous phenomena happening. We have had cases where there were dangerous entities, evidence of which we caught on EVPs. We were able to arrange for a Catholic priest to bless the house, and the owners reported a much better environment after.
What criteria do you use to determine that you will take on a case?
We will take on any case where the person asking us for the investigation is bothered by the activity happening in their space, or just wants to know what is going on. We want to try to help them by finding substantiation of paranormal activity, or by finding something completely explainable.
Is ghost hunting something you openly talk about to strangers, or are you more reserved before you tell them what you do?
We all love what we do, and we talk about in excess.
Given that most of us have seen the ghost hunting shows on television, what do you think the biggest difference between TV and real life ghost hunting?
Perhaps the biggest difference we see is that it isn’t quite as exciting as they show it to be on the shows. We spend a lot of time in dark rooms talking to what we hope are spirits there. The biggest difference though is the time it takes to review all the evidence. It does take hours and hours to sift through all the digital and video recorders. They don’t really show that on television.
How has ghost hunting affected your personal views on life after death?
Our experiences help us to understand the existence of spirits in another dimension, or on the other side of the veil as the Celtics believed.
Which paranormal destinations on your bucket list and why?
We would love to go down to Kentucky to the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. We hope to do that some day. In Minnesota, we have several on our list.
Do you have any favorite books on the paranormal?
Well, we have not written one yet Wait til ours comes out one day and that will be our favorite as we know what really happens!