The Clay-Put Paranormal group met Saturday to discuss their experiences trying to investigate the paranormal. The group recently celebrated its first anniversary. In that year, Steve Farrell, who is one of the group's founders, has spent around $2,000 on equipment.
"It's a fun hobby, but I would have probably made more money collecting coins," Farrell said.
Farrell and other members of the group talked about their experiences and their equipment and showed some of the pictures they've taken.
Farrell was showing the equipment he'd spent so much on at the meeting, including a 400 gigabyte digital video recorder and LED video cameras that he can combine with cords and a wireless broadband signal to set up the cameras in a variety of locations.
He also has other equipment, including an electro-magnetic field (EMF) detector, which is used to determine areas where electromagnetic activity occurs.
He also offered suggestions to people who wanted to start their own paranormal group.
"To start your own group, you don't need all this stuff, though," Farrell said. "All you need to get started is a cheap compass and a digital camera."
Farrell said a cheap compass can work in a similar manner to an EMF detector, identifying areas where electro-magnetic activity is present.
Since many modern appliances and computer equipment carry an electro-magnetic field, Farrell said it's important to get baseline readings before using either technique.
Farrell said his group, which includes many family members, doesn't charge anything to investigate a site or house, but it does accept tips.
Farrell also talked about some of the difficulty his group has had getting access to different locations. He said police often don't allow people into graveyards after dark.
Don Donnelly, one of the team members, said this is often for safety reasons.
Donnelly mentioned one instance where a graveyard they wanted to film was being used as the site of a methamphetamine lab.
"We try to keep good relations with the police," Donnelly said.
Donnelly said one solution was to go to private graveyards.
He estimated "around 20 some privately owned graveyards in the county."
Donnelly and Farrell agreed investigations do not require a graveyard, though.
"You can investigate anywhere," Donnelly said. "You can investigate a bridge."