Paranormal investigators celebrate one year of success

Monday, December 14, 2009
Hoosier State Paranormal investigators Daniel Hendry, Christopher Lein and Nate Lein look over their camera set-ups prior to an investigation at DePauw University. The group recently celebrated their one-year anniversary.

GREENCASTLE -- With the winds blowing and the temperature outside dropping, most Putnam County residents were tucked warmly in their homes last Tuesday night. But a group of paranormal investigators were indifferent to the weather outside as they explored Old Toppers Restaurant.

A little over a year ago, the Hoosier State Paranormal group began investigating ghost sightings around Putnam County. So far, the group made up of mostly local residents has explored homes and buildings believed to be haunted.

Christopher Lein, a graphic design student in Bloomington who is also an EMT at Operation Life, started the group.

"I approached my sister, brother and some of our closest friends about starting a group that turned in to HSP. Fortunately, everyone was genuinely interested, supportive, and motivated and our paranormal investigation was born," explained Lein, who oversees all the investigations and operations of the organization.

"We watched TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) on television since 2004. We were all interested in what they did and it made us want to try investigating," commented Lein.

TAPS is a one-hour weekly reality show that follows a group of real-life paranormal researchers as it investigates hauntings throughout the country.

HSP is made up of 12 other members besides Lein and includes local residents, DePauw University students and Putnam County Operation Life Emergency Medical Technicians including Matthew Nance and Megan Soultz, who gained local notoriety after participating in the rescue efforts of the jet that crashed into the Hudson River last year.

Soultz is the case manager for the group and Nance is an investigator. Along with Lien are fellow members John Tenney, investigator; Soultz; Wise, who is a researcher; Nate Lien, Tech specialist; Daniel Hendry, Computer IT/Video Tech; Mitch Troyer; Tyler Binion; Justin Woodall; Stephen Wise; Matthew Nance; and Gary Crowe, all investigators and Cameron Leek, investigator in training.

The group is comprised of both skeptics and non-skeptics and includes mostly college students ranging in age from 18 to 25.

"When we're not doing school work, we are interested in paranormal research because we want to give people a better understanding of what it is or even, what it is not," said Lien.

Not all the members are students. The group's mentor John E.L. Tenney has been actively involved in the field of paranormal-conspiratorial-phantological research. He has investigated approximately 500 cases of hauntings, UFO encounters, cryptid sightings and related psychical-heterodoxical events.

Tenney has also authored dozens of articles for magazines and newspapers worldwide and lectured extensively to public and private schools, universities, clubs and organizations. He currently works in the field of advertising design, specializing in the use of graphic arts, communication modalities and semiotics.

Computer IT/Video Tech Manager Daniel Hendry has a degree in Computer Science and owns a computer company based in Indianapolis. He has years of experience in background lighting.

"Nate Lein and I work side by side through most investigations, and put our results together to assist with the group to formulate reasons and explanations of our findings," explains Hendry.

Nate Lein handles the audio recording of the investigation. His sister Savannah Wise not only investigates, but also is the group's researcher.

Reflecting on the past year, Lein believes HSP has established a positive presence in the paranormal world.

"We have some awesome goals for next year that will help us keep advancing that presence," said Lein.

In the past 12 months, HSP had completed over 10 investigations, purchased a lot of equipment and expanded their organization into two branches.

Locally, HSP has investigated several homes as well as the Old East College Building on the DePauw Campus, the DePauw University library archives where Gov. Whitcomb's book collection is housed, and, most recently, Old Toppers.

The group posts their findings on their Web site They have electronic voice phenomenon, including those of a little girl crying in a home in South Bend and sounds recorded during the DePauw University Library investigation. You can also follow the group on Facebook.

HSP doesn't charge any fees for investigations and is willing to talk to anyone with a home or building they would like investigated. You can contact them through their Web site

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  • Benedick, don't be a jerk. They aren't taking anyone's money. They aren't bothering you personally. Why is it such a problem for people to do what they like doing in this county. As long as no one gets hurt, no laws are broken, and they are having fun...let them continue to search for ghosts and spirits. Some believe and some don't, and it is no one's place to try and dissuade another in this matter.

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 8:10 AM
  • if you look at their website, they don't charge anything for their services. They aren't out doing drugs and running wild on the streets, they are actually all in college and furthering their education. Think before you speak Benedick, maybe you should be involved in your community instead of putting people down who are.

    -- Posted by climberguy on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 10:59 AM
  • Congratulations HSP, and good luck to everything in your future. Benedict, no need for the hostility. Ever thought about doing something productive yourself? I'm glad there is some good people in this world still that don't steal from churches and business and get DUI's after being a public figure. Way to go HSP, I'm glad to see you've found something that keeps you out of trouble and makes you happy! Keep it up!

    -- Posted by putnamlosers on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 11:16 AM
  • Thanks so much for writing this Meribeth, you're awesome!

    Wow Benedick, I guess some people rate success different than you. What's the reason for the negetivity? I can assure you no money is made and we are funded from our pocket. We enjoy what we do and to our standards it has been a successful year for us. Wish us luck on our College Finals, Merry Christmas.

    -- Posted by hspchris on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 11:33 AM
  • For clarification (not that we need to validate ourselves) but hspchris is telling the truth. Every member gives a small amount of money out of his/her pocket every month; "dues" if you will. We have a good time, spend quaility time with close friends and family, and keep our minds open to things that aren't explained yet. We don't take money from anyone, ever, we fund ourselves completely. Please don't fault us for that. That being said, I'll join my collegues and get back to studying... (preparing for medical school interviews, getting your Master's Degree in Biology, your BA in Biology, You BA in English Lit, your Paramedic certification, nursing license, or Graphic Design degree aren't easy things to do...especially during finals week...) Merry Christmas.

    -- Posted by GMCman59 on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 12:07 PM
  • Benedick, how small is your world? Can you explain why you feel it is appropriate that you must attack people for something they choose to pursue, which affects you in no way? Next time, you might possibly research, gain knowledge about what you're speaking, have your facts straight and then possibly your ignorant thoughts and opinions will be perceived more positively. As the article stated, these people are educated individuals, seemingly unlike yourself. It also clarifies that they don't charge anything for their services. Looks like the "chump" here, is you!

    -- Posted by buildsuccess on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 12:19 PM
  • Xgamer, you are absolutely right about Benedick.

    -- Posted by ZRXguy on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 1:58 PM
  • Benedick, you got any proof there isn't any paranormal activity out there, I'll bet the answer is no. Let them look and see what they can find. There is nothing wrong with having a hobby, especially one that they pay for. Who knows, maybe they will find something good.

    -- Posted by ZRXguy on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 3:30 PM
  • I am also an avid fan of TAPS and am excited for you all...... Good luck and have fun!

    -- Posted by foxtrotter on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 4:26 PM
  • Hey Benedick, you want to go to the elementary schools and scream Santa's not real either! Everyone's beliefs are different. I personally believe the First Amendment should be taken away from certain people.... but, hey, what can a girl do!

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 6:00 PM
  • Wow!!! what a great story! Congrats HSP!!! hspchris- Nice comment!!! & Good Luck On Finals

    -- Posted by cdaleclover on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 1:36 PM
  • Benedick, I think enough people have proved you wrong but I feel the need to say something also. This does not even do justice to how far this team has come! Greencastle needs people like this, seeing how some kids are getting into drugs ect. I bet you do not even know them, therefore you have no right to judge them on what they do. They are all very smart and have accomplished a lot! Good luck you guys!

    -- Posted by gcnative20 on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 2:04 PM
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