Any ghost hunter will tell you the holy grail of the craft is to catch a full-body apparition. But [El Cajon based] Pacific Paranormal Investigations have another goal....
Citation:Ramos, Alyssa. "Local Team Chases After Bumps In the Night, Sounds In the Attic." The Star News 126.26 (29 June 2007): 1, 13.
Although co-founders David Walters and Glenn Pitcher strive to gather credible evidence of paranormal activity, their primary mission is to come to the aid of Californians uncomfortable in their home, even if it means explaining away or debunking what could be perceived as haunted. Their main endeavor is to help clients who are concerned or curious about their experiences with the paranormal. They gather evidence using hi-tech gadgetry and sometimes debunk a location that is thought to have paranormal activity.
"We go in saying we want to calm their fears, so we try to find explanations," says Pitcher. "If you have a house that's 100 years old with squeaky floorboards, that's going to make some sounds."
As much as he wants to catch evidence of ghosts, Pitcher says his first priority is to find what's causing a supposedly other worldly ruckus. "A lot of times, that actually relieves them," he says.
Both Pitcher, 43, an internet technology security engineer and Walters, 32, a graphics design supervisor say their interest to the field draws from personal childhood experiences.
"I was on a camping trip with my parents staying in a cabin and I woke up in the middle of the night," Pitcher said. "The drawers were opening and closing by themselves. . . I was four or five at the time." Walters is uncomfortable talking about what he calls a private matter. He was living in a little house on Bonita Glen Terrace.
"A lot of activity took place in that home," he said. "To the point that we ended up leaving and living in the Ramada Inn for a few months. It got really negative and it attacked me. My parents said let's get out of here, so we did, and ever since then I've been trying to find out answers to questions it left me with," he said.
Some cases are easier to debunk than others. Walters investigated a woman's condominium in Chula Vista and was able to quickly explain her fears away. Her ghost was nothing more than pipes rattling the walls when a water heater activated.
In Redlands, California, Walters and Pitcher were concerned for a family who claimed an entity was present and playing with their small child. The family felt like they were being watched and hard noises in the house.
"If they're going through anything that I did as a child it can be pretty dramatic, extremely confusing and scary," Walters said. "Especially if there's physical harm. It can rip families apart." The team found that the noises were actually coming from the floorboards in the house. As [for] feeling as though they were being watched, the ghost hunters say that was the effect of their refrigerator. The investigators concluded the family's refrigerator was putting out a high level of electromagnetic fields. They said that high EMF levels can lead to feelings of paranoia. It turns out the boy's bed was located on the other side of the kitchen wall.
"Whenever we talk to people and say we believe [it's] structural issues, or certain electronic equipment is putting out high levels of EMF, they always seem to be very thankful for it. Whether they take action on it, that's up to them, and honestly, I don't really know if they end up doing that. I have a feeling a lot of them don't."
Out of 17 completed investigations, sometimes the group comes away with evidence they can't explain. In Big Bear, California, the men came across an unexplainable occurrence.A homeowner claimed he heard constant footsteps, children's voices and, in [one] instance, a fireplace grate flying across the room.
The homeowner even said he heard a child say: "Hi, I'm Skye."
In doing their research, the ghost hunters found that at one time there had been a fire on the property. According to Pitcher and Walters, three little girls [sic] hid in a closet to try and escape the flames. They died. One of the girls was named Skye, the ghost hunters said. They added that in reviewing their sound recordings, they could hear voices saying "Get out."
In 2005 Pitcher and Walters affiliated Pacific Paranormal Investigations with a group called The Atlantic Paranormal Society. The Ghost Hunters, otherwise known as TAPS, have a regular show featured on the Sci-Fi channel. After affiliating with them, Pitcher and Walters said their case load increased dramatically.