It was July of 2000, and I left SJGR on good terms to expand the field and grow as an organization outside of rural New Jersey. We initially came up with New Jersey Paranormal Research, or NJPR and it stuck! We also created a United States Ghost Research Society, but that only lasted a handful of months. In September, I received a call from a woman that lived in an apartment on Broadway Ave (Main Street), in the town where most of us lived, in Pitman! We were excited to investigate since it was walking distance to the apartment from my place.
September 18th was a warm Autumn Day. We met with the client and did a preliminary questionnaire an walk through the apartment with the client and her father. The resident reported that she smelled odors of flowers around the apartment as well as the lights and the TV flickering on and off in the living room. She also heard a lot of creaking and footsteps, experienced chills, and felt cold spots throughout the house. In her bedroom, she saw shadows, felt a hand on her while in bed, and heard a manly voice around her and her mother at times. A lot of activity came from her and the apartment. Once we wrapped up the preliminary we set up the main investigation for a couple days later.
On September 20th it was unseasonably hot as Tim, Courtney, Hildred, Chris, and I began the investigation of the one-bedroom apartment. The client and her mother remained in the residence while we began. At the time, our technology was considered “high tech”! We had a two-camera black and white surveillance system, hooked into a VCR. Yes, the VCR (video cassette recorder for those too young to know). We also had a Sony Camcorder with Night Vision, Motion Sensors that had that God awful bell sound. We also had the state-of-the-art Olympus 340R Digital Camera, which at the time, 1.3 megapixels was incredible!
We started the investigation, and unfortunately most of my notes, footage, data was destroyed in a laptop back in 2004. But I’ll try my best to recount all that happened. In the beginning of the night, most of the investigation took place in the center of the apartment in the dining room. The way the apartment was laid out, in the front of the building was the living room, then further into the apartment, was a kitchen and dining room, then the one bedroom, and bathroom. Most of us stayed in the dining room where the surveillance was, and we had one or two of us sitting in the bedroom or living room.
The whole night was active, from the bedroom, we started to communicate with a male entity, who was watching over the client. He was incredibly tall and had a strong energy to him. One thing that I noticed throughout my time at the apartment, was the client had oxygen tanks around, but I didn’t want to pry as to her health. In the rest of the apartment, we were getting orb activity, and some audible sounds, no wow moments though. Towards the end of the investigation, I had to go to work, and went home to get into my uniform. As I was leaving, my cousin, Chris, called me.
Chris said, “you need to get back here.” I told him I was going to work. He said, “you need to get back here now.” I said I would swing by, so as I was driving down Main Street, Chris and Tim were outside waiting for me to get there. I got out of my car and came over to them. Tim said, “you need to see this,” and handed me the Olympus Digital Camera. I looked at the LCD of the camera and this is what I saw.
I was completely awestruck! I said, “how the hell?” Chris said that him and Tim were in the Dining Room, and Tim was taking pictures, then he did what we called a “sweep around.” The “sweep around” technique was done to see if we could catch a spirit off guard and hope for the best. It consisted of the investigator looking as if they were about to take a picture in one direction, then sweeping around and taking a picture of another. Chris said, “after he swept around and snapped the picture, he looked at the LCD, and then gasped holding is mouth in surprise.” Chris then said, “Tim grabbed me and pulled me off to the side and asked what we do? That’s when I called you, so what do we do?” I thought for a moment, then told them to take a bunch of comparison photos, show the client, and try to wrap up the investigation. We scheduled a second investigation for the 23rd to follow up with the activity.
We took the evidence home and analyzed it as much as we could. A brief note though, that there was nobody in the living room when the photo was taken except the client’s mother who was laying on the couch.
On the 23rd, we went back into the apartment for a second investigation. Though it wasn’t as active as the first investigation, and we didn’t capture the apparition again, we still had several different paranormal experiences in the bedroom and living room, as noted on the map in the beginning of the story. We received a few good EMF hits, but no wow moments. We wrapped up the second investigation in a few hours, around 3am, and went back home to evaluate the evidence.
The following week, I went to take the client a very detailed report and give her options as far as protection and cleansing. Nobody answered the door when I rang the doorbell. After a couple days, I called her, and her father answered the phone. Our client had passed away a few days after our second investigation. It was heartbreaking. To think we captured, what we believe to have been, either an angel, death, or possibly the client’s grandfather, who was a big guy, is a question we will never get answered.
This story was also featured a year later in Cablevision’s Neighborhood Journal on their Halloween 2001 Edition.