Ashland Times-Gazette – 7/9/2014

Paranormal explorer shares ghost stories

July 9, 2014 4:00 AM
T-G Staff Writer
Times-GazettePhotoBack before Syfy channel began airing “Ghost Hunters” in 2004, Jason Robinson founded the Ohio Exploration Society in Pickerington.

Since 2000, the group has been exploring and documenting Ohio’s historic and forgotten sites. Much of its work falls in that category of what Robinson called paranormal investigations — essentially ghost hunting.

“It’s pretty similar to what you see on TV, but we don’t scream and run around and things like that,” Robinson told the group of about 15 teens and pre-teens at an Ashland Public Library program Tuesday.

Tuesday’s program was coordinated by youth associate Hayley Tracy-Bursley, whom youth programs director Brenda Guggenbiller said has had success in drawing crowds for her Tween and Teen events, like an American Red Cross emergency preparedness session she titled “Zombie Preparedness” in June.

Ohio Exploration Society members document sightings throughout the state and investigate claims of paranormal activity in homes, businesses and public places.

Robinson played audio and video recordings from some of his encounters and said he and his group sometimes hear voices on audio recordings that were not audible in person and discover “shadow people” in pictures taken in places where they are certain they saw no one.

He explained to the audience what kind of gear they would need to take up paranormal investigation. In addition to a good still or video camera, he recommends an electromagnetic field meter and a thermometer to find cold and hot spots.

One member of Tuesday’s audience thinks he may know where to find ghosts in Ashland.

“I live on Diamond Street and when I go toward Samaritan, I see a really creepy house that’s probably haunted,” Jacob Rose, 11, said.

But Rose said these kinds of things scare him too much to investigate like Robinson or the other members of the Ohio Exploration Society.

Another audience member, Alena Waiselewski, said she’s never experienced anything she thought might be paranormal activity.

“I want to learn about different things in Ohio and things being haunted,” she said.

Tuesday’s program was a good start.

“I learned you can find things on tape recorders that you couldn’t hear while you were there,” Waiselewski said.

Prior to his presentation at the library, Robinson made stops at supposedly haunted sites in Ashland County but had no luck finding anything paranormal.

“You have to be in the right place at the right time to have an experience. Today I just wasn’t there at the right time,” he said. “About 99.8 percent of the time, nothing happens while we are there.”

Robinson shared a few of the area’s paranormal legends including the supposedly haunted tunnel off U.S. 42 on Township Road 1535.

Legend has it if you stop just inside the tunnel heading west, turn off your headlights and put the car in neutral, your vehicle will be pushed or pulled through the tunnel even though the ground is flat.

Robinson said he has experienced this phenomenon but was able to debunk the myth by measuring the elevation in the tunnel and discovering it was slightly higher than the ground outside the tunnel.

Other places in the county that have been said to be haunted include Brookside Park West, the creek near the old Riddle School on Township Road 593 and the former Hereford Station in the valley just south of New London on Ohio 60.

Copyright © 2014

Thanks to Courtney Day for attending our paranormal presentation in Ashland for her article in the Times-Gazette.