RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – KSN’s sister station 8News in Richmond, Virginia went on the hunt for a local ghostbuster in the region and found something better. Someone who could dismiss any misconceptions we may have had about the ghost hunting.
(At this point. Most skeptics will quit reading here. Here is something to think about – the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies, founded in 1967, has been investigating paranormal research for decades. In fact, this is a statement from the DOPS’s website: “Despite widespread popular interest in paranormal phenomena, there is a paucity of careful scientific research into their occurrences and processes. Our researchers are dedicated to the use of scientific methodology in their investigation of a wide range of paranormal phenomena.”)
Robert “Brad” Bradley, a research coordinator for the Center Paranormal Research and Investigation, met us at Sam Miller’s in Shockoe Slip recently and as soon as he sat down, he let us in on some interesting details about where we were meeting.
“We are not really ghost hunters. The term we like to go by is paranormal researcher.”
When asked if he could pick a location in the city limits of Richmond where the most paranormal activity happens, he simply replied, “Well, you’re sitting in one.”
“They say that Sam Miller’s has some activity,” he stated, adding the most of the shops and restaurants on that block have paranormal activity.
Bradley, who has been doing this for nearly six years, and the rest of the members of the Center for Paranormal Research and Investigation are associated with The Atlantic Paranormal Society (or TAPS), best known for the TV series “Ghost Hunters.” But he doesn’t link his work to ghost hunting.
“We are not really ghost hunters. The term we like to go by is paranormal researcher,” he explained. “We look at things beyond ghosts.
“We try to figure out what it is and how it occurs.”
On the TV shows that depict ghost hunters, Bradley says that a lot of those people don’t have the same skill set to do the research members of his organization do. Most of the members of his organization are former scientists, police officers, engineers, medical specialists, and researchers.
Bradley explained that some amateur ghost hunters get into the activity for the “experience.” In contrast, members of his organization are trying to find out the what and the how of paranormal activity. But, that doesn’t mean that they won’t investigate someone’s curiosity about their own surroundings.
“We do house calls. We do house calls quite often, actually,” Bradley explained. “A lot of time, what people see or hear in a home is not exactly paranormal. It can be anything from bad wiring to bad plumbing to a train rolling down the road.
“When we get called to homes, 99 percent of what we find is explainable. But we have run into some private residences that are very interesting to us. That one percent really peaks our interest.”
He added that a lot of people want to blame bad luck on demons. And, they’ve occasionally run into people who are on drugs.
When asked if there were any areas in the Richmond region that have a rate of paranormal activities, Bradley explained that this area has more than most would realize.
“This city ranks right up there with Savannah, Ga.,” he said. “Savannah, Ga. has the reputation for being the most haunted city in the country. I’d say we’re a close number two.”
Bradley says that the high paranormal activity here can be attributed to historic battles and history that dates back to the 1600s.
Areas in the region that have unexplained paranormal activity include Monument Church, numerous buildings in Shockoe Slip, Shockoe Tunnel, the Governor’s Mansion, and Tuckahoe Plantation. But the crown jewel of the paranormal activity is located in Surry, Va.
“We are never disappointed,” he explained. “Based on the data we’ve collected – it really points to something going on.
“There’s something there and we’re trying to figure it out.”
Bacon’s Castle has been a focal point for Bradley’s group lately due to multiple reports of paranormal behavior there.
“They have voices; they have footsteps; they have continuous conversations; they have what we call real-life manifestations,” he said. “That kind of stuff happens at Bacon’s Castle.”