University of Nebraska at Omaha students intrigued by the mysterious and unknown can find just that at the UNO Paranormal Society. For them, paranormal curiosity isn’t just a seasonal affair.
Science professor David Pares has been the society’s faculty sponsor since it was first founded eight years ago by a group of students. Pares is an adjunct professor in the department of geology and geography, who sponsor the society’s room and storage area in the Durham Science Building.
Pares invites students, as well as community members, to join him on Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. for Paranormal Society meetings in room 285. Here, the group typically puts forth new pieces of evidence and discuss their legitimacy.
Kyle Finley was the former club president before graduating and is currently the Paranormal Society’s community advisor. He was one of the founding members who began by inviting community members with paranormal interests.
“We didn’t know anything about the paranormal at all, so we invited all the local groups to come in,” Finley said.
These groups have continued to stay active in the UNO Paranormal Society and regularly contribute to the group’s findings and discussions.
Pares claims that the UNO campus is a hotspot for paranormal activity, and that ghost hunting ventures typically yield successful EVPs, which stands for electronic voice phenomenon.
“Our favorite place is the arts and science building,” Pares said. “Being 113 plus years old, it’s got a lot of activity.”
According to Pares, EVPs come in different classes: A, B and C. Class A recordings have the highest quality sound, while class C recordings are typically the lowest quality.
These audio clips supposedly contain voices of individuals or beings that weren’t present when recording took place.
Photos are another piece of evidence examined by the group. During their meetings, the group may look at photos circulating online or taken by members. Here they break down the photo’s traits to determine authenticity, which may include running it through a program to detect manipulation.
Photo and audio evidence collected by the UNO Paranormal Society can be found on their Facebook page and their web-site.
The society’s ghost hunts typically have the biggest turnout of all their events. The last para-normal summit, which was earlier this month, brought a little over a hundred people. Updates about future investigations can be found on the society’s Facebook page and website.
A top priority of the society is student safety, which is why all ghost hunts conducted by the group are on campus. Pares said that he believes all paranormal activity on campus is benign, but warns against students exploring other areas of Omaha.
Pares said that his ultimate goal for the group is to find some solid evidence of apparitions and a scientific explanation for their existence.
“One of the goals we have from a science point of view is to try to dig through all that. What’s really happening here? What’s the physics behind it?” Pares said.