Pasadena group provides forum for paranormal investigators
At first, Kristen Stout said, the evidence that her Pasadena home was haunted was fairly subtle.
"There were little things," she said. "You thought you saw something out of the corner of your eye. You heard noises.
"It progressed to things being thrown, cabinet doors bursting open, things shooting out."
From there, she said, the contacts grew more violent. Something left claw marks on her arm, she said. A pillow was held against her face.
When something unseen grabbed her children's arms, leaving behind imprints, Stout told her husband in no uncertain terms it was time to go, and the house was sold.
Those experiences from the mid-1990s to 2001 became part of the fuel that feeds Stout's desire to make sense of the paranormal world.
Stout said she's hoping the Meetup group she helped establish in March, The Pasadena Paranormal Research Team, will help her and others find the answers they're seeking.
She first got the idea for a paranormal investigation group while visiting the Web site for Meetup, a national program that organizes local groups by their interests. Activities are announced online.
Stout noticed several paranormal groups in the Houston area on Meetup's Web site, but the ones she contacted told her they had membership limits and were full.
Then she noticed a list of Houston-area people who, like her, said they would like to join a paranormal group if one were to organize.
Stout decided she would be the one to get one started.
"I thought, 'This is it, my chance to get a better understanding of what is happening,' " said Stout, who launched the group with the help of friend Joe Sanders, also a Pasadena resident.
Now Stout serves as group co-organizer with north Houston resident Christine Briones.
Within 24 hours of organizing online, The Pasadena PRT had 25 members. Currently, membership stands at 55, many with 10 to 20 years of paranormal investigating experience.
Most of the members, like her, describe some kind of encounter with the otherworldly.
"When you experience something you feel, 'Why me?' " Briones said. "So, our group is a support group, too. We can say, 'you're not crazy. We're here to help.' It's about empowerment."
Briones, who says she is sensitive to the presence of spiritual beings, experienced her first encounter in her home when she was a junior high school student.
"The ghost of an old man was there," said Briones, who works today as an airline customer service agent.
"I never saw him, but I could hear him. I just knew he was an old man."
Briones, who was questioning her faith in God around this time, said the situation came to a head when the spirit grabbed her, then pulled away quickly as if frightened.
"That kind of strengthened my faith," she said. "I realized I'm a child of God; that spirit can't harm me."
It wasn't an earlier encounter that brought member Rody Speake to the group; it was a desire to learn. She said she had her first encounter a few weeks ago during a cemetery investigation with another group member.
"I never believed in any of this," the Uptown Houston resident said.
Since joining The Pasadena PRT, she said she's convinced paranormal encounters do happen.
And during her cemetery investigation, she said, a presence registered on the equipment she and her partner were using.
"People said, 'You'll know (when you encounter something).' I felt a jolt; I got it."
The organization is trying to get the word out that it's still accepting new members, and it is available to conduct paranormal investigations.
Between them, the members have an impressive collection of equipment, from Mel Meters, used to gauge temperature changes and EVP (electronic voice phenomenon), to camera equipment and K2 meters, which detect electromagnetic fields.
"When you're doing this, you've got to be pretty objective," Briones said. "Even if you go to a place that's supposed to be haunted, assume it's not. The evidence has to be pretty blatant."
Lay said the first paranormal group he belonged to still has the recording from the first EVP session he experienced.
Glen Ruffin, a Linux system administrator who lives near Hobby Airport, said he's had two encounters with spirits, he said, both unpleasant. But he said he sees great potential in the group's research.
"It's about communication," he said. "Think about it. If you can communicate with the other side, that's awesome."
For more information,
visit www.pasadenaprt.info or search for Pasadena PRT on Facebook.
Local Advertising by PaperG