Southwest Paranormal Investigations-SPI - Keeping History Alive
Oct 31st, 2014 By: Katrina Chandler
Topics: History
It's Halloween once again. I have taken a lot of time to think about all the spooky places in and around Las Cruces this season. There is so much history and so many stories accompanying this wonderful city. I thought about sharing some of the old tales or requesting stories from our readers, but then, I thought, why not ask the experts. Queu Southwest Paranormal Investigators. This team of approximately 12 investigators volunteers their time to investigate private homes and buildings in Las Cruces and the surrounding area, hoping to capture life beyond the grave and provide peace to those who are tormented.
SPI was founded about eight years ago by Pat Olona. Pat was visited by a spirit as a child and this experience peeked his interest in the paranormal. Pat's sister, Janet Eberwine, is also on the team and isn't just an investigator, but also a Paranormal Sensitive. "I have always known that I have had these abilities, it wasn't full-blown like it is now." During a trip to Colorado with her husband Tony, who was once a skeptic but now a believer and investigator, Janet had an experience that would confirm her suspicious and lead her to investigate. While visiting the famous Stanley Hotel, notably from the movie The Shining, Janet and Tony were getting on an elevator when Janet had a bad feeling. "We were gonna get on the elevator and he started to walk in and I said, 'I don't like this elevator.'" Tony convinced Janet to get on the elevator and then snapped a picture of Janet with his cell phone. Upon returning home they discovered that Janet wasn't the only person captured int he photograph. Janet and Tony joined SPI soon after.
I was curious about the activity that has occurred more locally. SPI has investigated places like, the Fountain Theater, the Double Eagle, the Amador Hotel, the old Memorial General Hospital and the old County Jail. The County Jail was sort of a hotspot for paranormal activity. According to Janet, everyone on the team had some sort of experience with an entity during that investigation. Most notably, a jail door closing behind the investigators with no prompting from them, without them even noticing it was happening. Normally a loud clanky event, the door smoothly closed behind them and took 6'4" Tony all his strength to push back open.
The team volunteers there time to SPI. Every team member has a full-time job in addition to SPI, which they generally do weekend evenings. All equipment is purchased by them and they want to help the community understand what they are experiencing and guide them into getting help. There have been times when the team has suggested homes being cleansed, even exorcized, due to the amount of activity.
While investigating the old City Hall building, Tony, Janet and another investigator, Vicki, were all down in the basement. Janet, being a sensitive, starts to feel a presence and tells the team that something is there with them. Vicki picks up her video camera and begins scanning the room when something eerily crawls out of the hallway and into an open door. I, as the writer, have seen this video and it gave me the heebie jeebies.
The team has to limit what they do and how many cases they take on. It takes them weeks to sift through all the evidence they compile during and investigation. They set up multiple stationary cameras, voice recorders and hand held cameras they carry around with them on the investigation. Once the evidence is compiled they are able to present their findings to their clients and make their recommendations on how to proceed. However, they have had clients who have requested to not know the findings of the investigation.
Maybe you have wanted to dabble in the paranormal or have unexplained phenomena occur in your home. Well, you can request SPI to come to your home and investigate, or just grab any type of voice recorder and begin on your own.
What is the most extensive conversation SPI has had with an entity you might wonder. I will tell you. It happened in Tom Young's Fitness Center. The team was conducting an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) session with a new piece of equipment called a Ghost Box, which scans radio frequencies at an alarming rate and entities can use this to speak through. "It was pitch black," Pat explains. "We asked questions, 'If you are here what is your name.' A male voice says some name and we asked if there was anyone else with them, the voice said yes. We now have two entities and the answers were appropriate to what we were asking." Then, the Ghost Box begins to request something from the team. "We then heard another voice say, 'Help me.' And I said, 'Help you? How many of you need help?' It responded, 'Six.' And panic went through he room because there were six of us investigators sitting in the room."
The most compelling evidence for me was a photo the team showed us of a man sitting in a chair at the Double Eagle. Problem was, there was no man actually present. In this photo you can see a man sitting in a chair at a desk wearing old, what seemed to be Mexican-American War era, clothing. Comparison photos show no man at all. The team has been back to the Double Eagle multiple times to investigate.
SPI have too many stories to tell, too much evidence to show in one sitting. Our town is full of history, but is it history? Has what happened in the past stayed here to remind us to never repeat, is it here to protect us, or is it here to torment and scare us? This is why SPI investigates and what they hope to uncover.