By Timothy Haley, Chattanooga, TN—Since Halloween has passed, not many students have ghosts and ghouls on their minds, but a group at UTC is dedicated to the paranormal all year.
The UTC Paranormal Scientific Investigators are in their third active semester of conducting paranormal studies around the Chattanooga area and on the UTC campus. The organization was founded by Jeromie Gentry, a junior, in order to get the campus involved in the paranormal world.
Chattanooga is a paranormal mecca due to its proximity to running water, limestone and civil war battlegrounds, Gentry said. The club has done investigations in places, such as the Walking Horse Hotel in Wartrace, TN and Hales Bar Dam.
Gentry said UTC Paranormal recently did an investigation of Patten Chapel to investigate claims of paranormal activity in Hooper Hall. He said the claim was that the elevator in Hooper Hall would open and change floors on its own.
For most of the investigation there was no elevator activity but just when the investigators were about to give up, the elevator opened on its own.
In addition, Gentry said other members of the club recorded in the bell tower and found Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) on the recording which he describes as sounding like a voice of a woman or a youth.
“It’s the most important field,” Gentry said. “It’s the study of ‘Who are we?, What are we?’…Do we have more powers than we realize?”
The club goal is go about these questions in a scientific way, he said.
According to their website, their mission is to “pursue advancements in the field of paranormal research with adherence to the scientific method.”
To make sure the investigations stay grounded in the scientific method, the club asked Dr. Ralph Hood, a UTC psychology professor, to be their advisor. Hood said he is involved in parapsychology but feels the field is not taken seriously enough.
“The major misconception about paranormal phenomena is that they lack scientific verification,” Hood said.
Gentry said UTC Paranormal brings together a diverse group of students with different academic backgrounds and feels like the camaraderie of the group is the best part.
They are now taking applications for new members, he said. If you would like to learn more about the UTC Paranormal Scientific Investigators you can find them at www.facebook.com/UTCparanormal or at www.utcparanormal.org.