Fri, 04 May 2012 23:10:27 GMT — Northern Michigan University's Paranormal Research Team is a small, but growing, organization that has traveled to nearly every major haunted location across the U.P. since their inception nearly 10 years ago. I met with the PRT to learn about some hauntings right in their own backyard."Perry is probably the most popular. He's one of my group favorites. Honestly, every time I go into TFA I say, 'Hey, Perry,'" said Naysa Anderson, Vice President of the PRT.Perry was a janitor at NMU for more than 30 years until he died of a heart attack in the elevator of the Thomas Fine Arts building in the '80s. Since then, there have been numerous reports of rolling garbage cans and closing doors throughout the building and even sightings in the Forest Roberts Theater during plays. Some students have even claimed to have felt a presence rushing them out of the building when they're not supposed to be there. The PRT even has recorded audio evidence of his presence, but ultimately, all unusual activity has always been harmless."He's just a nice, goofy guy who likes to play pranks," Anderson added. Perry was even the inspiration for an amusing group T-shirt parodying the "In case of fire, use stairs" signs near elevators.The PRT and I met again to conduct our own investigation elsewhere around Marquette...the Landmark Inn . Built in 1929, there is much history within its walls and many stories of unusual things from employees and guests.The first step of any investigation is to hear the stories from witnesses."The story is of a librarian named Mary, and the story is that she roams the sixth floor looking for her lost love," said Michelle Cook, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Landmark Inn.Mary was due to be wed to a miner long ago. One unfortunate day, however, the miner's ship sank in a storm on Lake Superior and he never returned. She remains waiting for him, mainly in the Lilac Room.Over the years, guests and employees have reported things like phone calls to the front desk when the room is unoccupied or men having trouble unlocking the door.We set up the equipment and got ready. The human body is the first tool to detect unusual activity, but the PRT uses instruments like thermometers, electronic magnetic field (EMF) detectors, and audio and video recording equipment to quantify the evidence."We won't necessarily claim anything as haunted unless we have scientific evidence because we're a scientific group," said Brooke Linn, President of the PRT.We split into two groups and recorded our voices as a control for the audio equipment. We conducted base readings as well to determine what normal temperatures and EMFs are for that room. Then we turned off our phones and any lights to avoid any EMF contamination. We turned on the laser grid which helps us see things on the recorded video.In the darkness, we sat quietly to avoid noise contamination and began to ask questions."Is there anyone here?""Why did you choose the Landmark?""Michelle told us your name is Mary. Is that true?"We awaited responses, but there was none.After 20 minutes, group one was finished. So far, there were no anomalous readings, but group two still had to take their turn.They conducted a near identical investigation, but the results were the same. From here, the PRT reviews the recorded evidence for paranormal phenomena. They look forward to a second attempt to meet Mary in the Lilac Room in the future and anything else the Landmark Inn may throw at them.Not knowing what might happen is half the fun in paranormal investigations. "Expect the unexpected," Linn said.
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