The Post: ‘Haunted Hocking’ paranormal thrill-seekers share ghost-hunting strategies with students

Tis the season for spooky stories and scary movies — Halloween is just two days away.

But along with the traditional candies and costumes, this iconic holiday is also known for its various and often failed attempts at ghost-hunting.

Paranormal thrill-seekers often wonder what’s the first clue to a successful ghost encounter: a flashlight, or maybe even a compass?

Patrick Quakenbush, of Haunted Hocking, an investigative team of paranormal activity around the state of Ohio, said the most important piece to begin a hunt is a good ghost story.

“We’ve been doing this for a little over 17 years now,” Quakenbush said during a presentation Monday night at Baker University Center Theatre, as part of a  ‘How To’ series hosted by the university.

“We’ve been doing this long before it became popular,” Quakenbush said.

The co-author of seven books with wife Jannette Quakenbush, Pat explained the fundamental science behind several ghost-hunting techniques, including magnetic fields of attraction and the unseen electromagnetic spectrum of light, along with a few eerie encounters he himself had experienced during his ghost-hunting travels.

Based in New Plymouth, Ohio, the Haunted Hocking has become an adventurous expedition for ghost-enthusiasts of the southeastern Ohio region.

Rowan Fulk, of Athens County, brought her parents with her to OU on Monday evening to see the guru explain some of his techniques.

As a member of the Ohio Valley Ghost-Hunters for roughly five years, Fulk has always had an interest in ghost-activity.

“My birthday is (on) Halloween, so I’ve just gotten into it even more,” Fulk said. “(I’ve) grown up in a family who believes in spirits, and just kind of went from there.”

In addition to Fulk and her family, there were several other Athens residents and Ohio University students in attendance.

Milan Hall, a nine-year-old Athens city resident clad in his Halloween costume, said he enjoyed the evening’s discussion.

“We got to see about ghosts and dead people,” he said enthusiastically after the event. “Cool stuff, and little tools,” he added, while holding one of Quakenbush’s digital thermometers for detecting ‘cold spots,’ supposed indicators of heightened ghost activity.

Kaija Nealon, a senior Strategic Communications major, attended a Haunted Hocking presentation her freshman year, as well, and appreciated Quakenbush’s unique approach to ghost technologies.

“I thought that Pat really looked at ghosts from a different perspective than mainstream media,” Nealon said. “I really think that it’s important to see that kind of side because I’m the kind of person who gets really freaked out by paranormal activity. When Pat talks about it, it’s comforting to think that ghosts are just curious spirits.”

Quakenbush insisted on ghost-hunting as a universal pastime, fit for the adrenaline-rush in everyone. He will be hosting Haunted Hocking tours this weekend at Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State Park.

“We would like every single one of you to get into ghost-hunting and paranormal,” he said. “We will teach you how to get started. We’re not one of those [ghost-hunting facilities] that don’t want to share. We want you to experience it because it is a fascinating pastime.”

This story also appears on The Post