BOONE LIFE: Columbia Paranormal searches for spirits from another realm

Monday, August 8, 2011 | 9:28 p.m. CDT; updated 11:39 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 8, 2011

COLUMBIA — Some people play tennis. Some collect stamps. Ex-Navy cryptologist and one-time private investigator Holly McGee chases ghosts.

It's all part of her regular repertoire as director of Columbia Paranormal, a nonprofit investigation outfit that inspects the property of clientele who think they could be in the presence of uninvited guests that may or may not go bump in the night.

"It's just funny because I was a Navy spook, then I was a private spook and now I chase spooks," McGee said.

Brandishing a briefcase burgeoning with infrared cameras, motion detectors, EMF readers, home-modified audio-gathering devices and many other tools, McGee and company never want for footage after an average hunt.

After the investigators examine an area suspected to be a playground for the paranormal and gather gigabytes of material, the next arduous task is to review the harvested footage for anything that may indicate an otherworldly entity.

It's not all work for McGee, who is often shoulder-to-shoulder on investigations with her two adult children, both of whom are steady members of Columbia Paranormal's not-so-steady roster.

When they aren't taking jobs via phone calls or Facebook, the group visits sites they've declared to be haunted hotspots not only in Boone County, but all over Missouri. Their latest count tallied 41 cities visited statewide — all for the sake of documentation and exploration, McGee said.

Aside from the camaraderie built by chasing spirits with family and close friends, McGee says her experiences fortify her relationships with person and ghost alike.

“Either in this realm or the other realm, there’s still friends to make,” McGee said.

“When I leave this plane of existence, I’m gonna be bouncing all over this country leaving people hot cups of coffee. I already told 'em I’d do that.”

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Ellis Smith August 9, 2011 | 11:52 a.m.

Actually, conversing with the "other realm" is far more accessible than one might expect and requires no special equipment. It will, however, definitely require spending time outside Boone County.

Here are examples of significant populations of groups definitely from the "other realm":

1- Students, faculty and alumni of University of Missouri - Kansas City.

2- Students, faculty and alumni of University of Missouri - St. Louis.

3- Students, faculty and alumni of Missouri University of Science & Technology.


(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 10, 2011 | 10:31 p.m.

@Holly McGee:

Have you guys done any testing on the second floor of Ellis Library on campus? The story has persisted for several years that an apparition walks among the stacks, will even knock around a book or two, if anyone is up there alone after dark. It would be interesting to read what your testing would reveal about such an experience happening at the library location. Also, there is a certain motel in town that has been said to be a site for the uninvited guests of nature described in this article. They are said to run back and forth in front of the main office building on the property and to enter the lobby and watch the overnight clerk move about at work. A little research can turn up the name of the motel without my mentioning the name on here. The sort of studies you make can tend to be interesting reading, even for those who do not believe the paranormal exists. Thanks.

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