Paranormal paramedics investigate life beyond death
The firefighters and EMT started doing paranormal investigations as an extension of what they do through their jobs — help people
By Crystal A. Weyers
Foster's Daily Democrat
SOMERSWORTH, N.H. — With a full moon hanging in the foggy sky, several residents made their way to the Somersworth Public Library for a special evening with Paranormal 911, who shared their experiences with the deceased, yet not departed.
A cold and unexpected brush of air sweeps up your spine giving you goose bumps, a cold hand rests on your neck, floors creak under the weight of footsteps somewhere downstairs in the night, things you haven’t touched have mysteriously moved; maybe it’s not just your imagination, maybe there are paranormal forces at work.
At least that’s what members of New England’s Paranormal 911 set out to investigate and research.
The group of “real life first responders,” made up of Rochester firefighter Dan Meehan and Carmel, Maine firefighter and EMT Windy Rudnicki, gave a presentation of their investigations and research into all things paranormal Wednesday evening.
Both Meehan and Rudnicki regularly come into contact with people moments away from death or scenes where traumatic accidents have occurred as part of their regular full-time jobs. Meehan said, although they keep it separate, the duo started doing paranormal investigations as an extension of what they do through their fire departments: help people.
Together, the pair examines everything inside and outside to explain the explainable. Sometimes the answer is as simple as an open window causing a draft, a wild animal who made itself a home or a branch scraping against glass when the wind blows it just right.
Meehan has a background in residential wiring and building construction, so he is acutely aware of how water and electrical systems in homes can effect readings, create noises, temperature changes, strange electric problems, etc.
“We don’t go in to try to prove a haunting. We would rather bring you nothing than make something up,” Meehan said.
As part of their paranormal tool kit, they come prepared with voice recorders, an electromagnetic field radiation tester and flashlights. They also use the Ovilus, or “ghost radar,” which is an electronic speech device that utters any of some 2,000 stored words depending on environmental readings and electromagnetic waves. Ghost hunters believe spirits can manipulate the machines to select words. Also part of any paranormal investigation are “trigger objects,” or things ghosts may have an interest in touching or moving.
“What inspires us in life, inspires us in death,” Rudnicki said after listing items such as candy, toys, money, alcohol or tobacco.
They also use cameras and video, but aren’t sold by the infamous “orb photos” which other paranormal investigators claim are spirits caught on film. They agree orbs are usually just captured dust particles.
“You know if you see an orb it’s haunted,” Meehan joked.
Rudnicki and Meehan shared several of their investigative experiences.
Meehan said his first-ever investigation was of the old train stop, not far at all from the library.
He explained how over the years many people met their fate there. In particular, in the early 1900s Meehan said a woman was walking down the steps to the depot when ice fell from the roof and sent her tumbling down the stairs. At the time, doctors told her she would be OK, but she died the next day. When Meehan used his Ovilus at the location, it spit out the name Alice, which maybe not-so-coincidentally was that woman’s name.
In another instance, Meehan was in a home in Rochester where the owners had reported seeing the ghost of a man and a woman. A medium shared a vision of a sad woman looking out of a window in the basement waiting for her husband who was dressed in some kind of uniform. Meehan’s background in historical research helped him uncover the home’s history and what he found gave him shivers. A woman had died in the home after falling down the stairs to the basement. Her husband, a police officer, died three weeks later of what was believed to be a broken heart.
Unlike other investigative groups, Meehan and Rudnicki aren’t looking for fame.
“The shows are all about evidence, evidence, evidence, but what about the client?” Rudnicki asked. “I don’t want to be on TV, I want to help people.”
In addition to investigations, the duo also performs house blessings and cleansings and Reiki sessions.
“If we can’t help you, we’ll put you in touch with the right people,” Meehan said of their connection to priests, demonologists and a variety of other contacts.
Paranormal 911 has investigated locations across the country and in many familiar local haunts.
|McClatchy-Tribune News Service|