Ghost Hunting With The Public

By Jackie Tomlin

Over the weekend, CVAPI opened to the public, a paranormal investigation at The Byrd Theatre, as a
fundraiser for the preservation the public seems to go very well, and I encourage other paranormal teams to try
it. We receive numerous emails from people wanting to go out with us, who have never attended a paranormal
investigation. There are many out there that beof the theatre. I will say it appeared that everyone had a
wonderful time.

Ghost hunting with lieve that you are unable to capture any true evidence or footage with a large number of

To that I would have to say it all depends. First key is the location that you select and know that it is active.
You also want to make sure that it is a pleasant environment so that you do not scare anyone. Human spirits,
for whatever reason, seem to enjoy the attention. You will also find that the “Kill them with kindness” technique
is more effective than provoking them.

Once a location is selected, CVAPI members meet to execute the plan for the evening. It is very important to
the team that the public is active participants and that they are not there to “watch” us investigate. With that
said, you also have to be respectful that you are not taking someone out of their comfort zone when they have
never done this before. Next on the agenda, is to make sure that all that attend, get to investigate the location in
its entirety.

Public investigations have proven to be very successful for us. Even though EVP’s (Electronic Voice
Phenomenon) are hard to analyze in a large group. Backed with video it is possible. Working in groups that are
structured, with trained investigators, gives everyone an equal opportunity to have an experience, verses
opening for a free for all.
The weather at The Byrd that evening proved to be cold and raining. This honestly left us to question what kind
of turn out that we could expect. We were pleasantly surprised. From Patriot Auto Sales in Hopewell,
employees of Outback Steak House in Colonial Heights, residents of Amelia County, students from University
of Richmond, and VCU, just to name a few. The crowd was ready to investigate!

Combined were skeptics, believers, the ones that were undecided, and some that were a little scared of what
they may find. Although on location, we can briefly describe what we do, how the equipment operates, and
what we are looking for, it was nice to see everyone jump right in. At the end of the evening, it was wonderful
to see the buzz about their audio recordings, photos they had taken, and their general excitement.

All in all, this was a great combination, paranormal enthusiasts with the spirited history of The Byrd, and the
willingness to support a local landmark. I was surprised to learn how many had never been into the Theatre,
even though it has been around since 1928. We are certainly hoping that they all plan to return!
This is not the first investigation that CVAPI has hosted, and we certainly hope that it will not be our last. Keep
an eye on our websites at and as we gather evidence from
this recent adventure. We will arrange for a public meeting to discuss the evening’s events for those who
attended, and for those who have a general curiosity. Where will we meet? At that “Local Chesterfield
Restaurant” that many of you have come to know!

© 2009-2019 Jackie Tomlin..  October 2009
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