Our podcast description says we go off the beaten path to bring you interesting interviews and oh boy… this time we went way off the path.

It’s Halloween, so I decided to explore the intersection of IT and the paranormal. Paranormal researcher Kristy Sumner is here to walk us through the tech that captures apparitions, why spirits love using tech to communicate with us, and some of the best evidence she’s ever uncovered that ghosts are real.

Will this information help you be a better IT leader? Mmmm….doubtful. But hey, sometimes you just have to get your geek on and have some fun. BOO!

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Ghost in the Machine: Interview With Kristy Sumner

Kristy Sumner, Soul Sisters Paranormal
Kristy Sumner, Soul Sisters Paranormal

[02:11] Kristy Sumner is a ghost hunter. She also has a PhD in public affairs and has been a consultant for biometric credentialing and clearances.

[02:45] Everyone on the team at Soul Sisters Paranormal has an advanced degree, and they approach their work with an academic and research-minded background.

[03:04] Kristy and her sisters have always been fascinated with the paranormal. In 2013, a family friend gave them an opportunity to stay the night in the West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia.

[03:53] After a night with voice recorders and digital cameras, they decided to form Soul Sisters Paranormal. They wanted to research the historical components and paranormal claims of locations like this.

[05:04] Now they also use EMF meters, thermal imaging cameras, night vision cameras, and AM/FM radios that have been converted to sweep through those frequencies.

[05:35] An EMF meter is a handheld device that was designed for electricians to find electricity. Paranormal investigators use these to measure energy they believe is the presence of spirits. There’s a green light that turns red when energy is detected.

[07:39] Kristy believes the energy they find had, at one time, a human existence.

[09:12] Thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect cold spots. Spirits manifest by dropping the temperature in their location.

[10:14] The team often also capture audio or video manifestations when the temperature drops.

[10:35] A spirit box is a small AM / FM radio that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s modified with a sweep button that very quickly sweeps through the different frequencies. This creates white noise that the spirits can speak through.

[12:08] Kristy and the team heard clear voices through the spirit box at the Ma Barker house.

[13:23] For example, police were investigating the disappearance of a man’s wife and children in Colorado. As they were reviewing security cam footage with the husband, an image of a fetus and a skull in oil suddenly appeared on screen. In the end, the husband was found guilty of his family’s murders. His wife had been pregnant and he tried to hide the kids’ bodies in oil cans. Paranormal enthusiasts say the video footage was a message from the deceased wife, attempting to point the finger at her husband.

[15:18] Spirits can use the energy of the technology to communicate with us and there’s more and more technology around us every day. Kristy believes that this has enabled more spirits to talk to us but people aren’t paying attention or dismiss what they do hear.

[17:20] Kristy shares a scary story about capturing a video of a shadow figure at Fort Mifflin, a Revolutionary War fort in Philadelphia.

[18:52] At the Old Gilchrist County Jail, every piece of equipment they used validated the other equipment. An SLS camera uses an iPad and an algorithm that shows a stick figure if anything is perceived. They captured several shadow figures and stick figures.

[20:38] At Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Tennessee they captured unexplained footsteps, voices, and rocks hitting the camera. They also captured shadow figures on a subsequent visit.

[22:51] Kristy and the team publish videos to share the history of the sites they explore, as well as the evidence of paranormal activity they find.

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