Paranormal investigator/ghost hunter Barry Pirro will present “Ghost Hunting 101” October 22 at 6:30 at the Rye Free Reading Room.
By Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Paranormal investigator/ghost hunter Barry Pirro will present “Ghost Hunting 101” October 22 at 6:30 at the Rye Free Reading Room. This is a first-of-its-kind presentation for Rye and a perfect opportunity for those who have experienced the unexplained and are believers; it promises to be especially fascinating for skeptics. While this event was arranged by Teen librarian Bettyjane Surabian, adults are welcome. The universal growing popularity of this topic is expected to attract all ages.
With so many historic and centuries-old properties in Rye, surely, someone in the neighborhood needs some unexplainable occurrence explained.
Pirro specializes in electronically capturing and analyzing preternatural vocal data. Warning: that’s ghost voices or EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), and he’ll be playing some of those recordings at the Rye library. He has since started his own paranormal investigation service and conducts investigations in New York and Connecticut. He also teaches classes and lectures at Synchronicity Healing Center in Brewster.
“My ghost hunting started when I was about 12,” Pirro says. He grew up in a haunted house in Tarrytown, and remembers, “Even back then, I said something is there, and I want to capture this.” He has been a paranormal investigator for over ten years having got his start when O’Donnell and Darby asked if he would be interested in handling the technical recording for their investigations. “They taught me everything I know about ghost hunting.” Now he is a one-man task force when it comes to hunting down the invisible. Pirro combines his scientific analysis skills with his own heightened paranormal intuitiveness.
“A paranormal investigation is not about the equipment you see used in TV ghost hunting shows. Equipment has its place, but it’s really about what you personally experience during the investigation,” Pirro explains. “There are particular physical sensations you get when you are in a haunted house, areas that feel off or make you feel ill. Names pop into your head for no reason. You experience sudden pains in parts of your body, or you suddenly feel very hot or cold. The tools I use are for the benefit of the homeowner. They corroborate or expand on what my intuition is telling me.” The tools in his “ghost bag” are remarkably low-tech: digital recorder for EVP, EMF (electro-magnetic field) recorder, camera, and a vibration sensor, not unlike what pet owners may use to keep a cat off the couch. Barry not only conducts investigations but also does clearings. “A clearing attempts to rid a house of negative energy and encourages spirits to ‘vacate the premises’. Though it varies, I typically do eight to ten investigations a year. Could be more. It takes a lot for people to contact you for something like this.”
What moves someone to call a ghost hunter? On his site (connecticutghosthunter.com) are a number of stories. Read “This Has Gone On Long Enough.”
Pirro says, “When people are at wits’ end, are experiencing disturbing things, when things have been going on so long or are so strange, they need an explanation. Usually, people call because they’re afraid. When they contact me, I send a yes-or-no questionnaire. Do you hear anything? See anything? Have you been touched? Based on that, I determine if they need me.”
Pirro doesn’t charge a fee for his services, traveling expenses, or time. However, donations are welcome. “You’d be surprised how many people call me to their homes, and I spend hours with them, and then they want to keep their ghost. Maybe having a ghost is a bit of a status symbol now.”
Although October is traditionally thought of as a month filled with ghosts, it’s not necessarily a busy month for paranormal investigations. “There is not a particular season demanding more investigations. However, activity can ramp up at holidays or special times for a family because of the emotional levels, memories, and attachments to those times.” (Salem, Massachusetts, is not necessarily the hot spot.) “Logically, history has a lot to do with a paranormal presence, for example, Gettysburg.”
More people are contacting Pirro these days. “There is definitely more acceptance about this. TV helps. There’s more publicity. Also, I can’t help but think that people see themselves as more spiritual than religious today. That frees them up to seek out other possibilities when things are bad.”
For non-believers? “My job is not to convince people that this is real or not. I put out the impressions and images I get. I give the EVP, collected voices, to the homeowner,” says Pirro.
Interested in ghost hunting? Pirro says, “There are people who will teach you to use the technological equipment, the practices necessary for a valid investigation. Go to lectures. Take classes. I hope to do more classes and lectures like this.”
Barry Pirro’s lecture at the Rye Free Reading Room is a good place to start. Come hear his phenomenal experiences.