By Jackson Taylor, News Editor
On Oct. 24, the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Paranormal Society hosted its fourth annual summit, bringing together Nebraska’s top paranormal investigative and research teams. With Halloween right around the corner, the event was a well-timed conference with a focus on paranormal activity in Nebraska, particularly on UNO’s campus.
The event will be dedicated to the late local paranormal investigator Carl Norgard, co-founder of PRISM. He took over as director of PRISM in 2006, leading the group in many paranormal investigations. Norgard passed away a few weeks ago, but his dream was to bring all of the paranormal groups in Nebraska together.
“Carl was a wonderful guy, and he will be missed,” said John Powers, cofounder of the UNO Paranormal Society.
Many members of paranormal teams noted they believed Norgard was present at the summit, watching over them.
“He truly was a gentle giant,” said psychic speaker Andy Myers. “I know he’s here in spirit.”
Carl’s daughter, Kelly, has since taken over as director. Her team did a focus investigation of the Villisca Ax Murder House in Iowa. In 1912, eight people, six of them children, were murdered in the house. Kelly and her team captured several EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) in which one can hear children asking for help.
From 6 to 10 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom, doors were open for the general public and UNO students to witness the conference on paranormal activity.
“The purpose of UNO Paranormal Society is to look at the logical, scientific and rational explanations of the paranormal phenomenon,” said Dave Pares, professor of geography and meteorology and faculty advisory for the UNO Paranormal Society.
The event was comprised of presentations from the UNO Paranormal Society, Paranormal Nebraska Research Group (NRG), Heartland Paranormal Research Group, Paranormal Research and Investigative Studies Midwest (PRISM), Nebraska Paranormal Society (NPS), Omaha Research Beyond the Supernatural (ORBS) and Psychic Andy.
Lisa Reda, founder of Paranormal NRG, had some advice for those who believe their room or house is haunted.
“The first thing you should do is take a digital recorder and try to capture some evidence. If you hear some voices that aren’t yours, someone might be trying to talk to you,” Reda said.
The event featured a raffle with prizes to encourage interest in paranormal investigation like a Tri-Field Meter and K-2 Meter, both gadgets that are used in ghost hunting. Other prizes included a trip for two to the Villisca Ax Murder House, a free Tarot reading and gift baskets with horror movies. The proceeds from the raffle went to a local food bank and the Nebraska Humane Society.
After the presentations and raffle, attendees were given the opportunity to follow a team around the UNO campus for a ghost hunt in the dark. “This campus is very haunted,” said John Powers, as he led a group of attendees on a hunt.
The UNO Paranormal Society primary plans and executes investigations in Nebraska and Iowa. Some of their recent investigations were at the Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs, the Josyln Castle in Omaha and Edinburgh Manor in Scotch Grove, Iowa. They also frequently investigate paranormal activity on UNO’s campus.
They tend to find the most phenomena inside the Arts and Sciences Hall (ASH). The UNO Paranormal Society believes the haunted activity inside ASH is coming from the ghost of Carolyn Nevins. On December 9, 1955, Omaha University student Carolyn Nevins was murdered outside of ASH while waiting for the bus. It resulted in one of the biggest manhunts in Omaha Police Department history.
Since then, the case has become cold but Nevin’s spirit is said to live on throughout the halls of ASH. The UNO Paranormal Society has even claimed to have heard her voice while investigating. The society lives by one quote from Stuart Chase: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof exists.”
If looking to get involved in the UNO Paranormal Society, the group meets every week in room 285 at the Durham Science Center from 12 to 2 p.m. for the fall semester. The UNO Paranormal Society can be contacted by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.