As Halloween draws nigh, ghosts, ghouls, and goblins are popping up in Grand Rapids front yards. While many see ghosts and spirits as fantasy beings confined to books, films, and wild imaginations, 45 percent of Americans believe that they really exist. Locally, some of those believers report ghostly shenanigans happening in their homes. Reports of unseen forces slamming doors, pacing, moving items around, and spooking pets are no surprise to Tabetha Ezinga. As the founder of a new Wyoming nonprofit, Dauntless Paranormal Investigations, she has heard it all — and then some.
“We’ve done home investigations, gone to cemeteries — no businesses yet but we are open to it,” she says. “I went to Elks Lodge in Grand Haven with G.R.A.S.P.P. Paranormal Investigations.”
Tabetha ElzingaThrillist.com lists the Lodge as one of Michigan’s most haunted places. G.R.A.S.P.P. uses the location as a training site. Ezinga started out as one of its students.
“I’ve always been interested in the paranormal,” she says. “As a teen, I sneaked into abandoned buildings. My best friend wanted to know what happens when we die. This was one of the ways we thought we could look into that.”
Since opening in July 2019, Dauntless Paranormal has completed two home investigations. According to Ezinga, one definitely had a spirit living there; the other didn’t. She and her volunteer team use a variety of equipment to detect and record the presence of ghostly entities: specialized cameras and recorders; a spirit box, which searches radio frequencies to detect spirit communication; and electromagnetic field (EMF) mirrors. Ezinga explains that these devices help the team provide proof of a paranormal world.
“At the first home, we confirmed that there was something there. We had a pretty good time taking pictures. We may be going back in November. That’s when the homeowners reported that activity is highest. They have had cupboards and doors opening, a ring bend, heard noises, and had things move,” Ezinga says. “At the second home, we confirmed that there was nothing, just a lot of electricity going through the house, so the dog was always barking — it made her nervous. We told them to call an electrician.”
Unlike the Ghostbusters, Dauntless Paranormal does not offer spirit removal services. While they might suggest burning plant material, like sage, to energetically cleanse the space, they advise clients to enlist help from a priest or other paranormal professional to persuade spirits to move on. For protection, Ezinga wears a black tourmaline necklace and brings other stones and crystals along. When she encounters a spirit, her fear turns quickly to excitement.
“For the people we’ve done it for, it’s exciting for them,” Ezinga says. “People who call on us are open to the idea and it’s fascinating to them to watch us do our thing.”
Written by Estelle Slootmaker, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy Dauntless Paranormal Investigations