“I had my first experience with ‘the unexplained’ when I was 10,” says nail tech and paranormal investigator Diane Fife. “It changed my life. I wanted answers to the questions I had about what I experienced.” As an investigator or “ghost hunter,” it’s Fife’s job to document proof of the paranormal and help anyone who might be affected by it. “Both ghost hunters and paranormal investigators will try and do the best they can to help a family if they feel threatened by paranormal activity,” says Fife, owner of Hair, Nails & Toes in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. “In many cases the investigators are able to debunk the activity and find a normal or scientific reason for it happening. Their main mission is to put the people who are affected at ease.
“Ghost hunters will usually try to learn as much as possible about the person when he or she was living and use this information to help make contact. They use tools like cameras and audio recorders to try and document proof. Ghost hunters will usually try to stake out the precise locations where spirits have been observed and attempt to make contact by talking to the person as if he or she was still alive. They may get lucky enough to capture something called an EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomenon on audio recordings.”
Fife had her most significant experience at an old hospital in southern Tennessee that had shut down in the late ’90s. “There was a rumor that some children’s spirits remained there,” she says. After the investigators read a story aloud, they asked some questions about it. “I wanted to document the session, so I started my voice recorder. I had positive responses from little voices,” she says. “This was far too quiet for human ears to hear on a normal basis, but the recorder picked up something below our range of hearing. They answered everything correctly! For me, the responses and technique were life-changing. I have to admit it was one of the most profound experiences and pieces of evidence I have ever captured.”