The Student Programs Council Ideas and Issues Committee hosted one of its more unique guests last Thursday when Loyd Aurebach, the Director of the Office of Paranormal Investigation visited Tech.
Students came to hear Aurebach speak about his experiences in hunting and investigating ghosts, apparitions, and hauntings. He first became interested in paranormal investigation when he was five years old.
“Too many wrong TV shows and comic books did it for me,” Aurebach said. “I became really interested in the field and joined a Parapsychology club while in high school. I’ve been investigating hauntings since I entered graduate school in 1979.”
Aurebach defines the term “ghost” as the survival of bodily death.
According to him, people stay behind as ghosts for different reasons. Some may have unfinished business to attend to, some may be in denial of their death, some may be afraid and some may be really attached to people.
“Every person is different. I don’t think we should fear them, though. Usually physical harm only occurs from one’s own fear,” Aurebach said while recalling the story of a family who had been haunted by a ghost.
In one incident, the father ran straight into the wall and knocked himself out after sighting the ghost at the bottom of the staircase. When he came to, he insisted to his laughing family that the ghost threw him against the wall.
A haunting differs quite significantly from a ghost sighting. The environment is able to “record” memory and then play it back for environmental reasons.
For instance, Aurebach’s most notable work is that of the haunting of the USS Hornet, a US Navy aircraft carrier used in World War II. Usually, a haunting is very emotional, so the more emotional a memory is, the more likely it is to be played back. Therefore, Aurebach believes that the USS Hornet is haunted because of the particularly tumultuous events of the war.
“We do not really know how the environment is able to record such events,” Aurebach said. “Usually the environment can record events from murder scenes or battle fields. The events are played back and we view them as holograms.”
Not all hauntings are of negative recordings. For example, Aurebach told the story of a couple whose daily ritual was to make love at three in the morning. When they moved out of the house, they left behind a recording of their passion. The couple who moved into the house after them was therefore shocked to be woken every morning promptly at three to shrieks of delight and pleasure.
When asked what the weirdest thing that has happened to him while on the job, Aurebach smiled reminiscently.
In 1991, at the Moss Beach Distillery, a place that has been haunted since the 1930s, Aurebach and several psychics conducted a lengthy investigation of the female ghost haunting the famous bay.
“It was late that night, and I was standing behind the bar, alone…we were all spread out across the restaurant, and suddenly I felt as if I were being walked through. It felt like energy was passing through me. The psychics immediately started laughing because they could see giggly girl just walking right through me. All I could do was stand frozen until she left,” Aurebach said.
Loyd Aurebach is now a professor of Parapsychology at John F. Kennedy University. He is also a consultant for several law firms and TV shows. He has authored several books on the paranormal including A Paranormal Casebook: Ghost Hunting in the New Millennium, Hauntings & Poltergeists: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide, Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate the Paranormal and Mind Over Matter.
Aurebach has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, the History Channel and the Sci-Fi Channel. He has also been on Oprah, Larry King Live and Late Night with David Letterman. Aurebach currently spends much of his time consulting on research and investigations. He has even trained police officers on how to work with psychics. He is optimistic for the future of paranormal investigation and encourages interested students to expand their field of study.
“I always try to encourage new people to come into this field of study because there is incredible evidence supporting these findings. Don’t limit yourself to just ghosts. Look into physics or quantum physics. The more people the better,” Aurebach said.
To learn more about paranormal investigation and lab work, visit www.mindreader.com.