Searching BSM for the paranormal

Armed with a laser infrared thermometer, EMF detector, and a strong conviction, Gunnar Lundberg takes to BSM's halls in hope of discovering something unusual...

The long hallway barreled down about fifty yards before being met by a split landing. My crew and I made our way down, cautiously watching the Electromagnetic Force (EMF) meter, though its needle remained motionless. Step by step we monitored both temperature and AC currents as we shuffled down the North Building. Steps before reaching the split landing the EMF meter jumped off the charts––were we really alone?

Einstein proved that energy is neither created nor destroyed, so where does our energy go when we die? Is it possible that residual energy simply inhabits this earth in another form? Now I’m not crazy, just curious. I believe that I have felt a presence during times in my life, and I’ve seen things happen that I can’t explain, but hardly enough to make me a die-hard believer in the existence of the supernatural. It’s quite possible that there are spirits here with us, and it’s also possible that there aren’t. I’m not here to debunk or validate anyone’s experiences, just to share mine.

It all started on my eighteenth birthday, when my parents bought me eighteen one-dollar scratch offs, and I ended up winning $100. Instead of saving the money, I decided to invest it––in ghost hunting supplies: EMF meter- $19.99, Audio recorder- $18.99, Laser Infrared Thermometer- $14.88, the look on my mom’s face when she saw how I spent my lottery winnings––priceless.

There are only several basic things one needs to know about how ghost-hunting equipment works: the EMF meter will blink red and make noise when it detects electric alternating currents (AC). AC Electric Currents can be caused by exposed power lines, circuit breakers, certain electronic devices, and, according to some, ghosts. The infrared thermometer is used to measure dips in temperature that may be caused by a supernatural presence. After toying around with the equipment at my house, it dawned on me that there was one place I had to test for ghosts––BSM.

My editor was skeptical at first, and rightfully so, as I had proposed to do a non-humorous, and somewhat serious piece on the possible existence of ghosts at BSM. She reminded me that the Knight Errant was not The Onion, and that we strive to publish thoughtful, provoking, and––most importantly––informative articles. I assured her that my article would be all of those, and after some gentle prodding, she reluctantly agreed to give me a chance, and even try her own hand in ghost hunting.

I assembled a crew of fearless, courageous, and somewhat willing ghost hunters. We began our hunt on a Tuesday, immediately after school. We debriefed and discussed possible haunted areas of the school; the basement, theater, and North Building seemed like our best bets.

We set off down the freshman hallway and decided to stop and ask Theology teacher Ms. Meagher if she’d ever experienced any paranormal happenings at BSM. Although she seemed interested in our venture, and admitted her possible belief in the supernatural, she was only able to point us in the direction of Campus Minister, and beloved faculty member, Mr. J.

We walked into Mr. J’s office and asked if he had ever experienced any supernatural occurrences at BSM. He recounted a specific night in the 70s when he felt an unusually cold and eerie draft in the main hallway late at night, but that could easily be chalked up to BSM’s unreliable furnaces. He did, however, have some ideas as to where in the building might possibly be haunted. As it turns out, BSM has had two previous chapel locations: one in the North Building, room 202, and one in the basement, room 20. Mr. J, intrigued by our equipment and questions, offered to take us to room 20.

Pullquote Photo

The EMF meter jumped once suddenly in the middle of the room causing us all to shriek, and it beeped continuously by the wall where the altar had been. ”

— Gunnar Lundberg

We drew quizzical looks from other students and staff as we marched through the commons  on our way to the basement. As we stood outside room 20, none of our equipment went off. Disappointed but not discouraged, we parted ways with Mr. J, and continued to sweep the rest of BSM’s underground. The crew’s morale took a plunge, as nothing unusual registered  but we regathered our spirits and headed off to the other site of a former chapel, the North Building room 202.

Perimeter sweeps of the North Building resulted in little activity, other than the previously mentioned jump in the EMF meter before the split stair landing and to our dismay, room 202, BSM’s original chapel, was locked. Much like a desert mirage, Ms. Meagher appeared in our moment of need. She eagerly unlocked the room for us and stayed to see if we found anything. Spoiler alert–––we did.

The raised platform for the altar had been ripped away, and the priest’s sacristy had long since been converted into a closet. The EMF meter jumped once suddenly in the middle of the room causing us all to shriek, and it beeped continuously by the wall where the altar had been. Needless to say, we were freaked out. Infrared thermometer readings were hard to validate, as the temperature fluctuated seven degrees from the cold exterior and warm interior walls of the room. If BSM truly is haunted, room 202 is definitely the hotspot for paranormal activity.

We swept other places we thought would be haunted: the photo dark room, the tabernacle in the chapel, the old Benilde and St. Margaret’s artifacts in the main hall, the theater department’s prop room as well as the catwalk and gallery, even the real human bones in Mr. Porisch’s room. Much to our dismay, all of these locations failed to produce any significant EMF or temperature readings.

I took my findings and set out to write a thoughtful, provoking, and informative article on the paranormal at BSM. So there’s the data, the only concrete evidence we can gather about the spirits that walk these halls. I remain a believer, even if the results proved to be inconclusive.  After all, if BSM’s taught me anything, it’s to have faith in what you believe.