When Bruce Cline is not working night shifts at Carbondale Memorial Hospital, he occasionally hunts ghosts.
Cline, the founder of The Little Egypt Ghost Society, said while investigating old areas on campus and collections of old newspaper archives, he found evidence suggesting life from the beyond in Carbondale.
But people should not be alarmed, he said, The Little Egypt Ghost Society has not encountered any dangerous ghost activity in southern Illinois — yet.
There are signs of paranormal activity in Carbondale including the Hundley House, Shryock Auditorium and Oakland Cemetery, Cline said.
Kale Meggs, another member of the organization, recalled hunting ghosts with Cline and a troop of Girl Scouts in Shryock Auditorium.
Meggs said he was demonstrating electronic voice phenomenon — using a device such as a tape recorder to pick up electronically generated speech — to some Girl Scouts when a door slammed shut unexpectedly.
“It was a door that had been locked shut, and was blocked off for construction,” he said. “(Cline and I) heard this loud slam and we ran over there. We knew it was a door slamming. It opened by itself and it slammed shut.”
Meggs said no one was by the door when it happened, and Cline also saw someone sitting on a chair through a window. When he looked back at the chair, there was no one there.
Cline said the Shryock Auditorium experience was weird, but investigating Oakland Cemetery with a voice recorder was just as scary. The cemetery was extremely “alive” with paranormal activity, he said.
Cline said when he arrived on the scene Meggs began taking photos, talking and recording audio. When he played the voice recorder back, he heard voices not present when he initially recorded.
Meggs said tape recorder use is his most reliable way to detect signs of paranormal activity when he goes on ghost hunts. The human ear cannot detect sound emitted by ghosts, but a tape recorder can, Meggs said. If there is a voice speaking below 20 hertz, which is lower than the human ear can detect, on the tape recorder, he said it must be a paranormal life form.
Meggs said a voice lower than 20 hertz responded to his questions in a resident’s home during a ghost hunt. The experience left him believing ghosts exist.
“There is no scientific explanation for (voices on the recording),” he said. “That to me is the biggest proof of paranormal activity, and that has happened quite a bit during a lot of our investigations.”
Cline said he prefers using another device to find signs of paranormal activity. The electromagnetic field, which detects any electrical charges on objects and humans, is a device Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab, used to find signs of ghosts at the Hundley House, he said.
Since the mysterious death of J.C. and Luella Hundley in 1928, it has been said that the Hundley House is haunted. Cline said producers from Ghost Lab invited him to come along on the ghost hunt to investigate the old house.
He said during the investigation, the device picked up electrically-charged energy from unseen objects and the crew experienced flickering lights.
“If you find an energy that’s out in the middle of a room or out in a yard or something and it’s moving on you, that’s not natural electromagnetic field (readings),” he said. “That very well can be paranormal.”
While Cline and Meggs said they believe in the evidence gained from their investigations, Scott Thorne, owner of Castle Perilous, said he believes there is something strange out there, but does not know if there is sufficient evidence to indicate it is a ghost.
Thorne said he hasn’t had any encounters with ghosts, but said he does believe there is something out there based off history recorded in the books “Weird Egypt” and “Legends and Lore of Southern Illinois.”
Although, Thorne has helped Cline set up events at Castle Perilous for The Little Egypt Ghost Society, he said more scientific research needs to be done before he is willing to call what Cline and Meggs are experiencing ghosts.