Who are you?
My name is Kevin Ranoldo. I am the Director of the NJ Society for Paranormal Research. We are based in Southern NJ and service all of the tri-state area of NJ, PA and DE. We also have a division in York, PA operated by our PA Director, Karl Weinke. Our group currently has five full time members. Myself, my wife and co-director Melissa, our PA Director Karl Weinke, and two investigators named Steven Losier and Frank Baum
Explain your Methodology?
Our investigations are focused on finding logical and/or natural explanations to claims of paranormal activity. We collect evidence through scientific means using state-of-the-art equipment. We also seek to evaluate evidence of the paranormal, when it is found, in such a way as to make it presentable to the scientific community in an effort to turn those in the mainstream scientific field to the validity of paranormal research.
My personal favorite haunted locations would have to be the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, NJ and the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Both are full of history as well as some pretty famous ghosts as well. Haven’t had the opportunity to investigate either yet. Hopefully in the future. The Stanley Hotel is the one place I have to investigate before I die. Something about the idea that Stephen King got freaked out by ghosts there just makes it all the more intense.
Wow! Where to start? I’ve had them a lot throughout my life. The one that stands out is when I was visiting a friend and I say two full bodied apparitions dressed in 18th century clothing walk past the doorway between the dining room and the living room. I was spending the night there and had just decided to crash for the night. I wasn’t fully asleep yet but as I lay there on the couch, I saw these two figures, a man and a woman, walk by the doorway.
The second one happened at my in-law’s house. My wife and I were not married yet. We were house sitting for friends of ours and we had stopped back at my wife’s house to get some stuff. We walked in and the atmosphere was just real heavy. No one was home. Her parent’s house has always been active. As we were leaving I looked at the house and every light in the upstairs of the house was flickering on and off as if someone was in each room turning the lights on and off. No other house on the street was experiencing it and it was only the lights on the upper floor. My wife witnessed the event as well. Of course I did not have my mini DV to record it. Now I travel with one everywhere I go.
Why was the group was formed?
The main reason NJSPR was formed was to help people being victimized by paranormal phenomena in their home. When my wife and I were both young we each had separate experiences in our lives and the one thing we never had was someone who could give us answers and help. We both suffered with adults telling us it was all in our heads and it wasn’t real, when we both knew it was really happening. Those experiences drove us to create NJSPR, so that we could help others who, like us, have experienced frightening things in their home they cannot understand. H.P. Lovecraft once wrote, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” At NJSPR we believe if we can provide information and evidence to put a name or a face on the unknown, it removes a lot of the fear and gives people the power to deal with it and take back their home.
We are currently engaging in a recruitment campaign. We are looking for anyone who is interested in joining our group as investigators. We have a great core group of five people who are dedicated to the world of paranormal research and investigation, but we need more. Anyone who is interested in joining us can email me directly at [email protected].
Strongest Evidence with link to it?
Our strongest evidence was gathered during a private home investigation about two years ago. It is a photograph of what appears to be the face of a demonic entity peering out of a window of a home. The photograph was taken from the outside of the house during the middle part of the afternoon on a very sunny day in August of 2009. The photograph has been analyzed by three separate professionals including one from Rowan University. All three have been unable to explain what was captured in the window. The photograph can be viewed at our website, www.njspr.org, under the NJSPR EVIDENCE page.
What’s your most asked Question by people?
Lol! There are two actually. People who learn I am a paranormal investigator always ask, “Don’t you get scared when you’re in a haunted house?” Truthfully I do not get scared by spirits. They may startle the hell out of me at times, but they do not frighten me.
The second question is one our clients ask us, and it goes to speak directly of the involvement of the media in paranormal investigation. The question is, “How come you guys don’t act like they do on TV?” They go on to say that when they watch paranormal reality shows on TV the people on those shows always jump around and scream and say, “Whoa! What was that?!” and the camera never shows what they see. I smile and simply say to them that the TV shows do that to get viewers and it’s not how the real world of paranormal investigation operates.
I think a lot of investigators would probably say Eastern State Penn, but mine is a little different. I have already stated that I’d love to investigate the Stanley Hotel, but the one place I would love to investigate more than any other, though I doubt it would ever happen, would be the White House. So many people have seen and experienced things that cannot be explained in this incredible home that to be the first paranormal team to investigate it would be an honor and a privilege. Like I said, I doubt it will happen, but I can dream, can’t I?
Do you think that paranormal shows gives groups like you a bad reputation?
Yes, I do. The problem with shows like these is two-fold. First of all, anyone who is filmed for a TV show gets paid. They have to be, it’s a legal thing. Most paranormal groups, ones that don’t have a 501-C3 non-profit designation anyway, are financed by members of the team. My group is. Anytime you have a major cable company throwing large sums of money, real estate, equipment and a dedicated fan base at them, they begin to lose sight of the real objective of this job. This job should be about helping people, not getting paid.
The second problem with shows like this is they only showcase the investigations on TV where something dramatic is found or recorded. As anyone in the field knows, a group like us can go to a hundred homes or businesses and maybe get one or two where paranormal activity is actually recorded. Seeing every week on TV episodes where the team finds evidence all the time leads to a false impression about the investigation process. When we go into a home and not find evidence of the paranormal, the home owner may get frustrated and think we didn’t do a proper job simply because they saw on TV that they always find something. If they are truly frustrated and frightened by what they believe is in their home they may say something like, “They always find stuff on TV.”
Tell us a strange but true fact about your group?
I don’t know if this qualifies but we specialize in debunking local urban legends. Living in NJ there is no shortage of them. Everything from the Atco Ghost in Atco, NJ to the Gates of Hell in Clinton, NJ. These areas of the public domain are plagued by teenagers and thrill-seekers who flock there because the local community has told these stories about ghosts and devil worshipers that wander the streets of their town. We as investigators specialize in debunking these urban legends in an effort to dispel the hunger of teenagers from engaging in dangerous behavior that could get them in trouble with law enforcement. It is an area of the paranormal that many groups do not focus on. NJSPR believes it is one that should be.