From Sidelines Online:
Investigating the paranormal has become a popular hobby in the last decade. Shows like “Supernatural” and “Ghost Hunters” are entertaining to some viewers, but don’t exactly portray the real organizations and groups that investigate abnormal activities at historic landmarks.
Even though genuine groups are scarce in Tennessee, there is one group called the Tennessee Ghost Hunters that has been around for 13 years. Joanne Shelton, a day care director, says she founded the Tennessee Ghost Hunters after her daughter began college.
“I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, and my daughter just started college and we needed to get a computer, so the first thing I looked up was ghost hunting,” Shelton says. “There were about three groups in Tennessee, [and] I e-mailed all of them and only one replied back.
“He was this man from Hermitage and this was when this was just starting to get popular. He was mostly interested in the angel aspect of it and was about to move, so he turned it over to me.”
The group began going to places that were public, Shelton says, but then started looking at places on the Internet that were expected to have ghosts.
“We even went to out-of-state places like the Myrtle twice, which is in Louisiana,” Shelton says. “It is supposed to be the most haunted home in the United States. We’ve been to Gettysburg Battlefield, which is very haunted because so many deaths occurred there.
“We would go to the old Tennessee Prison, which was one of my favorite investigations. Once you get started, they [customers and locations] come to you, and you don’t have to seek places out.”
Shelton says that she has heard of instances where shows exploring haunted places tend to embellish and add their own effects instead of obtaining real evidence.
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