Oregon's capitol city is home base for a new paranormal research operation, and the group is already conducting investigations of potentially haunted locations in the Salem area.

Chris Califf, President of Salem Paranormal, says their team investigated areas of the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday, January 13th, "SPI toured several of the facilities on the grounds where reports of murders and accidental deaths had occurred." The group was accompanied by State Fair representative Wayne Peterson.

Califf says that during their investigation, SPI was informed of an accidental hanging that occurred in a stall located at the horse barn.

He and SPI Vice-President Mike Watson secluded themselves in the stall to snap photos and record any audio evidence. Watson asked a series of standard questions aloud during an "EVP" recording, and Califf snapped photos of the interior of the stall. Aside from unexplained thuds, nothing unusual seemed to occur during the investigation of the stall. Or so it seemed.

After finishing their tour of the State Fairgrounds, the team of SPI returned to base with all of their collected data for further analysis. Califf says they played back of the audio recorded during the session in the stall and detected sounds that they could not explain, "There were several instances of whispered voices, unintelligible whispers and odd noises."

Researchers have been gathering EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) recordings for over a hundred years, though many people are not familiar with the practice. New digital recorders simplify the process of recording these ghost voices through increased sensitivity.

While it is not recognized as official science, solid unexplainable recordings of voices of people who were not present have been taking place according to some sources, since 1901. In the 1950's, the study of EVP again came to light and popularity through the work of Raymond Bayless and Attila von Sealay, who used a microphone located inside a trumpet to record voices of people that could not be detected through the human ear, only electronically.

Califf and Watson maintain that crediblity is of major importance. Ghost researchers always face scrutiny, but those who challenge their own findings and support their work with a critical eye are generally received the best.

Below is a transcription of the audio from their investigation at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, and a link to the audio files online.

SPI does not put forth that the whispered voice heard is that of the victim of the accidental death, nor do they claim it is the voice of a ghost. SPI members Califf and Watson attest to the fact that neither of them were whispering during the recording, the stall doors were closed and no one was within whispering distance of the exterior of the stall during the recording. Also, the transcription is merely a potential interpretation of what is possibly being said, listen for yourself and judge. You will hear a clicking and a beep during the recordings, this is Chris Califf snapping photos of the stall interior. All other mechanical noises are shifts in the recorder position. Any other unaccounted for noises are noted within the transcript.

Select the links below for examples of what the Salem Paranormal team recorded at the state fairgrounds.

Transcription follows:

File: Whole EVP-1 Link to EVP recording #1

Watson: Do you have a message for us or for anyone?

EVP: (whispered) don't (unintelligible whisper) (odd reverb noises) to walk the world is horrible

File: Whole EVP-2 Link to EVP recording #2

Watson: Can you tell us your name?

EVP: Help me, help me up. (Loud noise) (Heavy whisper unintelligible)

File: Whole EVP-3 Link to EVP recording #3

Calif: Is there anything you'd like to say?

EVP: (Unintelligible whispering)

File: Whole EVP-4 Link to EVP recording #4

Watson: Is there any reason you haven't passed on?

EVP: (Unintelligible) you (unintelligible) (unintelligible) all of you (Loud crashing noise)


Califf says the State Fair has been presented with these and other findings based on that evening's investigation and SPI has been invited back to continue their investgation.

Salem Paranormal has a slide show on their Website from the night of the investigation, you can find them on the web at: