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Mountain Home Magazine

Who Will You Call?

Oct 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Gayle Morrow

Some people do, some people don’t. Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy et al. are heading into the haunted forest? It’s a creepy place, for sure, and the flying monkeys haven’t even arrived yet.

“I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I do...” intones the Cowardly Lion, twisting his tail in anguish, perhaps hoping that acknowledging said spooks might somehow mitigate their behavior. Alas.

So—do you believe? Dale Rumsey does. And he’s out and about looking for them, with some success, he says—mostly in local cemeteries but hoping to soon be finding spirits and ghosts in a home near you. Perhaps yours.

What would make a regular Tioga County guy buy equipment—dowsing rods, various types of meters, something called a ghost box—and then go wandering around cemeteries, hoping to encounter something or someone otherworldly? Dale, who lives with a nice wife in a nice house (that is probably not haunted, but could certainly entertain ethereal passers-by), a pool in the backyard, and a genial man cave that is part classic rock and part X-Files, has a simple explanation. His sister died in 1969 in a bad car accident, and, well...

“I want to be able to talk to her. I wanted to find out what happens after you die.”

And has he found out?


But he’s trying.

Dale is a fan of paranormal reality-type TV shows such as Haunted Hospitals, Ghost Hunters, Paranormal Lockdown, Ghost Adventures, and Haunted. In 2018 he acquired his first two pieces of equipment—a spirit box and a small recorder. A spirit box, also known as a ghost box or Frank’s Box (named for creator Frank Sumption), cycles through FM radio frequencies. The resulting white noise of that scanning activity is allegedly a means for spirits to communicate with us. You pose a question, then hope for a break in the scanning to hear some kind of intelligible response. If there is nothing, you might assume the location has no spirit activity or that the spirits who may be present can’t, or don’t want to, respond.

“I’ve never really talked to a ghost yet,” Dale says.

He’s had more success with seeing and feeling things, however. His first ghost-hunting gig was right before covid showed up. He went to the cemetery in Fall Brook, which seems to be a fairly active site for paranormal happenings, although not much went on during that first visit. The second time, however, he took his daughter with him. She reported feeling someone’s finger in her ear; the spectral wet willy provider then moved on to Dale. Go figure. Dale has no explanation for what happened, he just knows it did.

Another time at Fall Brook, Dale was using the Ovilus, a speech-synthesis device that uses electronic sensors to detect changes in the electromagnetic field. Paranormal activity reportedly creates the kind of changes that an Ovilus, or other similar device, could detect. What the Ovilus then does is show a word on its display screen and give an audible version of that word. The words can seem random, or can give the paranormal investigator insight into the current situation. In Dale’s man cave, for instance, with the Ovilus on, series of words appeared over the course of a couple of hours. One of them was “gateway.” Gateway to what? The Ovilus does not elaborate.

But, on that visit to Fall Brook, the words indicated “kids” and “walking.” Otherworldly children? No, it turned out to be actual people. But, says Dale, “that’s when it made me believe in it.”

Other equipment, like meters measuring EMF and ELF—electromagnetic field and extremely low frequency, respectively—are valued by some ghost hunters and disparaged by others, as they can give a false reading around power lines, fuse boxes, and home electronics. You have to know your equipment and your surroundings. Dale and a helper were again at the Fall Brook cemetery (Fall Brook is a ghost town, after all), using an EMF meter. The meter lit up, indicating—something—and the helper reported feeling a hand holding hers. And there was the time one of Dale’s co-investigators experienced the feeling of someone holding on to her arm. And, after leaving the cemetery during that same visit, she discovered her newly charged smart watch was drained of power. Hmmm.

Dale also frequents the cemetery in Ansonia. A trip in 2022 resulted in a video of a child running between the trees (the brief video does seem to show something running). On a more recent visit, his phone, placed on the top of a gravestone, inexplicably flew off its perch. He’s taken pictures at other sites that show things you don’t see with your naked eyes. One particularly unnerving shot depicts what looks like the face of a demon—at least what some of us might imagine a demon to look like—in the flames of a bonfire. Eeewww.

So, if someone calls with a request for a paranormal investigation, what’s the process? Dale will initially try to determine the basic and obvious: “What’s going on?”

“The first thing you’d try to do is de-bunk it,” he says. “People try to fake stuff. I don’t want to fake anything.”

He will then find out how the people involved are feeling. If it’s demons they’re dealing with, that can be scary, Dale acknowledges, but adds he hasn’t found anything scary about the ghosts he’s encountered.

“I don’t do exorcisms,” he says. He suggests turning to the appropriate holy person of your particular faith if an exorcism is necessary.

He would then use his EMF meter, the Ovilus, and other detection devices to determine what, if anything, might be present—it could be a shadow person, a spirit/ghost, a poltergeist, or a demon.

“They’ll give an indication if something is here,” he says. Then he’ll get his cameras and recorders at the ready, and, with luck and a cooperative apparition, will get a photo or a sound.

No need to ask the question about who you’ll call for assistance with an otherworldly visitor. You can reach Dale at (570) 439-4748 to schedule a visit.

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