Saturday, September 16, 2006
BY ELLEN LYONOf The Patriot-News
Every time Kelly Weaver of Lower Allen Twp. tried to look at photos of a supposedly haunted house, she said she would get a violent headache.
The photos had been sent by paranormal investigator and ghost hunter Doris "Dusty" Smith of Daytona Beach, who was trying to help a family terrorized by strange sightings in their 3-bedroom ranch house in central Florida.
They had seen ghosts and heard inexplicable noises on the roof of the house, which was surrounded by a heavy mist, according to Weaver, a self-described psychic.
When Weaver, who received no payment for her work on the case, forced herself to look at the photos she said she contacted Smith "right away and said this place is evil. ... It was just negative. It wasn't your typical earthbound spirit, someone who didn't make it to the other side.
"I just said 'get out. They need to get out of the house,'" recalled Weaver, who considers herself both a medium -- one who communicates with the spirit world -- and a psychic -- one who can read the energy around people.
Smith, who has written a book about the case called "Dread and the Dead Filled the Dunnam House," said the family eventually fled the place that Weaver told her was "a sewer of nasty energy."
The three-year-old case, including Weaver's role in it, will be profiled on an episode of the Discovery Network series "A Haunting," tentatively scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Sept. 28.
The show is among several TV series that portray mediums and psychics. A Harris Poll conducted in November found that 40 percent of American adults believe in ghosts.
Theorists had expected interest in psychic phenomenon and the spiritual realm to wane with the industrial revolution and the rise of the age of reason, said Simon Bronner, distinguished professor of American Studies and Folklore at Penn State University.
"It didn't go away. If anything there were signs it became more appealing [because] there's more uncertainty created by reason," Bronner said.
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