Ghost hunter investigates campus haunts

By Wilson Criscione, News Writer


Photo by Sam Sargeant Ghost Hunter Ross Allison gave a presentation about the paranormal in the PUB MPR on Nov.1.
Photo by Sam Sargeant
Ghost Hunter Ross Allison gave a presentation about the paranormal in the PUB MPR on Nov.1.


On the night of Nov. 1, a crowd of students led by Ross Allison, a paranormal investigator, gathered in the dark of Showalter auditorium, searching for ghosts.

Equipped with a thermal detector, recording devices, electromagnetic field detectors, dowsing rods (metal rods used to sense a hidden presence) and even a compass, Allison and his team of EWU students scanned the auditorium for any sign of paranormal activity.

Students without instruments asked the room questions in hopes of eliciting a paranormal response.

The ghost hunt took place after a lecture from Allison. This was Allison’s second trip to EWU. In 2011, he led a similar ghost hunt through Streeter, Dryden and Showalter halls.

“He was the one who found concrete evidence about the hauntings on campus,” said Anna Ratcliff, a sophomore at EWU.

The previous ghost hunt conjured up paranormal activity in Streeter, according to Katie Rousso, chairperson for Eagle Entertainment. Students at the event hoped to find more evidence of the paranormal on campus.

In Showalter, Allison found unexplained cold spots with his thermal detector in the auditorium. The dowsing rods frequently crossed when students asked a question.

An electromagnetic field detector spiked to red after a student asked, “Do you want us to leave?”

Rumors of hauntings in Showalter have made their way around the student-body over the years.

In 1891, The Benjamin P. Cheney academic building burned down from unknown causes, and the administration building that was rebuilt burned down again in 1912, according to

Showalter Hall was erected at the site in 1915. The legend is that a little girl who was trapped in one of the fires now haunts the auditorium.

Allison has been researching the paranormal for over 25 years, and says he has been on over 500 paranormal expeditions. He travels to college campuses, like EWU, across the nation for ghost hunts and to lecture on “Ghostology 101.”

“My goal, with anything, is to at least open minds to the idea that ghosts could exist,” Allison said.

He says it is important to investigate the paranormal with an open mind, but also with a fair share of skepticism.

“Right now, because of the popularity of ghost hunting, people are just popping up left and right claiming to be ghost hunters and they’re just imitating what they see on TV,” Allison said. “I want to focus on more of a scientific basis of an investigation.”

Devon Young, marketing coordinator for Eagle Entertainment who attended the ghost hunt, is still unsure if he believes in ghosts.

“I have not been compelled by evidence on either side,” Young said.

According to a recent non-scientific poll done by the Huffington Post, 45 percent of Americans believe in ghosts.

“The interest in ghosts is continuing to grow,” Allison said.

Dr. William Williams, a psychology professor at EWU, suggests that a belief in ghosts may have begun as a human survival tool.

“Being afraid of what you can’t see in the dark—you know, something invisible, is an adaptation that enhances survival,” Williams said. “That is true even if there are no ghosts to be afraid of.”

Allison would encourage the non-believers to go on an investigation themselves.

“Everyone has their own opinion,” he said. “You have to experience it for yourself.”

He urged students to listen to their audio recordings of the ghost hunt for any signs of electronic voice phenomena activity, and to continue to investigate on their own. But he says it is important to educate yourself first, in order to better determine what is real and what is fake.

“The investigation is not over,” Allison said.