By Sam Boykin | Photography by Sam Boykin
Posted: Thursday, Oct. 04, 2012
Shannon Krasel sees dead people. And since moving to Davidson about four years ago, she says shes encountered plenty of spirits and mysterious phenomenon around Lake Norman, including at Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Huntersville, where Krasel and others have photographed ghostly blue figures and recorded whispery voices.
Theres a lot of paranormal activity around Lake Norman, says Krasel, an investigator and geologist with the Charlotte Area Paranormal Society (CAPS), a group of about 20 people that researches reports of ghosts, spirits and hauntings throughout the region.
Krasel says that while growing up in California, she experienced several unexplained, supernatural encounters. One instance occurred when she spent the night at her mother and stepfathers house, where her mother had complained of strange noises and pictures mysteriously falling off the walls.
While Krasel was in bed, what appeared to be a cluster of small lights floated into the room and then just as abruptly floated away. She followed the lights into the living room, where a rocking chair started creaking back and forth on its own. Krasel says she ultimately determined the mysterious presence was her stepfathers first wife, who had passed away in the house about a year earlier.
Krasels interest in the paranormal continued even as she pursued a career in the empirical-based world of science and geology. Not long after she moved to Davidson, she joined CAPS, which Charlottean Tina McSwain founded in 2005. Like Krasel, McSwain says shes always had a profound curiosity in hauntings and paranormal events, particularly after she encountered the ghost of a friend's grandmother.
Armed with gadgets like Geiger counters, electromagnetic field detectors and full-spectrum cameras, McSwain and other CAPS members have investigated more than 150 reports of paranormal activity in the area, including in Cornelius, Huntersville, Davidson and Troutman. McSwain says she cant discuss specifics of the investigations because of confidentiality agreements with the clients. As the CAPS team geologist, Krasel will consult geological maps of the sites they investigate and look for the presence of things like quartz and magnetic ores, which are natural sources and conduits of energy.
McSwain says CAPS averages about one investigation per weekthey give top priority to any case involving scared childrenbut their caseload tends to spike during the Halloween season.
Most of the times its just peoples active imaginations, says McSwain. But every now and then we do encounter paranormal activity thats legitimate. Theres definitely spirits out there.