We sat in orange, tall-backed chairs that clearly had a history from all the scratches on the wooden arms. The building, originally constructed as a residence by Samuel F. Lee and later an old folk's home, a poor house and hospital. Finally, it turned into a haunted campus for both the believers and skeptics alike to explore.
My friend, Liesel Hill commented on the "old building smell" and had a peculiar feeling in one part of the room. I felt it, too. The meeting went over the science behind that and the reports of others of paranormal activity in Asylum 49.
There are usually three reasons a person gets into the paranormal: to search for scientific evidence, to communicate with the dead or purely for the experience. Seasoned expert Tom Epperley explained he hunts for ghosts just because he loves doing it.
Through the course of the evening Epperley and his team explained Dousing Rods (witch sticks); K2 meters; cell sensors; GA7 meters, Infrared, wildlife, and thermal cameras; Parabolic microphones; RT meters; and other devices. These tools use science both to help debunk the natural, explainable activity as well as to document the paranormal (or unexplainable).
By performing an EMF sweep (Electromagnetic Field check), experts can determine if the energy sensed is man-made or paranormal.
One key point Epperley explained, worth restating, is "when something manifests, it affects the localized field as it draws energy." In other words, paranormal activity affects whatever space it is in through energy, which is both measurable and detectable through science.
Today, there are less skeptics as science is used to document encounters. "The paranormal has become more mainstream...everyone has had a paranormal experience," Epperley concludes.
Joey Thomas explained that she was actually born in this hospital. For her, the building has always held an appeal. She struggled to explain that it's "nothing spectacular," rather it's a "knowing thing." When she comes, it's "creepy because you know there's other things here."
Even before the hospital closed down nine years ago and Asylum 49 began, Thomas felt this place has been different. She explains that any local will tell you various stories which leave everyone curious about it.
If you are a believer, or if you are curious to find out, it's worth taking the drive out to Tooele and experiencing Asylum 49 for yourself. Weekly high-tech ghost hunting tours go on every Friday and Saturday until July, when they start to build up the facade for the haunted house for Halloween.