May 10, 2014 5:08 PM by AP
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - An instructor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette wants to use digital cameras, voice recorders and other equipment to guide students as they delve into the mysteries of the paranormal this summer.
Ghost Hunting 101 is a three-day course the university will offer July 11-13 as part of its continuing education program.
The Advocate reported the class is open to the public but is not for college credit.
Instructor Brad Duplechien said special equipment that measures electromagnetic activity will be used to explore reported hauntings.
"An EMF meter detects any odd levels of electromagnetic energy in the air, which doesn't mean something's there but helps to tell us something strange is happening," said Duplechien, who is founder of a group that investigates and researches paranormal activity across the state.
His group, Louisiana Spirits Paranormal Investigations, was formed in 2005 and is made up of six chapters, including the South Central Chapter.
It has investigated several allegedly haunted locations in Acadiana, including the Grand Opera House in downtown Crowley.
When a group from Louisiana Spirits investigated the Grand Opera House in 2007, they reported electromagentic spikes in a spot on stage where a worker died years ago and captured audio of what was interpreted as a female voice saying, "I can hear," according to report the group prepared on its visit.
"There are several ghosts here," insists Kim Gattle, director of the Grand Opera House. "There's a man, a woman, several children."
Some visitors attest to seeing ghosts at the opera house, which reopened in 2008 after being closed for several decades.
"I've heard a 3- or 4-year-old child one time calling out for its mom," Gattle said.
Louisiana Spirits has conducted at least 500 ghost investigations, and Duplechien offers lectures on his paranormal interests.
The fee for the course at Louisiana-Lafayette is $64.
For this year's investigation. Duplechien said he is considering the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf.
The museum was featured in the first episode of "Deep South Paranormal," a series on the Syfy channel that debuted in April 2013.
Duplechien said the class will begin with a general introduction about how paranormal investigations are done and then will move into "a hands-on investigation" followed by a meeting to analyze and discuss the findings.