LANCASTER, OHIO -- A team of investigators gathered around the back door of Tammi Jo's Cafe hoping to uncover the source of mysterious, paranormal activity.
The Ohio Paranormal Seekers group, T.O.P.S., spent the early morning hours Saturday carefully combing through Westerman's Tuxedo Junction, Tammi Jo's Café and the Paperback Exchange in search of the source of paranormal activity.
Using specialized equipment including gadgets designed to detect abnormal electromagnetic fields, thermometers and digital recorders to hopefully catch indistinguishable voices, the team split into smaller groups and covered each business simultaneously.
Once assembled into each business, team members darkened the room, turned on their recorders and readied their cameras, hoping to harness a ghost.
T.O.P.S. co-founder Brent St. John led a team in Westerman's Tuxedo Junction.
"You have to provoke them sometimes," St. John said. "It can be the only way they come out."
St. John is no stranger to paranormal apparitions, having caught orbs and other ghostly encounters on video tape.
"I've seen doors open, things tapped and shadows move across the room," he said.
Lead T.O.P.S. investigator Chad Houghs said of the evidence collected, the team was able to determine at least one discernible spirit.
"There's possibly two, but we caught a male -- that we know for a fact," Houghs said after reviewing some of the audio feeds his team produced.
The main concentration of paranormal activity occurred in the basement level below the Paperback Exchange, Houghs said.
"We all had some personal experiences there, and we did catch some EVPs," Houghs said.
Electronic voice phenomena, or EVP, are recorded sounds that often sound like speech. Houghs said many members of the team caught their own EVPs in each business.
"This is just like putting a puzzle together," Houghs said. "We're just coming across some of the evidence now."
After the Saturday night investigation, Houghs surveyed other business owners downtown about the male spirit the team uncovered.
"The bookstore used to be a barber shop, and I spoke with some local barbers who said they knew of someone who committed suicide there a long time ago," Houghs said. "I was shocked when one of them told me that."
Houghs said definitive answers about the investigation will take time.
"I definitely want to go to the library and find out some more information," he said. "I think we're going to put this puzzle together eventually."