Possible haunted halls of the old Beaver High School - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Possible haunted halls of the old Beaver High School

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Bluefield, W.Va. (WVVA) – We've all experienced those mysterious sounds that go "bump in the night," but have you ever considered you may not be alone? Kristin Bartee investigates paranormal activity at an abandoned high school in Bluefield, W.Va.

A voice from beyond or just a figment of imagination? Local paranormal investigator Mark Painter believes ghosts try to communicate with the living. In his investigations he simply wants to talk with the spirits and find out why they're still here.

Painter's journey in paranormal investigation started when he had his first ghostly encounter in the Philippines.

"My first experience was in 1986 at Clarks Air Force base and I was escorting a doctor in a hallway in an abandoned hospital and we came around the corner and I knew no one was there but I saw a shadowy type of person," explains Painter. "We went in the room; didn't see anybody, so I turned to come out of the room and I hit my knee and something from behind me said ‘be careful, it's dark up here'."

After the investigator's first encounter, Painter began to notice things that he would have otherwise looked the other way.

Noises, voices, and shadows that many of us think nothing about, could possibly be ghosts interacting with the living, according to Painter.

But the question remains, if ghosts are not considered to be living, what exactly are they?

"Amazingly, ghosts are nothing more than energy that can manifest itself in any shape or form," informs Painter. "A spirit needs to find some type of energy source to manifest itself. Anything containing batteries or electricity will be used."

Painter goes on to say, if you're searching for the right clues, you will notice changes when ghosts are present.

"They will draw any energy that they can from any piece of equipment that you have. A microphone, a camera, anything with a battery, and anything with electricity in the walls. Your lights will dim or go out. You leave the room and everything goes back to normal; you get all your juice back."

The experienced ghost hunter believes that shadow people, orbs, or even misty shapes are some of the forms that ghosts can take. In fact, many of the spirits may not even realize where they are.

"They don't know where they are sometimes. They might not know they're dead sometimes. You kind of got to get a conversation with them to understand them in the first place. And that's why we do these investigations," says Painter.

Despite Painter's efforts over the years to communicate with the ghosts, he has been left with one unanswered burning question.

"You talk to them, and they tell you everything but why they're still here. I have been asking that question for 30 years, and I still don't have that answer," adds Painter.

Painter's experiences have allowed him to see first hand ghosts who are still here and some that think they are still alive and who look at him as an unwelcome guest.

"They may be upset that you came in their house or their building, or they may throw something at you or hit you as you go by," says Painter of the ghosts who see him as a threat. "They may choke you [as] I have been choked before to the ground on several occasions."

Even with these bad experiences, Painter is going to continue with his investigations in hopes of finding that answer and maybe help our ghostly visitors find peace.

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