Lead Prowl paranormal investigator Josh Olson (center) checks out his ghost hunting equipment with team members Terry Timm Jr. (left) and Terry Timm Sr. The group conducted an extensive investigation Tuesday night into the unexplained strange goings-on at Intrigue Salon and Body Studio on 1st Street in Menominee. <br> EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
Lead Prowl paranormal investigator Josh Olson (center) checks out his ghost hunting equipment with team members Terry Timm Jr. (left) and Terry Timm Sr. The group conducted an extensive investigation Tuesday night into the unexplained strange goings-on at Intrigue Salon and Body Studio on 1st Street in Menominee.
EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
MENOMINEE - Ghosts and spirits are a part of nearly every culture, dating back thousands of years. Hollywood has made a frightening amount of money from movies about such things, and television shows about ghost hunting are as common as tombstones in a cemetery.

When it comes to local reports of brushes with the other side, the 500 block of 1st Street in Menominee appears to have the highest concentration of unearthly occurrences. Well-respected business owners and their employees have numerous stories of strange, unexplained happenings.

If you ask any of them you will hear about products flying off the shelf for no reason, furniture and silverware moving on its own, footsteps when no one is around and even full body apparitions. Yes, ghosts.

Tuesday night, a team of paranormal researchers conducted an investigation at Intrigue Salon and Body Studio at 519 1st St. Owner Marjorie Giese turned her shop over to Prowl founder and lead investigator Josh Olson and his team. It was their mission to capture proof of ghostly activity.

Olson, 38, is a Menominee native and ironically grew up and lives just two blocks from the salon. It was his own personal experience as a child that sparked his passion for the paranormal but it wasn't until years later that he actually started to seriously pursue his interest.

Not unlike crime scene investigators, paranormal investigators also have an assortment of tools they use to detect evidence. Olson and his team on this night used an assortment of recording devices, both audio and video. Among the equipment used were micro cassette and digital recorders, a mini DV and HD video cameras, a black box security system with infrared cameras, a thermal temperature gun and infrared illumination.

Just after 10:30 p.m., as everyone gathered at the front of the shop prior to collecting evidence, a coffee pot turned on all by itself. A bit unusual considering none of the crew set the timer and the salon staff would not be in until much later the next morning.

"It really didn't make any sense," said Olson. "I really don't know what to expect here."

What happened next was frustrating but not uncommon in such situations. One piece of equipment after another shut down, each drained of power. Olson had just purchased and checked the power packs prior to going to the salon and they were all fresh and fully charged. Once inside the units were turned on but there the batteries were dead.

The power drain happened at the front desk. The same place where moments later the crew experienced what is known as a cold spot.

"The school of thought is that apparitions, ghosts, phantoms, whatever you want to call them, draw upon energy in an attempt to manifest and communicate," Olson explained. "And when they do draw upon energy, whether it's from the environment or whatever, it will create a cold spot."

The first hour of searching yielded interesting but not conclusive results. Some evidence was first-hand and not really able to be documented, only experienced. For instance, Olson claims to have felt something unusual.

"I was getting goose bumps on my way down to the basement in a certain area," he said, and when I passed it, it went away."

Businesses on each side of Intrigue also have numerous reports of paranormal activity, making the 500 block a hot bed of abnormal activity.

"The amount of visual claims is what I think is most interesting, both here and at the Table Six restaurant," said Olson. "The fact that it is so often is rare in the paranormal field. Mostly noises, it is voices, bumps, bangs, footsteps. An actual apparition is the Holy Grail of evidence."

The Prowl team continued to search the shop, the basement and other areas of the building to find anything out of the ordinary. They even left recording devices on through the night after they left to try to detect any signs of metaphysical movement.

All that information will be reviewed in the days and weeks ahead.

"Evidence review is my favorite part of the whole process, outside of maybe hunting itself," said Olson, who promised to share with us his findings.

- On the web
- www.prowl-ghostcontrol.com