Alameda Paranormal Researchers

San Francisco Bay and Beyond


On the Road - Tahoe Ouija Experience

Posted by Sommer on May 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)


This past weekend team APR with the help of guest investigators Ying and Brendan took a trip to Lake Tahoe. There we explored the ghost stories of the Cal Neva resort, the legend of the lake monster "Tessie," and the native legend of "water babies." Our conclusions at this point are that most of these claims and legends are simply stories. The Cal Neva has an incredible history and is a fun location to explore with its underground tunnels and casino. I recommend taking a visit, staying the night, and enjoying the nearby waters of the lake. If you are looking for the ghost of Marilyn Monroe you might want to try another location for that as she seems to be on hiatus from the Cal Neva. The claims at the Cal Neva rely heavily on orb theories and our experiences there did not prove much in terms of paranormal activity. The locations on the property that are orb infested are (not) surprisingly dust infested as well. We are not saying there is a complete lack of paranormal activity; it just didn't seem to be active any of the times we visited. Maybe we are just an unlucky bunch.

Additionally, we had an incredible time talking with the native Paiute people about the legend of Tahoe Tessie and water babies. Most of the people that spoke to us about them essentially said they were made up stories to scare children into being good. I think European cultures have similar stories. Do you remember being afraid of the Boogie man as a kid? Unfortunately, we were not witness to the creatures of either Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake but regardless it was a lot of fun trying.

Moreover, to wrap up our weekend in Tahoe we decided to do an experiment proving the Ouija board is nothing but a fuel for paranormal fantasy. It is common for people to sit around the Ouija board trying to communicate with the dead. By placing their hands on a planchette they are often excited by the movements of the marker that is seemingly controlled from the other side. So here are the questions we asked ourselves, first, if the Ouija is really a tool for communicating with the dead then it should work anywhere right? Second, what happens when you deprive the participants of their sight? Third, what happens when you deprive a participant of sight and sound? To prove that the Ouija is not just a tool to feed the flames of the ideomotor effect, (the ideomotor effect refers to the influence of suggestion or expectation on involuntary and unconscious motor behavior) we took away the two things that would provide the involuntary or voluntary (if your partners are untrustworthy) suggestive behavior, in this case, sight and sound. By removing sight from the equation the participants cannot know where to place the marker. My removing sound, the participants cannot hear the question to formulate an answer or know where to place the marker.

Here is the breakdown of our experiment:

1. One person was fully enveloped in the Ganzfeld effect (complete sensory deprivation). They were deprived of sight and sound while touching the marker of the Ouija board.

2. Two people were deprived of sight only while touching the marker so that they could ask the questions during the experiment.

3. Three people observed, monitored, and participated mentally in the experiment but did not touch the marker.

4. Our location has never been known to be haunted. This is our “control “in the experiment. If a place is already haunted how do you know if you brought in your dead Uncle to talk with you? Couldn’t it be another spirit “pretending?” Could it be a demon? Lets remove those unknowns in the equation (as best we can) and start with a blank slate.


Over the course of the evening the marker did not move other than when the participants shifted their bodies after holding their positions for long periods of time. There were no portals to hell opened; there were no strange occurrence’s, just silence and nothingness. Now, some might argue that the spirits were just not ready to speak with us. So for those that swear the Ouija is real, I recommend they conduct similar experiments where sight and sound are removed.

One final question for the believers out there, if the spirits or demons or whoever are controlling the marker then why do you need to even be touching it?

Why Spirit Photography Gives Me A Headache

Posted by Sommer on April 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Ever taken a photo outside and noticed a bizarre ghostly mist?  When you took it, where you standing in the middle of a graveyard and thought “oh my goodness!”  Have you posted said photos to your paranormal blog, website, facebook, twitter, etc page?  Before you do so you should consider the following:


·      What time of year, time of day was the picture taken?

o   If it was the middle of January, outside, it is in all likelihood your breath reflecting off the flash of the camera.  They way to know for sure is when you take a photo take 3-5 consecutive pictures on a tripod with a remote so your finger, your breath, and you are not contaminating the photo.


·      When was the last time you cleaned your lens with a good lens cleaner?


o   The most common reason for weird anomalies in photos are simply because your lens has a finger print or some dust on it.  If you want to be credible with your paranormal evidence you have to look for all of the reason why things are NOT paranormal.  Then figure out what you are left with.


o   Make sure to get your image sensor professionally cleaned at least once per year.


·      Use lower apertures (if you can). Dust particles really show up when you use apertures between F11 and F22. I’m not saying you should avoid these apertures entirely. If you’re taking a landscape photo, and you need a very large depth of field, by all means use a higher-valued aperture.


o   Consider using lenses with a bigger focal range. If your quiver of lenses is full of single focal length (prime) lenses that cannot zoom in and out, you are going to be changing your lenses much more than someone who owns a few good zooms. Every time you change your lens, you give dust a chance to break in. Some people take this tip to the extreme and purchase two cameras – one for a wide angle/normal lens, and one that can zoom in. Do what’s best for you.

New Position Opening

Posted by Sommer on February 25, 2012 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

APR opportunity: We are looking for someone who knows how to use a video camera (maybe even has their own setup) to help document what our team does. Are you interested in seeing what it is like to be apart of a real paranormal investigation at some of the world's most haunted locations? Send us an email to explaining why you would be a good addition. This is not an investigator position. This is for filming work mainly so no previous paranormal experience required. Serious inquiries only please!

LIVE Event!

Posted by Sommer on September 9, 2011 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Sunday 9/11 we are going LIVE for our investigation at the San Jose Improv theater.  You can follow us on Twitter @alamedaparanorm

We hope to bring more live events at some of our historic location investigation.  Any questions, comments, or concerns send us an email to



Equipment Check! Equipment APR uses on investigations

Posted by SarahRae on July 9, 2011 at 9:31 PM Comments comments (5)

1.  DAR (Digital Audio Recorder) -  These electronic recorders are used to capture EVP's (Electronic Voice Phenomenon).  Many paranormal researchers believe spirits can talk to us through this device.  The investigator will ask questions of the spirit.  When the audio is played back often times a response or voice can be heard that was not heard at the time of the session.  It is said the spirits can communicate with us through frequencies/volumes often not heard by the average human ear.  After review of the evidence and careful examination these disembodied voices can be found in the white noise of the audio recording.

2.  MiniDV (Digital Video Camera) - We use video camera's to capture any evidence of a spirit trying to manifest itself.  Often we work in the dark so our camera's are equipment with infrared light sources so we can "see" in the dark.  We use static night vision camera's and hand held camera's.

3.  EMF detector (Electromagnetic Field) -  This piece of equipment has it's pro's and con's.  The theory is that a spirit can manipulate the energy around us to manifest itself.  The EMF detector can show signs of fluctuations or anomalies in the electromagnetic field.  Normal man-made electronics have a frequency of 50-60Hz so most EMF detectors work in this range.  When the power is out the reading on a typical EMF detector will be low and when a spirit is nearby the meter may spike to a high range indicating their presence.  (APR believes that the EMF detector is a good tool but understands it is not perfect)

4.  Digital Thermometer - This is exactly what it says it is, a thermometer.  Researchers believe a significant drop in the normal temperature of a room can signify the presence of a spirit.

5.  More equipment is used by APR but the above listed is the most commonly used.

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