By Sue Erickson
If you’ve ever had the feeling that you’re not alone, it could be that you’re not. If you’ve ever heard something odd that can’t be explained, it usually can. And if you’ve ever seen something that looked like a mist, a shadow, or a flash of light, you may have had a paranormal experience.
And the next call you make should be to the Edge of Darkness Paranormal team.
Edge of Darkness Paranormal was founded just a few months ago, but consists of seasoned paranormal investigators with lots of training and experience under their belts. All Berks County natives, lead investigator Kenny Weikel Jr. and his team of paranormal investigators Barb McCarthy, Erik Julian and Dawn Zelano, work to explain the unexplained.
“Our primary goal is to help anyone that feels that they are experiencing paranormal activity,” said Kenny, who has been a paranormal investigator for the past seven years. “Almost every activity can be explained by an earthly phenomenon, a mental or physical condition or an actual paranormal event.”
Kenny’s interest in paranormal activity began early on. He travelled the country attending workshops and lectures to learn everything he could about paranormal investigations and the latest technology and equipment used in investigations.
He conducted his first solo investigation in 2006.
Since then, Kenny has been a member and lead investigator for several paranormal teams and founded Quest Paranormal Society in 2009.
His accomplishments include segments on Animal Planet’s “The Haunted,” lead his team to a victory during the the 2011 Paranormal Challenge in which he competed against 24 of the top paranormal investigating teams in the country and several successful paranormal investigations.
“Pennsylvania is a great state to investigate paranormal activity,” Kenny said. “Places like Gettysburg and Pennhurst are rich with history and energy.”
“But,” he continued, “there are private homes and businesses all over the area where activity is high and we’ve had occurrences.”
Kenny, a former U. S. Marine, said that he approaches investigations much the same way he served his country.
“I don’t back down,” he said. “I stand my ground and do what it takes to see if I can provoke an energy to reveal itself or what it wants.”
He said that there have been two places where the energy he has felt have made him physically ill: Gettysburg and Pennhurst.
“A lot of horrible things happened to residents at the Pennhurst asylum,” Kenny said. “During one investigation, I became sick to my stomach right before the full spectrum image of a guy in a wheelchair appeared in front of me.”
“Uncomfortable is the best way I can describe it,” he said. “But it’s not always the case. Sometimes there may be a change in temperature, sometimes there may be a feeling that either me or one of the team members gets and sometimes it happens with no warning.”
The Edge of Darkness Paranormal team employs the latest technology and equipment while on an investigation so that they can review the data immediately and accurately. Digital voice recorders, infrared cameras, EMF detectors, stealth night vision cameras and motion sensors are just some of the equipment used.
“We stimulate the environment by putting out an EMF (electro-magnetic field) to make an energy follow us or come out,” Kenny explained. “Then we set up the digital voice recorders to catch any sounds.”
He explained that “voice phenomenon” -- the ability to actually hear an entity -- is very rare. However, capturing voices, or electronic voice phenomenon, on a digital voice recorder happens more often than not.
“On several investigations in Gettysburg, we could hear battles going on when we reviewed the data from the digital recorder,” Kenny said.
He also said that after investigations, he has listened to the digital recordings and has clearly heard voices that have told him to die, sworn at him or asked for help.
Kenny said that on an average, out of every hundred paranormal investigations, five percent are actually paranormal activity.
“The majority of activity can be explained by an earthly occurrence or the mental or physical well-being of the owner,” he said. “But for the five percent that is actually paranormal activity, it makes all the investigations worth it.”
Kenny explained that an investigation usually ranges from eight to ten hours; however, he has spent days and weeks at a location for an investigation. And he has volumes of pictures, videos, digital voice recordings and data to support the presence of paranormal activity.
“The evidence is overwhelming,” he said. “It speaks for itself.”
On Friday, April 13, the Edge of Darkness Paranormal team will be conducting an investigation at the Farmers Hope Inn in Manheim, PA. From 9 p.m. until 3 a.m., the public is invited to join the team as they investigate energy at the Inn.
“I’ve been there quite a few times,” said Kenny. “There is a lot of activity at the Inn. But this is the first time that the new team will be investigating together, so it promises to be an interesting night.”
“The last time I conducted an investigation at the Inn, I asked if anyone was present and if they would make themselves known,” he said. “There was a huge bang. I asked again and again, another bang.”
“That tends to rattle people,” he said. “A few folks left the building right after that.”
Kenny said that almost all of his investigations are done at night because the human traffic is lighter, the investigation doesn’t interfere with business hours and the infrared cameras work much better in lower light.
“It has nothing to do with ‘ghosts’ only appearing at night,” he laughed. “If there’s an energy or an entity, it’s always around, no matter what time of day or night it is. It’s just easier to capture evidence at night.”
Evidence is a key factor in the Edge of Darkness Paranormal investigations.
“It’s easy for people to say they heard or saw something,” Kenny said. “And I don’t doubt that they have.”
“Unfortunately,” he continued, “the mind can play tricks on all of us. That’s why we use equipment that provides evidence and proves what we’ve found during an investigation. It’s a science where the evidence proves the theory.”
Because he provides data and evidence, he’s been called back to several locations after conducting an investigation.
“People want to know if they’re going insane or if there is really something happening,” he said. “I try and provide them with the evidence and answers they need.”
“Once I prove activity, I provide the documentation and data,” he continued. “I will return to the area for further investigation if asked, however, I don’t do blessings or cleansings. I don’t come in, light some sage and ward off evil spirits.”
“Our job as paranormal investigators is to provide you with either evidence of paranormal activity or explanations as to what may be happening,” he said. “What you do with the information and how you choose to proceed is up to you.”
The Edge of Darkness Paranormal team will conduct investigations in private homes free of charge. Investigations for business and commercial properties can be arranged by contacting Kenny.
To contact Kenny and Edge of Darkness Paranormal, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Edge of Darkness Paranormal, visit their Facebook page at Edge of Darkness Paranormal. Information regarding upcoming investigations, as well as the Farmers Hope Inn investigation, can be found on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/EDGE-of-Darkness-Paranormal/296290357096212 or at www.berksmontnews.com under the Community Calendar section.
“I understand that this subject is often hard to grasp,” Kenny said. “We’re dealing with the unknown and there are no experts in this field.”
“Our mission is to provide concrete evidence and explanations for activity,” he continued. “Through our experience, our equipment and our passion for what we do, we get to the root of what’s happening so that homeowners, business owners and land owners can finally get some peace of mind and decide on their next step.”