Monday, October 26, 2009

Whio ya gonna call?

By S. Derrickson Moore
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — Are ghosts or paranormal phenomena haunting you? Who ya gonna call?
Actually, you have quite a few choices these days. It kind of depends on what your ghostly encounter preferences are. Do you want to bust or hunt? Would you like to photograph or record visual and audio proof of your haunting? Help the spirit into the light or just get the pesky poltergeist off the premises and keep it from interfering with your TV reception or knocking things off your shelves?
Las Cruces has two — count ‘em, TWO — groups specializing in paranormal investigations, plus a new metaphysical center that traces your personal ghostly history with both past and also “between-lives” readings, plus several free agents who focus on ghostly issues and an artist who’s put part of his “ghost town” holdings up for sale on e-bay, in case you want a haunt of your very own.
Read about Southwest Paranormal Investigators in today’s SunLife Section or check out their Web site:
I interviewed members of the other local group, Las Cruces Ghost Hunters, in 2008 and I understand they are now known as Las Cruces Paranormal Investigators (LCPI).
“Most people never tell their stories because they are afraid that their friends and family might ridicule them. It’s important for those people to know they’re not alone. We want to let Las Cruces know that we are out there and we want to help in any way that we can," said Mary Russell, a member of the group, who told me surveys indicate that “80 percent of people believe in ghosts.”
She said her group includes members “from different backgrounds, religions, and races. We have a psychic, an exorcist and people who are more interested in the scientific side of it. We aren't professionals, but we are a well-trained group that does take our investigations seriously. The toughest part of our job is to going into each investigation acting and thinking like a skeptic. We have to be open-minded and examine all the facts of logical explanation. We try to be fair, rational and always search for logical explanations and want to uncover the absolute truth,” Russell said.
To find out about LCPI meetings and activities, call her at (575) 405-6357, e-mail or visit online at
I’d say the Rev. Martha Turner of Heart of the Dove, who has worked with Mary’s group, is more of a ghost whisperer than a hunter or buster. She’s identified and communed with assorted spirits in Mesilla and has also done grief counseling and worked with people who are dealing with issues related to departed loved ones.
“One of the reasons I was drawn to do the paranormal work again is that with the veils so thin, there have been so many individuals having experiences. I wanted to be able to assist them in understanding what is really happening. We have been the advisors for the LCPI for almost a year. We have been teaching them the laws in the universe, how to release spirit and the difference between ‘hunting’ and ‘serving’ the important aspects of our ‘soul brothers and sisters’ who require moving on,” said Turner, who reports she has been involved with ghost work “since 1974. It was the biggest part of my work for years: House readings, releasing and communicating with them. I am now moving back into that work. I really think bringing loved ones thoughts and wishes and (getting issues) resolved for family members is super important so I AM on the job again.”
Contact her at (575)-644-2321 or e-mail
Want to get in touch with your inner ghost? Visit Joan and James Burnett, who just opened Metaphysical Life Enrichment Center at 2600 El Paseo Road, former home of Patio Art Gallery and Rio Grande Antiques. They told me that they have done some work with ghostly and paranormal activity. But if you believe cleaning up ghostly issues truly begins at home, you might want to try Joan Burnett’s intensive past life regressions or “between life regression therapy” which aims to delve into some really deep-seated issues that may be haunting you, lifetime after lifetime. Visit or call the center at (575) 647-0300.
Or maybe you’d like your very own haunt. When I interviewed him in July, Josh Bond was offering overnight lodging at his “haunted” abode in Cochillo, near Truth or Consequences. And he’s recently posted a “confirmed haunted” adobe home on an eBay auction that ends Oct. 31. The home is among his restoration projects in Cochillo that include a whole haunted complex of buildings that once housed a hotel, post office, stables, general store, bar and more.
Josh said he was skeptical of the ghost rumors at first. But he has now hosted enough paranormal investigators and unexplained phenomena to feel “blessed to have a building that has benevolent spirits. I often find them offering help in little ways with my preservation” projects, he reports.
Other than occasionally lousing up his TV reception, draining his batteries and other minor pranks, they have offered few real problems and attracted a lot of attention from assorted investigators ... including the West Coast Ghost and Paranormal Society ( and TV and documentary producers. If you’d like to learn more about Josh’s haunted digs, contact him at
I have a feeling I’ve just scratched the surface of our burgeoning ghostly resources. If you have some helpful sources, let me know, and I’ll post them on my blog.
And happy Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.

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