Things that go bump in the night

In this, the scariest month of the year, a black-and-orange October screeches in, and cackles a big “BOO!” to everyone on the lookout for ghosts, witches and goblins.

But wait – if you love being scared, how would you like to meet REAL ghost hunters?

Look no further than B.S.R. (Beyond the Scope of Reality) Paranor mal, the newest non-profit paranormal group in Fort Wayne, according to founder and director, Jennifer Jacobs, who has been seeing “things” since she was 4 years old.

“The first spirit I saw was a little creature looking in my mother’s bedroom at me, smiling,” said Jacobs, who noted B.S.R also has a sister chapter in Elkhart. “I now know it was an elemental spirit which is usually harmless and not usually seen.”

As Jacobs matured, she began to sense things, such as negativity in an area and wondered why. When she was 13, her grandfather died, and she sensed him often, and later realized that both sides of her family were “sensitives” and that it came naturally to her. One such event occurred three years ago.

Carl Valentine, Kathy Delauder and Jennifer Jacobs, members of the Beyond the Scope of Reality Paranormal group in Fort Wayne, explore the Pfeiffer Housae for hints of spirits.

Carl Valentine, Kathy Delauder and Jennifer Jacobs, members of the Beyond the Scope of Reality Paranormal group in Fort Wayne, explore the Pfeiffer Housae for hints of spirits. (Photo by Bonnie Manning, Feature Photographer)

“I was sitting with others doing an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with grief as if at a funeral and started crying for no reason,” said Jacobs. “There was a female spirit in the home that did not want to be there. When I asked, ‘Do you trust me?’ the verbal and audible response was, ‘Yes.’ The home owner heard her say this and it was on the voice recorder. That touched me most, that someone who has passed and who had never known me, trusted me with her emotions.”

Ashley Shirely appears to be a considerate woman who respects her elders and tries to keep in touch with her beloved grandfather at least once a week.

During one of their sessions together, she aimed several pointed questions at the gentleman.

“I asked if he was happy the way things turned out. I also asked if I was doing the right thing,” recalled Shirely, “and then I asked if God really did exist.”

All of the answers were satisfactorily forthcoming from Shirely’s grandfather – with one small caveat: the gentleman died five years ago and all these conversations took place after he had passed away. He also reassured her that he was at peace and that he watched over her family as a guardian angel would.

What happens when a spirit appears?

“Sometimes I feel cold air or goose bumps. If it is a small child, my legs get cold and tingling like they’re hugging me. Sometimes you can smell fragrances. Once I was in the house alone after my grandfather passed away and suddenly, out of nowhere, was the strong smell of Old Spice which lasted for just a few seconds and when I said his name, it disappeared,” said Jacobs, who had not smelled that shaving lotion since her grandfather was alive.

There will be a B.S.R. table at Fright Night on Oct. 18, 2014, and the group will be doing a meet-and-greet program on the library square at 6:30 p.m., after the Zombie Walk, according to director/founder Jennifer Jacobs (

The organization’s website ( says it investigates anything “from ghosts to aliens to Mothmen to Bigfoot and anything in between, including house cleansings, and do not charge a fee.”

An invitation is extended to the general public to accompany the members on “hunts” into a parallel dimension, all year round, but especially during Halloween. The first hunt is free, but any trips after that must be through a paid $20 membership fee. Children between the ages of 5 and 13 years are allowed in the group with a parent who is a member in good standing because many kids also experience other-world beings.

Because the group’s hunts occur during darkness, Kathy Delauder, BSR assistant director, has a videocam with night vision that reaches only a few feet and she sometimes uses this during spirit encounters.

“I have heard many noises, from something in the same room, in the next room, in the hallway, or walking down the hallway,” said Delauder, who has heard doors closing, footsteps in “empty” parts of the building, and indecipherable whispers in her ear.

One of the spookiest places Delauder ever traversed was the West Virginia State Penitentiary.

“During our investigation there, I had a spirit pass through me,” said Delauder, who works in retail.

“It was like nothing I have ever felt before and I have been doing this for over 20 years. I had bone chills, kinda like the chills you get on your arms in the cold but this was not on my arms. My body was still warm, but my bones were chilled to the core. I also witnessed strange sounds and feelings that I have come to attribute to spirits being close by. Jenn thought I was going to pass out.”

“I would love to go back there, as I have long been interested in old buildings and their histories. I like to try to find out why someone would stay behind and what they need to do to move on.”

Jacobs experienced a more eerie encounter.

“While we were at the Ohio State Reformatory Prison in Mansfield, Ohio, something tried to get to me and I had a panic attack,” said Jacobs. “It charged at me negatively and made me very sick to my stomach, and nervous and fearful. It’s hard to explain until you experience it yourself and once you do, you understand completely.”

The hunters take a variety of equipment with them including motion sensors, a spirit box, several different cameras (each with its own specialty such as FLIR, night-vision, infrared, video, full-spectrum, etc.), Mel Meter, K2 device, laser grid, Ovilus, Frank’s Box, pendulums, dowsing rods, and much more. Many supplies can be purchased on Amazon or other sites such as, said Delauder.

B.S.R. is currently in talks with a local radio station to do a talk show every Saturday night from 9 p.m. to midnight. “When we go on investigations, it will be live. We will also have in-studio guests and take live calls.” 

Shirely recalled a hunt at the Kruse Automobile Museum with the BSR group.

“We were asking questions when the rope in front of us separating us from the antique motorcycle started flinging back and forth without anyone touching it,” said Shirely, a stay-at-home mom. “We just walked around slowly and when one of us got a feeling like electricity shooting down our spines, we would stop and wait about 5-10 minutes in that area to see if we got anything and then we would move on. Sometimes the feelings were overwhelmingly powerful emotions that one or all of us felt.”

So, if you leave the safety of your home on this All Hallows Eve, take care, take a flashlight, say a prayer and with a nod to James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orphant Annie.” Remember – “the Gobble-uns’ll git you / Ef you don’t watch out!”

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