RIVERTON — For Marie Odom, a fascination with ghosts was the result of her father telling her repeatedly that zombies at the bottom of Utah Lake are what make it green.

For the past seven years Odom has been a ghost hunter, investigating buildings for paranormal activity and sighting specters. On Oct. 5 she and Tifany Jorgensen, a member of her ghost hunting team, presented a Ghost Hunting 101 class at the Riverton Library.

They began their class by defining what a haunting is: something paranormal that happens in a location that cannot be explained.

There are three main types of haunting: an intelligent ghost or being that is aware of you; residual haunting or an imprint of something that happens repeatedly; and poltergeist-like activity where energy from the mind is causing strange and inexplicable occurrences to happen through telekinesis. This last type of activity generally comes from adolescent girls as a result of a traumatic experience and is very rare.

"You can have many different types of hauntings in one location (and) different types of ghosts in your house or a building," Odom said.

Odom and Jorgensen explained that they use EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomena to pick up voices or whispers they can't hear with the naked ear. After one investigation, Odom says it takes her eight to 10 hours to go through one 30-minute recording.

When doing an EVP, it's appropriate to ask questions about who a being is, what their name is, how old they are, etc. It's rude to ask how someone died. Open-ended questions are best, and it's good to wait 30 seconds after each question before asking another.

"One thing you don't want to do is change completely who you are on an investigation," Odom said. "You just want to keep it casual and fun."

Once during an investigation Odom and Jorgensen were on at Bower, an abandoned mining community outside Tooele, the three members on their team were walking around talking during an EVP. When they listened to the tape later on, they distinctly heard someone in the background using the same profane word repeatedly, although they were the only ones there.

The two shared four pieces of advice to have a successful investigation: 1. Call the location first to get permission to enter; 2. Go early to find places that might present a danger; 3. Bring a notepad and pen to record any sounds such as a car going by, loud laugh, etc; and 4. Bring a flashlight to keep yourself safe.

Odom and Jorgensen will be teaching their Ghost Hunting 101 classes at several Salt Lake County Library locations throughout the month of October. On Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in Bingham Creek Library; Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Herriman Library; Saturday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in the Hunter Library; Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Park Library; and Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Whitmore Library. For more information, visit www.slco.lib.ut.us. To find out more about Jorgensen's and Odom's ghost hunting exploits, visit www.hauntedutah.bravehost.com.


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