IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – Bumps in the night, lights flickering on their own, and strange sounds are very real for some people in eastern Iowa. Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, Cedar Rapids Paranormal Investigations are looking to find answers.
Marissa Villhauer and her mother Cindy have lived in their apartment for more than 10 years. Years ago is when they first started hearing music coming from behind a sealed door.
“We started hearing things and we said, ' no it’s all in our heads'. I said no, I think something is really real,” Villhauer said. “I would hear radios and stuff at night, so I told the landlord. I said ‘there’s radios going on back there,’ and he said no, but I said 'no, really.'”
That’s when the landlord came in to investigate. He cut an extension cord running to the room and resealed the door. But there was no one back there, and there wasn’t even electricity to that room. That’s when Villhauer started to think it could be something more than someone stealing their electricity, and gave Cedar Rapids Paranormal Investigations a call.
Scott Johnston and his team sat down with the two for an initial interview. After hearing about the music, lamps falling over, and mysterious knocks on the door, they took on the case. That would consist of an overnight stay and hours and hours of review. That’s what each client must agree to in order for the team to perform an investigation.
“We’re not here to hunt for spirits, we’re here to get answers and validation for clients with real issues,” Johnston said. “When I founded the group, I wanted to be able to go into a home and no matter what the claim was, whether it was footsteps, slamming doors, things moving, or voices, I wanted to have something in our cases to be able to say we have something to document this. We have something scientific, no matter what it is.”
Investigators use a wide variety of equipment from voice recorders to special infrared cameras. Since Johnston started the group about two years ago, they’ve taken on nine investigations and almost three times that amount for interviews. All of it is completely free of charge.
Investigator Erica Carnahan has worked on the team since it began. She said there’s some houses she wouldn’t even go back to. She told us the story of one home where her and another investigator were attacked.
“All of a sudden I feel this burning sensation on my shoulder, and I said okay whatever,” Carnahan said.
They were standing alone in a room. She had her back near a wall, the other investigator was standing in front of pillows.
“It gets worse and worse and worse, and all of a sudden it feels like someone put a match out on my back. At that same time another investigator is looking at me and motioning toward her shoulder,” Carnahan said. “We end the session and we both end up with scratches.”
Johnston asks for anyone who doesn’t believe to keep an open mind about what people say they are witnessing.
“I understand why they don’t, I didn’t for a long time. I just want them to know to keep an open mind and don’t be judgmental of people,” Johnston said. “The people that contact us, homeowners and businesses. They believe that what they’re experiencing is very very real. The experiences they are having are real to them in terms of how it affects them. It’s affecting their lives, its affecting their children, its affecting their family, their sleep.”
As for Villahuer and her mother, this is the most recent case for C.R. Paranormal. So, they haven’t sat down to view the evidence yet, but they say one thing is for sure.
“They’re spirits for sure. Ghosts, spirits, yeah they’re here,” Villhauer said.