After hours, the usually quiet Books ‘N’ More was a hubbub of activity during a recent Saturday night. Six OOPS (Ohio Organization of Paranormal Studies) were busy setting up digital voice recorders, infrared camcorders, magnetic meters and heat recorders for the evening’s investigation of “things that go bump in the night.”
This was one of several investigations of the paranormal scheduled for Wilmington this year. The owners, Dan and Marla Stewart, were contacted by OOPS with a request to investigate the 98-year-old building.
Among the investigators were Steven Powell, Tom Babb, Vickie Morgan, all of Wilmington; Jennifer Swackhamer of Hillsboro; and Andrea Tidd of Jamestown.
Hoping for some evidence of the paranormal, OOPS conducted a 13-hour investigation. Several incidents were recorded and all of the results of the investigation will be posted on the group’s Web site, www.ohorgparanormalstudies.com, in couple of weeks.
Powell is OOPS founder.
“Do I believe in ghosts? Most definitions of ‘ghost’ refer to a spirit or soul of man, something in which I most definitely believe,” he said. “Secondary definitions mention a disembodied soul or spirit of the deceased manifesting itself in a human-like form, something I would like to see, photograph, or videotape.
“To date, as a member of OOPS, I have videotaped an unknown light source that has motion, recorded disembodied voices that speak clearly in complete sentences, and have videotaped an inanimate object moving on its own,” he said. “Without concrete proof, none of these experiences qualify as being a ‘ghost’ so I cannot say that I have seen one, but neither can I say that there is no such thing as a ‘ghost’ without the same concrete evidence. So I guess I am open to the distinct possibility of the existence of ‘ghosts.’”
Several what could be called paranormal incidents have occurred at Books ‘N’ More.
Jen Stewart of Jen’s Deli inside Books ‘N’ More revealed that while working late at night she saw what appeared to be a ghostly apparition of a man in the first booth of the deli. The basement of Books ‘N’ More yielded other reported manifestations, with Jen experiencing a black shadow racing by her head.
A male employee reported seeing a ghostly presence of an elderly lady who approached and then walked away.
Marla Stewart tells of the time a customer asked for a book about Padre Pio, a Franciscan priest from Italy who is famous for bearing the wounds of Christ, called the Stigmata. While talking to the customer, Marla said she glanced over and saw a book of Padre Pio on the counter. None of the staff remember ordering, or unpacking the book. The book did not have the Books ‘N’ More label that is on all their books upon unpacking. Marla cannot explain how the book showed up. Other incidents involve doors moving by themselves and mysterious footsteps in empty rooms.
Powell and Babb have worked together trying to explain the unexplainable since the formation of OOPS. Powell spent 20 years in the military and was a trained acoustic analyzer in the Navy. Babb is a retired Wilmington firefighter. They have been friends and neighbors since before kindergarten.
To learn more about OOPS and their investigations of this area, go to www.ohorgparanormalstudies.com. There will be Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs), pictures of the buildings and descriptions of their investigations.
OOPS investigations date back to 2005 with Yuma Territorial Prison in Arizona. Other investigations include Bobby Macky’s Music World, Jeannie’s Palo Fabrics, Snow Hill Country Club and residences in Wilmington, Sabina and Westboro.