Illuminating light. A sudden chill. An alarming shadow. Some instances are hard to explain when it comes to the supernatural.
Halloween is over, but the ghost stories and paranormal activities continue surrounding Gainesville.
Nick Estes, 38, founded Gainesville Paranormal back in 2009 and either works alone or in a small team to investigate eerie circumstances regarding haunted properties in the area.
With a night vision camera and digital recorder, Estes spends several hours on a property to analyze the paranormal activity within the area. He sits down with the owners beforehand for a preliminary interview to make sure the situation is legitimate to pursue.
“Believe it or not I’ve had to turn down more people than we accepted over the years,” Estes said.
He added that when he and his group are ready to go into a house, a certain time and date is set when the owners are not home to set up the equipment and go through the home.
Estes credits the past 20 years of blockbuster films, radio, television shows and books for popularizing supernatural conversation.
He became passionate about the paranormal after investigating the Old County Jail in Green Cove Springs, Florida, which is rumored to be haunted by deceased criminals.
“For me, I got what I deemed to be proof that I just really couldn’t dispute, and that was a recording of something saying my name when there was nobody there and shouldn’t have been any reason for my name to pop up on that tape but it did,” Estes said.
Estes said one of the highest occurrences of paranormal activity in Gainesville was at the Purple Porpoise, a bar once located in Midtown, that was allegedly the home of a female ghost who resided in the upstairs bathroom.
The bar was eventually torn down and replaced with new businesses, including The Social at Midtown.
“With it being reported as haunted for so many years, it does make me wonder if ‘just because they tore the building down, doesn’t mean the haunting stopped,’” Estes said. “It might actually be just that area so who knows?”
Estes considers audio and video “the holy grail of evidence” and has recorded a few unexplainable situations like mysterious voice and strange lighting, he said.
He explained that a few Gainesville residents have called him in tears, wanting answers and help but the best advice he can give is to remember to not let anything push you around.
“I personally believe by standing your ground and claiming your space, and not allowing anything to intimidate you or frighten you in your own home is very powerful and could potentially go a long way,” Estes said.