Below you can read part of Chapter 3 -- Even a Bad Story Has a Beginning
"I'm a con artist in that I'm an actor. I make people believe something is real when they know perfectly well it isn't." John Lithgow
"The greatest friend of con artists is lack of knowledge." Jane King
In the beginning there was a student at Penn State … his name was Ryan Buell, a wide-eyed journalism major who had a lifelong interest in all things paranormal due to having odd experiences as a child [which have never been identified]. As a freshman, he founded Penn State Paranormal Research Society [PSPRS]. It was a student organization that aimed to bring together fellow students who shared the same interest in the paranormal field. They participated in some investigations that garnered the team local and national news coverage. Soon they began receiving interest from TV production companies in being featured in a para-reality series. After several failed attempts, Ryan was ready to walk away from the paranormal field until he and his team got an offer for a show that eventually was called Paranormal State. You can read Ryan's book, Paranormal State: My Journey into the Unknown, where he goes into detail about his struggles to get a show. His intense search for a TV outlet leads us to ask if this was the real reason behind PSPRS? Later, the group's name was changed to PRS as Penn State broke ties with the group due to lack of interest from the student body.
The show aired on A&E for 5 seasons from 2008-2011. The audience was told that due to such a heavy volume of cries for help, PRS only responded to the worst of cases. According to former and current PRS members, they never had loads of cases being sent to them. Yes, they received many questions about ghosts and hauntings and such, but few asked for the team to come to their home. In order to get cases for the show, they depended on producers going out and finding them. The M. family in Quincy's now infamous "I Am Six" case was a referral from Commonwealth Paranormal located in Morehead, Kentucky.
Lara M is the oldest and only daughter of Bob [James] and Barbara. She was in the final stage of her college education when she was given a severe medical diagnosis, causing her move back home. There, she claims that weird things were taking place within the home. To figure out what's going on, she does an EVP session. For those of you not in the paranormal field, an EVP is an Electrical Voice Pattern. These are picked up by any audio recording device. You ask a question, hit RECORD, and wait a few minutes. Then you ask something else … and wait. Usually you receive very short snippets of audio. The whole concept is very controversial and many wonder if you're hearing what you want to hear or are you just picking up an audio signal from someplace? Controversy also revolves around noises being faked by the investigator. According to the Christian view, the noises you get from any EVP are nothing more than a demon playing tricks on the investigator.
Lara also played with an Ouija board [PRS calls them spirit boards]. Even though Ouija boards have been around for more than a century, there is a lot of controversy surrounding them. Those with proper training will use them with caution, but those who think they're a game might end up in severe spiritual trouble. Trying to contact the dead can result in getting any wayward spirit or demon. If used by a single person, it's difficult to validate what you can encounter. Some think that even using a Ouija board opens you up to demonic activity.
People laugh at this sort of thinking and will brush it off by saying that they've used the board many times and nothing bad ever happened to them. That argument can be countered that there are those who drink and drive countless times without any type of mishap, no wrecks, no arrests, everything is cool … yet there are some who do it once and end up dead or in jail.
Playing with such a device is like taking a loaded gun and playing Russian roulette. You might do it all your life and nothing happens yet that one time you might get a demon, and, if you do and are ignorant or careless enough to invite it in, you have given it a legal spiritual right to be in your home. By doing this you have one lonely demon who wants the company of his kind. So by opening the door, it gets pushed wider and wider until there are many others that have occupied your home and, of course, your life. This type of demonic entry point is very common and well known so if one wants to plant the idea of demons in the house you bring up the subject of demons.
The M family doesn't having a background in demonology and/or the paranormal. When we get into the break down of the episode, we'll take a closer look at the M family and Lara's claims of demon activity. Initially, they try to deal with it on their own but nothing works, so they contact some paranormal groups who wish to remain nameless. They find nothing and suggest that the family might look into to some help for Lara from a therapist. [She was under the care of one.]
The family even turned to the church seeking help. The church did an investigation into the matter and found no evidence to move forward with the case.
There were no answers, until representatives from the Kentucky-based group, Commonwealth Paranormal, drove up to the M house to look into the matter.