Paranormal investigations, ghost tours offered in Breckenridge |

Paranormal investigations, ghost tours offered in Breckenridge

Trevor Bariner, paranormal investigator (far left) speaks to guests at the beginning of the Paranormal Investigation. He is joined by Breckenridge Heritage Alliance guide Andi Laidlew (blue) and medium Lisa White (third from left). A Paranormal Investigation will be held Friday, Oct. 30.
Jessica Smith / |

As I first walk into the Briggle Home in Breckenridge, I’m not quite sure what to expect. I had never done a paranormal investigation before and had never seen a single episode of “Ghost Hunters.”

I wouldn’t necessarily say I believe in ghosts, but I also wouldn’t call myself a complete skeptic. I think there are plenty of things that we as humans just don’t understand. And I think that’s part of the draw of a ghost tour — everyone is curious about what happens when we die, whether we cease to exist or whether our souls live on.

One thing becomes very clear as the tour progresses, however, and that is the fact that this investigation isn’t just for show. It isn’t set up like a haunted house with things waiting around each corner; we aren’t given “Ghostbuster” proton packs. This is a real paranormal investigation. Our guides truly, absolutely believe in what they are doing and the investigation is just as much for education as it is for entertainment.

Our paranormal investigator, Trevor Baringer, is a former investigator at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, well known for being part of the inspiration behind Steven King’s “The Shining.” He created the Paranormal Investigation with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance (BHA) in 2013 due to his interest and studies in the subject. The tools we use during the tour are his personally, and he has been practicing for about three or four years now. Lisa White, a medium, joined us to attempt to communicate with spirits. Andi Laidlew, a guide with the BHA, is also part of the tour.

The investigation begins with an explanation of the difference between spirits and ghosts. Ghosts, Trevor tells us, are souls that are earth-bound, in limbo between our world and moving on, possibly due to some sort of unfinished business. Spirits have achieved moving onto a higher consciousness.

There are three types of hauntings — residual, where the ghosts are trapped in a particular moment, doing the same thing over and over; intelligent, ghosts or spirits that know where they are; and inhuman, which is any type of spirit that never was human.

Trevor next goes through all the special tools used to help communicate with spirits. A quartz and amethyst pendulum and dowsing rods are used because they are reactive to energy. We also have more modern tools such as an EMF reader that measures changes in energy fields, flashlights, a voice recorder and Trevor’s baby — a fancy FLIR thermal imaging camera.

He and Lisa tell our group of six a few stories of interesting things that have happened on previous tours. They tell us we aren’t just trying to communicate with deceased residents of the home, but also spirits of possibly our own relatives looking for an outlet to communicate with us. The guides are quick to explain they try to debunk activity as much as they try to prove it, if there are possible other explanations.

Full disclaimer, Trevor says: We wouldn’t be seeing chairs thrown across the room, chandeliers swinging or a girl climbing up the wall with her head spinning. A woman on our tour is visibly relieved.

By now, I’m starting to get a little nervous. I realize at this point that this isn’t just for entertainment and that we really are trying to contact spirits. Is this real? What are we going to see? Do I want to see paranormal activity — or not?

We head into the dining room, and the lights are turned out. The first activity starts. Trevor turns on a device that scans radio frequencies, and the static starts. I’m a little short of breath — I’m nervous, but also decide I really, really want to see evidence of activity. The radio starts kicking and going through channels, occasionally hitting a song or voice but mostly static, and Trevor begins asking questions. Is there someone in the room with us? Did you used to live in this house?

If a certain lost loved one wanted to reach out to me in this venue, I was open to it — I actually started to yearn for it. As we all sat intensely listening, Lisa voiced a few things she felt — male, 25 years old. A name that starts with an “R.” A piece of blue jewelry. A couple of things Lisa said resonates with different members of the group, and the EMF reader went wild a few times.

In the next experiment, we move to the bedroom. The guides spread three different colored flashlights out, set right on that sweet spot between off and on. The red flashlight represents a “yes” answer, blue was “no,” and black was “maybe” or “didn’t understand the question.” The lights would occasionally go on and off without a question being asked, but it still got a bit eerie when Trevor asked the spirit to turn off the blue one, and, after just a second or two, it went off. Especially when it happened two more times.

There was one more experiment and then we wrap the investigation up. The whole tour, both Trevor and Lisa took the time to explain the whys of each activity and the history behind the house and paranormal investigations in general. They were both very avid about the teaching aspect of the tour, wanting guests to leave with more knowledge about the world of spirits and investigations. The tour was enhanced by the investigator/intuitive combo, and the two definitely complement each other throughout the tour.

After the investigation, my coworker Jessica and I sit around with our guides and Lisa and chat about the paranormal, and the discussion even borders on philosophical at times. Trevor and Lisa’s passion about the spirit world is almost palpable as they speak. As we talk about spirits, I realize there are many reasons why people are interested in these types of tours — curiosity, wanting to be entertained or frightened — but also as a means of hope. The inner desire I felt to connect with a lost loved one during the tour was so strong — I wanted to believe that he still existed in some sort of way. We all wonder what happens to us after we die, but we also want to believe that our loved ones are still with us after they go. I’m still unsure of whether I believe the connection was really there, but maybe it left me with just a little bit of hope.

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