A group of paranormal researchers has claimed that one of their supposedly haunted artifacts has resisted attempts to 3D scan it. The researchers work for the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult, which claims to be “the world’s only mobile museum of haunted artifacts.” The museum is busy scanning its catalog of haunted, possessed, and cursed objects in order to create a digital database of these devilish doohickeys.
According to one of the museum’s directors Greg Newkirk, these scans are a new technique and as such, are bound to encounter unforeseen phenomena:
In hindsight, I guess we should have anticipated this, but when it comes to working with haunted artifacts in new, unexplored ways, you never know what’s going to happen. We’re attempting something that’s never been done before, laying the groundwork for future study of paranormally-active objects. There are going to be quirks we can’t see coming.
One of the museum’s possessed artifacts, a large African idol with an alleged tendency to cause horrific nightmares, reportedly had to be coaxed into submission. The researchers used a technique known as Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, in which ghosts’ voices are recorded on electronic media in order to ask the idol why it might be causing the technical difficulties. The museum’s other founder, Dana Matthews, claims that a voice recorded during the session told them the scans were making the idol (named Billy) anxious:
Some objects just don’t want to be scanned. In the case of Billy, he kept literally putting up a wall in front of his face every time we tried to scan it. We had to sit down and conduct an EVP session with him to find out he was just concerned about the scanning process; he didn’t understand what we were trying to do with him.
The group claims Billy said he did not want to be scanned when asked during the EVP session. A crackly, nearly indistinct voice can be heard in the video below, but that isn't necessarily proof that the voice actually belongs to Billy. EVP sessions are notoriously dubious.
While making a database of 3D scans of these paranormal and occult objects is a neat endeavor, I can't help but feeling like this one is merely a publicity campaign. Most of the so-called "paranormal researchers" with cable television presence are known to make dubious claims to get ratings. Plus, technical glitches can happen for any number of reasons not related to the whims of ghosts. Who knows, though? Maybe the spirit inside Billy really is camera shy. Whatever the case may be, a Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult is pretty neat. The museum’s upcoming tour dates can be found on their website.