Board reverses approval for a ghost hunt

April 10, 2008 8:16:01 AM PDT
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has changed its mind about allowing a paranormal team to look for ghosts at a one-time mental asylum.

Board members last month approved an investigation of the buildings, but decided to vote it down in response to negative feedback, said Board Chairman Rod Sullivan.

He said the board initially did not oppose a request from the Johnson County Historical Society to have a paranormal team conduct a free investigation at the site, which is now a private residential care facility for the mentally ill called Chatham Oaks.

Chatham Oaks officials were among those opposed.

"I think the rules have changed a bit because Chatham Oaks stepped up," said board member Terrence Neuzil. "Obviously, the cards have changed a bit."

Historical society officials said the controversy began in March when they passed along a request from the Carroll Area Paranormal Team to do a scientific study of the site. The team planned to spend one night at the site to look for paranormal activity, using equipment such as thermal imaging cameras and voice recording systems.

Brandon Cochran, museum operations assistant for the historical society, said one of the most common questions from people touring the 153-year-old poor farm is whether it's haunted. Cochran said he had hoped the study would end all the speculation.