Linda Zimmermann talks to ghosts. She beckons them to show their presence. To catch their unseen sounds and movements, she sets up gadgets like electronic voice recorders and infrared cameras. She has some new techy devices like the K2 meter and the Trifield Meter that either light up or beep if a spirit comes near. Because of her scientific background (she has degrees in Chemistry and English Lit), Zimmermann needs proof. And over the course of ten plus years, she’s gotten plenty, pictures and stories and sound recordings, and put many of them into her books. Thirteen of them to be exact.
Zimmermann is so well versed on the subject that she is a sought-after speaker, and does about 40 ghost lectures a year. On a recent stop at the historic Fort Montgomery battlefield museum in Orange County (photo, left), she entertained a large crowd with spooky slides and eerie personal experiences. The Orange County native has heard unexplained noises, seen unusual orbs, and at one location was actually led by a spirit to find a certain article, in a certain cabinet drawer, that mentioned Linda’s name. “I can’t explain that one,” she says. “In this large room filled with cabinets, I felt drawn to a particular bottom cabinet, and a certain file, and the first article I pull out is a story on ghosts, with my name and website mentioned. The spirit wanted to let me know that he or she knew who I was.” That event occurred in Pike County, PA, in a museum called, “The Columns.” Other places include the famous estate, Boscobel, in Garrison, Dutchess County, where a spirit lingers. “There is a back large window that faces the Hudson River where many people said they’ve seen a woman in an 18th century-style dress looking out the window.” And the restaurant, 1776, in Tappan. “Ask to sit at table 2, and see what happens,” she says, with a laugh.
Sometimes Zimmermann goes on private ghost hunts for a homeowner who just wants to know they aren’t crazy. She was called in by a woman who said she heard children laughing and running around, and sometimes poking family members in their sleep. On a few investigations to the home, Zimmermann was able to confirm the reports and looked into the background of the house. Just acknowledging the presence of a spirit is all that’s needed for the spirit to find peace, says Zimmermann. Not long after Zimmermann mentioned her findings, the ghostly activity ceased.
But before Zimmermann commits to a ghost hunt, she does some initial work through a series of phone interviews and a brief visit to the location. If she senses that something evil may be lurking, she brings in a psychic to confirm her feelings. There have been cases where a real angry force is detected, and Zimmermann will advise that a demonic expert be called in. Besides a demonic haunting, there are two other types of hauntings. The residual haunting is when a figure repeats a certain action, like walking past a window, and there’s a poltergeist that causes harmless mischief like moving objects around. There is no charge to have a home checked, since as Zimmermann explains, “I can’t promise that I can clean their house. I can confirm the haunting, and it’s up to the homeowner to accept it, or move on.”
After her Fort Montgomery lecture on Thursday, October 22, Zimmermann conducted a short ghost investigation. The battlefield is one of her favorite spots because of her interest in military history. “The Fort has the perfect ingredients for being haunted. It was originally inhabited by Native Americans, then there were countless lives lost in battle, and the site that the museum building was constructed was where the fallen soldiers were collected,” she explains. Staff workers have told stories of sounds of something being dragged, a dark figure by a doorway, and the sound of moving furniture in the downstairs conference room.
On a past investigation, the psychic detected the spirit of a soldier, named John. He was felt at one spot writing a letter, feeling discouraged by the war, and then moving to another spot where she sensed that he died. During this recent investigation, Zimmermann set up her meters and called out to “John” to show his presence. The K2 meter and Trifield Meters were set up and ready. But, alas, it was a quiet night. Perhaps the large crowd that had just dispersed kept the spirits away. There’s no answer. Zimmermann agrees that ghost hunting can be like waiting for a shooting star. It takes patience, and a real desire to spot one.
To find out more about Linda Zimmermann, her books, or about future lectures, log on to her website, www.ghostinvestigator.com.
MJ Hanley-Goff’s is editing a follow-up to her first novel, The Bench. She’s taught classes in freelance writing, and is a founding partner of “Women For Women,” an organization inspiring women to pursue their passion. Visit her online journal, mjwrites.net She also muses about entrepreneurial topics at www.WomenForWomenSite.com