On the other side

English teacher collects stories through paranormal investigation


Darcy Leber

Wyatt awaits an answer after asking a spirit a question using a makeshift pendulum. She used a student’s hair and her ring to do so.

English teacher Paige Wyatt stood across the street from the historic Hannah House, a house on the southside of Indianapolis that has hosted psychics, news crews and paranormal investigators since 1980.

Wyatt, being one of those investigators, was investigating the renowned property from across the street, since she was careful about not trespassing. With the help of her husband, Jordan Wyatt, she was communicating with a spirit who had died there.

Among other things, Wyatt says the spirit told them about how she died there, her curiosity and her loneliness. According to Wyatt, providing this spirit with company and learning her story was one of her favorite experiences as a paranormal investigator.

“I consider myself a collector of stories, and that’s one way to collect stories, …  to talk to people who used to live and be around during times that you weren’t alive,” Wyatt said. “What I’ve found is that most of the time people want to talk about their version of a story that maybe hasn’t been told yet.”

Wyatt uses her passion for paranormal investigating to collect stories and educate others.

This passion has been with her almost her entire life. According to Wyatt, she has always been interested in paranormal activity but was further drawn into actually investigating by her husband.

“I’ve always been drawn to it, (but) my husband really pulled me into it because he grew up in a haunted house,” Wyatt said. “I always thought that fantasy and horror were really cool genres, and once I started researching about it a little bit (and) watching TV shows, I decided to try it myself.”

The TV show that decided her fate ended up being “Hellier” since it showed less of the theatrics of paranormal activity but more so the reality of it.

Around four years ago, Wyatt became what she saw in the TV shows, investigating haunted sites with Jordan by her side. Since then, they have investigated at least 20 places, including the Hannah House, the Whispers Estate and the Indiana State Sanatorium. They have even traveled out of state, as far as West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, to investigate.

But they don’t just investigate places that are known to be haunted. To find where they might investigate next, they may do an internet search, investigate the validity of claims or use the Randonautica app.

Although they only use it on occasion, the Randonautica app helps them find places where spirits would be willing to talk to them. When using the app, they search for places with the intention of what they may want to find.

“Sometimes we’ll pull up the Randonaut app, and we’ll be like ‘Okay, take us somewhere where spirits want to talk to us,’ and it’ll give us a set of coordinates,” Wyatt said.

When arriving at a site, respecting spirits as if they were still alive is of the utmost importance to them. To show this respect, Wyatt and Jordan usually leave an offering, whether it be a coin or flowers, and cover their heads.

Along with the physical ways they show respect, they also try to have respect when interacting with the spirits. The best way to get results, Wyatt says, is to treat the spirits the same as someone who is living.

“It’s really just about being respectful, and taking precautions like doing your research (and) bringing something,” Wyatt said. “It’s like you would in anybody’s home, you come in and maybe you bring a dish to a party, it’s the same kind of thing.” 

When attempting to talk with the spirits, they first introduce themselves, tell the spirits why they are there and ask if they can speak with them. If a spirit declines, they respect that and leave immediately. If the spirit agrees, they will ask questions until the spirit is done talking.

To talk to the spirits, Wyatt and Jordan use a spirit box, tarot cards or a pendulum. They also record most of their sessions on an EVP recorder. According to Wyatt, they are low-tech compared to other paranormal investigators, since they have not invested tremendous amounts of money into it.

During this process, Wyatt and Jordan handle different parts. Jordan generally works with a spirit box, which is a hand-held AM FM radio that rapidly switches between stations. If he hears talking, it is believed to be a spirit’s words.

“I wear headphones and noise-canceling headphones so that there’s no pareidolia associated with it,” Jordan said. “Because if we were all sitting around and someone said, ‘Is there someone here with us?’ all of us are going to be trying to hear what would make sense as an answer to that question.”

While Jordan is handling the spirit box, Wyatt is asking the spirit questions. Their collaboration makes the process easier and their claims more reputable, since Jordan cannot hear what Wyatt is asking.

According to Jordan, he enjoys having Wyatt with him there as she makes the experience better.

“It’s always nice to have another person with … me there so you’re not quite as scared if you’re not alone,” Jordan said.

Along with her helpfulness, Wyatt’s passion for her hobby makes the experience better for others. Her cousin Savannah Skinner has gone investigating with her at least twice a year, and she says this passion is evident.

“I can tell that she’s really passionate about (paranormal investigating) just through her devotion of time to it,” Skinner said.

Skinner recalls her time visiting the Indiana State Sanatorium with Wyatt. According to Skinner, Wyatt was very respectful to the spirits there and very patient in listening to their answers. If Wyatt gets any sense of discomfort from a spirit, Skinner says, she shuts down the investigation immediately.

Since Wyatt is so passionate about her work, Skinner feels as though she is able to bond with Wyatt when doing investigations with her.

“I feel like I’ve gotten to know her more closely through this type of stuff,” Skinner said.

English teacher Erin Ancelet can also attest to Wyatt’s passion for her hobby. For around two years, Wyatt has told Ancelet about her paranormal investigating adventures. Through these conversations, Ancelet can tell how passionate Wyatt is about it.

“I do feel like she’s genuine when she talks about it,” Ancelet said, ”And when she talks about how she’s gone to observe and investigate, how what she has experienced seems real.”

Because of her love for this hobby, Wyatt does not plan to stop investigating anytime soon. Right now, she and Jordan are planning their next big trip in the summer. Wyatt is hoping to travel to the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, or she plans on going to the East Coast.

For however long they may continue to do this, Wyatt’s passion for paranormal investigating will not end. She understands that everyone’s beliefs on what is actually happening are different, but she will continue to believe in her collection of stories that she holds so dear.

“Even if you don’t believe in spirit contact or communication, maybe there’s an explanation for what we’re seeing, or what we’re hearing, or what we’re experiencing,” Wyatt said. “I’m not saying that we totally 100% are, I’m just saying that I like to believe that we’re just listening to people talk about their lives and their stories.”