All you need to know about Mumbai's new-age ghost hunters

Updated: Nov 04, 2016, 12:58 IST | Krutika Behrawala

A new paranormal research group tries to meet a male spirit in Panvel this weekend, who are the latest to join a bevy of over a dozen such investigative organisations that have cropped up across India

Post midnight on Halloween Eve (this Sunday), 21-year-old Sarbajeet Mohanty, the world’s youngest demonologist certified from New Life Ministry Church School (USA), and 39-year-old Pooja Vijay, a Zumba instructor who moonlights as psychic healer, will visit an abandoned bungalow in Old Panvel to see if it’s haunted by a male spirit witnessed by owner Rashida Contractor.

Also read: Mumbai haunting: Exploring the unknown, the unexplained in the city's twilight zones

Busting myths
“She had spotted the spirit near a water body. According to a paranormal theory, water is a good conductor of electricity; the spirit could be using that energy to manifest,” guesses Bhubaneswar-based Mohanty.

Sarbajeet Mohanty investigates a graveyard in Bhubaneswar
Sarbajeet Mohanty investigates a graveyard in Bhubaneswar

The duo are co-founders of the month-old Parapsychology And Investigative Research Society (P.A.I.R.S), an “all-in-one solution to all problems paranormal” comprising 12 members from across India, Chicago and New York. They had initially conceptualised the visit as the city’s first ghost-hunting event, where guests could participate through donations on the crowdfunding portal, “Since we didn’t receive donations from Mumbai, we’ve turned the event into a private investigation. Mid-December, we plan to conduct workshops on paranormal, metaphysics, quantum mechanics and spirituality. We will also conduct ghost-hunting events at various places in the city,” he adds.

Rahul Kumar at an investigation site
Rahul Kumar at an investigation site

The city-based group is the latest to join a bevy of over a dozen such investigative organisations that have cropped up across India, including the renowned Indian Paranormal Society (IPS) spearheaded by the late Gaurav Tiwari. “Inspired by him, many have turned paranormal investigators recently,” says Mohanty. They are armed with badges of Certified Paranormal Investigators (CPI) received through courses from Western institutes. They also use high-tech, imported ghost-hunting gadgets. “The idea is to bust myths regarding ghosts, remove the fear of the unknown and spread awareness that being a paranormal investigator isn’t taboo. Nearly 90 per cent of supposed paranormal activities can be justified scientifically,” says Mohanty, who charges for travel and stay when he undertakes cases.

E for energy
A ghost or a spirit is nothing but energy, feels Bengaluru-based Dr Rahul Kumar, who is the director of Mumbai-headquartered Team Pentacle. It is a non-profit founded in 2014 by ex-journalist Shishir Kumar to research the world of ghosts, hauntings and UFOs across India. “According to the law of conservation, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So, when a physical body dies, the energy is liberated in the lower cosmic strata in the form of electromagnetic waves. An Electromagnetic Force (EMF) metre enables us to get a reading of these waves. If the range is between 50 and 100, we know it’s neither from humans nor electric sources like wires. These are called as anomalous energies and once confirmed, we begin research,” explains Kumar.

The 29-year-old expert adds, “An energy can never harm a human body but it can have direct effect on the hippocampus region of the brain, which causes hallucinations. Through research, I’ve realised that these energies also have emotions and memories, something that science has been unable to explain.” Team Pentacle receives over 15 spirit-possession cases per month, largely from Mumbai and Rajasthan. “If medical reports are normal, our
parapsychologists and psychics perform meditation rituals to enhance energy re-flows in homes and counsel an individual to increase their positivity,” he says. Vijay adds, “Psychics step in to mark hot and cold spots to find the presence of an energy before the investigators take over.”

Mohanty, who has investigated places in Alibaug, Manali and Bengaluru, informs, “There are two types of communications with energies — Intelligent Communication, where it manifests and we receive replies. Another is Residual Communication, which does not involve an energy but the emotions of a person at the time of death. These get captured by the electromagnetic spectrum, repeat and fade out with time.”

Back in 2008, Kumar couldn’t afford the high tuition fees of IPS’s course and instead, studied from Ghostbusters of Southern California. Today, Team Pentacle offers three-month and long-term courses in paranormal research, starting from `15,000. “Most individuals who approach us are students. You receive a certificate affiliated to ParaNexus Association (USA), which oversees paranormal research in the world,” informs Kumar.

A ghost hunter’s gadgets
>> Temperature gun: A laser gun to detect the temperature of a particular spot.
>> K-II EMF Metre: Priced at `7,000, the metre with five LED lights, detects spikes in electromagnetic energy.
>> Laser Grid: It helps trace apparition of shadow figure.
>> PAIRS Spirit Box: A new, free-to-download mobile app created by Mohanty with developers from UK and Spain to help communicate with the spirits.

Haunted in Mumbai
Mukesh Mills: “Our psychic, Chinmay Tiwari, fainted on the spot. The gadgets went haywire. We tried to shoot photographs but the DSLR screen kept flickering. These positively indicate the presence of an energy,” says Kumar. 
Mahim: A well near the railway station is supposed to be haunted by the spirit of a Parsi man. “A spot behind Paradise cinema too,” informs Mohanty.

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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