In making this magazine, we stepped a bit out of our expertise. Usually, we write about new business, restaurants, etc… Not about the spooky things that go bump in the night. That’s why we spoke with the founders of the paranormal investigators of North Dakota. Wendy Kimble and Stephanie Pinkey to learn a little bit more about some of the supposed hauntings that happen around our state.
What is the most haunted place you have been in the state?
STEPHANIE: I think hands down the most active place is, in my opinion, the Billings County Courthouse museum in Medora. No matter when we go, there’s always activity there. The old hospital in Sentinel Butte is very active as well, even in the middle of the day.
So, what happens at the Billings Courthouse?
STEPHANIE: Everything—shadows people talking, footsteps, people clanging on like the old jail cells. We’ve even experienced things like the mannequins at the museum, having their facial expressions change. People have been pushed and shoved and had their hair pulled. You name it, we’ve experienced it there.
WENDY: We’ve experienced things moving. There’s a chain that bounces. It doesn’t swing back and forth. It actually physically bounces. And it’s an old jailhouse with cement walls and cement floors. There’s nothing physically that could get pushed or whatever to make this chain bounce.
Whatever is there has reacted with pretty much every piece of equipment that we’ve had from super high EMS spikes to digital recordings. We have a music box that interacts with energy when it goes by it. That will go off crazy.
Places they’ve been?
Based out of Minot, these are just a handful of places the Paranormal Investigators of North Dakota have been!
- James Memorial Art Center in Williston
- Old Armory in Williston
- Billings County Courthouse Museum in Medora
- The old hospital in Sentinel Butte
- The Little Missouri Bar and Saloon in Medora
- The old Governor’s mansion in Bismarck
- Minot State University in Minot
Do you guys get scared there?
WENDY: There was one incident where Stephanie was a little intimidated.
STEPHANIE: There’s a room off to the side where the judge would sit in the courthouse part, which is upstairs. And we kind of almost think or feel like that’s where they kept the prisoners right before they would enter the court. Me and two other people were in that room just kind of asking questions and going around with cameras and stuff and I heard this really loud scratch behind me. I usually don’t get scared, but when that happened, I was filled with fear. I did not feel like I should be there. So, I ran down the stairs and was even more white than I usually am. I had to go outside because I couldn’t breathe. That’s the only time I’ve ever run out of a place.
WENDY: Even the energy in that room is very intense. If you imagine a bouncer getting in your face, trying to keep you out of a certain area, you get that feeling when you walk into that area.
STEPHANIE: The last time we went into that room was actually last September and one of our other team members, a big guy named John who plays semi-pro football, went into that room and said it almost seemed like someone shoved him.
Those have been the most interactive kind of hauntings. There are really two different types of hauntings. There are intelligent hauntings where it will interact with you and answer questions and possibly try to scare you. Then there are residual hauntings where something just keeps happening over and over and over. In these instances, it doesn’t usually interact with you. It just kind of goes through the same routine over and over. It’s almost like they’re stamped in space and time.
For residual hauntings, I’d say the most active ones we have seen are the old hospital in Sentinel Butte and the Taube Museum of Art. Wendy has seen full-body apparitions in the Taube museum.
WENDY: The old governor’s mansion is probably a nice combination of both energies, intelligent and residual.
What does it look like to see a full-body apparition?
WENDY: I have taught at the Taube Museum of Art for several years. When I saw an apparition there, it was after anybody should be in the building. I was teaching an art class and I had two girls that were taking the class and their parents said that they’d be coming in a few minutes late so I had to just watch them.
All of a sudden, I heard the chime on the door upstairs and I said, “Okay, girls, your parents must be here. Go ahead and grab your stuff.” | stepped to the door and I see a man walking down the stairs as solid as you and I. He stepped down to the landing and I stepped up toward the guy to greet him. He looked in my direction and he took a right away from me. And I was thinking, “Okay, girl, there’s somebody that’s here, that’s not supposed to be here.” I’m trying to chase the guy down. I’m saying, “Excuse me, sir. We’re not open. Is there something I can help you with?” I continue to chase this guy. He walks around the next corner and I try cutting him off to go another direction. And there’s nobody there.
The girls that were there saw him as well because the girls came out after me and they were asking, “Who’s that man?”
He had a hat on and I would say a probably 1950s kind of dress. He had a long suit jacket on and long dress pants and dress shoes. We kind of figured it possibly was the bank manager of the bank or president of the bank that used to occupy the building. If you come from the top level and go down to that direction where he would have gone, there’s an old safe down there.
Have you guys always believed in ghosts?
STEPHANIE: I think so. We’ve all been experiencing things ever since we were children. I used to hear footsteps, doors slamming and people talking. Wendy has seen loved ones come to her bedside after they pass away. That’s kind of what got us into it. We want to know why we are experiencing these things while also proving that they do exist.
WENDY: We believe in something outside of this existing plane and we do go about it very scientifically. If a business or homeowner comes to us and says, “Oh my gosh, we’re seeing shadows. We’re having these doors open and close and we’re having lights flashing on and off,” we go about it scientifically as much as we can and try and debunk everything. We’re not going to these places to just automatically be like, “Oh my gosh, yes, you have all these paranormal things going on.” We try and debunk everything as much as we possibly can. If we catch some Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs) or we have some things happen that are unexplainable, we’ll let them know that yeah definitely have something. We’re definitely not going to tell them right away that you are definitely haunted.
What should our readers know if they are looking to go to a haunted location?
WENDY: Definitely get permission from whoever owns the land and make sure to ask for permission from whatever is occupying the area. That’s huge. There are a lot of people that go looking for the wrong things and they’re disrespectful to the energies that are there. It is also always best to always abide by the law. You don’t want to go in and break locks and cause trouble. Be respectful of both those that are living and those who have passed.
Is there anything else you guys want to say for the article that you haven’t touched on?
STEPHANIE: We do go into residences and help people but we don’t post that stuff on Facebook and we don’t charge people for doing that at all. We strictly want to help people. Both those that are still living and those who have passed.
To watch content and get updates from the Paranormal Investigators of North Dakota, check them out on Facebook (PINDMinot).