Not your average ghostbuster
Vaporize your notions of coveralls and proton packs, ghost traps and a catchy theme song. Real-life ghost hunter Rebecca Chiodo will tell you all you need is a digital camera, patience and a respectful interest in the spirit world.
A resident of Eagle for four years as well as a wife and mother of two, Chiodo had an interest in the supernatural from a young age. Early on she found herself in tune with her own psychic abilities and aware of her “spirit guides” – non-physical entities that serve to protect and guide an individual.
“I’ve always had an interest in the supernatural,” said Chiodo. “And we all have spirit guides that help us to become more attuned to things that are ‘not of this world.’ These guides can be someone that you had a past life with or a more highly evolved soul. We all have them, you just need to tap into them.”
Ghost hunting wasn’t a lofty goal of hers in the beginning, but after some experiences with spirits at a ranch her husband cared for in Eagle, she decided to take the next step and become a certified ghost hunter.
“We saw apparitions and heard noises in this place,” said Chiodo. “That’s when I got the idea to do some research and see what the next step would be.”
After some extensive Web research in the fall of 2002, Chiodo stumbled upon the site for the International Ghost Hunter Society (www.ghostweb.com) and elected to take an online course that officially made her a certified ghost hunter.
The course, covering a myriad of subjects like ghost folklore and tradition, psychology of earth-bound spirits and ghost photography, armed Chiodo with the tools she needed to gather proof of the habitation of ghosts in a number of places from old hotels to her own garage.
Digital camera in hand, Chiodo has successfully captured a number of ghosts on film and continues to add to her already impressive stash of prints.
“Ghosts or spirit energy can show up as orbs or ectoplasm,” says Chiodo. “Orbs are circular patterns of light in a picture and ectoplasm is the appearance of fog or white streaks when there is no other reason for this presence to exist on camera.”
The best orb picture that Chiodo can claim as her own was taken on an excursion she took through Ghost Hunter Magazine to the Oxford Hotel in Denver this past March. Known as Denver’s oldest hotel, the Oxford has a reputation for having a number of unregistered guests.
“I felt fearful when we entered the attic,” said Chiodo. “It was very haunted and the atmosphere had this incredible weight to it.”
In addition to incredible pictures, Chiodo was able to utilize her knowledge of EVP – electronic voice phenomena – to record “ghost voices” on a digital recorder.
“The voices almost sound like they are in a tunnel,” said Chiodo. “It’s amazing.”
One evening, the attic of the Oxford produced a number of recordings from different ghost voices whispering things like, “maybe you should sleep” and “don’t feel sorry for me.”
Skepticism is a relevant viewpoint when it comes to interests in spirit worlds or dimensions that aren’t clearly defined. Chiodo has had the opportunity to explain her beliefs and, at the same time, open the eyes of others to her way of thinking.
“I have an aunt who was pretty skeptical and now she has her own digital recording device,” Chiodo said.
Ghost hunting is a hobby for Chiodo, and because of this she isn’t currently charging people with would-be haunted homes a fee for her services.
“It’s more about the idea of knowledge dispelling fear and that’s what I am trying to do,” said Chiodo. “But if the homeowner would like to donate for time and information, that’s fine.”
For more information on ghost hunting or to request her expertise in your own haunted home, call Rebecca Chiodo at 471-3721.
Jennifer Wagoner is a freelance writer based in Vail.