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Jan-31-2007 13:09printcomments

Salem Paranormal Investigates Ghostly Activity at State Fairgrounds

Group says they recorded unexplainable voice-type sounds during their investigation.

Salem Paranormal logo
Salem Paranormal began operations in June '06.

(SALEM) - Oregon's capitol city is home base for a new paranormal research operation, and the group is already conducting investigations of potentially haunted locations in the Salem area.

Chris Califf, President of Salem Paranormal, says their team investigated areas of the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday, January 13th, "SPI toured several of the facilities on the grounds where reports of murders and accidental deaths had occurred." The group was accompanied by State Fair representative Wayne Peterson.

Califf says that during their investigation, SPI was informed of an accidental hanging that occurred in a stall located at the horse barn.

He and SPI Vice-President Mike Watson secluded themselves in the stall to snap photos and record any audio evidence. Watson asked a series of standard questions aloud during an "EVP" recording, and Califf snapped photos of the interior of the stall. Aside from unexplained thuds, nothing unusual seemed to occur during the investigation of the stall. Or so it seemed.

After finishing their tour of the State Fairgrounds, the team of SPI returned to base with all of their collected data for further analysis. Califf says they played back of the audio recorded during the session in the stall and detected sounds that they could not explain, "There were several instances of whispered voices, unintelligible whispers and odd noises."

Researchers have been gathering EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) recordings for over a hundred years, though many people are not familiar with the practice. New digital recorders simplify the process of recording these ghost voices through increased sensitivity.

While it is not recognized as official science, solid unexplainable recordings of voices of people who were not present have been taking place according to some sources, since 1901. In the 1950's, the study of EVP again came to light and popularity through the work of Raymond Bayless and Attila von Sealay, who used a microphone located inside a trumpet to record voices of people that could not be detected through the human ear, only electronically.

Califf and Watson maintain that crediblity is of major importance. Ghost researchers always face scrutiny, but those who challenge their own findings and support their work with a critical eye are generally received the best.

Below is a transcription of the audio from their investigation at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, and a link to the audio files online.

SPI does not put forth that the whispered voice heard is that of the victim of the accidental death, nor do they claim it is the voice of a ghost. SPI members Califf and Watson attest to the fact that neither of them were whispering during the recording, the stall doors were closed and no one was within whispering distance of the exterior of the stall during the recording. Also, the transcription is merely a potential interpretation of what is possibly being said, listen for yourself and judge. You will hear a clicking and a beep during the recordings, this is Chris Califf snapping photos of the stall interior. All other mechanical noises are shifts in the recorder position. Any other unaccounted for noises are noted within the transcript.

Select the links below for examples of what the Salem Paranormal team recorded at the state fairgrounds.

Transcription follows:

File: Whole EVP-1 Link to EVP recording #1

Watson: Do you have a message for us or for anyone?

EVP: (whispered) don't (unintelligible whisper) (odd reverb noises) to walk the world is horrible

File: Whole EVP-2 Link to EVP recording #2

Watson: Can you tell us your name?

EVP: Help me, help me up. (Loud noise) (Heavy whisper unintelligible)

File: Whole EVP-3 Link to EVP recording #3

Calif: Is there anything you'd like to say?

EVP: (Unintelligible whispering)

File: Whole EVP-4 Link to EVP recording #4

Watson: Is there any reason you haven't passed on?

EVP: (Unintelligible) you (unintelligible) (unintelligible) all of you (Loud crashing noise)


Califf says the State Fair has been presented with these and other findings based on that evening's investigation and SPI has been invited back to continue their investgation.

Salem Paranormal has a slide show on their Website from the night of the investigation, you can find them on the web at:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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tee August 24, 2012 3:11 pm (Pacific time)

I went to chemawa in 95 and yes it is haunted I have experienced n seen things chemawa Indian high-school should be investigated it is the oldest native American boarding school open from when they first took the children from the reservation. I would like to see what you guys come up with

JJ July 28, 2012 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

Check out Dallas Supermarket I hear they have been having a love of activity lately. they even have it on video!

Kent Rasmussen March 24, 2011 9:00 pm (Pacific time)

Hey guys this is kent from salem paranormal investigators and we need your help with places to hunt

Editor: Kent, feel free to drop me an email:

Trish Dowell October 23, 2010 11:04 am (Pacific time)

The voice you recorded was that of my (former) roommate, Michael. He was the one that died in that tack room. Interesting that his spirit resides there, because two days after his death, he showed up at our apartment. Are spirits know to be transient like that?

jingles123 October 5, 2010 4:27 pm (Pacific time)

I work at chemawa indian school and there is definately spirits stuck here for many reasons..over the years students have had many of the same complaints of being bothered by spirits, some of their stories identical to other students experiences.Many staff members including myself have had numerous "encounters" with spirits. Really would be interesting to see what you find.

jingles123 October 5, 2010 4:26 pm (Pacific time)

I work at chemawa indian school and there is definately spirits stuck here for many reasons..over the years students have had many of the same complaints of being bothered by spirits, some of their stories identical to other students experiences.Many staff members including myself have had numerous "encounters" with spirits. Really would be interesting to see what you find.

brandon timm April 26, 2010 12:37 am (Pacific time)

my cousin and i were walking by the small oak grove by the fairgrounds and in the middle of the wooded area we saw a dark figure standing still for atleast five minutes and mysteriously vanished.

jc January 30, 2010 11:54 pm (Pacific time)

investigate Fairveiw before it's gone!!! can feel the energy coming off that place!! July 11, 2009 5:04 pm (Pacific time)

interrest in ghost hunting can you help me ?

dylan isaacs April 20, 2009 10:14 am (Pacific time)

i think would like to help find why Haunting the fairgrounds. myemil is

holly January 12, 2009 5:36 pm (Pacific time)

I have the ability to see and feel spirits around. I would I feel like they follow me everywhere. I am a resident of Salem and there isnt a place here that I have been where I didnt see something paranormal.

Tim King: Holly, plese send me an email: 

Brandon Timm September 15, 2008 4:06 pm (Pacific time)

A friend of my uncle told him about a house in Salem oregon that no matter what you do it is always cold in the living room, my uncle later on found out his dad my grandpa died in that house in the living room.

christy August 26, 2008 11:15 am (Pacific time)

Would the horses be able to sense it if something was there? Does anyone who has shown horses at the fair had experiences while there at night with the horses?

Jesse August 18, 2008 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

I'm going to be a negative nancy lol, as an audio engineer I would like to know all of the equipment used in recording of "ghost" recordings. I am somewhat skeptical of these recordings. There is is a large amount of digital artifacts that are limiting the audibility of this recording. In the "EVP 1" file, what is heard as "don't" has proximity effect and plosives on the D typical with a human whispering. Not trying to prove anything just throwing that out there. To get the most truthful recordings I would suggest using Earthworks omni mics among other high quality gear. I would like to hear more cool things about Salem like this but please keep the quality as high as possible. Thanks for keeping this in WAV format and not MP3 but i suggest recording maybe at a higher sample rate and at least at 24 bit depth. This is one thing that annoys me about "ghost shows" and the likes is lack of more "scientific" recording. ok i'm done being a snob.

sara roth June 8, 2008 1:05 am (Pacific time)


Carolyn May 28, 2008 10:06 pm (Pacific time)

Have you thought of investigating Chemawa Indian School? I have a friend who works there and he has told me some freaky stuff!

May May 22, 2008 10:26 am (Pacific time)

I have showed horses at the fairgrounds for many years. Sometimes at night if your there alone there is a very eerie feeling there. The fairgrounds are haunted I know that for sure. maybe you guys should investigate the show arena??

Denise January 17, 2008 5:52 pm (Pacific time)

When my mother died my brother moved into her house (he was mom's golden child). Now when ever he and his wife fight or other things the light in the dining room blinks and I believe a nephew (3 or 4 years of age) of his wife said something about talking to a lady. When asked he pointed to a picture mom. She had been dead for some time already. This is in Salem if you are interested.

Editor to Denise: I'm completely interested, please email me at

Henry Ruark February 3, 2007 12:20 pm (Pacific time)

From current indications in first short work-time, plenty more coming soon from "the Arena" with all those elected participants...

Raven February 2, 2007 7:22 am (Pacific time)

Very interesting article. Hope to see more of these.

Curious Public February 1, 2007 9:17 am (Pacific time)

So what can we expect to see next? What are the other haunted places in Salem?

Lela February 1, 2007 7:07 am (Pacific time)

That gave me goose bumps!

Henry Clay Ruark January 31, 2007 11:20 pm (Pacific time)

Anyone else note similarity to missing "silent" GOP Governorial candidate ? Corporate campaign contributions, when allowed to ferment long enough, sometimes cause such situations.

Osotan January 31, 2007 9:26 pm (Pacific time)

and there's a lot of paranormal activity at 1600 Pensylvania Ave.,Wash. D.C..,abnormal residual levels of actvity also observed in Crawford, Texas too

Sara McLeod January 31, 2007 7:27 pm (Pacific time)

Salem is one of the most haunted places in Oregon, there is also a lot of paranormal activity in the neighboring communities.

Osotan January 31, 2007 4:53 pm (Pacific time)

send this group to the White House for a look see.

Matt Johnson January 31, 2007 4:40 pm (Pacific time)

Haunted Salem? That is really cool, I think the fairgrounds are great but creepy in a couple of places.

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