For Guillermo Fuentes, lead investigator for San Antonio Paranormal Investigations (SAPI), dark corridors and the macabre are all part of the job.
The 12-year veteran of paranormal investigations knows a thing or two about the ghost fever that surrounds every October, but he and his team choose to focus on the science of the spooky.
“We’re interested in conducting long-term research instead of focusing on just one night,” Fuentes explains. “It is my belief we’ll get [more] information that way than anything we can get in eight hours. It’s not just about where the phenomena happens, but what circumstances contribute to it.”
Employing a variety of equipment like infrared cameras, recording devices, electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors and temperature and barometric pressure sensors, SAPI deals in firm data. During a recent investigation of the Old Alsatian Steakhouse and Restaurant in Castroville, Texas, the SAPI team returned for their eighth time to the historic landmark. With fellow investigator Louis Farias, psychic sensitive Melanie Ross and a psychic-in-training, Fuentes continued putting together the pieces of a tragic past.
Among the chief players is the ghost of Catherine Krust, the wife of Joseph Krust who originally built the home in 1853. She is believed to be the occasional full-body apparition of the woman in the heart of the kitchen and dining room. Records indicate she bore children, but lost the first in its infancy.
“When you do this type of work you develop a relationship with whatever’s there if it’s intelligent. I believe some entities have a consciousness and are aware of what you’re asking,” continued Fuentes.
With an initial electronic voice phenomena (EVP) session in the museum building, Fuentes and his team attempted to build on the compiled information about another entity believed to be the original occupier of the structure. While it now acts a museum for the archeological digs on the property, the entity believed to have built the house still enjoys standing on his front porch.
According to Ross, many spiritual beings that attach themselves to someone or something after their passing simply need to be told to move onto the next life. The reasons for not doing so are surprisingly…human.
“Somewhere along the way, these [entities] got stuck,” Ross says. “My father for example was a very religious man who believed in hell. He is afraid to cross over and go into the light because he scared he’ll be sent to hell. That is the problem with a number of entities. I tell them they need to progress.”
The fundamental questions about the afterlife addressed by Ross are not just limited to fear, but also include positive examples of those embracing an eternal hereafter. Ross is not so quick to dismiss calling such intervention therapyfor those unwilling to face the next phase of existence.
Yet the lifelong medium is quick to include it is much more than moving on. To try to assign adjectives to the afterlife is to stumble on to a metaphysical quandary. Yet for Ross, one comes almost immediately to mind.
“When entities walk into the light, they walk into the love. When they walk into that they want to stay for a long time. It is 100 percent concentrated love,” she explained.
As cameras rolled in the courtyard and walkways of the Alsatian, the SAPI team tried once more to make contact with Catherine Krust in order to fill in the biographical holes public record cannot explain.
As the clock passed 1 am, the lights went out in the main dining room and thus began the conversation with one of the founding families of the Castro colony. In order to collect the best possible data, SAPI investigators like Farias are the hardest people to convince. For that matter the harshest critics of paranormal evidence may just be other investigators.
“When we have people bring us evidence like a picture you need to know what to examine,” explained Farias. “That’s why it’s so important to look at the environment where all of this is happening. For us, that’s why we investigate the same place numerous times.”
As SAPI wrapped up another investigation, there were still hours of work ahead reviewing their results. Yet far removed from thrill seekers and embellished accounts of the spooky, they join a loyal contingent of emerging investigators putting a realistic face on the paranormal.
Visit the site of the investigation at www.oldalsatiansteakhouse.com and San Antonio Paranormal Investigations at www.paranormalinvestigations.org for more information.