Penn State offers many different groups for students to join, from Greek life and THON organizations to a Paranormal Research club.
The Paranormal Research Society, or PRS, is a Penn State club that has recently been reactivated by now-club president, Mitchell Cunningham. The club investigates places that are thought to be haunted on campus while also responding and investigating requests from people who live in the surrounding area.
“The club has a different amount of investigations each semester, depending on the number of calls we get,” Cunningham (senior-premedicine) said. “If we get no calls for a while we go to Schwab or the library to learn more about the paranormal happenings there.”
When PRS goes to the Schwab Auditorium or the Pattee and Paterno libraries, they said they get strong paranormal reactions.
Two years ago, the club went to the auditorium at night and a member went on stage to witness the paranormal happenings for herself, Cunningham said. The member was given headphones that were playing white noise, which is a medium through which the spirits can communicate, Cunningham said.
Without realizing, began to recite a monologue from the play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” which she said she was hearing through the headphones. When members of the club realized that the monologue was from that play, they looked it up and realized that in the 1940s the play was performed on that exact stage, he said.
Along with headphones, the club uses many different types of tools to first sense spirits and then understand them, including the Electronic Voice Phenomenon and the Electromagnetic Field, club member Shantelle Williams said.
An Electronic Voice Phenomenon records paranormal sounds while an Electronic Magnetic Field measures magnetic fields.
To use an Electric magnetic field, the operator must first “measure the magnetic field in the area to create a base line,” Williams (junior-integrated arts) said. “If there is a spike in the magnetic field for anything unexplainable it is probably something of paranormal nature.”
PRS is a tight-knit club with only about 30 members.
“We do investigations that can be intense so we try to keep the club at a reasonable size,” club member, Rachel Moeser (sophomore-nutritional sciences) said. “It is better to go through these kinds of experiences with people that are close to you.”
While the club may seem selective, it’s not too difficult to make it through the interview process if you have a genuine interest in the paranormal, Cunningham said.
The Paranormal Research Society was started in 2001 by Ryan Buell. It began as an attempt to study and learn more about paranormal happenings and quickly grew into something more when they began investigating a missing person case and frequently traveled to Philadelphia to confront darker spirits.
As PRS became more well-known, they were soon offered their own show “Paranormal State” on the television channel A&E. The show aired in December 2007.
While “Paranormal State” is a show about Penn State’s original PRS, it is not affiliated with the PRS available to students today. The current PRS features all new members and conducts independent investigations.