Paranormal Investigation

According to a 2007 Harris poll, 41% of Americans believe in ghosts, 35% in U.F.O.s, and 31% in witches. The paranormal courses give you a multidisciplinary approach to studying the unknown. You will examine the paranormal state, from understanding the role of spirits in different cultures to understanding investigative techniques and practices.

PLEASE NOTE: Harper College does not maintain a capability to investigate paranormal cases. Our instructors are not able to help with individual situations.  There are a number of paranormal investigation groups across the country. We do not endorse any group, but you can get information about such groups at these two websites or through a web search.

 You should never pay for a consultation or investigation. Reputable groups generally do not charge for investigations.

Example of an apparitionListen to this! What do you hear? What do you think?

This is an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recording we picked up during one of our CE Paranormal Investigation courses in October, 2011. The investigator asks, "Walter, are you in the hallway?" A voice responds, saying, "I was just down there." Can you hear him?

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Note: not all courses are offered every semester.

Paranormal Courses

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More Than Mere Ghost Stories: Investigating Folklore - ONLINE

Noted paranormal historian Ursula Bielski goes online to describe places and events that have transcended folklore to become important paranormal investigations. She covers important Chicago paranormal sites such as Lincoln Park and the old City Cemetery grounds, Robinson Woods, and Bachelors Grove, as well as events including the crash of Flight 191, the Iroquois Theater Fire, and the Eastland Disaster. Also examined are incidents from around the country including the Borden murders, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Galveston Flood. Ursula is an author and the founder of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. She holds an M.A. in American cultural and intellectual history.  LAA 0114

Ghosts and Spirit Entities: Global Perspectives

Develop a broad knowledge of how spirits are understood globally and the social roles they play that will give you a new perspective on how Western societies consider ghosts, spirits and the paranormal. Instructors: Mary Marshall, the founder of The Paranormal MD group, and Scott Cashman, who earned his PhD at the University of Massachusetts in cultural anthropology. LAA 0107

Paranormal Investigation I: Introduction to Investigating

Begin with a typology of entities and hauntings as classified in Western culture. You will look at the proper use of equipment and software, the evidence review process, and potential pitfalls. Then examine the audio, video, and photo software that can be employed in evidence review. Instructor: Mary Marshall. LAA 0206

Paranormal Investigation II: Site Investigation

Learn to conduct a paranormal investigation under the direction of Bob Jensen who has more than 20 years of investigative experience. You'll capture EVPs, and use photography and video to capture images. Prerequisite: Paranormal Investigation I. Instructor: Bob Jensen, a 20 year veteran of paranormal investigation. LAA 0207

Paranormal Investigation: Local History Research

You will use microfilm as well as electronic newspaper and periodical databases, including those of the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald, and historical societies to research local hauntings in history.
Instructor: Mark McPherrin, adjunct professor of history at Harper. LAA 0307

Paranormal Investigation: Managing a Team

You will learn how make decisive investments in equipment, manage people and schedules, and monitor performance on and off site as you build your investigative team. Instructor: Mary Marshall. LAA 0407

Ghosts of the Civil War

Stories of ghosts and hauntings at Civil War sites are still actively investigated by dozens of paranormal investigation groups each year. You will first learn the folklore about ghosts of slavery, the Underground Railroad and Abraham Lincoln. Next, you will hear the stories associated with Gettysburg, battlefields and prisons. Instructor: Bob Jensen. LAA 0111

Ghosts, Paranormal, and American Culture

Explore pre-colonization paranormal beliefs in Native American cultures, consider the many beliefs that were brought into the new nation from colonizers and slaves alike, and discuss how belief has evolved. Instructor: Terra Parnell, BA in anthropology from the University of Missouri. LAA 0148

Cemeteries and Death

Cemeteries, Cinema and the Lighter Side of Death

You will also look at death and cemeteries in related films and TV shows. Trivia, quotes, famous last words, and amusing epitaphs on tombstones provide insight about our attitudes and practices regarding death and cemeteries reflect. You will leave with new ways of looking at death as you consider its place in American culture. Instructor: Michael Nejman, founder of LAA 0109

Confessions of a Cemetery Photographer: Grave Obsession

Michael Nejman has photographed images include graveyards in Canada, England, Italy, Egypt, Russia, Tibet, Peru, Kenya and the United States. Celebrity gravesites from his Graves of the Rich'n'Famous collection include Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Edgar Allan Poe, Jimi Hendrix, and Oscar Wilde. His program features: dying to get in (his top 10 cemetery list), loose dirt (fun trivia), last words, cinematic cemetery moments, and books about death, cemeteries and related topic. Instructor: Michael Nejman. LAA 0110

UFO and Aliens

Ancient Aliens The History Channel: Evaluating the Evidence

Review evidence of past extraterrestrial-human contacts present on Ancient Aliens, a popular History Channel series. Instructor: Lee Minnerly, MA in anthropology. LAA 0112

The Extraterrestrial Life Debate: Are We Alone?

You will survey some key developments in the extraterrestrial life debate (ELD) and explore topics including astrobiology, exoplanets, UFO phenomena, and more as you form your own opinion. Instructor: Lee Minnerly. LAA 0150

Explaining UFOs: History, Science, and Extraterrestrials

Investigate themes and trends associated with pre-20th century aerial phenomena, the concept of the extraterrestrial alien in modern literature and art, the rise of the E.T. hypothesis, the science behind it, and more. Instructor: Lee Minnerly. LAA 0147

Horror Films, Vampires and More

Gothic in America: More Than Vampires, Ghosts, and Nightmares

Writer and educator, Mihaela Stoica will help you develop a deeper understanding of the themes that define the gothic genre while examining its cultural significance. Discover the meaning behind the stories of vampires, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. Instructor: Mihaela Stoica, author and and native of Romania. LAA 0149

Hysterics: Horror and Hysteria in Film

You will cover films that pushed physical and mental boundaries, and discover what relevance those films had in their time, and how horror has changed to fit into popular and paranormal culture today. Instructor: Terra Parnell. LAA 0271

Please note, not all courses are offered every semester.