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Welcome to the ARS

We are a network of experienced researchers of diverse backgrounds who investigate paranormal and anomalous claims.


Mission: To be a respected network of ethical, evidence-based, rational investigators by reaching scientifically sound conclusions regarding extraordinary claims. We do this by first establishing the validity of the claim through examination and fact-checking, consulting with professionals, and documenting the cases for the purposes of education and public understanding.


Exposing ghost gadgetry

Kenny and Sharon supplied information for this article in Popular Mechanics:

Proton Packs and Teddy Bears: The Pseudoscientific History of Ghost Hunting Gadgets 

Embedded in the piece was the admission by Bill Chappell, creator of the Ovilus and other devices promoted as ghost detection tools, that ghosts don’t exist. He seemed to suggest that his testing of the devices including on Ghost Adventures was all for nothing. The don’t find spirits, they enhance our belief in them. That’s all.

Sharon wrote an additional piece for Doubtful News about Chappell’s disavowal of ghost reality. Please share with others in the paranormal community. It’s time these expensive and hyped gadget gimmicks were busted.


Digging into the legends of Bobby Mackey’s Music World

The Anomalies Research Society presents this feature report based on the investigation of the Military Veterans Paranormal organization.

By M. Cadwell and S. A. Hill

Bobby Mackey’s Music World is well-known to paranormal researchers as one of America’s “Most Haunted” places (Argie and Olsen, 2014). Located at 44 Licking Pike in Wilder, Kentucky, the location is highly publicized as having a colorful history replete with tales of industry, gambling, Prohibition, violence, music, and assorted supernatural mayhem (Begley, 2014).

Two of the most popular legends associated with the location feature tragic female figures. The building is said to be haunted by two men who murdered a young pregnant woman, Pearl Bryan, cutting off her head, and depositing the head into one of the onsite drains in what has been described as a Satanic sacrifice. When the old “well” was uncovered decades later by a caretaker, a “portal to hell” was said to have been opened. The caretaker then claimed to be possessed by the freed evil entity. The basement area and the “supernatural vortex” located at the well/drain are promoted as a legendary location of occult activity on the Bobby Mackey website and is part of a paranormal-themed tour of the site.

The basement is also the location of former dressing rooms for performers of the upstairs club. The story of Johanna, who is described as a club dancer from the 1940s, is that she fell in love with a man whom her father, a mobster, did not approve. Her plight was recorded in a mysterious diary also found by the same caretaker who discovered the covered well. Her suitor was taken out by the mob and she poisoned herself in the dressing room soon after. A final love poem is penned on the wall. Neither story stands up to scrutiny in relation to the current building and its well publicized haunted history.

The current owner of the building is country music aficionado, Bobby Mackey, who bought the club as a live music venue. Paranormal tales regarding the site ramped up since then. Though Bobby Mackey himself never experienced any trouble, others have reported physical and emotional attacks at the location including his late wife Janet who was allegedly attacked by an invisible entity. Other people have claimed they have been assaulted by forces that threw them across the room. Employees, visitors and paranormal investigators reported experiences with shadow people, mists, disembodied voices, balls of light, strong feelings of other beings present, and recordings of electronic voice phenomenon (EVPs). About 40 different spirits have been identified as inhabiting the site by visitors and self-described psychics. A dark entity is said to be present that is particularly dangerous to women.

The location was featured on a 2006 episode of the television show, A Haunting. The location was featured multiple times on Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans who documented his belief that he was possessed by a demonic force there. He also claimed to have had contact with the ghost of the convicted Bryan murderer.


Bobby Mackey’s building. Photo http://www.ghostadventurescrew.com/


“Hell’s Gate” hole (well/drain). http://www.ghostadventurescrew.com/

The location has capitalized on its violent past as a speakeasy and gangster club as well as its original use as a slaughterhouse to enhance its reputation as a spooky location with an “unquenchable thirst for blood”. Tours of the basement are featured daily and include viewing of the supposedly haunted well – a 3’ diameter, 18” deep hole that is considered the “supernatural vortex” of the site. There is a two-hour tour of the facility during the daytime hours, and paranormal teams can purchase 5 hour stints (or more) for private investigations of the site (Argie & Olsen, 2014).

The Military Veterans Paranormal group (headed by Cadwell) investigated the history of the site and its stories as well as conducting a site visit.

The documented history of the Bobby Mackey’s location differs from the alleged history currently circulated by the previous and current representatives of the establishment and repeated in the media.

Find out the details and the digging that went into uncovering some less than factual claims at this location. Read the complete feature at http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/04/haunted-history-of-bobby-mackeys-music-world-fails-to-stand-up-to-scrutiny/

Testing the Vortex Dome

By Kenny Biddle

I’ve seen this device, among many others, mentioned on several ghost hunting sites over the last year. In 2014, I had the opportunity to observe the Vortex Dome in person during a paranormal-themed event at a historic New Jersey library. After experiencing a demonstration by a ghost hunting team – which included the LEDs flashing at random times (many times in response to the movements of people sitting at the table), I began to question the device’s functions and claimed ability to detect paranormal activity, which was promoted by the team. The discussion did not go well, with the team offering guesses instead of solid answers and even making up information on the spot to save face. It was evident that this team had no idea what the device really did, or how it did it (which is a common issue throughout the paranormal community).

VD1After departing this situation, I had gone down to the vender area where I met Bob Christopher, the man who makes the Vortex Dome. He stated, quite clearly, that the only claim he makes is that “it picks up static electricity. I never claimed it detected ghosts”. Bob then offered to send me one, so I could look into myself. He was truly interested in what I thought. A few weeks later, I received the device in the mail. It was accompanied with a information sheet about the device. Continue reading

Terminology: A list for paranormal and anomalies researchers

By Kenny Biddle

Terminology is important. The most basic element of useful discussion is that we are all “talking the same language” and agree on common definitions. Many paranormal groups use terminology incorrectly in articles, blogs and while “teaching” 101-type classes, in lectures or seminars, passing incorrect and sometimes outright false information to the public. Groups may also add their own spin (variations) to accepted definitions, in order to better fit their needs or belief. I’ve heard groups talk of “calibrated” devices, “puberty” causing paranormal phenomenon, and “finely tuned algorithms” that allow for paranormal-themed devices to detect and communicate with ghosts.In turn, this misinformation is passed along to others as they repeat the errors.

I have compiled this list of important words used in research and investigation. Terms include common logical fallacies, scientific, psychological and technical terms as well as photography-related terms that are commonly used. (See References section for all sources of the definitions.)

Please share this list with friends, team members, and other paranormal groups. It is not restricted to one aspect of the paranormal community, but all subject areas – ghosts, UFOs, Cryptozoology, psychics, etc. Continue reading