Based in Portland, the Paranormal League of America (PLA) hunts ghosts in the area, and has also gone all over the West Coast and as far as Canada, Mexico and Europe for investigations.
Dave Galvan, a PLA leader who claims he talks to the dead, has been investigating paranormal activity since 2002. In 2008, he joined with three previously existing paranormal investigating agencies: PDX Ghost Research, Nationwide Ghost Hunters, and Pacific Coast Spirit Seeker.
Galvan is the founder and director of the combined force that call themselves the PLA.
Galvan said the group is presently on hiatus due to various occurrences in the members’ lives.
“I had a personal experience that led me to want to find answers,” Galvan said.
People often contact PLA by phone or email and talk about their own experiences. When Galvan talks to them, he said the “stories they tell me are generally the same: strange sounds, seeing things, hearing voices, etc.
“I listen to them, and they always say the same thing, ‘You’re gonna think I’m crazy…’ That’s how I know it’s legit,” Galvan said.
“Then, I go out with Zoe,” he continued, “a member of the group who is a very powerful sensitive, and we do a walk-through.”
A “sensitive” is someone highly attuned to extra-sensory or paranormal conditions, a person who can sense, or feel, things not of this world.
“Nothing major, just walk around the place and see what we are up against. Sometimes, Zoe is able to get rid of what’s there,” said Galvan. “If not, we schedule an overnighter.”
Whether the uninvited guests are poltergeists or demons, the team has dealt with both.
“When that happens, we return at night with the full team, and we set up our equipment, which includes cameras and thermostats, etc.,” he said.
The team uses modern electronic recording equipment, but no Ouija boards or tarot cards. Many paranormal websites and televisions claim that nighttime is the best time to get strong readings for ghostly activity.
PLA has investigated the Taboo Video and the Tiger Bar in downtown Portland after being contacted about paranormal problems. Both places are atop of the Shanghai underground tunnels that are so infamous.
“(Then we) investigate the place with an eye on the hotspots,” Galvan said.
Hotspots are the places with high levels of “paranormal energies,” he explained.
There is no charge for PLA’s services. All the members are volunteers. Their main purpose is to help those experiencing paranormal activities and demonic disturbances. Everyone on the crew has had some kind of experience with the unknown. It is this common factor that brought the team together.
“I met Zoe at a job I used to have,” Galvan said. “Her daughter, Allanna, is also a member. Chris and Peter, a husband and wife, I met online when I needed to find more members.
Asked about freaky incidents, he said, “No, it’s not like it is in the TV shows.
“There was one time when I was in a house in Oregon City that had a demonic presence. I was reading the Catholic Rights of exorcism when I heard a knocking three times on a wall across the home,” said Galvan. “I was the only one in the house at the time.”
“It did kind of weird me out,” he confessed.
In 2009, Galvan successfully published “Paranormal League of America Presents: Researching America’s Haunted Locations; A Paranormal History.” The book covers the country’s top 20 haunted locations, giving the history of each along with their haunting details.
In the book, Galvan takes a good hard look at the evidence and whether a place can truly be considered haunted, or if there is just a ploy to make money.
Galvan also operates UTXVision.com, a website with video of an investigation.
For more information or to contact a ghost hunter, go to www.paranormalleagueofamerica.org.