WEST ORANGE Melissa Tanner considers herself a “skeptical believer.” As a child in Missouri, she grew up near Civil War battlefields and mining accidents. Ghost stories were part of the local lore.
As she grew older, paranormal-themed television and movies grew in popularity. It piqued her curiosity, so she joined a paranormal team. In 2009, she created her own: TnT Paranormal Investigators. The team began in Chicago but now has four branches: Illinois, Florida, Missouri and Wisconsin. Last year, she moved to Winter Garden and opened the Central Florida branch.
“I call myself a skeptical believer,” she said. “What I mean by that is I believe there is the possibility of the paranormal, and I’ve experienced things I can’t explain. But I’m skeptical of each thing. The movies ‘Paranormal Activity,’” yes, I agree, most of that to me is for movies. Each one of my team members is a different thing. Some are firm, true believers, and some are skeptics. We try to approach all of our cases with an open mind.”
Now, TnT will bring its knowledge of all things that go bump in the night to Windermere at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Windermere Library, 530 Main St., Windermere. The investigators will take attendees on a virtual tour of haunted places in America, including places they have investigated.
A RESEARCH-HEAVY PRACTICE
TnT Paranormal Investigators focuses on entities such as ghosts and spirits, working primarily with clients who wonder if they are experiencing paranormal activities in their homes or workplaces.
While working with clients, they do extensive research into the history of the location and what objects are present there.
“Age of homes is not necessarily an indicator,” Melissa Tanner said. “Because it could be the land. I mean, think of all this land here. It had Native Americans on it, it had Spaniards on it, even the early settlers that were doing the orange groves. It could be anything…That’s one of the things we have to try to work with. Is it the person that’s haunted? Is it their house haunted? Is it the land, or is it maybe that antique object that they brought home because they like to collect things?”
They use technology such as video and audio rather than conducting séances or using Ouija boards. In the end, they present their findings to clients and let them decide what they think it is.
Many times, the investigators help determine that it’s not paranormal activity after all.
“For instance, if they are hearing scratching on the ceiling, maybe they just have a mouse or a raccoon in the attic, and it’s not something to be afraid of,” Melissa Tanner said.
Ultimately, the group said regardless of the findings, paranormal activity always improves after a TnT Paranormal Investigation.
Collectively, the group has worked on more than 200 cases. The group also holds free presentations to inform the public about the paranormal and lets them draw their own conclusions. Work with TnT is strictly volunteer-based; members have work outside their jobs with TnT.
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].