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Paranormal calls went up during pandemic

Investigator says paranormal calls went up during pandemic

One Raleigh woman says she’s confident they exist in one form or another, and she says she’s hardly the only one who believes this.

It's as silent as the grave in City Cemetery of Raleigh on a cool October evening.

Amid the dark night, headstones line the cemetery grounds in rows, marking the final resting places for those buried beneath, and old oaks and other trees with twisting branches are scattered about the property. It's a spooky scene for most, but not for Alex Matsuo.

“We are going to do a brief ghost hunt," Matsuo said. "I'm using all this equipment to detect changes in the environment.”

Matsuo is a paranormal investigator with horror stories of her own.

“I had experiences when I was a kid, and then I had a really intense experience when I was 19 or 20 years old," Matsuo said.

She says those encounters, coupled with limited knowledge of her experiences with spirits, led her to a life wrapped around investigations that involve interacting with the paranormal world.

She starts every ghost hunt by recording the date and her location. Then, Matsuo uses a motion detection device to track any responding spirits.

She says if it emits a ringing sound, something could be nearby.

"I do like this equipment because it looks like a lantern which for the deceased if assuming from the 1700s or 1800s, that's something more familiar to them," Matsuo said.

She also uses a device called a mel meter, which detects EMF and temperature.

“It's detecting changes that's happening, and if we do have a spooky experience we can look at the mel meter and see if something is going on," Matsuo said.

Matsuo says she’s investigated City Cemetery of Raleigh several times and believes it's haunted.

“Encountered different things, especially like a shadow that's been described as like a guardian of the cemetery," Matsuo said.

And it's not just cemeteries.

Matsuo says there was an influx of clientele during the pandemic.

“People [were] home more often than [they] used to being, so I think they were noticing more things happening," said Matsuo.

When Matsuo goes to a client's house, she brings the same equipment with her and stays for hours.

“If it's a spirit or ghost, and we assume they're people, they're not gonna come out and say hello right away. We’ll have the client tour the home with us, where they encountered activity," she said.

Matsuo is also the author of several ghost hunting books.

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