Paranormal hunters take on Putnam Building, work to solve mystery

ASHLAND The basement of the Putnam Building in Ashland looked like a scene from a movie Thursday evening during a Northeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event.

A team of about five paranormal investigators used various ghost-hunting equipment to measure electromagnetic frequency, radiation, room temperature and motion to solve a mystery of why a heavy safe door closes randomly on its own.

“I keep that door open all the time. I don’t know, I just want it open to air it out or whatever,” Paul Castle, real estate developer and owner of the building, said.

“I was taking pictures of the downstairs, I started at the safe and made my way in a circle. When I came back to the safe, the door was closed,” Castle added. “It will be open tonight and may stay open a week, then all of a sudden it will be closed.”

Michael McArthur, 61, paranormal investigator with The Ashland Society for Paranormal Study, has investigated numerous paranormal reports in the tri-state area, and said he was contacted by Castle to help solve the case.

“You can’t prove the paranormal, but you can leave with unanswered questions,” he said.

Multiple stories came to the mind of McArthur, who said he has been running into haunted houses and cemeteries for 50 years. In 2010, he assembled a team to bring relief to people.

A time he’ll never forget was when he was choked by something while performing a seance in an Ashland home.

“I got popped in the throat during a seance in front of a whole bunch of people. Something tried to choke me at that table,” McArthur said.

“My name was coming up on the voice box — not my first name, but my last name,” he said. “First name I wouldn’t pay any attention to, last name is something different.”

An hour into the investigation, a few cold spots and readings were noticed. The unanswered question remained of what could have been contributing to the closing of the door.

“We are looking to see what could be closing that door. We can rule out wind on the door because there is no way wind can penetrate this building unless they take the walls out,” McArthur said.

“You can use everyday gadgets to do this stuff,” he added. “I’ve been running into haunted houses and cemeteries for 50 years now.”

The Putnam building is rich in history, Castle said. The historic building dates back to the 1940s.

“I love our downtown history and these buildings,” Castle said. “I have bought several of these buildings and renovated them ... brought them back up to be rented by modern people. This building goes along with that.”

“We are always available if anyone needs us. We come in to see if it’s harmless or if you need to call a priest,” McArthur said.

Visit the group’s Facebook page for more information.

The Putnam Building is at 1557 Winchester Ave.