I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve told someone that I live in Casper and they’ve made a “Casper the Friendly Ghost” reference thinking they’re so original, and I laugh it off like it’s not the 107th time I’ve heard the joke.
If you’ve lived here for more than 5 minutes, I’m sure you’ve heard it too.
But then I sat down with Lisa from the Paranormal Research Society of Casper. Not to be dramatic, but I’m starting to think it might not be a joke after all, and if any ghosts do live here, they’re not all friendly.
From playing with a Ouija board with her grandmother as a toddler to starting her own ghost hunting group at the age of 12, Lisa is no stranger to strange situations that would make the average person like me cry for their mommy. And listening to some of Lisa’s stories while sitting in the dimly lit upstairs of Scarlow’s coffee shop next to a Tim Burton-esque skeleton staring right at me, I made sure to have my mom on speed dial.
Lisa’s first experience with paranormal activity came at a young age while playing “parlor games” like Bloody Mary in the basement of her parents’ house with her ghost hunting group.
“We started to hear what sounded like Tupperware falling from the kitchen cupboards and onto the floor. But when I got into the kitchen, all the cupboard doors were closed and there wasn’t anything misplaced”
What made this so frightening was that Lisa’s older sister would mess with her by saying things like she brought a ghost into the house when she moved in. Also, their mom was having some real experiences of her own at the time. This all caused Lisa’s first experience to be even more believable and terrifying, and helped cement the idea of paranormal activity into her brain.
In 2007, Lisa started the Paranormal Activity Society of Casper and the dream she had as a kid of running a real ghost hunting organization came true. The group started out by investigating each other’s homes and grew from there. Her organization has conducted investigations all over Wyoming and Nebraska.
Lisa’s most unsettling experience took place right here in Casper. It’s the only one she recalls truly fearing for her teams’ safety.
“I was emailed by a woman regarding three buildings in Casper that were being run as part of a business. A manager from one of the buildings informed the owner that the employees were experiencing unexplained things and that they didn’t feel safe working there” Lisa said. “There had been instances where people were seen in the basement having full on conversations with something that wasn’t there… While we were investigating the basement, I saw something completely black out the ambient light coming from one of the windows. Before I could say anything, I saw it again through a second window. Shortly after, one of my members ran up to me with a burning sensation on her body. When we lifted her shirt up to look, there were newly formed scratch marks that couldn’t be explained.”
While Lisa couldn’t tell me exactly where this was since it’s now a residence, you better believe I double checked that it wasn’t my house.
Since it’s spooky season and I know some of you crazy people are eager to know where you can go to possibly experience some of this scary stuff for yourselves, I asked Lisa to tell me where the most haunted places in Casper are. You’re welcome.
“Obviously Fort Caspar is known to have a lot of paranormal activity, and pretty consistently. They even have a creepy old puppet display there right now for Halloween. The Crimson Dawn park has been known to really scare some people. Also, the Rialto Theater and Soda Shop have been having some unexplained experiences recently.”
But if Halloween night rolls around and you’re up for a fright, Lisa told me that one of her psychic friends says that the walking path by the river across from the Boys and Girls Club near the soccer fields has been giving off extremely creepy vibes and that it’s one of the more unsettling places she’s ever been. It’s also never been investigated, so report back, locals.
If you’re reading this with the plan of heading out and trying to find some ghosts yourselves, we wish you the best of luck. If you want to do it like a pro, look into Lisa’s ghost hunting class that she teaches at Casper College. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up joining Lisa on her next investigation.