Friday, October 21, 2016

Voodoo Cafe - Shreveport, LA (The Amazing PEAR Device)

622 Commerce St.
Shreveport, LA 71101

            By the end of the nineteenth century, the heart of a bustling Shreveport was beginning to pump freely in all directions. With the mighty Red River serving as the main source for transportation and mercantile activities, the land just to the west was flourishing into the commercial district. The strip of land along Commerce Street was close to the river and railroad, making it the perfect place for wholesale warehousing for various products, ranging from cotton, to hardware, to groceries, to oil field supplies. The buildings along the 600 block of Commerce Street were built in the late 1800's, and initially served as retail establishments for the area. Most of these were multi-story, and retain most of the original architecture and structure. Since the mid 1960’s, many of these buildings have been bars, or other public entertainment establishments.
            Our next location sits in this block of local hangout spots and is the Voodoo Café and Art Bar. The art bar is unlike any other venue in downtown Shreveport's Red River District, with live music downstairs and incredible local artwork, the Voodoo Café is the place to be during weekends. However, once the doors close each night, staff claims the building takes on a life of its own with hauntings and strange happenings of all kinds.

            Upon interviewing the current staff, they have reported the feeling of an unknown and unseen presence nearby along with the feeling of being watched when no other individual is around. The most common area where many have felt an anomalous presence is at the staircase near the rear of the first floor. The apparitions of both male and female figures have been seen on this staircase as well. Disembodied voices and footsteps from otherwise empty areas have been heard. Staff has also claimed to hearing the sounds of objects being moved or rearranged in other rooms when no one is present. Finally, in the upstairs office area, staff has reported unexplainable cold spots that seem to appear and disappear for no apparent reason.
            As always, when my reliable Northern Chapter caught wind of the strange happenings going on at the Voodoo Café, they knew they had to check the place out. The owners were more than willing to allow the group in to investigate and attempt to validate all the weird occurrences that they had been encountering. Once the team was set up, they began their investigation in the regular fashion. It did not take long for the team to begin experiencing odd events. Around 7:25 PM, one of the investigators heard the sound of footsteps on the front staircase, despite the fact that she was the only one present in that area. A few minutes later, the same team member decided to place a flashlight on the downstairs stage area in the hopes of communicating with whatever was there. As I mentioned, many investigators will use a flashlight as a form of communication by asking the presence to activate and deactivate it. In this particular session, the flashlight was turned on a total of four times, upon being requested to do so! About thirty minutes later, another investigator also began hearing the sound of disembodied footsteps but upon further investigation, he could not find the source.
            Our Northern Chapter has always been known for their arsenal of cool little gadgets. One in particular that is quite unique and rarely used by any other investigative team is the Random Event Generating Unit, also known as the REG-1. It was designed by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research lab (PEAR), which was founded in 1979 by Robert Jahn for the purpose of studying the human consciousness. Using quantum tunneling, the device creates binary code in the forms of ones
Example of FieldReg Sensor.
and zeroes in a purely random fashion. The REG acts as an electronic coin flipper, only it cannot be affected by humidity, imbalance, toss technique, etc., and is shielded from such effects as electricity and magnetic fields. In theory, the only thing that can truly manipulate the random generation of numbers is the human consciousness. If placed in a room completely isolated from any living individuals and readings of a significant pattern are recorded, theories suggests that a possible human, or in our case, once-human, entity could be present.

            If you are completely lost, don’t feel alone, as I was too when John Combs, the group’s director, introduced me to the device. John is one of those guys that is too smart for his own good and can often lose you in a conversation. Still, I am eternally grateful for his work and passion for the field of the paranormal and he is the rock of Louisiana Spirits. Now that I have buttered him up for as long as the twenty bucks that he gave me to do so would last, let’s get back to the investigation. In order to conduct a testing with the REG device, a sensor known as a FieldReg is placed in various rooms while John must monitor the real-time readings on several laptops, looking for any anomalous changes in the environment. During the investigation of the Voodoo Café, John was using two small computers for testing when he noticed that they were completely drained of electrical power. These were fully charged at 7:00 PM, and normally last five hours or more under similar testing conditions. As we have learned, sudden and unexplainable battery drainage can often be a sign of an entity attempting to manifest.
            Once the laptops were plugged into an alternate power source, the testing was able to be completed. Without getting into too much mathematical jargon that I don’t even understand, the results proved to be quite interesting. According to the REG unit, there was a 3.65 x 10 to the minus 22nd power. In country boy terminology, there was about as much chance as “jello in the microwave” that some form of human consciousness was not present. Basically, when no one was in a room, the device showed that there were times when something was in fact, there. Again, this device is way over my head which is probably why so few groups use the REG unit, much less even know of its existence, but I am extremely interested in learning more about it as I truly feel it can be a groundbreaking tool. As far as the Voodoo Café is concerned, we definitely feel that once the patrons have gone for the night, the action still remains, just in a different, more invisible form!

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