A Fishersville-based paranormal society is releasing evidence of ghostly spirits discovered during a research investigation at Swannanoa.
The Twisted Paranormal Society got exclusive access to the Afton Mountain palace last month. Members have been sifting through hours of photos, video and audio collected during their night at the mansion on June 8.
The group says its stay at Swannanoa was filled with paranormal experiences.
"You'll hear somebody sniffle a bit and immediately after that you'll hear a deep breath. Then you'll hear a very loud, what sounds like a growly-type breath," said Lyle Lotts, who founded Twisted Paranormal Society with his wife, Tonna.
The Twisted Paranormal Society's team of 13 investigators said those sounds came from a spirit during a flashlight session in Swannanoa's library.
"When we take it back and process it, it's actually saying, ‘Why are you here?'" Lyle said.
Lyle says that's just one piece of evidence they picked up on inside the palace.
"I believe there's something going on in Swannanoa. I believe we've contacted possibly a male and a female spirit in one of the areas we were at. Possibly the old servant that used to be there, the groundskeeper that may be in the building," he said.
The team scanned the marble mansion and its mysterious gardens - focusing on different areas.
Lyle said, "The lady in white which is possibly Sallie May Dooley that walks up and down the stair area there, so we focused on that."
Their goal was to look for any activity that was out of the ordinary.
"We had some interesting things happen while we were there. Especially when you can hear things with your own ear and not just on the recorder," Tonna said.
"You are looking for different types of energy movement throughout," said Lyle. Two of the ones we do have are different types of energy like a bright ball of light that's coming from an area that it shouldn't have."
Another example of eerie audio evidence happened when Lyle was alone.
"I was in that hallway by myself and I heard something moving at the end and I started saying ‘Who's down there?' and all of a sudden that laugh came across," Lyle said.
When Lyle slowed down the audio during the review process, he heard something different.
He said, "It's coming back and saying, ‘You scared them.' Who scared I don't know. When I picked it up, it sounded like a laugh."
Lyle says the team does investigations like the one at Swannanoa to search for answers to unexplainable events.
"We go in on claims, and what our job is to go in and see if we can't prove these claims to be true or false," he said.
The Twisted Paranormal Society plans to make most of its findings live online at about 9 p.m. Sunday night with updates to follow during the week. If you are interested in checking out the evidence, click here.
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