N.H. man makes sense of paranormal events
From an early age, the Hinsdale man was fascinated with tales of strange activity happening in a Fitzwilliam antique shop owned by one of his mother's friends. That set off an endless quest of discovery and exploration into the world of the paranormal.
Manch, a case manager and investigator for the Massachusetts-based New England Paranormal, said his own research took off in 1990 when he experienced a paranormal event in his own life. It prompted him to study the effects of history and environment of such happenings through the Southern New Hampshire Paranormal group.
Through his research, he eventually joined the New England Paranormal organization, founded by Steve Gonsalves of the SciFi Channel program "Ghost Hunters," which led him to also get into investigating strange incidents.
Manch has participated in many investigations with the organization and its sister group -- The Atlantic Paranormal Society -- and has also trained new recruits to the team.
What he does
As case manager and investigator with New England Paranormal, Manch reviews all requests for investigations coming into the organization. He's helped people from all across New England.
If a specific case fits the right criteria, Manch sets up interviews and could potentially visit the site in question.
Once the case is concluded, he analyzes the evidence and generates a report to the client. The report attempts to help people understand what is happening in their homes and offers suggestions to better cope with the situation.
At the New England Paranormal Web site (www.newenglandparanormal.com), Manch discusses his first investigation. "We got some really awesome (electronic voice phenomena)," Manch writes. "That's not going to happen every time, so I just expect the place I'm investigating to be a normal, everyday house. That way, when something really neat happens, it's a nice surprise and makes the effort all the more worthwhile."
"The only thing I don't expect is that I'm going to solve the mystery behind paranormal phenomena when no one else has yet been able to."
Joining the 'who's who'
Manch will join other members of his organization and many of his patrons in the industry at the 2008 Haunted Convention in Phoenix scheduled for Sept. 26-28. He will be one of 13 speakers at the conference, which also includes his friend Shannon Sylvia from "Ghosts Hunters International."
"It's the who's who of paranormal at this point," Manch said. "It's an honor and a privilege to be asked to go speak out there with these speakers."
Manch hopes to complete his book, "There are Ghosts in Our World," before heading to Phoenix. The contents of the book are expected to be the area of discussion during the convention, he said.
Revolving around the topic of paranormal phenomena, Manch said 80 percent of strange activities are commonly mistaken for real paranormal events.
"Of any 10 cases, only two will yield any real activity that can be called paranormal, on average," he said.
The book, which he hopes to complete by July, is set to be the first in a planned series, which will be a general introduction for researchers. Manch said there are a tremendous amount of new teams in the field and this book series will help them not make mistakes in their evidence.
"What I'm trying to do is provide a guide to prevent that from happening," he added.
When not attending to his responsibilities with New England Paranormal, Manch teaches a course on ghost science at the Boston Center for Adult Education. He studied biochemistry at the University of New Hampshire and later sharpened his investigating abilities while working as a police officer for more than six years.
Chris Garofolo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311 ext. 275.
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