Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.



Mark Manarino from G.H.O.S.T

• In Largo a frantic mother called to report that her young child was having one-way conversations late at night. Upon entering the room a spirit of a man vanished before her eyes.

• In Seminole a woman reports that her granddaughter appeared in the hallway of her home and disappeared after waving and smiling … two days after she was killed while crossing a street.

• In Pinellas Park, according to reports, an apparition of a woman has been seen in an apartment. The location is up the street from where a man died in an explosion.

These are the most current cases Mark Manarino from G.H.O.S.T (Ghost Hunters of Science and Technology) has worked on in the past 2 years. Here is the story from the Tampa Bay Weekly:

PINELLAS COUNTY – The head of a two-year-old organization that investigates spiritual and ghost sightings all over Pinellas County said there are more paranormal occurrences than most people believe.

Mark Manarino, director of GHOST of Pinellas, said his group has investigated unexplained occurrences in Pinellas Park, Seminole, Largo and elsewhere.

GHOST is an acronym for Ghost Hunters Of Science and Technology.

Although many people do not believe in ghosts, consider the following GHOST documented incidents:

• In Largo a frantic mother called to report that her young child was having one-way conversations late at night. Upon entering the room a spirit of a man vanished before her eyes.

• In Seminole a woman reports that her granddaughter appeared in the hallway of her home and disappeared after waving and smiling … two days after she was killed while crossing a street.

• In Pinellas Park, according to reports, an apparition of a woman has been seen in an apartment. The location is up the street from where a man died in an explosion.

“Ghosts and spirits are very much real,” Manarino, an emergency medical technician and Pinellas Park resident said. “No one really knows what happens after death.”

Manarino became interested in the paranormal after several incidents involving his grandmother, Rita Manarino, who died of cancer in 1996. While she was in Hospice strange things occurred in her Seminole home. Hangers in a closet would move for no apparent reason. The sound of someone typing came from behind a closed door. The television would change channels for no reason.

There were no more incidents until Manarino’s grandfather, Alexander, died at age 82. The family was in the house when only the women heard the front door open and close. Someone shouted a greeting.

“The women froze because the voice was that of a deceased aunt,” Manarino said. “None of the men heard or saw anything.”

Paranormal is a catchall word that describes unusual experiences of phenomena that lack scientific explanation. There have been numerous studies conducted by individuals, organizations and even universities into paranormal incidents that include teleportation, poltergeist occurrences, spontaneous fires, levitation, ball lightning and even UFOs.

Ghosts and spirits appear in many ways, Manarino said, that include odors such as tobacco or perfume. Those people that are sensitive to the paranormal can actually feel a spirit touch an arm or hand. Others detect the slight breeze of a spirit walking through a room.

“Ghosts and spirits are unlike the television or Hollywood variety,” Manarino said. “But we must always keep in mind that theories about them are just that, theories, because there is a lot we don’t know.”

Manarino said he once responded to a suicide in Tampa with his EMS team to remove the body of a man who hung himself.

“There was a presence in the room that was overwhelming,” he said. “It was like someone was there watching over us.”

A recent Gallup poll found that 73 percent of all Americans believe in ghost and spirits. Of that figure, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception, 37 percent believe in haunted houses and 26 percent believe in clairvoyance.

Ghosts can present themselves in many ways, including by appearance and sound. There are four levels of sightings. The first is residual sightings where an incident repeats itself. It’s sort of like a time warp. Then there are intelligent hauntings that involves spirits that don’t know they died and are caught between the planes of life and death. Poltergeist incidents involve people that attract spirits that make things move, such as furniture or the hands on clocks.

The worst of them all are negative or demonic hauntings that are very rare. They are spirits that attempt to control a living person. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, actually trains priests to remove demons and other evil spirits from a person believed to be possessed. Exorcism involves the use of prayers, gestures and amulets.

Manarino shows a video that was captured in a former Spanish military hospital in St. Augustine that now is a museum. Caught on remote cameras is an apparition that suddenly appears over a bed. It slowly descends, pauses and descends again until is disappears.

Throughout history human souls were symbolically depicted in ancient cultures as birds or animals. But it also is believed that ghosts are reproductions of deceased individuals, even down to clothing worn at the time of death.

GHOST works free of charge and its members respond to locations of sightings within 24 hours.

“We try to soothe the individuals who see apparitions by explaining what they are,” Manarino said. “Contact us if you feel your residence or place of business is haunted and you want answers.”

GHOST investigators come from all walks of life, from registered nurses to store cashiers.

“People should not feel silly or strange about calling us,” Manarino said. “There are many theories about the paranormal and there are more incidents than most people believe.”

  • Lou Hall

    Interesting. But such groups are becoming pretty commonplace. Everyone wants answers to the big question: What Comes After? The event of shows such as Ghost Hunters has made it more socially acceptable to congregate and seek these answers.

    I’ve had a couple of encounters myself. Nothing major, but strange enough to make me believe there’s more than what we see, hear and feel to life.

    No, I don’t buy a LOT of the shows on Tv about paranormal events and research. But, I DO have to give them credit for making me interested enough to go out and start searching for answers on my own.

    Peace.

    -Lou

  • Lou,

    I agree with what you said. A lot of the shows are mostly to entertain and really provide no thought.

    Nevertheless, they are fun to watch.