There will be a history walk to what Mohanty calls ‘the most haunted location in Goa’, and two ghost hunting expeditions. The exact locations are a secret but chances are they will be in North Goa, since the tour will be based there. We know for a fact that Calangute and Baga are haunted with too many tourists and vendors.
The places chosen are “neutral” so people can experience the paranormal but not in a way that scares or traumatises them. Neutral here means you can expect entities and spirits (the first rule of ghost hunting, don’t call them ghosts) but there won’t be the drama or background score of a Ramsey horror flick. “We want to remove the fear latched on to the paranormal by showing people what actually happens on ground,” says Mohanty. These are carefully vetted places in that the team has visited them before and interacted with the entities and ensured there is no man made presence behind the hauntings.
So, what happens at a ghost hunting? Can I get possessed?
No, you won’t get possessed. But, you can interact with a spirit. If you wear a body camera, you can record that interaction for posterity and to prove to your loved ones that things actually happened.
At each spot, the group will be divided into teams led by a psychic and paranormal investigator. First, the psychic will reveal if there’s any energy out here. If there is, the session begins by introducing the groups to the entities there. Remember: politeness goes a long way, even in the spirit world. Once the training sessions are completed, the group will try to establish communication with the spirits, and record them on devices. On the third morning, the visit will be conducted early in the morning to show people that “paranormal occurrences can happen at any time and not just at night”.
At the end of each visit, a ‘spiritual cleansing’ will ensure that no unattached spirits have lingered on your person.
What devices are used?
Many! There will be tri-field metres, and ghost metres (electromagnetic field sensors), electronic voice phenomenon or EVP recorders for low intensity noises and voices, a full spectrum night vision camera, thermal sensors, radio frequency sensors, digital mirrorless cameras, IR motion sensor, and temperature guns.
Do I have to believe in ghosts to attend?
The team is very particular that GET isn’t for just anyone. There are only ten slots and they want to ensure that the people attending should have open minds and be respectful of the field. Interested participants have to fill up a form, and be part of an interview so that PAIRS can gauge the level of interest. All this is to ensure nobody creates a scene or gets too argumentative and disrespects anyone else; something they’ve noticed at their earlier events.
Aren’t they promoting superstitions?
“We do the opposite of it,” says Mohanty. “The topic or field is not superstitious. People have always believed in entities and energies and spirits. But it is our human reaction to these entities and our personal interpretation of them that ends up becoming stories and urban legends and thus superstitions. For instance, the idea that ghosts wear white sarees, or that they are more active at night is a belief that has come from stories, and horror movies.”
PAIRS says they have been working on removing these fears and beliefs from people’s minds through their investigations, across India, from bustling cities to small villages.
PAIRS’ most interesting investigation in Goa concerned an abandoned house in Anjuna. On a hot summer morning in March 2021, they encountered spirits at that crumbling house. Spirits or entities that made their presence felt through slamming of doors, whispers and murmurings, loud bangs, and more. Further investigations and communications revealed that the house was the site of illegal medical procedures, and the evidence was disposed of in a covered well.
Goa was selected because they wanted to show another side of what many consider a party state. The team went to Goa last year to conduct investigations at five places; they have 15 on their waiting list.
“Who would go to Goa to investigate the paranormal?” asks Mohanty.
Now, with GET, you can.