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Happy Haunts and Memories

October 28, 2005

by Geghard Arakelian

In the mood to hang out with friends to catch a movie? How about some ghosts? While some reminisce in memories of their favorite spooks and others brush up on local history, a select few go out once a week in the foothills in hopes of finding the supernatural.

Rumors run rampant in the mundane communities of La Crescenta, Montrose and La CaƱada. Those bold enough to venture out on the weekends in search of spirits speak of the countless rumors which seem as unreal as they are eerie.

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"It's a pretty big thrill, I like danger. I don't know what else to say," said Kristin Almonte, of La Crescenta.

"It is the thrill of the chase and knowing that there is something new that you can always find," said Brittany Coe, who also lives in La Crescenta.

Coe and Almonte hunt ghosts in the local areas every Thursday night.

"Kristin started reading this book 'The Hillside Stranglers' and I at the same exact time was reading 'The Tujunga Canyon Contacts,'" Coe said. "And so one night I said,

'Hey Kristin, let's go find these, places where the aliens came and we drove around in the hills of Tujunga."

Since then, they have added ghosts to their weekly agenda since ghosts are a lot more convenient to hunt than aliens, Coe said jokingly.

"We actually started out calling it the Thursday Night Evil," she said.

Before going out, there are a few codes of conduct. "We never go anywhere where we're going to be trespassing or breaking any laws - keep it quite and don't go anywhere illegal," Coe said.

Armed with a digital voice recorder, a 6-mega pixel camera, digital thermometer and an electromagnetic field detector they venture out on a foggy Thursday night with a few select friends in search of the unknown. They say an EMF reader detects the presence of ghosts since ghosts are known to yield high electro energies.

Their first stop was in the hills of Sylmar. The allure of a haunting, by a local cemetery, of a cemetery statue that has been known to walk at night was the main attraction. The next stop was Sylmar's infamous gravity hill to dispel the rumor of ghosts pushing against vehicles put in neutral to get them off the road.

"You have to be open-minded," Coe said. One cannot go to a haunted location in pessimism or optimism. A person has to be neutral when looking for ghosts, Almonte said.

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