Who ya gonna call?

Texarkana Paranormal Society tames the unnatural


submitted photo

Story by Addison Cross and Grey Johnson

A knock in the night, a voice calling out.

You hear the subtle noises and get the eerie feeling that accompanies you while you walk down the hallway of your near silent house. You decide to look into it, but do not know where to begin. After a little research, you come across a local group that can provide you with the answers you seek: the Texarkana Paranormal Research Society.

Deep in the Bible Belt of America, an organization centered around observing, tracking and hunting demons and spirits sounds unarguably taboo. However, a group of people hoping to rid Texarkana and the surrounding area of unwanted bumps in the night and spooky noises in closets not only exists, but it is alive and well.

The Texarkana Paranormal Research Society, led by founder Sergio Guillen, has a mission to seek out ghosts in the area and help families with their poltergeist problems. Operating in a small town may seem impossible, but they are surviving after many years.

“We’ve been doing this for almost 10 years. We’re just people that are open-minded and we just try to see what’s beyond the regular life,” Guillen said. “[For some of these people, they] have some knowledge of the paranormal [while] others just want to experience what is paranormal.”

The society works to bring a bright light to families facing possible hauntings by investigating requests in homes. When residents fear what might be secretly dwelling in their house with them, the society is there to ease them.

“What we do is basically try to help families. We like to help people because [sometimes] you have a family with kids that go days and months with a problem in their home and they’re always scared, they don’t want to sleep and everybody [is in] the living room for months because they’re scared of something,” Guillen said. “Sometimes we realize that it’s not really paranormal [but] it’s more like [a] mental situation, mostly with [kids].”

The society is a group of volunteers working to help the community free of charge, operating under the idea that the main goal is to help people. Residents in the Texarkana area can reach out to the Texarkana Paranormal Research Society through their Facebook page, providing the paranormal help they need.

“Everything is free,” Guillen said. “This is something that we do as volunteering, something to help people. I guess my call is to help people, so we never charge anything.”

This is something that we do as volunteering, something to help people. I guess my call is to help people, so we never charge anything.”

— Sergio Guillen

The moving of people swells the membership of the society, but overall it is made of a small group volunteers.

“Right now we have about eight people there,” Guillen said. “Sometimes they come and go. Some are from here [for a while] some others [are] just passing by.”

In addition to skeptics, Guillen believes that being in the Bible Belt gives people general misconceptions about the society’s mission and work.

“Texarkana is a church field, so you have a lot of people who think [that the] paranormal always has to be in the evil form,” Guillen said. “They don’t think on the good part, and the good part is [that] we help people.”

Despite this difference, Guillen and the society consider that they share many of the same views with disapproving religious communities on the subject of spirits and the paranormal.

“We believe that something else is out there, [and other religious people] believe [that] too because it’s the afterlife. I call [paranormal beings] entities, but they call them spirits,” Guillen said. “We’re on the same level. They just see a different perspective because the Bible says don’t use anything to read the future or [perform] magic or things like that.”

While the two communities have some overlapping beliefs, the society implements more scientific reasoning and instruments in their quest to detect paranormal activity.

“We are more like a scientific group because we use equipment to verify and confirm the paranormal,” Guillen said. “We don’t use any magic, candles, any[thing] special [or] magic potions. We use scientific instruments like a recording machine for the electronic voice phenomena (EVPs), a video camera to record any evidence [and] infrared to see the differences between the colors on hot and cold.”

The Paranormal Society has spent many years doing this, and certainly does not want untrained people with no knowledge of the paranormal to attempt the things they do.

“I don’t recommend it at all. It’s not a fun thing to do. It’s not a toy, and it’s not a game,” Guillen said. “This is something serious and this is something that if you don’t do it properly, or you don’t do it right, you can harm yourself or you can harm others.”

There are many ways to disrespect the practice of seeking the paranormal, but above others, the Ouija board, due to its popularity amongst consumers, can be passed off as a toy. According to the Paranormal Society, this can lead to dangerous scenarios.

“This is like the Ouija board. That is completely wrong to sell as a toy; it is no toy, and people that play with it and make fun of it. There is a proper way to handle that tool,” Guillen said. “I have seen, personally, a family member get hurt because it sounded like a game and all of [a] sudden they got possessed by a spirit. It’s not really a game when you start getting the answers you ask it for and then all of [a] sudden you can’t live your life because you want to ask everything.”

Guillen believes that the Ouija board is not untamable, but rather stems from innocent curiosity. Through the usage of the board, you can open yourself to being vulnerable to being manipulated by something more sinister.

“You can’t have a normal life because you want to know everything and in the future what’s going to happen,” Guillen said. “You don’t know that spirit there, or that entity there. It could be a demon and they are just playing with your life and playing with your soul.”

You don’t know that spirit there, or that entity there. It could be a demon and they are just playing with your life and playing with your soul.”

— Sergio Guillen

For demons that utilize the Ouija board against the addicted user, they are out for more than just to do harm.

“That’s what, at the end of the game, they want. They want to take your soul,” Guillen said. “Your soul is basically your main source of energy, and that’s what they want to take. They are like vampires.”

However, the Paranormal Society claims that demons do not harm their target right out of the gate. Instead, they choose to gain their target’s trust and slowly manipulate them into their own destruction. One gateway to manipulation is the Ouija board.“This girl lost her engagement ring, and she asked the Ouija board where [she] could find [her] ring,” Guillen said. “The demon told her where the ring was and she found it and she got attracted to it because she found the ring. That’s how she came up with more questions and then it goes from there.”

Despite the group not being an official religious group, in order to protect themselves while out investigating, they will pray to keep any bad spirits at bay.

“When you go to a paranormal investigation, we do pray special prayers of protection,” Guillen said. “After we are done, we do another prayer. And even before I go home, before I enter my home, I do another prayer because you don’t want to bring [home] any energy or anything that was around.”

Demons are not the only ones to cause harm. Bad spirits can also wreck a person’s life if the person does not take precautions.

“We [had] a guy [who] didn’t really believe in the paranormal. He didn’t pray and then he went to do an investigation and he brought something to his home and it was not good; it made him start drinking a lot and he started doing drugs,” Guillen said. “So, it was not a good spirit; it was bad. It was not a demon, but it was something that would strive to push him to do something bad and harm himself, which is something [demons] normally like to do.”

Even though both bad spirits and demons seek to do harm to a person’s life, they are different. While spirits seek direct possession of a person, a demon’s method of choice is manipulation of the victim.

“[When] you open your soul and you open your chakra, the spirit gets you from there because that’s their final game. A demon is different,” Guillen said. “They are very playful. They act like they are your friends, [and] they want to be here to help you and they manipulate you to the point to start harming yourself and then basically kill you. That is their game, they want to destroy you.”

According to Guillen, objects such as the Ouija board not only has an audience with demons, but it is also used by bad spirits that desire to possess the user. Possession occurs when the user has obtained the final level of the Ouija board.

Your soul is basically your main source of energy, and that’s what they want to take. They are like vampires.”

— Sergio Guillen

“There are certain levels with the Ouija board. You start with the touch and the indicator and at the top level you don’t have to touch the indicator, your hand just starts writing by itself,” Guillen said. “Everything that you’ve asked, you will start reading it and your hand is moving by the spirit. So, in the end, you get possessed by the spirit and you don’t even need the Ouija board. That’s when it gets really bad.”

The Paranormal Society has been mostly idle in dealing with demons which Guillen says is a good thing.

“[In] Texarkana, we have seen no possessions at all,” Guillen said. “The two big demons we’ve got in Texarkana have done harm in people, but not to the point to get possessed, which is good.”

In the end, the members are just normal people with a desire to help and a passion for the paranormal.

“It’s just a group that gets together for the weekends to do something that we like to do,” Guillen said. “It’s just like any other hobby.”