Becky Guymon, also known as Zitania, was born and raised in Central Illinois. She is a professional Genealogist and has been doing family history research for 20 years. After having her first paranormal experience at the age of 8, she has always been interested in the paranormal, and has been doing paranormal investigations for the last six years. Becky is currently working on her first book, which blends both the Genealogical, Historical, and Paranormal stories of Campground Cemetery in Mattoon. Becky is available to speak at events and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Tell our readers a little bit about your team and what your team’s approach is to paranormal investigation.
IMPS was formed by a group of close friends who had similar interests in the paranormal. While the group does do paranormal investigations, its main goal was to raise awareness of the paranormal and metaphysical fields (tarot, crystals, etc.) Our team is made up of “normal everyday” people ranging from business professionals to nurses and everything in between. Our team takes a very caring and concerned approach when it comes to our paranormal investigations. Our goal is to provide answers for our client and to put their mind at ease. We always try to find a logical explanation for experiences and leave our clients comforted in knowing that their home or business is safe and secure. Our team spends a lot of time researching the history of our locations. We have a strong Genealogy background and we use those skills in order to provide our client with a detailed history of the location.
Why did you decide to start the Illinois Metaphysical & Paranormal Society in 2008? Was it a particular event that got you involved in paranormal investigation, or had you thought about creating your own team for a while?
I have been interested in the paranormal and metaphysical fields since I was a young child. I had some experiences at a young age that lead me to be a believer in the paranormal and I have always wanted to learn more about the field. I met someone from the Chicago area who was a paranormal investigator and he became a good friend and mentor. I joined his team and drove to Chicago area for investigations a few times a year. However, the drive was a bit tedious so I began exploring the option of creating my own team in the Central Illinois area. As I started asking my peers I quickly found several people who were interested in forming the Illinois Metaphysical and Paranormal Society, and so it began.
Tell our readers a bit about the former Charleston Community Memorial Hospital. Why do you think it is haunted and what kind of things have people experienced there?
The former Charleston Community Memorial Hospital is a truly wonderful building. Four of our team members have worked, or currently work, at organizations that have offices inside the building. During my three years in the building I witnessed several strange occurrences as did my co-workers. The position that I had required that I spend a lot of afterhours time in the office. My co-worker and I often stayed until 7 or 8 in the evening and that is often when we would notice the strange events. Some of the events included lights turning on and off in the restrooms, restroom water turning on without anyone near it, stall doors opening and shutting.
On several occasions, workers in the building would report standing by the bulletin boards or water fountains and feeling like someone, a large man, was standing behind them. When they would turn around there was no one there. We named this spirit John. Although a psychic later told us that she believes the spirits name is David and that he used to work in the hospital. We have not been able to confirm this relation thru our research as of yet.
Other experiences in the building include objects being moved, knocking on walls, scratching sounds on doors, shadows, and voices.
There are at least a dozen allegedly haunted places in your area, including Ashmore Estates, St. Omer Cemetery, and Pemberton Hall, among many others. Why do you think Coles County is such a haunted place?
Coles County has a very lengthy and amazing history. From the Civil War, the Charleston Riots, and all of the other heartbreak, tragedy, and joy this area has witnessed over the last well over 100 years there is bound to be a lot of residual energy left over. I think that most areas in Central Illinois have their share of potentially haunted locations. Coles County was very lucky to have someone feature our haunted locations in books and on national television.
What is your favorite place you have investigated, and what did you encounter there?
Oh my, that is a tough one. I have been fortunate to investigate many great locations and I still have quite a long bucket list of locations I would like to go. I think my all-time favorite would have to be the former Charleston Community Memorial Hospital. Mostly because of my personal experiences in the building over the time I was employed there. Many of us had a connection with the spirits in the building and it was great to be able to go in as paranormal investigators and use our tools to try to communicate with the spirits. Another one of my all-time favorites was the Rialto Square Theater in Joliet. The building is absolutely beautiful and the experiences we had there were amazing. And of course, Ashmore Estates is always a local favorite. No matter what time of day or night you enter Ashmore Estates the building just speaks to you. There is never a dull moment at AE.
Do you have any events coming up in 2013? How can our east central Illinois readers get a hold of your group if they have questions or want to schedule an investigation?
We will be hosting our 3rd Annual Central Illinois Paranormal Meet and Greet & Psychic Fair in the fall. We are nailing down that final date now, but it is looking like the end of September. We will be announcing the official date very soon on our web site www.teamimps.com. We will also be offering some great classes in the local community this year including tarot, meditation, Ghost Hunting 101, Genealogy, and more so be sure to keep an eye on our web site, and like us on Facebook!
As always our team will also be participating in the Coles County Relay for Life and other local charitable events. Readers can visit us online at www.teamimps.com, on Facebook, or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of our investigations are free of charge.