Interview with Aaron Powers of the Forest City Paranormal Society

Aaron Powers is a graduate student in Biomedical Science and co-founder of the Forest City Paranormal Society in Rockford, Illinois. With the help of the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee, he is currently filming a documentary about paranormal investigation.

When did you first become interested in the paranormal? Was it around the same time you helped form the Forest City Paranormal Society?

As a kid, I loved reading R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps and watching shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Tales from the Crypt. So, my interest in this macabre subject came about at a young age. However, it wasn’t until college when I started to become interested in actually investigating the paranormal. These interests grew as I continued to study psychology, philosophy, religion, physics, biology, and the mysteries that are embedded within each of these disciplines. Before co-founding the Forest City Paranormal Society (FCPS) with Deuce Rose, he and I started a small club at Rockford College that discussed various topics of the paranormal.

Once we graduated, we wanted to start a local paranormal group of our own, FCPS. Since then, we have had the opportunity to meet many inspirational people who share the same interests and same questions that we were seeking. My journey into the paranormal has been unremittingly enigmatic, which has left me questioning my own beliefs and becoming more skeptical of the paranormal.

What is the premise of your new paranormal documentary? Tell our readers about what they can expect when it is completed.

The premise of this documentary is to simply show our audience how a complete paranormal investigation is conducted. What I mean by complete paranormal investigation is everything that is involved from the initial client contact to the final report – and many times, the final report is not the end of an investigation. It is almost exhausting to think of the amount of time and effort that goes into this field. The documentary is centered on me. I know this sounds narcissistic, but my role in this documentary represents the hundreds of newly established paranormal enthusiasts who have either recently started a groups of their own, joined a group, or are simply interested in learning more about the paranormal.

For me, investigating the paranormal is a hobby and although I’ve learned a lot in the three years that I have been doing this, I am still very new to the field of paranormal investigation. This past year, I moved up to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area for graduate school, so unfortunately my time with FCPS in Rockford, Illinois is very limited. However, I worked with a paranormal investigator named Noah Leigh last summer. He is the founder of the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee (PIM).

PIM was gracious enough to allow me to accompany them on some of their investigation and what I observed was a group of people who have a very scientific scope into the paranormal. From there, I knew I still had a lot to learn. For instance, there is more technique involved with a digital recorder than just pushing the record button. So, for the next year, PIM has allowed me to film them as they conduct paranormal investigations and teach me about some of their techniques and equipment used during those investigations.

What appeals to you about using the medium of film to explore this subject?

What I like about film is that the viewers will be able to see how a certain paranormal research group searches for evidence of the paranormal. There are many research groups and societies out there that have their own unique ideas of how to capture and interpret evidence. Of course, we are dealing with a mystical “realm” that may or may not exist – so there really is no right or wrong way of investigating the paranormal. However, there are right and wrong ways of using the equipment. Just if you were a physicist measuring electromagnetic fields using an EMF meter, you would want to know the proper way to handle and operate the device in order to obtain a precise measurement. The “on/off” button just isn’t sufficient these days. This is just one aspect of the documentary that I hope do display.

After investigating several different places around northern Illinois with FCPS, was there one in particular you would say was definitely haunted? What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on an investigation?

There were several locations that I thought had a definite uncanny aspect to the environment, but there are only a few that I can say are definitely haunted. This judgment is solely based off of my own experiences and unfortunately I don’t have too many of them. Willow Creek Farm in Shannon, Illinois was the site of my first investigation as well as the scene of my first supernatural experience.

On the first night of our three-day investigation, we were wrapping everything up to end our investigation for the night to get some shut-eye. As I was just about to fall asleep, a small tapping sound caught my attention. To me it sounded as if there was a leaky pipe in the ceiling dripping onto the drywall above my head. Trying to fall asleep the noise just kept repeating its self over and over tap… tap… tap… tap… Not being able to fall asleep, I just sat there listening to this dumb sound. I began to notice another tapping noise that was a much deeper pitch that was incorporated within the fast tapping. Tap… tap… tap… tap… THUD… THUD… tap… tap… tap.

This “thud” seemed to even have some base to it – enough to slightly feel the sound vibrations on my face. It was the next sound that got me questioning my own sanity. I began to hear, also incorporated in the taping and thuds, was a screechy yelping sound along with jingling, which sounded like someone had a keychain loaded with keys and souvenirs from all over the world. It sounded as if it was coming from outside in the corn fields. I remember thinking to myself, “is someone having a powwow at four in the morning?” I got up and walked around and noticed that no matter what position I was facing, I kept hearing these sounds in my right ear. I know this is kind of hard to explain but that is exactly how it was – coming from my right ear only.

I really thought I was beginning to lose my mind because at this point all I wanted to do was fall asleep – I could’ve cared less about the ghosts at Willow Creek, sleep was my top priority. Eventually, I was able to sleep for a few hours and when I woke up, one of the sensitives/HSP that we work with said “hey did anyone happen to hear the Native Americans last night? They put on a good show for us. It was very soothing.”

Other than completing this documentary, what are your plans for the immediate future? Where can our readers contact you if they would like to know more about the project?

Well, right now I am currently working on my graduate studies in Biomedical Science. I have a feeling I will be doing that for a while – I’m no psychic. You can reach me at if you have any questions.

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