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Are Things That Go Bump In The Night Real?

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People have a fascination, or fear, of the afterlife.

What lies beyond? Nirvana? Hell? If there’s nothing, is this it--is this all we have?

If there is something, do some people miss the exit ramp and remain on earth, wandering about as spirits, ghosts, djinn, poltergeist, or demons?

Are, in fact, spirits among us now?

Brian Purdy is a paranormal researcher with the group he founded called Elite Vegas Paranormal Society.

Brian Purdy at the Nevada Public Radio studios/Photo by Chris Smith

He's been interested in the topic since he was a kid and had "experiences" at his home in New Mexico: dark shadows in his room, a form of sleep paralysis--things he could never explain. 

Purdy's personal belief is that ghosts or spirits are electrical energies left behind when someone dies.

"What happens to that energy? Where does it go?" he said. "Some of it, we believe, goes back into the universe, goes back into other things, because everything is energy."

Purdy turns to Shawn Whittington when he comes upon situations in which he believes a demon in present. Whittington hosts and internet radio show about the paranormal, is an ordained minister from a Christian university, and is a vet tech as a full-time job. 

He said he's gotten most of his training in demonology or exorcisms from experience.

Shawn Whittington at the Nevada Public Radio studios/Photo by Chris Smith

Whittington believes Las Vegas is a hotbed for paranormal activity. He added that he's been the "authority" in three exorcisms, assisted in dozens, and was involved with one that made him walk away from the practice.

Whittington added anyone can download the rites for an exorcism as prescribed by the Catholic Church. But those rites will only work for someone who is “called” to do the work.

"I know in my heart of hearts I was created to do this," he said. "There's a lot of people out there that ... download the rites ... It's like a script. Download two or three copies of it and you have people there because there are responses in the rites. You say a prayer and there are responses."

He said people will try but they usually "all come under attack" by demons that he said "will chew you up and spit you out" and "maybe kill you."


Brian Purdy (left) and Shawn Whittington (right) at the Nevada Public Radio studios/Photo courtesy: Chris Smith

Shawn Whittington, demonologist /internet radio host; Brian Purdy, paranormal researcher, Elite Vegas Paranormal Society


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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.