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Get spooky with the Waldorf Paranormal Society

skull and crow

The Paranormal Society asks questions and explores the unknown – Photo by Lauren Babcock

By Lauren Babcock

The Waldorf Paranormal Society is a club at Waldorf that meets every Thursday at 8 PM in Gatsby’s. Justin Benjegerdes (aka Benji) is maintenance here at Waldorf as well as the founder of the Paranormal Society. He started the club because he had a passion for the paranormal. Benjergerdes said, “When I heard there were other students who had experienced something but didn’t know where to turn, my co-worker at the time Jeff Wixom and I decided to start the club so students, faculty and staff all had a place they could go where they wouldn’t feel judged or could seek advice.”

The club is a place for everyone to share stories and learn about the paranormal. Student Shyanne Siems, the president of The Paranormal Society, joined last year. She originally joined the club because she’s experienced the paranormal ever since she was a little girl. Siems said, “I had always had strange experiences. Whether it was seeing people standing where nobody was or hearing voices that weren’t heard by other people. I was genuinely interested in learning more about what I was experiencing as well as surrounding myself with people who had experienced the same things.”

The club has a few planned events for the year that include some investigations at Pilot Knob, the annual haunted hike, and tentative plans of going to the Missouri State Penitentiary if funds allow.

Last year, the Paranormal Society hosted the first annual haunted hike. This year, they desperately need volunteers to help scare.

“I’m most excited to put on the hike again. Seeing how much happiness it brought students and the community last year was incredible,” said Siems. She’s looking forward to it being more organized this year as well. The haunted hike will take place on October 21 and 31. Not only do they need people to scare others, they also need tour guides.

Benjergerdes wants all students to feel accepted and to have a unique experience by visiting the Waldorf Paranormal Society.

“First and foremost, I want them to know that they aren’t alone in their experience or interest. But I also hope they leave with a sense of camaraderie,” Benjergerdes said. “I understand there are nonbelievers out there, but there is just too much happening all over the world to not have an open mind about things. If everyone leaves with an open mind that anything is a possibility, then I have done my job.”