Getting inside the mind of a ghost hunter

Ghost stories are the perfect way to set the mood for Halloween. Some people don’t stop chasing after ghosts — in fact some make a career out it such as Barry Pirro, a ghost hunter located in the state of Connecticut. Photo by Umberto Shaw from Pexels.

Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, ghost stories will always be the best way to put you in a spooky mood that sends chills down your spine just in time for Halloween. Some people, however, do not stop following ghosts once the candy has run out and the Jack-o-lantern’s candle is no more than a pile of wax. Some people, in fact, make a career out of it. 

Monday evening, UConn Stamford partnered with the Seymour Public Library to host Connecticut ghost hunter Barry Pirro, who has investigated hundreds of paranormal cases throughout the Northeast, some of which were in close proximity to the UConn campuses. Titled “A Ghost Hunter’s Favorite Cases,” Pirro revealed his most bone-chilling encounters with ghosts, demons and haunted objects, as well as shed light on the mysteries of his job. 

Over his long career as a ghost hunter, beginning as a child in the 1970s, Pirro has responded to many distress calls from families across the region looking for answers to the unexplained occurrences in their homes. 

Picture of ghost hunter, Barry Pirro. Retrieved from his website The Connecticut Ghost Hunter.

“People think that, ‘Alright, you’re a paranormal investigator, people must call you all the time when there’s a little thing like being afraid of your basement,’” Pirro said. “That’s not the case. People call me when they really do not know what to do. They’re afraid. They’ve lived with this for a while, and they want it gone.” 

Just this past Saturday, Pirro met a family in upstate New York who experienced several strange occurrences: Various lights turning on and off rapidly, unplugged alarms systems blaring without connection to power, pounding on bedroom doors and unexplained footsteps running along the stair cases. Before the ghost hunter was brought in, a laundry list of electricians, contractors and technicians were brought in to address the issue. All of whom found no problems with the house. 

“Spirits use energy,” Pirro said. “They either take it or they’ll throw it off, and they’ll cause things that don’t work to work, such as this alarm system or a child’s toy without any batteries that suddenly starts talking.” 

Before jumping to eerie conclusions, Pirro actually tries to debunk the occurrences to find the root of the problem. 

“You want to debunk, not to make liars out of the homeowners, but to make people feel good about their house,” Pirro said. 

If this is not the case, however, Pirro will record his entire encounter at the afflicted house and listen to his recordings for potential electronic voice phenomena (EVP) where spirits can make their presence known, usually revealing why they remain in the house. 

Pirro combines this knowledge with the history of the location, researching past owners of the home or past owners of the land in which the house is built on, usually pinpointing who the spirit is. He performs what he refers to as a “clearing,” where the spirit is urged to move on to the next life by abandoning the anxieties they felt while alive. 

“Ghosts are just people. If you were stuck somewhere and you didn’t know how to get out, you would want someone to help you,” Pirro said. “I’m there not just to help the homeowners, but primarily to help the spirits and say, ‘You don’t belong here,’ in some sort of ghost psychology.” 

Pirro is proud to say that he has always left customers satisfied, with practically every ghost moving on, and it is important to mention that Pirro performs these jobs at no cost to the homeowners, simply desiring to help people in an area he has a passion for. 

For more information on Pirro’s work or to read more about the vast array of cases he has been called in for, check out

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