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Ghost hunter lectures, plans SRU tour

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Lorraine Warren, a principal paranormal investigator of the Amityville Horror case, visits Slippery Rock University Monday to see for herself whether a ghost haunts Miller Auditorium as some claim. For years, faculty and students have reported hearing and seeing the spirit of "Emma the Ghost" in the theatre.

Warren, co-founder of the New England Society for Psychic Research, will lecture at 7 p.m. at the University Union Multi-Purpose Room. She will then lead 15-20 people, chosen by raffle, for a tour of Miller to search for ghosts.

Warren and her late husband Ed Warren authored several books about paranormal activity and claim to have researched 10,000 hauntings. The most well known, the Amityville case in upstate New York, involved a couple's claim their house was haunted by a demonic presence. The incident was the basis for a book and movie.

"Everyone has heard the stories about Miller being haunted," said David Wolfe, an SRU sport management major from Pittsburgh and vice president of speakers for University Program Board. This is an opportunity for people to go with this clairvoyant woman as she walks through Miller and see whether she feels a presence or sees anything."

"Emma the Ghost" is an SRU story that has been perpetuated for years. "Emma" is thought by many to be a spirit embodying Emma Guffey Miller, a prominent local political figure, SRU trustee and University supporter who died in 1950.

Over the years, SRU students have reported seeing a woman's figure out of the corner of their eye, or hearing pounding noises from a cove, but finding nothing when they check on the disturbance. Other stories tell of lights flickering during rehearsals.

They speculate that Emma, described as friendly, haunts Miller because the building was named after her, and she loved theatre. Students use many of her old clothes as costumes and store them in "Emma's Closet" inside Miller.

In 2009, SRU allowed Baelfire Paranormal Investigation to spend the night in Miller Auditorium searching for Emma. Owner John Lewis claimed his team captured pictures of primordial mists and electronic voice phenomena. He also said he felt pressure against his knee, and a K2 electromagnetic detector flashed on command, indicating the presence of spirits, Lewis said. Baelfire presented the University with a certificate officially designating Miller as being haunted.

University Program Board is sponsoring Warren's visit to SRU. Admission is free for students, $5 for the public.