COLUMBUS - Platte County Historical Museum could be haunted, but further research is needed before that designation can officially be placed on the 100-year-old building.
However, Nate Raterman of Tri-City Research and Investigation of the Paranormal (T.R.I.P.) said Monday that something strange is going on at the 2916 16th St. museum.
"We did get the voices," he said. "There definitely is paranormal activity there. That's for sure."
Raterman's ghost hunting group conducted a three-hour investigation at the museum Feb. 10, catching only a brief glimpse of an unidentifiable shadow on a second-story door inside the former Third Ward School building.
After later reviewing some audio recorders placed in the museum, Raterman is convinced something supernatural calls the compound home.
Four separate electronic voice phenomena, or audio recordings of potential spirits and paranormal activity, were picked up by the devices, according to T.R.I.P. They ranged from a loud banging noise in the 1857 log cabin and unexplained whistle to the voices of a young girl and older woman asking "Can you hear my voice?," the group reported.
But that isn't quite enough for the paranormal investigators.
"We'd actually like to have a little bit more evidence before we say it's haunted," Raterman said.
Raterman is proposing a second investigation at Platte County Historical Museum, this time using new video equipment he hopes will catch some ghostly figures. Conducting the investigation overnight should also help rule out the voices of the living on audio recorders, Raterman said.
A second look was taken at the Neville Center in North Platte before T.R.I.P. labeled that building one of the most haunted among the 30-40 they've investigated since 2009.
Cheri Schrader, executive director of Platte County Historical Museum, said the team is welcome to return, if the historical society board approves.
While she's not convinced anything supernatural is present there, Schrader believes the possibility could be good for publicity.
"If it brings people in, that's good," she said, "and I hope it doesn't scare people away."
The museum has received increased interest on Facebook since the first investigation, according to Schrader, with a few people looking to conduct research of their own there.
"I get a lot of questions," said Schrader, who isn't ruling out a possible haunting, but has never "experienced anything" herself.
Other amateur ghost hunters can come take a look around, Schrader said, as long as it's during regular operating hours. However, visitors likely won't see ghost tours on the itinerary anytime soon.
"I'm not planning on that in the near future," Schrader said.
Evidence collected by T.R.I.P. can be viewed at www.tripparanormal.com by paying members. A DVD of the first investigation will be available Thursday on the website.