Paranormal investigators conduct exercise at Cedar Creek Grist Mill


A night out with investigators from Big River Paranormal at the Cedar Creek Grist Mill was sure full of spooky vibes.

From rapid temperature drops to a knock upstairs when investigators asked for a noise from a spirit, to use of a non-science-backed tool that produced interesting results. The investigation that began at 10:18 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 and concluded early Sunday, Oct. 15 was an experience for this reporter.

Big River Paranormal has investigated the Cedar Creek Grist Mill in the past with positive evidence through first-hand vision along with electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) recordings. Big River Paranormal is a team of investigators that strive to find a logical explanation for what their clients are experiencing throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Full results from investigators checking every millisecond of video, (EVP) recordings, photos and more will be included in a follow-up story in The Reflector.

The investigation

A paranormal investigation has a lot of set up, people hanging out in the dark, and then, following the field work, results come after examining the videos, photos and electronic voice phenomenon recordings.

After investigators completed the setup, they went outside of the grist mill for 10 minutes to “let things chill,” Jason Hassler, director of Big River Paranormal, said.

After that, the investigators went back inside for 10 minutes of quiet time. Then they split into two teams. One downstairs where the body of 18-year-old Barbara Ann Derry was found in the pen stock of the grist mill. Derry went missing on Feb. 11, 1972, and found on March 29 of that year. Derry is considered a suspected victim of double murderer and suspected serial killer Warren Leslie Forrest of Vancouver, states.

The second team went upstairs, which was used as a loft by millers that worked at the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. After a while, the teams switched places.

“One of the things we found that works best for audio recordings of evp’s is if we just have a normal conversation as opposed to sitting around asking, ‘What was your name,’ those same kinds of questions,” Hassler said. “So what we’ll do is we’ll just have a normal conversation about our day and anything really, and we find that a lot of times that if there’s a spirit they’ll join in the conversation.”

EVP recording results were unavailable by print time, but investigation results are slated to be featured in a follow-up story.

Near the end of the investigation, Jason Hassler, director of Big River Paranormal, invited me to try listening and repeating words I heard from a spirit box while investigators asked questions of the spirits possibly in the grist mill.

“It’s not something we normally do as there is no science behind it. It can be fun entertainment for public investigation and when we have guests,” Hassler said of the spirit box. “Some of the answers did match up to the questions. So, sometimes we get interesting results with it,” Hassler added about my experience.

With the spirit box being a non-science-backed tool, Hassler said he doesn’t use it as evidence in investigations.

My experience with the spirit box started by sitting away from the other investigators in the room with headphones on so I couldn’t hear the questions they were asking.

At first, the sound of white noise and the occasional blip of what sounded like broadcast radio filled my ears. But it didn’t take long until a definite female voice and a deep male voice appeared and said words such as, “Leave. Get out. Go to bed. I’m here. Table.”

Those words could sound corny, but I was told afterward that one sequence of questions, “Would you like us to leave,” was followed with me repeating what I heard from the deep male voice, “Get out.”

The investigator then asked, “So you’d like us to leave.” I then heard and repeated from the same voice, “Yep.”

The spirit box experience may not be used as evidence in the investigation but it caused bone-chilling moments.

After the investigation, Hassler had positive things to say about the experience.

“Last night’s investigation seemed to go well despite the late start. Everyone seemed to have a good time,” Hassler stated in a message. “We didn’t have any equipment malfunctions. [I’m] looking forward to doing the review and see if we find anything. The Grist Mill is a fun location to investigate.”

Big River Paranormal investigates Clark County and beyond, Hassler said.

“Big River Paranormal is here to assist Clark County residents with help they may need if they believe they are experiencing something paranormal,” Hassler stated. “Our goals are to find logical explanations for what our clients are experiencing and to help them feel more comfortable in their space.”

The investigations are free, Hassler added. To learn more, visit Hassler added he will soon be hosting a radio show called, “Hassling the Paranormal” on KXRW Vancouver.