RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s that time of year where people celebrate ghosts and terror.

“I think a lot of people like it just because of the thrill, especially this time of year, as they call it ‘spooky season,’ they’re looking for a thrill,” said Nelson Nauss with the Ghost Guild.

Nauss claims he’s experienced plenty of those thrills himself.

North Carolina is home to dozens of haunted places and tales of ghosts. Click here to read a few.

Like one time at Andrew Johnson’s birthplace in Raleigh.

“We actually heard someone humming, which at the time no one heard it, but when we listened to the audio after the fact, you actually hear it,” said Nauss.

Nauss doesn’t just tell ghost stories – he investigates them.

“It’s absolutely thrilling,” he said.

His team specializes in historical places and hauntings, trying to explain the unexplainable.

“What do you think it is about ghosts and paranormal experiences that draws so many people to it?” CBS 17’s Bridget Chapman asked.

“I think for one, the TV shows are very popular,” said Nauss.

Experts say reports of paranormal activity are spiking this year — claims of unusual noises, movements, and feelings.

Photo illustration by CBS 17

Nauss said emails about activity in people’s homes shot up 50 percent in March.

He ties much of it to the pandemic and people working from home.

“In reality, there are a lot of sounds you’re not hearing when you’re at work during the day that are happening,” said Nauss.

Mental health counselor and Ghost Guild co-founder Kelly McConkey said there’s another factor.

“Just the amount of anxiety and depression and isolation and loneliness, it’s been so intense for people,” said McConkey. “And just like anything else, that energy needs to be released. So, it can show up in a lot of different ways.”

“Do you think there are some things that just can’t be explained?” CBS 17’s Bridget Chapman asked.

“Oh yes, yeah,” she answered.

McConkey said she’s had her own paranormal encounters.

“I love it, it’s one of my favorite things is just relating to other people and hearing about their stories and things that have happened in their lives and then getting to tell my different stories, it’s fun,” she said.

The Ghost Guild always looks for other solutions before turning to the realm of the unknown.

“If you have anything happening, always think about it critically — what else could be causing this?” said Nelson.

But sometimes those answers are simply just not there.

The Ghost Guild is a registered nonprofit organization.



They’re a team of nine people that does science-based paranormal investigations at historical places, like the Mordecai Historic Park.

They don’t usually take on residential cases, and recommend avoiding any teams that charge money for services.

Related: Ghosts and haunted places in North Carolina