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Ghost hunter planned for Halloween-themed Homecoming at Poly

October 26, 2010

Joe O’Toole has worked at the Williams Campus for 38 years, and has seen much change over the years from when it was the Williams Air Force Base to being the home of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Arizona State University Polytechnic today.

During that time, O’Toole has worked as a plumber, a caretaker and as a contract employee for housing.  While working on campus, he has experienced oddities that are inexplicable, like noises of children playing and women chatting, or the smell of food cooking in an area on campus that was uninhabited during the mid-90s.

“Sometimes I had to just leave that area because I could not handle all the noises,” says O’Toole.

He also has witnessed other unusual activities, such as lights that he knew he turned off when he left a building would be turned on when he returned or passed by it, as well as other strange sensations and noises.

He is not alone in experiencing such phenomena. Ron Swenson, police aide at the Polytechnic campus, also admitted to witnessing what can be described as paranormal activity on campus during evening patrols.

On a few occasions, he has attended to calls from students working the evening shift in the Union Annex, the former Officers' Club, with complaints that lights that had been turned off continue to flicker on and off, like someone is playing with the light switch, or hearing the sound of running footsteps in the building when no one else was inside.

Darren Thompson, a ghost hunter, will explore the unexplained paranormal activity and discuss the freaky world of the beyond, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 26, at the Polytechnic campus Student Union, Cooley Ballrooms.

The ”Ghost Hunting” event is one of many activities planned at ASU campuses around the Valley during that week, culminating with ASU’s Homecoming game, parade and block party, Oct. 30.

On the evening of Oct. 26, Thompson will explain the extensive equipment used to investigate the paranormal and discuss how and why psychics are used in conjunction with the equipment. Participants are invited to ask questions and share stories throughout the presentation.

Thompson is a co-founder and president of Washington State Paranormal Investigations and Research (WSPIR), as well as a member of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS). WSPIR is a skilled paranormal investigation and research organization committed to seeking scientific and metaphysical evidence of other realms of existence and is dedicated to assisting those experiencing unexplained phenomenon.

During the past eight years, Thompson has led many paranormal investigations in Washington state as well as around the country.  He has investigated with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of TAPS and investigated in Copenhagen with the Paranormalt Institut of Denmark. Thompson has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows and makes personal appearances at colleges and universities speaking on the paranormal.

This event is free and open to the public, but recommended for ages 18 and older and is hosted by the Associate Students of ASU-Poly, the Programming and Activities Board-Poly (PAB-P) and ASU Public Affairs.

In addition to the ghost hunting event, University Housing will host its annual Boo Bash for students, faculty, staff and their families, from 6 to 10 p.m., Oct. 23, in parking Lots 12 and 13 near the Student Union.

And, PAB-P, will host the annual Homecoming Fest for students on Oct. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on the south patio of the Student Union.

For information about the ghost hunter and Homecoming Fest events, contact Katie York at  Information for all ASU’s Devilish Homecoming activities can be found at