To say that Dr. Nancy Horvath-Zurn sees the world a bit differently than the rest of us is perhaps an understatement when, in fact, she is able to see things many of us simply cannot.
Horvath-Zurn, a retired pastor, whose focus now centers around her spiritual consulting practice and paranormal investigation team, is a gifted sensitive (a term she prefers to medium or psychic) and serves clients through her ability to see, hear and sense phenomena that are imperceivable to others.
"I was 6 or 7 years old when I woke up in the middle of the night and saw an angel," Horvath-Zurn said. "I knew it was an angel because of my Bible studies, but I never spoke about it because even as a child I knew the topic was taboo."
Despite her lifelong fascination with the paranormal, it wasn’t until 2007 that Horvath-Zurn finally caught her first glimpse into the enigmatic world of ghost-hunting.
Through a series of happenstances, Horvath-Zurn found herself in Ohio at the Mansfield Reformatory armed with just a flashlight, a tape recorder and a camera. The Mansfield Reformatory operated as a prison from 1896 to 1990 and housed more than 155,000 men during its lifetime. The site now caters to paranormal enthusiasts by hosting ghost hunters — both amateur and professional — and leading ghost tours.
After spending just one night within the confines of the derelict prison, Horvath-Zurn was hooked.
Upon returning home, she shared her experience with two friends whose interest in paranormal activity matched her own. Together they formed Rochester Investigators of the Paranormal — or simply, RIP.
RIP disbanded about one year later, but Horvath-Zurn was just getting started. In January 2009, she assembled her current team, After Hours Paranormal Investigations, and brought the team’s current senior investigator Janelle Schoen on board.
Since its inception, the members of After Hours Paranormal Investigations have explored everything from local homes and hotspots (the Rochester Civic Theatre called on the team’s services, for instance) to haunted castles in Ireland.
"The time we spend at a site is really only half of the work required," Horvath-Zurn said. "Everything we record, which could be up to six or eight hours’ worth of data, needs to be examined for evidence."
Once the recordings have been individually analyzed, they’re brought back to the team for a "debunking session." That is, the group works to associate the sights and sounds captured on tape to non-paranormal sources. The work involved is daunting, but being able to corroborate paranormal experiences with tangible evidence is precisely what keeps this tight-knit group ticking.
Horvath-Zurn and Schoen, along with their two investigators in training, have done a sizable number of ghost hunts inside some of the country’s most haunted structures and show no signs of slowing down.
"I don’t care if our team is well-known," Horvath-Zurn said, "I care that we’re known well, and we do that by being professional, respectful and dependable."
For more information on After Hours Paranormal Investigations or Nancy Horvath-Zurn’s schedule of events and classes, go to afterhoursinvestigations.net.