Spirits In The Omaha Night: “I Believe Hummel Park Is Haunted"

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On Halloween, ghosts and goblins walk neighborhood streets without a second glance or even a scare, but what about those ghosts who don't don costumes and have supposedly haunted Omaha throughout history?


A group called PRISM, Paranormal Research and Investigative Studies Midwest has been investigating haunts in the area for years. For some at Hummel Park along John J. Pershing Drive, sunset is a feast of visual beauty. For others sunset brings fear. “I believe Hummel Park is haunted.”


Carl Norgard and his daughter Kelley are trained paranormal investigators. “Haunting to me is like a ghost, someone who has passed away and who hasn't left yet to wherever we go, be it heaven or wherever we go.”


"Probably, at least two years ago was the last time we've done an investigation here.”


Their investigation that has revealed a park's tortured history and they say evidence of paranormal activity. Some have said somewhere there is a Native American burial ground.”


That's part of the legend. The park's actual history is more sinister, filled with stories of car accidents, suicides and untold violence.


“There's been so many murders throughout the years,” says Carl. “I've been told by people who lived in Omaha back in the 30s the gangs they had back then, it was more like the Mafia. They would kill people and drop their bodies along the river down here."


The roads are worn and tired and each tree tells a story. "The emotion that happened when they died is still here, it's in the earth, it's in the trees."


So what does it mean for a place to be haunted, and why Hummel Park? “A violent death, the chances are that they still are going to be here."


Some of the mystery surrounds the stairs built during the Great Depression, which seem to disappear into nowhere. No one knows how many steps there are because legend has that if you count the stairs going down you'll get a different number coming back. At the bottom, Kelley described a recent apparition.


“We saw headlights coming out of the tree, there were red lights in the grass area. It was almost like something like would be coming off of a gun or something and we were the only ones here.”


The difficulty in investigating these woods are the mind tricks they play and the way they speak to you. Are those things real or are they evidence of the paranormal? "Like I said, that could be contaminating to this.”


Almost on cue, a man emerged from seemingly nowhere. He assured us he was very real and very much alive. "It's all in your head.”


With that, the man turned around and descended down into an area of Hummel called Devil’s Park. With a name like that we decided not to follow. "To the believer no proof is necessary, to the non-believer no proof is possible."


PRISM conducts its investigations free of charge by request, using photo, video and audio technology to capture evidence of paranormal activity. Other investigations include the Villisca Ax Murder House and Mystery Manor in downtown Omaha.