Group claims it detects ghosts

Based in Bengaluru, it goes around with meters and thermal imaging cameras to detect paranormal activity

The group claims it captured an image of a spirit at the Kalpalli cemetery in Bengaluru.

Soft-spoken Mohammed Imran (also called Imran Pasha), with a nine-to-five job, is not the sort to grab your attention in the normal course. But once you learn about his passion, you are all ears.

Imran is the founder of The Real Asian Paranormal Society, a team of ghostbusters in Bengaluru. The society claims to employ scientific methods to track paranormal activity, and carries around equipment for use in its ‚investigations‘. Not that everyone is convinced, but the team gets eight-10 calls for help every month.

How it all started

Imran developed an interest in the world of spirits after the girl he loved in college committed suicide.

“For some time, I was depressed and took to alcohol. Then I started reading up on communicating with dead people. I went to many spiritual teachers. I finally found a guruji who agreed to take me as his student. I spent lakhs learning the skill and was finally able to communicate with my girlfriend, which made me at peace,” he says.

He then decided to put his newfound skills to use. With some friends, he started an organisation in 2010.

“We started buying instruments one by one and by 2013, we had all the necessary equipment in place,” he says.

What they do

The group uses instruments like the K2 meter, ghost meter, EVP (electronic voice phenomena) recorder, infrared thermometer, and a thermal imaging camera to detect paranormal activity.

Imran says the instruments detect variations in temperature, physical changes in the atmosphere and any aura or vibe. These are recorded and analysed multiple times. If any supernatural activity is detected, the group tells the callers about it. 

Team members

The team still has its initial core members — Imran and his two friends, Amit and Praveen.

“Others keep coming and going. We get very enthusiastic enquiries but people get scared after one investigation and go away. Almost 35-40 people have come and gone,” he says.

Huge curiosity

Imran says a majority of those who want to join the group are girls. But the team prefers boys.

“We can sleep inside cars and eat anywhere but girls have to be given proper rooms, and that increases our costs. We work to complete investigation to a deadline and aren’t in a position to take care of them,” he says. Menstruating girls, Imran claims, are more vulnerable to possession. 

Induction

Applicants have to compete a task to qualify.  “When a member called Ganesh asked to join, he had to go inside Kalpalli cemetery at midnight on a new moon night, find his way with the help of a map and collect his appointment letter placed near a grave,” he says.

The cemetery, near Old Madras Road, is also called St John’s Cemetery. Imran claims to have found evidence of paranormal activities there.


Imran using a K2 meter.

“He managed to complete the task, though he was scared. There are always people watching out for applicants during tasks, though they don‘t know it,” says Imran.

‘It is social service‘

The team, which describes itself as a non-profit, charges no fees.
Anyone approaching them bears travel costs though. “We travel by car or fly because we have costly equipment with us,” says Imran.

The team is willing to go anywhere in India, and has covered Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Rajasthan.

The team charges a fee for solutions, he says, when they involve rituals like chanting and “invoking positive energy to expend the negative one.”

All members hold day jobs and set apart a part of their salary for their passion.

Rationalists sceptical..

Not everyone is convinced about Imran’s activities.

“Some have accused me of being a fraud and filed cases. A  well-known rationalist challenged us publicly. I think he was just angry because our programme, aired on a prominent Bengaluru channel, got more views than his,” says Imran.

Scary experience

Imran and his team say they have had many dangerous experiences. He recounts a particularly scary one.

This happened in Gokak in North Karnataka. It was a family of five — three children and their parents.

Only the eldest daughter was experiencing disturbing emotions, but nobody believed her. She emailed Imran, asking for help.

“We reached her place early in the morning. She was cheerful and hospitable. She talked about seeing a person sitting on a chair on the top floor of the house every evening at 6. Her friends trying to help her reported being physically hurt by this ‚force‘,” he says.

In his words: “We set up cameras and fixed a monitor. We then came back at 10 pm, which is when we usually start investigations. We made the girl sit in her room. She was serious and silent. Later she came up to me and asked me to open the bedroom window saying “she couldn’t come in otherwise.”

I realised she was possessed. It was a scary chain of events after that. Whoever was with her felt an unnatural chill in the air. When we tried to provoke the spirit by saying we would take the girl to the city, she (the girl) got agitated and screamed at us. My team reported seeing a shadow around her. 

A team member and I were thrown against the wall but the girl had no recollection of all this later. We told her we needed time, but the spirit followed us home. Our families reported similar problems. 

With the help of chanting, we got the spirit to come to us. She had been living on the land before the house was built and did not want to leave. It took us a lot of effort to convince her to leave the family alone and go.”

Imran’s lesson— spirits never disturb humans until we do something wrong to anger or annoy them.

Rationalist Association calls it 'hoodwinking'

When Metrolife contacted the Karnataka Rationalists Association of Bangalore, the person who picked up the phone said the concept of using instruments to detect paranormal activity was borrowed from American society. "They have been doing it for decades there but in my view, it still has no proof. It is just hoodwinking the people, though I can't say anything definitely since I have not heard of this team or seen their videos.

We don't accept paranormal activity. It is like blindfold reading — individuals have claimed that children can be made geniuses by mid-brain activation, which allows them to read blindfolded and see objects behind the walls. We exposed that to be a fraud."

Videos uploaded... 

He has a YouTube channel called ‚TRAPS Ghost Hunters‘ where they upload videos of their investigations. The channel has more than 12, 850 subscribers.

What do they look like?

So what do ghosts or spirits look like? Imran says they have no fixed form and can take any shape, depending on their energy. “If they are strong, they look like humans. Normal humans, not the fang-and-claw type shown on television. If their aura is weak, they resemble fog,” he says.

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