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Rochester Woman Leaves Ministry — For Ghost Hunting

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — Have you ever wondered what’s behind those unexplainable bumps in the night? Now you can take a class from a real-life Minnesota ghost hunter — who has an interesting past — to find out.

In an unusual career move four years ago, Nancy Horvath-Zurn of Rochester went from being a minister to a ghost hunter.

Horvath-Zurn said she was inspired by personal experiences and by the popular TV show, Ghost Hunters. Looking for evidence more than just an experience, is what she said took her from the church and down her very unique, paranormal path.

“I’ve been credentialed clergy for 20 years, which makes this very unusual. This is a little taboo in the church,” said Horvath-Zurn, who founded After Hours Paranormal Investigations.

In 2007, she visited a prison in Mansfield, Ohio, rumored to be haunted, and that’s how it started. She formed a team of three, and they’ve investigated homes and buildings across the country. In St. Louis, Mo. her team captured a picture of a ghost called the “Lady in White” at the Lemp Mansion. At a house in Villisca, Iowa — where eight people were killed — her team captured a picture of an aberration outside the home.

Using everything from electro-magnetic field equipment to laser-grids, to video cameras and voice recorders, her team tries to make believers out of non-believers.

Horvath-Zurn teaches Ghost Hunting 101, 201 and 301. In the most advanced class, she takes students on a ghost hunt to places like the Mantorville Opera House in Mantorville, Minn.

“I don’t know if anyone is stuck here at the Opera House, but I do think they check in from time to time,” said Horvath-Zurn.

The classes are gaining popularity in southern Minnesota, and it’s in the dark of night — where research meets reality.

When people challenge what she does, she says she has a challenge of her own.

“I don’t feel I have to prove anything to anyone. It doesn’t bother me and I consider it a challenge to try and convince people. Plus, it makes me go back and look at the video or the pictures and say, ‘what did we catch there?’ It’s fun,” said Horvath-Zurn.

She said not every home she visits is haunted. In a lot of cases, her equipment detects problems that require an electrician more than a ghost hunter.

Horvath-Zurn has also investigated haunted castles in Ireland, and teaches a class on that in the spring.

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