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.

Comments (24)
  1. Pat says:

    Sounds to me like she’s still part of the clergy. Gods-ghosts-whatever!

  2. Real Talk says:

    LOLOL…yes Bob…and there are reasons hundreds of religious groups exist too. And not because there is hundreds of different Gods. It is a psycological phenomina that originates from man’s desire to explain the unknown.

    So just because there is more than one kook out there doing it…its hardly evidence of it’s validity. And the fact that your main arguement in support of ghost & god is, “i just really, really, really know they exist. I cant prove it, i just know”… some weak sauce. So what, do you just repeat stuff over and over in your head until you are convinced its true then twist your logic to support your belief? WOW….all i can say. Good luck in life buddy.

  3. Read the Bible says:

    And the Bible DOES mention in more than one passage of “Giving up the Ghost.” Sounds as if the Bible does in fact mention the Soul and Spirit, with the very word.

  4. sounds like fun says:

    She is satisfying her own human curiosity and is not worried about proving anything. She’s having fun.Pretty cool. I imagine the TV shows are making ghost hunting a bit of a fad. I used to have very weird experiences when working at a local theater that was built in 1915. It does make one wonder.

  5. Jake says:

    This story makes me want a bowl of BooBerry Cereal.

    1. yummy says:

      Me too. Two bowls. MMMMMM, sugar

  6. TL says:

    UMMM…Science has every part to do with ghost hunting Because science cannot prove something doesnt mean it isnt “science.” And there is proof that they do exist because of the science of it.

    And not all ghosts are demons, actually a vast majority are not. And what makes you think she left her “relationship with God” to do this? Maybe she was called by God to do this. Unfortunately you seem to have a voo-doo mind set of this subject matter. That the shame of it.

    1. TL says:

      well, whats your proof they dont exist besides your close mindedness?

      And your outlet for information must be severely limited as stories about this subject has been covered on news reports, magazines, and newspapers, etc for years…which is one of the reasons interests in this came about in the first place.

      you do get outside once in awhile, dont you?

      1. TL says:

        well, I would suggest you utilize google and/or youtube and start surfing a bit. or a library is good too. you do know what that is, right? a library? geez…do people have to tell you when to cross the street when the light turns green at a street corner? do what i did…when you have questions about something you really want to learn about…look for the answers yourself.

        Men at one time thought the earth was flat….til they educated themselves.

        if you care to bother…you will encounter fake stories, photos, videos etc etc so you’ll have to educate yourself on finding the difference between what is actually real and what isnt. But if youve already determined that this is non-sense by no other means than your inability to learn something new and that at least the possibility exists, then your wasting your time.

        1. Real Talk says:

          People like you are whats wrong with the human race. No amount of logic or reason can convience you to open your eyes. You stand there, stiff as a board, blissfully ignorant. It is amazing to me.

          Reason, Logic and Science cannot compete with your “beliefs” no matter how overwhelming the evidence (or lack there of) can be.

          So what’s the point. Keep destroying society with your small mind and stuborn ignorance…just maybe try not to breed and pass your genes down.

          PS….why is ‘CCO removing rather innocuous comments (not mine either)? And ‘ can take your “awaiting moderation” and shove it right up there. Go eff yourself real good like.

          1. TL says:

            Please take your meds already…youre making an arse of yourself. You obviously need alot of things done for you.

  7. TL says:

    Apparently you need a class in journalism…its a human interest story, not an investigative report. It doesnt require that the reporter investigate the subject matters claims. All news outlets does this from time to time, not just ‘CCO. Tis the season for this sort of stuff to come out….ya think?

  8. jan says:

    How do you know all of this? Did you have a vision or do you have a direct line to the creator?

  9. Linda says:

    I live in Mantorville. There ARE Ghosts at the Opera House and other places in town. Everyone has seen, heard, experienced them. Its common knowledge.

  10. MaidenMN says:

    @Bob: I was with you for the first two paragraphs, but you completely lost all credibility with the third. Ghosts are NOT demons. Demons do not exist (any more than “Satan” does–that is a Christian invention, and a misinterpretation of the Hebrew word sa-TAHN, simply meaning “adversary” (i.e. Vikings vs. Packers), and not a supernatural being devoted to pure evil). However, ghosts do. Ghosts are the spirits of dead people, and not impersonations of people. Religion has no place in the paranormal. You are obviously biased on the side of religion.

    @Real Talk: Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. You are skeptical, which is fine. That just means you haven’t encountered a ghost, yet. That does not make those of us that have “kooks”, psychologically impaired, mentally ill, etc.. What makes you a “kook”, psychologically impaired and mentally ill is your need to call other people names for no other reason than your self-serving satisfaction.

    1. TL says:

      we’ll disagree on the demon/satan thing
      and the jury is still out with me on religion and its place in the paranormal


      Well said otherwise!!!

  11. Andrew says:

    Was there a reason you decided to delete my comment? Was it because I called you out for terrible reporting?

    Anyway, if she can actually find ghosts, then she should contact the James Randi Educational Foundation and apply for their Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge. And this station should have contacted them as well to get more information on ghost-hunting and not just what this woman was selling.

    Whoa, whoa, I just reloaded the page and the comment count went from 18 to 14. So not only has my comment be deleted, but others’ have as well. And most of them were critical of this piece. Good job, wcco!

    1. TL says:

      Apparently you need a class in journalism…its a human interest story, not an investigative report. It doesnt require that the reporter investigate the subject matters claims. All news outlets does this from time to time, not just ‘CCO. Tis the season for this sort of stuff to come out….ya think?

      And “CCO isnt deleting yours or anybody else’s posts….theres a glitch somewheres as its been happening every so often to everyone…just re-post…if you must.

  12. Andrew says:

    Oh, my comment’s waiting moderation. Okay. So, why was it displayed last night when I first made it? Did it only go to moderation after someone realized I was criticizing this station? Is it the same with those others that have vanished? You know that the whole point of comment moderation is to keep unwanted material off of your site before it gets put up, not after, right?

  13. Andrew says:

    TL, MaidenMN, others:

    You do realize that you have the burden of proof. You’re the ones who have to demonstrate that there is an actual phenomenon occurring. Until you do so, I’m totally justified in saying, “I don’t believe you. You haven’t made your case.”

    Sure, you can believe anything you want, but that doesn’t mean that other people have to accept or even respect your beliefs. Until you demonstrate your beliefs are true, they are no different than the claim that elves live in your garden and make shoes for you at night.

    (Oh jeez, you don’t believe in elves too, do you?)

    1. TL says:

      @ ANDREW, et al

      when I was a skeptic….I didnt ask for people to do the work for me…so I looked it up myself and got educated…the proof is out there, get it yourself if youre that interested enough in it. I dont care whether or not you believe in the subject matter so Im not inclined to “lay the burden of proof” at your feet for you. Now-a – days its much easier to get the information you claim to want to seek, i.e. internet, google, youtube, library and other media outlets, than it was when I first learned of this. So it wouldnt require much work on your part to do some checking on your own and decide for yourself if you want to continue disbelieving.

  14. k says:

    idiots..they are deleted because someone is deleting them…they report them and then they get taken off..really people are you that ???//lol

  15. Suzy Hoven says:

    My Name is Suzy Hoven. I had Suzy’s Shoppe and Gallery in Mantorville for
    14 years. Orginally my 1856 Building was a Funeral Parlor and they made
    Furniture and Fanning Mills….I know first hand that there were Poltergist
    There. In the morning lots of things were moved, and I know my dog and
    Cats didn’t move it.

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