- Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

July 5, 2012

SRU grads making waves with paranormal research

SLIPPERY ROCK — Daniel Hooven and Adam Kimmell were so intrigued by their experiences living in a haunted Slippery Rock University fraternity house that they now travel the country, investigating stories of spirits for their YouTube series.

"That story was a catalyst for what we do now," Hooven said.

"Resident Undead" explores paranormal events that Hooven and Kimmell recreate, setting the stage for spirits to share their stories as they happened when they were alive.

"Our goal is to stimulate the dead," Hooven said.

Before the series came about, Hooven, 27, of Edinboro, was a skeptic while Kimmell, 27, of Grove City, had always believed in spirits.

Hooven started to change his mind when strange things started happening the Alpha Sigma Phi house, where they both lived in 2006.

Slamming doors, footsteps in an empty room and children singing and giggling are a few examples and the activity has been reportedly happening since they graduated, Hooven in late 2006 with a degree in communications and Kimmell in 2008 with a degree in political science and international security.

They remained friends while they went on with their lives, Hooven working as a financial adviser in his hometown of Philadelphia.

"I have not worked since I left that cubicle jail," he said of loving what he does now.

In addition to working on "Resident Undead," he's now a graduate assistant at Edinboro University, where he's getting his master's degree in integrative marketing and is marketing director of the planetarium.

Kimmell, a 2003 graduate of Grove City High School, bounced around a few jobs before working as a freelance producer, which led to his creation of "Resident Undead."

The pair reconnected and Kimmell took on Hooven and a third team member, Jordan Murphy.

It wasn't until 2011 that Hooven truly believed in spirits; they visited a house in Villisca, Iowa, where a family was killed by an ax murderer, a mystery that remains unsolved.

"There's something wrong in that house," Kimmell said.

The experience made Hooven realize there are haunted places everywhere, but he's quick to say they're not ghost-hunters or like the "Ghostbusters."

They feel like they "broke the Da Vinci Code" in the connections they've had with spirits using clothing, recorders, cameras, microphones and other props and equipment people who lived long ago might recognize, Kimmell said.

"They participate in the ripple in time we're creating," he said. "We actually shun new technology."

They've filmed episodes in Tennessee and Massachusetts and more local spots including the Knickerbocker Hotel in Linesville and the former Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.

"We've left our footprints everywhere," Hooven said.

They don't set out to solve any mysteries; their main objectives are to inspire others to pursue their own dreams and give the spirits a voice.

"I want a story to tell. My eyes have been so opened by this," Hooven said.

Kimmell and Hooven think of themselves of pioneers in the field of paranormal research, taking their assignments more seriously than the number of similar shows on television and the Internet.

"We approach everything as 'it's time to work,'" Hooven said.

They won't take on a project unless they have a documented history of the place or person they're investigating so everything is accurate for the re-enactment.

And since they've been making the rounds, Hooven and Kimmell believe they have an "entourage" of spirits that communicate with each other about the "Resident Undead" team.

"Anything's possible," Hooven said.

They'd love to return to the frat house to film an episode, but in the meantime are working a bigger project they're legally not allowed to discuss.

Stay tuned, they said.

Check out "Resident Undead" on YouTube and Facebook.

Published June 30, 2012, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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