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Oops! Somebody was 'home' at Hairy Man shack near Vergas

Jonah Bowe is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.

Around a year ago, my dad told me that the newspaper's sports editor, Brian Wierima, was planning on starting a local paranormal investigating group.

I was interested. And I even participated in their first investigation, which was last winter at the Palmer House hotel in downtown Sauk Centre, Minn.

But until this weekend, I had been too busy to participate in an investigation since the Palmer House.

A couple weeks ago, I came home from school, and there was a note my dad had left for me that talked about an investigation in the Vergas Trails. My first thought was "this is exactly what I've always wanted to do," which was my frame of mind throughout the whole thing.

Sunday, Oct. 2 was the day that was chosen for the investigation, which was to begin at sunset. No one in the group quite knew the trails as extensively as I did, so it was kind of put on me to lead the group to the "hot spots."

The first spot we checked out was a trail on the north outskirts of the trails, and is (what my friends refer to as) the "hairy man trail."

I haven't ever really had any paranormal experiences out in the trails, so each spot we hit was based on stories and such I'd heard from friends and other people.

Now "the hairy man trail" isn't accessible by car, so we were forced to walk about a mile up the trail to get to the supposedly haunted "hairy man's shack."

It was a  rather irritating walk, through mud puddles and deep ruts in the dark, but eventually we came up on the shack, which wasn't inhabited by ghosts or anything paranormal -- quite the contrary.

This shack, which had been rumored to be haunted, was indeed inhabited by something, but it was a real, live person. That was all we really took the time to figure out (the idea that someone had strung up lights and was moving around in this run-down shack in the middle of the deep woods, which wasn't accessible by vehicle, didn't sit too well with us) and we didn't take our time getting out of there.

The second place we hit was the supposed "haunted railroad tracks," which didn't really have much to offer except some strange lights in the sky (which could honestly have been anything).

The third spot we went to was the Vergas Trail, 280th Avenue intersection, which was highlighted with a few personal experiences (strange shadows, noises, etc.)

The night was supposed to end at the graveyard near Camp Cherith, which is supposed to be the most active place in the trails, but because of a "no trespassing" sign, which none of us had ever noticed out there before, we decided it would not be a good idea to enter the graveyard -- which ultimately put a damper on the night.

We've yet to go over the evidence yet, but the chances of picking up anything substantial enough to prove the trails are haunted are definitely slim.

But personally I have to say that's beside the point. This type of investigation was new to everyone because they were investigating an area, not just one place, which made it even cooler from my point of view.

It was an opportunity to see if that kind of investigation would even work, and it did.