Formerly known as the Blue Stem Hills, the Flint Hills were renamed due to their abundance of flint (eroded from bedrock) beneath the tallgrass prairie. The Flint Hills were once the site of several Native American battles, and it has been said that the air is still thick with the spirits of those who died. It is a picturesque and mysterious place, and the history of the area adds to its eeriness.
Flint Hills Paranormal (FHP) was founded by both Dr. Linda Clarke and Brandy Nance in October 2016. They had been members of a paranormal team in Topeka for several years when they decided to start their own group in their home area, the Flint Hills region around Emporia. They wanted to bring their knowledge and expertise to their local community and hoped to find more people in the area who were similarly interested in paranormal investigations. They also wanted to have a team of dedicated members who could help with research and investigations in the area. The mission of the team is to calm those who may be scared by paranormal activity in their homes by investigating, explaining, and communicating with spirits so they can move on. Brandy, who is also one of the team's mediums, says that, “Our greatest moments come when we can help others understand or communicate with what has frightened them. It is so often family members who have passed trying to get their attention.” Linda explains that, “Respectful communication with the spirit is essential to understanding why they are there and what they want or need, in order to stop or lessen the activity. “
Featuring nine team members, including investigators Cheryl Wagner and Kenny Kelley, the FHP researchers each bring their own unique talents and reasons for seeking answers to paranormal questions, FHP is a very close, fun and diverse team. A majority of the team members are sensitives and empaths, like Linda, but they also have three exceptional psychic mediums, including Annette Kelly, who have been visited by spirits since they were children. They are significant assets to clients because of their insights and abilities, and one of the team's mediums also brings her Native American background to assist in understanding certain environments and situations. Since reading the 1958 book "On the Track of Unknown Animals" by Heuvelmans in high school, Dr. Clarke has been fascinated by cryptozoology. The FHP team members investigate possible sightings of Cryptids in Kansas and share their findings in a section of the Flint Hills Paranormal website called "Kansas Cryptids and Other Strange Critters."
As part of the Flint Hills community outreach, the team gives Paranormal 101 classes, informative talks, develops fund raisers, participates in public investigations and parades. “We are not afraid to embarrass ourselves and love to have fun dressing up like the cast of “Young Frankenstein” in a theater fundraiser or like the cast of “Ghostbusters” chasing elves in parades,” said Linda. A partnership between the team and Emporia Main Street was formed in 2022 for a 'Historic Haunted Tour' on Halloween. Video evidence was collected from six historical and haunted buildings in Emporia and given to participants while they toured these locations. They also held six fundraisers and trainings, a parade, and numerous private investigations throughout the year. One of their fundraising locations requested that an investigation be conducted because motion sensor cameras in the basement kept activating. An image of an apparent ghost cat was discovered in the rafters after the FHP walked through the building, took photos, and took readings (pictured right). Visitors to the site had seen and felt the cat rubbing against their legs during several fundraising events.
While the team enjoys having fun, they are also very serious about their research and assistance. Prior to an investigation, they conduct a structured client interview to gain insight into the location, the building materials, the history of the building/location, the types of activity that occurs at a location, the client's perception of the paranormal, the client's psychology, and his or her religious or spiritual beliefs. A PIRA (Paranormal Incident Rating Assessment) Score is produced based on the scores from each area and is intended to give them an idea of the likelihood of paranormal activity occurring at any given location in the future. The research is ongoing.
FHP is also conducting research on a specific model of a Shirley Temple doll. They have found that numerous individual dolls of this particular model are either haunted or have histories of causing issues around them. “The first Shirley doll I brought home caught my stove on fire within a short time after bringing it into the house,” said Linda. “She isn’t in the house anymore!" Research on these dolls should be available on their website very soon.
Flint Hills Paranormal does not charge for services, welcomes all questions or inquiries, and loves to meet the public. Their information, contact and their witty jokes can be found on their website, Instagram, YouTube Channel, and Facebook page: Flint Hills Paranormal and Facebook groups: “Haunted Kansas" and “Kansas Cryptids and Other Strange Critters" at the addresses below. There may be an “Odd Kansas” feature on the website coming soon.
Kansas Cryptids and Strange Critters Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/878987972765989
Haunted Kansas Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/443393797250081