STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma Territorial Plaza is a capsule of history celebrating the heritage of the local area and the state of Oklahoma.
But with some of the exhibits on the grounds being many years old, there are some signs of wear and tear. One such part of the plaza is the railroad history museum, which features a dining car built in 1903 that has been on the grounds since 2013. The train car has been exposed to the elements, and is in need of upkeep.
That’s where the Oklahoma Paranormal Research Investigating Deceased Entities group comes in. Oklahoma P.R.I.D.E., based in Stillwater, is set to host three different events where people can learn the basics of paranormal research. The members of the group have been investigating paranormal entities for many years, and came together to form P.R.I.D.E. after getting to know each other through different paranormal research groups.
Cara Pershall, a member of P.R.I.D.E., said she began researching the paranormal realm when she realized she had a gift at a young age.
“I have always been sensitive and seen people that weren’t there, and been able to talk with spirits,” Pershall said. “When it happened in my teen years, and I actually saw family members who I knew had passed, I knew I had a gift. It made me seek out other people like me and learn how to control it, what it means, if it’s harmful to me, if it’s harmful to them, and trying to just do research and meet people I can learn from and grow from and see what it’s all about.”
P.R.I.D.E. will host three events at the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the plaza. Two of the events will be geared more toward kids and families, with another event for those 18 and up. The first family event will take place from 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday at the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza, and the second will be from 1:30-4 p.m. Oct. 26. During the family oriented events, kids will learn how to use the paranormal investigating equipment, and will be able to take part in a ghost hunting experience where they will get to try to ask questions to the spirits.
The adults only event will take place from either 6-8:30 p.m. or 8:45-11:15. During the Friday event, P.R.I.D.E. will show attendees the best ways to gather paranormal evidence. People will learn how to use the equipment, as well as things not to do such as not provoking spirits and being respectful toward them. The events will also have a portion where the history of the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza is discussed.
Pershall said a love of local history with the group helped lead them to come up with an event that could serve as a fun way to raise money for the plaza.
“The Plaza is such a cool place with all these buildings … so many people don’t know that it’s even there, that they’ve moved all these things into one space so it’s a really accessible place,” Pershall said. “But the train is currently exposed to the elements, and it’s quickly deteriorating.
“The team had gone in just because we like history, and seeing all this stuff is exciting because this is where we came from. So we were there and we saw the deterioration of the train, and we figured if we could tie in this time of year with something people are interested in … everyone wants to try the real ghost hunting like they saw on TV. So we thought we could do that and raise some money. So if it’s successful, maybe it’ll turn it into a yearly thing.”
The Sunday and Oct. 26 events for families have prices of $5 for kids 4-15 and $20 for those over 16. A family discount of $40 is available for two adults over 16 and two kids 4-15. Kids under 3 get in free. The 18 and up event will cost $25 per person. For more information, visit Oklahoma P.R.I.D.E.’s Facebook page or email email@example.com.