Health Department requests help from paranormal team without permission
A Butte ghost hunting group says it's changing how it does investigations after one of its motion-activated cameras was discovered at the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department.
NBC Montana spoke with the paranormal investigation team who owns the camera Wednesday to find out what happened and what they plan to differently.
We're told employees from the Health Department contacted the Butte Paranormal Investigative Team's Facebook page, saying they suspected paranormal activity within the Health Department, and asking for the team's help.
"We had our ducks in a row," said John DeMuary, the lead investigator of the team. "We knew what we were going there to do and what our purpose was, and we went there and did what we were asked to do."
DeMuary said they set up the camera and waited for something strange to happen.
"We did a walk thorough with our equipment and were there for approximately an hour," he explained.
Another member of the team, Mathew Rickett explained leaving the camera behind was an accident.
"It turned into something it didn't need to be," he said. "There was no malicious intent. We were just there to look for paranormal activity."
DeMuary said he assumed the Health Department employees had the "OK" from their supervisors, and that his group is rethinking its policy for future investigations.
"We're going to start coming up with a contract or something that people will need to sign," he said. "That way we're covered and they're covered so nothing like this ever happens again."
Team member Meredith Ludford said the paranormal team always respects the privacy of the people they do investigations for.
"Complete confidentiality," she explained, "we never say, 'hey this is the address we were at or the family we saw,' unless we have direct permission."
Chief Executive Matt Vincent said they should have the investigation wrapped up next week, and that no one will lose their job over the incident.
"It was an incredibly poor decision by the employees to do this without involving the proper individuals and permission and provide some sort of a justification for why they needed to do this," Vincent said.
Vincent said they will return the camera to the Butte Paranormal Investigative Team.
The team said they've done more than 30 investigations, including some in historic buildings like the Dumas Brothel and the Clark Chateau.