Visitors to the Historic Dreibelbis Farm in Virginville met real life ghostbusters during an evening presentation by the Kutztown Area Scientific Paranormal Evidence Research group, or better known as KASPER, at the Dreibelbis Farm Historical Society’s Fall Family Fun event on Nov. 2.
Four years ago, KASPER conducted a paranormal investigation on the farm grounds and in the un-remodeled farmhouse built in the 1860s.
“They in fact did detect some (paranormal activity), made a DVD of it and told me about the different things they saw,” said Mark Dreibelbis, who is the 9th generation Dreibelbis to own the Historic Dreibelbis Farm. He founded and serves as president of the Dreibelbis Farm Historical Society that maintains the property and runs events like the Farm Festival held in August. “I myself have never experienced anything. It’s a whole different thing than I am used to so I was interested in their findings.”
For the past two years, KASPER has presented Ghosting Hunting 101 at the farm during the Halloween season, which has been well attended in the past.
“There are people who are interested in that and we’ve had a number of people who came and were fascinated,” said Dreibelbis.
Krissi Swavely of Mohrsville came out to do something different with her family because they have an interest in ghosts.
“I’ve never been to one before,” she said. “I think it’s pretty cool.”
She was particularly excited at the prospect of getting to use some of the paranormal investigative equipment.
Held in the farm’s barn after dark, the setting added a spooky atmosphere as families gathered to learn what the paranormal investigators of KASPER do to investigate reports of paranormal activity.
The investigators showed their paranormal research instruments and explained how those tools help them document paranormal activity during an investigation. Tools include flashlights (so you can see where you are going), digital cameras or cell phone cameras to record unusual shadow formations and orbs in photographs, digital voice recorders to capture voices not audible to the ears, thermometers and electromagnetic field detectors.
KASPER shared their findings from past cases, including the Dreibelbis Farm, such as orbs, voice recordings and EMF readings.
Michael LaFaver, a paranormal investigator with KASPER, said a photo taken of him entering the Dreibelbis Farm’s barn shows him surrounded by orbs.
“We had lanterns that would go on and off by themselves and nobody’s around them,” said LaFaver.
After the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to ask yes or no questions using the investigators’ equipment.
Dreibelbis said they traditionally receive a good turnout for this event.
“This is the time of year when people are thinking about ghosts and Halloween things. We offer it as entertainment. The people who do the investigations are serious about it,” said Dreibelbis. “We were able to expand the event into a family-oriented type of event appropriate for children and young families.”
The fall afternoon and evening program featured hayrides through the farm’s fields, a small bonfire for roasting s’mores, refreshments, pumpkin-decorating, and children’s games.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Anne Kienle of Fleetwood about visiting the historic farm with her family, noting that the event offers an educational experience for her children.
Her boys James, 4, and John, 7, enjoyed playing with the corn activity center, playing with wooden trucks, as well as turning the old-fashioned corn sheller.
Jessica Phillippy, Khori Newlander and their son Parker Newlander, 2, from Fleetwood, came out to the visit the historic farm for the first time.
“We have never been to the farm before and we just wanted to check it out. We thought it was a cool, local historic property and we just wanted to see what it was about,” said Phillippy.
“I’m an archaeologist at Kutztown Uniersity and I run a historic project so the opportunity to check out other local histories is always interesting to me,” said Newlander.
Overall, Dreibelbis hopes families enjoy visiting the historic farm established in 1778 by Jacob B. Dreibelbis, the son of their original ancestor John Jacob Dreibelbis who came to Philadelphia in 1732, worked off his passage as an indentured servant for 11 years, and moved to Fleetwood.
“It’s another way to show people what the farm is about and that we have this historic farmstead. They get to see the farm grounds at daylight, at twilight and after dark,” said Dreibelbis. “We hope people come here and experience the farm and have fun and enjoy the outdoors.”
The 180-plus acre farm has been owned by the Dreibelbis family for more than 240 years. The Dreibelbis Farm Historical Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the Historic Dreibelbis Farm and to make it available to the public for educational, historical, and environmental purposes.
For more information about the historic farm, visit www.Dreibelbisfarm.org, "Historic Dreibelbis Farm" on Facebook. For information about the paranormal investigation group, visit K.A.S.P.E.R. Paranormal Group on Facebook or call 484-219-5817.