Last Updated: Apr 5th, 2016 - 14:58:37

New book details paranormal investigations in Tri-Cities
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Oct 30, 2015, 16:17

Pamela Kinney
Every area in our country has a history, filled with stories, legends and evidence left behind throughout the years. But not all areas have a paranormal side to their history like the Tri-City area does.

You can investigate the area, take trips, and visit spots that are thought to be haunted with visions of the past. Or, if you’re feeling scared about actually seeing the paranormal activity in person, you can always grab a copy of “Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area,” the latest project from local author Pamela K. Kinney.

Kinney has been researching the paranormal for years now. Her previous works include “Haunted Richmond,” “Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales,” and “Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations.”

From a young age, Kinney was interested in the paranormal.

“My mother was kind of psychic in ways that she would have dreams come through, and I could hear things,” said Kinney.

Kinney has worked in acting and films, and was a master costumer, and also works as a paranormal investigator.

The idea for her new book about the paranormal in the Tri-Cities came from a fan at a book signing a few years ago.

“I went to do a signing and I talked about the ghosts of the area. Someone said ‘I wish you would do a book for just the Petersburg, Tri-Cities area.’ Stories around here and not just included in the Virginia book, and that’s what gave me the idea,” said Kinney.

She pitched the idea to her publishing company, Schiffer Publishing, and it was approved.

The process than began of finding the paranormal in the area, and investigating it.

Kinney said she finds a lot of her stories online and in other books that have been published, including ghost and Civil War texts.

“I read a lot of legends and history,” said Kinney.

Once she has discovered the hauntings, Kinney will contact the places to see if they will allow her to visit, interview them, and investigate the area for signs of the paranormal.

When investigating the haunts, Kinney uses gear well known in paranormal investigations. Along with a camera for taking photos, she has an electromagnetic field meter, which measures electromagnetic fields. These can indicate a spiritual presence.

Kinney also will use a recorder to record any electric voice phenomenons, or EVP’s. EVP’s are sounds heard when listening to the recordings indicating that a spiritual being is speaking to you. Since you cannot hear the EVP while recording and only when later listening back, Kinney invested in what is called a ghost box.

“It is something made by Franks, and is also known as a Franks Box. He took a radio and modified it, and was then able to use white noise like from ‘Poltergeist.’ We can use it to communicate with the ghosts,” said Kinney. “EVP’s you hear afterwards. I could get more answers readily and talk more at the scene.”

The ghost box allows for the spirits to speak with Kinney and those with her, allowing for communication between them. Kinney said this also helps to stop the spirits from answering through someone, so the ghosts are not using a human’s body to speak through.

Her personal investigations fill the pages of the book, explaining what she encountered and how she went about the investigations, instead of just telling the story of the paranormal activity.

“You know you read all about the paranormal stuff and all the ghosts, I had to make my own experiences so I could give it my own feel of what I saw,” said Kinney.

During one visit to Falling Creek Ironworks, Kinney encountered a spirit, who spoke to her through the box.

“I got an answer out of it from someone that died in the 1622 Indian Massacre, his first and last name,” said Kinney.

She had taken a photo of a plaque at the site, listing the names of those who had fallen there. When she later looked at the photo, the name that was spoken to her was the first on the list.

There are many entries from her personal paranormal investigations in her book, such as her experience at Parker’s Battery, where she could hear the footsteps of someone following her, but no one was there.

Another is of her encounter at Peter Jones Trading Post, where her camera mysteriously disappeared after she discovered the presence of a Union and Confederate spirit. The camera reappeared, but only after she spoke to the spirits, saying she would not take any photos there.

“They just didn’t want me to come back and take a picture of them I guess,” said Kinney.

The book also includes photos of Kinneys investigations, such as one showing a female spirit in a window of an otherwise empty Violet Bank Museum.

Kinney’s book can be found on Amazon, and at bookstores around the area.

For more information visit

Copyright © 2004 - present