From Busting Bad Guys to Ghosts

A Bridgeport patrol officer has become a paranormal photographer

After patrolling Bridgeport for 11 years, Police Officer James Myers has found another calling: the spiritual realm.

Break-ins at the downtown complex of the shuttered Savoy Hotel and the Poli Palace/Majestic theaters got him inside the rundown buildings, where he took photos, an old hobby for the 38-year-old father of three.

But these photos were different from other abandoned buildings he's shot.

"Things started to show up on my camera," he said.

Not just anything: orbs, which indicate the presence of spiritual energy. And lots them.

Then a chance meeting in Bridgeport Hospital with famed psychic and Monroe resident Lorraine Warren set him on the path to becoming a paranormal researcher. While working there, he heard Warren, 81, was a patient and approached her. She knew his name before he introduced himself.

As Myers recalled: "She said, 'Jimmy, how are you?"'

Since then, in his spare time, Myers has been assisting Warren and her son-in-law, Tony Spera, with investigations for the A&E network's show "Paranormal State." He helps interview people and collect data with recording equipment.

"They are pretty much calling me their psychic photographer," Myers said. "(Warren) says I draw the energy."

He's not sure of that, but supernatural things seem to like his camera. While taking Warren and Tony and Judy Spera on a tour of the theater complex on Sept. 7, he took photos covered with orbs. They also appeared in photos he took of the Colonial Theater on Boston Avenue, where the Warrens had dates.

Sept. 7 is the birthday of Warren's late husband, Ed Warren, the famed demonologist. He died on Aug. 29, 2006, and worked at the Poli as a teenager where they sometimes saw movies, Warren said.

Myers assembled his photos into a slide show dedicated to the Warrens, and Lorraine Warren is showing it during her lectures all over the United States. He goes by the handle 826 Paranormal and says he is "looking at the unknown through a cop's eyes."

He said considers himself "open-minded but skeptical."

"I go in with the same attitude as at work. It's just doing another form of investigation," Myers said.

It's also a hobby and stress reliever that has proven a little creepy sometimes. While he's never seen anything with his naked eyes, he's definitely felt things.

"The only time I ever felt something (in the Poli) was in the Savoy at the main desk," he said. "It felt very, very cold, like an ice chill down my back."

Warren said she thinks there may have been two homicides there in the 1940s. The team checked for drafts but found nothing.

Before he met Warren, he took photos at the former Norwich Psychiatric Hospital, where he experienced the most disturbing thing to date. "It felt like ice water being poured down the back of my shirt," he said.

He also got blurred photographs at a house in Monroe he believed to be haunted. That house has since burned down.

But, he added, "I've been disappointed on many cases."

Warren, who said she can see auras and can learn about a person from them, felt something special for Myers immediately upon their meeting.

"I was very impressed by him. He seemed very sincere. I could see a man who had a really deep interest," she said. His job as a police officer makes him disciplined, a requirement for any paranormal researcher, according to Warren.

Myers is also wary, but not scared, in paranormal situations.

And the Savoy complex is still occupied. Warren said she had a vision of the past during a tour: a couple watching a movie in the Poli, as if time had stopped for them.

In Myers' photos of her sitting in the theaters, Warren is surrounded by orbs. They float about the ceiling. They represent people attached to the building, some possibly actors who gave up family and personal lives to perform there, she said.

Still, Myers' big test came Mischief Night, Oct. 30, when he and a Stamford police officer, who has been helping the Warrens for years, stayed overnight in the Occult Museum in the ghost hunters' Monroe home.

People who try to stay there overnight have fled in fear, Warren said. It contains artifacts from their investigations, some famous for reportedly leading to the death of anyone who touched them.

Myers didn't touch, but looking through a video camera, he saw a moving orb. "It looked like there was a pingpong ball bouncing around my camera," Myers said.

Working with Lorraine and the Speras, visions like that could become a regular sight for the officer. But he maintains a professional attitude in his work.

"He's taking photos, he's taking recordings, he's gaining knowledge," Warren said. "He's a good listener. He doesn't go foolhardy into anything. He's not in everybody's face."

"All in all, he's really proven himself to us," she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us