Paranormal Investigation Ghost-hunting Society
Name(s): Paranormal Investigation Ghost-hunting Society (AKA "PIGS")
First Appearance: Hello Cthulhu Forums circa 2005
History and Scope
Active primarily in the Miskatonic Region and surrounding areas between the mid-1990s to present. A small group of Miskatonic University students by day and amateur ghost hunters by night, the PIGS formed in the late 1990s in a lull between RPG and wargaming sessions as a distraction from studies, eventually growing to become the University's only sanctioned ghost-hunting and antiquarian club, under sponsorship of the University's History and Media Arts departments.
Identification, Psychology and Behavior
The group is well-regarded by the Miskatonic University's History and Media Arts departments for its dedication to preserving the historical sites it visits and its contributions of photographs and "B Reel" footage for the school newspaper and other media projects, and is similarly well-regarded by the Physical Sciences department for the group's skeptical approach to paranormal investigations with a heavy emphasis on debunking.
Members of the group are largely Miskatonic University students, with faculty and staff sometimes acting as guest participants in the investigations. The group's membership has traditionally been made up largely of skeptics (especially in the group's first generation), but membership is inclusive and has included psychics, demonologists, spiritualists, a few cryptozoologists, and at least two self-proclaimed witches over the years.
The club's Mission Statement and Code of Conduct calls for respect and preservation of historical sites and natural resources, a "take only pictures and leave only footprints" approach to investigating and exploring sites of paranormal interest, and a "eliminate the possible until whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth" emphasis on debunking claims over credulous belief in them.
The group's logo portrays a cartoon pig in glasses and a white lab coat with a ghost in a sheet looking over its shoulder, and the letters PIGS nearby. The logo appears on the group's van, stationary, t-shirts and badges, coffee mugs, and other such materials, some of which are sold at fundraisers leading up to the group's yearly major Halloween investigation of a featured (usually famous) haunting.
Allies, Creatures and Deities
- The Carnacki Institute, International has occasionally worked with the PIGS on investigations both in the United States and the United Kingdom, and once even in a joint investigation of a New Zealand ghost town by invitation of a ghost hunting group in that country. Three of those investigations aired on the Institute's wildly popular Ghost Finders: International television program.
- The Paranormal Investigation Ghost-hunting Society is closely partnered with a younger sister group, BRPS: the Bangor Regional Paranormal Society (or "BuRPS"), and sometimes assists with that group's investigations in Bangor, Maine, and surrounding areas
- asset: a rusting yellow 1970s-era van called 'The Relic', left over from the Group's earliest investigations
- "...one of the big, hideous monstrosities left over from the 1970's, complete with a metallic dull yellow-orange paint scheme which further dates it to that apparently colour-blind decade. Spots of rust are visible on the lower portions of the side-panels, and the poorly-muffled engine sounds like it has probably seen better days..."
- asset: "The PIGS Supernatural Research Database" (an aged MS-DOS based IBM PC which still stores the group's original records)
- equipment: a collection of cameras, tape recorders, white noise generators, electromagnetic radiation detectors, and other scientific instruments and recording equipment used on the investigation
- location: the Paranormal Investigation Ghost-hunting Society has been granted the use of a pair of connected empty storage rooms in the grimy, disused basement of the Miskatonic University Media Arts Department for meetings, reviewing video and sound footage, and secure storage of equipment, records, tapes, etc.
Most of the original founding members had moved on by the late 2000s. Some are still available for consultation and follow-up on the group's old cases, and to provide guidance and advice to newer members:
- Steven "Stevo" Stone
- political science student, last founding member and longest-running leader
- other hobbies: wrestling, JROTC, D&D, video games, computer games, board games, card games, mangas
- description: height 5'10" weight 169lbs, brown hair, brown eyes, unkempt appearance
- status: Arkham police officer; still actively consults with the group on police and legal matters, and available to give lectures and facilitate difficult investigations
- Allison O'Brien
- journalism student, original team photographer and video/film expert
- description: 5'5", long dark hair, "Bambi" eyes, and a quick smile, just this side of plump, from Maine
- other: friends call her Allison, but she thinks of herself (in secret) as 'Alley Cat'
- other hobbies and skills: hair-cutting, photography, softball, Spanish, skiing, and basic hiking skills
- status: Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist; still available for consultation on image enhancement and film and video analysis
- Ian Zymes
- philosophy student, original tech consultant and occult expert
- other hobbies and skills: RPGs, occult, mythology, religion, arguing, computers, remaining bored during horror movies, improvising weapons
- description: 6"2', 210 lbs, shoulder length dark brown hair, pale skin
- status: freelance technology consultant and troubleshooter; still actively consults with the group on matters of technology, the occult, and the paranormal
- Niall Murphy
- Irish marine biology student, original sound engineer and official "voice" of the group, originally supplying most of the questioning for EVP recordings and narration for group documentary projects
- description: About 6 foot tall, brown short hair, well built, long goatee beard; big guy, rather scary looking, but a teddy bear to those who know him...
- other hobbies and skills: hiking, martial arts, Fantasy/sci-fi literature, RPGs, drinking, SCUBA diving
- other: Irish science student gone overseas to study marine biology; fairly level-headed person who looks very serious all the time, except when laughing or drinking
- status: full-time consultant with the Carnacki Institute International; currently avoids direct contact with the American groups, does not respond to questions about their old cases, and does not return calls, but apparently orchestrates the collaborations between PIGS and the Carnacki Institute, and makes yearly donations of ghost-hunting equipment to the PIGS
- Tom MacGee
- history student, original group historian and researcher, started the group and donated the original van, computer, and recording equipment; most of this has been updated in the years since the group was founded, but the computer and van are still counted among the club's assets; will created a modest trust that supplies the grant for much of the group's ongoing funding
- description: tall and gaunt with short sandy hair and a kind, intelligent square-jawed face that would have been handsome if it weren't now thin and drawn, troubled with sleepless eyes and a tired, ashen complexion
- other skills and hobbies: hunting, camping & fishing, history and local geography, football
- other: school year disrupted by a mysterious illness ("the Creeps") and resulting sleep disorder; lingering effects include a fear of falling asleep, occasional hallucinations, and declining health
- status: died in 2008 under mysterious circumstances, apparently from the stresses of his sleep disorder and associated declining health and psychological condition
Trivia; Heresies and Controversies
- The Paranormal Investigation Group (PIGS) was created as part of a 2005 play-by-email scenario involving Y.Whateley and other fans of Hello Cthulhu from around the world (Stone87, 42, Shadowwalker, Yronimos, Lord Zim, Sarky). The group's first investigation involved an ancient cemetery located near "Minington", a fictional city in New Hampshire.
- If desired, the Paranormal Investigation Ghost-hunting Society can be used as a plot hook/framing device for a group of MU students and faculty/staff to get involved in an international Mythos investigation campaign.
- Call of Cthulhu Scenario: (originally created for a fan-made play-by-email scenario)