The Black Forest area directly east of the Air Force Academy has seen in increase in its strangeness index in the last few months. The haunted section is in El Paso County, 15 miles northeast of Colorado Springs. Take I-25 north to Route 83 north for 7 miles to the Black Forest exit. The haunting began within weeks of buying their new home in 1992. It was like the gates of hell opened up in the Lee family home. "One day we came home," said Beth Lee, "and it was like the Fourth of July in our living room and in our bedroom. We had all kinds of lights flashing through, and it sounded like people stomping across the roof. We would lay in bed at night and hear chains rattling. One night we woke up and heard orchestra music. Strange things started happening every day." The two boys complained of weird lights and shadows in their rooms, lights and appliances started going on and off by themselves, and untraceable chemical odors burned family members’ eyes and throats. Over the next four years, they would have sixty-two unexplainable "break-ins." The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation in April 1993 and conducted forty-five follow-ups but could never find any evidence of a "crime." After the sheriff stopped responding, the Lees hired private investigators to try to figure out what was going on. About that time, Steve noticed that photographs and videotape taken in certain locations on the property had strange light streaks running through them, and sometimes, translucent faces even appeared on the film. Determined to document the activity, Steve borrowed or purchased every type of camera he could think to see if the bizarre images appeared, but no matter what type of camera or film he used, he captured evidence of unexplainable light phenomena that included brilliant beams, floating balls of light, and glowing outlines of humans and animals. Sometimes the mysterious lights could be seen with the naked eye, though most often, they lasted just a split second and showed up only on film. Steve and Beth finally agreed that something paranormal might be going on in their home, and in early 1995, they sent some of the pictures and videotape to the "Sightings" television show. Hollywood special effects technician Edson Williams examined the Lee films and told the producers of the show that most of the light images would be extremely difficult to reproduce and some seemed to defy the laws of optics entirely. "Sightings" immediately dispatched a film crew to the Black Forest, and once on site, were able to document some of the weird phenomena the Lees had witnessed. In three visits to the property "Sightings" brought along Minneapolis ghostbuster Echo Bodine and Los Angeles psychic Peter James, who both identified powerful presences in the house. A Hopi shaman consulted on the Black Forest hauntings said that the area is a "Rainbow Vortex," one of only a few psychic energy spots on the planet that connect our world with the next. Red, yellow, and white lightforms are seen and recorded, as well as apparitions of an old lady, a little girl, a burly man dressed in 1800s clothing, and a "flying dog," not to mention the hundreds of forlorn faces seen floating in the Lee’s bedroom mirrors. Infrared photos of these apparitions featured in the article "The Black Forest Haunting" in the March 1998 issue of FATE magazine. (Copies can be ordered by calling Llewellyn Publications at 800-THE-MOON.) Investigator Dennis William Hauck recorded more unexplainable phenomena when he visited the site in October 1996. State Senator Charles Duke also personally investigated and confirmed the existence of paranormal activity. Photographs he took show light beams and cloudy humanoid shapes, typical of those taken by Lee (shown above). An FBI agent suggests that the cause of the activity is poltergeists and not alien beings. Psychic Peter James has suggested "alien ghosts" as a possible cause. Some Hopi Indians believe the site is located over a "Rainbow Vortex" of psychic energy. Steve Lee so far has invested over $70,000 in security equipment to try to capture the "presence" responsible for the flashes of light, moving shadows, foul odors, poltergeist activity, and loud noises that plague his family. Recently he installed ultrasonic camera triggering devices as well as digital cameras to document the activity. So far, there are over 3,000 photographs and 400 videotapes supporting the validity of this case. There are only two other locations (Arizona and England) where photographic phenomena similar to those from the Black Forest are currently being recorded.
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