WESTMONT – For more than 30 years, Carl Crooks has been a social worker in Westmont Community Unit School District 201. But for the past year or so, Crooks has taken up a part-time hobby as a paranormal investigator.
"I've probably been interested in the paranormal for the last 15 years," the Bolingbrook resident said. "I've spent time with TnT Paranormal as a team member officially for a year."
TnT Paranormal is a paranormal research and investigation team based in the Chicago area.
"The TNT group is very active in educating the public," said Crooks, adding that he heard about the group through the Westmont Public Library. "And for several reasons: to get clients ... and to get more team members."
Investigating paranormal activity became an interest for him after his own spooky experiences at his home.
"I wouldn't say [the home] is haunted," Crooks said. "I've been touched, heard my name, seen objects move, with no logical reason to be moved… Those type of paranormal events."
Crooks said he doesn't get scared or frightened during the experiences.
"There have been times I've been annoyed," Crooks said. "And my wife is annoyed but you just have to raise your voice and take control of the situation."
TnT Paranormal is made up of about 14 investigators, who Crooks said do not offer "clearings" or "cleansing" but rather free investigations to find answers.
"It's a serious endeavor for us," he said. "Our main goal is to find out the truth of what's happening, not to find ghosts."
Crooks said during the investigation, the team reads CO2 levels, checks for gas leaks, sets up cameras and mics, and then leaves for about 45 minutes to an hour.
"It's a very thorough search to see why these things are happening," Crooks said. "Then small groups go back in and we ask questions. The entity might say something to you but a lot of those things we might not know until we go through the data."
A routine paranormal investigation ultimately concludes with Crooks' favorite part: a presentation to the client.
"They [clients] are both shocked and scared," Crooks said "They don't know how to handle it… But there's a lot of education that takes place and learning about what's going on."
Crooks said he enjoys giving people the peace of mind about these paranormal experiences.
"At some level I'll continue for a good number of years," he said. "It's hard to say but for the moment I'm enjoying it and in the long run it's been helpful for my family."
Get to know Carl Crooks
Occupation: Certified school social worker with Westmont Community Unit School District 201
Resides: Bolingbrook with his wife and family
Hobbies: Watching movies, reading, music and the paranormal.
Pets: Two dogs, Amber and Winston
For more information on TnT Paranormal Investigators, visit tntparanormal.com.