Loveland filmmaker on ghost-hunt for paranormal
LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) – Loveland resident Bill Chappell did not wake up one morning and decide to go find some ghosts. But consulting jobs in engineering led him to work with equipment used in paranormal research and sparked his interest in documentary filming.”I don’t get scared,” Chappell said. “Do I believe people are having experiences? I absolutely do. I just don’t know what it ends up being.”The 51-year-old is filming two documentaries about paranormal activity, “Three Legs Down,” or “3LD,” and “Ghosts of Loveland.”The first is the story of a Fort Collins group of paranormal investigators and their experiments with paranormal activity.The group sets up experiments at the Loveland Feed and Grain building and other private and downtown Loveland locations, which Chappell films.He plans to winnow 100 to 150 hours of video into 44 minutes of film, which, with commercials, will last one hour.”It takes a lot to get what you want,” Chappell said.Randy Schneider, a Fort Collins resident involved with the filming of “3LD,” likes Chappell’s attention to detail.”I think he gets across the message, the effect that he wants,” Schneider said. “There is a paranormal community out there who is interested in seeing what other researchers or people are doing in this field.”Chappell’s second film will tell the ghost stories of Loveland. He is seeking the help of local residents to obtain the city’s ghost stories and local folklore.”There are a lot of interesting stories in Loveland. There is a tremendous amount of history,” Chappell said.Chappell, who plans to begin filming in September, is seeking firsthand ghost stories for his one-hour film, either from those who have had a paranormal experience or lived or worked where the activity occurred, he said. He expects the filming will take until the end of the year.”It takes me longer. I don’t like to rush it,” Chappell said.Before becoming a documentary filmmaker, Chappell, an electrical engineer by trade, worked in the robotics industry for 20 years.In 2000, Chappell retired and became a consultant. He happened to be bored and decided to attend a paranormal investigation convention in Las Vegas and thought he could make an electronic version of dowsing rods used to search for paranormal activity.Chappell’s version removed the human element, he said, adding that he wanted to see if something paranormal really was happening, he said.”I was amused by the whole idea,” he said.In 2006, Chappell founded Digital Dowsing to build equipment for paranormal experiments, including for films.Some of the documentaries he worked on were low budget and on a fast schedule of two to three days. He figured he could take more time on his own films, he said.”I’m trying to take my time and have fun with the whole process,” Chappell said.Chappell’s equipment has been featured on the SyFy Channel, A&E, The History Channel, Animal Planet, E!, The Discovery Channel and on NBC’s “The Today Show.”Chappell will appear in two episodes of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” this fall.Chappell’s next project may be a horror film, he said.”It’s not a monetary thing. I want to see if I can do it,” Chappell said.
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