And now to a real haunted house, or at least that's what some ghost hunters in Florida believe. People have been flocking to this house in hopes of finding evidence of the paranormal.

And Kenny Malone of member station WLRN in Miami flocked with them, although he swears he is not a ghost hunter himself.

KENNY MALONE: Miami's Deering Estate is a 1920s mansion actually built on tribal burial grounds. And on a dark and windy night, it has all the staples of a haunted house: rustling bushes, grinding doors, creaking floors - and ghost voices?

Ms. COLLEEN KELLEY (Artist): I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about the investigation that we had since we have a little time to kill - ha, ha.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MALONE: That one's human, Colleen Kelley, artist by day, ghost hunter by night. She's going to play recordings of disembodied voices she and a team caught while investigating the Deering Estate. We'll come back to that.

The Deering Estate expected about 75 visitors to come and hear the first presentation of this evidence. Almost 400 people showed up. The big turnout is in line with a national uptick of ghost hunting TV shows. At least four new ones have popped up in the last few years. And like the crowd here, people seem willing to admit they kind of believe in ghosts.

You believe in ghosts?

Ms. JENNIFER TISTHAMMER(ph): I believe in alternate energy.

Ms. JANET OLAVERA: I don't want to say I believe in ghosts. I believe in spirits.

Mr. DERRICK LEVINE: It's - that's a hard decision. Yes and no. There has to be something out there.

MALONE: Chris Bader studies believers like Jennifer Tisthammer, Janet Olavera and Derrick Levine.

Chris, do you believe in ghosts?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Professor CHRIS BADER (Sociology, Baylor University): My best answer to that is that I'm not studying the ghost, I'm studying them.

MALONE: Bader is a sociologist at Baylor University and has tracked America's paranormal beliefs for 20 years. His 2007 study found almost half of Americans believe ghosts definitely exist or think they probably do.

Prof. BADER: People tend to think that somebody who thinks they've seen a ghost or been abducted by alien is going to be a very marginalized person. Perhaps that was true in the past, but it's not anymore. I've been on a Bigfoot hunt with a brain surgeon, a computer programmer and a bank manager.

MALONE: Which brings us back to ghost voices. Colleen Kelley and her investigators say the evidence they collected at the Deering Estate show that it's very haunted. Kelley says they recorded 60 ghost voices while trudging around the mansion.

Ms. KELLEY: We have one that says, come home. We have one that says, send me. I'll go. I have a female voice that says, I want some of you.

MALONE: Why do ghosts speak in really abrupt sentences?

Ms. KELLEY: You know, a lot of the times they might even be speaking in full paragraphs, but we may only be able to pick up on a very small amount of what they're saying because it takes so much energy for them to actually speak.

MALONE: For the tour groups, Kelley plays the clearest recordings, which are still pretty tough to understand. Take this one: several female investigators are walking on the grounds of the estate when a mysterious man exhales.

(Soundbite of recording)

MALONE: The wind and rain make it pretty tough to hear. But here's a different recording.

(Soundbite of recording)

MALONE: After the male investigator says, will it drain the batteries in this camera? A female voice says, right? But Colleen Kelley says there were no women in that room. Listen again.

(Soundbite of recording)

Unidentified Man: Will it drain the battery of this camera?

Unidentified Woman: Right.

MALONE: While it's clear to Kelley and the League of Paranormal Investigators that the Deering Estate is as haunted as they come, she also says her job is to present the evidence and let people make up their own minds.

For NPR News, I'm Kenny Malone in Miami.

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