Miguel Lopez has to deal with gang members at his day job, but after hours, things really get scary. That’s when he goes hunting for ghosts.
The Los Angeles Police Sergeant, who serves as gang supervisor in L.A.’s rough Boyle Heights district, say that he has hunted down the spirits of the dead in 40 different locations in the L.A. area -- and that sometimes the encounters get violent.
In an interview with the Daily Beast Sunday, Lopez said that he has been punched and grabbed by paranormal entities, even followed around a house by floating orbs. But it’s all worth it, he said, for the assistance he is able to offer people in need of ectoplasmic cleansing.
“I like to help people so they don’t feel like they are crazy,” he told the Daily Beast. “How can I disprove it to give you some peace of mind? I try to explain things. Is it the air conditioning? Is it a wiring or electrical issue? I am looking for explanations.”
But what about people who think that he, himself, is crazy? In the hard-edged atmosphere of a big-city police department, it’s not easy to be a ghostbuster. But Lopez, 51, said that even though he takes a certain amount of ribbing from his fellow officers, in private, they often sing a different tune.
“I have helped four or five,” he said in the interview with reporter Christine Pelisek. “Once you break down the wall, they are open to it.”
Even a Los Angeles city councilmember has called on Lopez’s services, for which the off-duty cop charges no fee. When Jose Huizar’s staff moved into a new field office, they began hearing strange noises. Then one staff member came face to face with the apparition of “a handsome Hispanic man in his 50s who wore a cowboy hat, a brown coat, and jeans,” Pelisek reported.
Lopez came in and “cleansed” the office. But, he says, he had no explanation for the man in the cowboy hat.
Lopez is not the only law enforcement officer to delve into paranormal activity. South of L.A. in Orange County, retired officer William Jimenez runs a similar ghostbusting service with two other ex-cops.
“I was a highly trained law enforcement officer all of my life,” said one of them, Glen Mayernick. “My interest is in the investigation and to make sure there’s no buffoonery going on.”
SOURCES: Daily Beast, NBC Today