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Psychic to host gallery reading at Tannery Row

BUFORD - Some occurrences can be explained, others cannot. It's the latter that these investigators are interested in.

Gwinnett residents are invited to join a paranormal research team for a look into reports of unexplainable occurrences inside the historic Tannery Row building in Buford.

Dave Scheuerer, director of operations for Georgia-based GRASP the Paranormal, said the team has already obtained enough evidence during previous investigations to validate the claim that the building is haunted.

Those who participate in Friday's event can see for themselves.

"It's a great opportunity for people who are interested in the paranormal, possibly interested in the paranormal, and skeptics as well," said Jason Schutz, lead investigator and case manager with GRASP.

Those who attend the event will be able to explore the building in groups headed up by an investigator with GRASP, focusing primarily on the fourth floor and rear stairwell, where much of the previously observed activity has occurred. Those who attend are invited to bring along digital recorders and cameras to potentially capture their own evidence of paranormal activity.

Before Friday night's investigation begins, Tiffany Johnson will mediate between the living and the dead.

A practicing psychic for more than 20 years, Johnson will host a gallery reading during which members of the audience will be able to ask questions regarding the future or someone who is deceased.

Johnson has held the ability to act as a medium since a very young age. One of her very first memories is of waking up in her room as a child to find she wasn't necessarily alone.

"I would open my eyes and see shadowy people standing around my bed," Johnson said. "I'm not talking two or three. My room was full of chattering people."

Johnson said her 4-year-old brain would somehow rationalize the presence of people inside her room and then she would start to listen.

"They weren't really talking to me," she said. "They were talking around me. They were having conversations around each other."

The next morning, when she went into the kitchen for breakfast, she would discuss the previous night's happenings with her mother.

"I would start telling her, 'So-and-so was in my bedroom last night and they were talking about whoever,'" she said.

And Johnson's mother knew who she was talking about.

"She would kind of validate for me at a very young age that I was bringing her information that was relevant but not necessarily relevant to me," Johnson said. "Because she didn't freak out and it was a relatively common occurrence, there wasn't really a sudden epiphany."

Johnson said tapping into her psychic abilities is simply a matter of clearing her mind.

"That's what it is," she said. "I just kind of clear my mind. I visualize blackness. I kind of think of it as a black chalkboard, that deep black with nothing on it, and then I give it a second or two and then information pops in."

Johnson said the information is sometimes visual, sometimes auditory and sometimes more of an impression.

"Even sometimes I'll taste or smell stuff," she said. "So I kind of just blank out and wait for the information to flow. I've learned from doing this for 20-plus years just to kind of turn off the sensor to what's coming in my brain. Sometimes for me it happens really, really quickly so I have to even jot down notes."

Following the gallery reading, Johnson, who has spent time in Buford previously, will join in part of the investigation.

"I'm just excited to see the building and participate more as sort of a spectator," she said. "I don't know if I'll be walking around with my psychic suit on, but I will be there a little while to investigate just as an investigator."

SideBar: If you go

· What: Gallery reading with psychic and medium Tiffany Johnson followed by a paranormal investigation with GRASP the Paranormal

· When: Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday

· Where: Tannery Row on West Main Street in Buford

· Cost: $50 for the gallery reading, $20 for the investigation and $70 for both

· For more information: Visit www.graspevents.com