Father Creates Device to Detect Dead Daughter’s Spirit

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GRANBY, Conn. — In 2004, 17-year-old Melissa Galka, a senior at Granby Memorial High School, died several days after being seriously hurt when the car she was driving hit a tree on Silver Street in Granby.

Within days of her death, she began communicating with her family, her father Gary Galka told The Courant Monday. “She started doing things like ringing the doorbell, changing TV channels, turning lights on and off,” Galka said.

“Then one time she came into my room and I felt her sit on the edge of the bed,” said Galka “I felt her lay her head on my chest.”

Galka’s wife, Cindy, and his two daughters, Jennifer and Heather, have also experienced similar phenomenon, either seeing Melissa or hearing her voice.

“I’ve never seen Melissa,” said Galka, “but my younger daughter Heather has seen her three times.”

This past weekend the family was featured on “Ghost Adventures,” a Travel Channel television program that explores paranormal phenomenon.

Soon after his daughter’s death, Galka, a test instrument engineer, began developing hand-held devices that purportedly can detect unusual vibrations in a room, temperature variations — “hot and cold spots,” and other activities associated with the paranormal. Galka also created a voice recorder, the “spirit box,” that he claims can record responses from any “spirits” that might be present.

“I’ve created over 30 different products for paranormal research. No one was making products for these people,” Galka said.

The crew of “Ghost Adventures” uses several of Galka’s devices: the Mel-Meter, the SB7 Spirit Box and other devices to detect paranormal activity when they film each episode.

The death of Galka’s daughter “caused him to develop equipment for the paranormal,” said the show’s host Zak Bagans. “With his devices he’s captured voices of her. His family, even people that aren’t related to him, have seen her at the house.”

“Gary is a very, very talented electrical engineer and he’s helped companies, massive companies, in that aspect in order to do things better,” Bagans added.

The paranormal devices are sold through Galka’s company, D.A.S. Distribution Inc., in East Granby. The company sells sound meters, humidity and temperature meters and lasers to medical and aerospace companies. The paranormal devices are a small portion of the business, although Galka said he has sold thousands of the devices.

Galka donates one-third of the profits from the sale of paranormal devices to bereavement groups, including The Cove Center for Grieving Children in Wallingford and Mary’s Place A Center For Grieving Children in Windsor, which both help children deal with the death of a brother or sister.

Galka’s most recent invention is a device that he says can detect shadows in the dark.

According to the D.A.S. website, http://www.pro-measure.com, the Mel meters, which can pick up electromagnetic field activity, are specifically designed for paranormal investigators.

As for skeptics, Galka says he hopes that his family’s experiences and the devices he has created will help people who don’t believe in the afterlife to “take a better position.”

“I feel compelled to help other bereaved parents … to show these parents that they can live beyond the grief and be comforted knowing their child is in a good place — to show them they can have hope.”

Melissa Galka was a member of the school’s gymnastics team and was preparing to study interior design and business management when she got to college. Students at Granby Memorial High School erected a permanent memorial on the school’s campus after her death.

“They built a beautiful memorial,” Galka said. “It was donated by the graduating seniors of 2005.”