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Houghton Mansion

Transcript 5-23-05


This Just Can't Be Normal   Ben Rubin - North Adams Transcript - May 23, 2005
 NORTH ADAMS -- Attention all ghost-seekers, mediums, witches, psychics and things that go bump in the night: The Masonic Temple and the New England Ghost Project are hosting the first-ever Berkshire Paranormal Conference in July. "Nothing like this has ever happened in North Adams," said Mason Josh Mantello, 26. As part of the conference, two Salem witches will conduct a midnight seance and Ghost Project Psychic Investigator Maureen Wood and Executive Producer Ron Kolek will teach a workshop in Ghost Hunting 101.

Ghost Project's Karen Mossey will speak of her work as an electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) expert. She was featured on the Maury Povich show, and the recordings of her father beyond the grave were used in the movie "White Noise." The backdrop for a mysterious event is the Masonic Temple, aka the "Haunted Houghton Mansion," at 172 Church St. -- a veritable hot-spot of the unexplained.Doors shut on their own, people hear voices, loud bangs come from nowhere and footsteps can be heard scuttling up stairs, said Mantello."There's tons of weird things happening in this building," he said.

At the temple on Saturday, Mossey said she hoped the conference could create a dialogue about the afterlife and help increase EVP awareness -- a way she said she's heard from her son since his death in 2000 and her father. "There are things that go bump in the night, and there are things that we don't understand, and what we're trying to do is understand them," Mossey said.

Wood said the conference will be a great way for seasoned ghost hunters and newcomers to meet and learn from each other. Additionally, she said a lot of people could be looking, not for ghosts, but for verification that they did see something, that they aren't crazy. To kick off the events, the Ghost Project and the masons embarked on a short supernatural search to communicate with ghosts in the building. They had energy sensors, a video camera, photo cameras, an infra-red camera and -- most importantly -- two mediums, both Mossey and Wood.

On the first floor, Kolek's wife took care of base camp, a small set of television monitors and recording devices. Mossey used her recording device while Wood concentrated and used a small pendulum to survey the spiritual forces in the temple basement. Surrounding them, others quietly probed about using video, photographs and sensors to try and get a glimpse of a ghost. Wood said she sensed the ghost of a girl in the basement, though it was a weak connection. Upstairs, Wood hit such a powerful connection that she started coughing uncontrollably and said she was about to pass out. She was rushed out and taken downstairs. Mossey stayed to ask a ghost a few questions. She played the questions back on her recorder only to have her quiet pauses interrupted by an odd static noise. Spooky.

The conference will take place July 15-17. Contact the Ghost Project at or call 978-455-6678

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