North Adams Transcript Article
Waking Spirits - Ghost Hunters Investigate Mansion - Gillian Jones - North Adams Transcript -
ADAMS -- The Masonic Temple on Church Street is not just haunted, it's "extremely haunted — to put it mildly,"
says Maureen Wood, a psychic medium with the New England Ghost Project, on Saturday.
If so, the spirits at the former
Houghton Mansion apparently weren't happy to have ghost-hunting guests Saturday night: Wood passed out after she said an upset
entity, possibly former owner Albert C. Houghton, drained her of energy. The encounter was in a second-floor bedroom believed
to be that of his daughter, Mary Houghton, who was killed in a car accident more than 90 years ago. Wood said she recovered
quickly, partly with the help of her close friends, who practiced reiki, a stress-reduction therapy, on her.
45 paranormal enthusiasts attended the workshop, sponsored by the New England Ghost Project, at the Masonic Temple on Saturday
night to learn how to investigate the paranormal and to discuss their experiences investigating the historic mansion, the
former home of the Houghton family. The building is often cited as one of the county's most haunted places.
As the "Ghostbusters" movie theme played, the project's Executive Director Ron Kolek; Karen Mossey, an electronic
voice phenomenon specialist, and Wood entered a darkened room filled with workshop participants. Kolek began the evening by
showing photographs taken by himself and others that he believed captured images of ghosts on film. Some of the images where
blurry with streaks of lights and other anomalies that he said could not be explained. Other photographs included images of
faces of unknown people that were apparently not visible when the photos were taken.
Mossey presented several different
examples of EVPs, which are recordings that capture unexplained voices on tape, including one of her deceased father and another
of her dead son. She also showed a clip from the horror movie "White Noise," in which a man believes his dead wife is trying
to communicate with him through the white noise of television and radio. Mossey's commentary about EVPs was included on the
film's DVD; the EVP of her father and son also were included in the video and the film. Wood shared her personal experiences
as a medium.
According to a history of the mansion by local historian Paul W. Marino, which
was available at the workshop, Houghton, who was the first mayor or North Adams and president of the former Arnold Print Works,
built the home in the late 1890s. Houghton lived in the house with his wife, Cordelia, and their youngest daughter, Mary.
In 1914, tragedy struck the family when Mary and a family friend were killed in an accident during a pleasure drive in
the family car on Oak Hill Road in Pownal, Vt. While the chauffeur, John Widders, was not charged or held responsible for
the accident, he apparently blamed himself and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in the cellar of the Houghton's
barn. Mr. Houghton never fully recovered and later died. The mansion stayed in the family until the late 1920s, when it was
bought by the Masons, which added on a lodge building.
At the end of the workshop, participants toured all four levels
of the home, including the basement, with film and digital cameras and EMF (electromagnetic field) meters that are supposed
detect energy possibly resulting from supernatural activity.
As they walked through the house,
EMF meters could be heard beeping and some people said they felt chills and drafts in certain parts of the house.