Ghost Hunting in Vermont

kaitlyn beatVERMONT- Something goes bump in the night...who are you going to call? The Paranormal Investigators of New England. Formed in 2004, this non-profit organization based out of Essex Junction; does investigations throughout New England for free, with the members paying monthly dues so their clients don’t have to.

The team has travelled throughout Vermont but has also gone to other states such as New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The PI-NE Investigation team has quite a few reasons for not charging for their services. Their organization is a member of TAPS; which is the Atlantic Paranormal Society, prohibiting them from charging clients. However, Director Betty Dupont points out that they were not always a part of TAPS and did not charge for their services then and would not do it if they were not part of it now.

 

Dupont also says that another reason not to charge is that they have no way of knowing what they are up against when agreeing to an investigation. “When you charge for a service there becomes an expectation that you will ‘fix’ or produce something. You are talking about the unknown here, there are no guarantees and we make no claims to fixing the problem as we are on the identifying and presenting data.”

 

Vermont has been a central location for many of their investigations as they explored well known places such as, Emily’s Bridge in Stowe, Wilson Castle in Proctor and the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line. This does not include the number of residential homes they have gone to in Vermont. For confidentiality reasons they do not list the residential homes investigated by them. However, Dupont states that “There would be hundreds more” locations listed on their webpage if they did list them all.

 

The Barre opera house located in Barre, Vermont is another supposed haunted place that was explored by the team who did an overnight stay there. The Opera house has has quite an eventful history with the building burning down twice, once in 1898 and again in 1944. PI-NE’s website states that they are still unsure if the place is actually haunted, but there are still those that believe,

 

“I've been at The Barre Opera House for ten years and have never, personally, seen a spirit, though there have been sightings of apparitions in turn of the century clothing by others.  Some of our ushers and other volunteers refuse to be in parts of the building by themselves.” Says Dan Casey, the Director of the Barre Opera House. However, if it turns out that the house is really haunted Casey says they find ways to reassure those that may be scared of the unknown. “As I tell the school kids who come in for tours, if there are spirits, we choose to believe they're benevolent and that the Opera House must have had a special place in their hearts when they were alive. “

 

There is never a dull moment with this job, as the team claims they have never had two cases which were the same, ensuring they are always making new discoveries.

 

Each client is different on a case to case basis.  For some clients we are their last resort, others may think that a family member is with them and be looking dot validation.  There has never been a case that has been close to the same.” Says team member Lindsay Stevens who by day is a mother of three and a full-time dog groomer.

 

When looking for paranormal activity, PI-NE uses equipment such as a K-2 meter which the team leaves in the middle of the room and it responds to the team's questions by lighting up.

 

While ghost hunting may seem like all fun and games, Stevens cautions that it does have it’s dangers.

 

My first investigation was by far my most terrifying so far.  I unfortunately can not say a location but as I was pulling in I felt very sick out of nowhere.  I continued on, and later in the night as we were investigating I had felt as if someone grabbed me from behind on my neck. The other investigators took a light and looked at my neck where you could see red marks appear.  We finished up and went home.  When I woke up the following morning I felt burning on my neck and discovered scratch marks. It was then that I realized that investigating the paranormal has serious consequences and that entities can hurt us.”

Dupont says that the team is usually a last resort for people who have had enough of the activity and need help getting rid of their unwanted guests. However, not matter the outcome of the investigation she says that there is a general feeling of “acceptance” among those seeking help.

Stevens says that if someone believes their house is haunted that they should know they are not alone.

If someone thought their home was haunted I would tell them that they are not crazy. There are people out there that believe and will listen.  There are people willing to help, and that is what we are here for.” Steven says

Dupont also offers advice to those who think their house may be haunted, “Don’t give whatever it is a pet name like “Bob” and start talking to “Bob” every night. Ignore it. Don’t let it consume you. If you give it power, then that’s where you start running into trouble.”

Despite her line of work, Dupont says she understands that not everyone is a believer and that she respects that. “Many people don’t believe, and it’s good to be skeptical. I would rather see this than someone who is quick to believe that every bump in the night is paranormal. Many people will deny just because it’s easier to do that than accept the fact that something is happening. We see this many times when husband and wives disagree even though they both experienced it. To us, it really doesn’t matter if they believe or not. If they have contacted us, they know something isn’t right and sometimes we do find other reasons for what was thought paranormal.”

PI-NE says they have no intentions of stopping anytime soon as they love what they do and they love helping those in need. In fact they have an investigation already lined up at the Radio station 92.9 out of Colchester, Vermont to investigate the popular radio show, “The Mike and Mary Show.”

PI-NE encourages anyone in need of an investigation or just some one on one counselling or advice to contact them as they are always up for an adventure. Their webpage can be found at; http://www.pinewengland.org.

 

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