Ellen has been in the ghost hunting business for almost 10 years. She co-founded S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England. MacNeil has also been on the TV series "Haunted Case Files".
Narrator: When you reach out to spirits and paranormal entities, be prepared… they might just reach back. I’m Kristen Bates and I had the pleasure of sitting down with a few team members from SPIRITS of New England – an investigative crew that researches ghosts and the paranormal. Ellen MacNeil is one of the co-founders of this investigative group and she’s been hunting the paranormal for almost ten years. MacNeil tells us what got her interested in ghosts.
Ellen: My brother was killed in Vietnam and there was just a huge series of things that happened. He was buried on my 18th birthday and I knew he had died, and my father knew he had died but we weren’t informed by the Army until the day afterwards. But I didn’t know what the paranormal was, you know? I loved horror movies and all sorts of scary stuff, but I had never had an experience that was spiritual, paranormal, ghost – whatever. I didn’t know what that was. That was in 1971 and I still can’t explain the things that happened. That he reached out to my father and I to let us know he was gone. And things that happened that I still have no explanation for. Even after investigating for almost 10 years I still can’t say, “Oh, well this is why this happened.” No clue.
Narrator: It’s an eerie comfort - a loved one who passed away telling you that they’ve gone. Whether through a dream, a voice in the wind, or a hushed whisper in your ear. But not all encounters are this sweet. MacNeil recalls her first demonic encounter during an investigation.
Ellen: We recently had a client in Norwood [New York] that was the first time that the “D” word popped into my head – which is “demonic”. This was not natural. This was not a nice entity in this woman’s house that was terrorizing her family. She’s in a split, like a duplex, 150-year-old house. People would just move out in the middle of the night. Break their lease. Out the door. Gone. She had put every penny she had into moving into this place, so she wasn’t in a position that she could leave. So, she reached out to us and we’ve never had a case like that.
There’s definitely something absolutely evil in this house. You know, for a grown teenager – big six-foot strapping guy – wouldn’t stay in his own bedroom. He’d curl up in his mom’s bed – curled up in the corner of her bed because he was terrified.
Narrator: Sometimes, when you interact with enough spirits – they begin to interact with you. Goosebumps on your arm, a sudden coldness in the room. In Ellen’s case, a ghost can - literally -grab your attention.
Ellen: Since 2009, I got touched at a house in North Easton down by the Bridgewater Triangle. I got a hand – not just a **gestures** – I got a hand on my shoulder. Enough for me to turn around to thank whoever it was for not scaring the hell out of me – and there’s nobody there. And the only other people that were with us were way down the end of the hall. What touched me? I don’t know.
I’ll never get over it. I can’t explain it. Something that was not there – that was not physically there had enough energy to do that on my shoulder that I turned around to acknowledge it. That creeps you out because immediately you’re like, “okay, was it my hoodie? Am I up against the door? Am I leaning on her bureau? How could that happen?” I have no explanation.
Narrator: Thank you, Ellen, for telling us your most haunting memories. If you hear a bump in the night – you may want to pay attention. You’ll never know when you will need to call a ghost hunter to take care of it. I’m Kristen Bates. Keep your eyes open.
Sarah Campbell is an investigator and tech assistant with S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England. She's been working with them since they started almost 10 years ago.
Sarah: Once you start asking questions to things that you’re hoping are there, sometimes they reply.
Narrator: Be careful what you lean on in a house where spirits reside. Sometimes, they’ll make it known that you are not supposed to be there. I’m Kristen Bates and I had the pleasure of sitting down with a few team members from SPIRITS of New England – an investigative crew that researches ghosts and the paranormal.
Sarah Campbell, investigator and tech assistant with SPIRITS of New England, has been investigating the paranormal for almost ten years. She’s dealt with spirits many times, but nothing prepared her for being kicked by one.
Sarah: On the USS Salem, I was leaning against a, uh, basically a counter and just listening to someone else’s conversation and, as they are talking, I got kicked. Hard enough that it knocked me over. It almost felt like something tripped over me. I stumbled to the side, turned around to go yell at someone for not saying “excuse me” and there was no one there.
Narrator: How? A spirit with enough energy to move you. To cause pain in a way that gets your attention. Just like Ellen MacNeil, Campbell experienced a physical encounter with a paranormal entity. It would seem, if you anger a spirit enough, they won’t hold back on letting you know you are on their territory.
But Sarah isn’t afraid of the unknown. She laughs about creepy basements and talking with restless spirits. She even helped me make sense of a potential spiritual encounter.
In the basement of the Peter Oliver House, groups of us split into different corners. It was pitch black with the noise of the heater towards the back of the basement. I was by myself and wanted to document how others were investigating the area. A few small devices were set up in hopes to capture ghost activity. There had known sightings of shadow spirits on the walls.
I was in the furthest corner from the group – watching. I began to feel like… something was watching me. When I turned around, there was no one next to me. But the corner that I was standing next to began to grow darker and darker. I got light-headed, a little dizzy. Was I sweating? My ears started to ring – as if I was standing underneath a loud waterfall. How could no one else hear this? Or feel this?
It grew darker in front of me… the ringing in my ears grew louder and louder – and then it stopped. All at once, I was fine again. What happened? When I told Sarah, she said it was a spirit passing in front of me.
Had I experienced a close encounter with something from beyond? Was the rattling of the heater in the basement the source of my discomfort? Or did I just eat something bad?
Either way, Sarah had experienced these enough times to make sense of it to me.
If you start to feel out of breath, maybe a bit dizzy and your ears sound like a loud waterfall – perhaps it wasn’t bad sushi. It could be a ghost walking by. I’m Kristen Bates. Keep your eyes open.
Jack Kenna has been investigating the paranormal with S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England for a while and handles the technical equipment used for each investigation. Kenna is an author and writer who has been on episodes of "Haunted Case Files".
Narrator: If you find that you’re dealing with something paranormal, how do you know? Do you call the police? Is there a way to see and interact with this spirit?
I’m Kristen Bates and I had the pleasure of sitting down with a few team members from SPIRITS of New England – an investigative crew that researches ghosts and the paranormal. Jack Kenna is an experienced ghost investigator, author and writer. He’s been a part of the SPIRITS of New England team for a long time and he has extensive knowledge on the equipment they use to gather data from their investigations.
Jack Kenna: A lot of the equipment that we actually use when we investigate, uh, I actually have used this equipment in my full-time job. I work for the Department of the Army. I’m a mechanical engineering technician, do testing on weapon systems, we design weapon systems, so I do already know a lot about the equipment we use – even thermal imagers, K2 meters, EMF and stuff which we check for electromagnetic frequency. We do that with different tests and stuff we run.
So, the thing of it is, I know what’s designed to really do – what we really use it for – but I also realize that, in this field of the paranormal, we can use it – all these different things – to try to communicate with spirits. Because what we are talking about is energy. What we believe this is energy. Spirits are energy.
Narrator: Based on his experience, Kenna’s theories about what kind of energy spirits use have changed.
Kenna: I actually have a more recent theory that it’s more, uh, thermal radiation energy rather than electrical energy because thermal radiation can affect a lot of different types of things. I have noticed that we do seem to catch more stuff on thermal imagers – which are measuring thermal radiation and not really electrical energy. So, yeah, we can use a lot of these things to interact with spirits that can use these things to interact with us.
Narrator: On one investigation where Kenna was utilizing these tools, Kenna recalls an encounter he will never forget.
Kenna: It happened in Springfield, MA – I had a residential case. Where I literally saw a shadow figure standing three feet away from me. At the end of a couch. I was sitting in the middle of the couch, I heard a noise, I look over and there’s this shadow figure standing next to the couch and it almost looked like it was looking at me. I could tell it was female just by the shape of it and it was looking at me. So, that was the strangest encounter.
I actually tried to catch it on my infrared camera. I turned the camera on it and I look at the screen and it’s not there. So I actually swore, and I watched this figure fade away. Well, after reviewing the evidence and viewing the data on the recorder I had – and on the camera – there’s a female voice – after it [the shadow] faded away – that says it didn’t like me. I think she thought I swore at her and didn’t like her. And that’s not what it was about it was the fact that I could not see [the figure] in the infrared camera. So I was upset about that because I was trying to catch this thing. I wasn’t scared of it – wasn’t afraid of it – but that was the weirdest thing I think I ever experienced. Just because of the EVP, too. The woman’s voice saying it didn’t like me. She thought I didn’t like her.
Narrator: Thank you, Jack, for your knowledge on the tools needed for an investigation and for telling us one of your most haunting encounters. If you’re ever trying to investigate things that go bump in the night – try not curse. Remember, you are a guest in their house. I’m Kristen Bates. Keep your eyes open.