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Bangor Ghost Hunters Association

Bangor Ghost Hunters Association
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Very few of the places the group investigates are actually haunted,
however. “We give out certificates if we have enough evidence that
the house has paranormal activity going on, and we have only
given out two since 2000,” Harold says. “The certificates don’t
mean that the house is haunted, though. They just mean that something
is going on that we can’t explain.”

All of the group’s investigations begin with an interview. “We
interview our clients on the phone or in person,” Harold says.
“While the interview is being conducted, we send another member
around the neighborhood to gather information on the house
and the land to see if anybody really died there. Then after we do our interview, we meet up with the member who tried to get
information about the house. We meet up at my house and get
everybody’s opinions to see what they thought about the house.
We then look into the legal limits of the family to see if they are
credible people. We don’t get involved with people if they have had
trouble with the law.”

Before the group begins an investigation, Harold goes in with
a cameraman and they do a sweep. “The cameraman follows me
around, and being a retired magician, I look for ‘smoke and mirrors’ —
strings and everything else,” Harold says. “I have come
across speakers in walls. These are people who do haunted houses
at Halloween.

And a lot of them do it to see if the ghost hunters
are on the up-and-up. We had this one case where there were
strings and speakers in the walls, and I told the owner, ‘You have
no haunting here. You know what you’re doing. You’re trying to
run a ruse.’ The gentleman said, ‘Yes, I am, but I wanted to see if
you guys were on the up-and-up.’ He was testing our people. He
was a follower of Henry Houdini. Houdini tried to debunk the
fake seances, and I do the same thing, but I don’t look for fake
psychics. I look for fake haunted houses.”

If everything turns out
clean, Harold sends in his team to do the initial investigation. They
go through the house one more time, looking for things that Harold
might have overlooked. Then the group sits down and starts
videotaping and recording EVPs. “We use boom mikes attached
to tape recorders that will pick up the lightest sound two houses
away,” Harold says.

The Bangor Ghost Hunters Association has done investigations
at a variety of sites, including a school, supermarkets, a bank,
bars, a cemetery, and several homes. “We even went to a haunted
gold mine in Maine. Maine does have gold mines. Most people
don’t realize that,” Harold said. Some of the members are eager to
become part of the TAPS family so that they can get more cases,
but Harold is reluctant. “I think we are getting enough,” Harold
said. “I’m booked right now until June with cases. One is an old
funeral home that was turned into a restaurant called ‘The Fountain
House.’ We were doing a radio show last year on Halloween,
and they asked us to come down there and investigate.”

Harold has learned the hard way that printed legends are not
always good indicators of where to look for haunted places. “Every
book that is published about haunted locations, we go out and
check them,” Harold says. “I have a book that says a cemetery in
Indian Island is haunted. I went out there and talked to the elders,
and I never had a Native American look me in the face before and
tell me I was ‘f—ing crazy.’ I showed him the article in the book,
and he was surprised it was published because he didn’t know anything
about it. He checked with the elders, and none of them had
heard the story that was published in the book. We talked to ten
elders, and they asked us if we were crazy or if we had been drinking
whiskey. We like trying to get trying to get evidence to corroborate
these published stories. I don’t know why a lot of this stuff
gets published.”

Harold’s innate skepticism enabled him to expose another client
who was trying to “pull a con”: “I was sitting in a bar talking
about another case I was working on in Massachusetts. A gentleman
overheard our conversation. He came up to me and apologized
for eavesdropping, but he said he was experiencing unexplained
phenomena — noises and lights. It turns out that that’s all it was —
noises and lights. There were no ghosts or anything. I went through
the house, and I found speakers and a prop that would be used in
a light show on stage. A magic shop was the only place in Boston
where you could buy this stuff. I contacted them, and they remembered
me and I asked for a list of people who bought a certain
type of equipment and props. He gave me the list, and the gentleman’s
son was on that list. I contacted the son. He tried to deny
what was going on, but I told him I had gone down to the magic
shop and found out that he had bought all of this equipment. He
said, ‘If I come clean, what’s going to happen to me?’ I said, ‘It’s
not against the law, but I think you should come clean because
you gave your father a heart attack and put him in the hospital.’
He said he did it out of revenge for his father’s years of tormenting
him and his brother by saying, ‘The ghosts are coming to get
you!’ or ‘The bogeyman is coming to get you.’ I guess this had gone
on since he was fifteen years old. He was about twenty when he
did it. He’s now twenty-two years old. The kid finally got even.”

After the man was released from the hospital, he and his son did
not speak for six months. By now, enough time has passed that the
man thinks the incident was funny. His son, however, feels guilty
for giving his father a heart attack.

A store in Holland, Maine, was the site of another fabricated
haunting. The group was investigating reports that the store was
being haunted by the ghost of the store owner, who was an avid
hunter. “He died, and no one knew it,” Harold said. “Legend has
it that he returns to the store every now and then to keep his business
going. People clean up the store before they leave. The next
day, there are groceries lined up on the aisle shelf, waiting to be
bagged. This happens once a month. The gentleman made his presence
known to the new owner, a lady. The previous owner had an
idea who it was.” The members sat in the store for three days, but
the only thing they captured on video was particles flying through
the air when the air conditioner was turned on. Harold drove up
on the last day of the investigation to give the group a hand and
discovered that some boys were outside of the store yelling through
the vents. “We had to discard all of the evidence we had collected
because we did not know about the kids next door yelling through
the vents in the air conditioning making the EVPs. We were really
disappointed because we were hoping to find the groceries stacked
up on the shelf,” Harold said.

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