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Raising spirits Ghost hunters converge on Masonic Temple/Totem animals

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  • mythisis@aol.com
    Raising spirits Ghost hunters converge on Masonic Temple _By Jennifer Huberdeau, North Adams Transcript_ (mailto:JHuberdeau@thetranscript.com?subject=North
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2006
      Raising spirits
      Ghost hunters converge on Masonic Temple
      _By Jennifer Huberdeau, North Adams Transcript_
      (mailto:JHuberdeau@...?subject=North Adams Transcript: Raising spirits)
      (http://www.thetranscript.com/headlines/ci_4398418#) A 'spirited'
      table gets away from participants in a psychic medium's seminar Saturday night at
      Contact II, a paranormal conference held at the Masonic Temple in North
      Adams. Photo by Jennifer Huberdeau/North Adams Transcript
      Tuesday, September 26
      NORTH ADAMS — The small wooden table began to shake and slowly rise from the
      floor as the chanting of "lift, lift, lift," filled the darkened hall of the
      Masonic Temple on Church Street during the final hours of Saturday night.
      "I need everyone to focus their energy on those surrounding the table,"
      psychic medium Maureen Wood said.
      Table tipping
      As the voices rose and the rhythmic chant rang out, the four people — who
      were touching the table's edges with just the tips of their fingers — began to
      run across as the "flying" table jerked its way around the room.
      Wood, a member of the New England Ghost Project, was leading the
      "table-tipping" exercise, as part of the second night of "Contact II." The three-day
      conference, held at the former Houghton Mansion, was the second installment of
      the Berkshire Paranormal Conference, which began as a collaboration of the
      Ghost Project and local ghost hunters the Berkshire Paranormal Group.
      Earlier in the day, Steve Wilson, a certified shaman in Mayan and Tibetan
      traditions and American Indian, took about 30 conference participants on a
      vision quest to find their totem animals.
      "Animals come to us to remind us who we are. We need to reconnect to the
      animal kingdom, the tree kingdom, the rock kingdom, so we can balance our lives
      and remember our beginnings. Animals are not afraid of death — it's part of
      the eternal circle," Wilson said. "We are the ones who are afraid of death and
      can not accept it."
      Animal guides
      As the room was slowly engulfed with the aroma of sage, Wilson called on the
      "Creator" and great eagle to guide the participants in their journeys.
      "It's a big evolution to be here today — 25 years ago you wouldn't be
      sitting here talking about things like ghosts," he said. "I believe we're being
      driven toward finding higher states of love. You don't know how thankful nature
      is when we connect. We have forgotten the old ways and the Earth is not
      As the vision quest came to a close, Wilson reminded the group that not
      everyone would see their totem animals. Then he asked if anyone wanted to share.
      Immediately a woman in a white sweater shot her hand into the air.
      "I saw a moose. It was really big. It showed me water," she said.
      A majority of the group came in contact with their totem animals, or animal
      guides who will help them with specific problems in their lives.
      Other animals included a turtle, a raccoon, a bear, a fox, a crow and a
      "The deer came very close to my face. It was right here," one man said as he
      held his palm close to his face.
      "It's a message of self-sacrifice," Wilson said. "We connect with the
      animals because our souls are in need. They want those pieces back, so they can be
      Electronic voice phenomena expert Karen Mossey explained the art of
      capturing messages from the spirit world in white noise Saturday night.
      "I like the cheaper digital recorders. They have plenty of static and noise
      to help capture the EVPs. The messages are usually short in duration — the
      longest one I have is one minute and 44 seconds," she said. "When you listen to
      a tape, you'll unusually hear some precursor sounds before the EVP. You
      start to hear clicks and pops. We believe those are breaks in the dimension —
      which they need electrostatic energy to communicate."
      Mossey, whose work has appeared in the movie "White Noise" and the
      television series "Ghost Whisperer," played EVP samples. One clip included a man callin
      g her crazy.
      "It's very important to remember you're dealing with the afterlife. You're
      dealing with people and their personalities don't change when the go to the
      other side," she said. "People are people. For us, they're validating the
      continuance of life after death."
      However, Mossey said not all EVP transmissions are the dead trying to
      "There are imprints of words and feelings that are left behind. You have to
      realize that everything you say is out there."
      A part of the proceeds from the conference go toward the Masons' restoration
      efforts at the former mansion that once belonged to the city's first mayor,
      A.C. Houghton.
      Masons Nicholas and Joshua Mantello, who founded Berkshire Paranormal,
      believe the spirits of Houghton and his daughter, Mary, and family chauffeur John
      Widders, still roam the halls of the mansion. The three are linked to a
      tragic 1914 accident, in which Mary was killed.
      "In 1914, the Houghtons purchased a Pierce Arrow touring car. It sat nine
      passengers," local historian Paul Marino said. "On Aug. 1, 1914, Mr. Houghton
      decided to take a pleasure drive to Bennington. Mr. Houghton and Mary were
      joined by Dr. and Mrs. Hutton of New York City."
      Fatal trip
      He said the party left the city at about 9 a.m. that morning and by 9:30 had
      reached Oak Hill Road in Pownal.
      "One of the written accounts refers to it as the daunting Oak Hill Road,
      when actually it's a gentle grade about a 1/2 mile from Pownal Center. But as
      the story goes, the car came to a point where the road was being worked on. On
      the right side of the road, a team of horses was approaching," Marino said.
      Apparently, Widders was traveling 12 miles per hour when he overcompensated
      and gave the horse team room to pass. Coming too close to the road's left
      shoulder, he could not navigate the upcoming corner and rolled the car down an
      embankment three times.
      "All of the men escaped with minor injuries. Sibyl Hutton was killed
      instantly when the car rolled on her. Mary, the only one not ejected from the car,
      was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital," Marino said.
      Mary died later that day. Widders, overcome with grief, would commit suicide
      several days later. Mary's father, seemingly giving up, died Aug. 11.
      Conference participants also had a chance to roam the mansion over the

      "It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other
      folks do, isn't it?"


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