Amy Moore, owner and resident of one of the buildings formerly known as the Mansfield Training School, can handle a gentle handhold and the humming of an invisible woman. It’s the late-night ear whispers and deep, diabolical growls that scare her.
“I didn’t even believe that stuff, until I moved in there,” said Moore.
She added that she is now a believer and that she is surrounded by countless ghosts in her Stafford Road home.
After years of unanswered questions, sweaty palms and hair-raising experiences, Moore called local paranormal experts to see if her fear was unfounded or real.
Members of PROOF – Paranormal Researchers Of Odd Findings – conducted a 48-hour investigation in the expansive four-story home Jan. 23-24.
PROOF has had a visible presence in the area at several ghost hunting-themed events at local libraries, museums and civic groups.
On this particular weekend, a team of six PROOF investigators descended on the house with video cameras, voice recorders and other hi-tech equipment to monitor frequencies and energy in the 15-plus room home.
Not her imagination
Their findings confirmed for Moore that she, her daughter-in-law, son and grandchild are not alone in the home.
Moore has lived in the home – one of several buildings that were part of the former psychiatric complex until 1993 – for the past 13 years. She said they are years full of nightmares and terror.
Some of the spirits are gentle and hold her hand or wrap their energy around her, Moore said.
Others are not as keen to have people living in a building where so many died and experienced the torture of early medicine and psychiatric treatment.
According to Moore, anyone who enters the house can automatically sense there is something eerie in the woodwork of the more than 100-year-old structure.
“If you walked into my house, you would feel sad,” she said. “Not depressed, but the sadness of lost people.”
In addition to her own experience, Moore said the spirits have made physical and audible contact with other residents of the home and those who visit.
She said an electrician was working in the basement of the home one day and felt someone grab his shoulder.
The electrician – who did not see anyone by him to explain the mysterious touch – quickly packed his belongings and did not return to the house to finish the job.
As a result of the investigation, Joseph Gallant, founder of PROOF, determined the spirits in the house were not diabolic, but still posed a threat to the family.
Gallant said the spirits have been re-classified as an “E-Combo” – which means there is a mixture of intelligent and residual hauntings in the home.
Although the results will not be released until a later date, Gallant said the investigation did confirm that there is something happening in the Moore household.
“We went into the house and it’s not demonic, but it is a negative presence,” he said.
An investigator was pinched and the team recorded the humming of an unidentified woman, but the most dramatic evidence, Gallant said, was a full apparition of the angry male spirit in the house that was caught on tape. “We got the name of a full-bodied apparition,” said Gallant.
Identifying might be difficult due to the fact that records of the hospital were not kept and the building used to be owned by the state, said Gallant.
According to Gallant, the apparition – which appeared as a black, 6-foot-2-inch tall silhouette with the distinct shape of a head, shoulders and legs – announced himself as he was walking from one room to another on the second floor.
Gallant said the male lived at the training school and claimed to have been killed by a fellow patient.
Evicting the spirits
Names or no names, hostile or not, Moore said she wants whatever – who whoever – is plaguing the home gone.
She said Gallant and his team plan to conduct a “banishing” next week to force the spirits out of the home, so she can live there in peace.
According to Gallant, a banishing will rid the house of both the negative and positive energy that inhabits the structure.
“It’s more of a Wiccan method for ridding spirits,” said Gallant. The six-hour event includes blessing the house, burning sage and praying.
For more information about PROOF, visit their Web site at www.teamproof.com