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Ghost Hunters in Western Massachusetts

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AGAWAM, Mass (WGGB) — Whether you believe in ghosts or not there are many things still unexplained in the world. ABC40’s Chris Pisano goes along with a local group whose mission is to explore this paranormal phenomenon.

The Team

There’s a group in Western Mass. that goes around the region to try and find evidence of the afterlife.

The Agawam Paranormal Team has been around for several years now.

A collection of three dozen individuals from all walks of life, but with one common goal: investigating ghosts.

With about an hour of daylight left, Rob Goff goes over the game plan for the night ahead.

“We’re going to run with two teams tonight.”

Goff heads Agawam Paranormal, a local group that conducts investigations at both private and public buildings, searching for the supernatural.

That’s a long way of saying – they hunt ghosts.

“We did this with the mindset of a family activity,” explained Goff. “Between my wife and I we have 4 children that live locally and the mindset was that this was something that we could do as a family together. And those were the humble beginnings.”

Founded about five years ago, those humble beginnings are no more. They now boast 38 members.

They’ve conducted more than 100 investigations, and there’s a lot of equipment.

Cameras and cables, infrared lights, motions sensors, and hand-held recorders.

All of it has to be loaded up and trucked out to their next ghost hunt and there’s always another one, especially as their professional reputation spreads,

“This is a for me is a huge, huge point. I’m so proud of this. Agawam Paranormal has been invited into eight different locations that are local that no other team has been allowed to investigate and by that I mean historical locations. We just did in July the Storrowtown Tavern which is right on the Big E grounds. And we found activity there, that place was great.”

And the place they’re heading tonight is great too…and historic. It’s also rumored to be haunted, which is all part of the fun.

It seems, when the lights go off, and things go bump in the dark – lot of people like to be afraid

“Sometimes they’re a little scared. You know they might have something going on at home and they are looking for possible answers and we help them find them,” said Goff.

Looking for answers…that’s what we wanted to do as well

The Location

Barely lit by the setting sun, the Old Firehouse Museum cuts a stark silhouette on the corner of North Main Street in South Hadley.

It’s done so for the last 125 years, serving most of that time – as the name suggests – as a firehouse.

“Until 1975 this was an active fire house. The South Hadley District 1 Firehouse,” explained curator Diane Laroche.

Laroche says the old building has also done duty as a polling place, a theater, even a meeting hall for the town, but after being retired in the mid-70’s, it was turned into a museum by the Historical Society.

Since then, things have been a lot quieter around here…until the lights go off.

“We have a bride upstairs who’s wearing a silk gown. And she’s been a little troublesome,” Laroche adds.

Seems the bride doesn’t like holding her glove.

It’s not uncommon for it to be found lying on the floor, sometimes even all the way across the room.

And then there’s the footsteps – perhaps a phantom firefighter still running down the stairs on a long forgotten call.

“We were basically just starting off the evening and we could hear the sound of heavy boots running down these stairs and we were right there on the other side and we just paused and waited for somebody to come around the corner and nobody ever came around the corner,” said Rob Goff founder of Agawam Paranormal

Tonight, Goff’s team of investigators sets up their elaborate surveillance systems.

They have seven infrared cameras posted throughout the 3 story building – with one of course – pointed at the bride.

There even more infrared spot lights, motion sensors, and electromagnetic field meters, long with yards of cable – all feeding into the command center on the bottom floor.

After checking and rechecking the equipment – the team is ready: it’s time to find proof of a ghost.

But before we turn off the lights – time enough for a prayer…just in case.

The Hunt

It’s no lights…only seven infrared cameras… and hopefully action on this latest ghost hunt with Agawam Paranormal.

We’ve been at the Old Firehouse Museum in South Hadley for several hours.

In the dark, waiting, watching, and walking around taking readings with EMF’s or electromagnetic field meters.

Led by Rob Goff, Agawam Paranormal also brought along voice recorders, asking questions periodically and pausing for a response.

“Were you here with us before – the last time we were here?,” asks Goff. “Making the meters go crazy and interacting with the team?”

Later, they’ll play the recordings back, hoping for an EVP, or electronic voice phenomena.

They’ve collected quite a few – including these from the Josiah Day House in West Springfield.

You hear an investigator ask: “Can we sit on this big bed from England?” and then the answer…from something: “our bed”.

Again from the investigator: “We’ll try not to touch your stuff, but sometimes, we can’t help but touch things.”

Out comes another answer: “touch”.

Tonight, they also hope to take a picture or even video of a spirit.

“The Holy Grail – so to speak – for any paranormal investigator is always a full body apparition,” said Goff.

More times than not, they are able to catch what Goff calls orbs.

This video was taken in the basement of the Thomas Smith House in Feeding Hills.

Remember – it’s pitch dark. What you’re seeing is from an infrared camera – hence the greenish tint.

The orb floats around for more than half an hour, but what about tonight’s investigation at the Old Firehouse Museum in South Hadley?

Curator Diane Laroche say’s one display in particular is…odd.

“We have a bride upstairs who’s wearing a silk gown and she’s been a little troublesome.”

The bride’s glove has a habit of falling off overnight, sometimes found the next morning across the room.

At 11:39, with a camera trained on the haunted bride, an investigator walks by – never touching the mannequin.

Two seconds later, that glove moves. Then, five seconds after that, it drops.

And from the stairwell where they’ve heard phantom footsteps – at 10:48…video of this orb.

“Ninety-five percent of those we explain away as being natural phenomena. It’s when we can’t identify them that goes into the five percent bracket that I don’t know,” says Goff.

Is it all proof that ghosts exist?

That is a haunting question.

For more information about Agawam Paranormal, you can visit their website, or for the Old Firehouse Museum in South Hadley, click here.


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