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Northfield Paranormal Society investigates unusual activity



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NPS co-founder Lindsay French (center) and her dad spent a weekend with “Ghost Hunters” Grant Wilson (left) and Jason Hawes (right) at the Spaulding Inn in Whitefield last year to learn more about paranormal investigation. Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
September 22, 2010
NORTHFIELD — While many people have experienced "things that go bump in the night" and shrugged them off, others have witnessed inexplicable, seemingly paranormal events that became so disruptive they turned to professionals for answers.

The Northfield Paranormal Society is prepared to help put people's minds at ease.

Fred French and his daughter Lindsay have a homegrown interest in unusual happenings, which prompted them to explore paranormal investigating. For years Fred and his wife Wendy have seen and heard things that led them to believe they were not the only residents in their home. As their children were born the events continued and they came to accept them as well.

"My sister would hear whistling in her room at night and she got so used to it she would just yell 'Shut up!' and go back to sleep," said Lindsay French.

With the advent of television shows like "Ghost Hunters," Lindsay French got her father interested in watching the investigations of hosts Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, which got him thinking, she said.

"The show made Dad realize that maybe he should be paying attention to some of the things going on in his house," she said.

For Father's Day she got her mom and sister to chip in to purchase tickets for Fred and Lindsay French to go to a Ghost Hunters class in Whitefield where Hawes and Wilson own an old inn. Armed with Fred French's newly purchased high-tech equipment, father and daughter learned to use night shot vision cameras, digital voice recorders and meters that detect electro-magnetic fields of energy. And they came away with some pretty interesting experiences during their stay.

"We were sitting in the Carriage House doing an EVP session where we ask questions and listen to the voice recorders later to see if they picked up a response. I was asking Ted (an employee who died on the premises some years ago) if he liked sports. I have an audio tape where you can hear a man say 'Yes I do.' It was incredible," said Fred French.

His daughter got a photo of a face emerging by a pole in the dining room and they also caught the voice of an angry older woman telling them, "Get out."

After many discussions about investigating on their own, the pair started the Northfield Paranormal Society in March. Joining them were Molly Rice and "Fernando," who assists with the technical equipment.

The Frenches are quick to point out their focus is to find the truth behind activity people report and often it can have a rational explanation.

"We did a home in Laconia where the owner felt it was possessed by some demonic presence. His wife was ill from it and they had a lot of unexplained feeling and occurrences," said Fred French.

When NPS brought their equipment in they discovered a high energy field in the residence, emanating from an old television set and wiring in the home. High levels of electricity can cause uneasiness, nausea, depression and anxiety. The homeowner's mind was put at ease once he knew the source of their problems.

"That's what I enjoy most about doing this - helping people and giving them an explanation for what's happening," said Fred French.

Not everything is paranormal and getting to the bottom of a case helps people go on with their lives. But, not everything is easily explained either, such as the Alexandria home NPS recently visited. The woman who owns the home is so accustomed to voices she keeps a recorder going all the time to catch what she may not hear. She has even asked questions when she felt a presence and come up with a list of names she hears on her recorder. Checks at Town Hall have revealed they were names of people who had formerly owned the property.

"We investigated but didn't get a whole lot that night. The (entities) may have followed her when she went next door to her mother's house that night so we'll go back again and she'll stay there with us," he said.

Lindsay French said she and a friend who accompanied her had a few personal experiences and even picked up a few faint words on tape.

"We couldn't make out some of it but you can hear the word 'No' in answer to one of our questions. You get that a lot; they don't always want you around," she said.

Helping people understand they aren't in danger or the ability to provide a logical explanation is NPS's goal. Fred French keeps a few special prayers tucked away in case anything not so friendly is found but, so far so good, they reported.

NPS offers their service at no charge. They understand people are often leery about contacting groups like theirs for fear of being ridiculed, so the group guarantees confidentiality in their investigations. Homeowners are also provided with a DVD of any hard evidence they collect.

"Dad and I swap our evidence to double check anything we pick up on the recorders and video. As the saying goes, 'Any doubt, throw it out,' so we only keep things that are definitely unexplained," said Lindsay French.

Working on investigations has brought the pair closer together. Fred French is disabled and Lindsay said it is great to see him have something that interests him so much and they can share. His desire to help others and his thirst for knowledge makes paranormal investigating the perfect past time for him, she said. They have also made a lot of new friends around the country who are in groups similar to NPS.

Anyone interested in joining the group or requesting an investigation can contact NPS through northfieldparanormalsociety.com.

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