Book focuses on the more unusual side of the Lakes Region
November 03, 2010
LAKES REGION — Ghosts of New Hampshire's Lakes Region, a new book by Katie Boyd and Beckah Boyd, is a great read for lovers of the paranormal, those who enjoy history and folklore or people who are just naturally curious about the unknown.
"Overall the Lakes Region has a lot (of paranormal occurrences) that people don't realize. But along with that comes the history behind the occurrences, so it was really important for me to include that history," said Beckah Boyd.
Beckah Boyd is a "generational psychic," coming from a long line of psychics, she said. At an early age she realized her gift and sought to use it to help others.
"If I go to a place with a lot of negative energy and can cleanse it, I feel good. Help the spirit and you help the people," she said.
For more than 15 years she has done just that, joining her talent with friend and renowned demonologist Katie Boyd who grew up in a house that she said was "very haunted." Her family was very close to their church and frequently brought in a priest to bless the house. From the age of 3 until she was 18, Katie Boyd said her family not only suffered but was eventually torn apart. That was when she began to explore the spirit world and educate herself on demonology.
"After I did my studies I realized I could help other families even if it was too late for my own," she said.
Katie Boyd also has a background in the medical field and in criminology, expertise she brings with her as she and Beckah Boyd work with their group, Ghost Quest, to seek explanations for unknown experiences people encounter and oftentimes live with.
"We believe not everything's a "haunting" so we first look for a logical explanation," Beckah Boyd said.
While cases are confidential, the two women decided to write a book on public places with unusual happenings. They found the Lakes Region has many unexplainable occurrences and some fun folk lore that has yet to be explored. These were the target of their latest book.
While Exeter is known for UFO activity, Laconia is just as busy with sightings, too, most especially from 1973-1974 when there were numerous reports of lights and flying objects, all chronicled in a chapter titled "The Weird and Unusual."
From Belknap College in Center Harbor, where students in the observatory reported seeing a dark red object "pulsating and rotating at one-second intervals but stationary at times," to police officers on I-93 in Sanbornton, many people claimed to have witnessed strange crafts in the night sky. In Meredith, police reported similar events.
According to a story in the Laconia Evening Citizen on Aug. 12, 1974, "Meredith Police reported this morning that officer John Skidds saw an unidentified flying object over Leavitt Park at around 10:30 last night. He contacted the Sheriff's Department which also witnessed the object." Throughout a busy week that August, officers from Franklin, Belmont, Northfield and other local towns all experienced objects hovering over the Lakes Region which they could not explain.
Old mills, inns and taverns are also "hot spots" in the region where the pair has investigated or heard of experiences of others. Tilton's 1875 Inn is famous for it's paranormal encounters and Beckah Boyd and Katie Boyd were the second team asked to investigate the old structure. As a psychic, Beckah Boyd was especially intrigued with all she encountered at the inn and Kate Boyd was thrilled with her findings, too.
"Because I'm a demonologist a lot of spirits don't like me and my equipment but the spirits there did. When we called for certain types of activity (to light up her equipment or other activities to show their presence) they cooperated with us," she said. "It was a very interesting case- there was a lot of validation for what goes on there."
Another mention in the book is Kimball Castle in Gilford. While Ghost Quest has not yet been able to arrange an investigation of the old castle, they are intrigued by reports of occurrences there.
"The caretakers have reported activities in the Carriage House. They've seen a woman in the windows of the castle, people in the fields and lights going on and off when no one is there so it's really intriguing," said Beckah Boyd.
Their book is purposefully light-hearted and easy to read as they try to encourage others to enjoy the unexplained and broaden their outlook on the spirit world. Other sites included are the Strafford County Poor House, the former Laconia State School, Old Hill Village and even the lore of "Winnie," Lake Winnipesaukee's relative of the Loch Ness Monster.
"There's no proof of any such thing yet but wouldn't it be fun?" Katie Boyd asked.
The book was their excuse to get out and have fun exploring the paranormal, a break from the more intense investigations they do with Ghost Quest. They hope people will enjoy the stories of the Lakes Region and it's ghostly activity as well as the history of prominent sites in the area.
"It really all goes back to the land and what once happened there. This is an old area and there's just so much that goes on in the Lakes Region that we wanted people to be aware of," said Beckah Boyd.
She and Kate Boyd have been touring the state for book signings and talks on Ghosts of New Hampshire's Lakes Region, which is available in local bookstores through History Press. Each have authored other books and plan on more in the future.
"There was just so much we couldn't fit in this book that I think we'll have to write a sequel. The Lakes Region is just a hopping place," said Kate Boyd.
When not writing or doing investigations, Beckah Boyd can be heard on her internet radio show The Psychic Switch. She is also the co-host of Ghost Quest Radio, both broadcast by the Tenacity Radio Network.