Ron Kolek and the New England Ghost Project, hosts of Festival of the Dead's Spectral Evidence: Ghost Hunting 101, hosted a Ghost Hunting seminar in North Adams! These guys are the real deal, and Shawn and Christian are both very excited to be able to work with them every year!

Masonic Temple to host ghost-hunting workshop
By Jennifer Huberdeau
The North Adams Transcript, October 18, 2005

NORTH ADAMS -- Psychics, paranormal experts and even the Salem Witches have said the Houghton Mansion, home of the North Adams Masonic Temple, has "ghostly activity" taking place within it. Now, local residents will have the opportunity to learn ghost-hunting techniques firsthand while searching the mansion for its spectral residents. On Sunday, Oct. 29, the North Adams Masonic Association, along with the New England Ghost Project, will hold the second annual "Ghost Hunt," a version of the Ghost Project's "Ghost Hunting 101."

"This year's will be slightly different then last year's presentation. During the first half of the program (Ghost Project members) will teach you how to use the equipment. It will be a mini-workshop allowing people to learn the ways you can detect spirits," said Joshua Montello, Berkshire Paranormal Group co-founder and a Mason.

Detecting equipment
Participants will learn how to use equipment such as electromagnetic detectors and dowsing rods, from Ghost Project founder Ronald Kolek.

"Last year, we had about 60 people attend. This year, we're offering a lot more. Hopefully, people will come out with more knowledge than they come in with. People have a chance to learn how to do this from the experts," Montello said. "It's something more for adults to do during this time of year. It's something for adults to come out and experience."

Kolek and his team of investigators visited the mansion in July for the first annual Berkshire Paranormal Conference, which the group co-hosted. During the weekend investigation, psychic mediums, a specialist in electronic voice phenomenon and other paranormal investigators, including self-proclaimed skeptics, taught seminars on different aspects of spirit phenomenon.

Salem Witch High Elders Shawn Poirier and Christian Day hosted a demonstration of how to correctly use the psychic medium talking boards, such as the Ouija Board, and also held a séance to communicate with the mansion's resident spirit — Mary Houghton.

"During the time we were using the Ouija Board, we had our eyes closed and a scribe jotting down what was coming through. The board spelt out the word sword. Later we found out that a sword in the mansion was missing," Poirier said. "I also walked through a spirit while I was there. It was an absolutely phenomenal visit."

Montello said the events are used as fund-raisers for the Masonic Association's building fund. After expenses, the paranormal conference raised a total of $1,000 and the previous "Ghost Hunt" raised about $630, he said.

"This might be the last time we offer something on Halloween weekend because we are moving the conference from July to late September next year," he said.

Cameras, video recorders, audio recorders and EMF detectors are allowed and encouraged for the second half of the program, when participants will be allowed to "hunt" for spirits and other phenomenon within the mansion. "Hopefully, people will be able to catch something," Montello said.