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16 Jun 2010


Group probes paranormal activities at rail museum

Originally published June 16, 2010

By Brian Englar
News-Post Staff

  Group probes paranormal activities at rail museum
Staff file photo by Skip Lawrence

Vic Barker talks about the model trains at the Brunswick Railroad Museum.
When an elevator was being installed at the Brunswick Railroad Museum last spring, workers and staff reported strange noises, voices and unusual activity

Supplies were being moved around. Several elevator workers even claimed they saw a woman in a white dress walking around the second floor.

The reports led a former museum board member to call the Mason Dixon Paranormal Society, a Gettysburg-based group that investigates claims of paranormal activity.

The group agreed to investigate on June 5.

Curator Rebecca O'Leary, who has been with the museum since last June, was caught by surprise when group members called and said they would be coming out to look for ghosts.

She said they arrived around 8:30 the night of the investigation with equipment valued at about $30,000, including electrothermal monitors, infrared cameras and audio recording devices. After setting up the equipment around the building, they started their investigation at around 11 p.m. and were in the museum until about 3 a.m.

"We had everything set up from as simple as a digital voice recorder to wireless audio and thermal imaging," Paranormal Society founder Darryl Keller said.

O'Leary said while she was unfamiliar with the earlier reports or the call to the investigators, several staff members told her that they were uncomfortable being alone in the basement where the offices were moved after the elevator's construction.

Museum board member Walt Stull said there have been reports of strange noises in the 1904 building over the years, but those noises intensified with the construction of the elevator.

Stull said he has heard unexplained sounds as well, but had never given them much thought.

"I always thought it was the building shifting or something like that," Stull said. "But we'll see what they come up with."

According to Keller, his group goes into an investigation trying to debunk the claims of paranormal activity, which he said happens more often than not. He estimates 70 percent of the society's investigations outside the Gettysburg area end up revealing no sign of anything out of the ordinary.

However, Keller said that likely will not be the case with the Brunswick Railroad Museum. He said the investigation is nearly complete and he should be contacting the museum this week. He said he was unable reveal the extent of the group's findings until he reviews the evidence with museum staff, but he said investigators had unexplained experiences.

"There were some things that happened Saturday we were not able to debunk," Keller said. "We do have evidence."

Keller also said Frederick County is a frequent location for investigations by the Mason Dixon Paranormal Society.

"We could open up a branch office in Frederick County," Keller said.

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