21 Jul 2013
Ghost hunters explore historic Meriden house
MERIDEN >> The long-deceased former inhabitants of the historic Andrews Homestead are said to still roam its rooms.
The Meriden Historical Society invited a Connecticut-based paranormal group to do an investigation on a recent evening, to see if they could capture any evidence of a haunting.
The homestead, on West Main Street, is now a society museum. The red, salt-box style house was built around 1760 by Samuel Andrews III.
“We are trying to communicate with the Andrews family, who had been involved with this property since before the Revolutionary War,” said Adam Shefts, founder and director of the Northeast Paranormal Investigations Society. “We are going to try to communicate with any former inhabitants, and see if we can capture any evidence to correlate with the history of this home.”
Peter Slavinski, president of the Meriden Historical Society, said he has had one personal unexplained experience in the house, which is one of the oldest in Meriden. About a year ago, Slavinski walked into a room where lamps are on display, and a paper describing the exhibit flew across the room, but all the windows and doors were closed, Slavinski said.
According to Slavinski, another paranormal investigation team and a medium visited about a year ago too. Slavinski said the prior group captured unexplained voices on tape in response to questions. A young girl who used to live there reportedly comes to play with the doll collection.
On July 13, NPIS used equipment like still and night vision cameras, audio recorders and K2 electromagnetic field detectors.
After turning out the lights, the team, including Shefts, of Wallingford; Marc Gaudio of North Haven; Barnaby Mortensen of Madison, and Mark Firulli of North Haven, began asking questions.
The group asked if anyone was there, if the young girl wanted to play, if they could make a sound, or tell everyone their name, for example. They asked for the house’s former inhabitants to move something or make a sound, such as hitting a key on a piano. There was nothing audible in response to those questions.
The group invited the media to observe. The team put the electromagnetic field detector, on the floor, beyond the guard rope in an exhibit. While the team attempted to talk to the young girl, the device lit up on some occasions, such as when the investigators asked if the girl had a pet cat.
Shefts had been attempting to communicate with a little girl, believed to be named Charlotte, at the time.
“That doesn’t happen often, if it was in fact Charlotte communicating with us,” Shefts said, via email after the investigation. “We couldn’t find any source of electricity along the basement ceiling which would have produced such high meter readings in the room above.”
Later in the night, the group captured a light anomaly on video as Shefts was attempting to contact family member Moses Andrews, a British sympathizer, about his practice of holding secret church services in the home, according to Shefts.
“We can’t explain the light anomaly,” Shefts said. “We attempted to recreate it with the objects I was holding at the time, infrared light refractions, reflections, car headlights, etc. ... but we were not able to recreate it in any way.”
Moses Andrews inherited the house from his father, Samuel. It was in the Andrews family until 1864. In later years, it was used as a school, rented as apartments, and used as a daycare center. It finally became a museum, its current use, and visitors can see early construction details, including many original features, according to the historical society. The museum’s displays show off the city’s industrial past, along with a large doll and toy collection.
The team will be reviewing any evidence it collected in the upcoming weeks.
Firulli said the group often finds the best evidence when there is a lot of history with a location. It has done several investigations in the New England region. The group’s website, at www.northeastparanormal.org, spotlights its findings at locations like the Eagle Hose Co. in Ansonia, the Deacon John Grave House in Madison, and the Sheffield Island Lighthouse in Norwalk, for example.
NPIS plans to give a presentation on its findings at the Andrews Homestead at a free event, at the Meriden Public Library, at 105 Miller St., on Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
“I’m very excited to see the presentation in October,” Slavinski said.