21 Jul 2006
Is the lighthouse haunted? Paranormal researchers visit Sheffield Island
By John Nickerson
July 21, 2006
Norwalk -- A young girl trapped on an island by two fighting adults
sounds like a nightmare. But that is the drama played out day and night
on Sheffield Island.
But it's not with living beings -- it's with ghosts from a bygone era,
an East Haven paranormal investigator says.
Christine Kaczynski, who founded Connecticut Paranormal Research and
Investigations last year, visited the Sheffield Island Lighthouse
earlier this month with 18 other paranormal researchers equipped with
digital cameras, video recorders, sound equipment and meters that can
pick up "electrical magnetic energy fields."
Kaczynski, who said she has been doing paranormal investigations for 35
years, said the 6- or 7-year-old girl is named Abigail and is bound to
the island by the two adult ghosts who are in constant turmoil.
"I have no idea who Abby may be. She is bound to the lighthouse and she
doesn't seem to be able to make her way out of there because of the two
other spirits," Kaczynski said, adding that the farthest Abby can get is
to the beach, which she sometimes visits.
The island piqued Kaczynski's interest when she was surfing the Web and
The Norwalk Seaport Association's site popped up advertising its
"Haunted Weekend" on the island. Just as the nonprofit educational
organization's Christmas in July event brings that holiday to a
different season, Haunted Weekend brings Halloween to August. This
year's Haunted Weekend is Aug. 5 and 6.
Kaczynski contacted the Seaport Association, which operates the
lighthouse, and scheduled July 8 to visit the island to see whether any
spirits were there.
With Seaport Association board members in attendance, the 19 researchers
arrived on the island at 9 p.m. to set up their equipment in the 1827
lighthouse and began detecting the presence of spirits almost
At the point when Abby presented herself on the second floor of the
stone lighthouse, Kaczynski said the temperature dropped 25 degrees, and
a trifield meter, which picks up natural magnetic changes (in addition
to electric and microwave changes) spiked.
Kaczynski said another spirit followed them around the lighthouse and
property until they left at 2 a.m.
"There are a lot of spirits on the island, and they are curious and
interested in people. Orbs (of light) were following investigators, and
there was one huge orb that kept following people. They like company and
people coming out there. They seemed very peaceful, and (the sense)
wasn't negative at all. It was welcoming," Kaczynski said.
Seaport Association President Thomas Kies, who with some other board
members chaperoned the group to the island, said the night was perfect
for ghost hunting.
"It was an interesting evening, because it was a full moon between
wispy, gauzy clouds and there was no wind. It was dead silent," Kies
Kies said he allowed the researchers to go about their business. He said
he and the other board members huddled around a picnic table next to the
lighthouse keeper's cottage that night.
Away from the action, Kies said he did not see any ghosts or paranormal
James Randi, a professional magician and supernatural skeptic, said he
wasn't the least bit impressed with a statement sent to him about
Kaczynski's visit to Sheffield Island. For years Randi has offered $1
million to anyone who could demonstrate any paranormal, supernatural or
occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties.
"I get 10 or 11 of these things every day," said Randi, also known as
the Amazing Randi, by telephone from his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office
"There is no sort of control on these sort of things. These people are
over-instrumented and have no skill handling the instruments," he said.
When asked whether he believed in ghosts, Randi said he didn't know.
"Not having ever seen one, it makes me doubt it," he said.
Randi said that the researchers turn up their instruments so high that
anything, a cell phone, door bell or any electrical device can create
interference, which is then explained as a paranormal event.
"You can take one of these instruments anywhere you want, Central Park
or a so-called haunted house and if it is tuned up high enough it could
react to almost anything," Randi said, explaining that electrical
devices are always picking up interference.
"When your cell phone gets static or you hear a funny noise, you don't
throw it down and say, 'It's haunted,' " Randi said.
Randi also questioned how the girl's name appeared to the Sheffield
"Where did they get that information? Did Abby come around and talk to
them? Did the name appear written on a window? Was there a recording
made?" Randi asked.
When asked, Kaczynski said the name Abby came to her "on an intuitive