Friday, October 14, 2005

Fort Knox, Maine

An article about the Psychic Fair recently held on the reputedly haunted site of Maine's Fort Knox, including accounts from the Maine Paranormal Research Association about research done on site.

From the Lisbon News, October 14, 2005

Crossing over at Fort Knox


PROSPECT - Friends of Fort Knox Director Leon Seymour isn't entirely sure if there are spirits haunting the historic war base, but he and his organization offered people the chance to find out for themselves July 2 and 3 when they hosted the First Paranormal/Psychic Fair.Seymour said the festivities were much like that of the wildly popular "Fright at the Fort," which the Friends host in October. This fair's attractions included a Tunnel of Terror, which weaves through the Fort, providing visitors with a scare or two from several spooky volunteers.

Visitors could also get Tarot Card Readings, psychic readings and sit in on ghost hunting lectures as part of the festivities. Seymour stressed that the fair was "for entertainment purposes only" but his disclaimer may not have been heard by many in attendance."There has to be something to it," said a woman from Lisbon as she waited for a reading. "There is just no way they could know that much about me without even knowing who I was."

Seymour said that the two-day fair, which he expected to draw somewhere around 3,000 visitors, was a great way to attract guests who wouldn't normally visit the Fort.Earthly guests, that is."There seemed to be a tremendous amount of interest in the paranormal and in psychics in the general community," said Seymour. "It provides us with a chance to attract another segment of the general population."

Like Fright at the Fort, the paranormal fair was inspired by some strange happenings in various sections of the Officer's quarters. Seymour explained that a former Park Ranger once claimed to have seen a man dressed in a "Civil War era-type uniform." After first dismissing the vision as just a local re-enactor, the man said that when he was shown a picture of the former caretaker, Sgt. Leopold Heygi, the resemblance was undeniable.

That account was also brought up by Sky Taylor of the I-95 radio station, who along with several others, once tried to stay overnight and document any eerie findings."I could tell that we weren't wanted," said Taylor, who said she and others felt the sergeant's presence."He is still the caretaker," said Taylor, also noting some bizarre electrical malfunctions that occurred with cameras and thermometers.But Fort Knox certainly isn't the only Maine site said to be occupied by spirits.

Roxane Fryover, of Auburn, who works with the Maine Paranormal Research Association, was on hand at the fair and explained that Maine is "the perfect site for hauntings" because as she explains, spiritual energy is derived from the natural environment, such as trees, water, rocks, etc.

Fryover was one of several representatives from the association, founded in 1998 out of Lewiston. She explained that the group primarily conducts investigations into alleged hauntings."After the psychics do their readings we conduct interviews, and use temperature readings, night vision cameras and electromagnetic field readings," said Fryover. "Then we decide whether it is truly paranormal or man-made and the results are not always conclusive."

Fryover said that over the years the group has encountered everything from simple hauntings to demonic activity."We have heard EVP, electronic voice phenomenon," said Fryover. "Other instances - we have had a poltergeist who was knocking holes in the wall and we determined that that energy was coming from a young child."

She said that in rare circumstances, demons are detected, but when this happens different specialists are called in."We don't cleanse houses," said Fryover. "We don't tell them to move on, we identify them and sometimes they can communicate with our psychics. Sometimes they don't know they are dead. Sometimes when they find out they are dead they move on."

The group is still trying to develop new tools to identify these spirits, but even with all the technology used to track them, they still will not be able to figure why things like this happen."There's tons of theories out there," said Fryover. "We believe that people can come back and visit. Another reason why it happens is because of a sudden death or traumatic death. It happened so quickly, they don't know they are dead, so they just go on."

Bill Washle, the organization's founding member, spoke to a group of listeners at a ghost-hunting lecture on Saturday and told perhaps the most frightening story he had ever encountered in his investigations. A woman in Western Maine had called him, with fear in her voice, saying she heard footsteps walking across her living room floor.

Washle and his team of investigators arrived at her home and began to conduct their research. They took temperature readings, recorded for EVP and brought in psychics to help explain the mystery. After awhile, it became strikingly clear what was causing these creepy sounds."It turned out to be the oil tank," said Washle.

Mike Brown can be reached by e-mail:, or by telephone: 338-3333. n


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