Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ethereal Company in Portland

Back in January, we posted about Josh Fisher's search for a spirit's history here in Portland's Evergreen Cemetery. We are pleased to note that the article led to an interview with the Portland Phoenix, which brought Josh right into their print issue with his story. Hooray!
Finding company in Evergreen Cemetery: Ghost buster
January 23, 2008 3:01:12 PM

In October 2007, Portlander Joshua Fisher, 33, was walking through Evergreen Cemetery when he felt a “swirling energy sensation, like a bird flapping around my head.” Most of us would dismiss it as a weird hangover, or some otherwise-explained dizzy spell. But not Josh Fisher.

The following day, the amateur ghost-hunter — he’d been involved in paranormal investigations in his previous hometown of Philadelphia — went back to the cemetery to try to identify the source of the strange feeling. “I ended up at this one stone,” he recalls, “and I can’t explain why.”

That headstone marked the grave of Sarah Haskell, who was born in New Gloucester in 1822, and died in 1848 at the young age of 26.
And so began Fisher’s relationship with this spirit. He’s discovered a lot about her past through municipal records, old newspaper articles, and communication with Haskell’s distant relatives (her husband’s name was Alfred Woodard, and her descendents looked like regular 19th-century stiffs), but one fact remains elusive: how Haskell died. It could have been during childbirth, but there’s no mention of a baby. It could have been the result of one of the many diseases of the day, but that’s not noted either. Or it could be something juicier — “we may never know,” Fisher admits.

He employs several tools and techniques to help solve the mystery, including digital voice recordings that can capture faint, unidentifiable voices, and an infrared camera. (The best of these are posted on Fisher’s blog.) The untrained ear or eye may remain skeptical, but these electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) and images are just what trained ghost-hunters hope for when they start an investigation.

Fisher — a married graphic designer who otherwise comes off as totally ordinary — has been into the paranormal for years.

... “It’s the kind of thing I always thought I’d be scared of — but the fascination kind of overrides the fear.”
The Sarah Haskell case is Fisher’s first since moving back to Maine about a year ago; he hopes to continue his paranormal research in the Old Port, and wants to eventually launch a ghost-hunting team of his own. One of the most intriguing potential investigation sites? Bull Feeney’s. We knew there was something eerie about that place.
Read full article here: [Source]

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