This Central Maine Paranormal investigations interview focuses on the Maine based team of researchers that make up the Maine branch of the national TAPS family.
About Central Maine Paranormal Investigations
Formerly known as the Central Maine Paranormal Society, this recently reorganized group is now known as the Maine Paranormal Society. James Blanche, the tech manager and lead investigator for the group, sat down with LovetoKnow Paranormal for a fascinating, exclusive interview.
The History of Central Maine Paranormal Society
LTK: How did Central Maine Paranormal Society start?
JB: We're actually in the process of reorganizing right now. The original founder was Jason Porter. He got another job and moved down to North Carolina, so the group kind of got left to me and Adam [Wright]. So we've been trying to get things rolling again and make sure our investigations continue.
LTK: How did you personally become involved?
JB: It was about two years ago. I actually signed up through TAPS. I saw their website and thought it was a great group, so I applied and sort of worked my way up.
LTK: What's the most recent case you worked on?
JB: The last case was in Biddeford. We had an investigation along with the Lewiston Sun Journal. They followed along with us and put an article out in the paper.
LTK: What was that case about?
JB: A young woman had a two-year-old son who was seeing an apparition in the closet. The family also experienced burning sensations on their legs, and a dripping sensation coming from the ceiling. So, we obviously try to go in and debunk things. But, we had a hard time debunking the burning and dripping because there was nothing there that would obviously create that. It was a clean ceiling, and there was nothing hanging down.
LTK: Did other people experience the dripping sensation from the ceiling?
JB: Yes, the mother does, as do other friends that come over. They'll feel the burning and the dripping as well. And the reporter that came with us actually felt like there was a dripping while we were there. One of my investigators also had a personal experience outside of the investigation when she got home. She woke up in the middle of the night and smelled smoke, and could hear water being sprayed on the side of the building. It actually woke her out of her sleep and she thought the building was on fire.
LTK: Were you able to collect any evidence?
JB: The place used to be an old mill building from what I understand, and it burned around the turn of the century. We had very high EMF readings in the closet where the boy was seeing an apparition. So, we're not quite sure if it was regular EMF or not. It fluctuated. During one hour it would go down to 0.3, and the next hour it would go up to 30 or 40. It may be the furnace, we're not quite sure. We tried turning the heat up and the furnace turned on, but the EMF reading didn't go up, so that's probably going to require a bit more investigation. Actually, that was probably one of our best investigations. We did get three EVPs out of that one in the same area of the closet where the boy saw that apparition.
Ghost Hunting Procedures and Equipment
LTK: What's your procedure when you go into a home like that?
JB: Well, we only have four DVR cameras, so it's kind of hard to cover the whole house. We try to find the area with the least amount of activity and set up a base camp, and then set up the cameras right on these hot spots.
LTK: It must take a long time to go through the tapes?
JB: Every hour you record you've got to sit down and go through. That's definitely the hard part. We try to share the work load and have everybody review it because people could miss things. I usually watch DVD, Jen will watch the mini DV camera, and other people will review the audio. We try to break it up because trying to do it by yourself, it's definitely a lot of work. That's why we try to limit ourselves to one case a month, because it can take two or three weeks after the investigation to go through it.
LTK: Do team members ever get scared?
JB: You're supposed to have someone with you at all times, mostly for safety. When you're alone in the dark you're going to get freaked out. That's natural, but if you experience something as well, having someone there gives you some credibility.
LTK: When you go into a home or building, do you turn off the lights like they do on TV?
JB: Yes, exactly. The theory out there is that the spirit doesn't require as much energy to manifest itself in the dark , so you have a greater chance of seeing it. We have flashlights, and the mini DV camera is set up so you can see in the dark.
LTK: So what equipment do you use?
JB: Four DVR cameras, a mini DV camera, obviously the EMF meter, ambient air thermometer, and we have three K2 meters which are special EMF meters that have light displays. K2 meters can supposedly be used to communicate with twice for yes and once for no. We haven't had it respond yet. It's gone off a couple of times, but we were able to debunk that to cell phones because if you don't turn your cell phone off it'll catch the signal.
EVPs as Evidence
LTK: With EVPs it must be hard because you don't know exactly what's affecting them?JB: It's tough. I mean, we've done a lot of apartment buildings too, so you've got a lot of cross contamination from other apartments that you can easily pick up on a voice recorder. You can pretty much hear people across the street; I mean these things are sensitive. That's really a tough spot, you've got to be very careful what you call an EVP.
LTK: Have you guys been able to capture EVPs yet?
JB: For the most part, just this latest one in Biddeford where it could go either way. It's hard to say if it's really an EVP or not, so we don't really call it evidence. We've had some before. We had a couple EVPs back when Jason was with us, but in the last couple of years we've really had no evidence. You can have voices from across the hall caught on recorders. There are some theories that radio waves can even get picked up on things like baby monitors. We had a case where a client experienced stuff going on with a baby monitor, and we were able to debunk that because you can make it pick up stuff on radio frequencies like other hand held CB radios.
Helping the Public Through Debunking
LTK: So if you've been in so many houses and you've been able to debunk just about everything, what drives you to keep going on?JB: I want to know the answer, I want to have a personal experience. I mean, the paranormal has always fascinated me. I'm more into ghosts than I am UFO's and all that, but the paranormal really fascinates me. I just want to see it. And it's great to help people. I mean, you go in there and we're not only trying to capture the paranormal, we're trying to help people. We've been able to help put a lot of families at ease because we've been able to give them an explanation and help them realize that their house isn't haunted. I'd love to see something paranormal, but even that alone gives you a lot of satisfaction.
LTK: That's great, just by debunking you're really able to help families?
JB: I mean, there's a lot we haven't been able to debunk, but a lot of times nothing happens on cue. Sometimes you have to go back a couple of times to get something. One house we went back to a couple times and still didn't get anything. If we go into a place and can't prove it either way, we can't really say the place is haunted or not, but we may get activity with an EVP. So, we can say there's paranormal activity, but I haven't really been able to call any place haunted yet.
Jim and the other members of the Maine Paranormal Society continue exploring haunted locations throughout Maine. Do you know of any interesting haunted locations in Maine? Share your experiences in the comments section below.