By Sue Ellen Woodcock
It started as a request for some advice. A Winthrop woman on Bartlett Street had seen an apparition of a Native American man in her house and it was the 21st century.
Given the history of Winthrop this was not unbelievable. It’s also how S.P.I.R.I.T.S. (Supernatural-Paranormal-Investigations-Research-Intuitive-Truth-Society) got its start.
“We found out (from historian Dave Hubbard) there used to be Native Americans during in French Square and troops used to parade the Native Americans up and down Barlett Street,” MacNeil said. “She was in tears.”
Since then the team of Ellen MacNeil, Beckett Gann, Sarah Campbell, Jack Kenna and Sharon Koogler, have been investigation in New York state, Virginia and around New England. One investigation that lasted two days was aboard the USS Constitution berthed in Charlestown.
Using their own cameras, detector equipment, and sound equipment the team sets up at its location and captures images and noises not from any entity living in this world. On the Constitution it was a little boy discovered and confirmed by some of the crew.
“The best piece of equipment is yourself,” MacNeil said. “We’re not physic but we’re sensitive.”
Each team member has had their own experiences which made them question what is out there.
“The captain asked the color of the boy’s hair and when I said blonde the blood drained out of him,” Gann said. “I’m th most skeptical person you’ll meet.”
“A lot of things happened to us to make us curious,” said Gann of when S.P.I.R.I.T.S. began in 2009. “It has tested my religious beliefs. Being Southern Baptist we were taught about demons. There are a lot of things that can’t be explained.
“It makes us very open minded skeptics looking for the truth,” MacNeil said.
S.P.I.R.I.T.S. has been featured on the Destination America channel’s “Paranormal Survivor”, “Haunted Case Files” and “Paranormal Survivor.”
Investigations have yielded disembodied voices that speak over the, shadow figures in a home and more. At an investigation in the Deane Winthrop House a sound was tagged which said “Hello Jack” with a British accent. One of the teams favorite recordings came from a house in North Easton owned by a nurse. The voice recording there said in a female voice, “dead in the swamp”.
MacNeil said there was a cluster of activity and a history of Native American activity. The team brought in a physic who determined a number of portals in the house. The nurse, who was trying to sell the house actually talked to an apparition of a Native American woman. When MacNeil entered the room she felt a cupped hand on her shoulder. The team tried to debunk the incident but determined no one else was there.
“It’s considered a compliment to get touched,” MacNeil said.
It was later determined that a Native American woman had been murdered in the swamp.
S.P.I.R.I.T.S. will be giving a presentation at the Deane Winthrop House, built in 1637, on Friday, Oct. 21 from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling MacNeil at (617) 846-0282. S.P.I.R.I.T.S. never charges its clients no matter the outcome of an investigation.
“We love to help a client to see if the activity they are experiencing is normal or paranormal,” Gann said.
“We’re real people doing real investigations,” MacNeil said. “Whether you believe in the paranormal or you’re a skeptic you will enjoy this spirited evening.”
Visit the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. website at [email protected]