The South Glens Falls Paranormal Society took over Whitehall’s Skene Manor on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 6 to 10 p.m. for its annual paranormal investigation. Although they refer to the trip as annual, this was the society’s first time back to the manor in two years.
“Last year really put a crimp in investigating obviously because of the pandemic, but we were pretty active up until the pandemic hit last year,” investigator Lisa Brodt said.
Seventeen people were divided into two groups for the evening to investigate the manor. After an hour-long session that covered the history of Skene Manor and the equipment the society brought to conduct its investigation, the investigations began on the second and third floors.
Some equipment used by the group includes flashlights, voice recorders and even an electrician’s K2 meter, also known as an EMF reader. The EMF reader is able to sense energy as well as when it spikes. When brought into the sitting room of the second floor, there was a lot of activity.
“Is this William?” Brodt asked in the sitting room.
The meter spiked.
The session continued on in the room, and it turned into somewhat of a Q and A for the spirit. By making the EMF reader spike, the answer would be yes; if the EMF reader did not spike the answer was assumed to be no. When asked if the ghost was sitting in a chair right next to the EMF reader, the spirit that was presumed to be William Potter answered yes.
“Overall, I just had a great time, and it was really cool to hang out with ghost hunters,” participant Micah Cahn said.
Another activity that took place during the evening was the use of the team’s spirit box. The spirit box is able to filter through the static of radio channels being dialed through quickly and gives spirits an opportunity to speak through the box and have it amplified back to listeners. The box picked up many different voices over the course of the night, with some men and women heard.
“It sounds like there’s a woman or a child trying to speak,” investigator Mark Pronto said while investigators were in the map room.
Needless to say, the map room was one of the most active rooms during the evening. The room that is wallpapered with maps is where New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph Potter mapped his son William’s travels throughout his time with the Navy. All agreed that there is a heavy feeling in the room.
“(You can use) emotional energy . . . to your advantage. When we were at the (Washington County) jail, we were up at the women’s quarters, and it was around Christmas, and we were just doing a question-and-answer session, and I said, ‘You know, as a mom it’s got to be horrible to be in here and in jail away from your kids,’ and the K2 lit up immediately,” Brodt said.
The last half hour of the evening was spent investigating different spots chosen by investigators, giving participants some time to communicate themselves.
“It was a good adrenaline rush and was fun, but I was kind of low-key scared a couple times,” participant Victoria Diane said.
The South Glens Falls Paranormal Society has traveled to different areas throughout the United States. Some of its favorite places to investigate include Skene Manor, the Washington County Jail and the Parks-Bentley Place in South Glens Falls, all close to home.
“My dad started telling my son and me about the show ‘Ghost Hunters’ back when Steven was a freshman in high school. He’s 28 years old now. So, we used to watch it every Wednesday night. That was our time.” Brodt said.
In 2016, the Brodts formed the official not-for-profit South Glens Falls Paranormal Society and have continued their journey as a paranormal society in upstate New York as well as in other places in the United States. Their equipment began with just a couple of flashlights and has now blossomed into more technical equipment to catch the voices of spirits through presents gifted by Brodt’s father.
“For birthdays and graduations and stuff he would get more equipment, and we eventually in 2016 formed the not-for-profit,” she said.
With some travel in the United States, the society has been able to go to a landmark paranormal destination that is known as one of if not the most haunted locations in the nation, Waverly Hills.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and has a heavy past that has led to the ultimate haunting. The original building opened in July 1910 and grew from housing 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients to 400 or more. Many lives were lost at the facility, which investigators say has left heavy energy at the facility.
“We’ve been there six times, and there was one time I was there in the foyer and I got physically sick. I didn’t throw up but I got such a huge headache and an upset stomach and I had to leave. We were talking to the owner later that night and she mentioned a male entity in there that really doesn’t like women, especially nurses, and I was a nurse and we didn’t know that prior,” Brodt said.
She continued, “I went back in later and I was fine. You just don’t know.”
October is a busy month for the group. The society will be going to a couple different locations throughout the month, including Wilson Castle in Proctor, Vermont, and the Washington County Jail in Salem.
“One of our investigators (Mark Pronto) says it’s like fishing. You never know, you can sit there for hours and nothing can happen, but once something does happen it’s like you caught the big one and you want to do it again,” she said.