With the right amount of deterioration, spooky lighting and imagination, any old building can look and feel spooky. But is there really anything going on?
I started working at the Southampton History Museum as an intern in May of 2015 and was hired as a staff member in January 2016 and have been here ever since. I've always been a fan of anything paranormal and would joke how helpful it would be to any historical research to one day find a nice ghost who could easily answer any question I asked. So when this new job required me to sometimes stay at the Rogers Mansion (built c. 1843) or the Halsey House (built c. 1683) late into the night it was always in the back of my head that maybe something spooky would happen.
Soon into this job I was told by some coworkers about the various mysterious incidents that had occurred over the years. Mostly how on occasion, some would hear footsteps in the building when no one else was there. Something I quickly dismissed as probably just the building making noises from being old. But as time as gone on, I have gotten used to the noises of the structure, and have sometimes heard these odd footsteps when I was alone.
In August of 2018 our plans for the month of October fell through and we didn't have that much time to plan something new and I was asked to think of something for us to do as a bit of an attraction for Halloween. Since I was watching a lot of Ghost Adventures at the time and had already planned a trip to Las Vegas with a friend for that October with a visit to Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum on my itinerary, I googled "ghost hunters long island" to see what would come up.
I stumbled onto the website of the Long Island Paranormal Investigators and sent them an email to see if we could set up some kind of paranormal investigation that we could sell tickets to as a fun way to get a new audience into the museum to learn about some history and to create a small fundraiser for the museum. Thankfully the LIPI crew were quick to reply and were all for figuring out the best way to make this happen.
We quickly set the date of October 18, 2018 and tickets sold out much faster than anticipated. The night was filled with great spooky stories from the crew of LIPI and the guests alike. While nothing too crazy happened while the guests were there. Something extremely peculiar did happen later that night.
After the guests left for the night, the LIPI crew asked if they could investigate a bit longer and since this was my first chance to be a part of a real paranormal investigation I said yes without hesitation. I went to my office to track the attendance for the night and do some paperwork while the LIPI crew split up and scattered around the Rogers Mansion. Within about 15 minutes I had one of the investigators, Tom, knocking on my office door nervously telling me to come downstairs as something had happened. As we walked to the basement I began to nervously sweat, not for the fear of anything paranormal, but for the fear that I just left a bunch of people along in the museum after hours and they broke something and now I am going to be fired. Thankfully/unthankfully what I was brought to see was not a broken or damaged collection object, but a light bulb mysteriously smashed on the floor.
The LIPI members who were in the basement investigating were Tom and Will who were spread out on opposite corners of the basement asking various questions. Tom had said "if you want us to leave, make a loud noise and we will leave" and then after a few beats, you hear a light bulb forcefully smash on the floor. See the recording below, warning for the use of some colorful language one would expect when a light bulb is smashed in the dark by a ghost.
When I got to the basement they began to question me if I stored light bulbs on any of the shelves near by, what type of light bulbs we use in the basement light fixtures, if we have had light bulbs explode while plugged in before. Really everything and anything you could picture to ask in order to figure out why what happened, happened. Unfortunately I had no good answer for them. In fact earlier that day myself and a person who was completing some community service hours spent the day cleaning the basement since I knew we would be down there later that night. There were some stray light bulbs and other things laying around that I picked up and put away. There were also no missing light bulbs from any fixtures in the basement, so not only am I not sure how the light bulb fell/was thrown, I don't even know where it came from. Also right after the smash, Will who was the one the bulb was thrown at, quickly took two pictures in front of him with one showing an odd shadow.
Images of potential Shadow Figure moments after light bulb smashes on the ground
Soon after this we made plans for LIPI to come back in January to check out the Halsey House. While we didn't have guests at this one, the LIPI crew was really excited to get in there and see what they could find. We had also decided to set up monthly ghost hunting programs at the museum because the October event had gone so well. This was a chance to bring in a bit more money for the museum every month to help fund all of our education programs.
This was also the time when I officially joined LIPI. I did this for two reasons. Firstly, why not? Secondly, if we were going to sell tickets and do this as a regular program at the museum I wanted to make sure as best as I could that there was no funny business going on. I have heard of too many stories where someone set up fake paranormal events as a quick cash grab and given that my main job at the Southampton History Museum is to teach and to present the public with proven facts, I did not want to be a part of something based on a lie. So I joined LIPI in part to make sure they wouldn't be the type of people to lie about something like this. I quickly found out the the crew of LIPI are for the most part, skeptics. I just assumed they would all be so quick to believe a ghost story and any weird piece of evidence shown to them, but they approach everything with the keenest level of scrutiny I have ever seen which made me feel confident to continue with these programs.
Unfortunately due to COVID, 2020 ended up being a lot less exciting of a year ghost-wise for the Southampton History Museum as we only were able to do events in January and February. But we are now back and ready to start again this October with ghost hunting programs the first four Saturdays of the month. (click here to get your tickets today!)
Click here to check out all the evidence I have been sent thus far from LIPI from our ghost hunting programs in 2018 and 2019. I will hopefully be able to post more when new evidence comes to light, but for now, enjoy!