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Haunted hall?

  • Is that a ghost captured sitting in the Orange Town Hall auditorium? Not this time. In this case, the photographer has captured a spectral image of himself with a trick of the trade.  <br/>Recorder photo illustration/Paul Franz

    Is that a ghost captured sitting in the Orange Town Hall auditorium? Not this time. In this case, the photographer has captured a spectral image of himself with a trick of the trade.
    Recorder photo illustration/Paul Franz

  • OrangeTown Hall Auditorium.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    OrangeTown Hall Auditorium. Recorder/Paul Franz

  • Orange Town Hall Auditorium balcony, with a ghostly image of the photographer. Ghost hunters will be investigating the Orange Town Hall for hauntings later this spring. <br/>Recorder photo illustration/Paul Franz

    Orange Town Hall Auditorium balcony, with a ghostly image of the photographer. Ghost hunters will be investigating the Orange Town Hall for hauntings later this spring.
    Recorder photo illustration/Paul Franz

  • Orange Town Hall  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Orange Town Hall Recorder/Paul Franz

  • Is that a ghost captured sitting in the Orange Town Hall auditorium? Not this time. In this case, the photographer has captured a spectral image of himself with a trick of the trade.  <br/>Recorder photo illustration/Paul Franz
  • OrangeTown Hall Auditorium.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Orange Town Hall Auditorium balcony, with a ghostly image of the photographer. Ghost hunters will be investigating the Orange Town Hall for hauntings later this spring. <br/>Recorder photo illustration/Paul Franz
  • Orange Town Hall  Recorder/Paul Franz

ORANGE — For years the stories have circulated around town: residents attending town meetings and other events in the balcony and stage area of the Town Hall auditorium feel that someone was watching them when they were seemingly alone.

Now that selectmen have allowed a ghost-hunting group to investigate the building, board members may just learn whether the building is truly haunted, or not.

In March, the selectmen unanimously approved the Quabbin Valley Paranormal Society conduct an investigation of Town Hall auditorium, stage, balcony and front foyer. The investigation is scheduled for mid-May.

Ingrid Pollard, the group’s public relations director, told selectmen “We will come in and debunk” the ghost stories if there is no substance to them.

“I’m very excited about the investigation,” Pollard said in an interview after the meeting. “We have been hearing these stories for years and years and years and years.”

She said the group has also investigated the Orange Historical Society at 41 North Main St. on several occasions, and has determined there are spirits there. “They get a lot of donated items, so the spirits come in on those ... every time we go in there, we get something different,” Pollard said.

During an investigation, she explained, QVPS members come into the building and set up video, audio and electromagnetic recording equipment.

They also walk around, discuss the stories and ask questions, observing whether there are any sounds or other response to those questions. Group members will ask the spirits to knock a certain number of times as a response to a particular question. “We’ll ask them to knock twice if the answer is ‘yes,’ and sometimes we’ll hear them knock twice.”

Sometimes, she said, the spirits answer the questions in a voice loud enough to be heard. More often, she said, the group’s audio recorders pick up verbal responses to the questions that the group members do not hear when they are physically in the room.

The investigations typically start sometime in the evening and continues overnight.

“We’ll probably be done around 3 or 4,” she said.

Selectmen’s Chairman George Willard told Pollard he would set his alarm so he could wake up and lock up the building when QVPS members concluded their investigation.

After the audio, video and other records have been reviewed and the case has been thoroughly discussed by group members, QVPS will send a report of what it has found to selectmen.

While Pollard said the report is completely confidential, board members made it clear that anything they receive will be public information and will be shared at their meeting.

Pollard said that QVPS is part of a national organization that is featured on the Ghost Hunters reality television show on Syfy network.

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