SOUTHINGTON — A New England based paranormal activity society investigated the Barnes Museum last week and presented their findings to the public.
The Eastern Connecticut Paranormal Society was founded in 2016 by psychic medium Chris O’Connor and David Bray, lead investigator. The group gives presentations all over New England.
The society contacted the Barnes Museum, which was built in 1836 and was home to the Bradley/Barnes family for 137 years until Bradley Barnes died in 1973. Upon his death, Barnes donated his entire fortune to friends, employees, schools and hospitals in the area, as well as his North Main Street home to the town of Southington as a museum.
Last week’s investigation reported that Bradley Barnes still has a presence in the “spirited” home.
“We believe that there’s a ton of residual energies,” Bray said during the Wednesday night event at the public library. “But Bradley (Barnes) is definitely an intelligent spirit interacting with the staff and any guests.”
Museum curator Marie Secondo said she, along with other staff members and visitors, have felt a presence.
“It’s sort of a good feeling to be able to verify what my caretaker and I experienced while we’re here. Just feelings and senses,” Secondo said. “It was sort of like ‘oh okay, that’s why this is happening.’”
Because Barnes wanted the home to become a museum, she believes he is happy to see visitors coming through.
Secondo and the museum’s caretaker Bonnie Plourde were with the investigators when they set up around 6 p.m. on April 12 to when they left close to 1 a.m. the next morning.
The society uses a “lights out” strategy – only investigating at night with all lights off. They set up cameras, video cameras, electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recorders and other equipment.
“I don’t think I’ve been here with the whole house dark,” Secondo said. “It was a very peculiar feeling to be here like that.”
The society graded the museum a two out of five on their customized scale, meaning “objective findings include evidence of an EVP in direct relationship with photo or video” as well as other recordings with unexplained responses that were relevant to questions and the history of the home.
Among the evidence collected was video of an orb passing across a video screen and an EVP recording of a response of “I’m Bradley” when one of the team members asked if Bradley (Barnes) was there in the room.
Bray described their investigation process as scientific and professional. He said they make an effort to try to debunk every piece of evidence by recreating the image or video or determining other possible causes.
“Our goal is to find the truth and validate for our clients,” Bray said. “We try to get away from dramatization, sensationalization and fictionalization.”