TOPSHAM — Money left scattered on the ground after Charlene Roberts had already picked up — always quarters and dimes — didn't bother her so much. She almost got used to the banging in the ceiling above her office. Less so with the sounds of car doors closing in the empty parking lot.
In September, Roberts decided she wanted the RollerWorld ghosts gone.
"I've never felt (scared) here," said Roberts, who's owned the 30-year-old roller rink since June. "But I've never felt alone here, either."
And maybe she wasn't.
In sweeps of the enormous building off Route 201, paranormal investigators told Roberts they found two boys, a former supervisor and two former employees still hanging around, and, in one corner of the roller rink, negative energy built up from years of spills so bad that it was now making people fall.
"Children who become ghosts, when it happens, they get drawn to a place with a lot of kid activity," said Eddita Felt, a Lisbon psychic medium and head of Frontiers of the Mind, as she led a rink walk-through last week.
Roberts, 39, from Bowdoin, met Felt 10 years ago when she cleared a haunted Portland office where Roberts worked. RollerWorld has had several owners, she said, and there are rumors about the building but she's tried to ignore them.
Felt's team picked up that the kids, a teen and a boy of about 10, died in a car accident. Their parents were still alive. Both had played hockey and liked to move things in the equipment room. The former female supervisor paced a lot and left behind the scent of Juicy Fruit. One former employee chomped a cigar and hung out behind the skate rental counter. Another had an air of depression, she said. He'd committed suicide, but not in the building.
The team's goal: Move them on out. In an earlier visit, they had redirected the negative, fall-prone energy in the rink's turn number two.
Felt, Roberts, Marie Tucker of Topsham and Michelle Berube of Auburn pulled up four red chairs in the middle of a dim, cavernous former arcade for what Felt called a redirection circle to "help those that are lost get to the other side." The four stretched arms and legs, got comfortable, closed their eyes. Felt sang.
Within 15 minutes, Tucker said the boys were close, curious and at least one was ready to go. Felt said she could see them being greeted at an open door by grandparents, an aunt and a spotted dog. The Juicy Fruit supervisor was quickly on their heels.
When the team decided the other two ghosts were no-shows, the circle moved to the darkened skate rental counter.
The depressed young man was reluctant, Felt said. "He thinks he's going to be in trouble, he's worried about where he's going to go. We should remind him purgatory is no longer in existence."
A little more encouragement and the team agreed, he was off. The late cigar-chomping employee wouldn't budge.
"He wants to be called the guitar man," Felt said. "He thinks he can help you by staying here."
She encouraged Roberts to ask him to go.
"The words aren't coming out and I'm not sure why," Roberts said. She hesitated. "I feel like I'm asking him to stay now."
She couldn't account for the change of heart, or the tears afterward.
A week later, back at RollerWorld after allowing herself a short vacation, Roberts said the atmosphere in the building felt lighter, cheerful. Employees reported only that a soda machine had reset itself with new prices, at random.
Hundreds of kids skate at the rink each week and winter is busy season. She'll be watching that one corner with interest.
Roberts had made clear to Felt that she was glad to let any positive entities stay. She and the medium plan two ghost tours at the rink next week to talk about what they've found and experienced.
"I'm walking right now and there's a quarter right here, on the floor," Roberts said. "I'm picking it up right now as we speak."
Weird, Wick Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, intriguing and unexplained in Maine. Send ideas, photos and questionable quarters to email@example.com