Real-life ghost hunters talk in Auburn

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AUBURN — Something strange in your neighborhood, attic or basement?

Who you gonna call?

The Maine chapter of the River Cities Paranormal Society, of course.

The name doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as its fictional counterpart, but this small group of southern-Maine-based ghost seekers is serious about what it does. On Tuesday evening, they took a break from snooping around haunted houses to speak to the public about their work at the Woman’s Literary Union of Androscoggin County.

The drawing room of the Horatio and Ella Foss Historical House — which is old enough to host a ghost or two itself — was full of interested listeners of the talk given by Paranormal Society founders Scott and Aaron Goguen and fellow investigator Mark Hussey.

Most in the audience had little experience with the supernatural beyond the television program “Ghost Hunters,” but a few admitted to experiences they could not easily explain.

“I have a lot of paranormal activity,” one woman said.

“I saw an orb (a self-producing ball of energy) outside a cemetery in Salem, Mass.,” said another woman. “You can believe I got myself away from there fast.”

Carol Bourgoin of Durham said she is clairvoyant and can see and feel energy fields.

Scott Goguen explained that much of their work as paranormal investigators is disproving people’s perceptions of supernatural activity.

“There could be a perfectly logical explanation for it, just nobody’s figured it out yet,” he said.

“We try to debunk everything, because what you can’t explain, that’s what’s interesting,” Hussey said.

The group said it follows the scientific method to try to separate the explainable from the supernatural. The members rely on a small arsenal of photo and video cameras, audio recorders and other devices that measure electromagnetic readings and temperatures to document the evidence they find.

The most common proof they get of paranormal activity is what they call “Electronic Voice Phenomenon:” voices they can’t hear but which gets picked up on their recording equipment.

They have yet to see an actual ghost.

They’ve done about 60 investigations in homes, restaurants, theaters and even lighthouses since they started three years ago.

Much of the time, they find nothing, Aaron Goguen said. “But you get to check out some really cool places,” he said.

Another big part of their work — which they always do free of charge — is listening to people. At any investigation scene, the first thing they do is “hear stories,” Hussey said. “We sit around the table and listen to ghost stories. People want to know they’re not crazy,” he said.

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