FARMINGTON — As Bettylou Macie and her husband drove through Farmington a few months ago, she sensed “other people and how they died,” she said.

She was picking up their energy — a lot of it — so she told her husband to hurry up, drive fast and get past the Fairview and Riverside cemeteries on Route 2. The sprawling cemeteries are across the road from each other.

Macie, a member of Central Maine Paranormal Investigators, wanted the group to do an investigation. They were interested, but not moving on it, so she took it upon herself to call Town Manager Richard Davis and schedule a paranormal investigation of the cemeteries for Aug. 22.

She said she was not sure who or where in the cemetery they are buried, but she sensed a person who died from drowning, another who had a brain tumor, one with muscular dystrophy and a person who was burned very badly.

One that really stuck out was the sense of someone who was murdered there.

It was during her second call to Davis that he mentioned a murder took place in the cemetery.

“I was so shocked I couldn’t speak,” Macie said.

Although Macie lives in Livermore Falls, she said she rarely comes to Farmington and she didn’t know about any town history, or any murder in either cemetery.

The way an investigation works is that another member of the group researches the cemetery but doesn’t divulge what they learn. Then, when Macie and other psychics in the group pick up on something, it validates the information, she said.

An investigation involves taking recorders and cameras, including an infrared camera, into the cemetery, said Stacie Farrington, Paranormal Investigators’ group director from Lewiston. Sounds not heard at the time — electric voice phenomena — are sometimes heard when played back, she said. Cameras record paranormal energy with some looking like orbs or light rods and sometimes a full or even partial body apparition. The mediums also often communicate and ask questions of the ghosts, and sometimes receive answers.

“Not every cemetery is haunted,” Farrington said. “If a ghost is hanging around, there has to be a reason. Usually, it’s unfinished business that keeps them from crossing over.”

Sometimes, in dramatic deaths, the ghost doesn’t understand its death; sometimes loved ones keep them from crossing, she said.

The group formed in 2006 after Farrington and another member attended a ghost hunting class held by Lewiston Adult Education. Farrington wanted to continue paranormal research and formed the group.

The 11 members perform investigations of cemeteries and houses and hold full-moon cemetery tours for those interested in the paranormal. More information is available on their Web site,

As for Macie, she denied her psychic sense for most of her life, casting it off as coincidence, she said. She has two siblings who are also psychic; she joined the group after her brother became a member. The group has helped her tune into her senses and develop it, although other family members are skeptical, she said.

Macie says she not only feels the presence of the deceased, but sometimes her spirit-guide gives her their names or she hears their voices. They sometimes ask her to pass on a message to loved ones.

“They can give me a headache … they just keep repeating the message,” she said. It makes her antsy and she feels the need to get out or walk away to break the contact, she said. After making a couple of strangers cry, she won’t try to pass on messages again, she said.

“Sometimes (the deceased) just want you to know they are still there or tell you how they died,” she said.

The sensations from the Farmington cemeteries were so strong that “it’s not just a maybe,” she said. She knew the murder was really bad, violent, and she picked up on it, she said.

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