Imagine a playful little phantom girl, a handsy ghost named Michael and you — all together under the stars.

Grab your sleeping bag and flashlight and steel your courage — it’s Maine’s first Ghost Camp.

East Coast Ghost Trackers, a group that has led guided ghost tours at Fort Knox for years, will hold its first overnight event at the fort later this month.

East Coast co-founder Jamie Dube is confident it’ll be a spirited night.

“I get the entities to do things that people will talk about forever,” said Dube, 47, a former police officer-turned-real estate agent from Orrington. “The ‘touch game’ is quite something to witness. There’s always something that’s going to happen. It won’t be a dead night, so to speak, no pun intended. It never is.”

Ghost Camp promises to be lucrative — 40 people paying $50 each — and all of the tours benefit the Friends of Fort Knox, whose mission it is to preserve the historic site.

Officially, Friends of Fort Knox has no position on the fort’s hauntedness, but it welcomes the interest.

“We hear anecdotal stories all the time,” said Executive Director Leon Seymour. “It’s up to people whether you believe or not, but obviously a good many people do. The twisting, turning dark alleyways, the whole setting itself people find somewhat creepy.”

Dube said his group, which volunteers its time, annually raises between $3,000 and $6,000 for the fort and has worked up a rapport with lingering residents over the years.

One ghost nicknamed Elizabeth is said to frequent the officer’s quarters.

A favorite game of Dube’s is having a tourgoer take a seat in that room, in the dark. He blindfolds them and asks them to wear white noise headphones while Dube and the rest of the tour group watch from a TV screen in the next room.

Dube said he’ll whisper to Elizabeth to touch the person’s neck, head or other body parts. The person in the chair is asked to point whenever they feel like they’re being touched — and, he said, often does.

“Everybody in the other room, they’re looking at me, ‘Holy cow. This is for real,'” he said. “Over the years, I can’t count the people — it’s well into the hundreds — that I’ve gotten physically touched at the fort. There’s one spirit, Michael, he likes to grab women’s butts. That’s his thing.”

A few tours ago, Dube said he had a woman stand in a spot Michael frequents, made sure no one stood near her, and asked Michael to do his thing.

“He grabbed it, hard,” he said. “She hollered. She was in shock.”

East Coast Ghost Trackers uses a device called an Ovilus, a machine loaded with 2,000-plus words that purports to read electromagnetic fields and spit out words at spirits’ direction.

“On the Ovilus, in front of 20-something people, the Ovilus said, ‘nice, round butt,'” Dube said. “Everybody started laughing because everybody heard it.”

Ken Ort and Dube founded East Coast Ghost Trackers and have a regular team of seven. When they’re not at the fort, they’re in people’s homes. 

“The difference between us and all these other groups out there, everyone is out there basically chasing (ghosts),” Dube said. “They’re trying to prove or disprove that they exist and we’re way past that. We fix things. We help people. We’ve helped many, many families get their lives back.

“What we’ve found over the years is there’s somebody in the residence that’s the catalyst behind it all,” he said. “If you’re projecting negative frequencies out all the time, that’s what you’re going to get back.”

Dube recently published a book, “Where Do You Walk?” about getting into ghost-hunting, entities at Fort Knox and some of the families he said the team has helped.

The group has filmed YouTube episodes of its work, including at the fort, and has a contract now with a Los Angeles production company to pitch itself for TV.

The Fort Knox spirits are already used to the cameras: The SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” filmed an episode there in 2011 and claimed to have found activity.

During Ghost Camp, June 25-26, Dube envisions breaking into groups, experimenting with different equipment and seeing who — or what — they can find. Campers are encouraged to bring sleeping bags and tents.

Seymour said there have been several deaths at the fort, mainly caretakers, and no one in battle.

Sgt. Leopold Hegyi was the longest-serving caretaker, dying on the property in 1900.

“We have images of him and he kind of looks like Col. Sanders,” Seymour said. “He may be lurking around the fort, who knows?”

Weird, Wicked Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, unexplained and intriguing in Maine. Send pictures, ideas and chicken ghosts to [email protected]


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