Ghost hunters find activity, noises in haunted inn
By Erin Mansfield
CORRESPONDENT | June 16,2014
South Glens Falls Paranormal Society Co-Founder Steve Brodt explains how different pieces of equipment are used during this past weekend’s investigation at the Silas Griffith Inn in Danby.
DANBY — The South Glens Falls Paranormal Society led more than 15 people through a two-night ghost hunt at the Silas Griffith Inn and uncovered what they considered to be hauntings in the upstairs bedrooms of the inn’s 19th-century carriage house.
Starting after dark on Friday the 13th under the full moon, three representatives for the organization taught a half-dozen attendees from as far away as Deer Park, N.Y., to read electromagnetic sensors and sub-audio recordings before heading upstairs to try to talk to Silas Griffith.
Danby town legend says Griffith was a millionaire lumber baron who built the estate as a wedding gift for his wife in 1891, but was rumored to have had many extramarital affairs and may have fathered children with the women he courted.
When the society, which also conducts investigations in abandoned prisons and psychiatric hospitals across the country, heard that the Silas Griffith Inn’s guests made many reports of paranormal activity, they reserved a weekend in the inn’s carriage house and brought cases full of equipment to help them investigate.
Much of their equipment was either low-budget or homemade, including more than 10 store-bought recording devices, three mini-Maglite flashlights and an infrared digital camera.
“You don’t have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars,” society co-founder Steve Brodt explained to attendees Friday night.
Brodt, 21, of South Glens Falls, N.Y., has been hunting ghosts for five years.
“How did you make that?” one of the participants asked him about a device that detected footsteps.
“Internet,” Brodt said.
“Some spirits, I think, don’t realize that they’re dead,” said member Mark Pronto, 54, of South Glens Falls.
Pronto taught the audience the difference between interacting with what they called intelligent and residual hauntings. A residual haunting, the group said, is leftover energy from years past. An intelligent haunting, they said, interacts with you.
The group finally went upstairs to the third floor of the inn and set up flashlights on different surfaces that spirits could turn on to communicate with the ghost hunters using yes-or-no answers.
Attendee Tara Ihasz, 41, of Deer Park, N.Y., focused on temperature changes going up and down in each room. If you feel a cold breeze pass by you, the ghost hunters said, there could be a residual spirit walking by.
“Are you up here Silas?” Pronto asked. Hearing no responses, he started playfully taunting the suspected spirit and asked if the rumors were true that he had been with 80 different women. The light turned on when someone asked if the number was closer to 50.
While investigating the room next door, two flashlights lit up with a spirit they suspected was named Joe. Downstairs, a red flashlight lit up when the group asked if there were two little girls living there. After returning to the first upstairs room, the group saw three different flashlights turn on around the room in response to different questions.
During the wee hours of the night, Brodt and his teammate Colin Jones, 20, of South Glens Falls, listened to the audio and searched for electronic voice phenomena, or EVPs. They encountered what they thought was a whistle, a man saying a sentence and a little girl giggling.
“Paranormal activity is something that can’t be explained by average logic,” Brodt said. “We go into each case as skeptics.”
“It was an active night, but with EVPs it was about average,” Jones said.
“It takes a lot to impress me with a flashlight, and last night was pretty impressive,” said Brodt.
“Me too,” Jones said.