By Max Sullivan
Hampton Union, June 9, 2015
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Skip Webb, president of the James House Association, enters the historic colonial built in 1723, that has recently become a subject in a paranormal investigation. [Photo by Ioanna Raptis]
HAMPTON — The historic James House is suspected to be haunted, as bumps, door slams and even a mysterious laugh have been recorded by a local group of paranormal investigators.
“We think there’s definitely something going on in there,” said Willy Hassell, founder of Spirit Chasers Paranormal, the group of Hampton-based investigators who have looked at the Towle Farm house on six occasions since October.
Spooky visions have appeared at the 292-year-old Colonial before, said Skip Webb, president of the James House Association.
After conducting an investigation, Spirit Chasers Paranormal of Hampton say they can confirm that the historic James House is haunted. [Photo by Ioanna Raptis]
In 2001, a mysterious hymnal fell through a hole in the ceiling, he said, and neighbors have reported sightings of visions in windows in the past.
Hassell said he approached Webb about looking into the house for paranormal activity during the James House’s Fall Festival in 2014.
Hassell and his team have been chasing ghosts across the country for about five years, and he said they’ve been successful in reaching spirits in the past.
With permission from the James House Association’s board, Hassell and colleague Lynne Nickerson took a tour of the house. They took “more photographs than there have ever been taken in total of the James House,” Webb said.
When they examined the photos, they saw “orbs” in the images, Hassell said. Orbs are a sign of a spirit trying to manifest itself into a visible state, he said.
Nickerson, who Hassell said has a “sense” for the supernatural, also picked up on a supernatural presence in the house, Hassell said. He said she noticed females on one floor, children in the attic and a male on the first floor.
The board gave Spirit Chasers Paranormal permission to continue investigating the house, and the team of four — Hassell’s friend Jim Ashworth and his daughter Laura Ashworth — spent three nights in October inside the house with audio recorders and motion sensing devices. Those nights included a full moon on Oct. 16 and Halloween night, which are nights that tend to impact spirit energy, Hassell said.
Those nights led to what Hassell and the team feel is strong evidence. The first night, a mysterious ball was heard bouncing down the stairs to the first floor, he said. The team concluded it was thrown down the stairs. Also that night, a loud bang against the outside wall was heard, but no one was there when the team’s Jim Ashworth went outside to look.
“Cold spots” inside the house were also found that night, Hassell said, which can indicate spirits.
About a week later, on Oct. 24, the team recorded a “loud bang on the wall,” Hassell said, as well as what sounded like “somebody sawing.”
But it was on Halloween, that the team recorded what Hassell said was clearly a woman’s laugh. At the time, he said, the team didn’t notice it, but listening back a woman’s chuckle can be heard.
“You can tell by listening to the voice that wasn’t any of us,” Hassell said. “A spirit of somebody probably laughing at us for walking around the house.”
The team put together a report that also included a loud door slam, taps on the wall, and other sounds heard in the house. They gave Webb the report in February, Webb said.
Hassell said he’s returned twice to the house, the first time last month with Jim Ashworth. They found nothing, he said.
But last week, Hassell returned and said he felt something touch his hand.
While the evidence would spook some, Webb said the team believes the ghosts are “definitely friendly.”
Hassell said the next step is to learn who the ghosts are that are living in the James House. The team will continue to investigate the house from now until October. On June 27, they’ll give a tour of the house and a presentation to show people what’s been happening with the ghosts.
To speak to a ghost, Hassell said it can be as simple as sitting in the room and asking out loud. It doesn’t happen every time, but he said it does occur.
“A lot of times it’s just asking, ‘Are there any spirits in the room who would like to communicate?” Hassell said.
Webb said he’s “never really believed in spirits” up until this point.
“I’m beginning to,” he said.