Do you think your house is haunted? Are strange things happening that just can’t be explained? Do you hear creepy noises echoing in the dark? When these incidents are just a little too eerie to ignore, S.P.I.R.I.T.S (Supernatural, Paranormal, Investigations, Research, Intuitive, Truth Society) of New England can help. Just fill out an online form, which requires everything from a description of disturbances to the history of the house, and S.P.I.R.I.T.S. will send a professional team to check out the problem.
“My mother is the one who started it,” Sarah Campbell, an investigator and tech assistant at S.P.I.R.I.T.S., says. “She has always loved the horror, the supernatural.” Before the rise of books and movies that popularized the paranormal world, Campbell explains, otherworldly experiences could seem frightening. “Then ‘Ghost Hunters’ came out, and they basically opened up the world for every ghost paranormal investigator.” After attending a few “Ghost Hunters” conventions and bootcamps, she and her mother decided, “We can do this. We want to do this.” So the pair founded S.P.I.R.I.T.S.
New team members leapt on board in the following years, inspired by an interest in the supernatural and paranormal experiences of their own.
Campbell says the organization’s mission can be boiled down to one word: “helping.” (S.P.I.R.I.T.S. dabbles in some major investigations of historical landmarks—Fairbanks, Fisher College, and the Dean Winthrop House—just for fun.) “Even though the bigger things are primarily what we base our lectures on, we have this whole side of clientele that we are trying to help, whether it be just to confirm [supernatural activity] for them, or sometimes to get rid of what’s in their house,” Campbell says. S.P.I.R.I.T.S. uses techniques ranging from sage to prayers to videotapes to recordings to prove the existence of what Campbell calls “entities.” And the organization will purge them if necessary.
The organization's methods have evolved over the years. “In the beginning, we took a strictly scientific kind of route,” Campbell says. The group used phones and K2s, which register EMFs and measure items that give off electricity, in their investigations. But recently, Campbell says, S.P.I.R.I.T.S. has “come to embrace the more supernatural side of it.” S.P.I.R.I.T.S. has dabbled in portals, energy, and even dousing rods, a type of divination said to locate water.
Campbell is not the type to scare easily. She says, “[Most spirits are] friendly—families who have lived there for generations and generations, and you get the idea that they are protecting the house still. We’ve never encountered demonic spirits. That’s a very rare thing, but there are sometimes entities you encounter that might not have been so nice in life.”
S.P.I.R.I.T.S. approaches missions with a healthy dose of skepticism. “At this point, we all believe that ghosts exist,” Campbell says. “I’ve gotten enough proof. My mother’s been touched, I’ve been kicked, we’ve heard voices, but anytime we walk into a place, we are skeptics that it is haunted. It has to be proven to us.”
“We’ve definitely met people who don’t believe, and we don’t force it on people,” Campbell continues. “We just give you our side of it and let you do what you want with it… A lot of people don’t realize what goes on around them, honestly.” Campbell adds that people typically are rarely judgemental towards the organization; they “think it’s freaking awesome.”
S.P.I.R.I.T.S. does all of its work pro-bono. The organization is primarily a hobby and sometimes a secondary career for its members. Campbell emphasizes the philanthropic foundations of the organization. “When you’re in a house being terrorized by something you can’t see… it’s very scary, it’s very intimidating,” she says. “We just want to be someone that people are comfortable talking to. We want to make them feel comfortable in their house again.”