If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?
Haverhill's own version of Ghost Busters.
About a dozen people are being trained in paranormal research at Northern Essex Community College.
Available through a partnership with Veasey Memorial Park of Groveland and the New England Ghost Project, Paranormal CSI-Ghost Hunting 101 provides a unique, non-credit, opportunity to train for otherworld investigations and communication.
Taught by Ron Kolek, founder and lead investigator of the New England Ghost Project, the course instructs students on proper investigation techniques, use of equipment such as infrared cameras and audio recording, and proper analysis.
Kolek said most proper investigations merely confirm nothing more than bumps in the night, but a few offer a glimpse into the beyond.
"Ninety percent of (investigations are) people wanting to know if they're crazy," he said. "I can explain most of the stuff away, but some of it you can't."
The course, which meets for six lessons, will guide students through the former summer cottage of Arthur Veasey, a Groveland mill owner who lived in the early 1900s. The town of Groveland converted the property into a historic site and park in 1996. As students apply their new paranormal skills, their final assignment will be to write a paper on what they believe is, or isn't, haunting the grounds.
"There is no right or wrong," Kolek said. "They could be picking up different experiences."
Kolek, an environmental scientist by trade, is also a graduate of Northern Essex. He's written several books and hosted television shows and radio programs on the paranormal since founding the New England Ghost Project 15 years ago.
Despite the temptation, Kolek cautions thrill seekers against heading out to Veasey Park with no more than a strong will and a Ouija board. A person may believe they can take on the unknown, but traveling in a group and with a professional knowledge ensures safety.
"We have no clue what it's like on the other side," he said.
Northern Essex has used the Veasey grounds in the past for various non-credit courses, including pottery, bird-watching and even fishing.
Veasey Park is "known as Groveland's best kept secret and don't want to be a secret anymore," said Mary Shattuck, program manager for NECC's personal enrichment courses.
Shattuck said Kolek's course was the first of its kind she can remember the college offering, but agreed to lend it the college name due to Kolek's profession demeanor and scientific approach.
"There's some wild thing I'll come across in course proposals," she said.
Although the course didn't begin until last week, Kolek and his team started with a preliminary investigation of the Groveland site earlier alongside Dorna Caskie, the park's events manager.
"I was very happy to hear that overall they found friend, welcoming spirits," Caskie said. "Although unknown to us, a couple of spirits may not have been getting along well with each other."
Aside from the fun of the hunt, the course incorporates the history of the building and the park for other endeavors, Caskie said.
"(Ron) has been kind enough to look for ways to use this facility for his business," she said. "We hope to host an international conference for him here next summer. Veasey is a very welcoming place for people, as well as ghosts, and I encourage people to take advantage of these programs."
Although registration is closed for the February paranormal course, NECC will offer another session in April.