hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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February 8, 2012

Local college offers Ghost Hunting 101

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.

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