By Kelly Roncace
Just as dust lies on the floor of a long-abandoned house, the energy of those who once lived in that house could be absorbed into the building’s walls.
This energy can be awakened by disturbances such as new owners who begin remodeling and changing what the spirits still think of as their home. The paranormal field is filled with stories of hauntings that come about suddenly when home or business owners begin to demolish, construct or change the layout of a structure.
In April, a wrecking crew began tearing down the old French Worsted Co. building in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
The construction crew — made up of big, tough, rugged fellas — got so spooked on that site that they refused to continue the demolition.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management hydrologist Sofia Kaczor said the men were legitimately frightened and “the work stopped.”
According to members of the wrecking crew and on-lookers, one of the cranes being used to demolish the building would go “haywire” every time it got close to tearing away part of the building.
Kim Baccaire, daughter of John Baccaire — the crane operator, took a photo which she said shows what looks like apparitions in a window of the building.
Another incident involved a large beam that fell and seemed to aim itself directly at the crane’s cab, missing John Baccaire by mere inches.
Kim Baccaire called on Andrew Lake, a paranormal investigator, who agreed to come to the site. He brought along two mediums to assist in the investigation.
The trio entered the building and “had a conversation with the spirits,” explaining that the deceased needed to move on because the building couldn’t be saved.
After their visit, the activity stopped and demolition continued without incident.
Doug Hogate Jr., CEO and founder of Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society, said in his opinion, spirits may get upset that their home is being changed.
“Imagine being at your house and someone comes in and starts tearing walls down and remodeling,” Hogate said. “They could be thinking, ‘This is my house. What are you doing to my house?’”
One investigation Hogate remembers that could have been caused by construction was at Johnson Hall in Salem.
“They said a lot of activity stirred up while they were remodeling the first floor,” he said.
JUMPS investigated the building three times and recorded the most activity on the first floor just as construction was being completed.
“That’s a prime example,” Hogate said.
There are other explanations of why remodeling could conjure up strange activity in a home, such as replacing plaster walls with more modern drywall which is a much weaker sound barrier and even exposing molds that could contain toxins which could effect a person’s perception.
But is it also possible that a spirit who has resided undetected in a certain building for hundreds of years could become more active in an effort to express his or her disapproval of the changes?
The next time you replace a window or build a partition, keep an eye out for someone who may want you to leave the room as it was.