Middleboro Town Hall, Apparently Still Haunted
Each day, I get a roundup of all the news showing up on Google containing the word paranormal delivered to my inbox, and it seems like every so often that roundup includes a story about how, once again, paranormal investigators are heading to Middleboro Town Hall.
I found one in there again today; the story, which comes from another radio station's website, just states that investigators are checking out the town hall tonight and doesn't really offer much else. It's a little throwaway story on a Friday afternoon, something to toss out there because it is remotely interesting to a least a segment of the population.
Now, I personally know some investigators who have checked out the Middleboro Town Hall, and they all say there's at least some degree of paranormal activity going on there. And I highly encourage towns that own building purported to have paranormal activity to allow reputable groups to come in and confirm that something is going on. Not only does it answer a lot of questions for the townsfolk who frequent these buildings, but in some cases--like with the Fearing Tavern in Wareham, for example--it can open up a whole new avenue for tourism.
My issue is with the town of Middleboro, or more specifically, the selectmen or whoever it is that keeps providing this information to the media. Yes, it's cool that your town hall is haunted. Yes, it's very forward-thinking of the Board of Selectmen to allow a paranormal team to come check it out. And if you wanted to submit a press release once the investigation has occurred and share all of the group's findings, that would be excellent.
My problem, though, is that the town of Middleboro is always looking for publicity for these investigations before they happen. Broadcasting the location of where an investigation is about to occur is bad form, because it opens the door for all sorts of pranksters and lookie-loos to come in and contaminate the scene. A true paranormal investigation should take place in a setting akin to how a CSI team handles a crime scene--keep the public as far away as possible.
Of course, this may sound funny coming from a guy who runs a business where we hold events at paranormal locations and promote the heck out of those events for months in order to sell tickets. But I know that when I show up at the Houghton Mansion next weekend, controlling the scene is part of what my company, Legend Trips, has to do as part of the event. It comes with the territory. But when you're just a run-of-the-mill paranormal investigator trying to search out proof of ghosts or hauntings, the last thing you want to spend your time on is patrolling the perimeter and ensuring nobody is trying to skew your results, either intentionally or inadvertently.
Now, I could be mistaken. It might not be the town that provides the media with the news tip, or even an individual working within the Town Hall. It could be coming from the investigators themselves; I know plenty of people in this field who can't even meet another team member for coffee at the local donut shop without trying to get some sort of news coverage for it.
No matter who informed the press, the problem is the same--plenty of people now know that there is a paranormal investigation taking place at Middleboro Town Hall tonight, making the job of the investigators that much harder. With that in mind, we wish you luck and hope that you stay safe.
To the rest of you out there, stay back and let them do their jobs.
UPDATE 4-2-13: I have been informed by a member of the Middleboro Board of Selectmen that it was NOT the Board or the town itself that has ever sought publicity for these paranormal investigations. What I stated above was merely my opinion about where it must have come from, (and based on the fact that the press release I linked to above listed the "source" of the release as "Middleboro Town Hall") but I apologize for suggesting that it must have been the Board. The fact is, I have no problem whatsoever with getting media coverage for the investigation itself, including having members of the media present during the actual investigation; my only issue was with revealing publicly, in advance, that there would be an investigation taking place. I hope to have another blog post on this matter in the coming days with a little bit more information, but I just wanted to add this update.