Uncovering a Halloween haunting

In an upper bedroom of the Kingsland Homestead in Flushing, Peter Ferraro (l.-r.), Adam Shapiro and Michael Cardinuto, of Long Island Paranormal Investigators, demonstrate how they use specialized instruments to detect paranormal activity. Photo by Ken Maldonado
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A paranormal investigation squad has brought its psychic sensitivity, Geiger counter and years of experience hunting ghosts to the 226-year-old Kingsland Homestead, hoping to catch the spirits of Flushing past between its aging walls.

The Ronkonkoma-based Long Island Paranormal Investigators swept through the house the night of Oct. 14, locking all the doors and windows before busting out the electromagnetic field detectors, audio and video recorders and highly sensitive thermometers in hopes of capturing the sights or sounds of the beyond.

Though the team of investigators did not report any personal paranormal experiences from that night, they continue to review the recordings they took, hoping to catch the lingering voice or shadowy apparition of a person who may have died there over the centuries.

“Part of the theory of what we do is that there could be residual hauntings, where an imprint of energy could be left in the floors or in the walls and would play a sound or something visual over and over again,” said Adam Shapiro, an investigator with LIPI. “That’s what we hope to get when we investigate older properties like this one.”

Before they moved through the house, several LIPI investigators gave a lecture on the topic of ghost hunting and the paranormal in general, relaying their experiences to a crowd of about two dozen, who sat with rapt attention as they were regaled with tales of abandoned mental hospitals and bumps in the night.

Peter Ferraro, a lead investigator with the group and a self-described psychic sensitivity, explained the methods he employed to try to draw ghosts or spirits out where he could sense them. He then described what he felt when he entered the Kingsland home, at 143-35 37th Ave.

“What I try to do is I go into the house and try to interpret the energies. I do a walkthrough, and then I talk to the family that owns the house and let them know what’s going on,” he said. “A lot of times I walk into a location and it will either hit me or it won’t. The only thing I kind of got when I walked into this location was something in the hallway or a stove or a kitchen for some reason. I’m not sure why that is. It may be just an imprint that was left behind somehow.”

Shapiro followed up on Ferraro’s analysis by telling the only known ghost story associated with the location.

“There is only one haunted story about this house. The original homeowner was away and his wife was home alone late one night,” Shapiro said. “There was a knock at the door and a voice was saying, ‘Let me in, let me in.’ When she got downstairs and opened the door, no one was there.”

After getting everyone good and spooked, the crew moved on to the nuts and bolts of the operation, explaining how a whole host of high-tech gadgets and devices help them detect the paranormal activity of a location.

Then Michael Cardinuto, a lead investigator and co-founder of LIPI, described their technical plans for the evening, which included locking up the residence and ensuring no one else was inside, setting up DVR systems, cameras, audio equipment and a host of sensors which they displayed one by one to the lecture attendees, who were excited to see the tools of the trade up close.

Marisa Berman, executive director of the Queens Historical Society, which is based at the homestead and hosted the LIPI, said the lecture and investigation were a great way to bring people to the property for a night of chilling fun and education. The society will print a follow-up report on the results of the full LIPI hunt in its January newsletter.

“We were really happy with the event, we thought it was fun and it was a good evening for it because it was dark and rainy. It was a good Halloween event,” Berman said.

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Updated 9:06 am, October 28, 2011
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