The Register / Alison McCall

HALLOWEEN: Paranormal investigators track down Yarmouth ghosts
By Alison McCall
The Register
Posted Oct 28, 2010 @ 12:06 PM
Paranormal investigator Dave Sircom listens intently as he replays audio from a night he spent attempting to contact spirits in the Yarmouth Port Library.
His own voice clearly asks, “Is there anyone here that was a former librarian or former employee?”
Immediately, a violent stage whisper saws through the audio. “I WAS.”
This and other responses were played for a group of about 45 people in the Yarmouth Port Library itself after the investigation, performed by Sircom’s Massachusetts Paranormal Institute, was done in early October.
“I thought it was pretty amazing and a little scary,” said Yarmouth Port librarian Anne Cifelli. Cifelli, who was able to be part of the overnight investigation, has worked in the library for five years and hadn’t noticed any paranormal activity prior to the investigation. “It’s not every day that you hear voices that aren’t yours and aren’t anyone’s in the building.”
Sircom was a non-believer of the strictest kind until 10 years ago, when, for fun, he tried recording an EVP – Electronic Voice Phenomena, which are simply sounds or voices that cannot be explained – in his home office. When a voice answered his questions in the recording, Sircom was scared, then hooked.
“I was terrified for a while,” said Sircom, “and then it got addicting.”
Want to try it?
 The process is simple enough; using any sort of recording device at all, from your cell phone to an advanced microphone, record audio while you ask questions of an empty room.
Play it back, and prepare to be creeped out. Here are some tips from Sircom to get you started.
“The older doesn’t necessarily mean the better.” His own home has produced plenty of EVPs. Once he even held a sort of disconnected conversation with a dead woman in his home, asking questions and listening to the recordings for answers. The ancient Barnstable Jail, however, showed no paranormal activity whatsoever when Sircom tested it.
“Sometimes you get nothing.” But that doesn’t mean the place isn’t haunted; just try again. Sircom says he’ll get a dozen recordings the first time he goes into a place, and then nothing a second time, or vice versa. Digging into paranormal lore, Sircom says not all spirits are attached to places – sometimes they just drift through.
What else do you need? If you want to conduct a more in-depth investigation, consider some other equipment, like the K2 meter, which measures electromagnetic fields that indicate the presence of the paranormal. Consider investing in some computer audio editing programs to help you sift through your recordings, or infrared cameras to catch spirits moving around in the dark. Looking for the best audio recorder? Try the Panasonic DR-60.
“It was on the market for about three years before they pulled it because people were complaining about hearing voices of people that weren’t in the room,” said Sircom, of the DR-60. “So I went out immediately and got one.”
Lastly, know your spirits. Sircom categorizes paranormal activity into three sources. The first kind is residual, which are just memories caught in a loop. They play over and over like movies, but aren’t intelligent and don’t interact with anything or anyone. The second is intelligent, the kind that responds to stimulus. The third is a poltergeist, essentially an embodiment of malevolence that reacts to people, but cannot speak.
Good hunting!
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