Investigation 1   New Age: “... a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism.” – Oxford Dictionary Temperature: 66 degrees at arrival (interior temperature)   Barometric Pressure: 29.94 in.   RISEUP investigators present:     Kenneth DeCosta                                                   David DeCosta                                                                                                              Christopher Blanchette   Geographical and Historical Data      Nature’s is a New Age specialty store located in Portsmouth, R.I. dealing primarily with merchandise related to the metaphysical/holistic and spiritual aspect of life. There is an abundance of geological items, especially stones, crystals and selected minerals that are not only beautiful ornaments but are also said to promote healing and spiritual awareness. Many of these items are made into jewelry (below right) on the premises. There is also an abundance of fossils and seashells for the serious collector of these types of items and various ornaments and statuary pertaining to New Age philosophy. Along with these, one will find a rather extensive and eclectic collection of Native American artifacts on site.           Owner Nancy Millard also sponsors related events and classes in-store such as Reiki training and demonstrations, lectures on the paranormal, intuitive readings, psychic development and spiritual cleansing dedicated to New Age philosophy to name just a few. Not simply limited to geological items, the business also carries goods with wiccan or mystical values such as: smudging tools, herbs, incense, items related to the art of Feng-Shui, essential oils and a range of books on related topics.   Activity      We gave a lecture on the paranormal at Nature’s in October, Ken, David and Chris were treated to some stories of activity within the store (pictured below) by Nancy and her assistant Lyndsey. Lyndsey was an interesting person as she had previously told us she was an intuitive and had been all her life. While Nancy and many of her friends and customers had felt and seen the presence of “something” inside the store as well as the basement, Lyndsey told us she was more in tune with the entity or entities that were present.        In the store upstairs many - including Nancy herself - had felt the rubbing on their legs of what they could only describe as a cat as she sat on the sofa inside the store (below). A former employee who was a self-proclaimed intuitive himself had previously made that claim, which Nancy had passed off until she felt it herself one day.        Other customers have claimed they have been touched inside the store by something unseen. The nature of the establishment draws many people claiming to have their own psychic abilities who have also sensed a presence there. At one point, the former employee said an item lifted off a shelf, passed over another item in front of it and fell to the floor. There have also been bangs heard on the wall from the video store next door after hours when no one was there.        Voices have been clearly heard upstairs, in one case injecting itself into a debate over store merchandise, as if to try to settle the matter once and for all.        In the basement, the activity seems to be greater in scope and frequency. The most disturbing story we heard was of a fly infestation at the side of the stairway leading to the basement that occurred one winter morning in 2007. In the words of Nancy, “there must have been 10,000 flies down there.” Worried about what the cause and effect of this would be, Nancy was prepared to call an exterminator, but the following morning there was not a single fly to be found anywhere, dead or alive. A thorough check of the property revealed no discernible reason that flies or fly larvae would be present.   Location of the fly infestation one year ago.        Folklore will tell you that a fly infestation is a sign of demonic activity. Beezebub was known as the Master or Lord of flies. Of course the Amityville nonsense made fly infestations famous, but fiction notwithstanding it was an interesting claim and one that, strictly based on the credible impression we got from the owner, was worth checking out.        Shadow figures have been seen on multiple occasions downstairs. A friend of the women going down there alone one morning saw his shadow on the basement wall along with two others one morning. He left swiftly and decisively that day.        The ladies seemed very enthusiastic about us coming over to check out the store and because it is only a five-minute ride from our location we eagerly agreed to do so.   Investigation        Recording and surveillance equipment was set up in the basement, where most of the more unusual activity has been reported. A static infrared was installed for an overview of the entire room and handhelds would be employed to record the EVP sessions to follow. A KII meter would be used to register any fluctuations in the surrounding electromagnetic field that may be caused by a spirit's presence and to ascertain if any intelligent response from an entity by means of interaction with the device could be elicited. The KII, while not in any way a definitive measure for determining paranormal activity, nonetheless has displayed some compelling results in the field of paranormal study. It was hoped this might be the case tonight. All those present were careful to leave all cell phones upstairs as those devices can easily cause false positives by causing the meter to spike as it reads the cell signal.        A thorough EMF sweep of the area revealed no leaks in wiring or fixtures in the area of the experiment. In fact, the closest electric wiring was located a good 7 feet away from the setup in the ceiling and would not in any way cause any false positive results. All baseline readings and the locations of fixtures and wiring were documented on videotape.        Ken and Chris accompanied Lindsay to the basement where a table was already in place. The KII, a digital recorder and a handheld night shot camera were placed on the table. Chris was also at the session with another handheld camera.          As we set up with David upstairs monitoring the experiment on DVR, Lindsay expressed she felt a cold sensation on her right side. There was no confirmation of this with either the ambient or IR thermometer. At that point, we began an impromptu EVP session so we might become more comfortable with our host and establish some sort of line of questioning based on her psychic impressions.        What we received as a result was a series of spikes from the KII, that while at first appearing to be somewhat random, eventually resembled the form of intelligent responses to questioning. If the theory of the KII is to be held true, a ghost or spirit in interacting with the device will cause the LED lights to illuminate. This (again in theory) may be used to communicate with the entity, as it responds affirmatively to questions by coming into contact with the KII. Our hope was that any spikes viewed in the KII would be corroborated by simultaneous evidence on digital recorder, pictures or video. A brief, 15-minute opening session was conducted, followed by two other sessions of greater length. While all questions were not "answered", we do feel that something anomalous, if not actually paranormal occurred this evening.        The entire KII session was recorded on video with an edited 25-minute version that emphasizes the positive hits and the line of questioning involved.        One other incident that took place was outstanding. As Ken was down on one knee close to the table (Ken is 6'4" and the ceiling height is at best 6'), both he and Lyndsay noticed a blue luminescent flash to Ken's immediate right that seemed to emanate from the floor itself. This was both startling and exciting. Particularly when more blue lights and streaks would be noticed later by Lyndsay and Chris.        The second session consisted of Ken, Chris and Dave with more EVP work downstairs while Lindsay stayed upstairs with Nancy. It is noteworthy that at this point the store was still open for business and would be for another hour. This situation could not be helped as our schedules conflicted in this regard. (A follow-up when the store was closed would come next). A friend of the owner had also stopped by to visit her this night, resulting in even more movement and conversation upstairs that we already were aware would adversely affect our recordings with ambient noise.        Again we were presented with KII spikes, and were more pleased that Lindsay was not present. This on the surface seemed to rule out any psychokinetic stimuli emanating from the intuitive (although that in itself may have proven interesting). After 30 minutes, Lindsay would rejoin us in the basement and, happily, the KII spikes continued. There seemed to be two main themes the spikes revolved around: 1) mention of the color blue and: 2) politeness. Our intuitive was already convinced our entity was a woman, but also had visions of a young child, probably a boy who was burned and disfigured in a fire. While scientifically and rationally, we cannot verify these claims, we can only say that spikes in the KII meter would occasionally and perhaps ostensibly give the appearance of bearing these facts out. Coincidence in this regard may be the main player, but the possibility of a true anomaly would increase as time went on.        Ken would also react very visibly to an audible yet indiscernible one-syllable whisper in his right ear. Lyndsay on the other hand felt the sensation of being touched and an overwhelming chill on her shoulders and back. Temperature gauges could not bear this out, however. On the plus side, another blue flash would appear shortly thereafter, this one seen by Chris in the presence of Dave and Lyndsay as Ken was now on DVR duty.        We took a brief break and all retired to the upper floor. As we said our temporary goodbyes to our "friend", we received a long and intense spike in the meter. While the cameras rolled, we would see another small spike 1 minute later and then nothing for the 30 minutes we would spend upstairs monitoring the devices by camera. Our intent was to determine whether or not some outside interference was the catalyst for the spikes. On the surface, this did not appear to be the case, but we would come back again to test that theory two days later when Ken and Dave stopped by to place the KII in the basement for 45 minutes with no one present and videotape rolling. (A review of that tape would show no spikes in that period of time.)         **An interesting side-note to our abbreviated visit was that Ken and Dave were introduced to a woman who is a regular guest and visitor to the store and is also a psychic medium and, we were told, an animal intuitive. A rather pleasant sort, she expressed an interest in what we were doing and offered us her own insights into the alleged haunting. During this conversation, Ken was sitting in a chair next to a sofa in the front of the establishment when he felt the sensation of being tapped not once, but twice on the right shoulder. Not letting on, he subtly alerted Dave to the "encounter" as it happened, but said nothing to the women. Ken has heard all the stories about being touched, but has never experienced anything of this nature himself and found it quite an exciting and enlightening event. It's becoming clearer that something very odd surrounds this place.**        The night would end with Dave taking Ms. Millard into the basement to gauge any responses to the owner's presence. In a short time, she would be joined by Lyndsay as the investigators would monitor the vigil. Only one  "response" we would consider interesting seemed to come from a direct question, again revolving around the theme of the color blue. The women pledged to place a blue pendant downstairs as a result.    Conclusion        While it is not remotely plausible to claim a haunting based on KII spikes - especially with no corroborating audio or video evidence - the combination of those spikes in seemingly intelligent response to questions and some of the personal experiences our investigators had there suggests something strange is happening within the building. Despite prior claims of a sense of foreboding, we did not experience or encounter anything we would consider malevolent or threatening.        The appearance of the blue flashes remains puzzling and compelling to all involved, particularly our founder who - with his own eyes - witnessed such an occurrence right at his feet during a KII/EVP session.        In terms of audio phenomena, our recorders caught what on the surface sounds like a whistling noise not made by anyone present at the time it was recorded. Rushing wind can also be definitively ruled out as a possible cause. Extensive analysis reveals the whistling does have human characteristics.        We cannot rule out psychokinesis as a possibility for the EMF spikes as the collective unconscious can work this way, but it is hoped our follow-up visit under more controlled circumstances can provide us with better conclusions and a clearer picture of the activities that seem to exist at Nature's.