This page is dedicated to all those who supported the public investigations held at Paine House in 2011. Your
participation was greatly appreciated and the dollars generated will go a long way in ensuring this historic
landmark remains open and available to the public for years to come. The evidence presented here reflects our
best efforts to separate fact from fiction in an environment not ideal to legitimate investigation. It is a difficult
task to create a complete atmosphere of control when people outside our group enter a location. We have done
our best to analyze and present those things we feel warrant at least some legitimate attention.
Our relationship with the Western Rhode Island Civic and Historical Society - the stewards of the Paine House
Museum - took an unexpected and fortuitous turn over the winter of 2010-11. With our background in assisting
non-profit organizations by conducting public investigations of their properties, we were asked about the
feasibility of creating such a series of events for the Paine House. With the prospect of furthering our own
research as well as providing an opportunity for much-needed funding for the location, we eagerly agreed to
devise a plan to fit this particular building.
All proceeds generated by these public investigations will benefit the Paine House.
By June of 2011, we welcomed the first group inside its doors. The following case file encompasses the entire
year in terms of personal experiences and data collection, some of which proved invaluable to our case study of
Our base of operations would be in the basement area, off what was formerly the tavern. There we would
monitor the house via CCTV infrared cameras as well as joining the investigations to provide a level of direction
as well as determining the validity of any evidence provided to us.
April 2, 2011
We did not experience anything out of the ordinary but there was one odd things that occurred that may be
related to the audio recorded at the bottom of the stairs last November. About 10-15 minutes into a
session, Dave Grady stopped by and told us he had just seen something comparable to mist forming on the right
side of the video he was monitoring in the empty tavern room (below), as if someone had exhaled in the cold
room and he could see their breath.
Sessions on the first and second floors will be particularly challenging due to several factors. When the
windows are open or not, the constant sounds of traffic early in the night and the fire station next door
responding to calls makes it difficult to hear subtle sounds. There is also a real possibility of radio frequency
interference with the station monitoring and initiating calls that will trigger EMF devices. The main dispatch is
just a few hundred feet from the building and will cause similar interference, so all this must be carefully
considered going forward.
April 17, 2011
Use of KII meters proved to create more questions about potential RF signals than provide a baseline for
atmospheric levels we can monitor for changes. While some hits were recorded and we resorted to using two of
them (often one would trigger while another remained dormant) to better understand the nature of the spike,
nonetheless it appears they will be all but obsolete when considering the radio communications being utilized in
the immediate area. Also, our laser grid set up appeared to fade and become brighter alternately during an EVP
session. It is conceivable that room temperature could play a factor in this as the laser doesn't immediately
function well in colder conditions without "heating up" first.
There were two compelling occurrences on this night. In one, Shayna Drinkuth felt a pair of hands take her
own while she knelt in the second floor hallway (below), an area reported to be one of the most active in the
building. She claimed her hands went cold and then upon looking ahead reported seeing the brief apparition of a
young child kneeling before her. Marlaina Gaboreault, crouched next to her confirmed this unusual coldness upon
touching Shayna's hands.
Dan Snizek had another encounter that he could not explain. While standing in the "Matron's Room" with Ken
DeCosta, they turned to leave to another area of the floor. Upon doing so, Dan felt what he can only describe as
"a foot on top of my own foot" that literally caused him to hesitate as he tried to move forward (below). This was
quite literally minutes after Shayna's own experience.
June 11, 2011
Our first night of public investigations got off to an inauspicious start as a water main on Station St. broke
just a couple of hours before our first group arrived. The resulting flood was so intense, it caused a large
sinkhole to form further up the street and emergency vehicles were dispatched to rectify the situation. Despite
this, and the presence of backhoes and dump trucks outside the house, our guests went forward gamely and in a
couple of instances, used the situation to their advantage in EVP sessions.
One guest, Linda Dantonio, now of East Ghost Paranormal asked about the loud commotion outside and if it
was disturbing anyone in the home. This very clear and concise EVP captures the mood of the occupant.
Despite the unexpected inconvenience, the crews did a great job and our guests were truly great sports and
understanding about it. We also managed to have a little fun ourselves.
June 25, 2011
In our pursuits of the true nature of reported paranormal activity, it is more often than not we leave a
location without a true experience or empirical data to support the claims. The old saying is, "spirits don't
perform on que", which is how the night of June 25th went for us and our guests. While disappointed, they did
get a measure of what the field is truly like which, in the end, is our goal in conducting these types of events. A
true look at what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Part of that reality is that sometimes things just go
quiet, which in an ironic (albeit sometimes frustrating way to the participants), proves these events are real and
not smoke and mirrors. Beyond that, they really were a terrific group of people and we thank them for sharing
the evening with us.
July 9, 2011
July 9, 2011
Occasionally, we have the opportunity to be more hands-on with a group, especially smaller ones, and we
took advantage of the chance to do so on this night. Because of the smaller numbers, it was a great opportunity
to invite four members of the TAPS Home Team, a group who is by all intents and purposes our sister group, to
come in and investigate the property for themselves. As it turned out - perhaps as a result of having so many
experienced investigators present - this would be one of the more intriguing and productive nights at Paine
House and some of the best evidence recorded there to date.
To document this investigation, we chose to create a video account of the night's proceedings which reflects
both audio evidence and personal experiences. Some of this footage would go on to be featured in a segment of
the Biography Channel’s ‘My Ghost Story” featuring Paine House in 2012.
July 23, 2011
We were able once again to invite the TAPS Home Team to assist us with this public investigation. Not only
were their investigative skills most welcome, but it provided our guests with an extra thrill to be able to work
with members of the most recognizable name in paranormal research in the world. Because of the amount of
compelling evidence captured on their last visit, they were eager themselves to return to try and build on that.
This video documents three events caught on camera worthy of scrutiny and ultimately accepted as unusual
events. The last of the three relates to one of the most profound experiences any of us have had to date.
While the review of the light anomaly ultimately does lead us to believe that an insect was in fact responsible
for what we had witnessed as the elongated form signifies a beating of its wings, a sequence of events occurred
that changed the way RISEUP founder Ken DeCosta viewed the field of paranormal research. In the years of
study and investigation he's been involved in, one thing had eluded him - personally witnessing an apparition.
That all changed on this night.
Earlier in the night, TAPS investigators Stephen Mills and Joe Chin thought they saw a set of legs walking by
the table in the kitchen area. A quick search turned up no one responsible for this, but Steve opted to place a
camera on the table pointing down the short hall that runs past the old school room and the pantry.
A short time later, Ken entered the kitchen area which was rather crowded at that point, so he decided instead
of following the crowd, he would just sit down in a chair for a bit of quiet time and just have a look and listen
and get away from the crowd. As he sat there for about 15-20 minutes, he looked down the hallway as he had
throughout his short break and saw clearly and vividly, the profile form of a young child floating across the
hallway and appearing to go into the school room. While this was a momentous experience, he eventually had to
leave the room to go off and gather his thoughts as the sighting affected him deeply. As there was a recorder in
the room, we submit a short clip of the first words spoken after the apparition appeared. You will note that at
one point, Steve Mills relates that just seconds before, he mentioned to Traci Boiselle, the TAPS Team Lead he
had seen some movement behind her as she stood in the kitchen doorway. Ken's state of mind after his
experience is clearly displayed on the recording.
First reaction to child apparition in 1st floor hallway
We had a stationary IR camera pointing toward the hallway that could not corroborate the sighting, but Steve
Mills' handheld he placed on the table managed to pick up something very strange. When synching up the time
stamps between the two cameras and pinpointing the time of Ken's sighting, Mills' camera revealed a very odd
light anomaly that moved from right to left at the very moment Ken saw the apparition. The camera saw one
thing, but Ken saw another. Was this a case of the mind perceiving an event while a camera merely makes a
record if what IT sees? A check on similar recorded sightings of this nature from other investigators and
parapsychologists suggest this is more common than one thinks.
This a video account of the event that was featured on an episode of the Biography Channel's "My Ghost
Story" in April of 2012.
If there was any doubt remaining that we were dealing with entities that had consciousness and awareness,
audio clips like this all but remove it. Christine Downes, Marlaina Gaboreault and Julie DeMay are in the second-
floor hallway as Christine makes the introductions.
The most astounding piece of audio recorded revolves around a test to determine if indeed a child spirit was
present and if she was capable of understanding and responding to our questions or comments. To do this, a
simple game was played in reciting the alphabet. She was asked to continue the recital by stating the next letter
in the sequence. What we received was nothing less than amazing and remains one of the most compelling and
remarkable audio clips to date.
What comes after “C” ?
August 13, 2011
What began as another normal night of squiring guests through the house reinforced the notion that
paranormal activity is an inconsistent partner. Everything can be prepared for, but expectations need to be
tempered in most cases. Working with the public presents its own set of challenges as their view of paranormal
investigating is limited what they see on a television program with production values and that sense of
something potentially supernatural lurking behind every corner. At times experiencing the more realistic
approach meets with mixed results. They may become bored with the process (and it IS a process) or they
totally embrace it.
There are times however when these expectations - sometimes unrealistic to begin with - are met. There is
no rhyme or reason to when something remarkable will occur.
Spirit communication through a series of raps and knocks goes back to the first days of the Spiritualist
movement and the Fox sisters, Leah, Margaret and Kate, of Hydesville, N.Y. who claimed they were interacting
with the spirit of a dead peddler. Eventually Margaret confessed this was all a hoax and even though she
recanted a year later, for all intents and purposes their reputation was ruined.
The method however, continues and we are not beyond attempting this from time to time. On some
occasions, we seem to actually receive some responses that display intelligence even when the questions are
repeated or changed in ways to try to "trip up" the responder and perhaps prove them to be nothing more than a
series of coincidences with very natural causes. One of these methods is to ask if a certain set of conditions
exists in the room we're in ("Are there more than two women here"...."Is anyone wearing a hat..."). While in the
"Traveler's Room", we attempted such a session, more for the edification and enjoyment of our guests who have
seen such techniques on television and have a certain familiarity with them. We were mildly intrigued then to
have this occur...
Rapping with the spirits
We believe the spirit of a young child who answers to the name "Sarah" is present in the home. She has been
known to let her presence be known verbally in the basement before and would do so again in stunning fashion
at a later date. This EVP, captured as Ken was distributing equipment to a small group of people conveys the
voice of a child who appears to be observing the proceedings and approves of the allocation. Her voice is heard
Physical contact is one of the more widely reported claims in the house. Occasionally, we experience this
sensation as well as this clip of Wendy Thatcher and Jay McRae in two separate incidents illustrates. There are a
multitude of explanations for these feelings. The most obvious being something has rubbed against the
individual, an article or even a piece of fabric from the clothes they are wearing. It is also been postulated that
differences in room temperature at high and low levels can create this sensation as well. In the case of these
video clips, we are reasonably satisfied that none of these came into play.
September 10, 2011
The year was drawing to a close as we headed toward Fall and after this night, we were disappointed at that
prospect. There was a group of novices to lead through the house which afforded us the opportunity to be more
proactive in our own investigation. What began as an evening without promise yielded a couple of the more
captivating pieces of evidence to support the presence of paranormal activity in the location. One is open to
subjection and the other hard to dismiss out of hand given the circumstances under which it was recorded.
There seemed to be a prevailing attitude of disappointment amongst our guests through the night - many of
whom probably had some unrealistic expectations of what would happen on a paranormal investigation. This
likely had more to do with a combination of how they are portrayed on television and their own hopes that their
experiences would mimic those of the people featured on those programs. One has to remember what is
presented as a full investigation is always an edited version of a taping that consumes many, many hours. Our
own demeanor began to reflect that of the party present even though we are keenly aware that the investigation
is never over until all data is reviewed which could take days after the actual compilation to complete.
Julie DeMay was with one such group and as she makes her way downstairs during a break, she pauses at
the control center to express her own frustration to Dave DeCosta and Chris Blanchette. While setting down her
camera and a small teddy bear that had been accompanying them as a trigger object for the little girl known
only as "Sarah", a startling thing happened. A child's voice is recorded clearly saying the words, "teddy bear".
Beyond the very notion that these words are heard in the first place is the idea that if indeed this spirit is
from the 18th or 19th century, the term "teddy bear" would not be in their vocabulary to begin with.
The name Teddy Bear comes from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, who was commonly
known as "Teddy" (though he loathed being referred to as such). The name originated from an incident on a bear
hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902, to which Roosevelt was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H.
Longino. There were several other hunters competing, and most of them had already killed an animal. A suite of
Roosevelt's attendants, led by Holt Collier, cornered, clubbed, and tied an American Black Bear to a willow tree
after a long exhausting chase with hounds. They called Roosevelt to the site and suggested that he should shoot
it. He refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike, but instructed that the bear be killed to
put it out of its misery, and it became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post
on November 16, 1902. While the initial cartoon of an adult black bear lassoed by a handler and a disgusted
Roosevelt had symbolic overtones, later issues of that and other Berryman cartoons made the bear smaller and
cuter. Morris Michtom saw the drawing of Roosevelt and was inspired to create a new toy. He created a little
stuffed bear cub and put it in his shop window with a sign that read "Teddy's bear," after sending a bear to
Roosevelt and receiving permission to use his name. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded
the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.
We were left with two distinct notions: 1) The voice comes from a spirit who lived in the home in much more
contemporary times and recognized the toy for what it is, or; 2) This is the voice of a child from earlier times
who has bore witness our presence there and has learned this term by listening and observing us. A display of
intelligence that is able to learn and retain information from us. A truly fascinating premise. What we do know is
that there were nothing but adults present, two of them grown men and the voice is in close proximity to the
microphone on Julie's handheld video camera.
There was another curious episode that took place in the "Gathering Room" where an attempt at interaction
was conducted using a Mel-Meter with a KII meter integrated into it. After experimenting with the KII meter for
a prolonged period of time to ascertain for ourselves whether it is indeed a viable tool for spirit communication,
its usage in this area has dramatically trended downward because - while we have on occasion been excited in
some rare instances where control questions were asked and it had spiked with curious consistency - for the
most part there are just too many variables and opportunities for outside interference to consider it a usable
option beyond locating man-made EMF fields.
This particular session however, was out of the norm and it remains compelling enough to include in our
narrative of the events of this night. In the room at the time were Julie DeMay (filming), Wendy Thatcher (at the
table), Nancy LaVena (standing off-camera) and Ken DeCosta (who entered the room after it had began and is
seated off-camera). What was especially fascinating to us were the amount of positive results that fell in line
with known historical facts about the house and its former occupants. We cannot state this is anything but an
outlier or a series of remarkable coincidences, but the device was not tampered with or activated by any
nefarious means (i.e. walkie-talkie or cell phone manipulation), so while not definitive proof of a spirit present, it
bears posting nonetheless.
We feel it is important to note that the editing of the video does not exclude instances where the meter did
NOT respond positively, but simply edits out times where nothing was being asked for periods of time or the
investigators spoke amongst themselves. This was done in the interest of reducing the total length of the video
for public viewing. The entire session still exists in our own files.
October 22, 2011
The final scheduled night for public investigations had arrived. The "paying customers" would be joined by a
couple of board members of the Western Rhode Island Civic and Historical Society, who had been so welcoming,
generous and gracious to us over the past few months. It was appropriate that they join us before we said our
goodbyes for the year. The group was a bit larger than normal, but we did our best to wade through the data we
are going to present to ensure that any evidence put forth was done with conviction that it was not contaminated
by ambient sounds. There was a large volume that fell into this category, so a great deal of review and
subjective thought went into the decisions that were made.
While in the classroom, Wendy Thatcher and Nancy Lavena record a disembodied voice (female). While Nancy
does not hear this, Wendy certainly does, makes note of it and the recorder supports her.
Voice in the classroom