Hamptons Ghost Hunting Diary – Session 2: Thomas Halsey Homestead

Ghost Hunting in the Halsey House
Ghost Hunting in the Halsey House, Photo: Oliver Peterson

Led by me and my wife Colleen and Tom Edmonds, the second of our three ghost hunting events with the Southampton Historical Museum was a resounding success! Thank you so much to all that attended our talk and investigation at the 1648 Thomas Halsey Homestead. More than 20 people came this time, and everyone was interested, respectful and engaged.

For those who don’t know, the Halsey House is a restored 17th-century farmhouse in Southampton. The home is filled with displays and exhibits showing what it was like to live 350 years ago in Southampton—it is also filled with spirits, according to reports. As we discussed, a haunting is often the result of a tragic, violent or unexpected death, and it is said (but not proven) that Elizabeth Wheeler Halsey was brutally murdered and scalped by Pequot Indians there. [Read Kerriann Flanagan Brosky’s book Ghosts of Long Island, ghostsoflongisland.com, for more info.]

Because we had such a large group, Southampton Historical Museum director Tom Edmonds and my wife and I split everyone up, so Tom took half of the attendees and explained the home’s history, while I shared some of Colleen and my  paranormal investigation methods and experiences. Once again, we had a number of people who had some experience and knowledge on the subject, including our new friends from Yaphank (and the only ones to show at the Conscience Point event) Steve Merlino and sisters Terri and Jo-Anne Horton. Please forgive me for not remembering everyone’s name—it’s easier when there are only three people—but several participants shared stories, experiences and knowledge, including my mother Paula Peterson (who came with her husband John Tusa) and a couple of younger girls who did a great job explaining EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and EMF (electromagnetic fields) to the group. Thanks, girls!

READ more about my experiences and motivations as a paranormal investigator!

Halsey House Ghost Hunting tools
Tools of the ghost hunter’s trade, Photo: Oliver Peterson

On that note, we demonstrated some EMF meters, including the famous KII meter, the Mel-Meter, Ghost Meter (Cell Sensor) and a Tri-field meter. We also discussed more esoteric and religious methods and spiritual beliefs, including using sage to “smudge” and clear a haunted location, or blessing a place with Holy Water. Finally, we handed out some simplified investigation log sheets with boxes to note equipment, locations, times, weather, significant events, methodology, moon phases and space weather, plus some room for general recollections and info. I hope some people found this useful.

I added a few quotes to the sheet as well, including the law of thermodynamics, which says, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be converted from one form to another”—so what happens to our life energy after we die? Another quote from Ghost Science by Vince Wilson (great book!) says “Paranormal investigators deal with possibilities. Skeptics deal in absolutes.” The final quote asks investigators to “Weigh the scales of scrutiny” and consider how something goes from impossible to possible, and when the possible becomes fantasy. (email me if you’d like to have the form available for download here)

Though I remain skeptical, we did have some interesting activity on the KII meter, which seemed to respond to our questions and comments with flashing lights. A number of folks also recorded for EVP and took photographs. So far, mine don’t add up to much, but Steve Merlino had one shot that seemed to show a dark mist sitting in a chair. Bring your evidence to this week’s event at the Rogers Mansion on Saturday and we’ll review it. Unfortunately, my wife Colleen will not be on hand because of work obligations.

Halsey House ghost hunters Steve Merlino and Terri and Jo-Anne Horton
Halsey House ghost hunters Steve Merlino and Terri and Jo-Anne Horton, Photo: Oliver Peterson

The Rogers Mansion has numerous reports of haunted activity, including footsteps, voices, things being moved, odd energy fields and just about everything else a haunted place would report. It’s a great old building and is the headquarters for the Southampton Historical Museum, the sponsors and beneficiaries of these ghost hunting events. Every dime of your ticket price goes to help support the museum, their exhibits and the upkeep of their properties. Colleen and I refused pay in exchange for access to these locations, which should tell you what a great opportunity it is to investigate them!

Depending on the group (whether it’s all new people or the same as last week), I expect to talk less and investigate more on Saturday. Let me know if you’d prefer more talk and info about ghost hunting, otherwise I’ll try to keep it shorter and give everyone more time to look around.

The third and final Southampton Historical Museum ghost hunting event begins at 4 p.m. this Saturday, October 26 at the Rogers Mansion (17 Meeting House Lane) in Southampton Village. Please call 631-283-2494 or visit southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org for tickets and info. Also feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions or inquiries. I’m always available to help investigate haunted homes and hopefully create some peace and a sense of security for the people living in them.

Hear me and Tom Edmonds Discuss Hamptons Ghost Hunting with Bonnie Grice on WPPB FM’s Eclectic Cafe

READ: Last week’s Hamptons Ghost Hunting Diary – Session I: Conscience Point

Thomas Halsey Homestead
Thomas Halsey Homestead, Photo: Oliver Peterson (Instagram: oliversees)

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