Paranormal Research Trio
Answers the Call
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)
Fairfield, CT – Bumps in the night. Shredded bibles. Mysterious growling. Ghostly lights. All in a day’s work for a trio of paranormal investigators who came to share their tales with an attentive full house at Fairfield Woods Branch Library Saturday afternoon.
Founded by Orlando Ferrante and Joseph Franke, and now joined by John Carter, the Connecticut Paranormal Research Society has over 45 years of combined experience as one of the leading paranormal investigation and research teams in New England. Their 90-minute presentation included a projected slide show of on-the-job and contributed imagery, audio clips of other-worldly voices and a few equipment demonstrations, all of which left the audience spellbound.
Ferrante and Franke had last visited the Branch Library back in February, playing to a full house then as well. The popular visit demanded an encore, though the duo whittled down their talk from three hours. “We have so much material, but three hours is a long time to sit,” said Franke, who added, “If you want to spend a weekend with us, we’ll show you it all.”
Indeed, the duo has literally worked on hundreds of cases since they began collaborating in 1995, and has amassed a stockpile of documentation of strange, unexplained and even violent happenings and encounters. Just since February, they have been working on a case at a Masonic Lodge in Naugatuck and a potentially demonic case in Bethel wherein a woman’s boyfriend was attacked by an apparition. On their return home to eastern Connecticut after the presentation, they were scheduled to stop at a house in Derby where the homeowner reported lights turning on after being switched off and doors being unlatched after they have been locked, as well as voices and footsteps.
The trio says they get a lot of inquiries from media outlets and production companies, like Anderson Cooper and paranormal show “Fact or Faked?” But the group, which maintains itself as a non-profit, said they are “not in it for fame or fortune.” Said Franke, “We never take a dime for our work. We’re here to help folks disturbed by the paranormal. They’re honestly frightened and don’t want media attention. We’re certainly not going to sign over rights to evidence and further exploit the family.”
For Carter, the duo has been a godsend, helping him understand his sensitivity to certain energies and psychic abilities. “I have experienced paranormal stuff almost my whole life,” he said. “When I served in the military, I would get vibes or thoughts that something was about to happen and, sure enough, it would. When I was younger, my parents took me to doctors, and thought I was nuts, and put me on meds.”
Carter met Franke in 2007, at a lecture Franke and Ferrante were part of in Killingworth. The three stayed in touch before Carter officially joined them about a year ago, to help on investigations.
“John has an uncanny way of sensing activity and having premonitions,” said Franke. “Orlando has psychic ability, too, and John and he work off each other with the abilities. We have pictures and Electronic Voice Phenomenon to verify their talents.”
A few cases stand out as most signicant. In 2008 in Enfield, homeowners said they’d been seeing shadowy figures and activity centered around the couple’s twin toddler daughters. One evening, the duo was working with a psychic downstairs and channeling a spirit they felt was doing all the harassing. Through the psychic, the spirit spit in Ferrante’s face, then attacked an investigator upstairs who was shooting still photos. “He picked her up off her feet and dropped her to the ground,” said Ferrante. “This was no Caspar the Friendly Ghost.”
In Danbury, six or seven kids had conjured spirits through a Ouija board and got affected. “They started hearing voices, scratching on the walls, growling,” said Ferrante. “We tried burning the board but only the propellant burned. We had to bless it with holy water and bury it.”
In Seymour, at a place called Carousel Garden, the pair went to interview a man with psychic abilities. “He sat at a table and he was staring and being unresponsive,” said Franke. “He said there’s a man looking for a fight and led us to the basement. He started getting agitated then was knocked to the ground. Orlando was punched, too, and got a big red welt on his back.”
The trio will bring more of their chilling tales to Westport Library Saturday, November 19, in a presentation titled “Who Ya Gonna Call?”, at 2pm.