Thin Places and “A Prime-Time Haunting”

Sun, 10/09/2022 - 9:00am

Our world is a mysterious place. And there are places in this world that seem to have more than a fair share of mysterious happenings. The Scots refer to these locations as “thin places” where the veil between this world and the eternal world is thin. Thin places are places of energy often experienced beyond the limits of our five senses. But sometimes we are lucky enough to see, hear and smell things that are not of this world. Or are they?

Boothbay Harbor is just such a “thin place” where people – just like you and me – have experienced some incredible things that defy logic and reason but are nevertheless – real and not imagined. We have all of the ingredients for a Spooky Story Swap – the immense and mysterious sea, the wild Maine coastline, lonely islands and lighthouses, and he deep, dark Maine forest. Most importantly, we have our imaginations to take us on this journey into the past, into the mysterious, into the unexplained. I suspect we are a lot alike, you and me. I bet you just love a good ghost story. You may have even had an experience with a ghost sometime in the past. Or have a family member or friend who has confided in you about some inexplicable happening – something that’s not normal, not by a long shot. And these experiences are difficult to rationalize away, try as we might. Speaking from experience, we do try. We try very hard to explain the unexplainable until we’re finally left with a whole lot of questions about life and the nature of existence. What happens when we die? Is there a part of us that lives on? Why do ghosts linger in the locations where they died? We discover a part of ourselves now open to wonder. 

This event is free and seating is limited - please bring a camping chair. Register here to share your spooky stories and enjoy treats - never tricks - including some light refreshments and Pedego free giveaways. We’ll gather at Pedego Electric Bikes on Saturday, October 22 from 6:00-8:00. 

I bet you’d like another ghost story from Charles Turek Robinson’s The New England Ghost Files (Covered Bridge Press, 1994). Your wish is my command. Please enjoy “A Prime-Time Haunting.” And try not to think about it while you’re watching TV tonight...


“A Prime-Time Haunting”

Location: Farmington, ME

Number of witnesses: 4

Interview date(s): 6/93; 4/94

If ghosts represent some sort of residual human electro-magnetic energy that survives bodily death, is it possible that they can manifest themselves through the circuitry of household electrical devices?

Bernie and Sylvia Howard suspect that their Farmington, Maine, home has a ghost. They have, they indicate, watched the ghost on their television.

Sylvia relates the following strange account:

“It began in 1984. Bernie and I, along with two of our friends, were watching television in the living room. All of a sudden, the picture changed. We were watching a movie, when suddenly an elderly woman’s face appeared on the screen. The face had a strange bluish glow, and it stared at us from the screen for about thirty seconds. Then it was gone, and the movie came back on. At first, we thought it was some kind of (signal) interference.

“About twenty minutes later, it happened again. The face reappeared and filled up the entire screen. This time, Bernie switched to another channel. When he did, the old woman’s face was on that channel, too. Then he flipped through all the channels, and she was on every single one. She stared at us for about another minute or so. Then, the face vanished, and the regular (television programming) came back on.

“At this point, we still wondered if it had been some sort of signal interference. About two weeks later, though, it happened again - and on a different television set. This time we were in the bedroom. We had gone to bed, and the bedroom television set was off. About 2:00 A.M., Bernie woke up. He noticed a strange bluish glow coming from the corner of the room; somehow, the television had turned itself on. Bernie woke me up and pointed toward the television: that same old woman’s face was staring at us from the screen. We flipped through all of the channels, and she was on every one of them. Bernie shut off the set and became very upset. So did I. We really didn’t know what was going on.

“The next morning we called a television repairman. He had no clear answer for what was happening. Then, four days later, I woke up about 5:00 A.M. and noticed the old woman’s face staring at me again from the television screen. I screamed, Bernie woke up, and then the screen just went black.

“About a half hour later, while we were sitting in bed discussing the situation, the television screen began to glow blue and the old woman’s face appeared again. We just sat there in terror, staring back at her, when suddenly the woman’s lips began to move. She was trying to say something, but we couldn’t hear her voice. We just saw her lips moving. We have no idea what she may have been saying.

“And after that, we never saw her again. The face stopped appearing as suddenly as it had started. We’ve talked about the situation over and over. It has left us confused and (shaken), because we have no idea what any of it means. All we can guess is that we saw some kind of ghost projecting itself through our television set.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This unusual and seemingly purposeless haunting leaves us with many questions. Did the manifestation represent the ghost of a previous owner? (In fact, an elderly woman - the home’s first owner - did live alone in the house from 1959-1967). In repeatedly manifesting itself via television circuitry (and at one point seemingly trying to speak, though unsuccessfully), was the ghost attempting to communicate with the Howards? The true nature of the alleged haunting remains unclear. In the spring of 1994, after tracing a surviving relative of the elderly woman who originally lived in the house, the author was able to secure the woman’s photograph. When shown the picture (along with several other ‘control’ photographs of different women of about the same age), Bernie and Sylvia immediately identified one of them as the woman they had seen on their television. The photograph they selected, in fact, was the one of the woman who had once lived in the house. Just a coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not.