Middletown Strong: Looking Up with Russell Library

Spirited CT︱Eastern CT Paranormal Society

September 07, 2023 Season 3 Episode 7
Middletown Strong: Looking Up with Russell Library
Spirited CT︱Eastern CT Paranormal Society
Show Notes Transcript

Spooky Season is almost here and the Russell Library Podcast Team couldn't be happier about it! In preparation for our Secrets of Russell Library Tours, Kim and Briana interviewed Ursula Wiebusch and Melissa Whited from the Eastern CT Paranormal Society. Ursula supports ECPS as an investigator/photographer and Melissa serves as an investigator and Karuna Reiki® II Practitioner. This conversation explores their journeys to ECPS, common misconceptions about the work they do, and spirited experiences they've had throughout CT. They'll even give you a few sneak peeks into the 2-night investigation conducted at our very own Russell Library! If you're a fan of a good ghost story, you won't want to miss this episode!


Book Recommendations

Nightmaresby Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Patricia Wants to Cuddle by  Samantha Allen
Mister Magic by  Kiersten White
Mexican Gothic by  Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This podcast uses music by Ashutosh, under a creative commons license:
Time by ASHUTOSH | https://soundcloud.com/grandakt
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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Cate: [00:00:00] Welcome to Middletown Strong, looking up with Russell Library. I'm Cate Tsahalis and I am very excited to announce today's episode. Spooky Season is almost here, and the Russell Library podcast team couldn't be happier about it. In preparation for our secrets of Russell Library Tours, Kim and Briana decided to interview Ursula Wiebusch and Melissa Whited from the Eastern Connecticut Paranormal Society. Ursula supports E C P S as an investigator and photographer, and Melissa serves as an investigator and Karuna Reiki practitioner. This conversation explores their journeys to E C P S, common misconceptions about the work they do and spirited experiences they've had throughout Connecticut.

Cate: They'll even give you a [00:01:00] few sneak peeks into the two night investigation conducted at our very own Russell Library. If you're a fan of a good ghost story, you won't wanna miss this episode. Thanks so much for listening.

Kim: Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm Kim Sparkman, and I'm here with Briana Gagnan. Today we're speaking with Melissa Whited and Ursula Weibusch with the Eastern Connecticut Paranormal Society. The E C P S has visited Russell Library twice this year to conduct a paranormal investigation. Over the years, patrons and staff have reported unusual experiences and the occasional apparition at the library.

Kim: In fact, Briana, you've had a couple of experiences at the library. Would you mind? So yeah. Yeah. I've had two. 

Briana: So my first one was on the last night of the last tour of our Secrets of Russell Library tours we were doing last year. And I was in the YA area where the [00:02:00] pod was kind of tucked away and I heard this whistling and it was pretty clear and lasted for a couple seconds.

Briana: And so I was like, someone else had to have heard that I'm not just hearing things. So I asked two of my coworkers who were leading that tour, I was like, did you hear whistling before your tour started? And they were like, no. And I was like, so is that a patron messing with me or was that really something else?

Briana: Whistling a fun little tune there. So that was a little eerie. And that was my first ever experience here. And then I had another one on the third floor where the biographies are, and I had this feeling that something was there, so I kept looking over my shoulder. I was like, there's nothing there. But I felt very like, oh, I need to get out of here now.

Briana: So I shelved. Whatever books I had left and just got out. I was just like, ugh. Haven't had an experience after that. But that was my first ever like, whoa, there's like something very much here with me right now. 

Kim: Yeah. And, and you're good to follow your instincts, I think. Yeah. Once you feel that [00:03:00] chill down your spine, it's like, yeah, it's time to move on.

Kim: It's time to go. So, um, Experiences like that made us want to get to the bottom of what might be going on at the library. And so we decided to call in some professionals. And so we contacted E C P S in part due to their evidence-based approach, um, of their inquiries. The group uses a variety of tools to assess the paranormal activity in a particular space.

Kim: They bring an audio recorder, infrared camera, spirit box, and something called an valis. Mm-hmm. Correct. Okay, got it. Um, their professional team of experienced investigators includes a photographer, um, reiki practitioner, historian, and psychic. Two members of that team, Melissa Whited and Ursula Weibusch are here with us today.

Kim: Melissa is a Karuna Reiki practitioner who has been with E C P S for four years, and Ursula is a photographer who came to E C P S with a curiosity about the paranormal. So Melissa and Ursula, thank you for joining us today. Thank you. Thank you for having us. Um, just to [00:04:00] start off, um, why don't you tell us a little bit more about your backgrounds and what you do at E C P S.

Kim: Uh, what inspired you to get involved? 

Melissa: Well, I met Chris and Dave separately. I think I met Chris first, and then we were going, um, to an undisclosed location. 

Kim: And are Chris and Dave the co-founders? Co. And 

Melissa: Dave. Chris and Dave are the co-founders. Okay. Um, Chris has since passed away. He passed away beginning of this year.

Melissa: Oh. Um, but yeah, so I had met Chris through a mutual, uh, friend, I guess. Um, we went to this undisclosed location and it was fun. It was weren't supposed to be there, but, um, yeah, so, and that was, that was quite an event, but, um, so it was 

Kim: an undercover investigation? Yeah, it was a 

Melissa: secret mission. Um, And then not, not too much longer.

Melissa: Uh, I had met Dave through, uh, we were at a cemetery and everybody like, well, technically we're supposed to go to a [00:05:00] guy's house. And he was like, you didn't say you're bringing all these people, you can't come in leave. So we got permission to investigate in the cemetery, and that's where I met Dave. Mm-hmm.

Melissa: So two separate occasions and then they met differently as well. Um, so then one day we were gonna investigate the, uh, captain Inn, captain Cranson. Oh, yeah. In Ledger or Preston, I think it's more Preston. Preston, yeah. Um, and so that's where the three of us, that was our first investigation, we really clicked like yeah, everything went smoothly, setting up equipment, this and that.

Melissa: We worked well together. And that's when they asked if I wanted to join the team. And I was like, absolutely. Yeah. So that was fun. And I brought to the team was a Reiki. Mm-hmm. Throughout my, my time. The very beginning of the team is when I started Reiki. So I was learning as I was going, how to be an investigator, how to use reiki on investigations.

Melissa: The further I went up in Reiki, the more I realized what I could do. So that was [00:06:00] nice. I can help my teammates if they're feeling energetically attacked or just whatever. I can clear a room of negative energy, whatever is needed. Chris will say to me, um, you know, Hey, do do some reiki over here, right?

Melissa: Because he always says it like that. He was like, just, just do do your thing over here and next thing you know, he's like, did you put something over the house? I'm like, yeah, I just put one big bubble over the whole house. He's like, cool. Oh wow. I'm like, why do one room? Let's just do the whole house. Yeah.

Melissa: So that's what we did. And um, yeah, and I love calling on the angels too, so to help us. So it's nice. So do you do that like through prayer to coop, to 'em, or are there certain. Just flat out. Okay. Hey, um, I can talk like any of them. Anyone can mind you. It's not just the reiki that allows me to do it.

Melissa: Anyone can do it. Mm-hmm. Um, but uh, yeah, just, uh, I'll call on Jesus himself and I'll just call on all Angels, or specifically if it's a healing, I'll call on, [00:07:00] um, Archangel Raphael if we're in battle. Well, Archangel Michael. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And just, yeah. 

Kim: That's interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And Reiki is about energy, right?

Kim: It is, yes. The manipulation of the forces kind of at your fingertips. Is that the way 

Melissa: I look at it is it, with me, it's intent. Like I say, intent should come from the heart, not the mind. Like, I don't wanna say, oh yeah, have a nice trip. Bye. It's like, Hey, you know what? I hope you have a great trip. Be safe.

Melissa: You know, that's coming from the heart, you know? That's more, that's how I do it when I do any Reiki sessions. Mm-hmm. It's just, you know, if you want to quit smoking, I'm gonna focus on you really quitting to smoke. Yeah. And let's really, and it's the same thing with the negative energies. I'm just, I pull from Jesus and I just take his divine love and just put it into the person or the room, whatever's needed.

Melissa: So yeah. I love that. I 

Kim: love that they're, you're able to use that during the investigations too. Mm-hmm. That's really, that's really powerful. Wow. [00:08:00]

Melissa: Yeah, it is. It's been helpful. 

Kim: Yeah. And, um, and Ursula, you came to the E C P S with your photography skills? Yes. 

Ursula: Well, so I saw a, I think it was a Facebook post that they were looking for, an investigator for the team.

Ursula: And I, um, in my past, I've always volunteered. I volunteered for, uh, my local fire department. I had volunteered at a theater. Um, so I was, I was looking for something to volunteer. Yeah. So I, I thought to myself, Hmm. I'm, I'm actually a retired law enforcement officer, so I, um, it was a posting for an investigator.

Ursula: I, I did 20 years law enforcement. I can be an investigator for them. Oh, wow. Yeah. I interviewed with Chris, um, and he invited me to come out on a investigation. Um, it [00:09:00] was Chris, this other young lady that we had on the team at the time, named Sarah. And as I was getting ready to leave the house to meet with them, I said to myself, I'm gonna just take my camera along.

Ursula: Mm-hmm. I mean, I'm going out on an investigation, maybe I'll capture something. Mm-hmm. And then as I was driving down there, I started to think to myself, oh, what if they don't want me to have a camera? Like, I was like, oh, goodness. So I, as I pulled into the parking lot, I got there first, and then Chris pulled up next to us.

Ursula: Next to me. Excuse me. And I had my camera on the side and Chris was like, are you all, are you ready? Are you, you know, excited and everything? And I was like, yeah. And he's like, yeah, what's up? Something's, something's bothering you. Mm-hmm. And I'm like, and brought my camera. Is that okay? And he's like, oh, you have your camera.

Ursula: Oh my goodness. Yeah. We don't have a camera, so like, bring your Yeah. Are, are you into photography? And it, it just, [00:10:00] you know, started from that and, um, yep. So I then, at the time, the team had a photographer, her name was Ruby. Um, and she moved outta the area. And, um, so they invited me to become their photographer.

Ursula: Mm-hmm. And it's, uh, been awesome experience. Um, I primarily had only photographed, uh, animals, uh, Plants. You know, I really wasn't a person photographer, you know, and I'm not, and when I say person, I don't mean portrait. I mean, I really never took pictures of people. Mm-hmm. Um, and so that was something that, you know, I've learned to take pictures of people and, and I enjoy it now.

Ursula: I love, I, I just bought a new camera. Um, it's a mirrorless camera. Um, and it, it has a really high i s o rating, which allows me to [00:11:00] shoot in darker light. Mm-hmm. And so I, you know, I've been able to capture better images of the team with this camera, and it's just, you know, opened up doors for me that, that I didn't realize.

Ursula: And, and I always have the photography hobby, you know, in my background. Um, and so this has just allowed me to open that up more. So I, I love that. Really appreciate the team allowing me that opportunity. Yeah. 

Kim: Wow. And I, I just love the range of skills that you all bring. I mean, your investigative background, your reiki, and then I just love that, um, that working with the group opened up a whole new, um, palette Exactly.

Kim: For you visually. Mm-hmm. That's really exciting. 

Briana: Right? Yeah. So what we would like to know next is for both of you, what was your earliest experience with the paranormal? 

Ursula: Do you want me to go first this time? Yeah, you go first. Um, I actually, um, so my family comes [00:12:00] from Germany and at the currently it's, it's literally like my brother and my mother.

Ursula: Okay. And um, so at the time I had an uncle in Germany who was my father's best friend. Okay. And when we would travel back to Germany, um, he would, and when I say we, either my brother or I alone mm-hmm. Would travel to back to Germany to visit family. Um, he was like our father because they would, he and my aunt and my cousin would come over from Germany and spend the time with us.

Ursula: So we were very close. So he was, you know, I mean, he was my father in Germany, so to speak. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And, um, so when he passed, I woke up that morning and I felt as though somebody had given me a hug. I, and I, I didn't know that he had passed, but I felt this, this hug, and then it disappeared. Mm-hmm. And then I [00:13:00] went to my parents' home and my mom came out and said, I have some sad news.

Ursula: Your Uncle Wolf gun passed away today. And I said, yep. I knew it. Mm-hmm. He came and he gave me a hug. Oh. So that was really my first, you know, it wasn't anything scary. Mm-hmm. And I, and I tell this story and I say to people, you know, you can interpret however you want to. You can believe me or not believe me.

Ursula: This is my, this was my experience, you know, and nobody can take that away from me. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So that was my first experience. 

Kim: That's beautiful. 

Melissa: It's nice. Prior to where I live now, I lived alone and I had a duplex that I was in, and a lot of weird things happened. So when I had a roommate, nothing of it, really poor insulation, we're right by the road.

Melissa: So all the noises I heard, I just figured it was outside noise. Once the roommate left. That's when I'm starting noticing. I'm like, okay, [00:14:00] now who do I blame? Mm-hmm. So, yeah. And this is where Ghost Hunters was big, so, right. Mm-hmm. Saturday, Friday night, whatever. It came on at eight o'clock, I'm, I was watching it and so I learned, oh, take pictures, right?

Melissa: So I started taking pictures and I would see this woman, I'd only see like, probably like neck up. She was always, well, maybe a little further 'cause she was holding her baby like this. And, and she had a really high collar, it was like lace. Mm-hmm. My hair was long and I could see her, I'm like, hi, I don't know what to do.

Melissa: Right. Yeah. And I would only see her at a sliding closet door. That's the only place I take pictures throughout the house. Mm-hmm. Nothing. Wow. I'm only there. So, um, I was like, whatever, like, you can stay. I'm fine. What you know, and a couple of weird things did happen. I did have a sleep paralysis one night.

Melissa: Which was so strange. Oh, wow. That's, yeah, that's when, and the thing is, I, I knew it was gonna happen before it [00:15:00] happened. I'm like, wait, was that a premonition? Like, how did I know that? That's what it sounds like. Right? And then I'm like, whatever, I'm going sleep. And it happened weird. Um, I finally was able to, I focused on my cat, which I know he was right here.

Melissa: It was, I don't know why, but I did, I was able to say his name and that's what pulled me out. Mm-hmm. I just, I literally like sat up and, because I was laying down, so I sat up saying his name, and so weird. Other than that, I've heard whispering in the hallway over here. Mm-hmm. And then I heard like, um, um, like an oxygen machine in front of the bed, like how it goes up and then goes down, right?

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Wow. And all I, I piece it together. I wonder if someone died in here and people were whispering in the hallway, you know? Yeah. And they're on. That's all. I, I don't know. I really don't know what happened. But at one point, uh, now my husband at the time, boyfriend. He's like, you know, we've just gotten back and we're looking at the house.

Melissa: He's like, you have like four feet off the, um, from the uh, [00:16:00] bulkhead. I'm like, yeah, whatever. He's a carpenter. So he would notice. Oh, okay. Yeah. Right. Mm-hmm. We go down the bulkhead and it's just a wall. I'm like, wait a minute. 

Kim: Oh, you like, you opened the doors and it was a wall. 

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Cinder block. That's creepy.

Melissa: Well, that I'm like, oh, that's valid. And the ceilings were open. They had like the old mason jar where you can unscrew it and get all your nails out of it. That's in the ceiling. Right. So I was scared, but I took my camera and I put my hand over and I just started snapping all these pictures and then I looked at 'em and it's just debris.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. It's cinder blocks. It's maybe they closed it off. Some people say for like taxes. Right. You close it off. You don't pay taxes on it. Maybe that's what it was. I really don't know. But here's a strange part above that is where I would see the woman. Oh wow. 

Kim: Wow. Okay. 

Melissa: And I'm like, how do I get in there?

Melissa: Like, I wanna get in there. Yeah. And my boyfriend at the time was like, no, it's not your house. You, I'm like, I wanna [00:17:00] break open the layers of floor that they keep piling on top, you know? Yeah. Yeah. I it too. Yeah. I, I don't know. I, it's a mystery. Interesting. Wow. Yeah. That was pretty cool. 

Kim: Yeah. And how old was the house ? 

Melissa: Honestly, this was in Jewitt City, so that was, um, it was a mill, I think it was like a Milltown or something.

Melissa: Okay. Yep. Mm-hmm. So, mm-hmm. We're going way back, right? I don't even 20th century. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So wild. I don't know. Wow. I can only theorize. I have no evidence, no proof. Let me just put that out there. Yeah. I don't know what's, what happened. 

Kim: Yeah. It would be interesting to, to research who lived in the house before.

Melissa: That's one of the blogs I wrote about. There's a picture I captured this really cool, nice and Oh wow. 

Kim: Okay. I'll take a look at, at it can see the 

Melissa: debris and Yeah. Some people say they can see the woman in the picture I took. Mm-hmm. The woman holding the baby. I don't know. Mm-hmm. Um, I think I'm so used to it.

Melissa: I don't really see it anymore. Yeah. Interesting. You know, I have to check that out too. Yeah. Yeah. [00:18:00]But, um, it was cool. 

Kim: Hmm. Well, um, we know that there are haunted locations throughout Connecticut and so has E C P S brought you all to Middletown before or was the Russell Library the first place you investigated in Middletown?

Melissa: I don't know. It was the first. I know most recently you were sick that day. Um, but yeah, we have, we have been. Mm-hmm. It wasn't that long ago. That's right. Yes. It was back in April, I want to say. Was it earlier this year? Yeah. Mm-hmm. Ursula was recovering, so she's like, I'm just gonna take a couple more days.

Melissa: I'm not coming out. And so, yeah. 

Kim: Yeah. And I know you investigate all, all kinds of sites, like, um, Inns and Private Residences and Bakery. Mm-hmm. Oh, it was a bakery. There was a bakery. Oh.

Kim: Oh, interesting. 

Ursula: No, this wasn't a bakery. 

Kim: Oh, no. Not part. Well, no, but that, that's interesting. 

Ursula: We have been to bakeries.

Ursula: Yeah. 

Ursula: Yes, yes. 

Kim: Oh, I love [00:19:00] that. Yeah. 

Melissa: We just did the bond hotel, or it's called the residence now. Mm-hmm. But was a hotel. Mm-hmm. So, yeah. Yeah. Interesting 


Kim: Yeah. That's historical. Yeah. Would have a lot of res residual energy, I could imagine. For sure. So, um, when you came to the Russell Library, how did it compare to other spaces that you've investigated?

Kim: What were some of your initial impressions? 

Ursula: Huge. Huge? Yeah. 

Melissa: Huge. I'm like, wait, is this part of it? Why you go into one room? I'm like, like I said, when I got in here, I keep looking. I'm like, oh my God, this thing doesn't stop. 

Kim: It's true. Yeah, it's true. I remember, I'm still, I'm still finding staircases that I'm like, oh, I didn't know.

Kim: Does this go anywhere? Huh? Okay. So he goes outside. That's great. 

Ursula: I remember the first night when the first investigation and we met the librarians and they were like, yep, this is this building. And then over here is what used to be a bank. And over here was, it was just 

Melissa: like, whoa. Well, it was funny 'cause Dave [00:20:00] and Eli went with them to tour down downstairs, a basement Sublevel.

Melissa: And I'm like, what's taking 'em so long? Like, what is going on? Mm-hmm. You know? And they come back and Dave's like, this place is huge. Mm-hmm. So, yeah. Mm-hmm. We learned the first night how big the library is. Yeah. Yeah. So which part of the library or parts would you say were most active? I'd go with the first investigation was would be the teen section.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And the basement. 'cause you were renovating. Yep. Right. And that usually kickstarts energy and spirits. And we found out I didn't know that. Yeah. With this second investigation, the basement was mm-hmm. It looks great, by the way. Yeah. 

Kim: It looks great. Right. Mary Dattilo assistant director did a great job.

Melissa: Absolutely. Absolutely. We can't believe it's the same place. It's quiet. Yeah. 

Kim: Yeah. So the spirits approved. I always 

Briana: wonder that. I was like, if we [00:21:00] start, when they finally start, Ripping that place up, are these spirits gonna be like, no. Mm-hmm. Stop. 

Kim: Yeah, leave it alone. I hadn't even thought about that. Yeah.

Kim: Well, 

Melissa: if you think if they're used to, it's residual. If they're used to going through a door and you put a wall there mm-hmm. They're like, makes, I'm confused. And now you see them going through a wall, but to them they're going through a door. Yeah. 

Kim: So And so the second time the basement was quiet, so was what was the most active during the second investigation?

Kim: The children? 

Ursula: Uh, no, the, um, teen teens. Yeah. Where you have those CD 

Kim: racks. Oh, right. Yes. Yeah. 

Ursula: Which was interesting because when we met before the investigation with the librarians, they told us that it had quieted down. Mm-hmm. Yes. Yes. And yet it was lively for 

Melissa: us. Yes. Oh, has, we haven't had anything since you've been here.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Blah, blah, blah. I'm like, okay. We go down the teen section and two drawers have been out, are [00:22:00] out. They've been. Pushed out and I'm like, huh. They know we're here. I'm like, hi. 

Kim: Yeah. Well, because they had come out, like, so, um, in the teen and AV area, the CDs are organized in, in drawers, correct? Mm-hmm.

Kim: So they had pulled out while you were during your visit? Yes. 

Ursula: Well, prior to us going down. Mm-hmm. And then we place cameras on them. Mm-hmm. And twice our cap, we captured them 


Melissa: up. Interesting. And what we notice is when we're staring, nothing happens. As soon as we walked away, they're like, okay, you can just see.

Melissa: Oh, interesting. Very slow. It's very, it's not like a hard Oh, wow. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It's almost kind of like a spooky sort of, Yeah. That's eerie. That must be eerie to see on camera. No, it was kind of cool. Yeah, exactly. You're like, yes. No, I was hoping that when y'all came back that you would catch that. Yeah.

Melissa: 'cause we, like, before we were seeing it all the time, so we did [00:23:00] a tour guide walk through for our secrets for this fall, and a couple of them were open while we were in that area and we're like, oh, there they go again. There they go again. I mean, we had David jumping up and down. Right. I can't gently shook it.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Yeah. No, I mean it, nothing came. I mean, it was not even, there's one that's really loose, if you will. Mm-hmm. Nothing. Wow. Nothing happened. 

Kim: Yeah. And we're far enough back from the road that it's not, and we don't get a lot of truck traffic, so there's not a lot of vibration, um, happening on that score, so, yeah.

Kim: I guess they, they wanted to say hello. Exactly. They were glad you were back. Right. Um, so during the process of this, of the two investigations, um, what did you learn that surprised you? Um, is there a space or a story that particularly resonated with you? 

Ursula: Well, what, when we were gathering the evidence, there was a webpage, [00:24:00] the Middletown, the Middletown 

Kim: Press maybe press, well it could have 

Ursula: been, it's um, 

Kim: or maybe the town I Middletown, I, that's it, that's what it was.

Ursula: Yeah. You have a part one and a part two where you talk about the history of the library, how it's established, the different librarians that, um, have worked here in the past. And I did not pick up on it initially. So when we came back for the second investigation, as I was reviewing the evidence and reviewing what information there was, so.

Ursula: Our, our, our job while we're investigating is as David, he comes across a name or if he comes across, you know, something and we then will either say, yep, you're heading down the right track, or, I don't know. I don't know anything. Right. And so, you know, I noticed that there had been two gentlemen, librarians mm-hmm.

Ursula: And then [00:25:00] thereafter was all women. And so I was impressed with that. Mm-hmm. That there was, you know, several very strong women too. Mm-hmm. That made Yeah. Pretty big changes too, establishing a children's section and whatnot. Yes. So, you know, I was, I was impressed with that. Yeah. 

Kim: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. In fact, I think it was the, the first, uh, woman librarian whose name escapes me at the moment, former.

Kim: Laura, it could be Laura, um, who actually, um, encouraged the town to, to financially support the library. Correct. 'cause before that it had been an association library. Mm-hmm. Um, and so the, the board, um, supported it financially. Um, and that was a, that's a huge move. Right. Um, so yes, I was impressed that Laura was able to, to make that happen.

Kim: For sure. And a lot of the women who stayed, stayed for a long time. Correct? Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Melissa: What about you? I, [00:26:00] I'm all about repurposing, so I love that it was an old church. There was a bank involved at one point. Yes. And. I just think that's cool. It's not like, okay, there's no longer a church here. Let's just let it rot and walk away. Like, no, yeah, let's do something with it. So I think that was kind of cool.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. It's nice. It's a beautiful, beautiful building. 

Kim: Yeah. And Francis Russell, she had a vision because mm-hmm. You know, the church building itself was kind of this traditional white church with a steeple, and so when she purchased it, she completely transformed it with the brownstone, with the tower, with the, you know, the stained glass windows.

Kim: A lot of people are surprised to hear that the stained glass windows were actually, um, are actually originally to the library, but not to the, to the church that was there previously. Um, so yeah, she definitely gave it a new life and a new purpose. 

Melissa: We actually got to tour the bell tower this time. Oh yeah.

Kim: The bell tower is wild. It's um, 

Melissa: yeah, the space itself is, I open the door, I'm like, I [00:27:00] kind of just looking in. Yeah. But it was, but you know, we walked in and the spirit box was just that we used to get the spirits to talk back and mm-hmm. It was just awesome. Ursula was talking in German. Oh, interesting. He like talking in Polish and Yeah.

Melissa: Responding. I couldn't tell you 'cause I don't know the language, but they, people were, well, I should say spirits were responding through the spirit box, so. Wow. Yeah, they're have to, it's a 

Kim: great view up there actually. Oh yeah. Like once you get to the tower, the room itself is quite beautiful. Mm-hmm. And you have like this 360 degree panoramic view of Middletown, so Yeah, I bet, I bet the spirits like to hang 

Melissa: out up there.

Melissa: Well it was also storming. Oh, interesting. So we had the, the lightning and the rain. Oh wow. Which is awesome. 'cause that's bringing more energy for us. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So that's awesome. Mm-hmm. Probably why So could that have contributed to how great, like how many responses you were getting through the spirit box?

Melissa: Sure. Because they use that reception plus the storm. Mm-hmm. Yeah, because we had it right on the windowsill. So, yeah. Is that the one that they can just speak and it'll So it, [00:28:00] it, it, it, um, it circulates through all the radio stations. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And really fast. Yeah. I see them use it on tv. I like when they use that.

Melissa: Yeah. Some of it you gotta be, I mean, you gotta use your judgment. Mm-hmm. 'cause it does spit out just random words, which mean nothing. Mm-hmm. But mm-hmm. You 

Ursula: know, or you'll hear like a radio station and you're just like, yep. Radio station. Yeah. Right. Yeah. But typically when a question's asked and you get a response, you know, you're mm-hmm.

Ursula: You're speaking with them. 

Melissa: Yeah. Wow. That's so cool. And if you notice, we'll ask a couple of times Yeah. Just to almost mm-hmm. Okay. Did, was that just a fluke? Mm-hmm. And then if you get the same answer, you know? Yeah. Yeah. 

Briana: That's so cool. Yeah. Mm-hmm. 

Briana: So where is the most haunted location in Connecticut that you've investigated?

Melissa: I. So for me, I would say Windsor okay. We were in a, there was a, a resident, uh, house that we did. It was, it was demonic, so Oh, wow. And when the team formed, we're like, we're not doing any demonic. I'm like, [00:29:00]yeah, no, I'm not doing that. That's not me. Right, right, right. And we started getting cases. So it's really weird how life happens.

Melissa: Yes. Right. Yeah. Um, and then honestly, you know, it just, it really brought me closer to God. 'cause that's who I leaned on when things were going crazy in the house. So, yeah. Um, I would say it would probably be the best, 'cause it really got me closer and mm-hmm. It, there were things that were happening. We had cameras set up, we had audio, and you play it back and you don't hear or see it.

Melissa: But we saw it with our eyes present. Right? Oh, wow. Yeah. It was, I can't explain it. There was like little, like fireflies. Yeah. But there were different colors, but the camera got none of it. Wow. And you're like, wait, no, I saw that. And you can see it was pointing on the camera. So it's not like, yeah. You look and there's nothing, absolutely nothing.

Melissa: So weird. Yeah. So when you're dealing with something demonic, like how do you go about, like, do you help clear people's houses of that type of energy or, [00:30:00] well, that's really where we come together as a team and figure out what's causing it. Why is it here? It, it comes down to energy. Mm-hmm. Right? We're all energy.

Melissa: Their energy too. Mm-hmm. They're just negative energy. Yeah. Right. So that's why it's so important to have a strong belief system in whomever. Mm-hmm. Whatever divine, you know, being. But uh, and then that, and we figure out the cause, what's going on? It wasn't an object that was brought into the house, you know, and we gotta teach them.

Melissa: Okay. Less fighting, more loving. Like, you gotta fight this because basically it wants to split the couple apart. That's always the goal. Mm-hmm. So there's different angles we, we go 

Kim: at too. That's interesting. So you're kind of looking like for a way to resolve the, the 

Melissa: tension? Well, yeah. Through research.

Melissa: Yeah. Um, and then the claims, Dave's gift of being a psychic. And you know, when Chris as well, he was our, uh, psychic medium, so they would figure out what was [00:31:00] going on. Yeah. And then from there we're like, okay, this is what you do. Yeah. 

Kim: Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. Understanding the source, I, yeah. I can see how that would be important.

Kim: Yeah. Figuring it out. It's really valuable. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And how about you 

Ursula: Issa? I'm gonna switch it a little bit. I'm gonna say spirited. Mm-hmm. And I'm gonna say the places that. And I'm gonna also broaden it. I say the places that I found the most spirited have been, I've been now to the Russell Library.

Ursula: Mm-hmm. I've been to a library in, in, uh, mystic, Connecticut. Yes. I've been to a library in South Windham, and those areas for me have been the most spirited. Mm-hmm. Okay. You know? Yeah. Uh, the mystic one, you read my blog. Mm-hmm. I, um, I encountered somebody from my past, you know, they came forward and spoke through the spirit box.

Ursula: Um, there's [00:32:00] also, um, you know, up in the Bell Tower the other night, we, I, my name was said as well. Oh, wow. Um, so, you know, I, I now feel as though that individual is with me, which is a great comfort, you know? Um, But I think the libraries with their history, their locations, you know, uh, we spoke about how your library at one point was a church.

Ursula: Um, the one in South Windham was a private residence that turned into a library, and the one in Mystic, I believe also was a church at one time. Mm-hmm. So, you know, for me that brings, you know, a lot of spirits forward. Yeah. 

Kim: Yeah. Yeah. It's funny, Briana and I were talking about that a little bit because I've, I've never, um, you know, had a, a spiritual encounter at this library, but I also never feel alone.

Kim: Mm-hmm. And I think so many people come to libraries sort of with, um, [00:33:00] questions that they wanna have answered. Um, you know, it doesn't surprise me that a lot of that energy stays right in the building and it's a comfort. Yeah. In a lot of ways. 

Ursula: And I know, you know, for me, libraries have always been a part of my life, you know, uh, where I grew up, the town library, we.

Ursula: Went there all the time. I have a good friend who's a library and in New Hampshire, hi. Back up. Um, but anyways, uh, but I think libraries, because it's so positive for us here mm-hmm. In the now that when you pass and you're looking for someplace comfortable, you come to the library. 

Kim: Yeah, yeah. 

Kim: I could see that.

Kim: Yeah, absolutely. 

Melissa: And I can say, Chris would say, when you touched on, you don't feel alone. Chris would say it's, 'cause we always have our guides with us and our ancient, so we're never really alone. We always have them right around us. Sometimes it's, you know, past loved ones, spirit guides. So yeah. When people [00:34:00] say, oh, I feel something around me, I'm like, It could just be something like that.

Melissa: Not necessarily where you are is haunted, right? Like people think mm-hmm. Yeah. Right, right. Yeah. 

Briana: Is there a way for anyone to tell who their spirit guides would be? Or you just kind of 

Melissa: That was Chris's thing. Yeah. 

Ursula: Okay. That's not our Yeah, yeah, yeah. That was right. He was, he was incredible. 

Briana: So he would just sense like, oh, like this person's, 

Melissa: he was a very strong psychic, meaning mm-hmm.

Melissa: He really, he was like the real thing. We actually joked and like you mentioned, all the different tools that we have. We would call him our biggest tool because like has said, he came up to him and was like, all right, what's going on? Yeah. Like he already knew she was, something was going and he didn't know what it was because she brought the camera, but mm-hmm.

Melissa: Right. 

Ursula: Or you'd be on an investigation and he'd say, Mel, don't, don't, don't get upset. Don't worry. There's a woman standing behind you, and of course you were sitting there going, do I [00:35:00] turn around? Do I just do, I start screaming like, what do I, hi. He was just very calm and comforting about it. That you were just like, okay.

Melissa: Well, he would say, um, Ursula, move to the left five steps. Yeah, just move. Don't, don't question him. He's telling you something for a reason. Just move. Okay. Wow. But he would be very calm. Yeah. So he, he would be the one to tell spirit guides. Um, that's definitely a, a gift that people have that can see them tune into that.

Kim: Wow. Yeah. It's a different frequency, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. That the person is attuned to. Um, so if, uh, if someone suspects that a place is spirited, um, what do you recommend they do? I mean, obviously they should call you all first. E number 

Melissa: one,

Melissa: we do an intake. So we, we, we see what's going on and kind of. Go from there. Mm-hmm. And see if it's something we investigate or, um, so we have spirited and then you have [00:36:00] haunted spirited is Yeah. Yeah. Kind of. It could be just someone's just hanging out. Maybe they built the house. Right, right. Where like the librarians in the past, they're just hanging out here, you know?

Melissa: Um, and then haunted is usually something that's not nice. Oh, okay. That's kind of how we separate the two. Okay. The word haunted is almost like, oh yeah. That's haunted. And people think it's exciting. Yeah. Mm-hmm. We, we, I would say the majority of our cases have been spirited. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Um, there was a case, I don't, this was way back, uh, he, he just wanted to stay with his family.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. You know, that, that's it. He, he means no harm. We teach people how to coexist. You can say, Hey, listen, you can stay here, but stay out of my kids' bedrooms. Mm-hmm. And just, you're, you're limited to the first floor only stuff like that. Yeah. Just coexist. But in reality, I think a lot of people really.

Melissa: I mean, you can just be having a bad day and pick up someone else's Sure. Bad energy. And then things [00:37:00] happen in the house, and really it's nothing. So we really have to look hard at, you know, what's going on. If it happens once, I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Mm-hmm. Unless it was something really bad.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Like the walls are, you know, blood's coming outta the walls. That's different. Okay. So now, now that's not something to ignore definitely. 

Kim: But, um, yeah. And maybe find a hotel 

Melissa: maybe. Yeah. Just take the dog, get out. No, but it's, I mean, definitely we do an intake and we, we figure it out. We see, you know, we get, ask all these questions.

Melissa: I think the intake's three pages long. Yeah. Two pages long. Yeah. And it includes 

Ursula: things like Yeah. You, any medical conditions, you know? Mm-hmm. Are you taking any medications? You know, that, that type of thing. Mm-hmm. So we really, you know, we ask 'em to be honest, truthful, you know, and provide us as much information.

Ursula: Because then we present that to David and Mel's another one that reviews it and mm-hmm. With their guidance, we'll [00:38:00] determine to take a, a case or 

Kim: not. Yeah. And, and that's one of the things I really like about your approach. I mean, just reading through some of the cases that you have on your website, I mean, you're definitely looking for, um, evidence to support what's happening.

Kim: And, and there are some cases where you're like, Nope. There was a, I think there was one private residence where there was a mirror at the top of the stairs or something like that, where it was the person was seeing things, but that it was a trick of the light with the mirror. It really, it wasn't mm-hmm.

Kim: A spirit. And I thought, you know, okay, that's, you know, I, I really appreciated the fact that, you know, you were able to, to isolate well, and that's what was going on. 

Ursula: Right. And that's what, you know in why I, I decided I was gonna invest in this team as well, because. When I interviewed part, part of the interview process was an inter, an actual interview, but then they presented me with evidence.

Ursula: Mm-hmm. And from cases, and one [00:39:00] of the pieces of evidence that they had was from a location not far from where I live mm-hmm. Was a, a, uh, it's the old Wyndham Inn out in Windam Center, Connecticut. 

Kim: Okay. 

Ursula: And, um, so I've been out in that area many, many times. I know it very well. I have a friend that lives right down the street from there.

Ursula: And, uh, so when I saw that piece, you know, I said, oh, you know, it's a car light, you know, going across. And so that's what I put down. 'cause they, they said, write down what it, and then Chris called me up and said, let's talk about this here. And so I was like, okay. And I'm like, yeah, well, you know, I live out in that area.

Ursula: I know this building. It's been abandoned for years. The, the windows are all boarded up. I could easily see how a car could drive by. And he is like, Hmm, well, we drove cars up and down the street and not [00:40:00] one light shown in there. Mm-hmm. Right. So I was like, okay. You know, and he explained how they, you know, well, we'll make every effort to debunk.

Ursula: Yeah. You know, just like Mel was telling you with the, the drawers for the cassettes there, right? Mm-hmm. We jumped around it, we shook it, you know, we tried to push and everything and nothing. Right. So then I become a member of the team and we have an opportunity to go back out there. And I said to myself, I'm gonna watch.

Ursula: 'cause there's, it's like a five-way intersection. Okay? Okay. Yeah. And so I'm like, I'm gonna watch this 'cause I wanna really, and I did. And I never saw a light go past. And so that's why I know that the evidence that they captured and that they. Put forward Yeah. Is actual, yeah. You know, it's not somebody pulling a string, it's not somebody walking by with a flashlight.

Ursula: Mm-hmm. You know, imitating something. They really captured true evidence. And there's a couple [00:41:00]other video, um, captures. One is Mel is in a residence and just she's peeing across the room. Yeah. Yep. And the door opens up and, you know, they're not anywhere herself or the homeowner. Right. You were with the homeowner?

Melissa: Uh, actually a guest investigator. Guest investigator. Mm-hmm. It was a big house, so we had many people. Mm-hmm. And was sitting on the bed and she's like, she said her heart was going like, really fast. I'm like, are you okay? And I just had the camera at the door. She goes, yeah. She goes, it happens when the spirits come.

Melissa: And I'm like, oh, okay. I never heard that before. And as I look back the door just. Starts to creep open. And I'm like, oh, no, no, no. Yeah. Wow. But it was, once I, I turned my head and I was talking to her 'cause she was sitting at the front of the bed, I was sitting at the edge. It's like, that's when it started to open.

Melissa: It's like, ah, you're not watching. Well, the camera was exactly, watch this. Um, but touching on what Ursula said about flashlights, that's why we investigate in the dark. Mm-hmm. We'll [00:42:00] use our flashlight to get to the location and then all lights are off. Mm-hmm. Now, and a camera we'll have a we'll illuminate, but I can close it and still record.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. So we're even darker now, you know what I mean? Yeah. Except for windows. I mean, we do what we can, but we wanna eliminate as much light as possible. Right. Mm-hmm. Right. Yeah. Mm-hmm. So when you're done with investigations at a place that's actually haunted as opposed to spirited, is there anything that you have to do to like, protect yourselves from something falling home or, oh, that's a good question.

Melissa: Yeah. Um, Again, I just, I talk to my angels, the guides, everything. Uh, we tell them, we even talk to the bearers, you cannot follow us. Mm-hmm. Yeah. We do not give you permission. You, you, you have to stay here. Well, I, it sounds bad you have to stay here, but you know, you can't follow us. Yeah. Yeah. But, um, yeah, I mean, and then even during the day, it really depends.

Melissa: Like, I'll take a nap, I'll, um, I'll do meditating. Mm-hmm. Um, we have a case that [00:43:00] could be pretty serious coming up, so I'll actually just leave the house and go completely alone somewhere and just meditate. You know, I don't want be in, I don't want bring it to my house so I don't do it in the house and just go out.

Melissa: Mm-hmm. Yep. Um, and it's, it could be going for a walk, it could be just exercising. Mm-hmm. Anything to just get your mind prepared for the day. Mm-hmm. Get rid of any internal stress. Mm-hmm. Anything that's going on in life, it's almost like, take it out, put it here, and when the case is over, you can come back.

Melissa: 'cause I know I have to learn from it. Right. But just mm-hmm. For the case, stay away, you know? Mm-hmm. Just. Leave it. Yeah. 

Ursula: Right. Yeah. And that was when I, when I joined the team, that was the one thing that I learned was that they would close the house. That was the term that they would use. They would close the house and basically say, don't follow home.

Ursula: And then, you know, I, I grew up as, um, in Lutheran Church, so, um, there's a few prayers that I learned mm-hmm. Um, growing up as a child that I'll say, [00:44:00] you know, to protect myself as I go home. Mm-hmm. 

Briana: Because I had gone to the, the Warrens Para Con last year. Oh. Um, and we, I had paid extra to go into where they had relics from their museum.

Briana: Oh yes. Right. And so I went with my cousin and another friend from work, and we were like, hopefully nothing follows us home. And so I had a, I was thinking about this while we were talking earlier. I was like, I had this, something talked to me in the middle of the night in my bedroom. Mm. After we had gotten home, like just, I just woke up and something was like here and said something to me, and then it was just like done.

Briana: And it never happened. It happened like one other time randomly. Mm-hmm. But it was like, am I sleeping or is there something here? It was the weirdest thing ever. So I wasn't like, like I wore this necklace there. 'cause this is like a protective charm. Nice. Um, for Italian people. So I heard this when I feel like I need extra protection.

Briana: So I was like, hopefully that kept things [00:45:00] most way. That's great. But it was the weirdest experience ever. I was like, Hmm. That was 

Ursula: talking to me. Right. Well, that was another thing that I learned from being on the team is, um, you'll hear team members say that, um, you know, just like we have free will here.

Ursula: Mm-hmm. They have free will. Right? Mm-hmm. So, you know, if you say, look, you're, it's not okay to come home with me. Yeah. It's not okay to take a car ride with me. Mm-hmm. You have to stay here. That's what you do. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Right. That's 

Kim: great. I like that. Establishing boundaries. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Great. In the real world and in the spirit world.

Kim: Exactly. Excellent. Absolutely Excellent. Well, um, I, I just, it's been so fascinating to talk to the two of you about the work that E C P S does. Um, is there any, what else would you like people to know about your organization? 

Melissa: I mean, I just had like a flood of 

Melissa: Right. All at once. Um, we have a website. We post all our cases.

Melissa: Uh, you can read all about them. [00:46:00] Yes. Uh, there are, uh, I believe there's EVPs on our website that you can listen to. Mm-hmm. Get an idea of what a spirit box sounds like or an E V P, et cetera. Um, We, uh, want, I mean, actually we're on Facebook and we, lately we've been go, we've been live streaming, so that's kind of cool.

Melissa: It's like bringing our fans with us. They love it. Oh, it's, yeah. So, um, I'm gonna check that out. That's, yeah. If you follow us and then you'll get notified when all of a sudden we decide last second we're gonna go live tonight, you know? Yeah, yeah. Um, uh, yeah. Um, you can always donate, uh, right. We don't charge.

Ursula: Yep. We don't charge for investigations and we don't pay either. We would, yeah. We won't pay to come to a site and, uh, you know, so we, we do rely on donations, 

Melissa: um, which goes to maintenance for the equipment, more equipment as well. Mm-hmm. Right. Yeah. Administrative fee, stuff like that. Right. We just picked 

Ursula: up two action cameras that we'll [00:47:00] be having on our investigators.

Ursula: You know, we bought the chest strap, um, so yeah. So we'll get that footage out there too. You know, so we're just, that's exciting. Team is, is really moving forward, right? I mean, we've, we've, the Russell Library, other locations have just been, you know, great for us. Mm-hmm. Um, the evidence that we've captured and the connections that we've made with, with you and the public in general.

Ursula: Mel and I did a, um, we, uh, at the Wyndham Center, uh, they had a Wyndham preservation. Mm-hmm. Um, so they invited us to have a table there and meet the public and discuss our investigations and yeah, it was nice. Yeah. We've met a lot of great people and they gave us a lot of information about other sites in the area, you know, and invited us to come out.

Ursula: So, you know, there's, there's a [00:48:00] lot coming down the pike, so. Right. Yeah. We encourage you to start following us and. Are you on Instagram 

Briana: too? Yes. Yes. Okay. Yeah. I'll be following. Awesome. Yes, me too. I think what's important to the team is to tell the story, but it's so important to do your research. We can't stress that enough, right?

Briana: Yes. Right? Mm-hmm. Do you know, so you, you call us and you give us your claims, that's great. But now I want to research the land, the building, how many people have lived in your house? Like mm-hmm. What kind of things have happened? So that's why it's important. 'cause we don't know what kind of information David's gonna get.

Briana: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And we have to support him because if he's like, oh, I'm getting George. And everyone's like, oh, I don't know George's. No, there's no George. I don't. Okay. Was that just a spirit walking through? Mm-hmm. Yeah. Right. So yeah. But we can back it up. Say, oh no, yeah, right here, George, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Briana: You know? I 

Kim: was about to say, and as librarians we can definitely say research is key. Yeah. Um, and there are a lot of great resources out there to learn about, um, places in your, your community. Mm-hmm. [00:49:00] Um, more records than you would think. And so, yeah. So, yeah. Thank you for, for emphasizing that. Yeah, absolutely.

Kim: Because it is absolutely, it, it gives a lot of shape. I'm, I'm glad to hear that. It how gives so much shape to your work. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, it's definitely something to help, um, yeah. Help people help you understand what's going on. Yep. For sure. And now I noticed you both have t-shirts on. So is there, is there merchandise?

Kim: Is there sweat? We sell merch. Yes. Yes, yes. Okay. So can you tell, so T-shirts? Yes. 

Melissa: T-shirts. Um, sweatshirts. Sweatshirts. So zippers and just hoodies. Nice. Yeah. Um, and then I guess like a, was it, or a V-neck? Yeah. All right. This is actually really old. This was from when, um, we, when the team formed. Okay. We all got these for like presentations.

Melissa: Nice. Yeah. So this is old school? It's vintage. It's 

Kim: vintage, yeah. Just 

Melissa: like me.

Kim: Well, and I've, I've spent, uh, co many hours on your website and I can definitely say [00:50:00] it's just a great resource, um, for, again, looking at some of the locations in Connecticut in a completely different way. And, um, it's engaging, it's fun. So definitely check it out and definitely check out the merch. I'm gonna, I'm, I've got my eye on one of those t-shirts.

Kim: Okay. 

Melissa: We had different ones. This is, um, uh, yeah, this is Chris's. Yeah, this is Chris's Design. 

Ursula: Design, yeah. And there's a more modern one. 

Briana: Yeah. Nice, nice. So our final question we have for you today is, do you have any book, movie, TV show or podcast recommendations? 

Melissa: So I just saw the Pope Exorcist. 

Briana: I did too.

Briana: So good. How did, so did you feel like how paranormal aspect was a little bit too much? Or did you like it. 

Melissa: I mean, it's definitely Hollywood. Yeah, no doubt. Like a hundred percent. Yeah. I don't know how real, a lot of that. Mm-hmm. But then again, it's demonic, so who's to say? Yeah. Right. Um, but it was still a cool, it was an old church.

Melissa: Yeah. [00:51:00] Mm-hmm. Um, yeah, no, it was, it was pretty cool. I liked the message. I don't wanna ruin it for everyone, but, so is this a movie? Yeah, it's a movie with Russell Crowe. Oh. As he, Pope the Vatican's head Exorcist. Oh, interesting. Father Amorth, if I said his name correctly Yep. Amorth Amorth. I think it's Amorth.

Melissa: Amorth Ath. But he's got a lot of books. The actual, yeah. Um, guy the movie was based off of. Oh, interesting. So I, I bought one of, I bought one of them somewhere. He's since passed away, but I watched the one where he did an exorcism on this woman. It took several. Wow. Mm-hmm. Yeah. That's crazy. Wows. I think it's definitely worth watching if you like, as long as you like to be scared horror movies and would be scared.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. And you like the demonic. Haunting type of piece. Sure. But I like the way they tied it in. So it was this one thing that was with, it was the same theory for everyone. Mm-hmm. Right. It just mm-hmm. And it was really like even he broke down and he had to forgive himself. He couldn't forgive himself.

Melissa: Once he did, he was able to battle the demon. Yeah. [00:52:00] So interesting. Right. Oh wow. Yeah, we have copies of the library, so. Excellent. Okay. 

Kim: Cool. Cool. And Ursula, anything you'd like to recommend? Yes, I 

Ursula: do. Um, the author that I spoke of earlier, her name is Kate Winkler Dawson, and she works with Paul Holes and they have a podcast called Buried Bones.

Ursula: Ooh, buried Bones. 

Kim: Yeah, I'm looking that up right now. I was about, say Briana is looking that up. I'm writing it down 

Ursula: exactly. That, that really, um, I enjoy their podcast. Again, a lot of times it, it has to do with, um, cold cased mm-hmm. You know, investigations, that type stuff. But, um, they're wonderful to listen to.

Ursula: Yeah. Yeah. I enjoy listening 

Kim: to them. Okay. Definitely check it out. That's really good. I'm excited to listen to that one. Yeah. Yeah. Well this has been such a pleasure. Thank you so much. Thank you for coming and, and telling us is great about the work [00:53:00]that you do and, and, uh, and what motivates you. This has been fantastic and the library really appreciates you come coming to investigate.

Kim: Yeah. It's really fun. Yeah. Thanks 

Melissa: for having us. It's great. We're about halfway through evidence review, so. 

Kim: Great. Well, we can't, we can't wait to hear. Yeah. What else that, what else you found? So, um, 

Ursula: that's another thing that we do. Um, quick, quick mention. Yeah, of course. Is that anybody who, uh, we investigate for, we will give them their evidence free.

Ursula: We don't charge 'em for that, and we do a reveal with them. That's amazing. Yeah. You get a report, you get a report. Mm-hmm. It gives you a classification as to the location and you have all the evidence there for you. That's 

Briana: so cool. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. I feel like most people probably don't get that unless they're on tv.

Briana: Right? Right. They're like, oh, I can catch my episode tomorrow at eight. Exactly. Nice. 

Kim: Um, so Melissa and [00:54:00] Ursula from the Eastern Connecticut Paranormal Society, thanks so much again for joining us. Um, definitely check out the E C P S website, uh, and learn a little bit more about what may be, um, what spirits may be hanging around in your town.

Kim: Yes, absolutely. Alright. And um, also, uh, if you are in Middletown or you're around in October, we will be resuming our, the library tours, um, on Fridays, um, through, oh, starting on Friday the 13th. Mm-hmm. So starting on Friday the 13th and running through the 27th. Um, we will be holding tours starting at six o'clock, so check out our website@russelllibrary.org for more information about that and to sign up.

Kim: All right. Thanks again. Thank you. Thank you.

Christy: Hello, and welcome to Shelf Life. I'm Christy Billings, along with Stephanie Rush and Kate McCarthy Bond. Hi. And [00:55:00] today we're doing out of the ordinary kind of books. Something maybe with a little bit of a spooky vibe, but also just maybe things that are just creepy and weird. Hmm. Uh, Kate, would you like to go first?

Kate: Yeah, sure. So I'm gonna start with, um, some middle grade books that I read. Um, actor Jason Segal has a series. Uh, the first one is Nightmares and it's about this boy who and his family who, um, move into this. I'm showing the cover to Stephanie for the audio media. Yes. Ooh, it looks like you're kind of book cake.

Kate: I know. Yeah. You know that. We'll describe it. So Kate's holding up this cover, it's purple and it has a spooky house with an iron gate and says Nightmares. Mm-hmm. In, in silver script at an exclamation point. Yeah. And the house kind of looks like, uh, Norman Bates in Psycho. Yeah. Or like the Adams Family house.

Kate: Yes. Yeah. And so it's [00:56:00] all about, um, this boy Charlie Ladd, who, um, his father has remarried and he's absolutely certain that. She's a witch, and so they move into this house, which is purple, and he's very creeped out by her and very sure there's something really off about her. And then he starts having these nightmares and then the nightmares invade the real world.

Stephanie: Okay. Somebody gave me this book years ago and I never got around to reading it. I didn't realize it was about a, a maybe witch. Mm-hmm. I knew it was about. Nightmares on like a spooky house, but I didn't know there was a witch too. Yes, it's a trilogy. And so he's literally haunted by his nightmares and he doesn't know how to handle it because his father won't listen to him and he's afraid of his stepmother because he has these suspicions.

Christy: So, um, so what does he turn to? [00:57:00]

Kate: Well, he turn, he actually is sucked into his nightmares. Ooh, sounds really good. Doesn't really good. So it takes a while for him to find some allies, but he does. And um, the inside cover says Charlie Lad has several problems. His dad married a woman. He is sure Moonlights as a witch, he had to move into a purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.

Kate: And he can't remember the last time sleeping wasn't a night marish. Prospect, like even a nap. Ooh, really good. I think it's a trilogy by Jason Siegel. Nice. Um, who is also a funny actor. Um, the next book I have is Lockwood and Company. The Screaming Staircase is the first in the trilogy, I believe. It's a trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.

Kate: And it's, the premise is that there's, um, [00:58:00] ghost hunters, like ghost hunter groups, but they're all kids because only kids can see, oh, you know, the spirits, the spirit. Exactly. Well, and they do say that young people are more susceptible to paranormal activity. Right. So that makes sense. Yeah. Cool. So there's a, um, a young girl who is looking for a new job and, um, she's, she sees this ad Lockwood and company.

Kate: And so she goes and she discovers that it's a company of two who's looking for a third, and they are, um, Seeking out all these spirits because the spirits are suddenly appearing everywhere and their first case together is a complete disaster. And so their next case they try, um, this is called the screaming staircase, and it's pretty horrifying and scary.

Kate: Um, and, but it's, it's a great, um, there's [00:59:00] funny, there's humorous moments. George is like one of their company, he's hilarious. He's kind of sarcastic and she's the only girl of their, um, of their company. And it's just, it's really fun read, but. Also very, can be very dark and scary. It's a really good book.

Christy: We were talking about this though, a lot of young people like scary stories. 

Stephanie: Yes. We've had a lot of young patrons lately looking for horror, and we just can't satisfy them because we, we can't buy books fast enough. Right, right. Exactly. Right. So I think, yeah, I think that one was also turned into a Netflix movie or series.

Stephanie: I think I got adopted. Oh, Lockwood and Company? Yeah. Oh, okay. I believe so. It sounds familiar to me. Yeah. 

Christy: But I think Wednesday kind of kicked that whole vibe off. Mm-hmm. So many, um, people were into that. Yeah. That I think it's, it's started the genre back up. Yeah. And people are now looking for it in their reads as well as mm-hmm.

Christy: Their viewing, so. 

Kate: Exactly. Yeah. 

Christy: Yeah. Steph, 

Christy: what do you have for us? 

Stephanie: All right, so, [01:00:00] um, I told Kate this morning, I was really having a hard time picking a book for this, um, Not because I don't read enough weird spooky books, but because I couldn't find one that I was really jazzed to talk about that was kind of a little different.

Stephanie: Um, listeners know what kind of books I read. So I wanted to bring something that was like very me, but also something you may not have heard about. Um, so when we said extraordinary, I was like, Hmm. Okay. So the book I wanna talk about today is called Patricia Wants to Cuddle. Are either of you're familiar with this book?

Stephanie: No. This doesn't 

Christy: sound like you at all. No, no, no. 

Stephanie: Trust me, it will. Um, so I don't have the book in front of me, but um, it's a teal cover and there's, um, a large hairy hand and it's holding a woman who's like posing for a selfie. Okay. So I don't wanna tell you too much, but what do you see The cover? But that's right, that's the big key.

Stephanie: You see the cover, you'll be like, oh, this a Stephanie book. The second I heard about this, I was like, I have to read this. Okay, so I read this last year. It's called Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen. It's an adult [01:01:00]contemporary. Um, it satire hoard. Um, so it has to do with reality tv. It has to do with Bigfoot.

Christy: Okay, now it's okay. 

Christy: We're getting warmer. 

Stephanie: See? Yeah. See very Stephanie book. Um, so it's really wild and it's really fun and it's not for the faint of heart 'cause it gets really gnarly and gross. Um, but I'll give you the basics. So there's four female finalists of this reality show called The Catch, and they find themselves in the Pacific Northwest and they are competing for the Bachelor's Heart.

Stephanie: So it's set up very much like the Bachelor, but they're on location in the Pacific Northwest. And the Pacific Northwest is known for ces, much Satch. Um, so also lurking in the Pacific Northwest is Patricia. And if you know anything about cryptozoology or Sasquatch legends or Bigfoot legends, you know that Patty or Patricia is the name of the most famous Sasquatch in the video footage from the 1970s.

Stephanie: Nice. [01:02:00]

Stephanie: So 

Christy: interesting. 

Stephanie: Look, I'm spreading some really weird facts today. Um, so Patricia is also lurking in the woods. Um, so it's really hard to talk about this book without saying too much because it's really weird and really wild. Um, but it's, it's gory, it's snarky. It has a bunch of unlikable characters.

Stephanie: Um, but it's so much fun. It's a romp, it's a book I would refer to as a romp. Um, so it's a kind of book that, um, is a, like a scathing commentary on American media and reality influencer culture. And it also has a bigfoot. And that's really all I can tell you. And that's something I think I'm gonna put on my list.

Stephanie: Some people out there stop listening. As soon as I said Bigfoot and other people out there are like, huh. Alright, tell me more. Okay. You hope to me. So, um, yeah, so that's, Patricia wants to cuddle by Samantha Allen. 

Stephanie: So 

Christy: I have, I have two books that are kind of not ones that I typically would read. Um, I have Mr.

Christy: Magic by Kirsten White. Yes. And then American Gothic. Uh, [01:03:00] by Sabina Marina Garcia. Um, and oh my goodness, I'm in, I enjoyed, I finished Mexican Gothic. We're doing it for books and brews and it features, um, all of the, the elements of a typical gothic. Uh, book, but it's set in the, well, it's set in the fifties, which also is part of that gothic vibe.

Christy: Mm. Um, and there is a, uh, in Mexican Gothic, there is, uh, a frantic letter, um, sent to Naomi. Naomi is a, a socialite. She, um, likes to party. Uh, she likes to, um, go out with her friends and, and doesn't really wanna stay with one young man too long. Um, she's, but now she's going to be this rescuer for her cousin.

Christy: She's gotten this, this, um, mysterious letter, um, asking for help. And when she gets there, she's, um, in the home not that long, and all of a sudden the [01:04:00] home begins to invade her dreams. So, it's so funny that we all have sort of books about dreams, right. And her only ally is in this whole inhospitable abode, is the youngest son.

Christy: Uh, he seems to want to help Naomi, but he also might be hiding dark knowledge behind his family's past. Um, the home features something called the gloom, and the gloom is gold. And, um, it invades Naomi's dreams. Mm-hmm. And it is, um, has a very sinister, very dark. Past. Um, there's a lot in here. A lot going on.

Christy: Mm-hmm. And I enjoyed it. We're, we're gonna have a great discussion about it when we, we talk about it in Books and Brews. Yes, I would definitely recommend it, um, to folks. But it is gory. There is, um, some really dark things that happen. So it's sort of like, not recommend it to everybody. Just sort of like, uh, be aware before you, you start reading it.

Christy: We both picked gory books. Weird. I know. Isn't this funny? And then, uh, [01:05:00] Briana had recommended Mr. Magic to me. Mm-hmm. She's off this week, but I thought she would've really liked it. Um, we're gonna talk a little bit about it. I almost didn't bring it 'cause I thought Briana was gonna bring it, but then I remember Briana wasn't gonna be here, so 

Stephanie: Christy brought it.

Stephanie: I brought it anyway. 

Christy: Brought it. So fun. So this one sort of similar, like it has Reddit threads, um, which I love. I love all this stuff. Instagram stuff. It, it really is like a very much, um, ripped from the headlines kind of thing. Uh, it's. Been 30 years since a tragic accident shut down the production of the classic children's program, Mr.

Christy: Magic. And there's no history of this anywhere. Like nobody can find clips of the show they can't find, like when it actually was on the air, but yet people have memories of it. They can sing the, the theme song. Um, oh man, I'm, I'm about halfway through and I can't put it down. It is so good. It's wild. And it, like little pieces of information just keep getting sent to you.

Christy: Uh, our main character in our, in the story, [01:06:00] um, her father has just passed away and she doesn't remember anything of, of her past. She doesn't remember her mother. And, um, suddenly she's back in with the group of people that. She apparently did this TV show with and they remember her. Oh. She doesn't remember anything about them.

Christy: So it's very interesting. That's wild. And like little, like I said, little tidbits. She keeps finding out little things here and there, and then you're like, Ooh, uh, yeah. I can't wait to finish it. Christy, I, I would say that both of your books, um, are heavy on dread. Yes. Like, there's this, there's this simmering undercurrent of like, something is not right here in both of your pics, which I thought was interesting.

Christy: Mm-hmm. Right. And they both feature women that are very strong characters. Mm-hmm. Um, and have to make decisions that are going to save themselves and save others. 

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. 

Kate: Wow. Yeah. So 

Christy: we hope you enjoyed our shelf life today, and we hope that you, um, try something a little different outside your comfort zone, something unique.

Christy: So that's all from us for today. Mm-hmm. Stay [01:07:00] tuned for a turn that sh up. Bye bye.

Kim: Hello and welcome to the segment we're calling. Turn that. Shh. Ah, projects at Russell Library that are too good to keep quiet. Fall is here. Kids are going back to school, and the library is taking on new projects. We've launched new databases, we're starting new book clubs and we're resuscitating programs that had gone on hiatus.

Kim: I'm here with Shannon Bar. Hey guys. One of the things that I'm particularly excited about is, um, Gale Business Plan Builders. So for people who are interested in starting a new venture, maybe you have a side hustle that, um, has been developing over time and you're thinking it might be a good business.

Kim: Maybe you've seen a service that needs to be provided that nobody's doing yet. With your library card, you can sign in for an account and the [01:08:00] business plan builder will take you through step by step for everything that you need to do to get your new business off of the ground. You can use it, um, remotely using your library card or you can come into the library, um, to use it.

Kim: We also have a new database of legal forms. So again, if you're getting a new apartment, starting a new venture, um, we have you covered both in the planning stage and then also in the, the legal stages. So, um, definitely come by and check it out and see what's going on. That's a, 

Shannon: gonna be a great tool for our patrons.

Shannon: Yes. Yeah. Especially Middletown with all the small businesses. Mm-hmm. There is a lot of apartments, so any type of legal forms plus all the questions that we get asked at. Yes. The reference desk in which we cannot assist with always and 

Kim: the great, but try best we can. Yeah. And the great thing about Business Plan Builder as um, we were talking about before is you can go in, um, as broadly or as deeply as you want to, so if there's a particular aspect that you're not as sure [01:09:00] about, say budgeting, um, The business Plan builder recommends articles and other resources to help you kind of, uh, figure out how to approach, um, different topics.

Kim: So, um, it's a really great tool. Um, and I've played around with it a little bit and, you know, um, I don't have a side hustle yet, but I feel more prepared just in case I, I decide to launch one. Um, you never know. Food truck could be in my future. You never know. I love food trucks. I know Middletown needs more food trucks.

Kim: I think there should be a food truck 

Christy: festival. I agree. They can do it because they shut down, like, you know, from Washington on mm-hmm. For so many other events, they could do a food truck festival, just like all like gourmet food trucks or like small, like yes. Significant ones and you know, make 

Kim: it a thing.

Kim: Yeah. That might be cool. Yeah. City Hall. Let's get on that. Give the library a call. There you go. Um, speaking of New Beginnings, we also have a very special event happening on [01:10:00] Thursday, September 4th at six o'clock. Um, Middletown's own Shanae Fulton will discuss her book, peace, happiness, love a Journey to Healing.

Kim: Um, this inspiring short story shares Shanae's path from pain and desperation to healing and recovery as she built a new life for herself and her children. Um, her story really is inspiring and I encourage you, um, to come to the library, meet the author, and learn a little bit more about her book. That sounds great, 

Shannon: Kim.

Shannon: And just to confirm, it's September 4th. 

Kim: I'm sorry. 14th, September 14th. I messed up too. Sorry. It's 

Shannon: okay. I think it's the heat and the humidity today. It's just getting to us in the 

Kim: podcast room. I know, I know. We can't help it and we can't have the air conditioning on, you know, because you wouldn't be able to hear our lovely voices.

Kim: Not at all. You would be 

Shannon: like, what is that horrendous humming in the background.

Shannon: Um, well also happening on September 14th if you choose to come. Um, we do have [01:11:00] books and brews every Thursday, once a month. I'm not sure if it's the second Thursday or the third Thursday of every month. I think it varies. But the title for September is Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno. Garcia, um, there's copies at the borrowing desk.

Shannon: Please join us. You don't even have to read the book. You can come just and discuss. Um, and it will be hosted at Stubborn Beauty at 180 Johnson Street. Yes. Also, you can put it in your Google Maps and the beer at Stubborn Beauty. Is awesome. Just saying from personal experience. Um, also happening in the next couple day weeks is the Mario Kart tournament.

Shannon: Um, this will be happening in the activity room. It says ages eight to 12. It can vary. Yeah. Um, if many of you are familiar with Mario Kart, it is very fun. We have Nintendo switches. Yes. Um, that we have for these programs and Nintendo Switch games that [01:12:00] you can check out at the library. So this is happening Saturday, September 16th at three 30.

Shannon: We hope to see you there and our wonderful comeback of lawyers and libraries will be happening Tuesday, September 19th, between four and six. Please call the information desk to schedule an appointment 'cause you do need to make an appointment to come. Our phone number is on the website. The extension is 1 1 2 5.

Shannon: Okay, perfect. And last and not least final is the library vault. So we have launched a blog Yes. And there's a handful of us librarians, Kim and I are both in it. Yes. Um, who are writers of this blog? My theme is Wine and words. So my debut will happen on September 11th. So next week after this. I think the same day they're coming out, right?

Shannon: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I talk about everything with [01:13:00] books, wine, and words and all that magical stuff. Mm-hmm. So I pick a book or maybe I pick a couple books or maybe an author and I pair of wine with it. So next week is a kind of a funky wine that. Many of you may will have something new to learn, and it's a new bestseller.

Kim: So, um, stay tuned. Oh, I'm looking forward to it already. Yeah, 

Shannon: it's a bit funky. Is it fun? Funky, fizzy, something like that. But stay tuned for wine and 

Kim: words. Um, next week. Yeah. And the library vault is great. There are all sorts of articles there. If you wanna learn more about the library and some of its nooks and crannies, uh, behind the scenes, if you want book recommendations, um, both for children and for adults, and also wine recommendations.

Kim: There's something for everybody. So I highly recommend that people check it out. 

Shannon: Yes, it can be found on our newsletter and also on our website as well. 

Kim: Perfect. Awesome. So, yeah. So, [01:14:00] um, thank you all for joining us. Russell Library appreciates all of the support that we receive from the community. Thank you for listening, and please visit our website to learn more about our events and resources.

Kim: Middletown Strong is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and many of the places you listen to podcasts. Please subscribe and feel free to share what you learn with others. Russell Library has too many exciting things going on to keep them quiet. Thank you, Shannon. Bye, Kim. Have a good one.