I can play skeptic in a conversation about ghosts — particularly if that conversation happens during the day and nowhere near any mysteriously abandoned houses built on sacred burial grounds or cemeteries where questionable late-night rituals take place.

But I’m still not about to rest my fingertips on the edge of a Ouija board planchette or chant “Bloody Mary” into the mirror of a candle-lit bathroom. Any spirits that might reside in the reverse reality reflected there are asked to please remain silent. I don’t need an ethereal roommate who pushes the furniture around at 2 a.m.

More inquisitive and “supernaturally available” folks might wish to lure out a home’s lingering souls with the help of a medium, a seance or some phantom-friendly finger foods.

It might be nice to sit the apparition down for a cup of coffee and a late-night chat session, where the dead and living can exchange stories about ex-boyfriends, unrequited love and the pros and cons of spending eternity in a soul-trapping limbo.

Such novices with a penchant for the paranormal have an opportunity to track local specters during the Ghost Hunt at Wood Island adventure this Saturday.

Attendees will join members of the New England Ghost Project on the island just off the coast of Biddeford for an overnight excursion into the supernatural, including investigations in and around the historic Wood Island Lighthouse.

“We’ll give them a little bit of training and some equipment,” said Ron Kolek, founder and lead investigator of the New England Ghost Project. “They actually investigate, so they know what paranormal investigating is. It’s not like it is on TV.”

The newbie investigators and their more-experienced guides will spend the entire night on the island, along with whatever specters they discover.

With more than two centuries’ worth of visitors, lighthouse keepers and island inhabitants, there’s bound to be some mysteries on Wood Island — and some ghostly locals who have decided to stick around.

“The historical and the paranormal go hand in hand,” said Kolek, whose organization has investigated hundreds of cases throughout New England, 90 percent of which are simply for verification. “People want to know they’re not crazy,” he said.

As it turns out, the notion of sleeping overnight in a 200-year-old lighthouse and hunting spirits by moonlight intrigued enough amateur investigators to fill every slot. In short, the overnight is booked.

But tempted phantom trackers can still head out to the island during the day to take part in island tours at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday. The team from the New England Ghost Project is performing their own island investigation Friday night, so their equipment will be set up for intrigued daytime visitors to inspect — things like EMF meters, thermal imaging devices, RF and infrared cameras, temperature sensors, pendulums and dousing rods.

While the sunlit hunt won’t be quite as creepy as the overnight (where some folks might take advantage of the safe room when the eerie island sounds become too much), it’s still a unique opportunity to dig into the paranormal, follow those unearthly leads and see what you can find. Turning down the skepticism will help.

“Some folks would rationalize it away, even if a ghost came right up and slapped them on the face,” said Kolek. The key is being receptive.

That middle-of-the-night creaking might simply be elderly floorboards.

Or something else. 

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

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