READFIELD – When Renee Alling and her team of paranormal investigators checked out the Readfield Historical Society last fall, they found something that begged another visit to the former schoolhouse, built in 1823.

As they reviewed their audio recordings, Alling said, the investigative team detected a teacher delivering a grammar lesson and sounds of a chalkboard being cleaned.

In addition, some sort of occult force seemed to interfere with the team’s walkie-talkies.

“When we listened to our recording,” Alling said, “it sounded like footsteps walking toward us.”

On Saturday, Alling and a different group she’s founded, Everything Paranormal of New England, will return to the Readfield Historical Society, hoping to experience the same phenomena, learn more about them, and perhaps detect some new paranormal activity.

“This place is haunted,” said Alling, who lives in Sanford.

Alling and six other investigators will set up audio recorders and cameras and stake out the historical society building Saturday night.

Florence Drake, the Readfield Historical Society president, will be especially interested in the investigation’s outcome.

She and the society’s board heard a presentation of paranormal evidence last fall, but Drake said many of the recordings weren’t clear enough to discern exactly what was happening.

“Some of the spirits, or whatever they are, I’d like them to speak a little more clearly, more loudly and clearly,” Drake said, “something I could play to our members and say, ‘Here. This is going on.’ “

While Drake said she’s had paranormal experiences in the past, she’s never had those experiences in the Readfield Historical Society building.

“There’s nothing weird about this place at all,” she said. “It was a nice school for 132 years.”

Alling became interested in the paranormal when she and her family moved to Maine from Texas 11 years ago. They moved into a house built in 1900 and started noticing something was awry.

“My daughter’s seen a little girl in her bedroom, dressed in Victorian clothes,” Alling said, adding that her son has seen and heard his share of the metaphysical. “There’s voices and stuff moving and unexplainable crap,” she said.

The newfound interest in ghostly phenomena led Alling to join an investigators’ group and, later, to found one of her own. Her investigations have taken Alling and her team to towns across Maine, where they’ve investigated private residences and historical buildings.

“I think it’s great fun. It’s wonderful,” Drake said. “It lets people see a different angle, almost like parallel existences, in a nonthreatening way and in a nonsensational way.”

Alling said the investigations seek to prove or disprove, and understand the spirits that might live in historical buildings.

“They’re not going to hurt you,” Alling said. “Most of the time, they’re trying to communicate with you.”

If the investigators turn up anything at the Readfield Historical Society, it will be a reflection of whatever took place in the building while it was a school.

“If anyone’s here, it’s just the kids and teachers,” Drake said. “All they’re going to get is rampant happiness, if they get anything.”


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