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The Séance Season

October 26, 2017 5:00 am0 commentsViews: 9
Adam Berry at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House

Adam Berry at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House

by Steve Desroches

Shadowy figures in the doorway. The faint sounds of a phantom voice singing. A dim green glow in an otherwise darkened room. For a very long time stories of the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House being haunted have circulated around Provincetown, and not just among the true believers. Even skeptics have tales of the unexplainable to tell. This past May at Provincetown ParaCon, a three-day paranormal convention, Adam Berry and Amy Bruni, stars of TLC’s ghost hunting show Kindred Spirits, conducted an investigation at the UU Meeting House. The results from that event encouraged Berry to return for three more investigations, two this coming weekend, and one Halloween night.

“No one had done it on that level before,” says Berry about the May investigation. “Something was trying to come through, so we’re going to go back again. I think there are a lot of people who are interested in what we do.”

Berry is well known to Provincetown as an actor and one of the founders of the Peregrine Theatre Ensemble. Born and raised in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Berry attended the Boston Conservatory and has since been a recognizable and prolific presence in Provincetown’s theatrical community. But his interest in the paranormal began after he had a strange supernatural experience during a visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, another location long believed to be haunted. Shortly thereafter he co-founded the Provincetown Paranormal Research Society (PPRS). The group had no shortage of locations to investigate.

His work in the PPRS led to him being cast on the hit Syfy show Ghost Hunters Academy and then Ghost Hunters and a special guest appearance on Paranormal Lockdown. Since 2016 he’s starred in Kindred Spirits with Bruni, garnering legions of fans of the supernatural as they visit people who believe their homes are haunted, and then seek evidence to prove whether it is or not. Part of the work is historical research, looking into events that may be connected to suspected hauntings. As part of the preparation for these Halloween investigations Berry dug through town archives and, in particular, the death records from the 1918 influenza pandemic, which hit Provincetown hard. To care for the sick and dying the UU Meeting House was turned into a temporary infirmary where many died. While the investigations on Saturday night will be more general in their focus, the event on Halloween night will attempt to make contact with specific departed souls.

“It’s really a call out to the spirits,” says Berry. “There’s a long history around Halloween and about how the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. But there is a stigma to the word séance. People have an image of sitting around a Quija board. This is more spiritual.”

Adam-Berry-02Each investigation lasts several hours, beginning with an introduction to the equipment and processes used during a paranormal investigation. Attendees are welcome to come in costume, as it is Halloween, and Berry says this is meant to be one of the many attractions to celebrate in Provincetown. But people are asked to be both open-minded and respectful to take in the event, as well as reverential to the deceased and to the UU Meeting House, a place of spiritual importance to its members.

“It’s meant to be a Halloween experience,” says Berry. “We’re going to have a really good time. We’re not calling Satan, of course. All are welcome to be curious and part of the collective good as we try to learn more about what’s going on at the UU.”

Adam Berry is holding his Provincetown Ghost Hunt on Saturday, October 28 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and a Halloween paranormal investigation on Tuesday, October 31 at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 236 Commercial St. Tickets for the ghost hunt ($40) and the séance ($60) are available at ptownghosthunt.com. 

For those that really want to delve into the supernatural this Halloween weekend, the West End Salon and Spa, 155 Commercial St., is hosting Susan Ahearn “The Happy Medium” Friday, October 27 at 7 p.m. for a Halloween séance, complete with table-turning. Also known as table-tapping and table-tipping, table-turning is a specific kind of a séance where attendees place their hands on a table that tilts or rotates as the spirits respond to questions. Hailing from West Barnstable, Ahearn has her own psychic show on Frank FM 93.5, 93.9, and 107.9 FM every Friday morning at 8 a.m. Admission is $45 and space is very limited. Reservations may be made by calling the salon at 508.487.1872. Visit westendsalon.com and cchappymedium.com for more information.