In October, Dead of Night Paranormal Investigation will be looking for ghosts in one of Ocean City’s obscure haunted locations – the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum.
The museum is dedicated to remembering Ocean City’s history in water rescues, starting in 1891. There were 19 Life-Saving Stations on the East Coast, and dedicated crews of had high rates of successful saves, considering the equipment that was available.
But Assistant Curator Christine Okerblom said that not all of these rescues had happy endings.
In 1955, when the U.S. Coast Guard was manning it, there was a terrible boating accident. A family of six from Baltimore was boating out to a hunting lodge in Assateague. The boat capsized and the entire family perished,” Okerblom said. “It was a terrible tragedy for Ocean City.”
The bodies were brought to the Life-Saving Station, specifically the large equipment room, so that relatives could identify them.
Today, visitors and employees have reported seeing specters or experiencing otherworldly phenomena. Some visitors get a chill when in the equipment room. Others say they feel the presence of a little girl.
“I haven’t experienced anything paranormal, but twice people said they saw a little blond-haired boy running to the gift-shop, when it was locked,” Museum Aide Robin Beauchamp said. “He was seen a few days later coloring in the children’s room.”
The life-cart, which could hold 2-5 people in it during a water rescue, is also a popular spot for paranormal activity. Several visitors reported seeing a transparent figure sit in the life-cart, shivering after a rescue.
Some people might run away from whatever ghouls may lurk in the Life-Saving Station Museum, but Olen Prince and his Dead of Night Paranormal Investigation team is willing to lock themselves in with the spirits after-hours on Oct. 28.
“The paranormal has always been a interest of mine, but I took it a little more seriously in 2012, when my grandfather died,” Prince said. “I spent the night at my grandmother’s place, and I could hear my name being called from the bedroom where my grandfather was sick in.”
Finding ghosts wherever they can
Everyone on the team has a ghost story they’re willing to share, including being touched by full-body apparitions, or seeing ghostly little girls at the Patapsco Female Institute in Pennsylvania.
The team has done dozens of investigations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and even Tennessee. There’s been a few close calls, like during the investigation of Selma Mansion in Norristown, Pennsylvania two weeks ago.
“I went up to the governess’ room and for eight minutes, I was frozen,” Prince said. “I was looking out the window and I can’t remember those eight minutes. After that, I staggered and was confused … my lovely wife and lovely team have set up new rules after that.”
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The team has investigated one other spot in Ocean City: Dunes Manor Hotel on 27th Street. Rumor has it that Thelma Connor, notable hotel developer, is still in charge of the place, nearly 18 years after her death. Although people report seeing Miss Thelma’s ghost for years, the Dead of Night team did not find conclusive evidence of a haunting because too many people were nearby during the investigation.
Dead of Night Investigation Team’s set-up includes wiring cameras to keep eyes on the paranormal “hotspots” and record any potential activity. Other devices used are EMP detectors, equipped with temperature sensors.
“If there are spirits here, they draw energy from the atmosphere, so the temperature will go up one or two degrees,” said Joseph Fishe, a paranormal investigator.
Dead of Night investigators also use eco-vox that emits white noise. The static makes it easier for spectres to communicate with humans. Possible electronic voice phenomenon is recorded and later decoded.
“It’s believed they can communicate using statics, and typically in short bursts,” Fisher said. “We get words from the other side all the time. When we were investigating Selma Mansion, it was my birthday. We asked the spirits if they wanted to say happy birthday, and they said ‘no … nasty.’”
During the paranormal pre-investigation of the Life-Saving Station Museum on Sept. 9, the spirits did communicate through radio waves. The eco-vox picked up the sounds of two adult women and a child. Down near the life-cart, there were murmurings of “I’m cold…”
Interested in hearing some ghosts yourself? Dead of Night Paranormal Investigation will return to perform a investigation on Oct. 28 from 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person, and space is limited. Make a reservation at the Life-Saving-Station Museum’s website or by calling the museum at 410-289-4991.