A Haunting History to Explore

There is a famous scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her clan are seeking an audience with the Wizard. Strange things happen and the Cowardly Lion, who was shaking from fear, kept saying “I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks”. That’s a slang term for ghosts. What about YOU? Do you believe in ghosts?

Rachel Lynch certainly thinks there is “something out there”, and she has a mountain of evidence. She is co-founder of First State Paranormal Investigations, a local company that does a lot of work for the Lewes Historical Society.

Let’s explore three instances that she’s recently cited.

  1. On a not so dark and stormy night, at the Lewes Historical Society, Lynch and a fellow investigator were setting up the cameras prior to an investigation. The only ones in the house, they heard what sounded like a weighted window slam shut. Able to play back a running recording, they could obviously hear the sound of the window slamming shut, although no windows were open at the time. Right before the slam, the sound is a man’s voice saying, “This isn’t your home!” One of Lynch’s teammates sent the tape off to a forensic audiologist who confirmed that the voice was in the male register and on a different wavelength than Lynch or her colleague, the other 2 voices on tape.
  2. During a private investigation at a Lewes home, Lynch’s team caught several EVPS (electronic voice phenomena) throughout the house. They were downstairs, talking about the home’s renovations and Lynch noted that there probably wasn’t anything left for the spirits to connect to. However, there was an old doll on a rocking chair in the attic that had been there since before the current owners moved in. When Lynch’s team reviewed the audio, they could hear a male voice, “A chair. There is – it’s a chair.” (NOTE: Two weeks later, before a complete review of the audio and prior to its reveal, one of the owners sent Lynch a photo they had found from a local 1974 publication that mentioned the haunted chair in the attic!)
  3. During a public investigation at the Lewes Historical Society, a guest asked if there was a captain of a ship present. Lynch said the spirit box replied, “Fairmont.” Unfamiliar with any ship called Fairmont, she did some research. “The Fairmont was a steamship, built in 1917 by the New York Ship Building Company out of Camden, N.J.,” she said. “The odds of a captain of that ship coming into Lewes are extremely possible – and this is something we did not know until it came through a spirit box during an investigation!”
NOTE: A spirit box is a piece of equipment used during certain paranormal investigations to enable spirits to communicate with humans. The equipment Lynch’s team uses depends on the location they are investigating and there is a variety of devices available.

She and members of her team have received certification from college courses on conducting paranormal investigations, completing fieldwork and interning under other paranormal investigators. Lynch also is a tour guide for the Lewes Legends tour and lead for the Paranormal Investigations Tour (see all LHS tours). (NOTE: The Haunted Histories Paranormal Investigations tour is so popular, it’s sold out for the season already.) She can also be found bartending at the Society’s monthly First Friday at the Sussex Tavern. If you haven’t visited these and other Society events–you’re in for a treat!

There are many more Delaware Ghost Stories throughout the state. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, consider celebrating Halloween on October 23rd, at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Shipyard for the 5th Annual Halloween Ghostship event from 12 noon – 4 pm. It’s a family event. Kalmar Nyckel is Delaware’s premier 141-foot long Tall Ship.

Costumes are encouraged. There will be ghost ship tours, Halloween-themed arts and crafts, face painting and a costume parade. Snack will be available for purchase.

Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Ophrah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.  

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