November 16, 2012

Haunting Herman


Herman Melville, looking ghostly

Obviously, we here at Melville House consider the work of our namesake Herman Melville haunting. But a group of people in upstate New York find Melville’s actual house haunted.

The group, which calls itself the Tri-City New York Paranormal Society, has posted a video concerning its investigation of the house just outside Albany, New York, where Melville resided for nine years, and where he wrote his first books, which were bestsellers: Omoo and Typee. The video is basically a slide show, showing the Tri-City New York Paranormal “investigators” in the Melville house modeling the tee shirts they sell at their website, against a soundtrack consisting of an instrumental version of Adele’s “We Could Have Had It All.” They tell their story completely in text.

And the story is that “multiple times in 2012” (later, they say it was three times) the TCNYPS  “deployed an array of equipment such as digital audio recorders, digital video recorders with infrared lighting, full spectrum cameras and the latest tools in paranormal investigation equipment” in the house, and “captured many of what is called an EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomenon. Voices or noise recordings captured on digital or analog audio devices, not heard at the time by the human ear.”

And what did they hear that can’t be heard? “Many of the voices heard on the team’s digital audio recorders used during the investigation sound like a female, or a young child.” They don’t say what the remaining voices of the “many” were.

They also don’t say what any of those voices said, although they do say that it included “sometimes even full sentences …”

Beyond that, “The team also gathered equipment responses on electronic tools such as the K2 Meter, the Ovilus, and the Frank’s Box …” They give no indication of what any of that might mean.

Here’s the video below, but rest assured you just got the highlights and your time is precious. For now, perhaps, best to conclude as the TCNYPS does, by noting that “For now, the history and story continue at the Herman Melville House.”




Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.