By Ted Bordelon
Wire Managing Editor
Creaking floorboards, white splotches in photographs, unexplained “voices” on recordings. These were the focus of about 20 people who were looking for paranormal evidence in the former mansion of Sir William Keith, an 18th century Pennsylvania governor.
They asked questions aloud to seemingly empty rooms, listened closely for responses and, for the most part, heard nothing more than the growling of fellow ghost hunters’ stomachs.
“I am not a salesman and I won’t sell you on this,” Glenn Orwan, general contractor by day and paranormal investigator by night, said. “Some people come to these things and want to be convinced. I show you the equipment we use and whether you get something or not it’s all luck of the draw.”
Orwan, along with several members of the Philadelphia-based paranormal investigation group, Olde City Paranormal, led the June 22 investigation of the Keith House, located in Graeme Park in Horsham.
The historic site, which is located near the intersection of County Line and Easton roads, has been the setting for several investigations in the past, many of which have turned up what Orwan calls “evidence.”
On the June 22 excursion, a photograph taken by a novice investigator on her iPhone revealed a ghostly white figure seemingly lying on the floor of one of the rooms of the house.
Orwan and his team later checked the flooring, and concluded that the wooden planks of the old house did not shine or glare in other photographs.
“You get interesting little piece of evidence like this and you just don’t know what to do with it,” Orwan said.
Area residents paid $50 apiece to join Orwan and Olde City Paranormal during the investigation, but Orwan said that he didn’t lead ghost-hunting investigations for profit. In fact, proceeds from most of the investigations he and Olde City Paranormal lead throughout the year are donated back to the historic site.
Friends of Graeme Park received the earnings from the June 22 investigation.
“Graeme Park is one of the places that we started with,” John Levy, head of Olde City Paranormal, said.
Olde City Paranormal did a private investigation of the Keith House several years ago, and upon determining that there was paranormal activity in the house, offered to host charitable events at the park.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s a way of giving back to history,” Levy said. “Especially since Graeme Park was on the chopping block for demolition.”
Levy, who is a Philadelphia police officer, said that he started the group to “try to explain the unexplainable,” and added that he hopes other historic sites open their doors to his group.
Olde City Paranormal was recently featured in the Daily News for the group’s investigation of City Hall in Philadelphia.
“I don’t do the paranormal thing to make money for it,” Orwan said, noting that he originally began his investigating career as a skeptic.
“I went in with a total attitude of ‘I’m going to disprove all of this,’” Orwan said.
The 42-year-old’s first paranormal outing took place at Fort Mifflin, during which he said he heard “disembodied voices” and felt a “cold hand” on his arm.
“I tried to wrap my mind around what just happened,” Orwan said.
He said that he frequently receives calls from people who think that they own a haunted house.
“If I had a hundred dollar bill for every time somebody called me and said there’s a demon in my house, I’d be rich,” Orwan said.
One investigation of a private home actually led Orwan to discover a gas leak in the basement of the house.
“Yeah, they were hallucinating,” Orwan said, nonchalantly.
Believe in ghosts or not, Orwan and Olde City Paranormal aren’t doing this for big profits and seemingly aren’t out to make believers out of skeptics.
As Orwan put it, he just wants people to try to “answer some questions for themselves. “I think a lot of people have the same feelings we do but repress them.”
For upcoming events, visit oldecityparanormal.com. Graeme Park will host another investigation in October.
Ted Bordelon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org