Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Vivian Vance - Still in residence at former home?

STAMFORD -- One of the earliest episodes of the 1950s television sitcom "I Love Lucy" featured a seance, with Lucy's sidekick, Ethel Mertz, acting as the medium.

"Everybody join hands," Mertz said in a voice heavy with exaggerated solemnity. "Now everybody close your eyes and keep them tightly closed. The spirits must not see the whites of your eyes. I am now going into a trance."

Vivian Vance, a former Stamford resident who played Mertz, was the focus of a paranormal inquiry again last week. Nearly 60 years after the program aired, members of the Norwalk Paranormal Research Group marched through Vance's former home, a white house on Old Long Ridge Road, equipped with video cameras, laser grids and electromagnetic field detectors. The investigators were trying to see if Vance -- or any other spirits that the owner believes inhabit the historic home -- were interested in communicating.

"Are you there, Daddy?" she asked. "He's here. I can feel him."

The meter displayed a steady green light throughout the questioning, but flickered to yellow and orange when Leigh mentioned her children's names. Later, in the light of the kitchen, Leigh sipped a soda and said she was eager to see what else the paranormal researchers would find during their investigation.

"I'm not freaked out at all by this," she said. "It's in subtle little ways, I know my father's just helping me along."

NPRG was at Leigh's house until after midnight Friday night. The electromagnetic field detector showed particularly high paranormal activity in the guest bedroom, where Chris reported feeling chills.

"It went absolutely nuts as soon as you went in there," Harrington said. "We definitely believe that there's something there. To say it's haunted, at this point I can't really say that. But there is definitely some type of presence in that house. Whether good or bad -- we're not 100 percent on that."

Much of the NPRG's work takes place in the light of day, after they spend a late night investigating homes or properties believed to be haunted. Members of the group make video and audio recordings of everything, and spend hours watching and listening to the tapes. This sort of documentation is how Harrington, originally a skeptic, said she became convinced that the spirits are out there.

"It's a little much to take in at first, but you get used to it," she said. "When you have an experience, there's no way that you can not believe."

Harrington said her husband, NPRG co-founder Todd Harrington, first drew her into the realm of the paranormal. Todd Harrington said he has been investigating the supernatural for 15 years. Members of the NPRG have also investigated the Gallaher Mansion at Cranbury Park and the Smith Street Jail in Norwalk. They are scheduled to reveal their findings from the park to town officials and the Norwalk Historical Society this week.

"I have grown to love it, honestly," Lisa Harrington said. "It's an addiction at this point. It's a very hard thing to explain, but once you're in it there's nothing like it."

The Harringtons, who live in Norwalk and have three children, spend their daylight hours working in a grocery store and checking car emissions. They said they don't charge for their paranormal research, because it's often impossible to definitively identify a spirit, or be able to say why they're here or what they're intentions are.
"I just honestly don't think it's right to charge people for that," Lisa Harrington said. "This is definitely not a money maker for us at all. It's more of a passion."

Source: CtPost
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