Friday, November 14, 2014
PROMISING A GHOST OF A GOOD TIME
If you're fascinated by things that go bump in the night as well as being a bit of a history buff, then journalist, author and raconteur Cindy Wolfe Boynton has just the proposition for you. She'd like you to accompany her one dark night soon on a Ghost Walk in Milford.
Boynton has some real credentials for contacting the supernatural: she apprenticed years ago, at age 20, with two of Connecticut's premier ghost hunters, Lorraine and the late Ed Warren. She was supposed to research and write a book about a murder and a haunting but, frankly, it got too spooky for her to continue. Now it's just another good story to add to her repertoire on her walk.
Boynton is using all that contact with witches and warlocks and goblins and ghosts to promote her hometown of Milford's intriguing spiritual history. I had the opportunity to join the walk on the most appropriate of evenings, Halloween, and many on the tour came dressed appropriately: one came as a black hatted witch, one all in a protective white cloak to ward off evil spirits and even one provocatively clad as a devil, complete with red ears and a pitchfork.
The 1.15 mile stroll began at the end of the footbridge at Hotchkiss Bridge, on Helwig Street. Some hearty souls took the ghost meters Boynton provided that lit up and made a beeping racket whenever we walked past houses, mainly older ones, where psychic energy made its presence felt. We were encouraged to take pictures as images often appear to "make you pause and wonder."
The historic district of High Street offers us the opportunity to seek out (or have them seek us out) a trio of different apparitions. Boynton explained the three types as human spirits who have not yet crossed over and have chosen to stay on earth for a specific reason. These ghosts can't let go and like to communicate, often by playing tricks.
The most common are residual ghosts that can "come out" years later Their trapped energy lives on in paint on wood and in the air etched in walls. The last kind is the type you want to avoid, the inhuman demons and those you don't want to meet. Boynton cautioned that "your intention plays a role in what comes to you." She advises "go looking for good times and good stories...being open to vulnerability."
As we set off, she recommended "invisioning yourself wrapped in a white light, a bubble of protection, so all the negative energy will bounce right off." We deliberately walked by older areas of homes, where tragedies were more likely to have taken place, because spirits could linger there.
Boynton is a font of historical knowledge, sharing facts like Connecticut having the distinction of being the most haunted state, and Milford being high on the list as a town with the most spirits. Stories of apparitions and hauntings punctuated the whole stroll, from the tale of Peter Prudden in 1636, Simon Lake's submarine, Charles Island and Captain Kidd, Revolutionary War cannon, a pair of funeral homes sandwiched around a popular local eatery, Rainbow Gardens, mysterious candles in the Chamber of Commerce building and many more.
When the ghost energy meter went crazy as we went by Brats and Bud Tavern, many were ready to check it out for a quick liquid quaff. By then, a light drizzle of cold rain added to the ambiance of spookiness. To investigate taking a ghost walk of Milford with Cindy Wolfe Boynton and experience all the tingles and chills that come along at no extra expense, go to spiritsofmilford.tumblr.com for more information. Tours are $15 for adults and $10 for children and run November 15, (a special evening with William Hall, the author of a book about the famous Lindley Street haunting in Bridgeport) 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and maybe more in December. Check the website or call 203-214-7554.
Soon you can sign up for a special "Dinner with the Dead" with medium Catherine Crowley from Mystics by the Sea on Wednesday, January 21 from 6-9 p.m. that is sure to sell out quickly. Tickets are $53.74 for a 3-course dinner. Rainbow Gardens will experience a "crossing over."
Let Cindy Wolfe Boynton use her family's personal history with ghosts (at the New Haven County Home for Children) and her own experiences with the Warrens, where as a reporter she "challenged the devil," to make a visit to mysterious Milford so memorable. Cindy promises you a "frighteningly good time!"