Paranormal Team Turns Skeptics Into Believers In New Rochelle

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Philip Orlando, a rookie investigator, setting up the monitors in New Rochelle.
Philip Orlando, a rookie investigator, setting up the monitors in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Members of the Paranormal 718 team poring over monitors at the Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle.
Members of the Paranormal 718 team poring over monitors at the Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
There was a lengthy set up and clean up process to wire the house properly.
There was a lengthy set up and clean up process to wire the house properly. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
The night vision camera monitors looking at the New Rochelle cottage.
The night vision camera monitors looking at the New Rochelle cottage. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Vincent Sinatra attempts to communicate with "Jack," a spirit that may be residing in the New Rochelle historical location.
Vincent Sinatra attempts to communicate with "Jack," a spirit that may be residing in the New Rochelle historical location. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Philip Orlando and Vincent Sinatra after someone was "touched" on the arm, being observed by an unsettling sculpture of the New Rochelle legend.
Philip Orlando and Vincent Sinatra after someone was "touched" on the arm, being observed by an unsettling sculpture of the New Rochelle legend. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Vincent Sinatra looking to connect with spirits on the second floor in New Rochelle.
Vincent Sinatra looking to connect with spirits on the second floor in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Suzanne Orlando, being used as bait, on the infrared cameras after being "touched."
Suzanne Orlando, being used as bait, on the infrared cameras after being "touched." Photo Credit: Zak Failla
The investigators watching the monitors to determine if anything suspicious happens to the bait in New Rochelle.
The investigators watching the monitors to determine if anything suspicious happens to the bait in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – A group of real-life Ghostbusters was in New Rochelle on Saturday night, using a series of instruments and techniques to listen to voices that possibly haven’t been heard in hundreds of years.

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Paranormal 718, a Queens-based group that performs free paranormal investigations along the East Coast, was at the Thomas Paine Cottage, looking to communicate with whatever spirits may be inhabiting the historic location.

The results were shocking, eerie and conclusive enough to turn even the biggest skeptic into a believer.

“The owner, John (Wright) has heard things in the house, but never seen  anything out of the ordinary,” founder Vincent Sinatra, a 10-year veteran investigator, said. “People want to believe what they want to believe. I can’t put voices on a recorder.”

Sinatra, who was joined by his partner Philip Orlando – and their wives, Denise and Suzanne – wired up the cottage with recorders, infrared and night vision cameras, and using their investigation tools, were able to distinctly pick up a voice that identified itself as “Jack.”

While exploring the house, using a “spirit box,” which makes it easier to communicate with the disembodied, the team was able to make great progress in the attic, where the spirit said “Vin,” (for Sinatra) when asked to identify someone in the room. Later the voice would say “war,” and was emphatic about “not being a red coat,” who wore a “green” uniform.”

When asked if we should leave the attic, the voice promptly responded “in a minute,” twice.

John Wright, the executive director for the cottage, speculated that the voices may have potentially belonged to members of the Deveaux family, who were French loyalists that called New Rochelle home in the 1700s, predating Thomas Paine himself.

The voice on the recorder audibly answered in the affirmative when asked if he was hiding from the Red Coats. When Sinatra informed the ghost that it was just the man taking care of the grounds, to which the voice said “John,” sending chills down every spine in the attic. He also shared an incredulous “what?” when informed that he was among the dead.

“It’s friendly. Whatever it is that’s inhabiting (the attic,) I have no doubt that it is a very pleasant, very peaceful spirit, even if it didn’t know it’s dead,” Sinatra mused. “It’s pleased with how (John) is handling the grounds. This is one of the most consistent places we’re ever investigated.”

Paranormal 718 is still compiling all of the data, information and recordings from Saturday night’s investigation. A full report is expected as early as the end of the week. Keep following the Daily Voice for complete coverage moving forward.

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Comments (15)

Looked up Vinny -- and I get it. Its a hobby. Doesn't seem like he's trying to con anyone out of $$$. So maybe its just some harmless, non-scientific fun/curiosity. But Zak, the headline doesn't match the content of the article. Even Vinny says ". But when he left that night and heard our opinions of the afterlife, he had a sense of "maybe / what if " about the after life. He didn't come out and say he was a believer." --- So, if you didn't come away 'believing' and no one else did -- the comments above are pretty correct on calling out BS.

I really dislike 'I was a skeptic until' stories. I don't like the word skeptic being used in the media to garner hits in this way. It should not be a buzzword. Tabloid journalism might get site hits, but it does nothing for credibility. Unfortunately, many people don't see it in that way and stories like this take off. They shouldn't. In regards to the comments from the team--learn what science is before you try to claim that you use it in investigations. Don't be surprised when you incite anger from those who actually care about accuracy.

"The results were shocking, eerie and conclusive enough to turn even the biggest skeptic into a believer."

Can you provide the names of this "biggest" skeptic? As well as provide evidence to support they were indeed a "biggest" skeptic. Otherwise, this quote is as ridiculous as believing a modified radio is receiving messages from alleged ghosts. You have absolutely no supporting evidence to back up either claim: that you turned a skeptic or your broken radio talks to dead people.
This article is written without a shred of skepticism. The point of view is from someone who blindly believes your beliefs at face value. The article makes the bold claim that the spirit box "makes it easier to communicate with the disembodied" - really? How so? I would ask the author to not only explain how this is done, but provide the data/evidence that supports such an extraordinary claim.
This article is filled with nonsense, rather than anything substantial. It demonstrates why paranormal enthusiasts (you're not investigators) are stuck in the realm of pseudoscience.

The author is/was the biggest skeptic. And it's not written with any angle or with any motivation. I wrote what I experienced. Read it again. It's a simple layout of what happened on the night in question. Nothing more, nothing less. You can choose to believe what you choose to believe, that's more than fair.

The company that conducts these investigations do so for free, often paying out of pocket for the chance to look into historic locations. What is the motivation to fake anything, exactly?

You sit here and criticize over the Internet about something you neither understand, nor clearly care about. I look forward to your evidence that the supernatural DOESN'T exist. Works both ways.

Thanks for reading.

You failed to display any skepticism, nor any indication you were skeptical, in your article. You only succeeded is showing your audience that you believed what they said at face value, never questioning how or why such a device as the spirit box could work. You relied on anecdotes as proof...which appears to have swayed your view quite easily.

The "company" doing "investigations" for free is irrelevant to the claims. And I did not state that they faked anything, please do not change my words to make your argument appear better (another logical fallacy). They mistakenly consider bits of broadcasted programs as valid data without any supporting evidence. And you went right along with it, giving the impression that this was legitimate evidence.
"You sit here and criticize over the Internet about something you neither understand, nor clearly care about." I know a great deal more about the subject matter than it appears you do. I also have the experience and knowledge to understand what is really going on here. I also care a great deal for the paranormal community, enough to call out such ridiculousness as what is reported here.

"I look forward to your evidence that the supernatural DOESN'T exist. Works both ways." False - this is a logical fallacy know as Shifting the Burden of Proof...look it up, it would be quiet beneficial to your future writings. You, the author, made wrote the claim that the spirit box communicates with the disembodied. ..you make the claim, you are required to provide sufficient evidence to support the claim. You failed to do so....instead, you write it as if it's an accepted fact.

Motivation for the confirmation bias that is displayed here comes in the form of attention...popularity...getting a writer of entertainment articles to write a story about them...being viewed as a pseudo-authority. All motivational points common within the paranormal community.

HOLY CATS! You do not understand neither skepticism (basing your decision on evidence) nor burden of proof.

It's illogical to prove the supernatural doesn't exist. It makes NO sense to say that. And to tell experienced science-based investigators they don't know what they are talking about is insulting and downright wrong.

I am willing to give journalists a pass on these stories because they get eyeballs, but when you stick your neck out there and say absurdly ridiculous things, that crosses the line. You do a great disservice to readers to promote such views.

I have an invisible unicorn living in my garage. Prove it DOESN'T exist.

However, I'm more than willing to give anyone a chance to prove their claims. I'd be more than happy to attend one of your events, so that you can argue your case that your claims are legitimate.

Challenge issued.

Who are te biggest skeptics who turned into a believer from this? From what i see it is the same use of tools that have no good whatsoever for the purposes that you say it does. I am open to the possibility of spirits and ghosts, but i need evidence.

Typical hubris. You play pretend scientist and sell that to the public. Paranormal groups typically avoid criticism and badmouth critical commentary. The fact is that after 200 years of looking, we have NO BETTER evidence of ghosts or the afterlife. You can't say that same for other areas of knowledge - chemistry, medicine, physics, biology, cosmology. There is something wrong with the method - it is belief based, not based on evidence.

Amateur Paranormal Research and Investigation Groups Doing ‘Sciencey’ Things
http://www.csicop.org/si/show/amateur_paranormal_research_and_investigation_groups_doing_sciencey_things

Ohhh ok, now I know who you are. Doubtful news. You guys got me 3x this year. Telling your followers I'm a fraud and we are liars......We get a kick out of your site. No joke it's great. More publicity for us. Thank you.

I guess when you copy and paste articles from websites across the country from real journalists is very challenging work.

So by reading my comment, you went on another rant about how we are not real and we are not scientist. Even though I have never called myself a scientist or what we do scientific. I offered the invite for the night out and never once did you respond to that. But instead you gave a run down of your 20 year impressive resume of what you've learn from your liberal professors in college.

So, from the paranormal community and Paranormal 718.....we Thank You for getting our names out there. Keep up the great work !

We did no such thing. Face up. Publish your research, defend your claims. It's my role to call out shoddy evidence when I see it.

I am angry. I researched 1000 paranormal investigation groups for my Master's thesis on education focusing on Science and the Public. I am active in the skeptical community attempting to educate the public on how to think through claims with poor or NO evidence. I have 20 years+ experience in researching paranormal literature. Pro and con. I rarely see ghost hunters with even basic knowledge of how their equipment works let alone the history of psychical research.

I would be interested in reviewing your work and giving you creative criticism. I think that paranormal groups have a value in our society. But, I've written and researched this for years, I'm no non-believer, I'm a scientist. You can see my body of work and contact me at http://sharonAhill.com

By the way, I run a popular skeptical website doubtfulnews.com which is how I find stories about local paranormal investigations. They are all incredibly similar and equally unimpressive, same old thing every time. Occasionally, I put my two cents in just so people are aware that this ghost investigation popular procedure is NOT science.

Hey Idoubtit. Paranormal 718 here. Would like to thank you for commenting on the article by Zak Failla. It was actually a very good written article that pretty much was on point on what we do and how we approach some cases. Zak was very skeptic when he got there, which was fine by me cause we are use to it. But when he left that night and heard our opinions of the afterlife, he had a sense of "maybe / what if " about the after life. He didn't come out and say he was a believer.

By reading your comment you made some good points. But by reading it more and more, you seem very angry about something. I'm surprised that someone can get that angry over a tiny article about the afterlife. So I guess Zak did his job, your talking about us. But if your angry about us scam artists giving people false hope in the after life, then you are barking up the wrong tree....blame Hollywood for that. They are the ones producing garbage ghost shows on TV.

You are correct, EVP's have never been proven.......But neither has how we came about on this planet.......Or what happens when we die........ You have beliefs, BUT NO FACTS! So who's to say when we pass on, our souls / energy don't continue in another shape or form?

We can go on and on about this. Anyways, the real reason why I'm writing this comment is we as a group would love to invite you on our next investigation. You take your pick. I have a open investigation in September in Yonkers at another landmark. It's an open investigation, which means I invite reporters / bloggers etc etc...Or you can pick the investigation in Mid November in Queens Ny. That investigation, we were personally invited as a group to join the church and the demonologist who is also investigating the case, to possibly help a family that may be in need of our help. That is a private investigation.

Then after the case is finished that night, I would like you to explain to everybody how certain pieces of evidence, can be debunked. I just ask for one favor from you....just bring that same fire and anger as you just did to your comment too one of those nights....and bring that same 150% confidence on how you can explain whats really going on.

Please email Zak the reporter, with your cell or personal email and I'm sure he will pass it on to me and we can get the ball rolling.

This is not scientific - it is attempting to look that way to impress the audience via gadgets that measure environmental variables. NOT SPIRIT ACTIVITY. EVPs have never been shown to be voices of the dead (for an equally implausible explanation, why aren't they considered to be psychic messages from human brains?). There are alternate and more normal explanations for all this evidence but paranormal teams will say "I don't know, therefore, it's paranormal". That's illogical and sham "investigation".

It is dubious practice (and crappy journalism) to promote such methods in the media. You have no good evidence for such claims.

"The results were shocking, eerie and conclusive enough to turn even the biggest skeptic into a believer." Is this supposed to be a joke? Does this mean the reporter now believes in the existence of the supernatural? Can this paranormal team collect James Randi's one million dollar challenge?