Roraback Wildlife Management Area


For the last 10 years, give or take, we at have been investigating a strange log cabin in the woods of Harwinton, CT. Located on South Road, the Roraback Wildlife Preserve is home to this mysterious structure in which we have experienced various forms of paranormal activity. Searching through miles of 35mm negatives, and more recently digital camera images have yielded many pictures of orbs, fogs, streaks, and the occasional face.

We have heard distant screams, had hair tugged, hands touched, and walked through defined warm and cold spots. A figure of a somewhat elderly man was once seen through an infrared night vision scope. One fellow ghost hunter even suffered a minor attack. His back was scratched, in a row of four, from his shoulder to his hip, badly enough that it was red, swollen, and raised.Stories of ax murders and such circulate, as they always do, but the common legend that we heard the most was as follows:There was originally a house that burned to the ground, killing the family. The land was bought by another family, who built the log cabin. The man then went insane and killed his entire family, then himself. The property was then bought by a priest, who converted the cabin into a church, and was later crucified at his own altar. That seems like an awful lot of tragedy to happen in this one place.

It would stand to reason that given the history of the land no one, not a priest, or a homeowner would want to buy this place. Legends of haunted houses and such are often exaggerated, distorted through time, or sometimes just made up. This story seemed to us no different. Still, our investigations have been productive, which left us with activity but no answers. Until now.After digging through some online public records, we uncovered a newspaper article from 1937, which gave us a really big piece of the puzzle, and pointed us in a new direction. As it turns out, the 3,300 acres now known as the Roraback Wildlife Preserve was once a farm, but was purchased by John Henry Roraback, one of the most powerful politicians of the early 1900s, and founder of Connecticut Light and Power. Roraback bought the land for hunting. According to the Time newspaper dated Monday, May 31, 1937, Roraback took his own life with a handgun shot after a morning of target practice.

The 67 year old man had been battling streptococcus infection for over a year, and acted out of free will, not mental instability. Years later the Rorabacks, a powerhouse family of lawyers and politicians donated the land to the state.With answers, more questions are raised. The biggest being, is this cabin in the woods of northern Connecticut the hunting lodge that John Henry Roraback committed suicide in? What were the details of how he was found dead? Powerful politicians are often targets for assassination. Could he have been murdered, and mistaken for a suicide? In these 3,300 acres, is there another structure? Who can we contact for reliable answers? Is it possible that the image in the night vision scope was the ghost of Mr. Roraback?

We hope to find more answers, even though they inevitably lead to more questions. If anyone can provide us with answers or at least point us in the right direction, or guide us to anything else in those woods, please contact us.

Laws Governing Hauntings

It’s Halloween season!  To kick it off, I’m reposting Tom Cooney’s “Laws Governing Hauntings.”  Check out Tom over at the:



It may sound silly to think that there are laws that govern hauntings. After all, who sets these laws, who enforces them and why would a spirit follow them. It almost sounds preposterous. However, as odd as that sounds, it is true. Spirits, be they of the human or inhuman variety do not have free reign over the physical world. Believe it or not, God sets certain rules that spirits are required to follow. Who enforces them? God does, first and foremost. After that, we all do. Okay, you are probably wondering why God would allow a haunting to take place. In truth, the answer is simple: God does not allow that to happen, we do! Now that really sounds preposterous! Be that as it may, it is true.

The next question you will ask is why would anyone allow himself or herself to be haunted. This gets a little tricky because no one wants to be haunted. So how does it happen and why? We have to look at the way God has set up the rules, so to speak. He has given spirits, His fallen Angels a small degree of latitude. Rather then out and out destroy them, He chose to banish them from Heaven. Like it or not, we have ended up with them. However, this was not a dump job on God’s part. He allows them to do certain things to us, such as harassing us. They can and do tempt us on a daily basis. However, God gave us the most precious of gifts, He gave us free will. It is worth noting that God will not take that gift away from us, no matter how poorly we utilize it. Yet, spirits are allowed to tinker with our free will. Again, it is usually in the form of temptation. However, it all but the most unusual of cases, that is as far as they are capable of going. So how then do people end up being haunted?

Satan is smart; never underestimate his cunning. Like a good lawyer, (and no, I will not tell any lawyer jokes) he finds loopholes in the law. In the case of hauntings, that loophole is our free will. We have the ability to allow his legions into our lives. Needless to say, most people will not invite negative spirits into the lives willfully. But… here is the thing, Satan, through his cunning is able to trick us into giving our permission to let negative forces into our lives. Having said all of that, let us look at the ways that we give permission, albeit unintentionally. It is time to see how we open doors.

A law is any action that directly opens a door, intentionally or unintentionally. Keep in mind that negative spirits could not care less which is the case. It is the cause and effect theory. If you break one of the laws, that can lead to a haunting. Violating one of the laws does not guarantee that you will become haunted. Millions of people violate one or more laws and remain relatively unscathed. However, when we break down cases, we often find that the only common link between haunted people are violations of one law or another. This is by no means an exact science. Although much study is being done in this area, we honestly do not have all of the answers. However, as a result of intensive studies, we have come up with what we call sub-laws.

A sub-law is similar to a straight law in that violating it can by itself result in a haunting or at least an unpleasant encounter with negative forces. However, the reason we call it a sub-law is that although it may cause a problem by itself, it will usually work in conjunction with a straight law. In essence, it can explain, to a small degree, why a haunting may result from violating one of the two main laws. It becomes the extenuating circumstance, the supporting role. However, even by adding sub-laws to the main laws, we still find instances where we cannot easily identify why one person is haunted and another is not. There is still much to be learned regarding haunting phenomena. We do know that there are certain laws that govern hauntings and we know that there are certain people who are more easily targeted. This may be due to the development of a given persons psychic ability. It may have to do with just the right combination of circumstances. Much research is needed in this area. NEBPI is undertaking a research project that we hope will answer many of these questions. For now though, let us deal with what we do know.

As I have mentioned, there are two laws that seem to come up in many hauntings. When many cases are broken down, these two elements are often the only common link. They are the Laws of Attraction and the Laws of Invitation. We will now take a close look at those two and explain why and how we think they contribute to a problem along with the percentage of occurrence.

Law of Attraction:

One of the basic rules is that good attracts good, negative attracts negative. This is the “like attracts like” theory. We have all heard the phrase “money comes to money.” To a certain extent, that is true. If you have a large sum of money, you can make more of it by using it properly, investments, etc. When you have no money, it is not easy to make more of it. If you follow that line of thinking, it becomes easy to see how someone who is positive attracts positive things in their lives. We all know someone who is always upbeat. They will laugh often, joke around and seem to be impervious to negative events. Good things tend to happen to these people. What they put out, the get back. When they do suffer some form of negativity in their lives as we all do, they tend to handle those situations better than most.

We also know negative people. It often seems that bad things are drawn to them. They too are getting back what they put out. When the occasional good thing does occur in their lives, they always feel as if they are waiting for “something to screw it up.” Well, in the spirit world, like does indeed attract like. How does this relate to a haunting? If a person does bad things, they are likely to attract the attention of a spirit who likes the way they are living. I am not talking about someone who is depressed or occasionally becomes angry. If depression alone led to hauntings, there would be legions of demons waiting on my doorstep for their turn. Satan would have to consider crowd control measures. Normal human emotions alone cannot bring dark forces into your life.

However, there are people who do very bad things. Child molesters and abusers are one good example. The act of molesting a child is a great way to attract a negative spirit. Negative spirits like to hang around negative people. Those who would desecrate the grave or body of a deceased person would be more than attractive to negative spirits. Those who commit necrophilia are on an express train to possession. However, there are many cases where the attraction is less obvious and subtler. Before I go any further, I have to point something out. It is common for spirits to attach themselves to a person. At some point in time, everyone attracts a negative spirit. However, that does not mean that they are possessed. Being demonized and being possessed are two totally different animals. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the spirit ends up leaving because the person it tried to attach itself to did nothing to give it the right to stick around.

Having said that, we often find in hauntings that drug or alcohol abuse can trigger problems. The negativity in the home looks good to certain spirits. Certainly, living in a terribly depressed state for a long time can appear attractive. Although few studies have been done, there is considerable belief that those who commit suicide may have been helped along the way by a spiritual force. Before you have me committed, I am not saying that these spirits are out killing people by the thousands. That is a ridiculous notion, to be sure. However, if a person were to be wrestling daily with severe depression and feelings of unworthiness, what type of spirit would that person draw to himself? If a spirit does attach itself to a depressed person, it may well use that victim’s mindset against him. When the victim if feeling lousy about him or herself, all the spirit needs to do is plant a tiny seed in that person’s head. The dialog may go something like this: “Sure, you are right. You never have been any good at making friends. Of course no one likes you. You screw up everything you touch. You are right, suicide is the answer.” These are examples of the inner dialog that can torment the victim. All the invading spirit is doing is confirming what the victim already feels. That spirit has not crossed the line by trying to kill the person; it is just doing its best to make that person hurt him or herself through their use of free will. Do you see the strategy? To the best of our knowledge, 15% of hauntings occur as a result of some form of attraction. Most of the time, the attraction had more to do with how a person behaved rather than how they thought.

Law of Invitation:

This law is a tricky one because most people would never intentionally invite a negative spirit into their life. The key here is to realize that giving permission can take many forms. First though, let us look at the person who intentionally invites a negative spirit in. It goes without saying that a Satanist is inviting negative forces to enter his life. The same is true of those who conjure spirits to do some favor for them. They will buy a spell book, knowing full well what they are doing. They are willing to run the risk of a haunting if it will give them what they want. Many will say something like: “Oh, I am too smart to let any dark forces into my life. These spells are harmless.” That is flat out bull. Negative forces have been toying with mankind since day one. They are experts at manipulation. Man is an expert at being manipulated. That produces a deadly combination. It should be made clear right now. Evil forces will not do our bidding for us. It is not going to happen. You may occasionally have a bone thrown your way but that is it. You will also pay a steep price for that bone. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in for real trouble. We are no match for beings that have existed since the dawn of time.

Of course, while there are some people who will intentionally turn towards dark forces, they represent the smallest of minorities. Far more common are those who invite negative forces into their lives unintentionally. How do they do that? The answer is: very innocently. Perhaps the number one way in which people get themselves in trouble is by using Ouija boards. Now, many of you reading this are going to say something such as “I have been using the Ouija board for years and nothing has ever happened. It is just harmless fun and people should stop acting hysterically about it.” Do you know what? Most of the time, that is true. Millions of people have used the Ouija board without any serious, long-term problems. However, almost everyone who has used the board that I have talked to have at least one story about something “weird” that happened while they were using it. The second part of this is that we really do not know exactly why some people get in trouble while others do not.

We do know one thing for sure. When we dissect haunting cases, we find that in about 60% of them, the only common bond between the victims was the use of divination tools. Of that 60%, Ouija was the tool of choice 75% of the time with Tarot cards running a distant second. If you think about it, it is a scary statistic! Sure, you may be one of the lucky ones who use such a device harmlessly but I have to point one thing out. Many people use the board safely hundreds of times but one day, bang! Why is this? There are several theories to this. One is coincidence. Personally, I rule that out. I believe that everything happens for a purpose and there is no such thing as coincidence. Others believe that since spirits are not bound by space or time, using the board today may hurt you ten years down the road. To be honest with you, I have some doubts about that although I do not totally disagree with it. The theory that I lean towards is that in the instance that a problem occurred, it did so because there just happened to be a spirit looking around for the chance to pounce. This resulted in my belief in sub-laws, which we will discuss shortly.

How can using the Ouija board or any of the similar games get you into trouble? Let us take a look at how you use the board. The most common opening line is: “Are there any spirits here who would like to talk to us?” Right off the bat, you have just sent out a blanket invitation. You have no idea what type of spirit will answer the call. Okay, you say. Suppose I ask if there are any good spirits around? Well, for openers, spirits lie. Point number two is that good spirits rarely hang around. You have to look at it this way. Inviting a spirit into you home is the same as living in a bad neighborhood and opening your front door to let in anyone who wants to come in. Why do I say a “bad neighborhood?” Well, good spirits tend to cross over into the next realm pretty quickly. The ones that remain usually do so because they are either confused and do not know how to cross over or they are remaining behind because they are not ready to cross. Some are unwilling to leave a loved one behind or they want to remain in the place where they were most happy. Even those tend to cross over. That leaves the spirits who have to be here. You really do not want to communicate with them.

The Ouija board is not alone in its troublemaking capacity. As I mentioned, Tarot cards can sometimes cause problems. So too can trips to the local psychic who does a reading for you. Scrying, which is another form of divination that uses mirrors to see into the future. Fantasy games, when used to the point of obsession can lead one into troubled waters. To this list you can add pendulum swinging, crystal gazing and automatic writing. Attempts at remote viewing or out of body experiences can be a problem too. Since these subjects alone could result in a book, let me sum things up this way. Any attempt at learning hidden knowledge, divination if you will, carries with it significant risks. For what you are going to get from it, it is not worth the risk.

However, the point can still be made that some people can do these things without problems while others cannot. One possibility is that since some people are more “psychic” than others, therefore, they may be more vulnerable. That could well be. No one has all of the answers although if arrogance is any indicator, there are a few who think they do. This is where sub-laws come in. The three items I am going to discuss can, by themselves result in a haunting. Most of the time though, they play more of a supporting role by closing the gap between why some people are affected negatively while others are not.


Law of Opportunity:
This is the instance where there just happens to be a negative spirit on the prowl looking for a chance to get into someone’s life. That may help explain why you can use the Ouija board one hundred times without a hitch but end up in big trouble on the one hundred and first time. Lucky you, you pulled the old board out just when there was something negative hanging around, possibly because it was attracted to you or someone who is using the board with you. In that scenario, you have broken the Law of Invitation by using the board. Then you may have broken the Law of Attraction because someone with you may have attracted attention in some manner. Finally, you are the victim of the Law of Opportunity. In this case, there is a huge chance that you will have a problem. “Cross over” cases, (those that break more than one law) are invariably the most severe and difficult cases to resolve. How often does opportunistic spirits affect people? As best we can figure, 7% of hauntings fall in this category.

Law of Indigeny:
Although rarely used outside of the vernacular of paranormal investigators, indigeny comes from the word indigenous, meaning peculiar to one place. Thus, this law states that a spirit happens to “reside” at a given location. This then becomes the case of being in the right place at the wrong time. There have been many cases on record where someone moved into a house that just happened to be haunted. This could have been a result of something a former resident did in that location. Unfortunately, spirits do not discriminate; they will haunt anyone. Since it is certainly possible that simply moving into a given location can haunt you, this could stand on its own as a law. Our studies show that roughly 15% of haunting occur this way. In many cases, a spirit may lie dormant in a location. However, it might be awakened as the result of some form of invitation or attraction. That is what makes this a sub-law as well. You may live in a particular house for years without incurring a single problem. Then one day, a friend brings over an Ouija board and guess what, you awaken the dormant spirit. You friend leaves that night, taking her Ouija board with her but she leaves the spirit behind for you to deal with. (What are friends for!) Had you never used the board, you might have lived there peacefully for an infinite amount of time.

That is why when we begin an investigation, we always ask people whether they have ever used any form of divination. We are not looking to judge but it is essential that we know why a spirit is present and what type it is. If a spirit is there because it was summoned or awakened, we must insure that whatever awoke the spirit does not happen again. There are cases where this does happen. Getting rid of a problem spirit once can be extremely difficult. Battling that same spirit a second time is a very dangerous proposition.

Law of Victimization: In some cases, rare as they may be, we just cannot find any legitimate cause for a haunting to occur. The interview process will show no violation of any laws. A check of the history of the location sheds no clues. No stone will be left unturned but the results all add up to zero. This occurs in about 3% of the hauntings we investigate. When you cannot find any possible explanation for a haunting, we believe that the people are being haunted simply because they are good people. It is almost as if they are “victim souls.” For whatever reason, God has allowed these poor people to suffer. These are the saddest cases because they are extremely difficult to resolve.

These are the various ways in which people often find themselves in a haunting situation. There can be other factors such as generational curses but these are so rare that a number cannot be assigned to them. Should you fear that you might someday find yourself haunted? Well, bear in mind that hauntings are very rare. Furthermore, what you can see is that by adding the laws of attraction, invitation and opportunity together, 82% of all hauntings are a result of something a person did. That leaves only an 18% chance of something that is very rare happening to you. If you avoid breaking these laws, you should have no problems at all.

Borley Rectory – The Most Haunted House in England?

Reposted from Archives

Borley Rectory carries the dubious distinction of Britain’s most haunted house. In perspective, there is nothing exceptional about the case. There are the typical sightings of apparitions (as opposed to ghosts), cold spots, poltergeist-like activity and a legend shrouded in mystery. Even the building’s physical appearance lends itself nicely to the legend. What is exceptional is the inordinate amount of press coverage and attention it has received, mainly due to the personal involvement and intervention of the famous English “ghosthunter”, Harry Price (founder of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research of London).

The site of Borley, (around 60 miles north east of London in the Essex countryside), was first noted in the 1066 Doomsday Book where a Borley Manor was situated – it follows that a wooden church would probably have been built on the site. It’s history is shrouded in myth and mystery, but the first indication that something was amiss on the site of Borley was in 1362 when a Benedictine monk attempted to elope by horse drawn coach, with a nun from the nearby nunnery. Their plans were thwarted – the monk was hanged and the nun was bricked up alive in the walls of the nunnery.

The red brick building that was Borley Rectory was built by Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull (rector of Borley) in 1863, who later settled there with his wife, Caroline Foyster (where she mothered 14 children).

In time, witnesses reported seeing stones being thrown from some invisible source, ghostly footsteps were heard and the specter of a nun, the most reported event at Borley, began to be seen, often in broad daylight and on a stretch of ground to be named the “nuns walk”. On July 28, 1900, three daughters of Henry Bull saw the nun and, assuming she was flesh and blood, went to greet her as a guest on the grounds – she mysteriously disappeared. The nun was also seen standing by a gatepost on four separate occasions by a passing carpenter.

It was in 1928 when the full haunting of Borley Rectory got underway. ( This is also the time when Harry Price became involved – Price was later to be accused of fraud). The Bull family had died one by one, or moved away, and after a short period standing empty the Reverend Guy Smith and wife took up residence.

Immediately, there were reports of whispers in the night, the sound of footsteps, objects being thrown at guests, illumination from dark rooms, two maids saw the apparition of the nun and even a phantom coach was seen. The words ‘Don’t Carlos, don’t’ were, reportedly, wailed late at night on more than one occasion – Carlos was the nickname for Henry Bull.

In 1929, and at their wits end, the Smiths contacted the Daily Mirror, a British journal, requesting help. Harry Price then invited himself to the Rectory to carry out a full investigation. On their first visit the group, comprised of Price, his secretary and a reporter, all witnessed what they described as “poltergeist activity”, spontaneous displacement of inanimate objects, strange odors, cold spots and the sound of galloping horses to name but a few. Most notably, the Daily Mirror reporter, Mr. C.V.Wall, saw the nun. Within a year, the Smith family left the Borley Rectory forever, dismissing their move as forced ‘due to a lack of amenities’.

In October of the same year, the Reverend Lionel Algernon Foyster, wife Marianne and daughter Adelaide moved in. Within a year, the activity increased to such an extent that, after a visit from Harry Price he voiced his fears for the family’s safety. Reportedly, the phenomena had become more violent and Marianne appeared to be the “focus” of the attacks. She was assaulted at least twice, once being struck in the face, another time being flung from her bed after an “exorcism”. Perhaps the most interesting paranormal evidence came in the form of notes and wall writings addressed to Marianne. During the investigative period, Price claimed that at least 2000 separate paranormal events had taken place.

Not surprisingly, in 1935 the Foysters left Borley Rectory and two years later Harry Price leased the house for a year. He conducted endless experiments and vigils but the activity appeared to have subsided considerably. At this time Price was accused of fraud on several occasions (Price was allegedly caught with a pocketful of pebbles after a short pebble throwing, assumedly paranormal, episode concluded.

After a séance on March 27, a message was received that ‘Sunex Amures and one of his men ‘ would burn down the rectory that very night. Nothing happened that evening but on February 27,1939 a fire broke out at midnight and razed the building to the ground.

To this day the site that Borley Rectory occupied holds a certain mystique for parapsychologists and psychic researchers. It is unlikely that all the reported events at Borley were fraudulent, but there is evidence and testimony to bring ALL of Harry Price’s conclusions into question. All the families leaving the rectory claimed that their decision was in no way related to any strange activity regardless how it was reported in the press. Of course it is entirely possible the families were seeking to avoid potential ridicule and harassment they may have received for supporting such incredible claims. Unfortunately, as Borley Rectory no longer stands no one will ever know the truth, only the legend remains – a fitting epilogue for Britain’s most haunted house.