By Christy Hinko, Lauren Feldman, Julie Prisco and Jennifer Corr
Ghost hunters make contact at Marine Corps League headquarters
The idea that funeral homes are more haunted than other places is rooted in the eerie nature of these places. Funeral homes often host mourning and grief, making them emotionally charged environments. These strong emotions may contribute to ghostly legends. The buildings themselves are usually old and have witnessed numerous ceremonies, potentially leading to supernatural associations. The nocturnal quietness and association with death may amplify perceptions of the paranormal. It’s important to note that the belief in haunted funeral homes is subjective and rooted in folklore rather than evidence, often perpetuated by tales of the unknown and the mysterious nature of the funeral industry.
For several years, when I would attend meetings and veteran-related events at the Marine Corps League in Massapequa, I would often get an indescribable sense of something. Initially, I did not know what that sense was until I was speaking with a long-time Marine Corps League member and learned that the Marines’ meeting place on New York Avenue in Massapequa was actually once a funeral home. That might explain it.
I mentioned it to Navy shipmate Timothy Schell, owner of Schellshock Paranormal Investigations and Removals on Long Island, particularly because I had then-recently completed an active ghost hunt at Milleridge Inn in Jericho with him and his investigation team.
Schell, who is semi-retired from the profession, agreed. He had always felt a prescence when we attended events and meetings at the League.
We convinced the Marine Corps house chairman, Jim McGunnigle, to give us permission and access to a majority of the building for an afternoon and definitely confirmed what we were looking for.
Here are some of the testimonials from three of the Anton Media Group editors who actively participated in the investigation.
I have always been scared easily. I don’t watch any horror or thriller movies, and I stay away from any shows that look into paranormal activity. But when my co-workers decided to go on this ghost hunt, I surprisingly joined in. I went in with little to no knowledge about the ghost-hunting process and the equipment used.
After learning the place we were hunting in was a funeral home till the 1970s, I was freaked out.
Jim passed out some of the simpler equipment for us to use while he handled the more advanced equipment. Walking through the rooms that used to be the funeral viewing rooms, I noticed changes in temperature as we moved around. Some areas would be colder than others, and our EMF (electromagnetic field) detectors would start beeping. While in the basement, where the majority of the embalming and other funeral preparations occurred, there was a palpable strange vibe. I stayed for maybe10 minutes before going back upstairs and waiting for the rest of the crew as they continued the hunt in the basement.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and looking back on it, I still get a little spooked.
I was perhaps the most skeptical coming into the ghost hunt. I am steadfast in my disbelief of the supernatural. At the same time, I have an above-average interest in paranormal investigations and ghost hunting shows. I have always been open to being proven wrong about my beliefs—or lack thereof—and was looking forward to the chance to test out all of the equipment.
Funnily enough, I seemed to have among the strongest responses to something—whether or not it was a spirit or ghost remains, to me, uncertain. The technology we used, particularly the EMF meters which measure the invisible fields created by electrically charged objects, offered clear and concise responses to my questions. While I did not experience the physical and emotional sensations of some of my colleagues, I was persuaded slightly by the consistency of the equipment used in the attempted detection of something our senses alone cannot detect. It was a lifelong dream come true, and perhaps I’ll keep testing my skepticism by going on more ghost hunts in the future.
I didn’t know what to expect as I approached the Marine Corps League in Massapequa. I wondered to myself, “How could this possibly be haunted?”
I was surprised to learn the Marine Corps League served as a funeral home years ago.
Personally, I find funeral homes to be quite peaceful, but also anxiety inducing. It’s peaceful in the way that it’s made to feel like home, and it’s accepting of any emotion you could possibly have around the death of a loved one. But it can also be anxiety inducing because death is normalized. You’re grieving, but you’re also expected to be hospitable. No one really knows what to do, or say, near a deceased loved one, so everyone pretends everything is normal when it’s not.
I learned from Tim that dark spirits are often at funeral homes because of vulnerable spirits who just passed on, which makes a lot of sense of me.
Overall, the experience was very interesting. I got to use an EMF meter around the American Legion, and it was interesting when it picked up on something. I was able to fully immerse myself in the experience, which was interesting too.
I did have one interesting encounter. While in the basement, I began to notice the EMF meter going off whenever I placed it near my heart. As I was walking from one room in the basement to the other, I began to feel an intense wave of anxiety and sadness. And I began to smell something bad, kind of like sulfur or sewage. I let Tim know, and he told me that was a sign a spirit attached itself to me, because it trusted me. I took it as a compliment.
I left the experience, which included hearing about all of Tim’s experience, feeling a little more convinced that perhaps there’s more to life than I could ever understand.