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South County Scene: Team on spooky mission to Kent museum

by Mary Swift

* Ghost Hunting -- Lights have gone on at unlikely hours -- and been off the next morning.

Volunteers have heard the sound of a bell ringing somewhere in the distance.

A basement door left latched has been discovered open.

So what exactly has been going-on at the Greater Kent Historical Society Museum?

That's what members of AGHOST (Amateur Ghost Hunters of Seattle Tacoma) hope to find out tomorrow night when a team shows up to monitor goings on at the museum.

Mary Lou Becvar, corresponding secretary for the historical society, said there has been more than one occasion when something odd happened at the museum.

Once, she and her husband, Jack, the museum director, were hanging curtains when they heard the sound of a bell.

``It turned out other people also thought they'd heard a bell but were afraid to mention it because they thought people would think they were nuts,'' she said.

``One time Jack was standing in the doorway of the office and there were two or three of us in the office. All of a sudden he said, `Did you see that?' We stared at him funny. He swears he saw something go by.''

And that basement door?

The furnace is in the basement, the Becvars said.

If you turn on the perimeter alarm system without latching the door, a warning sounds to alert you, the Becvars said.

Yet on several occasions Jack has been called to the museum late at night by the alarm company to find the door unlocked -- but no sign of entry.

AGHOST representatives came in late last month to check the site out.

``There were three of them and two people who were psychics. When they were here the first time they were thrilled,'' Mary Lou said.

``They said they found something. In one room upstairs they said they found a lot of electromagnetic activity. There was one room they went in where a lot of them got very depressed going in there. They were very excited.''

Busting ghosts at the Kent museum


* The Ghostmasters Club -- That's what Kent's Doug Cullen thinks a local Toastmasters club should be called.

The club meets at the Greater Kent Historical Society Museum.

It was during a meeting of the club that Director Jack Becvar mentioned rumors of a ``ghost'' in the house.

And that sparked the interest of club member Doug Cullen who also happens to be a member of the Boeing Parapsychology Club.

Cullen contacted AGHOST (Amateur Ghost Hunters Of Seattle Tacoma). Three AGHOST members showed up for a preliminary visit to the museum. On Saturday night, five members of the organization plus Cullen and two members of the parapsychology club showed up for a more in-depth investigation.

They set up a motion detector, temperature probe, barometer, magnetic field sensor, voltage probe and infrared camcorder, among other equipment, then vacated the room.

The result of the investigation: Cullen says a number of orbs -- balls of energy normally invisible to the human eye -- seen going up and down stairs.

And in the room the temperature dropped gradually, then rose suddenly and finally leveled off. The motion detector was active in the beginning and leveled off.

No final word yet.

Cullen says the AGHOST team is going to go through all the data collected and provide further interpretation of what took place.