Galloway group shares a ghostly pursuit

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Deborah Maxfield

GALLOWAY – Deborah Maxfield founded the Galloway Township Paranormal Society less than a year ago with her husband Harry – and they've already added nine members anxious to search for ghosts whenever they have the chance.

Born in Somers Point, raised in Egg Harbor Township and graduated from Absegami High School in 1977, Maxfield and her husband live in Galloway.

Harry Maxfield was born in Camden, raised in the Mantua-Woodbury area and graduated Clearview Regional High School in1971. He is employed by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Mays Landing.

Deborah Maxfield said she's been interested in the paranormal since childhood.

“When I was 8½ years old my grandfather, who I was really close to, passed away,” she said. “Shortly thereafter, my grandfather came to me one night and I wasn’t afraid because I knew it was him.”

They talked, she said, and he just wanted to know if she was OK, and said he would be watching over her.     

“I told my mom that I saw Grandpop,” Maxfield said. “She asked me where and I told her in my room. So this was the beginning of my interest in the paranormal.”

Maxfield said her husband had no background in the paranormal.

“He never experienced anything until we started investigating together,” she said. “Our first investigation was while we were on vacation in San Antonio, Texas, in 2009. We went on an investigation at the Alamo with Martin Leal, a well-known San Antonio paranormal expert.”        

While in San Antonio, they met the Klinge Brothers from Every Day Paranormal – stars of the TV series “Ghost Lab,” filming a segment at the Menger Hotel – “known as one of the most haunted hotels in America.”

During its short existence, the Galloway Township Paranormal Society has conducted nine investigations including Bube's Brewery in Mount Joy, Pa., the Gabriel Davies Tavern in Glendora and Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City.

Maxfield said the investigation at Bube's Brewery resulted in her being touched on her sleeve and on her arm – presumably by a spirit. In Glendora, she said they “personally documented two orbs and some EMF (electronic and magnetic field) interaction in the second-floor bedroom.”

Asked if she was frightened to be touched, Maxfield said it wasn't scary – “not to me.”

“If you respect a spirit, most of the time he'll respect you back,” she said.

The group's equipment includes a recorder and digital and video cameras.

In addition to well-known sites, the group will make house calls – free of charge.

“I don't go in assuming that it's haunted,” Maxfield said. “We try to get videos of a shadow person.”

According to Maxfield, paranormal investigators simply conduct investigations of spirits while mediums can sense, see and talk with spirits.

“We have a medium in our group and she's pretty good,” Maxfield said. “She's Cathy Jaggard of Absecon. She's had the power since she was a child.”

Jaggard, her husband, Eddie, and Matt Butler of Absecon were the only members beside the Maxfields who wanted to be identified.

“We found shadows at Absecon Lighthouse,” Maxfield said. “We used a K2 meter that detects energy.

“We also used infrared at the lighthouse. It was extremely hot there – my temperature gauge read 85.”

She said she was in touch with a spirit at Absecon Lighthouse.

“I asked it to turn on a flashlight and it did,” Maxfield said. “Then I asked the spirit to lower the temperature. It went down to 75. We have video on our website.”

The group examined the Marconi Motel in Wall, Monmouth County in late September.

“We haven't examined the evidence yet,” Maxfield said. “We have pictures and video to go through.”

The group has investigated houses in Absecon, Egg Harbor Township and Toms River.

“I can't give out any information on private homes,” Maxfield said. “If we found a dangerous spirit I'd have to contact a demonologist.”

Demonologists aren't necessarily in the yellow pages, but paranormal investigators have contacts.

“I have people I can call,” Maxfield said. “In the paranormal community – we're like bikers, you can always call someone.”

Contact the group at www.facebook.com/gallowaytownshipparanormalsociety.


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