By Stefanie Sears
Gordon Thomas Ward will be discussing his Ford Mansion haunting investigation as well as additional hauntings throughout the area on Sat., Oct. 28, at the Morristown National Historical Park auditorium located in the museum behind Ford Mansion.
Sounds like the perfect outing just in time for Halloween, does it not?
Ward is a writer and singer/songwriter who occasionally incorporates his musical talents into his lecture presentations about his haunting investigations. He has been at this for about 40 years.
“I got into investigating places that were reported haunted because I grew up in a house that had a lot of activity in it,” Ward explains. “That got me interested in a very early age. It wouldn’t be what I call ‘investigation’ now. When I started recording or taking notes, keeping a journal of what happened, when I was very young; maybe about 11 or 12. Then when I got into college I started investigating places on my own and then a little bit in groups.”
Ward studied at Fairleigh Dickinson University and majored in music and psychology. He chose Ford Mansion as his latest venture after years of hearing about it. He performed volunteer work there and had obtained permission to begin his investigation. He chose to share his evidence results but not cite them because he wanted to maintain a low profile on things.
When Ward embarks on his investigations, he brings along a camera and audio recorder and believes that the latter provides the best evidence because of the possibility of capturing a voice on a hard drive. He would spend a couple of hours at a location and sweep through the house to record readings and detect electromagnetic activity. However, this could also dupe hauntings investigators if they are unaware.
“There’s a room that has all of the alarms in an electric box, so there are high readings in there because that’s where the electricity is coming into the house,” says Ward.
Ward is familiar with the popularity behind haunting investigations inspired by TV and film, but states that he does not fall into this category and warns that it is best to know the difference between accurate and false findings.
“The paranormal investigators out there tend to run into different types of groups,” he says. There are people who have been keeping up with the field in terms of what people have been doing at a university level and pretty high caliber investigative level out there. That would be the group that I would fall into. And then there are other people that just watch some of these shows on TV and they think ‘I can get a camera and I can go with some of my friends to this haunted location and take some pictures and we’ll scare ourselves. We’ll collect the proof of the haunting.’ Well, there is no proof at all. We can’t prove any of this stuff. We can investigate it, we can collect evidence, to support the existence of the haunting, but nobody can prove it…yet. But we’re moving towards that area. You just have to be really careful about who you’re talking to and what types of experience they have.”
In other words, what some say is a ghost could just simply be a photo of light.
Of course, given the “spooky” associations involving paranormal activity, fear might be the expected outcome. However, Ward is not afraid.
“I’m very calm about this. I don’t think there is anything that people need to fear about this at all. A lot of the ideas that people get about paranormal investigation come from horror movies and really bad TV shows that give people that impression. In all my years of investigating I have never, ever, ever come close to being threatened. I never had anything negative happen to me.”
For Ward, ghosts are just people.
“My take on what a ghost is that it’s just a person without skin,” he says. “It’s what is left of its human consciousness when the human heart of that passes away. It’s sort of akin to walking down the street. There are all sorts of personalities of people that you are going to meet out there. Some are very nice, some are not so nice. That’s what you encounter with these spirits that inhabit these locations with activity.”
For more about Ward, visit www.gordonthomasward.com.