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Kerrian Flanagan Brosky Tells Long Island Ghost Stories in Huntington

Danielle Campbell and Kerriann Flanagan Brosky at Harbor Lights Yoga

Last Friday, October 23, Danielle Campbell hosted Kerrian Flanagan Brosky to speak about and sign her latest book, Ghost Stories Two, More stories of the Paranormal, at her Harbor Lights Yoga Studio.  Danielle graciously provided wine and hors d’oeuvres. With a glass of wine in hand we all eagerly took our seats.

My expectations for a paranormal investigator ran to someone like Amy Winehouse fighting bouts of sobriety.  Expectations and reality couldn’t have been further apart.  Brosky’s appearance is more that of a cookie-baking mom in Good Housekeeping. She’s smart too.  Kerrian is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Long Island University at C.W. Post, with a degree in Photography.  She worked as a journalist for Newsday writing a column on Huntington History.  It was while there she noticed that people were more intrigued with the ghost stories of Old Long Island buildings than they were in more general island history.  According to Kerrian, Long Island is chock full of ghosts.

Kerriann told us she met and partnered with

Joe Giaquinto, a paranormal investigator, after she began writing her first book, Ghost Stories. Giaquinto is a Magna Cum Laude graduate himself, from Adelphi University with a degree in Broadcast Communications. Fans of Ghost Stories demanded more.  Brosky and Giaquinto obliged with the current book that focuses more on interviews with people who had paranormal experiences than legends.

Kerrian is a firm believer in the Roman Catholic faith. Her belief in the spirit world does not in any way conflict with her religious beliefs. In fact, she found that becoming a ghost investigator has led her on a spiritual journey that she never anticipated. She remains a historian first and a ghost investigator second.

In case you are an aspiring ghost hunter, these are a few  vocabulary words you need to keep handy:

ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA (EVP): Ghost voices that show up on a tape recording.

CLASS A EVP: very clear and easily understandable

CLASS B  EVP:  robotic and tinny sounding

CLASS C EVP: garbled and unclear like a 3AM conversation at Finnegan’s

For EVPs on demand check out Brosky’s website: www.ghostsoflongisland.com/homepage_II.html

Orb:  According to Wikipedia, Orb backscatter has been broadly interpreted as a highly variable range of paranormal phenomenon without verifiable causation — including invisible spirits, auras, angels, ghosts, energy fields, psycho energetic artifacts, energy balls, etc

Now remember, Kerrian is a professional photographer, so when she discovered orbs on her photos she knew that they were not just tricks of light or a dust particle or a smudge from a dog’s nose. She says that they are most likely spirits who use the energy from the camera to show themselves. Often, she believes they are relatives who have passed on but want to stay close to their families. Being from a big family that put me at ease.  After all, dead relatives who want to hang around aren’t so scary it’s the live ones who show up unexpectedly for a long weekend that are frightening.

Tri field meter: A device that measures electromagnetic fields, radiation and temperature. You can buy this and other ghost hunting tools at http://www.theghosthunterstore.com, although you might just want to wait for an iPhone app.  When a ghost is present it the meter starts to move. When the meter pins itself to the far end of the screen it is time to decide whether to ask uncle Fred where he hid the diamonds or to just run away.

At this point, the Ghostbuster theme song got stuck in my head and a week later I still can’t shake it.  Forgot the tune?

After we’d all been given a glimpse into Kerrian’s work we were primed for some stories. Kerrian began with her interview of a couple who USED to live in a haunted house in Huntington Station but have since moved.  As Kerrian tells it, she set her tape recorder down on the coffee table between the couple and herself and never left the room.  Her partner Joe was late and did not get there until after the interview.  Kerriann took her recorder home and played it back. As she was transcribing the conversation she had had with the couple, suddenly she heard a little girl’s voice that sounded like her mouth was right next to the speaker say “Hold me.”  There was never anyone else in the room with them!  She ran down stairs and played it for her husband who naturally felt a little freaked out.  I’d have decided that this was a good time to abort the mission and maybe turn to writing cookbooks. Kerrian proved to be made of sturdier stuff and instead became more fascinated with the paranormal.  Joe told her that it was a first class EVP.  Wow, what a score!

Brosky then read a passage from the chapter about Execution Rocks Lighthouse that was pretty eerie. Execution Rocks is off Sands Point and has a very horrible history to it.  The lighthouse used to have a keeper, but no one has lived there for years.  Perhaps the name has something to do with it?.  While they were leaving the lighthouse that takes up most of the landform , Joe, Kerrian and their coastguard escort heard an unexplainable otherworldly scream.  She believes that it was from one of the tortured souls who had their life ended chained to the rocks.

Throughout the night  Kerrian was very matter of fact about all of the really strange phenomena that she has witnessed in the course of researching and writing her books. She was actually more comforting than scary.  She told of people who tragically lost family members only to find that they are not lost at all and either giving signs or actually making appearances. Kerrian only briefly touched upon demonic spirits and basically said that if it feels wrong where you are then leave.

Wanting to learn more, I bought the book and left the lecture feeling pretty good about how unafraid I felt.  Of course it could have been the Pinot Noir.

I do not recommend reading this book alone and late at night.   Early morning runs before sunrise have taken on some additional nuances. Lucky me, two of the chapters are devoted to paranormal activities in two houses that I run past almost every day.

The book is a good fast read. Each chapter gives some interesting history on some very cool places on Long Island.  These chapters are like individual short stories and while some can make you feel pretty freaked out, others are actually somewhat calming.  This book would be a great gift for pre-teens through adults, its like history with a shot of absinthe.

For example, there is a story in the book about a home further east that Kerrian visited. She interviewed the owner who told  Kerrian that ever since she and her family moved into their old house, her young daughter would wake up screaming.  The daughter claimed to see two spirits consistently.  One was an old woman hanging from the ceiling and sometimes a sad black man in overalls standing in the corner.  Of course her mother thought that they were nightmares.  Later on she discovered that a slave had been hung in that room. There are many things in the book that just can’t be easily explained and that tie back to the history of the places where these things happen.

If you get an opportunity to hear Brosky speak, I recommend going.  It’s thought provoking and Kerrian comes across as a pretty straight shooter. Are there spirits living among us? If we open ourselves up to them would we have more spiritual experiences? Why do human beings always feel the need to have proof that there is life after death?

All Souls day is November 2. You might want to be on guard.  Is it some cats fighting that you hear or your grandpa coming back to retrieve that whiskey bottle you stole from under his sink for the Homecoming Dance.  Be prepared! Happy Halloween!

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