The Case of the Haunted Mansion
Continued from page 1
Diane and I vowed to go back there for the CONTACT II Paranormal Conference on the
Weekend of September 22-24 to see if we can contact the ghosts of Mary Houghton and John
Widders directly and find out if they finally found happiness.
The Great Séance
Maureen was drained; she was helped out of the room. Everyone else flowed out of the
parlor and into the ballroom for the séance. It was 12:30 a.m. We were all tired from the
sweltering July heat and the late midnight hour.
We would see Maureen fifteen minutes later sitting on the edge of the stage in the ballroom
with Shawn Poirier, the Elder of Salem’s Coven of the Raven Moon.
“The language of spirit is thought,” Shawn said. “Spirits can enter your dreams, or display signs,
or get directly into your head. Another way is through a séance,” he added, He told us we should
not worry about possession or being hurt by the spirits during the séance. “Nothing can harm you,”
he claimed. “You may get sensations in your body. Feelings that overwhelm you are common.”
Then came the séance everyone was waiting for.
The witch explained, "You don’t need a large table in a Victorian parlor, The key to reaching the
spirits is to wait in silence. Open your mind so it’s like a clean slate. You will feel sensations. You
will think it’s your imagination, but it’s not.”
Shawn said although a “séance” by definition is a “sitting circle”, we were going
to have a "standing circle.”
“Mary’s spirit came into Maureen,” Shawn continued. “What I say is very real….Mary’s
sadness and grief is intense. She wants to be with John Widders.”
Shawn claimed he saw Mary’s father, Albert Houghton, appear during the Cryptique session,
“pleading for Mary to come to him.” But Mary chose instead to find her love, John Widders, and
would not go with her father.
The great ballroom was as hot as an oven. We stood in a large circle as wide as the room would
Shawn called upon the spirits to attend, and suddenly Maureen was shaking with the ghost of Mary
Houghton again. Shawn gently took hold of her hands as she spoke quietly to him. With the cooling fans
in the room so loud, it was impossible for anyone to decipher the soft words Maureen spoke, but we all
knew it was Mary channeling through Maureen. Mary was back again to find her beloved, John Widders.
Shawn and Maureen suddenly left the circle and the room. I wanted follow them but breaking
the circle would have interfered with the energy flow. The spirit of Mary Houghton was leading
Maureen and Shawn to the mansion’s library in hopes of reuniting with John Widders.
I learned after the event that Shawn told Maureen not to trip on her long dress as she left the circle,
for the woman he was leading out of the room was wearing a long, flowing gown of the style worn
nearly a hundred years ago. Maureen, or rather, Mary, acknowledged this instruction from Shawn
and pulled up her gown. People they passed heard her gown slapping the steps of the staircase as they
made their way out of the room.
However, in reality, Maureen was wearing blue jeans and a polo shirt.
The witch and the medium were gone from the room for ten minutes while the rest of us held hands in
the sweltering heat of the ballroom. Diane held my left hand and a woman I did not know held my right
hand. Diane was crying. I knew she was feeling the pain of the love story unfolding before us. Someone
opened a door in the front of the room and a bare while light bulb shone into the dark ballroom, casting
ghostly shadows over everything: “They are in the library,” a man announced, keeping us informed of
Maureen and Shawn’s actions. “Mary is reunited with John Widders!”
The participants in the séance circle let out gasps.
Then Maureen and Shawn returned to the room. Maureen was still channeling Mary.
They stood in the center of the sacred circle and talked in low tones. I could not hear anything
being said because of the loud fans drowned their voices. I don’t think anybody heard what was
Suddenly, Maureen returned and the spirit of Mary Houghton was gone.
Shawn held Maureen, comforting her, asking her if she was alright. She was. Shawn said
a brief entreaty and the séance was over. We broke the circle.
The time was close to 2:00 a.m. and Diane and I were spent. I saw Ron sitting on one of the steps as we
made our way out of the room. He was still stunned with what had transpired during the séance. “Did
Mary Houghton and John Widders come together and resolve their differences?” I asked him.
“Yes, they found each other again,” he said. He looked like he was going to say more,
but he stared off to where Maureen was standing and seemed to consider the
extraordinary events of the night in vivid recall before his eyes.
Diane and I stepped into the dark night outside the haunted mansion, only to look up and see a curtain
part in Mary Houghton’s former bedroom, where we hoped the ghosts of Mary Houghton and John
Widders were embracing.
In a follow up call to Maureen Wood I learned the ghostly couple was very happy to be
together once again. “When I left there the next day, I felt as if a wedding had taken
place,” she said.
Maureen explained the couple had indeed come together again, but that they were not sent “to the
light”. Their spirits still haunt the mansion, she told me.