QUEENSBURY -- If you have some things that go bump in the night, there's a new company that may be able to help you figure out just what it is.
Jim Berkowitz and Eileen Higgins have recently opened Queensbury Paranormal Investigation Team and will investigate any potential paranormal activity free of charge.
Berkowitz works for the post office, and Higgins is a nurse, and the business is the pursuit of a hobby. Both have had personal experiences with the paranormal, and now have the equipment to discover and record this activity.
"Like most people, my interest in the paranormal began with personal experience, and it got me curious," Berkowitz said. "We can help someone validate what they've seen or heard, or discover a natural event that's causing it."
Berkowitz said his first experience with the spirit world was when he was 10.
"My dad had a friend with a huge house on Lake George, and whenever we'd go there, I always saw a woman staring at me from a window across a courtyard," Berkowitz said. "My mom was very sensitive and somewhat psychic, but my dad didn't believe in this stuff. One day, the woman, in a Victorian-style dress, appeared and chased my father and brother out of the house shaking her fist.
When he got home, he was white as a sheet, and my mom said, ‘You saw her, didn't you?'"
Higgins said her first experience was a little less dramatic, but frightening nonetheless.
"As a teen, my mom bought an old house in Glens Falls, and I had just gone to bed one night when I heard footsteps on the stairs," Higgins said. "I thought it was my brother, but he wasn't there. The footsteps got closer and closer to my bed, and I ran out the door and didn't sleep well for a while."
A couple of years ago, the pair ran a janitorial company and were cleaning an old building on Warren Street at night.
"I always felt we weren't alone in that building," Berkowitz said. "On our third night there, a woman in a black dress walked by the bathroom."
He asked the staff who worked in the building the next day about the woman, and some of them confirmed that they had also seen a woman in a black dress.
"One employee quit her job after she saw the woman float through a wall," Berkowitz said.
Queensbury Paranormal Investigation Team has four investigators along with Berkowitz and Higgins. Two of them recently spent time with a crew from SyFy Network's "Ghosthunters" at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire.
"Since shows like "Ghosthunters" have been around, there have been a lot of paranormal groups popping up," Berkowitz said. "We started ours to do things the way we want to, when we want to."
The group has equipment that includes digital cameras and voice recorders, electro-magnetic field detectors and other meters used to detect and record any paranormal activity.
"A lot of what we do is ruling out more conventional causes," Higgins said. "Very often what people are hearing can be banging pipes or other natural things."
Having a ghost in your home is not necessarily a bad thing, Berkowitz said.
"A lot of people are afraid of what's going on, but a spirit is not necessarily something to be afraid of; the ghost on Warren Street is benevolent," he said.
"Sometimes the spirit doesn't want you there, or they are trying to send a message to someone. It's easy to misinterpret, since they can't speak directly to us."
Higgins said there are a lot of theories of why a deceased person's spirit remains behind.
"It could be they really liked a place when they were alive, or maybe they misbehaved and are afraid to move on," she said. "My sister died very suddenly while she was doing laundry, and for awhile, the cellar light near the washer kept coming on. I think she didn't know yet that she was dead, and kept on doing her work."
Berkowitz said there was another old house on Warren Street that had burned in a fire and was boarded up when he was a teenager.
"We snuck into the house in August. It was sweltering outside, but it was freezing in that house," he said. "They say a woman and her baby died in that fire."
After the house was demolished, a nursing home was built on the spot, and residents often hear a crying baby.
"They called the police once, because they couldn't find the baby," Berkowitz said.
For more information about Queensbury Paranormal Investigation Team, visit its website at queensburyparanormal.com.