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Tenney Gatehouse

Karen's Article For The Stateline Review




The Tenny Gate House – Methuen MA (Dec. 18th 2010)

A ParaTom Adventure”

Written by Karen Mossey.

Copyright: All rights reserved


Anytime I can revisit the Tenny Gate House, home of the Methuen Historical Society, is an exciting opportunity I would not want to pass up.

At a recent book signing at Borders, I met Tom Lynch. Tom is a fellow paranormal enthusiast. His website is www.ParaTom.com . He showed Mike and I an amazing video of a materialization he had filmed while investigating a private home. He invited Mike and I to his upcoming presentation and Investigation at the Tenny Gate House on December 18th. Part of the proceeds would go to the restoration and upkeep of the Gate house. Mike and I were very grateful and, after checking our schedules for availability during the busy Holiday season, found that we would be able to attend the event.

Since my daughter had a previous engagement on that date, I had my nine year old Grandson, Connor, that Saturday. Connor is very interested in aspects of the paranormal so it was a real treat to be able to have him come along with me to the Gate house. He was so excited for his first Ghost Investigation. Ironically, eight years earlier, I had also brought my son Alex, who was twelve at the time, and his friend Ben to the Gate house for an investigation. They had some very interesting experiences while they were there. At one point, while they were sitting down on the second floor in front of the room where the priest “Father Demetri” had passed away and listening to the presentation, they heard footsteps and felt something run by them and into the other room. A newspaper reporter and several other people that were there experienced this as well. So I was excited to bring along Connor in hopes that he and I would have some interesting encounters of our own.

We arrived at the Tenny gate house around 7:30 to a full house of attendees. Before we went in I stopped and showed Connor the huge building next to the gate house which houses the Methuen town offices. I told him how this tremendous building was built by our distant relative Edward Francis Searles. My maiden name is Karen Searles. Edward was a very wealthy man and built structures in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Connor stood and gazed up at the incredible building and said “I bet that building is haunted too Grammy.” I would venture to say I agree.

So off to the Tenny Gate House we went. Tom greeted us with open arms and there were several other youngsters there as well which made Connor feel even cooler to be part of this event. One eleven year old young man told Connor all about the Ghost Hunts he had been on and Connor was all ears. We went upstairs to where the lecture was about to begin.

Mike arrived shortly after we did and we all listened intently to the presentation which helped us get ready and in the mood for the night’s investigation which was to follow.

Joining us throughout the evening was the dynamic crew from the Hudson Cable Television network, Catherine, Harry, Karl and Katie. The upcoming episode of the Investigation at the Tenny Gate House will be on the Hudson Cable Television show called “Spectral Evidence.” They asked Connor if he would like to be a part of the filming crew and do some live videotaping during the investigation. They handed him a video camera and let him go out with me and do some recording and video to see what real time interaction with the resident ghosts we might be able to capture. Connor was wild with excitement to be a member of the television crew. It is surprising how much a nine year old already knows about operating a video recorder. Suffice to say, he knows much more then I do. So off we went into the night and investigation. I had brought my Sony B7 digital recorder for capturing EVP (electronic voice phenomena). So with Connor on video with night shot and me with my recorder we went from room to room to see what we could capture.

Probably the best evidence we got was in the basement. Connor started to roll the camera and announced, in a very professional nine year old voice, “Recording.” I turned on my recorder and began recording for any interaction from the Spirits through EVP messages. On playback, a disembodied voice replied to my request asking if there was anyone present with us in a bold EVP saying “God Dam-t…NO!” We walked around the corner and stood near the boiler downstairs and again attempted to record. I stated “we are just visitors here.” An EVP message was heard following this saying what he we heard as “I caught my breath.” I then closed out the recording with a “thank you,” and a friendly voice replied, “Goodnight.” As we left the basement area and started up the stairs Connor said,” Do you hear that?” “There are footsteps behind me and I sense a cold breeze like someone is behind me.” What a brave little guy and a true Ghost investigator extraordinaire. Of course with a narrow stairway and me in front of him he had nowhere to go, but was practically velcroed to my heels. When we got to the top of the stairs we looked back down and there was no one behind us.

From the basement we went on to the main room on the first floor. It was completely dark except for the light from the outside street lamps shining through the windows. We turned on the recorder and no EVP were heard on playback. At one point, Connor heard a noise and saw the curtains of the window move back and forth. Naturally this could have been a draft in the older 1800’s Gate house or maybe it was something unseen and not so easily explained by ordinary means.

Our host for the evening, President and curator for the Tenny Gate House, is my good friend Joe Bella. I have known Joe for many years and always appreciate a chance to go and see Joe at the Tenny Gate House. Being a “Searles,” and with so much of Edward Francis Searles , my distant relative, surrounding the lives and times of the Tenny family( they were not necessarily too fond of each other) and Methuen in general, I have come to learn so much about the history of these entrepreneurs and benefactors. Joe is a wealth of information and has a personal passion for the Tenny Gate House. In addition to this, Joe has his own psychic and spiritual gifts to offer. The Spirits of the Tenny Gate House have a personal relationship with Joe and are always willing to come through for us when Joe calls upon them.

After a short break and some snacks and beverages which had been generously offered to us while attending the event, we proceeded to the second floor where Tom “ParaTom,” was showing us a video of an incredible manifestation and testament to the powers of a certain Spirit named “Alice” which he captured at a private residence investigation. At one part in the video the team had laid a flashlight upon the floor and no one was near it. They asked the Spirit “Alice,” if she could communicate with them by turning the flashlight on and off and dimming it upon command. It was amazing how it responded on cue to the questions. This was an amazing display of the powers of energy that can be manipulated by those in Spirit.

The entire night was a success, both in terms of evidence and attendance. The event greatly helped the Tenny Gate House which is a beautiful piece of history and also quite haunted. Everyone had a nice time. I think Connor had a most amazing experience. He is hooked now and every time he comes over to visit me he shares his stories of his new found interest in Ghosts and the paranormal.

As we left the Tenny Gate House that night he said to me, “Grammy …this is the best time I have ever had, “and he gave me a big hug.

We plan to go back again in February.

Karen Mossey writes a monthly column for the Stateline Review Newspaper and is the author of the recently released book “Spooky Creepy New England,” Schiffer publishing; which is available in bookstores and online at Amazon.com




Tom Lynch, Julie Williams, Karen, Mike and Connor

  One Of The Rooms In The Historic Tenney Gate House



Recorded By Karen & Connor  - After Karen Speaks We Hear:     "Iverson"  ---  "I want it out"



Recorded By Karen & Connor - After Karen Speaks We Hear:       "Hey, I Caught My Breath"



Recorded By Karen  - On a previous investigation Karen recorded the sound of a barking dog.



Copyright 2011. Karen Mossey/Mike Sullivan. All rights reserved.