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February 20. 2013 10:35PM

Epping selectmen won't spend money on ghost hunt


Michele Murphy, Epping administrative assistant, sits on the staircase leading to the clock tower of the old Epping Town Hall, where a janitor fell to his death in 1940. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)

EPPING - Paranormal investigators are coming out of the woodwork after learning about the strange happenings at the old Epping Town Hall, but officials say they have no plans to spend money on a ghost hunt.

Town Administrator Gregory Dodge, who has heard the strange sounds on numerous occasions over the years, said there have been many offers made to the town to investigate the noises. However, he said, "Selectmen do not intend to spend any tax dollars."

Selectman Karen Falcone has said selectmen are interested in exploring the sounds of footsteps and doors opening and closing often heard by town employees when no one else is around. She suggested it may be time to have a ghost hunter check out the town hall, but at this point selectmen aren't sure how they'll investigate the unexplained occurrences.

The noises have been heard by several people, including police officers who worked in the basement of the town hall until they moved into the new public safety complex in 2001.

Police have investigated the sounds of footsteps late at night but never found a source.

Epping native Daniel Harvey, who has a deep knowledge of the town's history, said he hasn't heard the ghost stories in the past, but he didn't discount the possibility that spirits may exist in the town hall that was built in the late 1800s.

"All I know is what I've heard recently. If they said they heard it then maybe they did," the 92-year-old Harvey said of the several employees who claim to have heard the noises.

In researching the town hall's history, officials said the only death known to have occurred there happened in 1940 when resident Herman Lussier fell from the clock tower. Harvey remembered Lussier and the accident.

"He slid off and fell onto the front steps," he said.

While the noises remain a mystery, one thing is for certain: bats have haunted town hall visitors for years.

In 2011, a bat interrupted a selectmen's meeting when it flew into the room and swooped around the heads of board members. The encounter was caught on the town's TV cameras and broadcast live to viewers watching on the public access channel.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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