Ghost Hunters at The Garde

Ever be somewhere and feel there is someone or something following you? Well, I have and so have many people who work and volunteer at The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. So many stories have been shared over time that they attracted The Ghosthunters from the famous SyFy series. On October 15, there was a special preview of the episode they filmed there.

As the showing was going to get underway there was a local radio station Q105 having a promotion with water bottles to win and brochures.  Among the promotions that came with the showing was Atlantic Broadband handing out free popcorn. Yet, the one that intrigued me the most was the ghostwriters who had come from the neighboring town of Groton to promote their book about haunting in the area. I took some time to skim through their book to learn about several of the haunting that take place in Southeastern Connecticut. Then the lights flicker on and off as a sign it is time to go inside to watch the show. Steve Sigel went up and spoke about the “guests” that are inside the theater of the Garde Arts. After thanking the sponsors of the show he explained the episode that we were about to see. Telling the audience about The Ghosthunters contacting The Garde to come and do an episode after hearing about the history and haunting leading into the episode starting

Then the episode started with the introduction to the Garde Arts theatre that opened in 1926. By showing the research they did on the Garde the hunters talked about finding some answers to some of the mysteries. Learning that the Garde was built on grounds where a mansion belonging to a prominent sailor, businessman, and politician by the name of Mr. Williams they found that four people had died there. After they went into segments where they mentioned some of the haunting with a little girl carrying red balloons, a mysterious ghostly feeling in the projector room, and a man who claimed his life was saved when he fell off a ladder to feel a person help him only there was no one there. Throughout the episode they explored the Garde in the theatre, a speakeasy section, and underneath the stage itself. All through the episode they were able to hear voices and sounds that were unable to be made possible because there was no one else there but them and the camera crew. When the episode started to wrap up they were able to confirm that there were ghosts in the Garde.

Before the show started there was a psychic fair where people could go and get their palms read, as well as tarot card readings. Many people were taken in by the future that they were told. Even more, four of the psychics spoke about their experience at the end of the showing of the episode. The first psychic to speak after the episode was a young woman named Luna who discussed seeing activity near the upstairs office as well as energy near a ladder where an employee had fallen yet felt there was a force there that helped him. Now, the second psychic who spoke Mary Ellen mentioned she saw a young woman from the 1920’s smoking a cigarette in a green velvet dress. Not only did she see her, she saw the little girl with the red balloons that many people have claimed to see. The third psychic Jane, visited the projection room where she claims to have heard the voice of Mr. Williams as well as being connected to the bottom of State Street by the water with high morals and ethics being important. The fourth and final psychic spoke about a young woman sad with a broken heart, activity by a mural from the 1920’s, banging, and impressions that had come from episode The Ghosthunters were shown. Not only did she get impressions from there, she claims to have felt energy from the balcony with hearing the sound of chains clinking with a feeling of sadness. After the four psychics finished, they carried out the rest of the psychic fair in the upstairs lobby.

“This is a very happy place,” Steve Sigel finished off with before the doors opened. Despite their being negative energy within the Garde, there are several “guests” as Jeanne Sigel will tell you who make the place interesting. There is something to be said about the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut as they start their 90th Anniversary Season soon. There may be some “guests” or there may be a logical explanation for it all. Personally, I think there are some very friendly “guests” within The Garde Arts Center.


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