PORTSMOUTH — After nightfall Wednesday, five people prowled The Button Factory looking for paranormal activity.
Andy Kitt, of KRI in Greenland, the group that conducted the exploration, said the quintet was drawn to the location after attending The Button Factory's annual open house in December.
"If you do this enough times, it sort of gets apparent," said Kitt. "You can walk into a site and feel something is going on there, and sometimes the investigation bears it out; sometimes it doesn't."
Kitt and Miles Stevens are KRI's primary team investigators, and Kitt was quick to clarify the team isn't out to prove there are ghosts, but to investigate possibilities.
There are no definitive findings for The Button Factory as yet, said Kitt. Processing data will take time, though some team members believe "something" is there.
The team hit the factory after dark, when buildings tend to be at their emptiest and lighting is right for the work. They spent five hours investigating a number of studios, said Kitt. Occupants of the building were asked not to be present. KRI chooses to keep its site visits secret until after they are complete, hoping not to attract attention and the sensationalism that often follows their work.
The crew used seven audio recorders and six cameras, each running between three and four hours.
"It will take about 300 man-hours to go through it thoroughly," said Kitt. Because all the team members have day jobs or attend school, it will be a while before results are determined.
Kitt explained, "there is a split" in the investigative team. He and Stevens document and rely solely on the audio, visual and experiment results for their conjecture. The experiments are quasi-scientific, he said, given the team's inability to conduct proper, scientific controls. Experiments are often as simple as arranging an easily moved object, "and if it moves, it does; if it doesn't — there it is."
The team also includes a medium and two people with sensitivities to the paranormal, who have different takes on events.
The medium "thoroughly believes" she encountered something at The Button Factory, Kitt said.
There was also an interesting occurrence experienced by two team members, which because it occurred when they first entered and was not recorded will not be used in the final analysis. The investigators said they saw a figure walking in a hallway. When it was investigated, no person was found, and there was a solid wall where the apparition reportedly exited.
Kitt won't speculate on the final result of the KRI probe; he's sticking with what the tapes show.
"We won't know till we go through the evidence. People that claim to have psychic medium ability say something was there, but we have no way of saying that, because that's subjective," he said.
"Bottom line, to be objective means you have to be unattached to the outcome. We're just trying to find out — not to prove they exist or not, but just find out what happens in places people say there are ghosts. If you go in assuming a ghost, you will find one," said Kitt. "But sometimes something happens that's so bizarre, physics can't define it. And when that happens, something special has occurred."