GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN — Acting on the first tip to come through their brand-new tip line for potential hauntings, the Brooklyn Paranormal Society’s volunteer organizers held a spirit-summoning ceremony at a suspiciously creaky waterfront wine bar at West and Noble streets on Wednesday night.
All interested parties were.
“We’re going to need back-up,” organizers wrote on their event page, titled “The Case of the Creaky Wine Bar.”
And — this being Brooklyn — the owner of West Wine Bar, which just opened in June, agreed to provide ghost hunters with happy-hour drink specials throughout their investigation.
“He’s allowing us to come take a look,” the group’s spokeswoman, Tina Huynh, told Patch in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ve heard many different stories about this building from the owner,” said Huynh, a 30-something Bed-Stuy resident with a day job in luxury jewelry PR. “It used to be a warehouse, and it has a past up to the Revolutionary War. A ton of people were killed. … So it could be multiple different entities that could be in there.”
The Brooklyn Paranormal Society, which has been a thing since 2015, was originally tipped off to potential paranormal activity at West Wine Bar by an anonymous caller in his early 30s.
Here are Huynh’s notes from the call:
The caller reported hearing creaking, groans and other strange noises. Caller noted the floor near him would make noises without explanation. Background research on the location reveal it to be a 100 year old factory building.These old factory buildings are plentiful in the Greenpoint area, and typically have haunted histories due to poor workplace conditions a century ago.
On a followup tour of the property, Huynh said she and the society’s two other core members — Anthony, a tech guy for Vice Media, and Andrew, a writer for a French publication, both in their 30s as well — immediately sensed something afoot.
“It’s just a creepy space,” she said. “There’s nothing flying off the walls, but just the feeling kind of creeps you out, just being in there.”
At the main event Wednesday night, the group planned to employ a series of investigative tactics — including seances, protection spells, “crystal grids,” Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) recorders, ghost-detecting smartphone apps and automatic drawing exercises “where you sketch out what you’re feeling” — to try and contact whoever or whatever has been setting off the floorboards at West Wine Bar, according to Huynh.
For maximum effectiveness (and spook factor), the expected crowd of around 100 would be divided into teams of 5 to 10 people, she said.
Each team would then take a turn summoning spirits in the main seance room — a large, open space in the building that the wine bar normally rents out for events — while the remaining participants took advantage of happy-hour specials in the main bar area.
“We’ll be drinking the entire time,” Huynh assured Patch in a phone interview.
We had to ask: Is this thing, like, for real?
Absolutely, the group’s spokeswoman said. “We’re not like other paranormal groups who are very, very serious about it,” she explained. “We want it to be a little more fun. We want to be interactive. It’s a community effort to join everyone’s interest in the paranormal together.”
But “we’ll drink and have fun while we do it,” Huynh said. “It’s very Brooklyn.”
You can follow the adventures of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society on Instagram, Facebook or their official ghost-hunting blog. And if you do show up to one of the group’s ghost hunts, you might consider dropping a buck or two in their donation jar.
“We pay for everything out of pocket,” Huynh said. “Rocks, notebooks, candles, spell books — everything.”
This story has been updated. Images courtesy of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society
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Originally published August 9, 2017.