PROSPECT, Maine — When Canaan resident Kate Schuyler lost her grandmother recently at the age of 95, she discussed contacting a psychic with her mom because they both still felt their loved one’s presence.
“We want to know if she’s around,” she said Saturday while waiting outside the Fort Knox officer’s quarters for a psychic to give her a reading.
“She was a very strong person and had a strong presence in our family,” Schuyler said of her grandmother, Mary.
She said it must have been fate that she stopped by Fort Knox on Saturday with her husband, Bill, who is from Wyoming and discovered the Psychic and Paranormal Faire.
People who believe in the unusual — UFOs, Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster or ghosts — got a chance to get up-close and personal with experts in the field, including psychics, Tarot card readers, two different groups of ghost hunters and authors on the subjects of the supernatural, abnormal and paranormal. The two-day faire also runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, owner of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, gave two presentations on Saturday and talked about Bigfoot in Maine and other places, where the mythical creature is known as a Yeti or Sasquatch.
“We’ll have a presentation about UFOs next,” Leon Seymour, the Friends’ executive director, said using a megaphone when Coleman’s hourlong presentation and question session was over.
This year’s Psychic and Paranormal Faire at Fort Knox is the ninth time the Friends of Fort Knox has hosted the unusual event, he said.
“There is a significant portion of the population who find it fascinating,” Seymour said.
When the East Coast Ghost Trackers of Brewer arrived, they pulled up in a black van with their logo printed on the side. The members were decked-out in full ghost hunting tactical gear that includes gadget-filled vests stuffed to capacity with everything from digital and audio detectors and recorders to specialized gear.
“We’re all a big ball of energy, and when we die, we’re energy,” said Jamie Dube, East Coast Ghost Trackers co-founder.
Sometimes that ghost energy is detectable, he said. The trackers started giving ghost hunting tours at Fort Knox about three years ago and have a number of supernatural tales to tell, many involving a ghost girl named Elizabeth.
Both the East Coast Ghost Trackers and the Maine Paranormal Society, who had a table at the event covered with video and audio recording equipment used in the search for ghosts, said they will go anywhere to collect evidence.
“We help out a lot of families,” Dube said during the tracker’s presentation.
“We’re there to help the client,” said Jason Steelman of Sanford, co-founder of the Maine Paranormal Society, and 16-year ghost hunter. “We’re not there to scare the client. We check everything first — could it be the pipes knocking, gas in the basement, static in the radios. Only 1 percent of the cases do I actually see something. A lot of the time it can be determined to be environmental.”
Author Patricia Hughes, who penned “Ghostly Lost Treasure Tales of Maine,” spoke about Maine ghost stories, and Christopher Gardner and Cindy Proulx talked about unidentified flying objects.
“It’s pretty much the history of UFOs, and I kinda gear it towards Maine,” Gardner said after his presentation.
He talked about a UFO sighting in Maine recorded shortly after the Roswell Incident in 1947 where Maine astronomer John Cole of South Brooksville saw objects in the sky that were investigate by the Air Force.
“He heard a roar in the sky and saw nine objects flying westernly,” Gardner told attendees. “It looked like a swarm of bees flying. It was reported to Dow Field [in Bangor].”
Air Force investigators were not able to determine what Cole saw.
“And it’s still unknown till this day,” he said.
The cost for entrance is the regular Fort Knox admission — which is $1 for children age 5 to 11, $3 for everyone age 12 and older and $3.50 for non-Maine residents — plus an additional $2 to cover costs of the paranormal and psychic events.
Schuyler, who had never been to a psychic before, paid $20 for her reading, and was very pleased with the encounter.
“She really had this information without me even asking,” she said afterward. “The things she mentioned about my gram being thin, that she died at an old age. She described the way she looked and my father also.”
The psychic also did a reading on Duchess, one of the couple’s two dogs, and knew she had just lost her mate.
“According to her, she’s a blabbermouth,” Schuyler said of the pet.
Schuyler and her husband both said they were skeptics when they walked in to Fort Knox and they walked out believers.
“I was really surprised because she sat down and she knew her grandmother was there,” Bill Schuyler said of his wife. “It shocked me.”
“She’s around,” his wife said of her grandmother.
The couple also learned from the medium that, “there is a baby in our future,” Bill Schuyler said with a big smile on his face.