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Mo-Valley Paranormal Investigates Duffy’s Tavern

by and on February 10, 2018 5:00 AM

With its storied history, Duffy’s Tavern in Boalsburg has long been rumored to be haunted by spirits from its past. Tracy Moriarty said she has seen many things happen that can’t be explained logically since she and her husband, Darren, took over ownership of the nearly 200-year-old tavern in May 2012. And, a recent renovation in the Pine Rooms has caused the activity to occur more frequently.

“For the past three to four years, it has been pretty quiet, with little activity, but then we started the renovation and things have been happening more often,” said Moriarty, who has turned around to see things have moved in a room without explanation.
“You turn around and a chair has moved, or you come back into a room and the lights are suddenly back on,” she said.

She said she knows that there is something happening in the tavern.

“It all depends on what you believe in, I guess. A lot of people don’t believe it. But people ask me if the tavern is haunted, and I have to say, ‘Yes, the tavern is haunted.' There is the ghost on the porch, there is a campfire man in the brick room, and we know they are here, but they are peaceful.”

The recent activity has drawn the interest of Tyson Lidgett and his team from Mo-Valley Paranormal. Lidgett has been leading his team of paranormal investigators since 2012 and has worked at more than 100 sites that claim to have paranormal activity. His team uses high-tech audio and visual instruments to help people determine if the strange things they see and hear can be explained as natural or supernatural.

“Our mission is taking the fear away from the unknown, so that is exactly what we try to do. Things that can’t be explained can be scary to people, the unknown can be scary, so we try to help them to determine what is happening,” said Lidgett. “We want to give people answers.”

His team uses tactics to determine if a sound that someone hears or a sight someone sees might be explained by a logical explanation. Nine times out of 10, the activity stops after a complete investigation, said Lidgett, because the spirit or ghost just wants to be heard.

“These are not ghosts like in the movies looking to scare people, but people who have died who maybe have something to say and they may demand to be heard,” said Lidgett. “So if we give them an opportunity to communicate, then if often stops.”

Mo-Valley Paranormal does not charge a fee for its services. Lidgett said the cost of his equipment is more than $20,000, with a lot of that coming out of his own pocket, but he is not interested in making money. Lidgett just wants to help people.

On Feb. 5, his team investigated Duffy’s Tavern. Mo-Valley Paranormal has worked at the site multiple times, and Lidgett previously has felt and heard things in the tavern. The group put out a series called “Hometown Haunts” on a local Fox affiliate in 2014 and the shows, including an episode about Duffy's, are available on YouTube.

This most recent investigation at Duffy’s started late at night, after all the bar patrons and staff were gone for the night. The tavern was completely dark. Lidgett said it is important to have darkness while investigating, so that the team can keep its senses sharp.

“The darkness is not to be scary, but we need to focus on what we hear and feel,” said Lidgett.

But, the effect is definitely spooky. Lidgett’s team sat around an old upstairs dining room in the tavern, alert to all sounds around them.

If anyone shifted in his seat and caused the chair to creak, the noise was explained to the rest of the team to rule out anything unnatural. Even the sound of a stomach gurgling was owned up to.

As the investigation continued, Lidgett set two flashlights on a table and sat back down 10 feet away. He called to the potential ghost and asked it to come out and communicate with him and his friends by turning the flashlight on.

“Mr. Duffy, if that is you, come out and communicate with us, turn the light on, don’t be afraid — it won’t hurt you,” yelled Lidgett to the room. “Are you upset about the renovations to the tavern?”

After five minutes of pleading with the ghost, an investigator moved the flashlight to another table. Again, the call out was made to the spirit to communicate with the light, and suddenly it began to brighten. There was nobody near the flashlight as it flickered on. Lidgett and his team encouraged the ghost to turn the light back off and on again, and it flickered off and on a few times with the cameras and recorders rolling the whole time.

Could there be a logical explanation for the flashlight turning on seemingly by itself? Is the tavern haunted?

Like Morairty said, “It all depends on what you believe.”

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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