A baby cries during medium Roland Comtois’ paranormal gallery reading at the Varnum Memorial Armory. Some can’t hear it amongst the crowd of about 130. Surely, for the sake of the people who can hear it, the parent will take care of the crying child. But that cry is more chilling inside the room because no one under the age of 18 is allowed admission.
Buddy Thayer is the host of these fundraiser events and the man who invites Comtois to them. He said that he met with the medium, who had told him events of a very personal moment, including details of the night before and the morning that his wife passed away.
“He told me things that only I would know about,” Thayer said. “Things I’ve never told anybody, he was telling me about.”
As the founder of Ocean State Paranormal, Thayer believes in the paranormal but remains skeptical. But some things, especially readings like that, are undeniable.
When Thayer books Comtois to do a reading, he doesn’t give out the names of any attendees. Comtois brings purple papers that contain pre-written messages or stories from those who have passed, but would like to deliver something to some people in attendance.
“The things he says are so personal,” Thayer said.
During his own paranormal investigations, Thayer has visited Varnum. He said that he was told about apparitions in the hall by employees. And during the investigation, he heard voices and footsteps when the armory was empty. Thayer also said he captured a video of a shadowy figure leaving the kitchen and turning a door knob.
On Feb. 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Comtois will visit the armory on Division Street and Main Avenue for a gallery reading. Thayer is hosting this event to raise funds for the armory. He said that the last event raised about $3,000. Proceeds from the $40 tickets covers Comtois’ expenses and a donation to the armory.
Thayer’s effort to raise money for the Varnum Memorial Armory comes from the history inside of it. As a place where Rhode Island history is preserved with artifacts dating to the Revolution, Thayer wants to make sure they are well kept.