TOWNSEND -- A local photographer got a surprise when he took a look at the photographs he had taken at Harbor Pond at dusk.
All but one of the images showing the dam and cooperage were what he expected when he got home and uploaded the files. The other picture caught his eye when it flashed on the computer screen.
In only that one image, lights shine through a window of the 18th century cooperage.
Tyler Kimbar, a Townsend photographer, took pictures in a series of three on Sunday, March 12. Each set of three pictures was taken within five seconds. Kimbar intended to combine the different exposures into one composite image to get the best color saturation.
The composite picture taken around 6:50 p.m.
In a set taken 10 minutes later, the first and third photos were unremarkable. The middle photo is quite different. Three lights appear in the window nearest the dam. Kimbar referred to those lights as a ghost figure.
"There were no cars going by and nobody was in the building because it was closed," he wrote in an email. "I was also the only car in the parking lot, so I can't explain where the light/figure came from."
No one else who was contacted could explain the lights.
"I have a table that's sitting in front of the window," said Laura Bradley, who opened an antiques co-op in the Cooperage in 2009. "There's no lamp there, no candle, no nothing.
The possibility of a ghost did not surprise or alarm her, but made her curious. "I wish I had somebody who could analyze that for me," she said.
When she first moved into the building, she felt "something." After her clairvoyant agreed there might be a ghost, she contacted "Ghost Hunters," an NBC television series.
Investigators from The Atlantic Paranormal Society jumped on the case. They investigated the cooperage and nearby Reed House in April 2011 and aired the show that fall. During the two days TAPS were in residence, flashlights turned on in the cooperage and they saw a blur at the Reed House, Bradley said.
Bradley remains aware of her surroundings, but does not seem alarmed by the phenomena. "I've always felt like something's there," she said.
The corner where the lights appeared seems to be an active space, she said.
At Halloween, some friends used a Ouija board in that corner. "They said the thing was moving," Bradley said.
However, the store had been busy and there was lots of positive energy so Bradley said she wanted to know nothing more. "I didn't want to do anything to screw up," she said.
A suicide at the Reed House, documented in Richard Smith's book "Dust and Divinity," could be the basis for a ghost story in the building next door to the cooperage. After the death of her child, Hannah, one of the Reed daughters, killed herself while visiting home.
Her sister Harriet discovered Hannah's body hanging in the front hall. She fled, and was never seen again, according to the book.
Both buildings are owned by the Townsend Historical Society.
Jeannie Bartovics, who spends four days a week at the Reed House for her job as site administrator for the society, said no one ever lived at the cooperage.
"I still don't know why any ghost might hang out there," she said.
At one point in the conversation, Bartovics was startled. It was just the furnace going off, she said, not a ghost.