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Mon., Aug. 31
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Spanky’s Diner ghost hunt in Massena to benefit American Red Cross


MASSENA — Anyone who has lived in Massena for any length of time has undoubtedly heard Spanky’s Diner is haunted.

Some people believe the tale — others do not — but if you find yourself on the fence, this evening may be your opportunity to find out once and for all what is behind one of Massena’s most well-known local legends.

The PISToLS, Paranormal Investigations of the St. Lawrence Seaway, will host a paranormal investigation of the property at 7 p.m. Sunday. The cost to tag along is $10, all of which will be donated to the local branch of the American Red Cross.

“Spanky’s is one of the more well-known haunts in the area,” said PISToLS co-founder Lana M. Putnam. “This will be our first time going into Spanky’s, but there have been several other groups who have gone in there before.”

Aside from raising funds for the Red Cross, Ms. Putnam said a secondary goal is to educate the public about what they do.

“We’re going to show people our equipment, let them use it and explain to them what we do,” she said. “We’re not just going to show them the metaphysical side, but the scientific side we use to back that up.”

Ms. Putnam explained while she is a believer in the paranormal, she looks for evidence to back up people’s claims and tales.

One person who believes the diner is haunted is Valerie J. LeValley, who owns and operates the diner purchased by her father, Alex “Spanky” Krywanczyk, more than 20 years ago.

“If I’m in the only one here and I’m in the basement, I can hear footsteps upstairs,” she said. “The lights go on and off, the radio goes on and off and the stoves do, too,” she said, adding she can also feel people walk by her when she’s in the basement.

When asked what her customers think of the legend, Ms. LeValley said the reaction is mixed.

“I think a lot of customers don’t want to think about it,” she said. “That’s why it’s not advertised up here or anything.”

While the bulk of her customers would rather not think about the possibility of their favorite lunch spot being haunted, other customers have asked about it.

When people take them up on the offer, Ms. LeValley said they are seldom alone.”

Tickets for the event are $10 each and may be purchased at Spanky’s Diner or at the weekend’s Psychic and Holistic Wellness Faire at St. Lawrence Centre. Participants must be 18 years old and sign a waiver.

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