Is it possible to train the dead to communicate?
That was the question I was asking myself as I decided to conduct public investigations at several of New Harmony’s more haunted locations. To my knowledge, our investigations marked the first time anyone has attempted communication of this magnitude. The ghosts there have never seen paranormal equipment and weren’t sure what to make of us during our first few attempts.
In my years investigating, it’s rare for me to leave an investigation with less than a dozen EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). For whatever reason, ghosts will talk to me and allow me to record their voices. Perhaps it’s the fact that they know I can feel them or maybe they just like my energy. Either way, I’ve collected hundreds upon hundreds of EVPs over time. This wasn’t the case with the Fauntleroy Home and Community House #2. I walked away from our test run investigation with two very faint EVPs.
During our first public ghost hunt last month, they seemed to be warming up to us. Not only was I able to capture several EVPs, the groups had far more interactions with the souls that linger at the locations. This month’s event blew the last event away.
After an hour long presentation, I brought my first group to the Fauntleroy Home, while Billy Miller, the founder of Southern Indiana Paranormal Investigations (SIPI), brought his first group to Community House #2.
Both of these locations are important in New Harmony’s history. The Fauntleroy Home was built in 1822 by the Harmonists, the first Utopian community who founded the town. Notable residents include inventor, Oliver Evans, Junior, and Robert Henry and Jane Dale Owen Fauntleroy, whose daughter Constance created the Minerva Society, one of the nation’s first women’s clubs.
Community House has an equally interesting history. Completed in 1822 by the Harmonists, it was the place where some of their followers resided. When the Owen community bought the town, they used it for multiple purposes. While the second and third floors were still primarily used for dormitory space, the first floor was used as a school, community activities and housed various businesses.
Fauntleroy Home Investigation
The Fauntleroy Home is far different from Community House #2. In fact, the two are nearly polar opposites. The energy at Community House #2 is almost playful and engaging, but the Fauntleroy Home is something else altogether. You can feel it the minute you walk through the door. Most of the ghosts don’t want us there.
The foyer near the front door and the upstairs bedroom are the most active. There were times during the night that it felt as though we were completely surrounded by the dead. It was enough to send chills down many of our spines.
One of the ghosts we feel we were communicating with was Mary Emily Fauntleroy. She spent many years renovating the home and turning it into a museum. When Amanda asked if anyone there ever played the harp, the response I got on my Spirit Box was, “Don’t Break it.”
Some people in the paranormal community scoff at the Spirit Box, so I always ask a few test questions. I held up three fingers and asked them how many fingers I was holding up. The response was correct: three.
Someone in the group asked what their favorite color was. The response came quickly. “Red,” it said.
Several other responses seemed more like pleas for help. One of the EVPs that were captured on Billy Miller’s recorder that he loaned to Meagan said, “Wait for me” and “I need help.”
Possibly the craziest EVP I recorded all night was an actual ghost voice. It didn’t come through the Spirit Box. It was spoken aloud in a frequency that none of us were able to hear. Thankfully, my recorder caught it.
The upstairs master bedroom at the Fauntleroy Home is incredibly active. I have a difficult time spending more than a few minutes there before wanting to leave. I believe the soul lingering there who affects me so profoundly is Oliver Evans, Junior. As we were in the middle of an EVP session, I asked Jason Nelson to take a photo of me. As he attempted to take it, the camera malfunctioned. During this moment, we caught an intelligent voice responding. “Give me that…thing!” it said.
Nothing was captured in the photograph, but the ghostly voice was proof enough that we weren’t alone.
Both groups were again treated to the alarming of the building’s alarm system. It has gone off during every investigation we’ve conducted there and it went off again twice that night. A technician looked at the system and found no issues with it. Perhaps one of the ghosts is trying to chase us off?
Towards the end of one session, we were promptly dismissed. “I’m going to bed,” said one voice on the Spirit Box. “We’re sleepy,” said a second, moments later.
After we finished our EVP sessions, I brought the groups out to the Harmonist Cemetery. The graves are unmarked and sit alongside the burial mounds of the Woodland Indians. The Harmonists believed that everyone was equal, both in life and in death, which is why they didn’t mark the graves. While many graveyards are spooky, this one had a very calm, serene vibe to it. We all found it to be a nice break after the heaviness of the Fauntleroy Home.
The Fauntleroy Home is a better location for mediums and people who are sensitive to the energy. The ghosts there aren’t shy about getting close to people and talking to them. Various members of both groups felt overwhelmed with emotion at times, nearly breaking down into tears for no reason. Over the years, many people have had paranormal experiences there. Several tour guides have been pushed on the stairs and have heard voices talking in other rooms. Thankfully, no one in either group was pushed, but we did hear the sound of a group of people talking. We raced to the windows and looked outside to make sure it wasn’t pedestrians on the sidewalk, but no one was there.
Community House #2
I always pull the group together at the end of the night so we can share our experiences. Because I’m at the Fauntleroy Home all night, I don’t get to see what happened at Community House #2. When I asked them which location was the most active for them, they all agreed. Community House #2.
They heard doorknobs jiggle, as though someone was trying to get in the door. They heard thumps and taps. At one point, Jason felt the floor beneath him begin to vibrate. Billy moved so he was near Jason and felt it too.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the evening involved a dollar store item that I picked up for the last investigation. I was worried that the 19th century ghosts would be afraid of our technology, so I bought a pinwheel and put it in a cup. The group placed it in the middle of the floor. To their amazement, it began moving after they asked questions.
Can you train the dead to communicate? Apparently so because the pinwheel didn’t move once during our last investigation, but it fluttered to life many times during this event. Billy insured that no air vents were pointed at it and the group remained stationary during the session.
Here is a brief clip of the interaction.
Meagan discovered that every time she tried to video it, the pinwheel would stop moving. She was only able to capture it for several seconds, but the entire group witnessed it multiple times.
Another curious thing happened to the second group. The ghosts have largely ignored our EMF detectors. An EMF detector measures Electromagnetic Energy, something ghosts can manipulate. During every investigation I’ve ever conducted, our meters have registered ghostly energy. This wasn’t the case in either location during our Haunted New Harmony investigations. This all changed on Saturday night.
All night, the Mel Meter stayed stubbornly at zero. During the second session in the print shop, it started spiking up. It appeared to be responding to their questions. When a favorable question was asked, it would spike up to as high as 13.4, then drop down to zero again until another question was asked. This was astounding for all of us.
It struck me as interesting that the ghosts in the print shop would be the first ones to play with our equipment. Considering they would have used the best technology of their day to print their papers, perhaps they weren’t as afraid of our modern day gadgets.
No EVPS were captured at Community House #2, but the experiences the groups had were more than enough proof of the paranormal.
I want to thank everyone who came out to join us. I also want to thank Billy Miller for his expertise in overseeing Community House #2. Thanks also to Amanda Bryden and Meagan Patterson, who oversee both locations, and to Crystal Folz and Jason Nelson for acting as group assistants. It was an amazing night. I can’t wait for the next one!