We had a record amount of people attend our September event. The group was a mixture of experienced paranormal investigators, family members, neighbors and people experiencing their first ghost hunt. It wouldn’t be a night anyone would forget anytime soon.
Amanda and I gave a presentation about the history and hauntings. Before we even finished, we experienced our first paranormal encounter. The entire group heard the distinct sound of footsteps on the floor above us. It sounded like more than one person walking. My two assistants for the night, Paula Bundy and Crystal Folz, ran upstairs to check it out. As can be expected from this haunted house, they didn’t find any explanation for the sounds. We then split up into two groups. One group came with me to the Fauntleroy Home and the other group stayed at Community House #2 with Billy Miller from Southern Indiana Paranormal Investigations (SIPI).
The Fauntleroy Home Investigation
I spent the duration of the night, leading both groups through this fabulously haunted building.
The first group to the Fauntleroy Home was led by Megan Patterson and assisted by Crystal Folz. Because the group was larger than normal, I split them up. I had four people go into another room with Crystal to see if they could get the pinwheel to move. As we were getting ready to divide up, someone noticed that the Mel Meter was showing signs of activity.
The Mel Meter is an electronic device that measures the Electromagnetic Energy in an area. It will pick up on electrical devices and can sometimes detect the presence of ghosts. Every time we’ve investigated the Fauntleroy Home, the Mel Meter has stayed firmly at zero, but now it was moving upwards. When it was brought to my attention, it was at 1.4 milligauss and swiftly climbed to 2.7. For the remainder of our session, it varied between 2.4 and 2.7. This was odd to me because we knew there was nothing electrical in the area that would normally set it off. Was it a ghost? And why now, all of a sudden?
As we settled in, I decided to do a quick EVP session to see what we could get. Someone asked Mary Emily what her favorite color was. The response was “Chancy,” which didn’t really make any sense.
We decided to do a Spirit Box session because I’ve always had good luck with it there. We began hearing what we thought were responses, but weren’t clear enough to make out.
Someone asked how many children she had. The response was “ten.” This was odd because Mary Emily never had children. Were we speaking with someone else?
When someone asked what they did for fun, the response was “dinner.” This would make sense if we were speaking to a Harmonist. They worked from sunup to sundown, so meals were their one of their few sources of enjoyment.
Someone asked what her favorite time of the year was and we received a clear response of “June.”
When asked if she played the piano, the response was “no.” This was something that was resonated with Meagan. While Mary Emily often played the harp, she didn’t think she played the piano, even though she had one that was passed down in her family.
I asked about the allegations regarding Mary Emily’s brother Homer. According to the stories, he was known to be a bit too fond of children, to the point where people knew to not leave their kids alone with him. A male’s voice responded, “it’s true.”
Several people in our group began feeling ill. One man reported feeling nauseated, while two others experienced strong headaches. One woman’s headache was so strong, she left shortly after we ended our session at the Fauntleroy Home.
After a while, we went upstairs, but the energy felt much different than it has before. It felt lighter. I turned on my Ovilus and we kept getting the words “shoes” and “strange.” It came through twice, but I couldn’t make any sense of it until one member of the group told us that he had on toe shoes, the kind that encapsulates each of his toes separately. It was enough to make us all laugh. The ghosts probably couldn’t understand the strange shoes the man had on.
As usual, the alarm was set off again. This has happened every time we’ve investigated there but never happens at any other time. We think that this is Mary Emily, telling us to leave.
The second group, led by Amanda Bryden, was a bit larger than the first. In Community House #2 it’s not an issue because the rooms are oversized and can accommodate a larger group. This isn’t the case in the Fauntleroy Home. I decided to do a Spirit Box session with everyone in attendance before I split them into two groups.
People began asking questions and we really didn’t get relevant responses. When someone asked if the ghost was male or female, the response was “heavy.” What did that mean? I wasn’t sure.
When someone asked Mary Emily, one of the known ghosts, if she decorated her home, the response was, “That was one.” That didn’t make any sense to me either.
I didn’t feel as though we were getting any responses that were worth pursuing further, so we divided into two groups. I brought 8 people upstairs and left 7 people downstairs with Amanda. I gave Amanda my Spirit Box and digital recorder.
I brought dowsing rods and my K2 meter upstairs. My group had fun experimenting with the dowsing rods and seemed to get some relevant responses from the resident ghosts.
Amanda’s group used the Spirit Box downstairs. Her group asked questions with few responses until someone asked if she had any children. “Yes,” came the response, which was actually an EVP. It didn’t come through the Spirit Box but was spoken close to the recorder. Additional follow-up questions regarding the names of her children went unanswered.
Someone else asked if they had social gatherings in the home. “I did,” was the response.
Perhaps the best EVP response of the night came when someone asked if they had a garden out back. “I grow lettuce,” was the response. The way it was phrased was interesting to me. He didn’t say, “I GREW lettuce,” he said, “I GROW lettuce.” Does this mean he still lives in his former reality? It was also interesting to me how relevant the response was. It wasn’t a random word or phrase like we sometimes get. It was an intelligent response to a question.
They switched from the Spirit Box to dowsing rods with varying degrees of success. When someone asked if someone was there with them, the rods responded with a “yes” response.
My group upstairs wasn’t having the same sort of responses. It felt as though the room had grown flat. A ghost would drift into the doorway and then walk away again. I tried playing nineteenth-century music on my phone for them and we used the dowsing rods with varying degrees of success.
Amanda and I switched groups and I brought the second group upstairs. I asked a few questions, trying to get the flashlight to respond. Nothing happened until I asked if they wanted us to leave. The flashlight on the mantle came on immediately.
I am always skeptical of using flashlights during investigations, so I always use a cold flashlight, one that hasn’t been used during the night. This way, I can eliminate false-positive responses from when a warmed up flashlight’s battery arcs, causing it to turn on randomly.
I then turned on the Spirit Box. I was explaining one of my EMF meters to the ghosts, telling them it wasn’t hot or cold and that it wouldn’t hurt them. I got a response of, “I hear you.”
Someone asked if she was the mean looking lady in the picture that I showed at the presentation. The response was appropriate for the question. “Demon,” the female voice said. Was she calling him a demon for asking the question in that manner? I think she was. The question was a bit on the aggressive side and I don’t blame her for her response.
I often like to test them to see if they can actually see me, so I held up three fingers. “How many fingers am I holding up?” I asked. “One, two, three,” was the answer.
I then asked if any of them remembered my name. A different voice came through and said, “Joni,” very faintly. It was a female voice that I hadn’t heard before. She sounded young.
I was curious about the alarm situation, so I asked who keeps turning on the alarm. One voice came through and said, “Martha,” and then another voice said, “I do.” I didn’t know at the time that at that exact moment, the alarm went off.
Someone asked if they were happy there. A male replied, “Yes.”
The same man who asked if she was the mean looking lady in the picture asked if she was a mean person. A female responded (different voice from before) and said, “The devil.”
I turned off the Spirit Box and said, “I can only handle so much of that.” As soon as I said it, the flashlight came on.
I played music for them. I played the song “Rock of Ages.” I asked if they liked that song and the flashlight came on.
My recorder cut out and completely stopped at that point.
Afterwards, I brought each group out to the Harmonist Cemetery to walk around. I always suggest that they turn their flashlights off and allow their eyes to adjust to the darkness. Since the cemetery is relatively flat and there aren’t any headstones to trip over, this provides them with a better chance of actually seeing something, if something paranormal were to happen.
My friend Duane, who drove down from Iowa for the event, had a strange encounter. As he was coming back to the gate, he saw someone walk past him as though he was walking further into the cemetery. When he got to the gate, he told me that we needed to wait for the othe person. After a quick head count, we realized that everyone was accounted for. Who was the extra person? Had Duane witnessed his first actual ghost sighting? We weren’t sure but it was enough to make us scratch our heads.
The Community House #2 Investigation
Billly Miller’s group started with an EVP session on the first floor. They received zero responses despite asking some very good questions about the history and lifestyles of the former inhabitants. Halfway through their session, they heard the distinct sound of the door opening. They got up and checked it out, but the door was locked and no one was anywhere near it. According to Amanda, the locks on the doors are older styled locks and make a distinctive sound when they are opened or closed.
For most of the night, they experienced another strange happening. The elevator kept moving from floor to floor. This isn’t something that happens frequently. Amanda got up and sent the elevator to another floor. It usually stays there, but this time it didn’t. It kept moving from floor to floor.
(Above) Crystal Folz talking with several group members
Strange things have been happening with the elevator since it was installed years ago during the renovations. The lights inside the elevator burn out much more frequently than they should. Amanda has talked to the elevator technicians who come to inspect the elevator and they don’t understand why it’s happening. According to Amanda, they have to replace the bulbs monthly, if not sooner, which is odd for an elevator that isn’t in operation very frequently. When the elevator isn’t in use, the lights turn off, so there is no reason for the bulbs to burn out so quickly. One of our theories is that the ghosts in the building are using the energy from the lights to be able to become so active.
The group moved to the second floor and began talking with George Gerard, the man who supposedly killed himself in the mid-1800’s after expected money didn’t arrive. Amanda asked if George was waiting for money and we received an EVP that sounds like it says “Micah.”
They used the dowsing rods to ask questions on the second floor with some measure of success. Everyone had a chance to use the rods to see how they work. They received confirmation that George hung himself and which room he did it in.
As the session continued, they stopped getting responses from George and began getting answers from a child who went to school there.
During the session, two of the women were watching a paper flyer that was hanging on the wall move back and forth. They told Amanda about it but no one couldn’t find an explanation for the movement.
(Above) Billy Miller with two of his SIPI teammates, Katie McGregor (left) and Natalie Doris-O’Daniel (right). This photo was unabashedly lifted from Katie’s Facebook page 🙂
During one of the sessions, Billy felt as though his muscle was being squeezed. Another person thought he saw a light move from left to right across the doorway. Billy also saw a shadow move. During the last EVP session, they were hearing small sounds in the corner of the room.
Amanda had to go downstairs to let someone back into the building. While she was walking with the digital recorder in her hand, it captured a strange EVP. It sounds like it’s saying, “He’s bad as a rule,” to me, but I’m curious what other people will hear.
During a session on the third floor, Meagan was asking if they knew the Golden family. The Golden’s were a famous acting troupe who performed at Thrall’s Opera House. The response she received didn’t make any sense. A male voice said, “I’m not ready to go, lady!” This response was not heard at the time it was recorded, making it a true EVP.
Everyone was a bit disappointed that the pinwheel didn’t spin on its own accord like it did for the last investigation, but the other experiences made up for it. They enjoyed getting full access to the historic buildings and the overall adventure of being a part of a paranormal investigation.
We have two more sold-out investigations for the season and are looking forward to seeing what the ghosts have planned for us. Although the night seemed fairly quiet on the surface, the ghosts hadn’t gone anywhere. They were chatting with us on our devices, becoming more comfortable sharing their secrets. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
(Above) Me with a ghost. Thank you Katie McGregor for thinking of this and not getting mad when I completely stole your idea and took my own ghost selfie :)Thank you to Amanda Bryden and Meagan Patterson for being such great hostesses and team members. Thanks also to group assistants, Crystal Folz and Paula Bundy for helping out. And of course, immense thanks to Billy Miller for leading the groups through Community House #2 and sharing your decades of paranormal investigation experience with everyone.
Thank you to Amanda Bryden and Meagan Patterson for being such great hostesses and team members. Thanks also to group assistants, Crystal Folz and Paula Bundy for helping out. And of course, immense thanks to Billy Miller for leading the groups through Community House #2 and sharing your decades of paranormal investigation experience with everyone.
And thank you to everyone who joined us! I’m so glad everyone had a good time and am looking forward to the next adventure!