(Above) the first group who investigated the Fauntleroy Home
I’m happy to say that our last Haunted New Harmony investigation for the season ended on a high note. Both the Fauntleroy Home and Community House #2 were exceptionally active. After a few quiet investigations, we were worried the ghosts were worn out, but they came out in full swing for the end of our season.
Community House #2
Billy Miller, who normally handles the Community House #2 investigations, wasn’t able to make it, so Crystal Folz stepped in for the night. Crystal is a close friend and psychic medium who has helped me explored a lot of the hauntings in New Harmony for my book. She’s attended nearly every event this season as an assistant, so she was well acquainted with the resident ghosts and what to expect.
They had their biggest responses with dowsing rods. They learned that they were speaking with Nick Slater who was one of the printers who worked in the building. He often plays tricks on them during investigations, pretending to be someone else. He also has responded that he has a crush on Meagan Patterson who helps oversee the building.
They learned that another person they were speaking with liked to cook and prayed together with others. They also learned that there were children born during their period, which makes us believe they weren’t Harmonists, who practiced celibacy.
(Left) Meagan Patterson is one of the people who oversee the buildings we investigate. She has been to every investigation and has proven herself to be a valuable member of the team.
Later, they felt they were talking to an apprentice who became a printer, which could have been Charles Slater. They heard sounds downstairs, but nothing was there when they went to check it out.
Crystal instructed everyone on the proper use of dowsing rods. The second group had similar results as the first. The souls there responded that they were happy the guests were there. Someone asked if the ghosts would like them to leave and Crystal was quick to stop people from asking it again. If we ask that question and they respond with “yes,” it’s rude for us to stay. Typically, when we receive that response, we stop the investigation or at least move to another area of the building out of respect for their wishes.
Someone using the dowsing rods asked if the ghost followed them from the Fauntleroy Home and the response was “yes,” which made sense to Amanda. She said that Mary Emily Fauntleroy actually owned Community House #2 in the 1920’s. When they asked if it was Mary Emily, the dowsing rods said “no.” They spent a few minutes trying to figure out who it might be, but couldn’t determine the identity of the ghost.
(Left) The dark hallway on the second floor
Someone asked if the soul was a Harmonist and the rods responded with “yes.” Someone asked if they were there before the Community House was built and the rods responded with “yes.” This made sense to Amanda because there were many people who lived in the community in houses before the Community House was built. Once it was built, younger members of the group would have been relocated there.
- Did you work in this building – yes
- Did you work in the furniture store – no
- Did you cook food in this building – yes
Amanda felt it was a Harmonist so she asked if they also cooked food in the summer kitchen next door. The rods responded with yes. She went onto describe how the summer kitchen was beneficial. Cooking would have heated up the building and present fire dangers, so having a summer kitchen made sense.
- Did you live in Pennsylvania – yes
- Did you come to New Harmony by boat – no
- Did you come to New Harmony by wagon – yes
- Did you move back to Pennsylvania with the rest of the group in 1824-25? – no response
Crystal explained that she might have died before the group left and wasn’t aware of them moving back.
- Were members of your family also in this society – quick yes
- Did you have any children – no, which made sense since they were celibate
- Did you eat in the room on the first floor with the deep fireplace – yes, which makes sense since they feel it was the kitchen.
Did men live on one side and women on the other side? No. This was surprising to them because they’ve always thought the sexes were separated. Carijuan Shafer, who was a tour guide for years in town, felt that it might have been from an earlier time before they separated the sexes.
- (Left) Joni with Crystal Folz
- Did you attend church in the wooden church? Yes
- Did you attend church in the brick church? No
The group stopped getting responses so they moved to the second floor. Crystal explained that the previous group was hearing sounds behind them when they were sitting in the hallway. Some took two photos of the hallway. One photo was completely black and the other one had a white light in it. They also thought they saw someone standing behind Paula, who was acting as the hall monitor for the group.
One of the people said they felt a lot of energy at Fauntleroy Home, but wasn’t feeling the same at Community House. Crystal began exploring it with the group, explaining that there was different energy in the two locations. Carijuan Shafer told her about some of her experiences at Community House when she was a tour guide. She said she often heard people walking around, going about their day, but never felt threatened by them.
Crystal split the group into two, putting several people out in the hallway to see if they saw any shadows, while the other portion of the group went into a small room that was once used as a dormitory room.
They told the group about Gretchin Iron’s experience when she came to film for Channel 44. When she walked past the bathroom filming, the bathroom light was off, but when she walked back past it, it was on. Carijuan told them that she also had a lot of similar experiences with the light when she was there as a tour guide.
They asked if there was a male in the room. The flashlight flickered and then the rods responded with “yes.” Crystal explained that they might be communicating with Nick Slater, who was the printer’s son. They’ve had several encounters with him in that room, so they began directing their questions towards him.
- Are you the printer’s son – no.
Amanda explained that Nick was also a printer, so they asked him if he was a printer and the rods responded with “yes.”
- Did you like it here – No
- Did you act in plays in New Harmony – No. Amanda knew that Nick did once act in plays, so either Nick was tricking them, which he often does, or they were talking to someone else.
Crystal began redirecting the questions towards a little boy with a crutch that they’ve communicated with before.
- Is the little boy with the crutch here tonight? No
- Did he live in this building? Yes
Amanda explained that the Harmonists often took in orphans, as well as women and children from other communities.
- Was the little boy an orphan? Yes
- Did the Harmonists take him in? Yes
- This resonated with Crystal. He didn’t feel like he was one of them.
- Did he attend school here in New Harmony? Yes
Crystal began to wonder if the little boy was capable of talking. It seemed like someone else was speaking for him.
- Can the little boy speak? No
- Is he mute? Yes
- They began speculating that he might also be deaf.
- Is he deaf? No
Amanda explained that he could have had a trauma that stopped his speech. It could have been physical or mental.
- Was he born mute? No
- Did a trauma cause his muteness? Yes
- Did he have any siblings? No
Did something happen to his parents? No response. Carijuan explained that sometimes when children were born with defects in that era, the parents wouldn’t raise them. They would just take them to an orphanage. They began wondering if he came with them from Pennsylvania.
- Were the boy born here? No
- Was he from Pennsylvania? No response
- Was he from Germany? No response
Amanda wondered if he was born somewhere near the area, but not in New Harmony. No response. They wondered if he simply didn’t know where he was born, that he was dropped off there as an infant.
They then switched out the group. The people who had been in the room went into the hall and the hall people came into the room. Crystal explained who they felt they were talking to, so they continued.
- Did the little boy with the crutch go back with the group to Pennsylvania? No response
- Did he stay in New Harmony? Yes
- Does he have descendants here? No response
Crystal explained that ghosts often show themselves in the way they are comfortable. She explained that the little boy wasn’t communicating with them because he couldn’t speak in life, that someone else was answering questions about him.
Amanda explained that when the town was sold to the Owens, the majority of the Harmonists moved to Pennsylvania. Several of them might have stayed and not moved with the group, but they probably wouldn’t have stayed in town. The Owen group was so different, it would have been a culture crash for them and they wouldn’t have wanted to stay.
- Was he born with a disability or a lame leg? No
Crystal felt he had been in an accident, so they began directing the questions in that manner.
- Was he hurt by a cannon? No
They knew there was an accident involving cannon and a little boy was injured, but after the response, they knew that wasn’t the case.
- Was he hurt on a boat? No response.
They decided to move the group up to the third floor since they only had 45 minutes left.
Crystal asked the group how they felt, if they were feeling any energy. Most of them just felt cold because the temperature was cooler there. Many of them were getting worn down. It was getting late and they were getting tired.
Crystal explained that they needed to be gentle with their questions. Asking about their death or about accidents might make them feel uncomfortable. She said they needed to use empathy and compassion and realize they were talking to actual human beings.
She moved a small group into the print shop.
- Are there any spirits here? Yes
- Are you a child? No
- Are you a female? Yes
- Did you wear the high collar with a broche? No
- Were you a Harmonist woman? No
Were you a modern New Harmony woman? No response that was marked. They began talking about all the lives that moved through the buildings. Since Carijuan’s godmother was Jane Blaffer Owen, she wondered if she was there with her.
- Are you Jane Owen, my Godmother? Yes
- Did you enjoy the baked goods that I brought you? No. Carijuan explained that she was asking a question to see if she was actually talking to her or not. She never brought her baked goods, so the no response was accurate.
- Carijuan knew that Jane Owen didn’t like the color blue.
- Do you like the color blue? Yes
That led them to believe they weren’t talking to Jane, so they redirected their questions, wondering if they were talking to Nick Slater, who is often a trickster. He pretends to be other people.
Crystal wasn’t convinced they were talking to Nick. She began wondering if they were talking to someone else altogether. She wondered if one member of the group had an attachment that followed her to the investigation.
- Did you come here with someone today? Yes
Crystal went around the room and had everyone ask if the ghost was there with each of them. When Paula asked, the rods responded with “yes.” Crystal then asked if it was a grandparent of Paula’s, but it responded with “no.”
- (Left) Paula Bundy and me. Paula is a childhood friend who has been to every one of my investigations, acting as a group assistant. She wasn’t a ghost hunter before she met me, but she is now.
- Are you the ghost who hung out at Paula’s house for a while? Yes
- Are you a female? Yes
- Are you a male? No response. They asked to make sure they weren’t dealing with a trickster. Crystal then asked a question she knew the answer to.
- Have you seen Paula’s four grandchildren? (Paula’s daughter is pregnant, but she doesn’t have any other grandchildren) No response
- Do you startle Paula’s cat (she doesn’t have a cat)? No response
- Are you from Paula’s property from before her house was built? Yes
- Can you point to Paula? The rods pointed to Paula after a few moments
- Do you understand personal boundaries? No
- Do I have a pet bird (Crystal asked)? No response (Crystal does have a bird, so she deducted that the ghost wasn’t familiar with her)
They tried to get the ghost to move the pinwheel, but weren’t successful. Crystal began wondering if it was too difficult for them to move, so Crystal had them ask if they could make the lights blink. The lights immediately blinked. The group was astounded.
They tried to determine the time era of the ghost they were talking to, so they began asking questions about music. The ghost didn’t know who the Bee Gees or Elvis Pressley was. They asked about the Andrew Sisters and they didn’t know.
- Do you know who the Gershwin Brothers are? Yes (this put it at the 40’s)
- Are you Kenneth Dale Owen? No
- Are you related to the Owens? No
- Are you an actor? Yes
They deducted that they were speaking with a male actor from the 1940’s based on their responses. Carijuan knew that John Wilkes Booth performed as an actor in the 1940’s and performed with the Golden Troupe in New Harmony. They switched out the group and continued with the same line of questioning.
- Is John Wilkes Booth here? Yes
(Above) Carijuan Shafer chatting with Amanda Bryden during break
Crystal wasn’t convinced they were actually talking to John Wilkes Booth, knowing they often have a trickster respond.
- Do you not like me? No
- Did you perform with the Golden Troupe? Yes
- Did you know Dr. Mudd? Yes (this was a performer who broke his leg after he jumped off the stage)
- Are you pretending to be John Wilkes Booth? Yes. The group began laughing, thinking they might be talking to Nick Slater again.
- Are you Nick Slater? Yes
Despite the interesting responses with the dowsing rods, the group did not record a single EVP. The ghosts in this building were obviously more interested in non-technical communication.
The energy is decisively different at the Fauntleroy Home. Instead of being light and playful, the ghosts there are intense and somewhat aggressive. The minute you walk in, you can feel it. Some of them don’t want us there, but others are more forthcoming with communication.
Carijuan told the group some of her stories from her years acting as a tour guide in New Harmony. The Fauntleroy Home was her home base when she worked for the state. She would spend many hours a day there, documenting the historical artifacts.
We spent some time in the foyer area, attempting to communicate with the resident ghosts. We did several rounds of straight EVP, where we only spoke questions and recorded dead space, hoping to receive an EVP. We didn’t get anything so we moved to Spirit Box.
I put four people in the room that was once the location of the original kitchen in the home. They had dowsing rods to use to see if they could get anyone to communicate with them and felt as though they were getting valid responses.
(Above) Emily Nix and her mother Judy using dowsing rods
In the foyer, we did receive a few spirit box responses. Someone asked if they could ask if there were any educators there. A voice responded, “You can.”
We asked how long they lived here and a voice said, “ten years.”
We asked if they traveled anywhere and a female voice said what sounded like, “Urika.”
(Above) The first group in an EVP session in the entry room
After a half hour in the foyer area, we moved the group upstairs. I put another group in the smaller bedroom just off the master bedroom to use the dowsing rods. The rest of the group stayed in the master bedroom, which is one of the most active spots in the house.
We asked them to tell us their names and someone said, “Lori.” We heard another male voice come through, but couldn’t understand what he said.
As we were sitting there, both Amanda and I heard a door slam. It sounded like a door in the house, so we leaped up and raced downstairs. Nothing was amiss, so we returned back to the group.
We had placed a flashlight on the mantle to see if the ghosts would turn it on. I always use a “cold” flashlight, one that hasn’t been used during the evening because flashlights that have been used can easily arc and cause the light to intermittently go on and off, making everyone believe they’re getting ghost responses. Someone asked if they could turn the flashlight on and I recorded perhaps the best EVP of my career. A woman’s voice said, “It’s hard for me.” The voice sounded exactly like Mary Emily Fauntleroy’s voice. I was astounded. And then the flashlight came on! I probably learned more through this one response than I’ve learned in years of investigating the paranormal. What it told me was that not all of them are capable of manipulating our equipment, but they are able to turn the flashlight on and off.
Carijuan began talking with Mary Emily, reminding her that her mother used to bring her to church every Sunday. She asked if Mary remembered that and the flashlight came on instantly.
I looked down and realized that my Mel Meter was at 2.5. Normally, it stays at zero and never budges, but it was recording EMF spikes the last investigation and was doing it again now. I asked if they could make it go to 2.5 and received a message on the Spirit Box. The same voice as before, which we believe is Mary Emily, said, “I’m going to tap it.” It was obvious that she was trying to communicate with us.
It went back down again, so I thought I’d use it as a communication device. I asked if the person who was communicating with us was female to make it rise to 2.5 again. A male voice said, “people.” I’m not sure if he was being sarcastic because we were exhausting them or if he was telling us that there were both male and females there.
I told them, “You’re making my day. Thank you!” and received a Spirit Box response of “I did it.” It was the same voice as before. I truly believe that Mary Emily was attempting to communicate with us as best as possible.
“Are you glad Carijuan is here tonight?” someone asked.
“I am,” was the response. The flashlight flickered at the same exact moment.
We asked a few more questions without getting any clear responses. Someone said, “We’re going to have to be leaving soon. Is that okay?” A voice came through and asked, “Where are you going?” She told him we were going to Community House #2 and asked if he’s been there.”
“I have,” a female responded.
This was getting crazy. We were having full blown conversations with the ghosts!
We couldn’t seem to get them to tell us their names though. Someone asked if they were afraid to tell us their names and the flashlight came on. Someone else asked again why they wouldn’t tell us their names and a voice said, “Again?” This was perplexing. Had they already told us, but we hadn’t heard it? We didn’t understand what we were hearing at the time. I only figured this out after listening to the audio recording during my review days later. We thought she said, “Annie” or something similar. We didn’t get anything else after that and headed back to Community House #2 for our break.
My second group through Fauntleroy Home was a different experience. The energy felt very agitated and angry the minute we got back in. I repeated my process with the second group and moved a small group of people into the kitchen area to work with the dowsing rods.
The group in the smaller room was having a great experience as they connected to loved ones. They began getting relevant responses to questions and learned a great deal about their loved ones.
It grew very quiet on the Spirit Box. Unlike the first group, this group didn’t even receive a single response to the questions they asked. It was apparent the ghosts were getting tired of us. I began watching the shadows at the edges of the room and began seeing movement, but it wasn’t anything I could document as paranormal.
The group thought they heard the sound of music, but it could have just been the Spirit Box briefly landing on a radio station. Meagan and I began to see the bells hanging from the doorway moving back and forth. They were swaying so slightly, it took a few minutes to really determine whether it was just our eyes playing tricks with us or actual movement.
We moved upstairs, hoping for more activity. While we were upstairs several people felt pressure in their ears or developed headaches, me included. It felt like being underwater and needing to pop your ears.
Unlike the first group, we hardly had any reaction with the flashlight. Perhaps it was too difficult for them to use. We did continue to have more reactions on the Spirit Box though.
We went around the group to introduce ourselves. The last person to say his name was Rick. Immediately after he said his name, a ghost said, “Rick” on the Spirit Box.
Not much later, Rick asked if he could talk “man to man” with the ghost. Apparently, the female ghosts took offence with this. “Women,” a female voice said.
I asked if we had someone new to the house with us and a voice came across and said, “Not tonight.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it was an interesting and very clear response.
The group thought they heard a response about gin and took the conversation in that direction. Upon review, they didn’t say gin. The response was something else that wasn’t a clear enough response to make out. They asked if they made their own gin and a male voice responded with “no.”
Rick asked if they knew his dog’s name, but we didn’t receive a valid response. A female voice told us, “That’s freaking me out.”
I played several old songs from my iTunes for them but didn’t really get a response. I think the ghosts were getting tired at that point. We called it a night not long afterwards and returned to Community House #2 for a group review of the night’s events. Everyone agreed that Fauntleroy Home was the more active of the two buildings but still had an enjoyable time experimenting with dowsing rods at Community House #2.
It was a great investigation and nearly everyone had a personal experience they couldn’t explain. I am thankful to the ghosts in the house for communicating with me and hope they have a nice break. This was our last investigation of the season, so I’m thankful to give them the break they need.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the event and to those who helped make it great!