We had a full house for the July 27th investigation at Community House #2 in historic New Harmony, Indiana. It was a night none of us would soon forget.
Community House #2 was built in circa 1820 by a group known as the Harmonists. Led by Reverend George Rapp, the group fled Germany, escaping religious persecution. After a ten year stint in Pennsylvania, they set their eyes on 27,000 acres of land along a bend in the Wabash River and established a town where they could set up their own community. They called their community Harmony.
The group lasted ten years, building 180 structures and laying out the town as it appears today. In 1924, they decided to move back to Pennsylvania and set up their third and final Utopian society and sold the town to a wealthy Welsh social reformer named Robert Owen. He renamed the town New Harmony.
The Owen group’s version of Utopian revolved around education, science and social reform. Unfortunately, while his group made great strides, the movement never truly took hold and Owen left the town two years later. It then settled in to become a sleepy Midwestern town with a tremendous heritage.
Community House #2 was one of four dormitory buildings the Harmonists built. The first floor would have been used for community activities and group meals, while the second and third floors would have housed single members of the group. Later, during the Owen period, the first floor would have been used for a school modeled on the Pestalozzian teaching method, with the students and teachers living in the building. During its nearly two-hundred year lifespan, Community House #2 has been the site of the A.H. Fretageot Furniture Store, as well as the home of a local doctor, a hotel, a tavern, a cigar factory, a hardware store, a tea room and a print shop where the local paper was printed. Today, it is owned by the State of Indiana Museum Sites and is used for educational and historic purposes.
With so many lives passing through the building, it’s no wonder the haunting is legendary. A woman in white has been seen multiple times, both in the windows and by guests and tour guides. Staff there often hear footsteps on vacant floors and voices calling out or having group conversations in empty rooms. Haunted New Harmony has investigated this building numerous times and has always had interesting experiences. This investigation would prove to be no different, with a few exemptions.
We decided to liven things up and offer several experiments. We started off with the Ganzfeld Experiment, which involves sensory deprivation. Guests sat at a table with blindfolds and headphones connected to a computer playing white noise. A red lamp sat in the middle of the table. During their ten minute stint, people experienced a host of oddities.
(Above) Participants experimenting with the Ganzfeld Experiment
Our second experiment occurred on the second floor. We set up a floor length mirror in the dark hallway and invited guests to sit in front of it for five minutes. This proved to be interesting as well.
Our third experiment also happened on the second floor. Haunted New Harmony Investigator, Traci Hoehn, treated guests to the Estes Method. During this experiment, Traci wore headphones connected directly to a Spirit Box and sat blindfolded in the room as guests asked questions. A Spirit Box is a modified radio that scans the radio stations rapidly, allowing the ghosts to speak through the white noise. Because Traci was connected directly to the Spirit Box, it created a situation where she was fully tuned into the spirit world. Her third session would prove to be intense.
During the investigation, our four Haunted New Harmony investigators situated themselves on the three floors of the building. Guests, who were divided into three teams, moved from floor to floor on a half hour schedule.
First Floor Investigation
I held court on the first floor. In one room, we worked with a variety of tools to speak with the dead, while Paula Bundy managed the Ganzfeld Experiment in another room. Four guests at a time left the investigation to try the Ganzfeld before returning to the investigation.
Session 1 – Group 1
I started off the session with dowsing rods. I explained how they are used and then took a reading on the room to see who we were talking with:
- There were males and females with us
- There were five of them
I then passed the rods and let the group take turns:
- They didn’t have any children
- They didn’t go to school there
- They didn’t like the food there
- They like books
- They are from New Harmony
- They were related
- They owned a horse and buggy
We decided to use the Spirit Box. We went around the room and introduced ourselves to the ghosts in the room before we started. I had downloaded the Google Translator onto my phone and planned to ask questions in German, but as it turned out, one of our guests was fluent in German. Jamie asked a few questions. We didn’t get a single response, so we went back to using dowsing rods.
Some of the nineteenth century ghosts in the building were apprehensive about our modern electronic equipment. By using more primitive tools, such as dowsing rods or pendulums, we’ve found we get more responses.
- One of the investigators asked the rods to point to where they were in the room and it pointed towards me and beside Brenda Wilbur. Both were spots where I was feeling/hearing ghosts, so this was interesting.
- They had children
- He was the father of the children
Second Group – Group Two
I forgot to turn off my digital recorder while we switched groups and left it running while I led the group up to their next floor. While I was gone, my recorder captured the sound of the door latch banging up and down. Meagan Patterson, who oversees the building, often hears this same latch make the same noise. The latch is on a closet door that is near the main room.
(Above) The closet door with the “ghost friendly” latch
My second group came into the room unaware that the ghosts were active already.
We started off with dowsing rods:
- We were still talking to males and females.
- There were five of them.
- There were mostly men.
- Some of them sew
- Men also sewed
- Male children didn’t sew
- Grown men didn’t sew (contradicting the first response)
- None of them were teachers
- They didn’t work at the furniture store
At that moment, the latch banged again.
- Didn’t come over on the boatload of knowledge
- They didn’t see her on the historical tour (she said they said “yes” on the 2nd floor)
- They were there when Father Rapp was there
- One of them went to school in this room
- One of them has always stayed in this building
We decided to give the Spirit Box a try, even though we didn’t get anything with the first group. Sometimes it takes the ghost a while to warm up to it. Other times, the people in the group inspire them to respond. I left the room to check on the other groups and they started getting crazy responses.
We went around the room and didn’t get a response until someone asked if they were still there with us. “Go to hell,” a male voice with a slight twang answered.
Shortly afterwards, we captured an EVP, which is a ghost voice that we can’t hear with our ears. It didn’t come across the box, but was whispered into my digital recorder. A male voice said, “Ask me another question.”
Then, someone asked what his name was and he said, “Wes Bobbler.”
Someone else asked if they knew this building and we got another EVP. “It’s not a home,” the same male voice said.
Someone asked if they grew up here in town. The same male voice said, ”That’s correct.” It came across the Spirit Box this time.
Other questions were asked without garnering responses. As the next person was getting ready to ask a question, a young female voice called out, “New Albany.” This was interesting because four of our guests traveled from the New Albany, Indiana, area. Did someone bring their own ghost to the ghost hunt?
I rejoined the group and asked if they knew who the woman in the doorway was. Paula had just walked into the room. A friendly sounding female said, “I really like her.” The response is faint, but audible with headphones. Paula reported strange activity at her home the next morning, so she might have liked her a bit more than she was prepared for.
We went around the room a few more times, but didn’t get any further response.
Third Group – Group Three (45 minute session)
We started the session with the Spirit Box. We went around the room without getting any responses, so we moved onto dowsing rods. The ghosts in the room were quite fickle. While they were quite chatting with the second group, they snubbed the first and last group entirely.
I also pulled my Mel Meter out and turned it on. It measures electromagnetic energy spikes. It also has a built in REM pod. If a ghost breaks the beam surrounding the antenna, the lights all come on. I’d barely turned it on and put it on a table away from the group when the lights all turned on. I tried to get them to do it again but didn’t have any luck.
- The male was still there.
- He didn’t want to talk to us on the Spirit Box.
- He’s from New Harmony
- He was there between 1800 and 1850.
- He can make the car move (I put a small toy car on the floor)
- I told her to ask “Will you push the car?” He responded with “no.”
- The investigator was running out of questions, so he held the rods and I asked the questions.
- She cooked in the building
- She had a favorite meal she liked to cook
- She wasn’t a Harmonist
- She wasn’t there during the Owen period
- She used to shop in the building when it was a store
- She had farm animals – I went through all the various animals, she finally answered yes to chickens.
I wanted to try an experiment with the Spirit Box. Sometimes when we relax and just have an interesting conversation, we can draw them in. I asked the pie question. I asked everyone to tell me their favorite kind of pie. Sometimes the ghosts chime in, but no luck this time. I went to check on the other groups and take a few photos and left them with the Spirit Box. They asked some great questions, but didn’t get any responses. We decided to move into the main room and see if we had any better luck.
Once we were in the main room where I did my presentation, we started with a Spirit Box session. We’ve had such good results with it in the past, I was determined to keep trying. As we were asking questions, I saw something move in the doorway beside the closet. I took a few photos, hoping to catch something but didn’t.
We didn’t get any responses on the Spirit Box, but something interesting happened towards the end of the session. One of our guests had a Flir thermal camera. He caught some strange cool spots on the wall, which could have indicated moisture inside the wall. I came around and snapped a photo of his camera and actually caught some crazy shadows climbing up the walls behind several of our other guests. The shadows didn’t match up with the people in front of them and there wasn’t a light source that made sense for them. Had we caught a photo of the ghosts who were hanging out with us?
(Above) A photo of Shane’s FLIR camera and strange shadows on the walls
(Above) Kathy Satterwhite from New Albany, IN, and others experiment with the Ganzfeld Experiment
The last group was entirely women. They all heard children playing and calling out. Several thought the sounds were coming from the room, so they lifted their goggles to look around, only to discover everyone was quiet in the room.
I left a notebook on the table and asked everyone to write their experiences in it. The results were quite compelling. A lot of people heard children or a woman crying. None of them had the opportunity to look at the book before they began writing.
- One person heard “I hear it” five times and heard a child crying
- She could hear a little girl. Sounded like she was playing. Then she heard a man’s voice.
- One man heard a faint sound of a woman crying in pain. He heard it three different times. He even pulled his goggles off to see if something was going on.
- One man heard a man humming and felt someone walk around his chair.
- One woman could hear a distant radio or TV playing. She felt a slight brush against her thigh that came with a temperature change. Then she heard a woman’s moan several times.
- One woman heard a kid laughing and felt footsteps. Then towards the end, she could hear a woman singing.
- One man saw a hand move at the edge of the goggles.
- Saw a red circle that was not really there
- Heard footsteps and could hear someone talking in the other room
- Heard some rhythm in the white noise, like a repeating pattern. Saw faces.
- Heard “Kathy” repeated. Heard “Help me” and whispering.
- Heard mumbling of small female and footsteps. Felt a touch on my side, like a tug on my shirt. Maybe singing?
- Kept hearing a woman singing.
- Heard either a man or baby crying, yelling.
- I felt the wire to the headphones move. I heard lots of people moving upstairs. I heard shuffling on the floor. I heard a man’s voice repeatedly. I saw the light blink.
- I heard a woman talking or singing.
- I heard a radio/TV playing and had a slight brush and temperature change on my thighs.
- I heard crying, footsteps, door slam.
- Heard woman and kids yelling/playing.
- I heard a woman in pain three times.
- I heard a man in the headphones, then I could hear a girl. It was like she was in the room right beside our table.
Second Floor Investigation
The second floor would have been used as a dormitory for most of the building’s existence. A long hallway divides the space, with rooms on either side. Some of the rooms are larger than others and open up into other rooms. Most of them are currently filled with artifacts from New Harmony’s history, but two rooms were cleared and available for us for the investigation.
Traci Hoehn presided over the second floor. An experienced investigator and someone with mediumistic abilities, Traci is probably the smartest person I know. She has a master’s degree in theology and is a professor at the University of Evansville. She is known by our group as the researcher. If we are investigating a location, Traci always comes prepared with historical knowledge. She also has a warped and twisted sense of humor, which makes her one of my favorite people on the planet.
Traci took on the Estes Method for her group. She wore noise-cancelling headphones that were connected directly to a Spirit Box and a blindfold, which essentially cut her off from everything around her. When she heard something come over the Spirit Box, she would call it out. People in the room were asking questions, but she couldn’t hear them. At times, the questions and answers matched up, but other times Traci began a far darker path. As the night progressed, it almost seemed as though Traci was channeling another presence and it wasn’t a very nice one. The experience in the last group left her shaken, to the point where it took her several days to recover.
Meagan Patterson, who is the Indiana State Museum Division Collections Manager, is in charge of all the State owned buildings in New Harmony. She has attended and assisted on many of our investigations and is an excellent investigator in her own right. She assisted Traci during the investigation, keeping an eye on her to make sure she was okay and to insure the session flowed smoothly.
We did a test run of the Estes Method and filmed it. If you want to get a better idea of how this works, check out the video:
First Group – Group Two
“Are you a man or a woman?”
T: A man. She’s right there. Turn.
“Are you close to one of us?”
“Are you alone?”
“Are you a kid?”
T: You look.
T: All right
“What’s your name?”
T: In here.
“What did you do here?”
“Were you married?”
“Do you play music?”
T: Painful. I didn’t.
“Do you garden?”
“Is your family here too?”
T: Go away.
T: uh uh (a conversation between two people)
“How many spirits are here?”
“Why are you feeling for us to leave?”
T: Your feelings.
T: I know.
T: I get it.
“Why do you stay here?”
T: I didn’t (female voice)
“What color is your hair?”
“What did you used to do for fun?”
“Did you have any brothers or sisters?”
“What is your daily routine?”
T: Who am I?
T: You (female voice)
“What’s your favorite color?”
T: uh hu
“How long did you live here?”
“Do you have family with you now?”
“Do you like it here?”
“Do you two not get along?”
T: It’s the best
“What’s the best?”
T: I think so.
“Did you have any pets?”
“What do you want us to stop?”
“What do you want to learn about?”
“What’s your favorite song?”
T: Maybe you.
T: Can stay.
“Do you ever go outside?”
T: Chance (female voice)
“What are you talking about?”
“Do you want someone to spend the night with you?”
“Did you stay on the first, second or third floor?”
T: Help me (female voice)
“How can we help you?”
“How long have you been here?”
The group came to an end and she welcomed her second group.
Second Group – Group Three
Traci welcomed her second group and then got started with the Estes Method once again.
“Did you run a business in this building?
“Did you live here?”
“Were you a teacher?”
“Were you a man?”
“What do you want to do?”
T: Let it (female voice)
T: That’s little
T: Oh shit! (the woman asking questions had just lost her thoughts and forgot her question, then Traci said this, making it amusing for her)
“Did you live here very long?”
“Was your family here with you?”
“Were you a student here?”
T: Maggie (female voice)
“Did you have fun or was it boring here?”
T: I’m here (female voice – she felt someone right in front her)
T: help me (very faint female voice)
“What year were you born?”
“What do you want us to help you with?”
“Is your name Maggie?”
“What do you like to do?”
T: Why? (female)
“What are you doing now?”
“What would you rather be doing?”
“Do you know what town we’re in?”
“Is someone hurting you?”
“Are you scared?”
T: Go on! Go on! Totally ridiculous!
“Do you like it here?”
T: Go on!
“Do you feel safe?”
T: Who couldn’t?
“Did you enjoy the outside?”
“Are there any children in here?”
“What kind of food did you eat?”
“Can you tell us your name?”
“When did you live here?”
“What year is it?”
“Who is Maggie?”
“To the female: were you downstairs earlier?”
“Has anyone we can’t see left the room since we’ve been here?”
T: Hi (female voice)
“Did you live here in this room? Is this where you slept?”
“Were you out in the hallway with me earlier?”
“Can you see how many of us are standing?”
T: He. Knows.
T: Make this. Unseen.
“Can someone help you?”
T: Yeah. Absolutely (Seconds earlier, Meagan asked if someone wanted to go out to the mirror experiment)
T: I want to see
“What do you want to see?”
“What did you used to do in the summertime?”
“Were you a nurse?”
“Were you a teacher?”
“Were you in an accident? Did you get hurt?”
T: I don’t want to.
“Don’t want to do what?”
T: What’s that? People?
“Are you safe?”
“What are you thinking about right now?”
“who is Maggie?”
“What did you like to do for fun?”
T: We are. Tricked.
T: I know (someone just said “pass”)
“You know what?”
“Is someone with you?”
“What was your favorite game?”
T: Yeah. I heard you.
“Where was your favorite hiding spot?”
“Did that make you feel safe?”
T: Uh oh
“Do you feel better now?”
“Are you a child?”
“Are you an adult?”
“Are you in the room with us right now?”
“Where are you standing?”
“Did you grow your own….”
T: Victory. You know (accusatory tone)”
“Did you raise farm animals?”
“We know what?”
“Is there anything we need to know?”
T: Let’s go for a walk
“Where do you want to walk to?”
The half hour ended, so they stopped the session.
Third Group – Group Three
Traci’s third group seemed like they had experiences on every floor. We talked afterwards, wondering if one of them might have brought their own ghost to the ghost hunt. She introduced herself, explained the process and got started.
“Hello (in German)”
“Are you in here with us?”
“How many people sleep in here at a time?”
“Who is wearing the headphones?”
“Did you sleep in this room?”
“Did you have family that lived with you?”
“Have you ever had your picture taken with a camera?”
“Are you the one who makes the floor shake under me?”
“Have you lived…”
T: hi. Oh my!
“Are you a female?”
“Are you a male?”
“Did you travel here from Pennsylvania?”
“Did you stay here when this was a hotel?”
“Is German your native language?”
“Were you born in this building?”
“Were you born in this town?”
“Where are you from?”
T: It’s good (female voice)
“Did you come here from the river?”
T: Hi. It’s him! (female voice)
“Did you enjoy reading?”
“Did you enjoy working in the garden?”
“You said, “He’s here.” who is he?”
T: At 2 o’clock. All month. You are.”
“Do you mean I am he?”
T: At 2 o’clock. All month.
“What is at 2 o’clock?”
T: You’ll meet someone
“Who are you going to meet?”
T: Stop it!
T: see him (female voice)
“Who do you want me to see?”
“How old are you?”
“Did you work with the printing department here?”
“Did you work in this building?”
T: Progress (female voice)
“Did you cook?”
“Did you clean here?”
“What are your hobbies?”
“What do you do for fun?”
“Can you tell me your name?”
T: The thing is…I can see.
“Can you see me?”
“what can you see?”
“What’s the progress you talked about?”
“Are you able to vote?”
T: I am!
“What do you vote for?
“To stay here?”
“Are you a farmer?”
“What do you want to avoid?”
T: Get you!
“Do you remember my name?”
“Who was in front of the mirror in the hall?”
“What is the name of the lady sitting in this room?”
“How many spirits are in this room with us?”
T: Don’t want it
“What don’t you want?”
T: You gonna charge me? (female voice)
“What are you sorry for?”
T: in Evansville (female voice)
“Are you a female?”
“Have you seen me in here yesterday?”
“What’s in Evansville?”
T: They knew!
“Is that for a pet?”
T: Love (female)
“Do you have a boyfriend? Is he in Evansville?”
“Can you tell me my name?”
“Can you tell me what city I live in?”
T: I want it. Get it!
“What do you want me to get?”
“Do you have children?”
T: Uh oh
“Did someone drop something?”
T: No good! Yes it is! (female)
T: No! (male)
“Did you drive a car?”
T: Uh huh
“What’s your favorite time of the year?”
“Do you know Mary down the street?”
T: Me? (female)
“Do you live down the street?”
T: Sour. Oh man!
“Are you a child?”
T: Do it!
“Is your dad here?”
“Are you Mary?”
T: I don’t
Traci’s phone started ringing, so they nudged her. It was her alarm for medications. She took a small break and they discussed how it sounded like the ghosts were having a conversation. Traci took a minute to recover because it’s very draining. We’ve decided going forward that we’re going to have someone alternate with Traci so she doesn’t have to do it all alone.
“Did you ever jump on the beds here when you would play?”
“Can you jump on the beds now?”
T: All right
T: I think mine
“Which bed are you jumping on?”
“Is it your bed or your sister’s bed?”
“Can you guide me to which bed is yours?”
“Do you remember seeing me yesterday on the tour?”
“Were there a lot of…”
“Did you come from a big family?”
“Are you happy here?”
“How old are you?”
T: Aren’t you? (female)
“Who else are you talking to?”
T: Think! (female)
“Is it your brother?”
“Is it your father?”
“Did you wear shoes or go barefoot?”
“Have you ever..”
“Do you like to fish?”
T: Ah, It’s your female. She said to fucking kill her
“Who’s going to kill her?”
“Do you like pickles?”
T: ha ha (deep male voice)
“Did you like that? Was that funny?
T: Yeah. Find me (female voice)
“Right now? Wanna play hide and seek?”
“Maybe later, okay?”
T: Over there (or hold her there)
“Were you an early riser in the mornings?”
“Did you like playing outside?”
T: No (really faint female voice)
“Are you the man of this house or just some other guy?”
“Do you let the women run the house?”
“Are you still with us?”
“Can you make a noise for us?”
“Can you move anything for us?”
“Where should I look to find you?”
T: He did it
“What did he do?”
T: I’m stuck (male voice)
“Can you explain how you’re stuck?”
“Do you want to leave this building?”
“Are you the one I saw in the mirror?”
T: I’m here
“What is your name?”
“What is your purpose here in this building?”
“Did you have brothers and sisters?”
“Where did you come from before you settled here?”
Paula came in at that point to tell them it was time to end the session.
Traci wrote of her experience during the third session. Here it is in her own words:
Traci’s Estes Experience
The night with the Estes Method started very much as expected for me. Much like our trial run, I was getting mostly male voices in the beginning. The words seemed to be benign and I wasn’t sensing much at the beginning of the night. After the first twenty minutes or so, I started hearing a random scream from a woman every now and again. It was a scream of terror. I didn’t note it aloud, as I didn’t want to alarm the participants. This was soon joined by a growling voice occasionally. I believe it is the same voice captured on the first floor. I could never make out what he was saying, but the tone and aggression told me enough about the meaning. Again, I didn’t make this because until I heard the recording from the first floor, I wasn’t even sure it was a voice. It just sounded like a growl.
As the night wore on, the female voice spoke more often. She always seemed to speak with intention and some urgency. There was a pleading tone to her voice. As you can tell from the recording and transcript, most of the words from the female voice (which all seemed to be the same voice) were concerned with a particular man.
Before we get to the major incident, there were three interesting phenomena that occurred throughout the sessions. The first is that the ghosts seemed to be speaking to one another at several points throughout the sessions. I got the feeling that they did not care or were not concerned with the questions being asked by the participants. I was merely acting as the reporter to their private conversations. The second phenomenon what that there seemed to be a male voice speaking throughout the evening just below the static of the Spirit Box. I couldn’t make out what he was saying over the din, but the voice was nearly always present. It was calm and methodical, almost a sermon-like cadence. The last matter was that of my earmuffs vibrating. It only affected the left side and happened several times. The best way I can describe it is that it was like the vibration that would come from sitting next to a train. However, I was sitting next to Meagan and the fireplace. I could feel nothing with me hand nor did Meagan feel anything when I asked her after each session.
By the time the third session came around, I was in the rhythm of the Estes Method, attuned to the Spirit Box, and acclimated to the strangeness the evening had brought so far. The pleading female voice and an aggressive male voice had made their presence known to me, as can be gathered from the recording. After our unscheduled break due to my medicine alarm, it felt strange when I put the headphones and blindfold back on. I don’t if it was because I relaxed more since I knew we just had fifteen minutes left or if the night had been leading to this, but I suspect it was a little of both.
When I heard the male aggressive yell, “Bitch!” I saw a flash of his angry face in front of me. He had a mustache and mutton chops, but they weren’t well groomed. His nose had been broken at some point and healed badly. He was disheveled, and his clothes has some stains. He’s tall with a bowler/derby hat, dark pants, and a dark vest. The cloths were kind of shabby like he is a worker. I think he had been drinking. This is when the woman yelled back, “Fucking killer!” I didn’t see her. I think I was seeing through her. I wasn’t feeling her full emotions and didn’t feel like she was inhabiting me, but I was seeing the scene through her eyes. I knew the information from her. She wasn’t scared of him. She was defiant. This amused him, and he laughed a menacing, “Ha ha.” He easily overpowered her and strangled her. That is what the “hold her there” and the faint female voice saying “no” are about. I didn’t see anything after this but neither did she and she was the one showing me.
Here is what I could intuit from the scene and have been able to better articulate since: I am fairly certain she was a prostitute he frequented. He killed someone she was close to, and she found out. He had gotten away with the murder by disposing of the body and killed her because she would turn him in. I feel he disposed of her as well. I keep feeling water, like he tossed her in the river.
While I do think there is a good possibility that someone brought this here with them, I can’t help but think of our trial run. Crystal kept grabbing her throat saying she couldn’t breathe when we were sitting in the same area. I asked Meagan as soon as the people walked out of the room if that area had ever been rented out as rooms like a hotel, and she confirmed. It just felt too real in that space.
We thank Traci for braving this for us.
Guests had the opportunity to attempt mirror scrying. In this experiment, we placed a floor-length mirror in the dark second floor hallway and invited people to sit in front of it for several minutes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a book available for them to record their experiences, but I did learn about a few of them.
Most people saw their faces morphing into other faces. For some, it was a frightening experience. Here’s what others experienced:
- Heard tapping on fireplace
- Saw a man with a mustache
- Heard people walking on the stairs
- Saw something flit behind them quickly
Third Floor Investigation – Main Room
The third floor of the building was primarily used for dormitory-style housing. Community House #2 was the only community house that offered a third floor thanks to the Mansard roof, which gave it additional space. Visitors to the space will notice the open wall, displaying the “Dutch Biscuit” style building material. Mud and straw would have been wrapped around boards and placed in between the beams, providing the building with insulation and protection from fire. The floors in the room are the original floors from when the building were built.
Crystal Folz, our resident psychic medium managed the third floor. She was born in Western Kentucky and now resides in Posey County. She has been working with search and rescue for over twenty years, helping find lost people using her psychic skills. Crystal’s groups always enjoy her easy manner and her quirky sense of humor. She brings a calmness to our investigations that is always essential and we’re so happy to have her on our team.
First Group – Group Three
She started out with a dowsing rod session.
- She is a female
- They saw her during the historical tour the previous day
- They had pets
- The also saw the other lady there the previous day
- Not a female
- Is not above the age of 15
- Is below the age of 5
- Christmas is his favorite time of the year
- He/she still lives in the house
- There are others there with him/her
- He/she enjoys living on the third floor
- She is female
- She had a garden outside
- They were also talking to a male
- There were between 2-5 people there
- Liked to make pottery
Crystal was splitting the third floor with Jason Nelson. They would do fifteen minute sessions and then switch groups.
- Was an employee in the building
- Had a family
- Was married
- Had children
Second Group – Group One
- Worked in the building
- They like it there
- He/she used to stay there
- Wasn’t there for a long time
- Not a child
- Not a female
- Didn’t like working in the print shop
- His name is Nick (known as a prankster. We’ve connected with him many times before)
- He liked it there
Switched Groups with Jason.
- They were talking to a male
- They were also talking to a female
- He’s happy
- His parents lived there
- They were also talking to a female
- When they asked if they could move the ball, the light on the KII meter flickered
Third Group – Group Two
Crystal’s third group was in for a big surprise. They would have something happen in their group that would literally shut down the third floor afterwards. Half her group went into the Printer’s room with Jason and half of them stayed with her. They started the dowsing rod session:
- One of them was standing next to them
- They asked the rods to point to where they were standing – the rods didn’t respond
- They don’t like it there
- They find it creepy there at night
- They were talking to a young child (Crystal noted that everyone who sat in the same chair connected with a child.)
- They were also talking to a woman (same side of the room where people have connected with a woman)
- Has a large family
They were having a difficult time getting responses. They went around several times without getting a response. Crystal suggested there might be another ghosts there who was preventing them from talking, so she had them ask. The rods didn’t respond. Jamie, who speaks German, attempted to ask them a few questions in German, but didn’t get any responses. It was strange for Crystal because the rods had been very responsive all night. The rods would vibrate, but wouldn’t move in either direction. They asked again if someone was preventing them from responding and finally got a response of “yes.”
Four people from Crystal’s group went into the Print Shop with Jason and four people from his group joined her group.
They continued to have issues until the rods finally answered that someone was preventing them from answering.
- The ghost was gone who was stopping them
- They wanted to talk to the group
- There were children there (same chair as the last few people who got the same response)
They decided to merge the groups together and conduct a Spirit Box session.
Someone saw movement in the laser grid, so they began keeping an eye on that area of the room to see if something else broke the light pattern.
They were asking questions when all of a sudden a loud cracking sound filled the room. It was enough that they almost left the third floor in fear the ceiling was coming down. They began looking around and discovered one of the posts that holds up the ceiling cracked from top to bottom.
The Spirit Box was quiet but the dowsing rods began working again. Listening to the responses that were recorded, I couldn’t make out most of the responses because the Spirit Box was so loud. Below are the ones I could make out.
- They liked to play games
- There was an older man with them.
- He was hiding on the other side of the room.
- They asked for the rods to point to where he was standing and they pointed to the area where they saw movement.
Third Floor Investigation– Print Shop
Jason Nelson led the investigation of the old print shop on the third floor. Jason has been an investigator for Haunted New Harmony for several years, assisting on investigations and ghost walks. He is a resident of New Harmony and was instrumental in helping me gain access to the State owned buildings. His style is more straightforward and to the point. He describes himself as a skeptic, but has seen enough paranormal activity to make him a “skeptical believer.”
The print shop contains equipment from the original print shop that operated in the building during 1858 until 1932. Known as the Slater Print Shop, several local newspapers, including The New Harmony Register and The Advertiser were printed in the shop and were edited by Charles Slater and subsequently by his son, Harry “Nick” Slater. The shop was closed in 1932 when it was sold to Mary Emily Fauntleroy, who many will recognize from our Fauntleroy Home Investigations. The entire building was sold to the State of Indiana in 1940.
First Group – Group Three
Jason had technical difficulties and couldn’t get the Spirit Box turned on, so they spent the fifteen minute session chatting about other haunted locations they’ve all investigated.
Next group of people from Group Three
Crystal had the magic touch and got the Spirit Box to work for him, so they were off and running.
They introduced themselves and then started the Spirit Box session. They started out the session by asking if anyone was with them. A voice said, “Want to.”
Another investigator asked if he or she was married. A voice responded, “That is so.”
They went around the room, asking more questions. It wasn’t until someone asked if his or her mama was a good cook that someone answered with a “no.”
Next group of people from Group Three
Someone asked if Nick followed them from the other room. A male voice said, “When he says it.” They asked more questions, but didn’t get any further responses.
The next group came in and got started. “Do you work in the print shop?” someone asked. A creepy voice instructed her to “turn around.”
Someone else asked if they listen to music and a faint voice said, “I hear it.”
“Did you play an instrument?” The response was odd. “I found it.”
Second Group – Group One
The second group arrived and Jason led them through another Spirit Box session. As they were introducing themselves, Jason said he hoped someone would talk to them during the session. A male voice instantly said, “probably.”
Someone asked what his favorite color was and he responded with “yellow.”
They went around the room a few times and did get a few responses, but none of them were clear enough to interpret.
The next group came in and they continued with the session. They went around the room without getting any responses. Finally, someone asked if they got breaks and a male voice told her, “kind of.” The session was over before they knew it and the next group came in.
The lights had been flickering all night while they were in the Print Shop. Jason noted it.
Someone asked if they had any children. There was a response, but I couldn’t quite make it out. It almost sounded like “super.”
Someone then asked if they spoke German in German and we got a response. I had to send it to Jamie Hettenbach-Barchett who attended the investigation and is fluent in German. She said it sounds like “ja” which is pronounced “yah” and means “yes.”
We gathered together at the end to compare notes on the investigation. Everyone from the last group on the second floor was buzzing about Traci’s experience with the Estes Method. I showed everyone the picture I just took of Shane’s thermal camera with the strange shadows on the wall. Jason mentioned having a lot of lights flickering on the third floor and the odd cracking sound. Crystal talked about how the rods were vibrating but wouldn’t move. She felt someone was preventing them from answering. She also noted that everyone who sat in a specific chair got a response from a child. I told them how I didn’t get anything on the Spirit Box until I walked away to check on the other groups. Then, they had a male coming through chatting with them. As soon as I came back, they instantly stopped talking. Someone else talked about how cool the Estes Method was and how they got the name “Maggie.” They were also excited about what they heard on the Ganzfeld Experiment. I asked them to raise their hands if they had an experience with it and at least half the group raised their hands. They talked about what a soldier Traci was for doing the Estes Method. It was definitely a difficult situation for her and she provided us with interesting information about the building that we weren’t aware of. They also loved the mirror gazing experiment. Most people saw their own faces morphing, but several people saw something coming up behind them. Almost everyone had some sort of experience during the night. Ben noted that at the beginning of the night, during my presentation, he felt a small hand touch his leg. He was standing in the doorway near the closet where Meagan often hears the door handle giggle.
People also talked about how a lot of them heard children talking during the Ganzfeld without realizing everyone else had similar experiences. One thing we do know is that Dr. Edward Murphy and his wife lived in Community House #2 and lost all seven of their children at various times.
I want to thank everyone for coming out for the investigation and special thanks to my amazing team for helping me pull it all together.
(Above L-R) Joni Mayhan, Crystal Folz, Traci Hoehn, Jason Nelson, Paula Bundy and Meagan Patterson
To learn more about New Harmony’s history and hauntings, check out my book, Haunted New Harmony, available at local New Harmony stores and on Amazon.com by clicking HERE