About jonimayhan

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 19 true paranormal best-sellers. Check out her website: Jonimayhan.com

Murphy Auditorium Investigation Review 10-8-22

Our first investigation at Murphy Auditorium was so successful, we couldn’t imagine not having the same experience again for the next investigation. At the time, we didn’t think we were getting much, but we just didn’t hear it at the time. We had a lot of intelligent responses that were discovered during audio review after the investigation ended.

We started the investigation with a group picture and a brief history lesson about the building and the haunting and then we got down to business. We divided into three teams and began investigating.

Stage

Group One

Once again, I led the investigation on the stage. The previous week I used the Portal, which is an amplifier and reverberation device that is hooked up to a Spirit Box. This time, I decided to move the Portal to the lobby area where Donna was leading a team and used my Spirit Box instead.  I placed it on a small table in the middle of the group and got nothing. I mean nothing. We went around the circle and introduced ourselves and then asked questions without a single response. This made me nervous. What’s worse than having a group of people expecting to see some amazing responses and have the ghosts completely shut me out? I could feel them lingering around me, but they weren’t speaking. I wondered if they were nervous about the new device, so I switched to dowsing rods, something they were more familiar with.

  • There was no one there who was interested in talking to us.
  • They weren’t offended by anything we did the week before.
  • They weren’t shy, but were apprehensive about the Spirit Box. I then explained how it worked.
  • They agreed to give it a try.
  • We were talking to a female.
  • She was the only one there.
  • She was from New Harmony.
  • She doesn’t visit other locations.
  • When we asked if they liked us being there, we got a quick no response, followed by a yes
  • They were capable of lighting up the K2 meter in the middle of the room. When asked if they would, we got a no response.
  • They haven’t been there for over a hundred years. This makes sense because the building wasn’t built until 1913.
  • She’s a child.
  • She’s not married.
  • She didn’t have any children.

I was determined to get my Spirit Box to work. Thinking the lack of responses might be due to the placement of the device; I picked it up and carried it to my seat with me. It was as though the flood gates opened. Immediately, a woman came through and said, “We talking.”

A guest asked, “How old are you?” and we got a very clear response of “Thirteen.”

Then, we got an interesting piece of information. A man’s voice said, “Can’t see through.” I’ve always wondered if they can see us and I test it out frequently by asking them questions they can only answer if they can see us.

We were thrilled to have Amanda Bryden join us for the investigation. She was in charge of the Indiana State Museum sites for many years and was responsible for getting us into the first buildings in New Harmony for investigations. She asked if they sometimes flick the lights on and off. A male instantly answered, “We do.”

Someone asked, “What’s your favorite color?” and a male responded with “Yellow.” Shortly afterwards, another voice said, “Purple.”

When asked, “Do you know Gus in the basement?” a voice said, “I know him.”

Are you sad there’s not many plays here was met with, “We’re fine.”

Jason came onto the stage with the SLS camera, which shows stick figures if a ghost is in the frame. Someone asked if they were wondering what that man was walking around with something in his hand. A woman’s voice said what I think is, “We’re wondering who could be it.”

Amanda asked if they liked the new seats and a man said, “I’ll take them.”

Second Group

We started with the Spirit Box and began getting responses right away. We didn’t hear most of them at the time, but I found them when reviewing the audio later. I told them I brought them a brand new group and hoped they’d be receptive to them. A man said, “I’ll take them.”

We then tried something different. We did a “round robin” question where we all asked the same question. The hopes is that they will answer it from someone in the group and, sure enough, it worked. The question was: what is your favorite color. About halfway around the circle a man said, “I like blue.”

Someone asked if he was tall or short and I heard a faint response of “tall.”

Rachel asked how much a ticket cost for the last show they saw. A female gave a faint response of “what show?” We heard this one at the time it was spoken and all laughed.

I asked if they remembered any of our names and got the shock of my life when they said, “Joni.”

Rachel brought out a plasma ball and told them to touch it. I heard what sounded like, “What is it?” Rachel then explained it and it sounded like someone said, “Pretty.”

Someone asked what they thought of the moon (it was a glorious full moon) and it sounded like someone said, “It’s a moon.”

I asked if they knew Gus and a man with a true southern accent said, “Hell no.” This was the clearest response in the entire session and everyone laughed when they heard it.

Third Group

We started off with a Spirit Box session. We went around the circle a few times and got answers we couldn’t quite make out, so I rolled out the pie question. I asked everyone in the group what their favorite kind of pie was. After they responded, I asked the ghosts what kind they wanted. A female voice said, “Apple.”

Someone asked if they went to school in New Harmony and a male answered, “Sixty-one.” Was that the year he graduated?

Another person asked where Jason was and we got a response of, “Back out.” And that was true. Jason had been roaming around between the three groups with the SLS camera, but he had left.

For the rest of the session, we would ask questions and get “blurps” for answers. Sometimes we would think we got a response, but upon review wasn’t what we thought it was. I have to always throw out what I believe could be from the radio aspect of the Spirit Box. I think we wore them out and they were ready for some well-deserved rest.

Basement

First Group

Traci had two REM pods in the basement. If the electromagnetic field is broken, it sounds an alarm. It immediately started going off. As soon as they’d silence it, it would start up again, so Traci turned it off. They then did a straight EVP session to see if the ghosts would provide answers.

Traci got a clear EVP on her very first question. She asked, “Can you tell me your name?” and a male answered, “Athmail.”

They did a full round of questions but didn’t get any responses, so they moved to dowsing rods.

  • There was someone down there with them – more than five of them
  • Gus was still down there – slow yes
  • There were children down there
  • There were more than five males down there
  • They never leave the basement (at least one of t hem doesn’t)
  • There are siblings in the room
  • There was a woman named Mary in the room
  • Traci asked the rods to point to where one of them are in the room and they pointed to the couch.
    • Wasn’t a male
    • Wasn’t in plays there
    • Worked there
    • Her name isn’t Emily
    • Her name is Eugena
  • Someone was standing to the left of one of the guests. She felt someone touch her hair.
  • The children there are pranksters
  • The woman on the couch was born in New Harmony
  • Gus was also born in New Harmony

Second Group

Traci started her second group off with a straight EVP session (no equipment) but didn’t get any responses. They then moved to dowsing rods.

  • Gus was down there
  • There wasn’t a woman with them any longer
  • Someone else was down there with Gus
  • His favorite color was yellow
  • They knew it wasn’t Friday
  • Gus had children
  • He enjoyed the plays
  • He lived close by
  • He worked there for a long time
  • They were no longer talking to Gus
  • They were talking to a guest named Jimmy who had a ghost blow in his ear
  • There were more than three of them (more joined)
  • They weren’t all willing to talk to them
  • Dr. Murphy was not down there
  • The male they were talking to has a mustache and dark eyes
  • He’s tall
  • His family was there with him
  • Emily wasn’t down there
  • He went to school in New Harmony
  • He’s not married
  • He didn’t perform there
  • He worked there
  • Traci asked the rods to point to their favorite person in the room and they pointed to the people sitting on the couch
  • There was a cold spot on the couch and was made by a woman
  • Something happened there that wasn’t supposed to
    • It has something to do with the man with the mustache
    • The man with the mustache is Gus
    • It has something to do with Gus being in the changing rooms
    • Gus wasn’t the only one involved
    • The incident involved a woman
    • It involved more than two people
  • There is a secret passage into the basement room they were in

Third Group

They started with an EVP session, but didn’t get any responses, so they moved to a dowsing rod session. During that time, Jason came down with the SLS camera and told them he’d been chasing a tall person on the camera and it led him there.

  • The tall person was downstairs with them.
  • The tall person was a female.
  • She was born in New Harmony
  • She wasn’t a student at the school
  • She wasn’t the one making the noises behind them
  • It wasn’t someone else
  • They asked where she was in the room and the rods pointed to an empty wooden chair
  • A man wasn’t down there
  • There was just the one woman
  • Everyone else who was down there went to a different part of the building
  • Traci asked them to point to the dressing room that was the most haunted and it pointed to the bathroom behind them. Traci felt there was a sad woman there which was confirmed by several others in the group. Traci asked if we could help her, but we didn’t get any further information.
  • Someone else from the group thought they saw a shadow figure.

Lobby

Donna Tilly led the investigation of the lobby. In past years, people working the ticket office have heard footsteps on the stairs and have felt a ghostly presence.

First Group

They started off with a Portal Session. The Portal is connected to two Spirit Boxes and eliminates most of the choppy sounds. When they asked the ghost if she was alone, a voice came through the Portal and said, “alone.”

They then went to dowsing rods:

  • Emily was with them.
  • She didn’t like to sing, but she did like to listen to music.
  • Another guest started to use the rods and asked if there was anyone there who wanted to talk to them and they heard, “no” on the Portal.
  • Whoever they were talking to didn’t act there today
  • This person didn’t live in New Harmony, but did work there
  • This person played an instrument
  • They were talking to a man
  • He knows the people in the pictures (It was the Murphys)
  • He fished in the Wabash River
  • He knows Emily
  • He sometimes walks down the stairs
  • He sometimes walks across the stage
  • He has hidden in the ladies dressing room
  • Isabell is there tonight

Second Group

They started off by going around the room and introducing themselves and then Donna asked if they remembered anyone’s names. A voice came through the Portal and says what sounds like, “Heather.” There was a person named Heather in the group.

Donna then asked if they knew who was in the picture of the Murphys and a voice came through on Donna’s recorder that said, “The Murphys.” It wasn’t heard at the time but was recorded on the recorder, making it a true EVP. It’s very hard to hear without headphones, so I didn’t include it here.

One guest asked if they liked to party and it sounded like a man said “Yep!”

They then asked what their favorite colors were and a male said “Blue.”

They then did a dowsing rod session:

  • He/she came there as a child
  • Her name is Emily
  • She’s a teenager
  • Her family isn’t there with her
  • It makes her sad
  • She was married (rods and Portal both said yes)
  • There are more than one of them in the room

Amanda Bryden shared several stories she’d heard about Murphy Auditorium. She said that lights would sometimes turn on and off on stage. The piano in the basement sometimes plays on its own too. Several people had experiences in the basement. She’d straighten up after the actors and stack the magazines. After she straightened them, she went into another room and came back to find the stack moved from one location to another even though she was alone in the building. This happened several times.

Amanda also told us that the old Rappite School once sat on the grounds where Murphy Auditorium is now located. During our break, we walked outside and found the stone marker. It certainly made us wonder if some of the haunting came with the land.

Third Session

Donna’s last session started with a Portal session. They didn’t get much, so they moved to dowsing rods.

  • She liked cherry pie
  • She rode horses
  • James was also there.
  • They know who Father Rapp is
  • They know who Robert Owen is
  • One of them was born in the 1900s
  • There was a librarian there
  • They confirmed that James was there
  • There were more than five people there
  • There was also a Jennifer there
  • They asked the rods to point to the puppy in the room (Harvey the service dog) and they did

They moved back to using the Portal. Donna asked if they remembered anyone’s name and they said, “You.”

Channeling Session

Once again we were treated to a channeling session by Lisa Dickens. Her sessions are always so interesting.

Thank you to everyone who came out and extra thanks to my team for the seamless investigation.

Murphy Auditorium Investigation 10-1-22

Ghost stories about this massive auditorium have been whispered around town for decades. Some people talk about icy cold spots in several auditorium seats or about the apparition that sometimes appears in the control booth, but the spookiest story revolves around the basement.

As the legend goes, a maintenance man named Gus fell down the stairs one fateful night. He broke his neck and died instantly. Instead of crossing over into the white light, he went back to work instead and now roams the shadowy hallways. Surprised guests have nearly bumped into him in the lady’s dressing room, while others have heard his phantom footsteps on the stairs.

The auditorium was built in 1913 by funds provided by Dr. Edward Murphy. Dr. Murphy was an interesting part of New Harmony’s history. He came to town as a 13 year-old shoeless orphan, but was industrious and clever. He managed to save enough money doing odd jobs to put himself through medical school and became one of the wealthiest men in town. After his death, he provided funding to build this auditorium. For the last century, Murphy Auditorium has hosted thousands of musical and theater performances, keeping the masses entertained.

Theaters like this are ripe for a haunting. For many people, it was a place where dreams came true. For others, it was a place of sorrow and anguish. The lost souls often return to relive their happiest moments, while others mourn the loss of what could have been.

We had an exciting investigation and had quite a few experiences.

We always divide into smaller groups to insure everyone has a good experience. In this case, we had three locations we investigated: the stage, the lobby and the basement.

Stage

First Group

We introduced ourselves and started in on the investigation using the Portal. It is a device that is hooked into several spirit boxes.

We went around the group asking questions. Here are the highlights:

  • How old are you? Fourteen
  • I was fiddling with the Portal trying to change the setting and a woman said, “Who knows that?”

Ben Adams came onto the stage with his SLS camera, which shows stick figures if a ghost appears. He aimed it around the stage and caught a figure sitting in a chair. Everyone had a chance to see it. We then moved onto dowsing rods. Here are some highlights:

  • There wasn’t someone still sitting in the chair, but they confirmed that someone was sitting there earlier.
  • There was someone named John there (her late husband).
  • There were three male ghosts
  • None of them were related to one another
  • None of them were named Richard
  • They know each other
  • They’ve been there a long time
  • One of them isn’t the maintenance man
  • One of them worked in the theater area
  • None of them worked in the electrical area
  • There were performers there
  • Drama was their favorite
  • They traveled to other areas to be in performances, but this was their favorite place
  • One of them had a lead role
  • It was a good place to work and they were happy there
  • They weren’t well known
  • They miss their family
  • We asked the rods to point to where they were on the room and they responded. One was behind me and the other was behind Abby. Another was in the other corner
  • There was a woman there. She was an actress.
  • They didn’t all get along
  • They are all pleasant. No mean ones there!

Second Group

We started off with a Portal session and had so much activity, we ended up sticking with it.

  • Can you say hi to the group? No
  • Who’s in charge? Me
  • What is your name? Mike
  • Mike, were you an actor? No
  • How many of you are with us right now? With the company
  • I thought I heard the name “Emily” come across the device
  • Out of the blue, a woman’s voice said, “You told me to move.”
  • Do you remember the graduations here? French Lick
  • Are you republican or democrat? Republican
  • Can you see how many fingers I’m holding up? One, three…f-it!
  • Is Dr. Murphy here? Yes

Third Group

We once again had a lot of responses with the Portal.

  • Is there more than one male on the stage? One
  • Did you perform here? No

At that point, one of the members of the group, Ashley, began seeing a man standing at the edge of the stage. Her friend could also see him too. We’d been hearing noises in the corner, so it made sense but none of the rest of us could see him. We then got a male voice across the Portal that sounded like, “Been following for me.” Then, a female voice said, “Camera.” I had walked to the edge of the stage to take photos with my phone.

From the Portal:

  • What is the name of the man standing behind me? Ismail
  • If the man is still in the corner can you come touch the K2? No. Listen.
  • To the man in the corner: did you help fund this building? No
  • Can I come back and stand with you? No and then yes, so she moved back there.
  • Are you still back here with me? No

Everyone was still convinced someone was behind the curtain, so Ben walked over there with his camera and asked if someone was there. We then heard a very deep, creepy voice say, “no.”

  • Can you tell me who’s performing tonight? Me
  • Do you have a solo? Just one
  • Is there anything you want to tell us? No, I don’t.
  • Did you like music? I did
  • Is there more than one person? Yes

Basement

The basement is often the spookiest location for any investigation and this one did not disappoint. Legends about Gus, the former maintenance man, have been circulating for years and we finally connected with him.

First Group

They didn’t have any luck with the Spirit Box in the basement, but the REM Pod immediately began reacting as though someone was touching it to make it go off. They decided to turn off the Spirit Box and began using dowsing rods. Here is what they found:

  • There was more than one person down there with them.
  • One of them was a man.  One of them was a woman. The man is Gus.
  • She wasn’t in the dressing room that Lisa was in.
  • She was an actress.

They were seeing shadows moving along the wall, so Traci started talking to Gus.

  • He likes watching women in the dressing room change.
  • He likes to scare people in the basement. He thinks it’s fun.
  • He likes to hang around in the men’s dressing room.
  • He likes when there are plays there – the REM pod flashed when she asked this
  • The woman was still there too. She was down the hall (they could also hear footsteps).
  • The woman’s name started with a J. It was Jennifer.
  • Jennifer was there when the building was built (1913-1914).
  • She visited New Harmony to watch the plays. She stays there because she still enjoys the plays.
  • Jennifer knew Dr. Murphy, the one who donated funds to build the building.
  • Dr. Murphy was there. He wishes there were more plays there.
  • The REM Pod started going off as Traci was explaining USI’s former contract for doing theater there. It was cancelled right before the pandemic started and the building has been fairly quiet since then.
  • They enjoyed the Big Whopper contest and agreed with the winner.

Second Group

The ladies dressing room, where Gus has been spotted

They had quite a few interesting experiences. From the dowsing rods:

  • Gus was still down there.
  • Jennifer was still down there as well.

One of the guests was grabbed during the dowsing rod session. Traci scolded them about touching the guests.

  • Gus has friends down there. They are picky with who they respond to.
  • There are more than two ghosts down there.
  • There was more than one ghost in both dressing rooms.
  • The woman was no longer in the room with them.

Another one of the guests was touched. He felt something grab his shoulders.

  • Are you the one who touched my shoulders? Yes
  • Was one of the other people to my left? Yes
  • Are the people in the dressing rooms getting ready for a show? No

The woman who was touched began asking questions.

  • Gus, are you the one who touched me? Yes
  • Gus, was there anyone else who touched me at the same time? No
  • Gus, did you touch me to get my attention? Yes
  • Gus, are you still standing by me right now? Yes
  • Are you happy I’m sitting next to you? Yes
  • Gus, is there a female in the other dressing room? Yes

Third Group

Traci started the group with a dowsing rod session. She also asked the ghosts to refrain from touching the guests, but she also warned the guests that the ghosts may or may not listen to her.

  • Gus, are you still with us? Yes
  • Do you still have others with you? Yes
  • Gus, do you like me? No (group laughed)
  • Are you feeling okay? Yes
  • Will you talk to me? Slow Yes
  • Are you excited to have us here? No
  • When they asked the rods to point to Gus, they pointed to a chair. Traci commented that he’s been sitting there all night.
  • He’s the one who turned the light off outside
  • Gus knows the lady in the dressing room behind Traci.
  • She’s afraid to come out to see them
  • They heard a knock on the wall in the dressing room. The woman was the one who did it.
  • There is someone in the women’s dressing room, but more than one in the men’s dressing room.
  • Gus didn’t touch the girl in the last group
  • They were getting fewer responses, so Traci took the rods and asked to point out where the others were sitting. They pointed to the couch. It was a woman. Her name started with a J. Her name is Jane, not Jennifer.
  • Dr. Murphy was still there. He didn’t get to see the plays when he was alive, but he watches them now.
  • He remembers the spelling bees there. He remembers Traci being in the spelling bee. She asked him if she won and he said yes, which wasn’t correct.
  • He doesn’t miss having kids there.

One of the women in the group sat on the couch and asked if she was sitting on Jane. The response was no.

Lobby

Over the years, people have reported feeling chilled in the lobby and have heard footsteps on the stairs to the auditorium. We wanted to see if anyone would engage with us and had some pretty significant experiences.

First Group

Rick started his group off with a dowsing rod session. Here are the results:

  • He worked at the auditorium
  • He was a maintenance man
  • He wasn’t Gus
  • He didn’t live in town
  • He didn’t do a lot of traveling
  • He wasn’t born in Indiana
  • He wasn’t married
  • He knew Gus
  • He didn’t work with Gus
  • He didn’t have any pets
  • He did have kids
  • He lived on a farm
  • His kids were from one partner

Second Group

They started off with a Spirit Box Session but didn’t get anything so they moved onto dowsing rods.

  • There was a male there
  • He likes the woman who was dowsing
  • He was the man in the ticket booth who didn’t like her dad (?)
  • He doesn’t like the dowsing rods
  • He likes some of the people in the room
  • He doesn’t want to walk past her to show his presence
  • There were two ghosts in the room
  • He worked there
  • He sees the K2 in the middle of the room
  • He can go touch it
  • He’s lying to them

Third Group

Rick began with a Spirit Box session. As soon as he turned the box on, a woman’s voice came through and asked what sounded like, “Where’s my paramore?”

After a few more questions a woman’s voice came through again and asked. “What’s the word?”

They moved to dowsing rods, but before they could get into the session, the recorder stopped recording. There was no reason for it. The battery was still full and there was plenty of data room on the recorder. Perhaps the ghosts of Murphy Auditorium didn’t want us to have a record of the rest of the session.

Overall, we couldn’t have been happier with the results of the investigation. Of course, we all hoped to see a full apparition float across the stage, but that didn’t happen. At the end of the investigation, we were treated to a channeling session by our friend Lisa Dickens.

During her session, she talked about Emily. She liked her blue dress best. She worked the register. She said there were lots of horse drawn carriages and they had a trolley. Her last name was Styles. She also saw Jennifer on the stage. This was a name they got in the basement.  She loved it when they had opera. She wasn’t married yet. “As soon as I do, I won’t be able to work anymore,” she said.

She also talked about Josiah. “Some people called him Henry, though,” she said. Henry’s last name was Abbott. His full name was Josiah Henry Abbott.

Lisa doing her channeling session. She wears noise-cancelling headphones
connected to a spirit box and the voices come to her. It was amazing to witness.

I was unable to find any information about either of these people, but it was an interesting experience to witness.

I want to thank everyone for coming out. Thank you to my amazing team for making it happen.

L-R Back Row: Jason Nelson, Whistling Rick Schlegelmilch. Middle Row: Donna Tilly and Traci Hoehn. Front Row: Joni Mayhan
L-R Joni Mayhan, Paula Bundy, Ben Adams, Donna Tilly and Traci Hoehn

Capers Emporium Investigation 1-8-22

We were delighted to have the chance to investigate Capers Emporium in New Harmony, Indiana. When walking through the doors of Capers Emporium, it’s difficult to imagine a haunting. The interior is eclectic and vibrant, providing you with a pleasant sensory overload of colors, textures and scents. But beneath this happy façade lurks a whole other world.

I worked here for several years, helping the Guards set up the business and then staying on for an additional year. During my time here, I always felt creeped out by the basement. Every time I would walk downstairs, I would feel as though someone was following me around. During a New Year’s Eve party there, I brought my paranormal gear and did a short EVP session in the basement with my Spirit Box. I wanted to know who haunted the basement. Was it someone left over from the Odd Fellow’s years or was it an employee from the hardware store or grocery store?


“Who is hot on my heels when I come down to the basement?” I asked.
The Spirit Box answered immediately. “That’s Eddie,” it said. This was chilling on several levels. Firstly, the response was intelligent and clear. Secondly, it alerted me to the fact that there were more than one ghost there – Eddie and the person who tattled on him.

Over the years, we all experienced Eddie’s antics. Even die-hard skeptics changed their opinions after witnessing his blatant attempts to be known.


The first building on the property was a harness store.

After it was torn down, a massive two-story building was built for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Built in 1925, the building later housed a hardware store and grocery store. After the grocery store went out of business, the building sat empty until 2013. Indiana Landmarks partnered with the Efroymson Family Fund and restored the exterior of the building. Not long afterwards, Mary Beth and Michael Guard purchased the building and did massive renovations on the inside of the building. By 2018, Capers Emporium opened its doors for business, providing the community, as well as tourists, a fun place to shop.

After a brief introduction, we split into three groups led by Donna Tilly, Ben Adams and Rosie Benton. The groups were assigned a schedule, bringing them to all three floors. Rick Schlegelmilch oversaw the investigations on the first floor. Joni Mayhan held court on the second floor, and, as always, Traci Hoehn took the basement.
In each location, we offered Break-out Investigations, where 2-3 people would go alone and use a pendulum to ask questions. On the first floor, the Break-Out group sat with the SLS camera (X-Box technology) to look for stick figures. I will post a separate video at a later date.

As we would soon find out, it would end up being an epic night.

Second floor
The second floor of the building is a massive space that the owners are turning into living quarters. The space is under construction, so we carved out a spot for ourselves in between the tools and supplies. Seven minutes into our first session, we were all startled by a loud noise. Something big fell over, but no one had any idea what it was. It was enough to rattle the group. When something like this happens, some of us begin to wonder. If they can knock over a huge piece of plywood, what else can they do? I asked who did it and a male voice said, “I did.” He wouldn’t give his name though.


Someone asked how many were there and at the time we thought someone said, “ten,” but under evidence review, I realized they said, “Ben,” which is the name of the handyman who does the renovations in that room. I wonder if Ben realizes they know him by name.


My second group was lively and asked some great questions. We had the owner, Mary Beth Guard, in the group and I really feel it brought out more reactions from the ghosts.
Mary Beth asked if they liked it when she plays her piano. A man responded with “yes.”
Someone asked if they were an Odd Fellow. One voice responded with, “could be,” and then another said “Sup!” The second response was so clear, it was as if someone in the room said it.


Jim Huff also joined us. His family owned the grocery store that was once located in the building. He’s had many experiences there over the years. just returned from a breakout session where he’d been talking to someone who died in the Griffin tornado. He asked if he was still speaking to him and the man said, “yep.”

Mary Beth asked if they liked the basement the best and a man said, “In the basement.” Clear as day.


Someone asked if they were still there and a man responded, “I am.”


Normally, by the end of the night, the ghosts are tired and the responses come more sporadically. This night would be different. It was as though they were just getting warmed up.

-Two guests using the pendulum in one of the Break-Out rooms


As soon as we started the session, one of the ghosts said my name.


Soon after, someone said something odd. “Feel the plate,” he said. Capers is a kitchen and gift shop. Had he been downstairs fondling the dishware?


Rosie was the leader of this group and she seemed to be impacted by the ghosts there. She asked, “Are you behind me?” A female voice answered, “Right in front.” I repeated what it said and a male voice said, “Right,” as though confirming it.


She asked if they were making her cold and a female voice came through and said, “Rosie.”
Jason came up with the camcorder and it once again died. They were draining the batteries to use the energy.


Someone asked if there was more scary stuff in town. A male voice told her, “It’s dark here.”
We got a few more responses to questions, but none of them were clear enough to determine.

They wanted to know who was in the basement. Someone inquired and got a response of “Edward.” I think it’s safe to say that Eddie holds court down there.

The bell across the street chimed on the hour, but it chimed an extra ring. We asked about that and got an intelligent response.

I asked about Eddie again and he told me emphatically, “I’m in the front.”

First Floor
Rick Schlegelmilch led groups on the first floor of the building where the retail store and kitchen are located. The group sat around the counter in the back and started out with a Spirit Box Session.


They got a few responses, but they were so faint and muddled, it was difficult to make them out. When asked what their favorite color is, it sounded like a man said, “I don’t know.” They moved on to using Dowsing Rods. Here are some other relevant responses that happened over the course of the night.


• There were more than ten ghosts in the building.
• They were talking to a male – he was older than 20.
• He was related to someone who was there that day.
• Eddie was there. He’s the one who moves things in the store.
• They’re in his way when they’re in the kitchen.
• He was the one who knocked the candles down.
• He doesn’t have any kids.
• He likes everyone who works there. He likes Ashley.
• He’s not an Odd Fellow.
• He didn’t live in New Harmony
• They know who Whistling Rick is
• Eddie and Peter weren’t friends (The name Peter was mentioned in the basement)
• They know Emily (also mentioned in the basement)
• They don’t like it when Rick’s dog, Clutch, poops on the sidewalk in front
• Peter was also there. He knows Emily and Eddie.
• They didn’t like Town Marshall Scotty
• Town Marshall Scotty popped in to speak with them. He still checks in with family.


They didn’t get a response on the Spirit Box until the third group. Donna Tilly asked about the sound I heard when I first started working at Capers years ago. It sounded like a bucket of nails falling to the floor, but when I went to look, nothing was out of place. I later found out that the building was a hardware store.

As the last session was coming to an end, a strange thing happened. On the audio, which I reviewed later, I could clearly hear the sound of a music box playing. I asked both Rick and Donna if they remembered someone playing a music box and neither did. I’m not certain it’s paranormal, but I’m including it here regardless. If someone knows anything about this, please let me know.

The Basement – written by Traci Hoehn


The basement of Capers Emporium proved to be very active during the investigation. For our basement sessions, we used the spirit box to communicate with the ghosts. For this experiment, the spirit box was attached to earbuds, which I wore. I then donned noise-canceling headphones and a blindfold to ensure I couldn’t hear nor see what was being asked by the groups. This method, known as the Estes Method, helps dismantle the phenomenon in which we hear what we want to hear in response to questions posed.
The ghosts started communicating right away with the first group. The ghost confirmed that they stay in the basement, then this interesting exchange occurred (My repetition of the spirit box will be in Italics):


Do you do maintenance in this basement?
Do it. Yes.
Have you worked here a long time?
Did I? Yeah.


Intelligent responses are always promising, especially at the beginning of a session. After having a string of unanswered questions or nonsensical responses, the name ‘Adam’ came through. When asked “Who’s Adam?” the ghosts responded, “A baker.” Later, a ghost responded that they have to be invited when asked if they could go upstairs, and the following happened:


Are you invited upstairs?
Let’s go.
Do you like it upstairs?
Good job.
Do you have a job upstairs?
I smell it.
Could this be Adam, the one who said he was a baker earlier, talking about the smell of his creations?


The next ghost to introduce themselves to the first session was Patrick. He said he was not alone in the basement. When asked, “Do you know things here?” Patrick replied, “Time. Repeat.” This is especially interesting because there are theories that some ghosts get stuck in loops repeating past behaviors.


The last exchange of the first session demonstrated the fact that ghosts have personalities and can be as sarcastic as the living:

You said you would let us hear your voice, are you going to say something important?
Come on. We’re going.
Where are we going?
Here.
Where is here?
Don’t start.

After getting warmed up in the first session, the second session did not disappoint. The group was already terrified after having experienced a large bang of equipment falling on the second floor during the first session. However, they swallowed their fears and pushed forward with a seemingly different ghost than those who had spoken in the first session.

Is there anything that you want us to know?
Peter
Is Peter here with us?
Hi
Hello, Peter. What are you doing here, Peter?
Is there anybody else here, other than Peter?
I felt it. More and more.


Were there other ghosts entering the room? It seemed to be the case. Upon further questioning, the ghost told the group that there was now a female ghost in the room. When asked if the girl from upstairs was with them, the reply was “In the middle.” It was confirmed that the ghost meant she was in the middle of the room and wanted help.
A perennial question is whether ghosts can physically feel as we, the living, can. After the name ‘Emily’ came through the spirit box, there was an abrupt change in dialogue:


Ice. Can’t you feel it? We can.
Are you cold?
Yeah.
About a minute later, I noted that I was feeling a cold breeze at my back, which no one else in the room could feel. Perhaps the cold was related to another exchange that happened minutes later:
Are you with Emily and Eddie?
Injured.
How did you get injured?
I fell.
What did you fall from?
Eddie.
Did Eddie push you?
Hey. Happy now.


While we don’t know of an incident in the building where someone was pushed or fell resulting in their death, it would not be unheard of in such an old building. We will have to further investigate this.
The ghosts in the second session were also very courteous, as evidenced by the next conversation:


Did Eddie do something?
Hey…
IS Eddie here?
It’s a spider.

Listening to the audio recording, it is apparent that several of the group members shuffled around making sure no spider was crawling on them. However, in the dark, it is very possible that a little eight-legged friend was visiting. A few more names came through during this second session, including Christian and Brad, although no information was given about these people.

The second session also had my favorite statement of the night from the spirit box. Apropos of nothing, the ghost said. “Pardon me. Disgusting.” I very much want to believe that this is evidence that ghosts can have flatulence.
The third session was as active as the preceding two. As affirmed by the first two sessions, these ghosts seem to exist mainly in the basement:

What’s your favorite part of the building?
Go down.
What do you like about it down here?
We’re going…down…here.
Another name then came through: Madison. Perhaps Madison was interrupting because the spirit box then seemed to pick up part of a conversation between two ghosts:
Patience.
Thank you.
You’re welcome.
Just a minute.
Well, what are we waiting for?
Nothing.
The ghosts obviously weren’t talking to the living here, but they soon re-established their connection.
Are you by yourself?
Next to you.
You’re sitting next to me now?
I am.


Although this ghost wouldn’t provide further details about their location or purpose, it can be quite chilling to have a ghost next to you. Even more unsettling is the transaction that took place later in the session when a ghost was asked, “What’s next?” and stated, “Follow you.” Hopefully, none of our participants had a new house guest after they made it home.
Another ghost, we’re not sure which one, came through and was quite upset, claiming their friend had been lost somewhere “out there.” Maybe this ghost was Emily.

Are you a Harmonist?
I’m Emily.
How old are you, Emily?
There. There it is.
What’s there?
The maid.
Maybe the maid is the friend who was lost.


We also encountered some sassy ghosts during the third session. When asked if Eddie was their brother, some ghost quickly replied, “Shut up.” It looks like either they are not a fan of Eddie, or they did not like the person asking.
The most interesting moment for this group came when something moved in the basement and made a noise. The group could not find the source of the noise, so they asked the following questions:


Did you move something?
Did you hear me?
Can you make another noise?
We’re here.
Is there more than one?
Here we are.
Can you make another noise?
Now what.
All in all, the third session was productive, and we have several names to research. In addition to those mentioned, the names Alice, Peter, Isaac (or perhaps Peter Isaac), and Andrew came through the box. We aren’t sure which ghost it was, but one of them even seemed to be sparking a treasure hunt in the store and surrounding area:


Can’t find it.
What can’t you find?
Money.
Did you lose money down here?
I’ve got some.
Are you still looking for the money?
Can’t get ‘em.


Is there some long-lost treasure in New Harmony waiting to be unearthed? It looks like we may never know as the third and final session came to a close. The living and dead were of one accord at the end of the investigation. As the group leader, Ben, looked at his watch and said, “Ok, guys. I think that’s it,” the ghosts agreed finishing the night with “That’s all.”

Overall, we were elated with the level of activity. Even though the building has never been investigated before, the ghosts were willing to come forth and speak with us.

I’d like to thank everyone for coming out. I’d also like to thank my team for their outstanding efforts.

(L-R) Rick Schegelmilch, Donna Tilly, Jason Nelson, Rosie Benton, Ben Adams, Traci Hoehn and Joni Mayhan.

If you enjoyed our evidence review, check out some of my paranormal books on Amazon.com. Click HERE.

Ribeyre Investigation 11-13-21

Ribeyre Gymnasium Investigation Review 11-23-21

The Ribeyre Gymnasium was only one year old when it was used for a tragic purpose. In 1925 an F-5 tornado swept through three states, killing hundreds of people. To date, it is still considered to be the worst tornado in US history.

The town of New Harmony was spared, but the nearby town of Griffin, Indiana, wasn’t so fortunate. The tornado completely demolished the town, only leaving one building untouched. New Harmony stepped into action, bringing the dead and dying to town.

The injured were attended to by local doctors inside the gymnasium. The dead were put in the basement, turning it into a temporary morgue. The building has been haunted ever since.

Over the years, many people have experienced the haunting. Children who used the gymnasium for gym class often saw people sitting in the bleachers that vanished moments later. They heard noises coming from empty rooms and often experienced the sensation of being watched.

A local woman who hosts yoga classes there often hears the sounds of children giggling and racing across the stage. Others have seen children roaming around the building. A man who came to repair the broken bell in the clock tower would see them racing up and down the bleachers. He would sometimes bring his ten year-old son, who would sit on the court rolling a basketball into the shadows, only to have the ball roll back to him.

During our previous investigations there, we’ve connected with many people who linger around the gym. Some of them are from the tornado tragedy, but many others are from the gymnasium’s long history, and perhaps from the land itself.

(Above) The group gathered in the gymnasium prior to the investigation. Photo by Ben Adams.

For this investigation, we divided into three groups. I took the lead in the gymnasium, Jason Nelson was the lead in the Annex Building, and Traci Hoehn held court in the basement.

I’ve always had good responses with my Spirit Box at the gymnasium, but this time would be different. A Spirit Box is a modified radio that scans rapidly through the channels. Ghosts are able to vocalize through the white noise. We often hear intelligent, full-sentence responses to our questions, but not on this night. We went around and let everyone ask a few questions, but the box stubbornly remained silent.

We weren’t going to be daunted. Sometimes the ghosts don’t like the flashing, blinking technology, so we moved onto a lower tech method: dowsing rods. Dowsing rods have been used for centuries for a variety of purposes. Water Witchers use them to find underground water, while others have used them for divination. We’ve found them to be highly successful.

(Above) a photo taken of the investigation from the stairs leading to the area that leads to the bell tower. Photo by Ben Adams.

When asking questions, we have two rules: don’t ask them if they want us to leave and don’t ask how they died. We also want to be respectful of them, treating them the same way we would if we could see them. Here are some of the responses:

(Above) Elliott Benton and his son during a session in the gymnasium. Photo by Joni Mayhan
  • They don’t dislike the bell that rings every half hour
  • There was a little boy on and off with us throughout the night
  • He had a sister
  • He was happy and didn’t want to go anywhere
  • The ghosts missed the basketball games and dances
  • They said they know someone in the room. When asked to point the rods at that person, they pointed to me. Apparently, I made an impression during the previous investigations.
  • They don’t like the renovations. This makes sense if they liked the basketball games, since they removed the hoops and bleachers during the renovations.
  • They like the weddings and receptions that are now held there.
  • They didn’t play in the school band.
  • They were there when “A League of their Own” was filmed.
(Above) Joni’s group in the gymnasium. Photo by Ben Adams.

Second Group

  • There was a man with us
  • He didn’t work there and wasn’t married
  • The boy was there. He was between the age of 10 and 15. He liked the children in the group. (Two pre-teens attended the investigation).
  • There was a little girl there too.
  • Later, a woman joined the group. She was between fifteen and twenty.  She was married. She had children, but wouldn’t talk about them.

While we were sitting there, I caught a very strong whiff of what smelled like Juicy Fruit gum. I asked if anyone else smelled it and one other person did. And then it was gone.

We sent groups of two or three up to one of the attic rooms that was once the locker room. They would use a pendulum and got a lot of information. Several reported talking to the little boy. One said he had little brothers.

(Above) One of the breakout sessions in one of the attics beside the stage. Photo by Ben Adams.

Third Group

The third group had just been in the basement. One woman was so overwhelmed by the energy, she ended up coming upstairs. I never tell the current group what the last group discovered. It’s always interesting when they get the same results.

  • The little boy wasn’t there any longer. He was up in one of the attics with a breakout group.
  • They know the names of people in the group. When asked to point to Emily, the rods pointed to Emily. Sandy was holding the rods and didn’t know who Emily was, which made it even more interesting. When asked to point them towards me, they complied.
  • We were talking to a female, maybe the same one who was there for the last group.
  • She is happy being there, but doesn’t have a lot of friends there.
  • She doesn’t have any siblings there with her.
  • She gets to leave on occasion. She sometimes visits the families of the loved ones who died during the tornado.
  • She enjoys our company.
  • She is an adult, correlating with what the last group discovered.
  • She has children, but none of them are there.
  • They celebrate holidays there, which makes sense because the gym is used for seasonal festivals.
  • They liked it when the building was used by the school as a gym.

The bell started ringing. Even though it was nine o’clock, it chimed eleven times.

  • The woman wasn’t married. (This was interesting information because she told them she had children. Depending on the era, women with children born out of wedlock were treated differently).
  • The woman went to school in New Harmony.
  • The woman didn’t have any pets. She doesn’t like the color pink. She doesn’t like Christmas, but she does like Halloween.
(Above) One of Joni’s groups in the gymnasium. Photo by Ben Adams.

It was almost time to end the investigation when the strangest thing of the night happened. The gym was dimly lit, but the doorway to the kitchen was brightly lit. Several people saw a man walk into the kitchen. Shortly afterwards, we heard someone whistling. We all just assumed it was someone from one of the other groups, but something about it didn’t sit right with me. I got up to go look and the kitchen was empty.

The only other door in the kitchen led to the basement. As I stood there, the group started up the stairs. They hadn’t seen anyone come down and hadn’t heard the whistling. Our mysterious whistler had vanished!

Traci’s group in the basement of the gym. Photo by Ben Adams.

Basement

Traci led a group in the basement of the gymnasium, which would prove to be the hotspot of the night. Traci did the Estes Method for her groups in the basement. She connected noise cancelling headphones directly to the Spirit Box and blindfolded herself. The group would ask questions to the ghosts in the basement, but Traci couldn’t hear the questions. She would only hear what came through the Spirit Box and would say the responses aloud. Sometimes the questions and responses correlate. Other times, Traci goes into almost a trance state where she begins to see images in her mind, as well as hearing the responses.

(Above) A photo of Traci’s group in the basement after they turned off the lights. Photo by Ben Adams.

First Group

Q: Can you tell us your name?

T: Two, Three, Me.

Q: What about you?

Q: Are you a boy? Are you a girl?

Q: How many are here with us?

T: No. On it!

Q: On what?

T: Dang it!

Q: Did you help build this gymnasium?

Q: What is your name?

T: Over

Q: How long have you been here?

T: Feels like it. What? I’m right here!

Q: How old are you?

T: No. You can see me. Where you stand.

Q: Where are you standing?

T: I see. Stick around.

Q: How many of us are down here? Can you see us?

T: yes

Q: Where are you?

T: Why?

Q: We’d like to see you.

T: gun. Three one.

Q: Did you own a gun?

T: In here

Q: Are you a hunter?

T: reality

Q: Can you do something to let us know you’re here?

T: In the room

Q: What room?

T: No

Q: Do you play here?

T: The inner

Q: do you have any friends here?

T: There are four now

Q: Are they all male?

T: Right

Q: Are you the tallest of the four?

T: Bad

Q: Are you from New Harmony?

T: The front door

Q: What about the front door?

T: We’re opening

Q: You’re opening the door?

T: In the theater

Q: Which theater?

T: I know that

Q: What do you know?

T: (as a side note, at 7:45, tap me on the knee) She wanted them to let her know.

T: No (This made everyone laugh)

T: Run

Q: Why do we need to run?

T: You’re right there

Q: Where you married

T: I don’t know you

Q: I’m Sandy. I’m from Massachusetts. I’m here visiting Joni.

T: make up something

T: I drowned. Bodies.

Q: Where are the bodies?

T: letter. Uh hu. Right there. Now. I feel. Cold.

Q: Is there anything we can do to help you?

T: Remember

T: I matter

Q: Yes, you do

T: In the tree

Q: What’s in the tree?

Q: do you want to tell us your story to insure your story stays alive

T: You know it. There. Oh no. I feel that.

Q: What do you feel?

T: Can’t beat them.

T: Hey. I’ll keep it.

Q: What will you keep?

T: I don’t want it. Stay away from me.

Q: Are there still four of you?

T: Well, thank you!

Q; You’re welcome, even though I don’t know what I’m thanking you for

T: They’re laughing

T: The light

Traci took off the blindfold and headphones. Ben Adams had been walking around with an SLS camera and gave them a demonstration of how it works. It uses Xbox technology, which maps the room and picks up on ghosts, displaying them on the screen as stick figures. Ben said he got something. When they were talking about a child, he picked up on a small figure.

Traci said there was a man who wasn’t happy they were down there.

(Above) The basement. Photo by Joni Mayhan.

Second Group

Traci explained the Estes Method and then got started with the second session.

Q: Is there anyone here with us?

T: Alex

Q: Hello, Alex. Are you from New Harmony?

T: Stop it!

T: Here

Q: Are you a little boy?

Q: Are you going to show yourself?

T: No

T: My name’s Gordon

Q: Hello, Gordon. Are you an old man?

T: Hey

Q: Hey! Is this Gordon? Where did you go to school?

T: We’re faithful. Exactly!

Q: How many of you are here with us, Gordon?

Q: Are you making those noises?

T: Behind you

Q: What are your favorite pies for Thanksgiving?

T: Is that you?

Q: It’s Sandy

T: please. No.

T: Quiet. It’s going fast. Father Rapp.

Q: What’s going fast?

T: Good show!

Q: Are we entertaining you?

Q: Can you walk through the green dots?

T: East then. I will not go.

T: I heard.

Q: What did you hear?

Q: Did you like plays?

T: One. That’s all.

Q: What does one mean?

T: Why?

Q: You said one. I was just wondering what you meant.

T: Forget it

T: Don’t know. Go again. (groups were switching out). It’s going to rain.

Q: Do you like it when it rains?

T: Get up.

Q: Are you telling us to get up?

T: A little.

T: My name.

Q: Can you tell me your name?

T: Help me. It was.

Q: How can we help you?

T: Don’t.

T: Coming. And then what?

Q: Does anyone have any questions?

T: Yup. I’m American. Ground.

Q: Do you know where your family is?

T: Ed

Q: Is Ed related to you?

T: Move

Q: How can we help you? We want to help you.

T: Oh yeah. Nothing.

Q: Do you like it when people come to visit you?

T: Fire. There was just a scream. Run!

T: It’s awful. Well. You were.

Q: You were what?

T: There. Um ha

Q: We’re so sorry it was awful.

T: Hi. Can’t go. I was looking.

Q: What were you looking for?

T: Do WHAT?

Q: Were you looking for family?

T: Okay. Yellow.

Q: Is that your favorite color?

T: Man. Get a hold of it!

Q: Is this someone new?

T: It’s me!

Q: Gordon? Alex? Who’s here now?

Traci took off the blindfold and headphones. She said one of them was sarcastic and he was talking over a female voice that was trying to come through. She said towards the beginning, one of them told them to “fuck off.” There was a child in the group, so she didn’t say it aloud at the time.  She felt there was a grumpy one down there.

Sandy had been running the SLS camera and informed the group that there were stick figures floating around above the group for most of the session.

Several guests remarked that it felt very heavy there, very sad.

Third Group

Traci explained the Estes Method to her third group and then they got started with the session. Donna Tilly had her Flir Thermal Imaging Camera and she let someone from the group use it while she used the SLS camera.

Donna saw people on the floor on the SLS and showed the group. Then they disappeared.

Q: What’s your name? Where are you from? Do you live here?

T: There. I am!

Q: Where’s there?

T: In the back

Q: In the back of the basement?

T: Do you see me?

Q: I don’t see you. Can you come closer?

Q: Are you alone here?

T: I did it

Q: What did you do?

Q: Are you male? Are you female?

T: Going down

Q: Going down where?

Q: Do you stay down here?

T: Hey!

Q: Can you walk through the light grid?

Q: How old are you?

Q: Do you have friends here? Family?

T: Don’t do it

Q: Don’t do WHAT?

Q: Do you like answering our questions?

T: What?!

Q: Do you recognize anyone? Where are you at?

T: Later.

T: In the storm

Q: What happened in the storm?

T: You know.

Q: Tornado?

Q: Do you like it down here?

Q: Did you come down here after the storm?

T: yeah. There. A long time. So sad.

Q: Did someone come here with you?

T: Where were we? My favorite.

Q: Your favorite sibling?

Q: Do you miss the school being here? What do you want to talk about?

T: I do.

Q: Were you married.

T: Once

Q: Did you have kids?

T: Long time.

Q: How long were you married?

T: Help me

Q: What can we do?

Q: Do you stay here?

T: Indeed. Over there.

Q: Can you come over here?

T: yes. Everything’s coming together!

Q: What can we do for you?

T: Hey! One time. Ouch!

Q: What kind of job did you have?

T: There it comes again. You can come here.

T: Evil

Q: What’s evil?

Q: What’s your talk about?

T: You don’t know?

Q: I don’t

Q: Do you remember the explosion across the street?

T: All are gone.

Q: How many are left?

T: Regardless. Oh no! We’re here. Whoops!

Q: Who’s here?

Q: Do you like that bell (bell started ringing)?

T: I’m coming

Q: Can you come talk to us?

T: What’d you say?

Q: Can you come talk to us?

T: Two or three

Q: Two or three are here? (Donna asked this)

T: What? You bitch!

Q: Besides “ghosts” is there anything you’d like to be called? (child asked – very good question!)

T: Yes. It’s good.

Q: Ghost is good?

T: Night. That’ll work. I never.

Q: Never what?

T: Try

Q: Try what?

Traci took the blindfold and headphones off. She said they have one rude ghost that cussed at everyone. She told them how the last group was told to “fuck off.” Those words aren’t allowed on broadcast radio. Ben reported that he saw two ghosts in the front room. One was tall and one was short.

Annex Building

(Above) One of Jason’s groups in the Annex Building. Photo by Ben Adams.

Jason led groups in the Annex Building, which is attached to the gymnasium. He told the group to be alert to the room around them and to not watch the equipment. Several years ago during an investigation, I witnessed a little boy popping out of the bathroom door. Nobody in my group saw it because they were watching the equipment.

First Group

Jason started them off with dowsing rods and showed them how to use them.

  • They are happy
  • They are not alone
  • They were talking to a girl
  • She’s wearing a dress
  • She’s between 8 and 12 years old
  • She lives in the building
  • She enjoys the weddings and reunions held in the building
  • She likes to play games

Bell rang. As they changed groups to go up to the attic, Jason talked to the group about how frequently children have been seen there. Ben then came into the room and showed them the SLS camera and demonstrated it.

  • The one they were talking to isn’t alone
  • They were talking to a child
  • They were talking to the little boy
  • He likes to play ball

They had a ball and tried to get the boy to knock the ball across the room, but nothing happened.

  • He said he would reveal himself to the group tonight

The session ended and the group was moving onto the basement.

(Above) One of Jason’s groups in the Annex Building. Photo by Ben Adams.

Second Group

After explaining all the equipment, Jason got started with his session. The bell rang as they got started. He also explained how the chairs can actually be used for communications. They make a ticking sound long after someone gets up. They started off with the Spirit Box, but they didn’t have any better results than I had in the gym. Ben was roaming around with the SLS camera and showed them how it worked. They then moved onto using dowsing rods. The group didn’t always announce the answers the rods gave. I only included the responses I could hear on the recording.

  • They liked the school dances
  • They watch over the children
  • Ghosts like to stay at the Benton house
  • They remember Elizabeth Benton
  • They know the little boy who is there

They tried the Spirit Box again, but had no luck. The session ended and the group headed to the basement after a short break.

(Above) Two guests working with the pendulum during one of the breakout sessions in the attic.
Photo by Ben Adams.

Third Group

  • There was a boy there with them
  • He’s under ten years old
  • He likes dogs
  • He has brothers
  • He has sisters
  • He liked school
  • He liked reading books
  • He didn’t like to play tag
  • He likes horses, playing games, music and singing

Bell rang. The groups switched out for the expanded areas. Jason mentioned that he saw a shadow move across the door.

  • He had a dog and a lot of friends
  • There are other children there
  • He knows the little girl who is there
  • The little girl is not his sister

As the session was coming to an end, my recorder caught the whistling sound that my group heard in the gymnasium. No one in Jason’s group heard it.

Overview

It was an interesting investigation. All of the groups got the same responses without any prior knowledge of what the group before them discovered. From what we know, here is who was there with us:

  • A little boy who was around 10 years-old.
    • He had a sister, but it wasn’t the little girl who was there
    • He also had a brother. Neither sibling was there.
    • He liked ball, dogs, games (except for Tag)
    • He liked school, reading, music and singing
  • A little girl between the age of 10-12 years-old
    • She was wearing a dress
    • She lives in the building
    • She likes playing games
  • A woman who was between 15 and 20 years-old
    • She had a child, but wasn’t married (she told one group she was married). She wouldn’t talk about the child.
    • She can leave to visit family members who are still alive
    • She likes the weddings and receptions
    • She doesn’t like Christmas, but does like Halloween
    • She didn’t have any pets
    • No family members were there with her
    • None of the other ghosts there were her friends
    • She likes the weddings and receptions
    • She went to school in New Harmony
    • She didn’t have any pets
  • A man – no age was determined
    • He didn’t work there and wasn’t married
    • He gave us no further information. He only popped in one time.
  • A man in the basement
    • He drowned
    • He might have been there during the Harmonist period, because he talked about Father Rapp.
    • He didn’t move East with the group, but knew they were going (was he already dead?)
    • He had children a long time ago
    • He wanted help, but didn’t respond to offers of assistance
    • A grumpy man in the basement
    • He swore a lot and didn’t seem to like women
    • He wouldn’t provide any other information
  • A woman in the basement
    • Not a lot of details were provided about her. The men kept talking over her.
  • Possibly one more male. They said there were four of them and Traci heard several male voices.
(Above) The fabulous Haunted New Harmony team.
(L-R) Donna Tilly, Traci Hoehn, Ben Adams, Sandy MacLeod, Jason Nelson, Joni Mayhan, Paula Bundy

Thank you to everyone who came out to investigate with us. Special thanks to my team who literally made this possible!

Community House #2 Investigation 10-23-21

Community House #2 is one of my favorite historic locations in the town of New Harmony, Indiana. It was built in circa 1820 by a group called the Harmonists, who were led by Father Georg Rapp. The building served as a meeting house, as well as a dormitory for the single members of their group.

While they were prosperous, the Harmonists only remained in the town they named Harmonie for ten years. Before they relocated back to Pennsylvania to start their third and final Utopian Society, they sold the town to a man named Robert Owen. His version of Utopia was vastly different from the hard-working, religious Harmonists. His vision for the town was to turn it into a “New Moral World,” focusing on education, social reform and scientific studies.

While Owen’s utopia only lasted for two years, the strides they made planted seeds which would continue to flourish decades, if not centuries, after the group disbanded. Wanting education to be readily available, Community House #2 became a school for children of all ages. Years later, the building was used for a variety of purposes, including a cigar factory, a tea room, boarding house and furniture store. As we’ve found from previous investigations, many of the occupants never left the building.

After a brief presentation on the history of the building, we divided into three groups. I led the investigation on the first floor, while Rosie Benton took the second floor, and Traci Hoehn held court on the third floor.

First Floor

I had planned on utilizing a variety of equipment during my sessions, but the Spirit Box was so active, I ended up sticking with it. A Spirit Box is basically a modified radio that scans rapidly through the channels, only landing on each station for a fraction of a second. The ghosts in the area are able to speak through the white noise, allowing us to communicate with them in real time.

It’s been several years since we’ve investigated the building, so I believe it took them a while to warm up to our equipment. During my first group, we heard a variety of responses, but many of them were too muddled to fully understand. Finally, towards the end of the session, someone asked, “Did you work here?” The response was clear. “We did,” they said.

One guest asked if they had any children. A female responded with, “He didn’t.” This was curious because the male didn’t answer for himself.

Another guest asked if they liked to cook. A female voice came through loud and clear. “So close to me.” Was she referring to her love of cooking, or was someone close to her? We didn’t get any clarification.

The second group came in after a quick break, ready to investigate. They had a bit more success with the Spirit Box. The ghosts were getting warmed up.

During a large portion of the second session, there was a strange humming sound recorded on the digital recorder. We didn’t hear it at the time, which makes it a true EVP. An EVP is a ghost voice spoken at a different frequency than what our ears can pick up, but is recorded on the digital recorder.

Someone asked if they enjoyed cooking and a female responded with, “It was sustenance.” This was something that resonated deeply with me. She might have spent hours slaving over a hot pot or stove, depending on the era, to make sure everyone had enough to eat. It wouldn’t be remotely similar to our modern cooking routines.

Another guest asked if they ever look out the windows. A somber male voice came across with a touch of sarcasm in his voice and said, “Yeah.” There was a slight question to his tone, as if implying that everyone looks out windows. Sometimes I think they get annoyed by our questions.

I don’t recall my group being overly tense, but the ghosts were picking up on this. One of them exclaimed, “What a tense group!” Then later, another said, “A little tense,” when asked about his favorite time of the year.

Someone asked if the little boy was with us and a female voice said, “Florence Penny.” I was unable to find any information on this name, but it may come up at a later date.

The best experience the second group had was when one of the guests asked if they could play the game “Hot and Cold.” If the ghost was close, she asked him/her to say, “Hot,” but if they were far away, they were to say, “Cold.” We got an immediate response. “Little hot,” a male voice said. It sounded like the same man who told us he liked to look out the window.

Normally, in investigations like this, the ghosts are worn out by the third session and the responses are few and far between. This wasn’t the case for Community House #2. They were only getting warmed up.

My third group had quite a bit of activity too. Someone asked if there had ever been a fire there. A male voice responded with, “You’re a teenager!”

Someone else asked if the ghosts were in front of them or behind them. A female voice surprised us all by telling us, “Above you.”

Knowing the town newspaper was once printed in the building, one of our guests told them she was waiting for a newspaper. “It’s coming,” a female voice told her.

It’s possible they were beginning to tire of our questions. When one of the guests asked if we were talking to a child, a male voice said, “Stop your asking!”

Someone asked if anyone was there with him, and a male voice told her, “Cody.”

(Above) One of the breakout sessions on the first floor

Second Floor

Rosie Benton led the groups in dowsing rod sessions. As we’ve seen in previous investigations, some people are instantly good at using the rods, while others just can’t seem to make them work.

Over the course of the night, groups filtered into the second floor room that was once one used for lodging, both during the Harmonist period and later, when it was a boarding house. We used another adjoining room for “breakout sessions,” putting two or three people alone in the room with a pendulum.

Many people connected with the little boy who roams the hallways and several others connected with a woman whose timeline there was unspecified. Several people connected with departed loved ones, while others learned about the history of the building. One curious thing happened during one of the breakout sessions. Two men and a woman went into the other room. As they were finishing, one of them saw a dark shadow sweep across the wall beside him. It caused his EMF meter to flash red. He then felt something sit on the old straw mattress beside him. It was enough to cause him to jump up, startled.

All in all, everyone enjoyed their dowsing rod session with Rosie Benton.

Third Floor – written by Traci Hoehn

This third floor of Community House 2 is always active for our investigations, and this investigation was no exception.  Throughout the night we experienced what seems to be an intelligent haunting, meaning a ghost who is aware of us and can communicate with us, through the dowsing rods and the spirit box.  While using the spirit box, Traci utilized the Estes Method.  This means that the spirit box was run through earbuds, then noise blocking headphones are put on, and finally an eye mask is put on.  This means the listener has no awareness of the questions being asked.  Instead, the listener just says what they hear out loud to the group.  This method cuts out incorrect interpretations due to expected answers.

With the dowsing rods, all three groups had some activity.  In the first session, group three was speaking with a man who lived in the building on the second floor.  He came with the Owen group and was a teacher.  He came to New Harmony with a wife and children.  He also denied that the children were well behaved.  He loved teaching and reading.  Interestingly, only women had success with the dowsing rods in this group.  During the second session, group two spoke with a female Harmonist.  She came from Germany on a boat and had family and children here.  This ghost also affirmed she was here when the support beam broke during a previous investigation.  The third session with group one was the least productive dowsing session.  They had very few responses, but the ghost did affirm that they ran the printing press and printed a lot of newspapers.

The ghosts seemed to become more comfortable with the Estes method as the night progressed.  The first session may have been talking to a ghost named Nick.  When they asked if they were still talking to Nick, the ghost proclaimed “My friends!”  There was also some communication with a teacher from the Owen period.  The funniest interaction for this session came at the very end.  Joni came upstairs to announce break time.  When she came into view of the group, the ghost shouted, “It appears!”  By the time the second session rolled around, the ghosts had gotten the hang of spirit box communication with several intelligent exchanges taking place.

Four distinct voices came through the spirit box during the second session.  One of them worked for the newspaper and another spoke French.  Yet another left us stumped by talking about a fire saying: “We left it burning.  Hours ago.”  That voice also spoke about girls being in the room going back and forth.  Three of the ghosts introduced themselves during this session saying “I’m Jackson,” “I’m Nick,” and “I’m Allan.”  One of the ghosts had quite a sarcastic attitude.  After a lull the following exchange took place:

                Guest: Do you still want to speak with us?

                Ghost: You

                Guest: Do you live here?

                Ghost: This is a place.

                Guest: Did you live on this floor? 

Ghost: When it’s time. And it’s moving.

                Guest: Did you work on this floor?

Ghost: I’m done.  The last one. It’s time.

                Guest: Time for what? 

Ghost: Over there. Drowned.

                Guest: Who drowned? 

Ghost: Well, look at you.

The exchange was fast paced, and the ghost seemed to be challenging the more direct questions with sarcasm.  The most surprising responses during this second session had to do with the movements of those sitting in the circle.  At one point two people adjusted in their seats, to which the ghosts said, “Move more.”  A later exchange via the spirit box proved to be more interesting:

                Ghost: Go down.

                Guest: Go down to what?

                Ghost: You go down.

                Guest: Do you want me to go downstairs?

                Ghost: See.

The guest then got out of his seat and walked towards the stairs, pretending he was going to go down.  When he returned to his seat, the ghost seemed unhappy.

                Ghost: Do it!

The third session was just as fruitful as the second session.  The name Jack came through and he told the group that he was sick and died of the flu.  He seemed more forlorn than the previous ghosts and expressed that he felt regret during his death.  Jack wasn’t without humor though.  One guest asked if Jack liked Rock and Roll which was met with a swift ‘No.”  They followed up by asking if Jack even knew what Rock and Roll was.  The spirit box replied, “This is it,” which was followed by a loud bang of the elevator, causing quite a startle in the group.  Perhaps the alarm was warranted as the voices through the spirit box kept warning of a man standing behind them, asserted they were armed, and kept saying “Watch out!”  The ghosts tried to keep the last group on track during the session.  While the group was discussing the warnings, the ghost said, “Of course it’s Nick.”  Someone then asked the ghost to describe Nick, to which the replay was, “Hey! Nobody cares now.” During a later lull in the conversation and questions the ghost also encouraged the group to “keep going.”

Overall, the use of the Estes method was quite successful for the night.  While the names, Jackson (Jack), Nick, and Allan came up throughout the night, we will need to do further research on two of those names.  The third, Nick, may be associated with one of the formed printers, Harry “Nick” Slater.

Overview

(Above) one of the breakout sessions in the old print shop

Community House #2 never disappoints us. The souls who linger there are always eager to communicate with us and share small details of their lives. We are grateful for the experience.

Thank you to everyone who came out! And thanks to my amazing team for making it happen!

(Above) Joni and Traci

Antique Emporium Investigation Review 2-29-2020

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The haunting at this Southern Indiana antique store is legendary.

When Paula Alldredge opened Antique Emporium nine years ago, ghosts weren’t something she thought about. This changed quickly as the haunting began presenting itself. The first occurrence happened as she and one of her vendors stood at the front of the store just before closing time. Paula had installed a security camera that looked down the main aisle of the store. As they stood there, thinking about closing shop for the day, they both saw a woman in a long black dress cross the aisle. Thinking it was a customer, Henry went back to politely tell the customer they were closing for the night. He looked around everywhere, even down in the basement, but the shop was empty.

Since that experience, many other strange happenings have occurred in the building. Vendors began complaining that their merchandise was moved overnight to other vendor’s booths. An entire rack of postcards was shaken violently, sending postcards all over the store one night and a doll in the window was launched ten feet across the store, going over the head of one of Paula’s employees.  Paula was hoping we could find some answers and we did.

Twenty guests showed up for the investigation and were divided into two groups. The first group stayed upstairs with Joni and used the Spirit Box and dowsing rods to communicate with the dead that linger there. A Spirit Box is a modified radio that scans rapidly through the stations, allowing ghosts to use the white noise to vocalize words and sentences in response to our questions. In the basement, Traci Hoehn and Crystal Folz led a group and demonstrated the Estes Method, which also uses a Spirit Box. Instead of listening to the box on a speaker, Traci wore noise-cancelling headphones and a blindfold while listening to the Spirit Box. Guests asked questions and Traci called out what she heard come through the box. As we’ve found, Traci often goes into almost a trance state while she’s doing the Estes Method, giving her a clearer picture of the haunting.

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Upstairs – Group One

Paula, Deb, Rick, Karen, Tammy, Betty, Donna, Brenda, Tara, CA, Heather

We started off with a Spirit Box session. While it was running, we went around the room and introduced ourselves. As soon as we finished, we heard a bang behind the group. I acknowledged the sound and then we got our first response for the night. Deb, who works in the store thought it came from behind her and then a voice rang out, saying, “Deborah.” Deb is one of the people who has had experiences at the store, so it didn’t surprise me they would call out to her.

 

Rick asked if they could show him which shelf belongs to his wife and grandson. A female came through and asked, “More than one?” and then a male said, “Shelf.”

Someone else asked if they ever leave the building and a female responded with, “I have.”

I then moved to dowsing rods. As we started, we heard a strange noise from the light fixture hanging above us. Paula said they hear strange noises like that frequently. We then noticed one of the baskets hanging from the ceiling was swaying back and forth. As we pointed it out, another one started moving, as well.

  • Her name is not Bebe
  • Is female
  • She wasn’t born in New Harmony
  • She was born in the nineteenth century
  • She wasn’t an animal lover

At that moment, the REM pod device on my Mel Meter went off. You have to literally break the field around the antenna to make it go off. We had it sitting up high on a shelf in the middle of our group.

  • She was married
  • She had children

I pointed out that I could feel the woman in the room and asked if anyone else felt it. Two others said they did, one feeling as though the ghost was right behind her.

  • She moves things in the store

I went back to the Spirit Box. My first question garnered an answer. I asked if she could tell us her name. A female voice told me, “I did.” We must have missed it if she did.

I asked if they ever follow Paula home and a male told me, “Can’t get this.”

Sometimes we will get an actual EVP during a Spirit Box session. An EVP is a ghost voice whispered directly into the recorder. It doesn’t come through the radio. When I asked who their favorite person in the room was, I heard a whisper come after the question. I had to slow it down and amplify it, but I think I hear, “Grandpa.” You be the judge.

Paula asked if they knew Fred, but didn’t get a response. When she asked if they knew Carl, a male voice said, “Yeah,” without much enthusiasm. Both men were former owners of the building. They have both passed away.

Years ago, Deb was sitting at the counter and watched as the plunger on the hand sanitizer bottle in front of her depressed, causing the liquid to pour out onto the counter. She asked if they had their finger on the hand sanitizer bottle that morning and a woman came through, saying, “I did.”

Someone asked, “What is your favorite thing in this store?” A male voice answered, “Grocery.” This was interesting to me because we believe the entire building, including the store next door, used to be a grocery store over a hundred years ago. I hadn’t disclosed that information to the group yet either.

Someone asked if they ever went fishing on the river and a male said, “I did.”

We had a few minutes left, so I asked a few questions. At times, it sounded like I was getting responses, but most of them were too garbled to make out later. The one question I really wanted to know was who Bebe was. We know that’s not her real name. It’s just a nickname they made up for her. When I asked, a male voice came through with a chilling challenge. “Come get me,” he told me.

I passed to Karen, who was sitting next to me, and she asked if they knew any of the Owen family. The same male voice told us, “I did.” She then asked if they knew Robert Dale Owen and it vaguely sounded like he said, “yeah,” so she asked what he was famous for. After a long pause, it sort of sounded like someone said, “Aruba,” which made no sense to me.

Paula asked if she ever lived next door. A female told her, “I haven’t.”

When it was Rick’s turn, he asked if they could make some of the lights come on in the back. A male voice came through and said something. At the time, I thought he said, “What a joke,” but as I slowed down the audio and listened more carefully, it sort of sounds like he says, “Why don’t you?” This seemed to be the theme of the night.

We were getting responses. We just couldn’t make most of them out. This makes sense to me on many levels. This is the first time the ghosts there have attempted to communicate through a Spirit Box. And it’s only the second time anyone has attempted to communicate with them during an investigation. It might not be an easy process for them to master instantly.

IMG_20200229_205656Second Group

Emily, Hannah, Andrea, Rosemary, Ben, Billy, Steven, Chad

After a fifteen minute break, we switched groups. The group who just spent time in the basement joined me upstairs. I turned on the Spirit Box to start the session. We went around the group but didn’t really get anything substantial. A lot of the responses were too faint to make out. We then moved to dowsing rods.

  • There is a woman with us
  • She is not alone
  • There is a male with her
  • There aren’t more than two of them
  • The man in the basement isn’t angry
  • The woman isn’t in charge
  • We were talking to the male
  • He’s not in charge either
  • They take turns and have different areas they’re in charge of
  • He’s not in charge of the basement – the woman is in charge there
  • The woman is young, not old
  • She’s tied to one of the artifacts in the building
  • It’s an artifact in the Civil War room
  • She was alive during the Civil War era
  • They were speaking to the man

I left the group to go down to the basement to take a few pictures. While I was gone, they continued with the dowsing rod session. I wasn’t there to verify this, but they might have captured an EVP. Someone asked if the man was originally from New Harmony and a whispery voice said, “No, they’re not.” Someone else coughed right afterwards and they marked it for the audio, so I would think they would have marked the whisper too if it were one of the group. The rods responded with no, which further validates.

  • The woman didn’t want to talk to them any longer
  • The man is not from the Civil War
  • He’s not forty years old
  • He never had a horse
  • He’s not an atheist – wouldn’t answer if he was religious
  • He’s Catholic
  • He attended college

We went back to the Spirit Box. I started off the session talking about pets. I told them I’ve been feeding a wild raccoon on my back porch and asked if they knew what I named her. A voice said, “Eddie,” which was a name, but it wasn’t the correct name. I’ve been calling her Petunia.

I then asked if they knew what color my car was, telling them they could see if from where we were. A faint voice came through and said, “it’s red,” which was correct.

Someone asked if the woman was the famous Bebe we’d been hearing about. A male voice came through and asked, “Who’s Bebe?”

I asked if she liked the name Bebe and we heard a faint female voice say “No.”

The session came to an end.

Civil War Room

During the upstairs investigation, we sent guests two at a time to the Civil War room at the back of the store. They used a pendulum to communicate with the ghosts. Many felt this was the most active location of the building. Here are some of the responses they got.

First Group – Randy and Donna

  • There was a soldier in the room with them
  • That’s one of his favorite jackets
  • Those were his coins
  • He was 19
  • He likes his stuff being displayed
  • He’s glad they’re visiting
  • He remembers her from earlier today, but doesn’t remember Randy
  • He was born in New Harmony
  • He doesn’t remember Robert Owen
  • He likes the way the town looks now
  • He can move things around and does it a lot
  • When they asked if he could move something now, they got a “maybe”
  • He doesn’t like the experiment they’re doing in the basement
  • When asked if he liked the spirit box in the front of the store, they got a “maybe”
  • He can see them

Second Group – Heather and CA

  • Not a child
  • Didn’t have any children
  • Was married
  • Was born in New Harmony
  • Not a teacher
  • Had a farm
  • Didn’t grow vegetables
  • Fought in the Civil War
  • Leaves the building sometimes
  • Not his favorite building in town
  • Doesn’t like the tavern
  • Visited Community House #2 last year when they were there for an investigation
  • He remembers them from their visit to the store last year
  • He doesn’t remember Heather from when she grew up in town

IMG_20200229_194301Third Group – Paula and Deb

All questions were directed to Bebe

  • They aren’t invading her privacy
  • She’s enjoying this
  • She’s not there by herself
  • She likes throwing things onto the floor
  • She doesn’t have a boyfriend
  • The guy from the other day was her friend
  • She never goes home with Paula
  • She never lies
  • She hasn’t always lived there
  • She knows Fred
  • She knows Carl (Fred’s dad)
  • She doesn’t like everyone who works there
  • She likes Paula (no answer on Henry or Bob)
  • She likes throwing stuff on the floor
  • She likes scaring people

Fourth Group – two women who didn’t identify themselves

  • There’s an article there that belongs to him/her
  • He fought overseas
  • They were talking to a male
  • There was only one person with them

Fifth Group – Donna and Betty

  • He can see them sitting there
  • He likes the things in the room
  • Those are some of his/her favorite things
  • He was born in New Harmony
  • He is a male
  • He likes being in the building
  • Donna didn’t buy any of his coins earlier that day
  • He can leave and go to other buildings in town
  • He never goes to the river
  • He had a garden
  • No answer on any vegetables he might have grown
  • He didn’t can vegetables
  • He liked sauerkraut
  • He wasn’t a good cook
  • He believed New Harmony was Utopian
  • He came there to be with one of the Utopian groups
  • He answered “yes” and then “no” to the question “Are you here now?”

Group Two

Sixth Group – two women (unidentified)

  • There was a man with them
  • He’s the same man who was in the basement
  • Wouldn’t answer if he was the one making everyone sick in the basement
  • There’s also a woman there
  • She’s the one they call Bebe (slow yes)
  • She doesn’t like the name Bebe
  • She would like to be called something else
  • She likes it when customers come into the store
  • She doesn’t want to hurt anyone when she throws things
  • She throws things because she’s angry or upset
  • She will stop throwing things if they stop calling her Bebe (big yes)
  • They encouraged her to say her name into the digital recorder, but she didn’t

Seventh Group – Ben and Billy

  • They were talking to a man
  • He fought in a war
  • He’s older than 20 years old
  • He’s older than 40 years old
  • He’s not from New Harmony
  • He’s from Indiana
  • He’s from Southern Indiana
  • He can see the group in the basement
  • He wasn’t down in the basement with them earlier

Ben saw a shadow move across the room. As he was talking about it, he felt something touch him.

  • The uniform to Billy’s right belonged to the male in the room with them
  • The picture next to his uniform does not belong to his lady

Eighth Group – Rosemary and Andrea

  • They asked some excellent questions, but either didn’t receive any responses or didn’t say the responses aloud. All I could hear on the audio recorded were their questions.

IMG_20200229_205733Ninth Group – Emily and Hannah

  • Is connected to an item in the room
  • They were talking to a male
  • He was in a war
  • He was married
  • He didn’t have any children
  • He doesn’t remember her name
  • His name isn’t Matthew
  • He was the only one in the room with them
  • He wants to be friends with them
  • He’s older than fifty years old
  • There’s more than one person in the building
  • He’s friends with them
  • He had friends in the war
  • He wasn’t a nurse
  • He had many jobs while at war
  • He enjoys their company
  • He isn’t from New Harmony
  • He’s from Indiana
  • He knows Hannah’s name
  • He doesn’t like it that so many people are there
  • He’s not uncomfortable with so many people
  • He’s used to big crowds
  • He never talks or communicates with people in the store
  • He’s afraid to communicate
  • They heard a knock and he confirmed it was him
  • He would like for them to come back and visit
  • They were still talking to the same man as when they started
  • They know her sister’s name
  • He believes in God but hasn’t met Him
  • He had a good life
  • He liked talking to them

IMG_20200229_194416Basement – Group One

Emily, Hannah, Andrea, Rosemary, Ben, Billy, Steven, Chad

Crystal and Traci led a group in the basement. Crystal started out explaining the Estes Method. Traci would wear noise cancelling headphones connected to a Spirit Box. The group would ask questions and Traci would call out what she heard coming across the box. Crystal explained the importance of following the thread of the response. For example, if Traci called out “Murder!” the group should pursue that instead of asking something irrelevant, like “What is your dog’s name?” After the explanations, they got started.

T: Hello

Q: Are you from this area?

Q: Are you a man?

Q: Did you live in this building?

Q: What is your name?

T: Matthew

Q: Hi Matthew! I’m Ben. How old are you?

Q: What year were you born?

Q: What is your favorite season?

T: Move on

Q: Were you married?

Q: Do you have siblings?

Q: Did you have any pets?

Q: Did you have any children?

Q: Did you come here with someone?

Q: Matthew, are you still with us? What year did you live here?

T: Are you here?

Q: Yes, we’re here. Are you married?

Q: Where are you from?

Q: What’s your favorite color?

Q: Did you work in this building?

Q: What is your job?

Q: Did you enjoy reading?

Group started seeing a shadow or mist

T: Hey

Q: Do you want to talk to us?

T: Go in

Q: What do you enjoy to do?

Q: Is there a lady here with you?

T: Like it

Crystal noted that she wasn’t feeling well all of a sudden

Q: Did you like to play sports? Were you an athlete?

Q: Matthew, are you still in the room with us?

Crystal noted that it didn’t feel the same.

Q: Did you go to the river a lot?

Q: Do you like fishing?

Ben saw something in the corner on his SLS Camera. It started waving and dancing.

Q: Did you enjoy gardening?

Q: What did you do every day in your life?

Q: Matthew, did you enjoy art?

Q: Are you someone besides Matthew? Crystal asked.

At that point, Traci took the headphones off. They started feeling lightheaded and sick to their stomach. They wondered if it was because the furnace kept kicking on. Ben noted that everyone started feeling that way when he saw the small figure on the SLS Camera.

IMG_20200229_203452Traci noted that all the voices she was hearing were male voices. A few of them in the beginning were the same male, but then the voices changed. Traci said she didn’t feel it was someone who wanted to come forward.

They then got the dowsing rods out and began a session.

  • There’s someone down there besides Matthew
  • There’s another male there besides Matthew
  • He worked in the building
  • He’s not from New Harmony
  • He lived in the building at one time
  • He’s a child
  • He didn’t go fishing in the Wabash
  • He’s younger than six years old

They could hear the person above them in the Civil War room asking questions to the pendulum and the dowsing rods started answering the questions too.

  • There are adults down there
  • There’s a woman down there too
  • The man and woman were not married to each other

Ben saw a figure sitting on Crystal’s shoulder on his SLS camera. He asked if she felt something and she said she felt a woman near her.

  • The woman didn’t have any children
  • The woman is responsible for throwing objects
  • She doesn’t like that they call her Bebe
  • She likes the sunshine
  • She has friends down there (slow yes)
  • The man was making them sick earlier
  • The man stays in the basement
  • The woman can make the man go away

The session ended and everyone went upstairs for a break.

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Basement – Second Group

Paula, Deb, Rick, Karen, Tammy, Betty, Donna, Brenda, Tara, CA, Heather

The basement is a small, cramped space that is filled with overhead ducts and cement walls. As soon as their group got settled into the ring of chairs, they started in with another Estes Method session. Because the group already investigated one session upstairs, they were well versed on our system and were able to get started quickly.

Traci put on the noise cancelling headphones and the blindfold and started up the Spirit Box. The group began asking her questions.

Q: Are you the woman who was down here earlier?

Q: Does anyone else live down here with you?

Q: Do you ever come upstairs when I work on Fridays?

Q: Are you Bebe? Are you related to Bebe? Do you know Bebe? Do you remember town marshal Scotty?

Q: Have you ever left this building?

T: Red

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(Above) We don’t know if this ties in or not, but earlier in the day, this red book was thrown to the floor.

Q: Were you happily married? How young were you when you got married? How many children did you have?

Q: Can you come closer to the meters on the floor? Is red one of your favorite colors?

Q: What did you do for fun?

Q: Does the man who was down here earlier normally stay upstairs in the War room?

Q: Do you throw things in this building?

Q: Do you like visitors?

Q: Did you like to dance?

T: Look

Q: What do you want us to look at?

Q: Where did you go to dance?

T: said that she felt an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness

Q: Does dancing make you sad?

T: We’re there

Q: Where are you?

Q: Was the dance in New Harmony?

Q: Was the dance hall on Main Street?

Q: Do you know Eugene from down the street?

T: Always. Girl.

Q: What girl? A daughter, a lover, a mother?

Q: Were you dancing at a wedding?

Q: Did you have to work hard?

Q: Did you grow your own vegetables? Did your children help you work? Are you happy now?

Q: Were you born here in New Harmony? Did you come here looking for a better life?

Q: Did you fish in the river? (most popular question of the evening)

Q: Are you feeling really distressed? Crystal asked, watching Traci

Q: Do you like to cook?

Q: Did you live here before the shop opened?

Q: Are you happy that we’re here with you tonight?

Q: Did you have many boyfriends?

T: Over you

T: Something’s wrong with it?

Q: Is it broken? Can you fix it? Can you show it to me?

Crystal noted that the haunting there could be anything. It could be the ghosts lingering there or from one of the many antiques in the building.

T: Hey

Q: Hi

Q: Did you lose a loved one?

T: Maria

Q: Are you Maria?

T: I don’t want it

Q: Did you get rid of something and now it’s here? (Crystal asked)

Q: Did you come in a buggy to the store?

T: Who else?

Q: Did you bring someone with you?

T: I needed it

Q: What was it you needed?

The group discussed what Traci was possibly talking about. Did someone sell something that she was attached to?

T: You probably don’t

Q: Are you Maria?

Q: do you want us to change your name?

Q: Does the name Bebe make you upset?

T: Help me! What are you doing? (male voice)

Q: Are you male who stays in the Civil War room? Are you the male who was making us sick earlier?

T: Walk

Q: I do all the time. Do you see me?

T: Go this way. Help! It’s day time

Q: Is someone trying to hurt you?

Traci noted that she just got a lot colder

Crystal mentioned that everyone was feeling temperature shifts earlier but no one was feeling the same sense of coldness that Traci was feeling.

Q: How can we help you?

T: Your store

Q: What about the store?

Q: Are you afraid of something?

Q: Does the store scare you?

Crystal noted that sitting next to Traci she could feel some of the emotions she was experiencing. She felt completely lost

Q: Do you want to leave the store?

T: Oh shit!

Q: Is someone new with you?

Q: Have you ever lived in one of the other stores?

Q: Are you male?

Q: Are you female?

T: Jump!

Q: Are you jumping?

Q: Are you trying to hurt yourself?

They had a discussion about a rumor that a woman either died or killed herself next door. We couldn’t validate this because we tried to find out years ago.

T: Why’d you do it? I don’t know.

Q: Do you stay here or go to one shop to another?

Q: Did you hurt someone?

T: Please

Q: How can we help?

IMG_20200229_194340Traci took her headphones off then. She was as cold as ice and was shaky. She couldn’t connect a lot of dots. The begging part – the sadness was a woman. Crystal asked her about the red and the dance. Traci felt it was a broken heart, that she was broken hearted. She’s not sure it was related to the later part. The later part was about a male. The help me part. Two different male voices came through. One was the aggressor (possibly law of justice). Could have been murder/victim. She didn’t get a lot after the “jump” part. She didn’t know if it was a cliff or something else, like jump off a chair. She noted that the male was cold, which was why she was cold.

They went to dowsing rods.

  • There was someone down there with them
  • He was male
  • They asked for him to point out where he was standing in the room and the rods pointed straight in front of her.
  • The man who was making everyone sick was the same one who hung out in the Civil War room
  • He’s the one who touched her leg upstairs in the Civil War room
  • The color red means something to him
  • He had to jump
  • He tried to hurt someone
  • He’s been playing with one woman’s hair (she was feeling it during the session)
  • Traci asked if the man who was coming through on the Estes’s name was Joe. Slow yes.
  • Joe loved a woman named Maria
  • There is something there that belongs to Maria
  • Maria and Bebe are the same person
  • Traci asked for the rods to point to where she was standing and it pointed to over her shoulder.

The session ended.

It was an interesting night for us. We learned that Bebe stands for Basement Bitch and that the female who lingered there was understandably not happy with it. Through Traci’s Estes Method, we believe her name is Maria. Now they have a better understanding of their female ghost, they are now going to refer to her as Maria. The male upstairs might be Matthew, but we weren’t as certain about it.

I’d like to thank Paula Alldredge for allowing us to investigate her intriguing store and to everyone who attended. Most of all, thank you to Traci and Crystal for leading the basement session.

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Sneak Peek – Hanover Haunting – The DeAnna Simpson Story

The house at night

Prologue

The night’s horror began with a dream.

DeAnna was a quiet observer in her own bedroom, pinned to the ceiling like a butterfly on a straight-pin, helpless and vulnerable.

Below her, she could see her own body resting on the bed in the spare bedroom. She was lying on her side, like she normally slept. One arm was tucked under the embroidered pillowcase her grandmother made and the other was bent at her side, with only her fingertips poking out from under the covers.

What is going on? Am I sleeping?

Darkness swirled all around her, but she couldn’t move an inch.

As she watched herself from her bird’s eye view, she could see her chest rising and falling, rising and falling, the rhythm growing faster with every breath. She could feel the inhalations fill her lungs, even though she was separated from her body. It was the strangest of sensations. She would have found it fascinating had it not been so terrifying.

What is keeping me pinned to the ceiling?

She tried to move, but her body didn’t respond to the messages her brain sent it. All she could do was watch.

Her heart began pounding faster.

Before she could even react, the room suddenly filled with the stench of death. The putrid malodor of rotten flesh nearly choked her with its intensity. It smelled like a dead animal left out in the broiling sun, so pungent, she could almost taste it.

Shadows rolled through the room, swirling in on themselves and dancing wildly across the walls. When they stopped, she was able to see him standing there beside her bed.

He was massively tall and broad, made of smoke and shadows. If he had a face, it was lost in the darkness. A sense of evil wafted off him, the power and malevolence as strong as the stink of death that surrounded him. Panic speared through her.

Please Lord, make it stop!

He stood there for an eternity, just staring down at her. Her mind spun wildly. He could do anything he wanted to her, and she couldn’t even scream out or call for help. Her husband was sleeping in the upstairs bedroom. If she could scream, maybe he’d hear her, but would he believe her?

Would he tell her it was just a dream like before?

Her sleeping in the guest bedroom was already causing enough strife between them. How could she fully explain the horrors she’d experienced in her own bedroom when he thought she was simply losing her mind?

The entity moved closer to the bed, and the fear filled her whole.

Please don’t hurt me! Please let me wake up!

Without warning, a strong earthy scent filled the room, blocking out the pungent odor of the demon. It smelled like damp soil after a hard rain, the aroma that envelops you when you walk through a deep forest. The dream abruptly ended, and she felt herself sink back into her body, like oil being poured into a bottle. She tried to move, but she couldn’t. Her body was still paralyzed.

There was no doubt in her mind she was fully awake now.  She could hear the sounds of cars whishing by on the street outside and the hum of the refrigerator down the hallway in the kitchen. The wind gusted against the house, making the window rattle like it always did when the weather outside was angry and high-spirited.

Please God. Make it stop!

No sooner than the words rushed through her mind, she felt the unmistakable sensation of iron-hot fingers grazing her cheek.

The heat was intense, traveling through her veins like wildfire burning her from the inside out. She could feel the searing heat roll down her body, filling every blood vessel with fire and embers. The pain became unbearable, maddening. She wanted to claw at her arms and legs, tearing the flesh apart to release the fire, but she couldn’t.

As quickly as it started, the pressure eased and the touching stopped. She opened her eyes, wanting to look beside her to make sure he was gone, but was too terrified to find out. What if he was still there, waiting for her to find him?

She held her breath, listening closely for any sign he was there, but she didn’t hear anything. She still wasn’t able to move, but she could shift her eyes.

Please let him be gone!

It took every ounce of courage she had, but she finally looked.

He was still standing there, watching her.

Their eyes met, and she felt a scream lodge in her throat, silenced by the paralysis. His eyes were unlike anything she’d ever seen before. They almost looked reptilian, lacking any semblance of humanity.

He was going to kill her.

He would pin her to the bed and pull the life right out of her. Her husband would find her body the next morning and not understand what had happened.

God, please help me!

With a creak of bed springs, he sat down beside her and reached out to stroke her face again, his fingers filled with the same fire as before.

“I can feel you,” he said to her in a penetrating voice.

Our Father, who art in Heaven…

His fingers left her face and began exploring her body. As he stroked her skin, his burning touch grew impossibly hotter. She began shaking violently, the only movement she was capable of making. There was no breaking free from him. She knew this with every ounce of her being.

“I can taste you,” he said.

Hallowed be thy name…

She squeezed her eyes shut, her body shuddering uncontrollably as his hands roamed over her skin. The sense of violation was intolerable. He was claiming her. Marking her for future use, toying with her like a predator with its prey until he would finally kill her.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven…

The earthy smell of one of her protectors drifted into the room again and then, just like that, he was gone.

The weight lifted off her body, and she was suddenly able to move again.  Her mind became a wild animal, fighting its way out of a cage. She was instantly ice cold, as all the heat in her veins turned to ice.

She scrambled up out of bed, looking down at the imprint he made when he sat beside her.  She wanted to run until her lungs burst, but where would she go? Would she race up to the master bedroom and wake Tom?

The thought caused her to pause. Tom already thought she was crazy. If she woke him, he’d tell her it was just a dream. Things had been going so well between them lately. She didn’t want to take any chances on ruining it. She stood there in the doorway, paralyzed once more, this time by indecision.

The floor creaked in the corner of the room, and it was enough to jolt her from the doorway. She bolted into the living room where another horror possibly waited for her.

She looked around with wild eyes, expecting to see him there too, but the room was empty.

With trembling legs, she found her way to the couch and curled up in the corner, pressing her knees to her chest in a fetal position. The sobs came quickly, wracking through her body in waves.

Why me? God, why me?

Little did she know but this was only the beginning. Her hell was only getting warmed up.

Ghosts in the Gallery Investigation

Featured

2nd group gallery 5.jpg

We never know what to expect when we walk into a location that has never been investigated before. Will it be active or will it be quiet? Sometimes it’s like rolling the dice. We are always surprised, but we never expected to be as shocked as we were during the Ghosts in the Gallery investigation. Something would happen during the night that would leave us shaken.

The Mason-Nordgauer Fine Arts Gallery in New Harmony, Indiana, is a treat for the eyes. When you first walk through the door,  you will notice the colorful art lining the walls, but soon your eyes are drawn to the architectural details of the nineteenth-century building. If you are a paranormal enthusiast, you might also wonder if it’s haunted.

It wouldn’t be surprising that ghosts might linger there. The building began its existence as the Centennial Saloon.  Old sepia-tinted photos depict men with bowler hats and long dark jackets lounging at the entrance while horse and buggies approach in the distance.

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(Above) The earliest photo I could find of the building. As you can see, of the buildings that now grace Main Street, it was the first one build on this block. Photo courtesy of Workingmen’s Institute

The building has endured many incarnations since its grandiose beginnings, many of them lost to time. We know the building, or at least half of it, was the location of Heckmann’s Drug Store. When I wrote Haunted New Harmony, I often fell down a rabbit hole during my research. It was difficult not to become enamoured with the characters from New Harmony’s past. Afterall, they were people just like us, living a life of their own creation in a town we still covet.

From Haunted New Harmony:

Louis Heckmann purchased the building in the early 1900’s and opened a successful drug store that operated for many years. The more I researched his life, the more obsessed I became.

Louis Heckman

(Above) Louis Heckman in front of his drug store. Photo courtesy of Workingmen’s Institute

I learned that he was born in 1870 and died in 1958 at the ripe old age of 88. In the years between, he married a woman named Ella and had several children, one of whom worked with him at the pharmacy. He was fond of travel and took several trips on airplanes to visit his grown children in Pennsylvania. Like me, he too was intrigued by the history of the people who lived there before him.

While renovating a Harmonist house, he discovered footprints in the dirt beneath the floorboards that belonged to the Harmonists who built it. Not only were there footprints of people, there were also footprints of cats and dogs, showing that the Harmonists kept indoor pets.

Louis’s store was once the site of a robbery, with the thieves making off with $300 worth of jewelry, watches, fountain pens and money.

We know Louis sold the business in the 1940’s to man named Clyde Ramsey. As I dug into the research, I learned that Clyde committed suicide in the building in 1946. The night before his death, he attended a Masonic Temple meeting in Evansville. When he returned to town, he discovered his soda fountain was broken. Instead of going to bed and worrying about it in the morning, he stayed up all night working on it, not stopping until 5pm the following day when he put a revolver to his head and ended his own life. We have to assume that Clyde had other troubles in his life besides a broken soda fountain, but that information is largely lost to time as well.

We also know that a funeral home existed in the store next-door to the gallery, with the embalming process occurring in the basement. Considering the sheer amount of lives that passed through those front doors, the possibilities for a haunting were endless.

Chelsie, the Gallery Director, told me they often find items moved or disturbed. Sometimes when she comes in, paintings that have been hung and puddied securely to the wall will be hanging eschew. Other times, common items they use in the office will disappear from where she put them and reappear in another location. This phenomena is called apporting. We had a personal experience with this ourselves as we checked out the building prior to the investigation.

As the owner of Haunted New Harmony and the coordinator of all the investigations, I need good people to help me. Because we often divide into two or three groups, I need trained, competent investigators to cover the areas where I can’t be. Two friends who often work my events are Crystal Folz and Traci Hoehn. Both are talented mediums, with Crystal being a full-fledged psychic medium. This allows her to connect with the ghosts of the building and to also tap into the energy that hangs in a space.

I decided to bring both Crystal and Traci to the gallery to see what they felt. I visited the building a few weeks earlier and picked up on an angry man in the back corner of the basement and a playful female who hung around upstairs in the gallery. I was curious to see if they would pick up on the same two ghosts I encountered. As soon as we came in to the gallery area, Crystal sat her bag down on a stool. She collects pins from interesting paranormal locations and pins them to her bag. Traci immediately noticed that one of Crystal’s pins was still missing. One had fallen off several weeks ago, something Crystal told us about over coffee one morning.

“Still haven’t found your pin?” Traci asked.

“Nope. It’s still missing. At this point, it’s probably gone for good,” she said. It was a shame too because it was her favorite and wasn’t easy to replace.

We headed down to the basement to walk the area. While we were down there, neither Crystal or Traci felt the presence of the male I felt there the first time I visited. They both picked up on female ghosts. Was it possible the angry male drifted away or was he hiding from them? We weren’t sure, but we would find out more during the night of our investigation.

After about fifteen minutes, we came back upstairs. Chelsie greeted us as we came into the gallery.

“Does this belong to any of you?” she asked, holding out a pin.

The three of us gasped. It was the pin Crystal lost several weeks ago. Did the gallery ghost, who Chelsie has nicknamed “Karen” retrieve the pin for Crystal? Just the mere thought made our heads spin. Crystal doesn’t live in New Harmony and almost never comes down Main Street. Chelsie found the pin on a piece of art that sat on the counter, something she had just moved there shortly before our arrival. She knew for  a fact the pin wasn’t there before we arrived.

From that experience alone, we knew we’d have an interesting investigation, but we had no idea how fully mind-blowing it would turn out to be.

Eleven guests had signed up for the event and arrived just before 7pm. I gave a brief presentation about the building and what we might encounter. Besides picking up female energy in the basement and in the gallery, Crystal also felt as though performers once spent time there. She saw them getting ready for a production. I don’t know if there were vaudeville acts at the saloon or not, but the information seemed to fit.

Chelsie shared a story with all of us about something strange that recently happened at the gallery. Several weeks prior, she  found a dead bird in the basement. There are no holes in the walls or ways a bird could have gotten down there. They found it to be we strange, but weren’t sure what to make of it.

We broke into two groups. One group headed down to the basement with Crystal and Traci, while the other group stayed upstairs in the gallery with me.

My group worked primarily with the Spirit Box. This is a modified radio that scans rapidly through the radio stations, allowing the ghosts to speak through the white noise. We’ve had amazing results with it at other investigations and would see that happen again at the gallery.

Gallery Investigation

IMG_20191213_193157First Group

Rick Schlegelmilch lives in New Harmony and often helps me with my investigations. When I told him that I didn’t need help this time, he quickly purchased a ticket, not wanting to miss out on the investigation.

Anyone who has investigated with Rick knows he’s going to ask several of the same questions he always asks. He wants to know if the ghosts see him walking past with his little dog Clutch and he also wants to know if they remember Town Marshall Scotty, who is Rick’s brother-in-law. For the first time ever, Rick got a response.  A male voice came through and said “I do.”

Mary Ann Michna, who is a local artist, asked if there was something we could do to help them and the same male voice said, “I’ll take it.”

The speaker for my Spirit Box kept shorting out. If I nudged it, it would start playing normally again. As I leaned down for the fourth time in a matter of minutes, I commented that I wasn’t sure why this was happening. We all thought we heard a response of “That’s nothing,” but on audio review, it sounded more like “Apache,” which makes no sense. As we were commenting on it, the same male said, “That’s nothing” for real this time, repeating what we said.

Mary Ann asked them if they had a favorite person at the gallery. She didn’t get a response, so I jumped in and told her she should ask if they had a favorite artist, knowing her art hangs on the wall there. She laughed and I added, “Hopefully they don’t say something rude,” knowing how ghosts can be sometimes and a male voice agreed with me, “I’m rude,” he said.

Some of my equipment is high tech, but I often use common household items too. For this investigation, I brought a small motion- activated cat ball that lights up when its moved. I put it on the floor in a quiet area that was far away from our investigation. If something nudged it, it would light up. We weren’t sitting for long before it suddenly lit up. It would continue lighting up for most of the night, letting us know we weren’t alone.

As soon as we got started, we began hearing the same male voice come across the Spirit Box. We would occasionally hear a woman’s voice as well, but the male answered most of the questions. He sounded friendly and somewhat intrigued by what we were doing.

Rick asked the male if he ever visits his neighbor in the basement and he told us, “He’s evil.”

I began asking questions about the pharmacy that once occupied the space next door. I knew two of the pharmacist’s names and asked if they remembered them. I didn’t get any clear responses, so I began asking if the pharmacy occupied both buildings instead of just the one. In looking at the old photos, it appears to be one business. I didn’t receive an answer so I asked if they were there when the building was a saloon. At that point, the male called me a “Freak.”

I was sending people back to the storage room, two at a time, to experiment with a pendulum. I realized the first group had been back there for nearly twenty minutes and I wanted others to have a chance to try it, so I went back to get them. While I was gone, Rick asked if they ever visited the doll shop across the street. After he asked his question, a female voice came through clearly and asked, “Who did you like?” It was so clear, it sounded like one of the people in the room speaking.

As Ben and Cheryl came back into the room and two others got up to take their place,  the same female voice asked, “What is your last name?” and then all hell broke loose. A large painting was wrenched off the wall high above us and crashed down, hitting Rick in the process. Ben saw it happening and yelled, “Watch out!” Rick moved just in time to avoid serious injury. His arm was scraped but he was otherwise unharmed. The art was undamaged, however, the wire on the back looked like it had been severed.

Here is the audio we recorded when the painting fell:

Dan Mason, the co-owner of the gallery watched it happen on his security system at home. He said he saw something swirling around on an empty chair and attempted to take pictures of it. Then, seconds later, the painting fell.

I’ve been on over 300 investigations and, trust me when I say this, things like this don’t often happen. It was astounding to me. The energy it took for them to sever through a heavy cord and knock it to the ground was monumental. Most ghosts aren’t capable of this.

We had no idea what caused it. All the voices coming through the Spirit Box were friendly and informational. No one had asked a question that could have been anger inducing. What caused the sudden fit of rage? Was it simply because we were there? We’d find out later that it might be connected to the investigation that was going on in the basement below us.

It took us a while to settle down after that incident. We switched groups at that time.

Second Group

2nd group gallery 2I started off by apologizing to the ghosts of the gallery for anything we might have said or done that angered them. I then asked if they knew who knocked it down. The same male voice we’d been hearing all night said, “From knowing.” That didn’t make any sense to us, so I asked if they knew why it was knocked down. He told us, “The printer was in there.” Neither response was crisp enough to include it here.

It did make me think though. Was the printer the man who hid in the basement? When I first visited the gallery basement, I found him to be angry and reclusive, someone who most definitely didn’t want people in his space. Did he lash out at us for invading the basement by knocking a painting off the wall upstairs? Was I actually the intended target for the painting to fall on? I was sitting next to Rick and the painting landed several feet away from me.

There was a printing press in town at one point, but it was located in Community House #2, a building we’ve investigated extensively. The two printers who primarily operated the press and printed the local newspaper will talk to us frequently when we investigate and are always congenial and chatty. This definitely wasn’t one of them.

I passed to the next person and she asked if he was friends with the lady in the basement. He said, “Tell me now.”

Someone asked if he was there when it was a pharmacy. He asked, “Was this one?” Apparently he didn’t know.

Someone asked if they like Chelsie and a different male voice said, “We like her now.”

John asked if there were more than one of them with us and the same voice from earlier said, “Nice and tall.”

“What happened on Monitor Corner,” I asked, wanting to pin down the time period they were in New Harmony. There were two fires on that corner, one causing a tremendous explosion, but the woman didn’t know or didn’t want to tell us. “Cannot say,” she told me. I went on to explain to the group about what had happened there and the same male voice chimed in. “You forgot the groceries.” This is interesting because Owen Market used to be right across the street, caddy-corner, from Monitor Corner. It’s now the location of Capers Emporium.

I was still trying to determine a timeline for the ghosts. I asked “What did the Harmonists use to insulate their buildings?” The correct answer is Dutch Biscuit, a technique of rolling mud and straw around a board. The woman told me, “They painted.”

We asked a few questions but couldn’t make out the responses. Then, out of the blue, a male asked what sounds like “Did you bring woman?”

John asked about “the gifts” (something they discussed in the basement session) and someone else asked why they hid them. “It’s hard for them,” the man said.

I asked if they’ve ever seen Heaven. As I explained in the session, if they’re there, answering us, they probably haven’t seen Heaven because they’re stuck in our dimension. The man answered us, “I wonder.”

I asked if they ever pull pranks on Chelsie. The response was “I try.”

Lynn asked if they like Dan again and the male said, Go D!” like he was rooting for him.

We went around the room and asked the pie question. I do this during most investigations to lighten the mood. I ask everyone to name their favorite pie. Sometimes the ghosts will pipe in and tell us theirs, but there wasn’t an answer this time.

Angie asked, “Where are you in this room,” and got perhaps the most chilling response of the evening. “Behind you,” the woman said. We all took a moment to look behind her, but didn’t see anything.

Lynn asked if they ever go to the basement and the male answered, “Not much.”

They call their lady ghost “Karen” so I asked if her name was indeed Karen and the male came through again. “I didn’t break it,” he said. Was he talking about the painting?

Someone asked, “How many in the basement?” and a male responded with, “They’re lost.”

The session ended at that point.

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Pendulum Room

We set up a small storage room as a dowsing area. Groups of two went back and asked questions with the pendulum. Ben & Cheryl went first:

  • They were talking to a female
  • She’s 70 years-old
  • She’s married
  • She has children – sons
  • Her name is Karen
  • She likes to sing
  • They got her to knock on the wall
  • She’s originally from New Harmony
  • She had a dog
  • She rode on a wagon for transportation
  • She was around automobiles, but didn’t know what a train was
  • She was once a slave
  • She is tired

I walked back to switch the group out, but the painting fell in the other room before the next group could come in.  After a few minutes, the Keith and his wife went back.

  • She isn’t going to hurt them
  • She’s mad that they’re there messing up her evening
  • She likes beer
  • She is the one who threw the painting
  • It will be safe for them to go into the basement
  • She likes Keith
  • It’s easier for them to talk to Keith
  • They didn’t bring any spirits with them to the investigation

The groups switched floors and the next two people came back to try the pendulum.

  • They were talking to a woman
  • She’s not friends with Erica (a name they learned in the basement session)
  • She’s glad they’re there talking to her
  • She died when she was young
  • She worked there
  • She worked there when it was saloon
  • She wasn’t treated poorly when she worked there. She enjoyed it
  • It wasn’t fun time to work there
  • The other ladies were not her friends
  • She wasn’t the boss
  • She wasn’t a bar maid
  • She wasn’t there when it was a pharmacy
  • Erica isn’t sad or angry

The next two people came back and tried it.

  • She’s not tired of them
  • She lived in New Harmony for a long time
  • Her family is from New Harmony
  • She went to church there
  • She liked New Harmony
  • She was there when it was a saloon
  • She wasn’t happy there
  • She worked – had a job
  • She worked as a prostitute at times at the saloon
  • It was difficult
  • They weren’t nice to her.
  • She doesn’t hate men
  • It wasn’t difficult work
  • She knows it’s no longer a saloon
  • She misses it being a saloon
  • Her name was Suzy
  • She likes being in the building
  • She’s not tired
  • She didn’t have any children
  • She wasn’t married
  • She knows who Joni is
  • She likes Joni
  • She came from somewhere nearby

It was interesting how each group picked up slightly different information. One group pinpointed the woman’s age as 70 years-old, while the other group felt they were talking to a younger woman. It’s possible they were talking to two different ghosts, but it’s also possible that they were getting misinformation from one of them or they were experiencing difficulties with the pendulum. It’s not a scientific device and we know that, but we’ve had a lot of luck uncovering verifiable information by using it.

It was interesting that they were finding some similarities though. None of the groups passed on information to the next group as they switched places. My guess is they were talking to “Karen,” the ghost who often moves items in the gallery.

IMG_20191213_193334Basement

Traci Hoehn and Crystal Folz led the investigation in the basement. For a portion of their allotted time, they conducted the Estes Method. In this experiment, Traci wore noise-cancelling headphones that were attached directly to a Spirit Box. She also wore a blindfold. People in the room asked questions, but Traci couldn’t hear them. Instead, she simply said what she heard come through the box. The importance of this experiment is the elimination of leading information. Sometimes we hear what we want to hear. When we ask a question and hear something that sounds like an appropriate answer, we often jump on it. With the Estes Method, we can’t do this.

Crystal assists Traci in this experiment, insuring the group is asking appropriate questions and isn’t firing them off in rapid-fire sequence. Ghosts need a bit of time to respond, so we always ask that they pause 15-20 seconds before asking the next question. Crystal also watches Traci to make sure she’s okay. While in the Estes Method, Traci often goes into almost a psychic trance. In past cases, she’s actually found herself seeing visions of what she’s also hearing. If she begins to look agitated or seems overwhelmed, Crystal will gently pull her out of the session.

No one had a chance to ask Traci a question before she was off and running.

T: Love it

Q: Did you grow up in New Harmony?

Q: Is your family here?

Q: What date did you last see on a newspaper?

Q: Can you see us?

T: Like you

T: some more then

Q: Are you glad to have us here? What do you like about us?

Q: Do you like that this building is being used as an art gallery?

Q: Did you work or live in this building?

Q: Were you here when they had the battered women’s display? (Several weeks prior to the investigation, the gallery had an exhibit in the basement that delved into Victorian era prostitution. Quite eerily, the story Traci would uncover with the Estes Method mirrored the story the exhibit told. We spent a lot of time discussing this. Chelsie actually wrote the story in the booklet they handed out, telling the story of two prostitutes. She wrote it at the gallery, making us wonder if she had supernatural assistance.)

Q: Do you like the people who come here every day?

(creaking from upstairs)

T: What’s that? No!

Q: If you don’t like the people who work here, what about them don’t you like?

Q: Did you like Christmas time?

Q: Did you work here or did your family own the business?

Q: Can you tell me some of the things this building was used for before?

T: Do it!

Q: Do what?

Q: Was it a bar? Did you perform here?

Q:  What do you want us to do?

Q: Do you have good memories here?

T: Tonight

Q: Good memories when people are here?

Q: What about tonight?

T: When

Q: Are you disturbed by us being here?

T: In general

Q: What makes you uncomfortable? Do you not like having us in your space?

Q: Can you tell me something personal about yourself?

T: Learn

(Joni came downstairs to take pictures)

T: Under

T: You

Q: Did you go to school here?

Q: Was the bridge built during your time?

Q: What was it you want us to learn?

T: One. Uh huh. Same thing. Don’t. Sad.

Q: What are you sad about?

T: I’m…

Q: Do you know about the bird that was found in the basement?

Q: Do you know how the bird got into the basement?

Q: Does this building make you feel sad?

T: Every

Q: Are we upsetting you?

(Crystal noted that the energy in the room was building. It felt as though they were growing agitated.)

Q: Do you need help with something?

Q: Are you okay?

T: Susie. Was here.

Q: Who was Susie?

T: Don’t. Hey.

Q: Hi. Is Susie here right now? Do you like Susie?

Q: Are you Susie? Or was Susie your friend?

Q: Is there a message we can pass on?

T: Hard

Q: What was hard?

T: Erica. (Traci noted that the voice was a woman who was sobbing)

Q: Are you Erica?

Q: Are Erica and Susie related?

Q: How long have Erica and Susie known each other?

T: Forest

Q: Is there a forest you’re thinking about?

Q: Did you like to hike in the forest or did you like to stay in the town?

Q: Did Susie get lost in the forest?

T: Hide!

Q: Susie was hiding in the forest?

Q: Is Erica afraid she lost Susie?

T: It’s not our problem (man’s voice)

Q: Susie hiding from the man?

T: In there

Q: Is Susie hiding in here from the man? Was the man mean?

T: Stay (Traci noted that something kept touching her left side.) Got you.

Q: Did someone take Susie from Erica?

T: Are you free tonight? (man’s voice)

Q: How old are Erica and Susie? Are they friends? Are they family?

Q: Are you scared of the man?

T: Waiting for you

Q: Are you waiting to go out tonight?

T: A man needs gifts. Hiding.

Q: It seems as though something happened in the woods. Can you tell us?

T: Someone.

Q: Did you hide gifts in the woods?

Q: Did this happen when this place was Mr. Heckman’s pharmacy?

T: Rotten

Q: Was Mr. Heckman rotten or was it someone who visited here?

Q: Did you like him?

T: There’s a bunch talking at once

Q: Are there too many voices around?

T: Get them

Q: Get who?

T: So? Great.

(painting fell upstairs at that point)

Q: Did you have anything to do with what happened upstairs just now?

(sound of the cat ball rolling across the floor)

T: Don’t. Famous last words.

Q: Are these multiple people’s stories or one person’s story tonight?

Q: Did you make the painting fall?

(Joni came downstairs at that point to tell them what happened)

T: My memory. It’s wrong. Inbred.

Q: Inbred? What does that mean? What memories are wrong?

T: Here with me

Q: Who’s here with you?

T: A man

Q: Does he make you fearful?

Q: We’re going to be stopping soon. Is there anything else you want to say?

T: That’s it

Crystal then pulled Traci out of the session.  Traci then explained everything she heard and saw. She got really hot and her chest got very tight during the session. She said that women were in the woods hiding from men, trying to get away. She felt they were being used as prostitutes and they were the gifts the men were seeking. It so closely resembled the story Chelsie wrote, it gave us chills. In her story, Chelsie discussed the lives of two women who were forced into prostitution and were abused. Was the energy from this discussion what caused the painting to fall upstairs? We weren’t sure.

2nd group baement 6.jpgThey decided to do a dowsing rod session while Traci recovered from the Estes Method.

Q; Are you still hiding from someone? A: Yes

Q: Does it scare you? A: Yes

Q; Is it a male? A: Yes

Q: Do you feel safe with us? A: no answer

Q: Did you have anything to do with the picture falling upstairs? A: Yes

Q: Is your name Erica? A: Yes

Q: Did a man hurt you in the woods?  No answer

Q; Did you work at the saloon? No answer

Q: Was Susie your friend? No answer.

Q: Did you make the picture fall on a man to hurt him? A: Yes

(Joni came down to get them, but they asked for a few more minutes)

Q: Where are you standing in the room? Rods pointed towards Traci

Q: Were you rubbing Traci’s arm earlier? A: Yes

2nd group basement

Second Session

The guests in the second group were still shaken up by the experience they had in the gallery. During the entire session, Ben kept hearing sounds in the back corner of the room.

T: Hello (female voice that was kind of creepy)

Q: Hi!

T: Ben (male voice)

Q: I’m right here (Ben said)

T: Possibly

Q: Possibly what? (Ben asked) Is this Karen?

Q: Are you alone here?

T: Over there. Sure!

Q: sure, what?

Q: Did you talk to us earlier or are you someone new?

(could hear walking upstairs from the other group)

Q: Do you hear the people walking upstairs?

Q: Are you female?

T: I did it

Q: What did you do?

Q: Do you regret it? Would you do it again?

Q: I’m looking over there. What should I see?

Q: Did you knock the picture off?

T: Read

Q: Read what?

T: My name’s Doreen (different female voice)

Q: Pleased to meet you Doreen

T: Say it

Q: Doreen. Say what?

Q: Doreen’s a pretty name. What’s your last name?

T: Like that

T: The father

Q: What about the father?

Q: Doreen’s father?

Q: Were you here when they had the visiting art display down here in the basement? Did you relate to it?

Q: Did you like everybody coming in here?

Q: Is your father here, Doreen?

Q: Does someone keep all the other spirits here separated? The one who dominates the rest of you? (Crystal asked)

Q: Do you have a sister or brother?

(Ben was seeing something block out the light in the corner)

T: Most people

Q: What do most people do?

Q: is there a domineering man? (Crystal asked)

(Crystal noted that it felt like someone was holding them back from answering)

T: Teamwork

Q: How many of them are you?

Q: Can you tell us how many of you are down here with us?

Q: Someone left and now someone new is here with us. Who is that (Crystal asked)

T: Who are these people?

Q: We are visitors here, talking to you.

Q: Cheryl introduced herself. Can you tell us your name, please? Are you a leader?

(Joni came down to take pictures)

Q: Can anyone do anything to help you?

T: Weird

Q: What’s so weird?

Q: Is it weird that people want to help?

T: Christmas

Q: Are you ready for Christmas?

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas?

Q: To whoever came down, is there anything you want to tell us? (Crystal asked)

Q: What year is it right now?

T: Get out!

Q: I don’t want to get out. (Ben said this, almost in a hurt voice)

Q: Are you asking for us to get out or are you talking to the other spirits who are here? (Crystal asked)

(Rick noted that Traci had someone standing right behind her)

T: Seven

Q: Did you feel something, Rick? He explained that he was hearing someone clairaudiently.

T: I just saw a black shadow cross in front of me.

(Everyone felt the room grow substantially colder)

Q: Are there more with you?

T: Oooooh! (sounded kind of provocative)

Q: Ooooh, what?

Q: Did you come here with anyone or were you here? (Crystal asked)

Traci then took off the headphones. She’d had enough. She said she felt constrictive breathing and felt it was connected to a woman wearing a corset.  She said it was different this time than it was the last time. A lot of people kept popping in, but she didn’t feel she was connecting with the same two women from the first session.

They started a dowsing rod session at that point.

Q: Is there just one person down here right now? A: Yes

Q: Are you a young child? A: No

Q: Are you a teenager? A: Yes

Q: Are you female? A: Yes

Q: Did you used to work in this building? A: Yes

Q: Did you enjoy your job? A: Yes (slow Yes)

Q: Did you work anywhere else in New Harmony besides here? A: Yes

Q: Do you ever want to leave New Harmony and go somewhere else? A: Yes

Q: Do you enjoy us being here? A: Yes

Q: Do you like dogs? A: Yes

Q: Are there any dogs in this building? (they thought they heard a bark) A: No answer

Q: Do you wish you had a dog? A: Yes

Q: Were you here when the bird showed up in the basement? A: No

Q: Did you hear the painting fall off the wall? A: Yes

Q: Did that surprise you as much as it surprised me? (Rick asked) A: Yes

Q: That means you had nothing to do with it, right? A: Yes

Q: Do you know who did it? A: No answer

Q: Are you afraid to say? A: Yes

Q: Will you tell me if I guess right? A: No answer

Q: Is it the man who stays down here in the basement? A: No answer

Q: Is it a child? A: No answer (They started hearing more sounds in the back corner)

Q: Is the woman we talked to in the first session the one who knocked the picture off onto Rick? (Crystal asked) A: No answer

Q: Did you come here with someone this evening? A: No answer

Q: Is the lady from our first session still here? (Traci asked) A: Yes

Q: Can you point to where you are right now? Rods pointed towards the same area where Rick felt someone, which happened to be directly behind Traci.

Q: Is there a man down here? A: Yes

Q: Does he stay in the back corner? A: No

Q: Is he back there right now? A: Yes

Q: Does he keep walking in front of the light? A: Yes?

Q: Do you like him? A: Yes ( The group was surprised by this)

Q: Is his name Mr. Heckmann? A: No

Q: Is his name Clyde Ramsey? A: No

Q: Were you an actress here? A: No

Q: Do you remember when they had productions here? A: No

Q: Did girls perform at the saloon? A: No answer

Q: Did girls dance at the saloon? A: No answer

Q: Did girls sing at the saloon? A: No answer

Q: Are you feeling confused right now? A: Yes

Q: Was this a pool hall at one time? A: no answer

(They heard another noise)

Q: Are you back in the basement right now? A: Yes

(Cheryl mentioned that she saw a flash of light)

Q: Did you ever use a carriage outside of this building? A: No answer

Q: Are you having a hard time breathing? A: Yes

Q: Are you listening to the people upstairs too? A: Yes

The session ended and we wrapped up for the night, walking away shaking our heads at the events that had transpired.

It was an intense investigation, one we wouldn’t soon forget. It’s easy to connect the dots and say that we were honing in on two women who worked at the saloon. We know from history that barmaids and servants were often forced into prostitution in saloons like this, but we have no documentation that this happened at the Centennial Saloon.

And who was the man who hid in the corner? Was he also connected to the saloon or did he come in during another time period? And why was he hiding? Was he Clyde Ramsey, the pharmacist who committed suicide in the building? These were all questions we didn’t get answers to. This is part of the mystery involved with communicating with the dead. Sometimes they only give us enough information to intrigue us. We often need to revisit the location several times to pull more of the information.

Despite the falling painting, the owners of the gallery would like to have us back for another investigation in the near future. We hope to uncover more of the story about Susie and Erica and possibly help free them from the torment they are reliving.

IMG_20191213_184146
(Above) Joni, Crystal and Traci

I’d like to thank Dan Mason and John Nordgauer for opening up their lovely gallery for us to investigate. I’d also like to thank Chelsie for letting us in the building to check it out and for hanging out with us for the duration of the night. And of course, I am indebted to my team, Crystal Folz and Traci Hoehn for making this an incredible event.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

2nd group gallery 5

Joni Mayhan
December 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triple Treat Investigation Review 10-26-19

Triple Treat

New Harmony, Indiana, has many haunted venues, something we’ve learned up close and person over the past few years. We decided to do something different this Halloween season. Instead of investigating one building, we decided to investigate three buildings in one night.

We started off at Thrall’s Opera House.

wmi 4.jpg
(Above) Thrall’s Opera House as it would have appeared in the early 1900’s

Thrall’s Opera House

(Excerpt from Haunted New Harmony)

Thrall’s Opera House is a surprising presence in a small town. It is the type of building you would expect to see in a larger town, not one built by a colony of people who fled from religious persecution.

Behind the magnificent façade lingers a secret. The building is actually one of the old community houses constructed by the Harmonists to house their members. Built in 1824, it once looked similar to Community House #2 and the three others that are no longer in existence.

Shortly after construction was finished, Rapp decided to sell the town and relocate his flock to Pennsylvania, where they would create the town of Economy. It was the fourth and final dormitory that the Harmonists built before moving.

When the Owen Community took over, the building was used for a variety of functions. It served as dormitory housing, as a warehouse and was often the site of lectures and dances.

The building was first used as a theater in 1859 when it was purchased by the New Harmony Dramatic Association/Thespian Society. Renamed Union Hall, the building soon underwent a dramatic transformation and became the focal point of New Harmony’s cultural society. It was used by various theatrical groups, including the world-famous Golden Troupe, a local family of actors and actresses.

Goldens.jpg(Above) The Golden family sitting on their front porch

In 1888, the building was sold once again to a man named Eugene Thrall. Thrall had owned an interest in the building since 1867 but decided to purchase the rest of the holdings. After his death, his widow renamed the building Thrall’s Opera House. Thrall did extensive renovations to the building, giving it its current Victorian elegance. It was even used as a nickelodeon movie theater from 1911 until 1913.

The building was once again sold in 1913 and endured its most diverse incarnation when it became a gas station and garage.

FullSizeRender.jpgIn 1964, the Harmonie Associates encouraged the town to purchase the building. It underwent more extensive renovations and restorations, returning it to the grand dame it once was.

It’s not surprising that the building is haunted. Residents and visitors have experienced strange occurrences at the opera house for decades. Strange footsteps can be heard on the stage area when the building is empty and unexplained shadows have been seen moving in the wings.

Our group of 26 divided up into two smaller groups and began investigating the building.

Meagan Patterson held court on the stage.

Stage – First Session

IMG_20191026_194754Group One: Rick, Liz, Jamie, Maddie, Eddie, Tina, Mark, Rick, Ashley, Jason, Tim, Sandy, Matthew, Elliott

Meagan asked everyone to introduce themselves and then instructed them to turn their cell phones on airplane mode so they don’t affect the equipment.  She also encouraged the group to look around and not focus on the equipment. There could be activity happening all around the group, but if everyone is looking down at the equipment, they won’t see it.

She then showed them how to use dowsing rods and then passed them around.

Dowsing Rod Session:

As they started the session, they began hearing random taps at the edge of the stage. This is something we’ve experienced in past investigations and couldn’t find an explanation for.

  • Eugene was with them
  • They enjoyed the Dulcimer concert last week
  • Wouldn’t answer the question “were you the one who turned off the sound system last week’
  • Received a tap when she asked if they were tapping on the chairs
  • Eugene played an instrument – it wasn’t brass.

The group’s first dowsing rod session didn’t provide a great deal of responses. Typically, it takes a while to get used to the feel of the dowsing rods and to relax enough to receive answers. We’ve found during other investigations that some people are better conduits than others, something that quickly presents itself over the course of the investigation. When the fifteen minutes were up, Meagan and Joni’s groups changed places.

Stage – Second Group

IMG_20191026_194803.jpgGroup Two: Gerald, Diane, Adam, Paige, Shanna, Gerry, Lori, Debbie, Lisa, Paula, John, Heather, Angela, Brent

After they introduced themselves, the group started a dowsing rod session. Several people in her second group had used dowsing rods before, which was a good start for the group.

  • Someone there helped build the building
  • He’s not angry
  • He’s sad
  • He didn’t bring someone with him
  • He stays there because he has unfinished business
  • He doesn’t believe he’ll finish the business
  • He’s at peace

The session ended so the group moved onto the next location.

Annex- first group

Joni’s group investigated the area behind the stage where props are stored. Among the items is Francis Golden’s piano. Francis was part of the Golden Family. They performed all over the country, but Thrall’s Opera House was their home base. We were hoping to connect with one or more of the family members during our investigation.

We did a Spirit Box session for fifteen minutes. A Spirit Box is a modified radio that scans rapidly through the radio stations, allowing the ghosts to speak through the white noise. It’s usually a very productive means of garnering conversations with the dead and this time would be no different. We got a response after the first question.

A man asked, “What is your presence here?” A woman answered, “Typical.” I don’t know if she was being serious, telling us she was just a typical ghost or if she was being sarcastic, telling us we were being typical investigators.

 

A few more questions were asked without getting a response and then someone asked if they could tell us their names. A male voice said, “Certainly.”

When it was my turn, I asked if Eugene was there. A male voice said, “Yep.”

We went around the room and asked more questions but didn’t get any further responses.

Annex – second group

We settled in for a Spirit Box session, but it took them a while to talk to us this time. Someone in the last group asked them about their death before I remembered to discourage those kinds of questions. Sometimes that puts them off and they pull back from us. Eddie asked if they were male or female and we finally got a very faint response of “Male.”

Someone asked if they stayed there all the time and a fairly garbled male voice said what sounds to me like “That is rough.”

Eddie asked if Eugene played a string instrument and we got a very faint response that sounds like “yes.” At the time, we thought it said no, so he continued asking questions about the instrument. In the middle of it, a male voice came through and said, “It’s all right.”

Someone asked if they loved New Harmony as much as she does and a warbled male voice said what sounds like “That’s why I got them.”

When asked how old they are, a faint voice came through and said, “ten.”

Eddie asked if they are stuck in the building and we got one of the more intriguing responses of the night. A male voice told him, “I ghost.” This brings to mind many further questions. His response suggests that he’s fully aware of his situation, but what does “I ghost” truly mean to him?

Eddie then asked if he could tell us his name. A very clear male voice came through and said, “It’s Nelson.”

We asked a few more questions, but didn’t get responses.

Break-off Sessions

IMG_20191026_200412

We put electric candles in front of the mirrors in the men’s dressing room and invited guests to sit in front of the mirrors to see what would happen. Typically, we set up our mirror gazing experiments in smaller rooms with only one person at a time, but we thought we’d take advantage of the situation and use what we had. One participant had an experience. He saw a black shadow move from behind him and zip towards the door. Another group experienced the dressing room door close by itself while they were inside.

CH2 outside dark

Community House #2

(Excerpt from Haunted New Harmony)

Community House #2 is one of the oldest structures in New Harmony. Built in circa 1822, it was constructed by the Harmonists to house members of the group. It was framed in heavy timbers and built with bricks at their brickyard.

CH2 s.jpg
(Above) Community House #2 when it was the A.H. Fretageot Furniture Store

Because the Harmonists were celibate, the dormitory buildings were used by both men and women. The first floor would have been used for community activities, with the second and third floor consisting primarily of dormitory rooms. A long hall separated the east side from the west side, with bedrooms lining the hallway. Men would have been on one side, with women on the other side. During the Harmonist days, there were four community houses but only two remain standing to this day.

During the second Utopian society, the Owen group used the dormitory for a school for children and housing for students and teachers.

inside CH2.jpg
(Above) Community House #2 when it was the A.H. Fretageot Furniture Store

Since that time, the building has been used for a number of purposes, including a print shop for the local newspaper, a boarding house, tavern, tea room and the A.H. Furniture Store.

After a brief history review, we again broke into two groups. Meagan’s first group investigated the second floor in one of the old Harmonist dormitory rooms, while Joni’s first group investigated the third floor.

Second Floor – First group

CH2 first groupDowsing Rod Session:

  • There was a child with them
  • He was the little boy who was injured during a freak cannon accident
  • He likes to play with the toys they bring in
  • He doesn’t want to play with the equipment they brought
  • He remembers Eddie, who’s been there twice before on investigations
  • He likes playing tricks on people
  • He likes running down the hallways
  • There are other children with him
  • They remember town marshal Scotty and his dog Murphy
  • They remember the print shop
  • They are the reason why one of the women felt tense
  • The woman in white was with them
  • She doesn’t take care of the children

Meagan told the group about George Gerard. He lived there in the mid 1800’s. He was expecting money to come to him in the mail. When it didn’t come in, he committed suicide in the building. The money was later found on the floor at the post office.

  • George Gerard was there
  • They were on the women’s side of the building
  • The little boy wasn’t there any longer.

Second Floor – Second Group

CH2 second group

They started the dowsing rod session and began getting information.

  • Someone wanted to talk to them

During that point, they captured an EVP, which is a ghost voice. It isn’t heard at the time, but is picked up on the audio recorder.  Someone asked if he had a dog and he said, “No.” The response is faint, which is typical of true EVPs.

Meagan shared a story with them. She was up in the attic checking something one day and heard a cat meow, which was strange since there isn’t a cat in the building.

  • Timothy wasn’t there
  • They were talking to a woman
  • Doesn’t like to play ball
  • She’s too old to play ball
  • Not in the war
  • Was a slave
  • Many slaves moved through New Harmony

This group didn’t have much luck with the dowsing rods. Sometimes people overthink the rods and will actually stop the movement because they think they’re causing the movement. We’ve just discovered that some people are better at them than others.

Time was up, so the group moved to the next location.

Third Floor – first group

We got started with our Spirit Box session. The box was chatty from the very start, but most of the responses were garbled and we couldn’t make them out. It wasn’t until someone asked, “How many spirits are here with us,” before we started getting clear responses. It sounded as though they were counting off. One said, ”Two,” and then another said, “three” and then the clearest response of the night said, “Five.”

We continued to get faint responses we couldn’t quite make out. One of the stories regarding the building involves a ten year-old boy who was killed during a freak cannon accident. We’ve talked with him on previous investigations. We asked them what his name was and got a faint response of “John.”

I wanted to run down to the second floor and snap a few photos for this evidence review. I told them what I was doing and a female voice came across the Spirit Box and said, “Take your time, Maam.” We all laughed because the response was so clear.

Someone asked if there was anyone else there besides the five women and a male voice said, “For sure.”

We got on the topic of pets in the building. When asked if they had dogs or cats in the building, a female said, “Ask me.”

“Do you ever leave this building?” got a strange response. It sounds like the same male voice said, “Quit passing.” Was this in response to some members of the group who passed when it was time for their turn? Or did it mean something altogether different?

Third Floor – second group

As our second group started, I asked them to be as kind to the second group as they were to the first. We introduced ourselves and then got started. I asked if they could tell us their names and a garbled voice came through and said, “I’m Adam.”

Someone asked what kind of wood the floor was made of and a female voice responded with “Kirkpatrick.” It’s possible she was telling us her name since the response came so close to the previous question.

Are you children or adults got a faint response of “adults.”

The responses that came after the next few questions were so faint, it was difficult to make them out. Someone asked if they moved to other buildings and it sounded like we got a response of “safe.”

The last time we investigated the third floor, one of the bearing beams in the room cracked and split. The sound was loud, making us think the building was coming down. They believe it cracked due to moisture expansion, but the timing couldn’t have been more profound, coming during the middle of our investigation. I asked if they knew who broke the beam and received a response of “We aren’t sure.”

Someone asked if they lived there and the group thought the response was “All my life.” I slowed it down and it’s probably just music from the radio, but sounded like “why would I lie” to me.

When asked if they protect the children, we heard a faint response of “no.” When she asked if they protect the children of the town, another faint voice said, “Probably.”

The last question of the session was answered with a fairly profound, but faint response. “How many people are in our group.” The response was “ten” and then another voice said “eleven”.  Three members of our group were in the print shop, so eleven was the correct answer.

Print Shop

IMG_20190727_215553_1.jpgWe had a break-off session on the third floor. Several people would go into the Print Shop alone and work with a pendulum. Some of their results were interesting.

First group

1st break off Print room.jpgFirst Break-off group

  • There are children there
  • Wasn’t in the war
  • His name was Timothy (little boy)
  • He likes to play ball
  • He’s not stuck there
  • He’s missing a leg
  • He has friends there
  • He’s not lonely
  • He has more than five friends there
  • There wasn’t anyone else in the room with him

Second break-off group (they were told Timothy was in the room)

  • He was just communicating with the other group
  • When he was bad he didn’t have to go under the stairs
  • At that moment, they saw the rope in the room move

Third break-off group (weren’t told anything by previous group)

  • There was only one person in the room
  • He/she can feel they’re there
  • He/she didn’t enjoy the weather (it was rainy all day)
  • Not male
  • She’s a female
  • She didn’t work there
  • She doesn’t know if she lived there
  • She wasn’t married
  • She was related to the little boy

Third break off print

Second Group

First break-off group

  • They had a difficult time getting responses and spent most of their session trying to find out what yes/no looked like. This is normal. Some people are better with dowsing rods and pendulums than others.

Second break-off group

  • They were talking to the woman in the white dress that’s been seen in the building
  • She takes care of the children
  • The little boy wasn’t there
  • The children were happy
  • There aren’t any children there with her right now
  • She can read
  • She fed the children
  • She didn’t get the children ready for bed

Third break-off group (were told by the previous group they were talking to the woman in white)

  • The little boy wasn’t with them
  • The woman in white was with them
  • She doesn’t stay on the third floor
  • She doesn’t go to all of the floors
  • She would often sneak into the men’s side of the building
  • She didn’t work there
  • She didn’t live there

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Fauntleroy Home

The Fauntleroy Home was the 53rd home built in New Harmony. It was originally the Franz Pheil house. After the Harmonists left New Harmony, a variety of people lived there during the Owen period.

(Excerpt from Haunted New Harmony)

Robert Henry Fauntleroy was intrigued by Robert Owen’s tantalizing concept of the communal society. He sold his farm in Virginia and all of his slaves before moving to the town. There, he met and married Robert Owen’s daughter Jane Dale Owen. They built onto the house, adding additional space for their growing family. In her teenage years, their oldest daughter, Constance created the Minerva Society, which was one the country’s first women’s club. The group had their own constitution and by-laws and discussed everything from poetry to current events, keeping detailed logs and protocol for their meetings. The club ended after four years, due to complications incurred during the Civil War, but their imprint on history remained.

After the original Fauntleroys passed away, the house became a rental property until it was purchased in 1911 by another Fauntleroy.

Mary Emily
(Above) A photo of Mary Emily Fauntleroy sitting in her favorite room

Mary Emily Fauntleroy had always been interested in New Harmony history, as well as in historic preservations. Soon after she acquired the house, she began making modifications to the property. She tore down walls and added modernizations to turn the house into a museum, while also making it more comfortable for her to live in. She built several additions, including a kitchen, dining room and a sunroom so she could live in the house but still have portions of it available to the public. She spent countless hours tracking down furniture and artifacts that had once been located in the home, including the minutes from the Minerva Society.

“It was like blood, sweat and tears for her as she tracked down all of the artifacts, “Amanda Bryden told me.

She then opened the house up for tours. In fact, according to Amanda, she offered the first tour site in New Harmony. “People would jump in their cars or horse and buggy and head to New Harmony,” she told us.

Mary Emily owned the house for nearly twenty years.

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(Above) The Fauntleroy Home as it would have appeared when Mary Emily Fauntleroy lived there

In the 1920’s the Indiana Federation of Women’s Clubs became interested in the property. They offered to purchase it from her, but allow her to live in the house until she died. According to the agreement, nothing would change for her. She could still remain at the house and act as the hostess, but she wouldn’t have to take care of the maintenance.

All was well for several years, but then the Great Depression hit the nation and it became too much for the club to handle. They turned the house over to the state in 1939, who listed it as a historic site. After World War II broke out, everything changed.

With the hardships of war looming over the country, the state was forced to cease operations here. They forced Mary Emily to move out, despite the earlier promises that were made to her.

“Thankfully, she just ended up next door, moving in with her brother Homer and his wife. Still, this is where she wanted to be and she wasn’t able to be here,” Amanda said.

Mary Emily passed away in 1954, never being able to move back into her beloved home.

The first reported haunting in the house came in 1845 when the ghost of the house passed the lady of the house on the staircase. It has been known as New Harmony’s most haunted house for decades.

The haunting in the house became even more potent after the State of Indiana Museum Division decided to do an extensive renovation to the home. In order to return the house to their chosen time period of 1850, they had to remove all of Mary Emily’s beloved collection.

32253274_601586606888393_5622425473968504832_n.jpg(Above) The Fauntleroy Home while it was undergoing renovations nearly ten years ago

Meagan oversaw the investigation on the first floor, while Joni investigated the second floor.

First Floor – first group

IMG_20191026_215128.jpgThey investigated the foyer area beside the staircase. We have photos of Mary Emily sitting in this room and by all accounts, it was her favorite room in the house. We soon learned that two of our guests were former tour guides for Historic New Harmony. They described feeling very uncomfortable inside the house. Liz told me about getting pushed while on the stairs and Elliott reported always singing “Amazing Grace” as loud as possible while walking through the building when he was alone and needed to come inside for something.

The group settled into a dowsing rod session:

  • They saw him and his wife Sandy outside earlier in the day.

The couple reported visiting the Fauntleroy Home earlier in the week. Meagan asked them to share their story. Sandy walked past with her dog and spent some time talking with Mary Emily. She looked back and her dog was mysteriously released from his harness. It wasn’t unlatched. It was sitting on the ground beside him. Normally, her dog Nacho would have taken advantage of the sudden freedom and would have bolted, but strangely just remained beside his harness.

They continue on with the session.

  • She likes pets
  • She liked their dog, Nacho

They didn’t get any further responses.

First Floor – second group

IMG_20191026_220459

Her next group started their dowsing rod session. Since Heather was the best dowser in the group, they had her hold the rods while other people asked questions.

  • She’s the only one with them
  • She’s not sad
  • She doesn’t play the piano
  • She doesn’t feel trapped there
  • She planted flowers there
  • She liked to be outside
  • She does play the piano (might have been someone else)
  • She brought her harp over from Scotland
  • Homer (her brother) isn’t there

Meagan told the group that Robert Henry Fauntleroy was an inventor and made his own telescope, which is housed in the room beside them. She encouraged them to ask questions.

  • He liked giving lessons to children on astrology
  • He has a favorite constellation
  • The star Betelgeuse is not in that constellation
  • He or she was in the room with them
  • Jane Dale Owen Fauntleroy was with them
  • She likes the renovations

Second Floor – first group

We set up camp on the second floor in the bedroom we often felt energy lingering in. In past years, we’ve gotten a lot of responses, but the house would be fairly quiet for the duration of our investigation. As soon as I turned on the Spirit Box, they let their intentions be known. An angry male voice came across and said, “Get out!”

After that response, I didn’t count on getting much more, but when someone asked if they were with us, a different male voice said, “You know it.”

Someone asked if this was their room and a male voice came across fairly indignantly. “This is Bowser’s Room,” he said. We’re not sure who Bowser is. Could it be a nickname that we aren’t aware of?

We went around the room a few more times before we got another response, which might lend some explanation to why they weren’t talking to us. A woman in our group asked what day it was and a male voice said, “So evil.” Did they think we were evil?

Time was up, so we switched groups.

Second Floor – second group

Fauntleroy 3.jpg
(Above) How the upstairs bedroom would have looked in Mary Emily’s day. Photo taken by her brother Homer Fauntleroy.

Although we didn’t think so at the time, this group would capture the best evidence of the night, if not the entire Haunted New Harmony season. We did a Spirit Box session and didn’t get a single response. The funny thing was, I could feel them crowding in around us. I wasn’t sure why they weren’t talking. We turned the Spirit Box off early and just sat in the silence to see if they would rap on a wall or turn on the flashlight, but they wouldn’t comply.

Paige was sitting to the right of me. When she sat down, she felt fingers latch onto her shoulders and then shove her. Her stomach was also bothering her the duration of our time in the Fauntleroy. She didn’t tell us about it until we were walking back at the end of the night.

Someone in the group said he was seeing shadows move, so I pulled my camera out and snapped two photos. The room was completely dark, so I had to use the Night Shot option on my phone camera. The first photo came out exactly as we saw it. In the second photo, we saw what was really going on. In the photo, you can see a woman floating between the man by the window and the woman in the middle. To the right of the woman you can see a group of woman, looking quite indignant, standing with arms folded. On the other side of the man on the right of the picture, you can see another grouping. It’s either four small dark forms or one big human shape, depending on how you look at it. Either way, we were able to prove we weren’t alone.

IMG_20191026_221849(Above) Photo #1 shows nothing more than what we could see with our eyes

 

IMG_20191026_221858(Above) Photo #2, taken seconds later, shows what was really going on in the room with us

Break-off Groups

We had several people go into the landing on the second floor and experiment with the pendulum during our second floor investigation.

First Group

IMG_20191026_215046

First break-off group

  • He/she lived in the house
  • He/she planted flowers in the garden

Second break-off group

  • Mary Emily is in the house
  • There are more than four people in the house
  • She’s not sad
  • She plays the harp
  • She’s not happy there
  • It was her wedding dress that got destroyed (not true. She was never married. It was her mother’s dress that was destroyed)
  • She was sad that the dress was destroyed
  • Her brother Homer isn’t there with her
  • She wasn’t the one playing the piano at night

Second Group

IMG_20191026_220411

First break-off group

  • The first group was soft-spoken, so I couldn’t hear most of what they said
  • She told Mary Emily she saw a picture of her with her harp
  • Mary Emily didn’t enjoy gardening
  • It was too much work for her
  • She enjoyed her collection
  • She was sad when her dress was destroyed
  • She was upset when she had to move from the house
  • She’s happy they can’t take the house away from her now

Second break-off group (I don’t know if they weren’t getting responses or if they just weren’t saying the responses aloud. I just heard a lot of questions on the digital recorder I left on the windowsill beside them, but not a lot of answers.)

  • She didn’t like it when they built the bridge
  • It wasn’t the noise that bothered her
  • They thought there was too much going on at once

Third break-off group (this group whispered their questions and I couldn’t make most of them out over the sounds of the other groups)

  • Didn’t like living with her brother
  • She’s not attached to a necklace (??)

As we made the walk back to Thrall’s Opera House, everyone was buzzing about the investigation, sharing their favorite moments of the night with one another. True paranormal investigations are nothing like what you see on television. They can be boring and tedious, but they can also be vastly intriguing. What we experienced was real and was astounding if you really think about it. We actually communicated with people who once visited those hallways but have been dead for decades, if not centuries.

IMG_20191026_184748 (1)
(Above) L-R Meagan Patterson, Crystal Folz, Joni Mayhan, Paula Bundy, Traci Hoehn and Rick Schlegelmilch

Haunted New Harmony would like to thank everyone who participated in this event, from Joni’s amazing team to the State of Indiana Museum Division, to Meagan Patterson and, last but not least, all the guests who joined us.

 

 

 

 

Workingmen’s Institute Evidence Review September 7, 2019

WMI 9-2019 investigation poster

As you stand on the sidewalk outside Workingmen’s Institute in New Harmony, Indiana, and admire the massive Victorian Romanesque Revival architecture, it’s not difficult to imagine a haunting transpiring there.

Workingmen’s Institute was established in 1838 by philanthropist William Maclure, who was Robert Owen’s business partner during the second communal experiment in New Harmony. The library originated in the old Harmonist Church. When the structure began falling apart due to the passages of time, a new building was built and the library was moved. It is the oldest continually operating library in the state of Indiana.

As a paranormal investigator, my intention for investigating these old historic buildings isn’t founded in any Halloween shenanigans. I simply want to know more about the people who spent so many years of their lives there. When historical records fail us, we’ve found that we can often go to the source and communicate with the souls who lived that history. We sometimes learn secrets from the past that have been either forgotten or, in some cases, covered up and buried. This investigation would prove to be interesting, to say the least.

This was our second investigation of the grand old building and it wouldn’t disappoint us. We wanted to know the names of the people still lingering there and we attempted to learn more about several monumental moments in the building’s past.

We divided up into four groups. One member of each group was assigned the role of “Group Leader.” They were provided with a timeline and navigated their groups to each area of the building.

The zones were set up as follows: Maclure Room, Library, Natural History Room and the Gallery.

70032517_10221850753317423_9174260503164223488_n.jpgFirst Floor – Maclure Room – Lead by Rick Schlegelmilch

When you walk into the Maclure Room, you can almost feel the layers of history swirl around you. The room is large and rectangular, occupied by wooden library tables, several old pianos and room for folding chairs. Workingmen’s Institute hosts a bevy of lectures here. You can come and listen to a wide array of topics or, on a quiet day, you can use one of the tables for a project.

Shannon DeLap, the Circulations Manager, has heard the pianos play several notes, even though the room was empty and the covers were closed over the keys. Over the years, others have heard phantom voices and footsteps that couldn’t be logically explained.

We used the room for several divination experiments.

69608899_10221850743797185_3028511565033766912_n(Above) New Harmony natives Robyn Davenport and Linda Clifford trying the Ganzfeld Method.

On one table, we set up the Ganzfeld Experiment. This sensory deprivation experiment is simple. Participants wear white goggles and headphones that are connect to a laptop that is playing white noise. In the middle of the table is a red lamp. Rick brought groups of four to the table and gave them ten minutes sessions.

The Ganzfeld Experiment is interesting because it allows people to tap into their psychic or medium abilities by eliminating outside distractions. After they finished, I asked them to write in a book, describing their experiences.

70556433_10221850745717233_1483559550320640000_n
(Above) Rick Schlegelmilch assisting two guests with the Ganzfeld Method

Ganzfeld Experiment Notes

  • I heard my daughter yelling at me, “Mommy! Help!”
  • I heard my mom yelling at me, “Help!” (both were in the same session)
  • Seen rain on the goggles
  • Heard a heartbeat
  • Heard a tongue clicking sound
  • Saw shadow move back and forth
  • Something touched my back
  • Kept hearing “Awesome!”
  • Heard a faint but steady heartbeat sound all the way through
  • Heard nothing
  • Heard recording – sounded like a man asking a question and a woman answering – over and over and over – very repetitive. Same tone as if replaying a recorded conversation. The answer sounded like “flash moving forward.”

Guests were also invited to try the Psychomanteum. In this experiment, a floor length mirror is placed in a small dark room, lit only by an electric candle. As the participants sit in the chair and watch themselves in the mirror, strange things happened.69590653_10221850746357249_7759463452266987520_n
(Above) Ben Adams, from the New Albany area. His photo came out strange. What is the shape on his face?

I asked them to write down their experiences in a notebook and here is what they said:

  • Slight headache. Mist formed behind me.
  • My face was changing. One time, I looked like I had a beard. Also saw a shadow moving on the wall beside me.
  • There is a woman with me in the room. I asked for the light to be very dim and if they were there.
  • Saw a face looking over the top of my head at me. Was a quick flash.
  • My face went black a few times.
  • Sense of heaviness. Noise when room went silent. Not sure what it was.
  • Some heaviness. Another face. Shoulders glow around it.
  • Face distortion and wavy mirror. Lots of shadows by outside of door.
  • Kept seeing old man’s face with grey hair and a large nose.
  • My reflection didn’t move once when I thought I had smiled.
  • Had a faint smell of something sweet, like baking.
  • A man’s face appeared and he kept rolling his eyes up.
  • The light shut off four times and my face would transform into several different faces – all men and boys
  • The ruler on the wall to the left kept moving. I touched it to hold it still and it stopped, then started again a moment later.

Guests were also invited to experiment with several divination tools, including Rune Stones, pendulums and lithromancy, which involves tossing semi-precious stones onto a grid.

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Everyone seemed to have a good time and it gave them a chance to catch their breath in between investigations.

 

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Second Floor – Gallery– Lead by Joni Mayhan

I conducted the investigation in the Gallery, which was named appropriately due to the dozens of gilded-gold framed paintings on the walls.  The paintings were a gift from Dr. Edward Murphy, who arrived in New Harmony during the Owen period as a barefoot 13-year old orphan. The people in the town took him under their wings and helped him learn several trades. Having a thirst for knowledge, Edward used the books at Workingmen’s Institute to help him become more educated. He eventually went to medical school and became a doctor. When WMI needed to be moved to another location after the old Harmonist church needed to be torn down, he donated the land the new building would be built on and assisted with the process. Years later, he made several trips to Europe to have reproductions done of famous paintings. He brought them back to New Harmony so that the people there could see fine art without having to travel. His and his wife Sophia’s ashes are interred in an urn in the Gallery Room.

First Group ( Group D)

Linda, Margie, Chris, Robin, Megan, Tiffany

I started the session by explaining how to properly use dowsing rods. I then asked a few questions.

  • We were talking to a man
  • He was willing to talk to us

Most people aren’t successful the first time they attempt to use dowsing rods. Some people simply aren’t good conduits while others are too nervous and inadvertently alter the movement of the rods. Some people get the hang of it after several attempts, but others don’t have the same success.

We passed them around and got the following responses:

  • Did not work in the library
  • Did not live in New Harmony
  • Not from Illinois
  • They don’t remember the eight-legged calf from the museum
  • He is male
  • He wasn’t young when he was there
  • He wasn’t married
  • He wanted to get married though
  • He doesn’t want to stay there

I added a flashlight to the mix to see if any of the resident ghosts would use it for communication, but gave up fairly quickly when it wouldn’t stop flickering on and off.

  • Murphy and his wife was there
  • They were messing with us (meaning some of our responses weren’t correct). We’ve often run into tricksters on our investigations. They will tell us misinformation and will often pull pranks during the investigations. In all honesty, if I were a ghost, this is probably how I would be too, so I can’t blame them.

I decided to try the Spirit Box and see what we could find. I asked if they could tell us their name and we immediately heard a faint response that I couldn’t quite make out.  We went around and asked a few more questions and were getting random radio interference. In between questions, someone said, “This is Doug. I got a question.”

Someone asked if he had any brothers or sisters and he responded with, “My name is Zion.”

I left the group to visit the other groups and take photos. While I was gone, the group continued with the Spirit Box. Someone asked if they knew any of their names and a man very clearly asked, “Who is the female?”

This was interesting because the entire group consisted of females. Was he asking about me because I left or someone else who caught his eye? They continued with their questions and a male voice came through and said, “Give me real questions.”

This made me laugh during evidence review because the group was actually asking good questions. Apparently they weren’t to his liking though.

Then, during a pause between questions, a male voice asked, “Do you people have best friends?”

I came back right afterwards and the group wasn’t sure if they got anything or not, so we went back to using the dowsing rods.

We decided to try to nail down more about the male we had been talking to earlier.

  • He wasn’t a farmer
  • He didn’t fish in the Wabash

They asked the rods to point to where he was standing in the room.  One of the rods pointed behind the group and the other pointed towards me, which is where I was feeling someone.

  • His last name was Murphy

Time ran out, so they moved across the hallway to the Natural History Room and my next group came in.

Second Group (Group C)

Chris, Mary, Bambi, Rosemary, Mary Ann, Briel, Ben

Gallery Rosemary, Mary Ann and Briel

We introduced ourselves and then I told them the story about Dr. Murphy. I was using my spare Spirit Box, one I’m not as happy with. We spent a minute trying to change the settings, but still weren’t getting any responses. We ran it for a few minutes on the AM setting, instead of FM, but weren’t getting any responses. It took me a few minutes to realize my speaker was cutting out, so we disconnected it altogether and began getting clear responses.

Ben asked, “Hi. What is your name?” and a faint male voice responded with, “Jacob.”

We switched it back to the AM setting and the group asked questions while I ran to check on the other groups and take photos. Not a single voice came through while I was gone. We immediately turned it off and tried the dowsing rods.

  • He was standing behind him (I could feel it as well)
  • They didn’t like his suggestion that they turn the building into a hotel
  • He said he was Dr. Murphy (I told him about the trickster and suggested the next person asked if a famous public person was there to see if they gave us a positive response). Someone asked if Elvis Presley was there and it said yes, confirming my thoughts.

Chris started seeing shadows moving near the doorway. I turned so I could watch too, but it was gone by the time I looked.  We started to continue with the session when several of us heard a whistle. It was two note, almost like someone was calling someone else. The air conditioner was on at the time so my audio recording of it is too faint to post. I checked with the other groups but nobody else heard it.

  • When asked if Mr. Murphy would present himself to us, the rods gave a “yes” response
  • They are happy with us
  • He didn’t whistle

The session ended and the next group joined me.

LaKeisha third group gallery(Above) LaKeisha was the ghost’s favorite and she was a very good dowser too!

Third Group  (Group B)

(LaKeisha, Dustin, April, Joe, Amy, Kimberly, Shannon)

My third group had just been in the Maclure room, playing with the divination tools. After we introduced ourselves, we started the session with a dowsing rod session:

  • There was a male there (there was also a female there)
  • I asked if he could point to where he was standing, both rods pointed between me and Shannon
  • Shannon asked for the rods to point to their favorite person in the room and they pointed to LaKeisha.
  • He/she was a librarian there
  • He/she didn’t work with the doctor
  • We were talking to the female
  • She was over forty years old
  • She was a librarian

We decided to give the Spirit Box a chance. I started asking questions about the paintings that were damaged back in the 1970’s. Apparently, someone broke in, stole several Civil War weapons and then damaged several of the paintings. The group continued with the questions. Someone asked if the person was male or female and a voice responded, “Female.” Moments later, a male voice came across and told us, “It’s not me.” The response happened with a burst of static so it’s not easy to hear without headphones so I didn’t include it here.

We then got our first insult of the evening. A male voice came through and asked us, “Who’s the fat one?” All I can say is, he better not be talking about me!

Someone asked if we were boring them. A male voice said, “We’ve had enough.”

We went to dowsing rods for a few minutes while I replaced the batteries in my Spirit Box.

  • There is a list of all the things that were stolen
  • Several of the items were brought to the Old Rooming House (the nephew of the former owner of the Old Rooming House was suspected of the theft)
  • They wouldn’t answer any questions regarding where the items were hidden

We got the Spirit Box going again. Shannon asked for their names and three separate voices chimed in. “McCoffee!” said the first one, which was followed by “James” and finally “Jessie.”

LaKeisha felt someone touch her neck. She asked who did it, but didn’t get a response.

My timer alarm went off, signifying the end of the session and a faint voice came through on the Spirit Box, asking, “What was that?” I heard the same voice several times, but his responses were never clear enough to mark. The session ended and my last group came in.

 

Fourth Group (Group A)

Steve, Chris, Joy, Jodi, Nancy, Pam, Duane, Ashlynn

third group gallery

We introduced ourselves and then started right off with a Spirit Box session since the last one was so productive. I wanted to catch them while they were feeling chatty.

I was like a dog with a good bone over the break-in at WMI, wanting to see if they would tell us more. That is part of the allure of paranormal investigations. When the living won’t or can’t tell you what happened, sometimes the dead are more cooperative. I asked if the boy brought some of the items to the rooming house and a man said, “He broke in.”

Another topic I was curious about was Dr. Murphy’s children. He and his wife Sophia had seven children and none of them made it to adulthood. I asked if they knew what happened to them and a man said, “They were scared.”

Ashlyn asked what their favorite color was and a male answered “yellow.” It was too faint to post, but was clear enough to hear with headphones. We went around a few more times and got several responses, but none of them were clear enough to understand. As the night wears on, the ghosts often wear down. Talking through a Spirit Box is often more difficult than moving dowsing rods, so we switched.

Chris was the best dowser of the evening for his group, so we asked him to hold to rods while we asked questions.

  • I asked if there was a female with us and the rods both immediately pointed towards me, making everyone laugh. I’d been feeling her behind me all evening. I’m thinking she was the “Jessie” who gave her name earlier.
  • She liked to bake.
  • She liked to read
  • She was a librarian there
  • She worked there until she retired (slow yes)

This made me start thinking about something. Nora Chadwick Fretageot was the head librarian at WMI for eleven years in the mid 1800’s. She also is a known haunting at Arbor House. I asked if the ghost we were talking to was Nora and they said yes. I began asking qualifying questions to see if we were talking to her or someone pretending to be her. I asked if her husband was a doctor and she said no, but she did say he was a lawyer. I wasn’t certain if he was or not, but I did know he owned the AH Fretageot Furniture store that was once located in Community House #2 which is also haunted.

  • She says she’s the one who shows herself on the staircase (Shannon has seen her several times)
  • I asked if her name was Nora and the rods pointed behind me again.
  • I began tuning into her and got a mind picture of a woman who was between 16-20 with brown hair and a plain dress. She was kind and sweet. I saw her being from the 1930-1940 era.
  • She lived there during the 1800s.
  • She worked in the library
  • She said she worked there in the 1840s, which was a qualifying question because the building hadn’t been built yet in the 1840s.
  • She was the female voice Traci heard in the library during their Estes Method session.
  • The rods kept pointing towards me, so I got up and switched seats with someone sitting across the room. Then the rods pointed towards me in the other chair.
  • She’s not the one who moves the books on the table downstairs but she knows who does it.
  • I asked if they could point to where Joy was sitting and they pointed right at her.
  • I asked if she could point to where she was standing in the room and she pointed beside Chris.

Time was up so we ended the session.

 

 

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Second Floor – Natural History Room – led by Jason Nelson

The Natural History room is filled with artifacts from New Harmony’s past. Where else can you find an eight-legged calf, a horse skeleton and weapons from the Civil War in one place? I can remember visiting the museum as a child and being enthralled and also a little creeped out. Besides the collection of minerals and personal items from New Harmony’s past, there is also a collection of dead animals in jars and taxidermy critters scattered around the room.

First Group (Group C)

Chris, Mary, Bambi, Rosemary, Mary Ann, Briel, Ben

Jason welcomed his first group and explained New Harmony’s role in geology. They started with a Spirit Box session. As the group introduced themselves, it sounded as though someone said, “Hi Bri,” when Briel said her name.

As they went around the room, Jason noticed that one of the doors was opened. Something came across the Spirit Box that sort of sounded like, “Maybe it was me,” but it was too warbled to consider a true response.

The group asked what their names were and a very faint female voice said, “Tom.” It was too faint to clip as an EVP file, but was identifiable with headphones. As they continued going around the group, someone asked if they liked Halloween and a male responded with, “He’s going to get you.” This was fairly chilling to hear. Who was going to get them?

As usual, many of the Spirit Box answers were difficult to interpret. When one guest asked if they liked hanging around there a man said, “You giggle.” It was very clear and very confusing. No one was giggling. What did he mean?

Sometimes the questions get mundane as people run out of things to ask. Apparently the ghosts were growing bored. In between questions, a female said, “So typical.” Was she tired of getting asked the same questions over and over again? This was soon followed by a male voice agreeing with her. “They don’t stop,” he said.

Jason then moved on to a dowsing rod session:

  • They weren’t talking to a male, which was confirmed by the next question. It was a female.
  • She was close to their circle

At that moment, Ben’s KII detector started flickering, indicating someone was nearby. The other KII detector wasn’t doing anything. As they watched, it started going absolutely crazy, flickering up into the orange level. This was interesting to Jason because our KII devices seldom react at WMI.

  • She worked there
  • She enjoyed her job
  • There were pets with them
  • She worked with books
  • She had kids
  • She had pets

Chris got up and started walking around. He said he was having anxiety and chest pain. He then explained that he saw a shadow person walk past the window and continue down the wall. He got up and walked over to where he saw it. Right before it happened, his sister, Mary, felt an extreme cold chill. Chris said the room felt very heavy.

At that point the session ended and Jason’s next group came in.

Second Group (Group D)

Linda, Margie, Chris, Robin, Megan, Tiffany

They settled in for a Spirit Box session and went around a few times without getting anything valid. Several minutes into the session, the KII started flickering again, but stopped after a minute. Jason started seeing shadows move along the wall. The group started watching it. Curious about the KII reactions from the last group, Jason passed his meter down to the area where it reacted before.

There were very few responses. The few voices that came across the box were faint and difficult to make out. It wasn’t until Jason asked if they liked to dance that they got their first clear response. A woman said, “Yeah.” This makes me wonder if the ghost who was so chatty with the previous group followed them to the Gallery. Or perhaps they simply wore them out and they were saving their energy for the next group? They didn’t get any further responses, so they shut it off and tried the dowsing rods.

  • There was someone with them
  • Tom was with them
  • He was a hunter
  • He went to church in New Harmony
  • He sang in the choir
  • They were now talking to someone else. They weren’t talking to Tom (rods opened wide over her shoulder)
  • Jason suggested that he might be indicating where he was standing, so they asked, but the rods didn’t move. She asked if he was standing behind Robin and it said no. She asked if he was standing behind her and they said no.
  • He said he’s the only one who stays in the library (not true-we’ve gotten other responses there)
  • There was someone there they’d rather talk to
  • They asked the rods to point to where they were standing and they pointed to Robin
  • They were still there with them (Tiffany was using the rods)
  • There is someone there with him
  • He likes being there
  • The air conditioner came on with a roar, scaring everyone. She asked if it scared him too and he said yes.
  • He likes it when people come in to visit him.
  • I came into the room because I heard a whistle. I asked the group and the rods crossed, indicating they also heard the whistle.

The session ended and the next group came in.

Group C NHR.jpg

Third Group ( Group A)

Jodi, Steve, Chris, Joy, Nancy, Pam, Duane, Ashlyn

Jason’s third group arrived fresh from the Estes Method session with Traci in the Library. He started off with a Spirit Box session. He started out by telling his group, like he told all the others, to keep the questions positive. He also told them about how someone in his first group came through on the Spirit Box, telling them one of the ghosts there was named Tom. He then asked if anyone wanted to talk to them. A warbled voice came through and said, “What a fool!”

Someone asked if he built the building and a man said “no” while he was still speaking. Someone else asked if there were any children there and the same voice that said, “What a fool!” answered with a very faint response of “A handful.” The third group had already gotten more responses than the first two groups put together.

Because they knew about the Tom response, every question was directed towards Tom. My impression is that there might be a Tom in the room, but he’s only one of many. In fact, the voice that told them about Tom was female. Someone started to ask another question to Tom and a voice came through and said, “Who was that?”

The group started seeing shadows moving near the taxidermy eagle. As they were talking about it, a male voice came through and told them, “That’s the seagull.”

Jason asked if they had a favorite hobby or sport and a child’s voice came through and said, “I did!” We’ve had this happen before. They’ll answer the question very literally if we’re not careful.

Someone asked how many of them were in the room with them and a male voice with a strong southern drawl said, “Maybe four.” That would have been my guess too, so I trust this answer.

“Did you have a dog?” was answered by a female who said, “Had a dog or doll” and then the same man said, “That old war buddy,” he said. He wasn’t done though. When asked if he lived his whole life in New Harmony, he said, “I did.”

Several people in Jason’s groups had been feeling cold drafts all night, even when the air conditioning wasn’t on. They felt it again during this session and spent a few minutes discussing it.

Someone asked what his job’s name was and a male voice responded with “baseball.” I don’t believe we had any professional baseball players from New Harmony, but it’s possible he misunderstood the question.

Jason then turned off the Spirit Box and did a dowsing rod session.

  • Someone was in the room with them. He mentioned that he felt a presence directly behind him. As with many of the other groups, he called the ghost Tom. “Tom” liked to hunt and enjoyed hunting squirrels.
  • He was a blacksmith

The session ended and the next group came in.

Fourth Group (Group B)

LaKeisha, Dustin, April, Joe, Amy, Kimberly, Shannon

Jason’s fourth group had just spent a session in the Gallery with me and were eager to see what they’d find in the Natural History Room. Jason started them out with a Spirit Box session.

After a few questions, they finally got a response. Someone asked what their favorite time of the year was and a very faint male voice said “Autumn.” I spent quite a bit of time trying to make the response audible without the benefit of headphones, but couldn’t bring it out any further.

Jason asked if they did the hokey pokey, which generated a laugh. He told them that they can ask all sorts of questions and they didn’t have to be serious. At that point a male voice came across the box and said what sounds like “Mis de nom,” which is French for “put in name.” I’m not certain how this applies to the question, but it was interesting enough to bear mentioning.

Shannon, who is the circulation manager (aka head librarian) at WMI, made the connection between the “Tom” they were talking to and the famous scientist, Thomas Say. She asked if that was him, but didn’t get a response. It is curious because some of Thomas Say’s work is housed and displayed in the room they were investigating.

They went around the room several times with the Spirit Box but didn’t get any responses. It was highly likely that we wore the ghosts out during the course of the night. They moved to a dowsing rod session:

  • There was only one ghost in the room with them
  • He/she was still hanging out by the window (the KII went off again at the same time)
  • That’s his/her favorite spot in the room
  • There was someone in the room they really wanted to talk to. She asked if they would point the rods at that person, but didn’t get a response. (Later, she realized the rods were actually pointing towards Shannon, which also happened to be the starting point).
  • Shannon took the rods and asked for them to point to the person they wanted to talk to and it started pointing to the window before it turned around and pointed at her.
  • They like it how Shannon tells them “good night” every night when she leaves
  • They liked working there
  • He is Thomas Say
  • He is glad the Say Firefly is the state insect

They decided to spend their last few minutes discussing the investigation. Shannon mentioned that the energy was different in the room from the last investigation. The energy was odd in the room the last event, but was calmer this time. They also thought it was interesting that the name Tom kept coming up. Shannon mentioned that the other group heard the name Tom too.

The session ended and everyone headed downstairs to discuss the evening.

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LibraryLed by Traci Hoehn and assisted by Paula Bundy

 (Transcribed and written by Traci Hoehn)

When you enter the library of the WMI, you are surrounded by the portraits of past librarians as well as the expected books, newspapers, and usual library fare.  You can feel their silent presence looming over you in the silence.  In this room, I, along with the help of Paula Bundy, led groups through an investigation using the Estes Method.

Each group began with an explanation of the Estes Method.  It is a procedure in which the Spirit Box is used while one person, me in this case, is listening to it through headphones instead of the whole group listening via speaker as usual.  The listener is also blindfolded.  These precautions are taken to prevent the listener from hearing (or lip-reading) the questions being asked.  The listener then says aloud any responses heard.  Ideally, the participants then follow-up on responses to begin a dialogue with any ghosts present in the room.  Another aspect of the Estes Method is channeling.  When the listener has mediumistic abilities, the Estes Method seems to be a possible method of channeling.

All the groups also began with a discussion of the ghosts that may be encountered in the library.  The librarians at WMI have a habit of returning to their beloved building after death to continue their work.  They have even been known to assist in the search for hard to find materials from time to time.

After establishing the ground rules for the Estes Method, we began the sessions.  The transcript for each session is as follows:

Gropu B Library

Session 1, Group B

Is this your library?

What is your favorite book in the library?

T: Yes

Who is your favorite author?

T: It’s good.

What was your favorite grade in school?

What was your favorite subject in school?

Is your picture on the wall?

What topics to you like to read about?

T: They’re looking.

Who’s looking?

What are they looking at?

T: Red

What’s red?

How many are here?

Are you male or female?

T: Please.

Were you born here?

T: Bingo.

Did you work here?

What year were you born?

Were you married?

T: Trapped.

Did you have children?

T: You. You.

Do you have pets?

Do you have a brother or sister?

T: Hello.

Hello.

T: David. Photographer.

Where else should we go in this building tonight?

T: Who is it?

What did David take pictures of?

Can you make that light up?

T: Run.

Why run?

T: Girl.

Do you have a favorite room in the building?

(Traci stated she was touched on the back of the neck.)

Did you…

T: Who did?

Did you just touch Traci?

T: Weapon. (The Spirit Box stopped making noise and a male voice harshly whispered, as Traci explained to the group.)

Do you like photography?

What is a good book to read?

T: Bad.

Do you like mystery books?

T: Turn around.

Are you male or female?

What do you think of the remodel here? Renovation I guess, not remodel.

T: Here.

Yeah, in this building.

T: Shameless. Here.

You don’t like what they did to it?

T: Crystal.

Is there a poet that you like?

T: Seven.

Can you name them, or name a poem?

T: People.

What makes you feel at home here?

What kind of weapon?

T: It’s me. Mine.

What’s yours?

Were you a teacher?

T: Questions.

What questions?

T: Rain. Go.

Do you like working outside?

(Something touched back of Traci’s arm.)

Do you like the water?

T: Meg.

T: Jobs.

What was your job?

T: Haunted. What?

What was your job?

T: Can’t take it.

Did you live here?

What is your favorite holiday?

Do you like when the kids visit the library?

T: Move.

Is there a time…

T: Please don’t.

(The participant then passed, which everyone found amusing.)

Who keep touching Traci?

Are you a male or a female?

Where should be go?

T: What is that? No. Good night.

T: So.

Are you tired?

T: Ronald.

Is the library your sanctuary?

Do you feel at peace here in the library?

T: A guy.

What guy?

Who’s Ronald?

T: After. After a time.

What happened to Ronald?

Are you Ronald?

T: No.

Was your husband Ronald?

T: That’s nasty.

Did you work here?

T: Backward.

Did you own a house here?

Where is Ronald now?

T: I want. I need.

What do you need?

Do you have a car?

What would you like us to know about your life?

What would you like us to know about this library?

T: Sneaky.

Who’s sneaky?

T: Mike.

What did Mike do that was sneaky?

Do you like the librarian who is here now?

T: You. Please.

How many spirits are in here?

T: Your mouth.

Can you tell me your name?

Can you tell me my name?

Do you like coffee?

T: False.

Do you like whiskey?

T: Stop it.

What is your favorite food?

T: Nobody.

 

Discussion afterward: After we finished the session, discussed what happened.  I felt someone walking in front of me several times during the experiment, but the group confirmed that no one had moved near me.  Several participants felt strange that I looked directly towards them when it was their turn to speak.  I have no explanation for this.  It is not the first time this has happened.  One participant explained that when she started to ask a question she felt was dumb, she was interrupted by the response, “please don’t.”  We also discussed the possibility that the responses of “they’re looking” and “red” may have been in reference to the Ganzfeld experiment taking place in another room.

Before the session finished, I used the dousing rods to clarify the “weapon” response.  Their weapon is located on the second floor of the WMI.

Group B Library

Session 2, Group A

Since I’m a librarian here and I know some of you in here are librarians…

Traci: From scratch.

…did you like working as a librarian?

Do you like that I’m the librarian?

Did you work here for many years?

Do you like to read?

T: No. More. One more.

Did you have a favorite book?

Are there any children in here with us?

What years…

T: Mother is here.

What years were you here?

Why did you come to New Harmony?

T: I love.

Who was your favorite author in your time?

What was your favorite spot in this library?

T: What’s that? Red.

Are you the one that makes everybody feel so welcome here?

Do you like the layout of the library?

Did you help establish the Institute?

T: Midnight. Back. Backdoor.

Are you a beggar?

T: Come on. Going home.

Do you smoke?

What’s your favorite book?

Did you raise your family in New Harmony?

Were you married?

Did you have children?

How many spirits are here with us?

T: At night.

Do you like to go outside?

T: At night.

Do you walk the streets at night?

What was your favorite part of your job?

T: What? Look. He’s trying. Going.

Do you go from place to place in New Harmony?

T: Hello.

Were you here when this building was being built?

T: One.

Is this a man or a woman speaking to us?

Where is home?

T: Everything. Oh no. You want. Go.

Can you tell me who the author of Little Women is?

T: I don’t care.

Do you read Jane Austen?

Could you tell me where to find a picture of the original labyrinth?

T: A chance.

Are you a male librarian or a female librarian?

How many books are in this library?

Do you like that they have so many movies instead of books these days?

T: Anything right.

Can you tell us how many people are asking you questions?

Are you married?

Do you have children?

Where in New Harmony are the spirits most active?

T: One thing.

If you can leave here where do you go?

Are you tied to this building?

Did you come here before the Civil War?

If you’re a man, were you in the Civil War?

T: The room. Go.

Go where?

Do you visit any other places in New Harmony?

T: I can’t. Tom.

Who is Tom?

T: Yeah.

Can you leave this building?

Do you know the current director’s name?

T: Where’s that?

Do you think that we should get more books?

T: Live.

Do you enjoy reading to children?

Do you like writing?

Is your portrait hanging in this room?

Are you happy?

T: Idiot. (everyone laughs)

Are you sad?

What’s your name?

T: I was there.

Where were you?

T: I’m here. (Faint female voice, underneath white noise for the past two responses.)

What do you want us to know about you?

Is there anything you would like us to do to help you?

Why do you stay here?

Tom, are you the one in charge of all the weaponry upstairs? Did you find it?

Does it make you happy to see more people coming into the library?

T: Ride.

More children?

T: Mmmhmm

An increase in programs for children?

T: Just lock it.

Did you donate any of the items that are in here?

Are there any questions that you want to ask us?

T: Hey, Frank?

Who’s Frank?

T: Can we also have a talk? (Traci felt someone step in front of her.)

T: I’m home.

Do you live here?

Is Frank short for Francis? (Traci feels someone walking around)

T: That was me. Can be.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

T: Did you know?

Did you know?

How many years did you work in this building?

T: No.

T: Edna?

Who’s Edna?

T: Dave.

Who’s Dave?

Are those your children’s names?

Can you move the books?

T: Help you to get home.  I used to. Sorry.

 

Discussion afterward: In our post-investigation discussion, Shannon (the current WMI librarian), said she saw a dark figure moving around at the same time I said I felt someone walking in front of me.  She also confirmed that there is an alarm that goes off sometimes at night when a back door in the basement moves.  Perhaps this is the meaning of the back door at midnight response.  As a group we discussed the abilities of some ghosts to move objects, namely books in this situation.  Shannon has experienced book being moved from shelves to tables in the night.

Group D library

Session 3, Group D

Did someone earlier want to talk to Meg?

Is there anyone in here that wants…

Traci: Down there.

Did you want to talk to us tonight?

T: Hey

Hi!

T: Joni

Do you want to talk to Joni tonight?

T: You.

Do you have a question for me?

Were you a librarian?

T: Enter.

Will you talk to us?

Did you work in the building?

T: I understand. Illuminating.

What’s your name?

What’s your birthday?

Where are you from?

Are you from New Harmony?

T: I am.

Did you work in the library?

Did you go to…

T: Quiet! (Group laughs.)

Did you run a business?

What kind of job did you have in New Harmony?

Are we talking to a woman or are we talking to a man?

Did you have any children?

T: Decide.

Did you have any children?

Did your children go to the New Harmony school?

T: Man.

Do you have a favorite book?

T: Say it again.

Do you have a favorite book?

Are you a man?

T: I do.

What is your favorite book?

Do you go to other rooms or do you stay in the library?

Is there a picture of you hanging in this room?

Do you like how the room is set up now?

T: Where are you?

Are you in the library?

Do you like to watch the kids out the window from school?

Were you here when the old school was across the street?

T: America.

What year were you here?

T: Get her.

What is your name?

What is your last name?

T: Mmhmm.

T: Do it.

T: Nevermore.

Do you like Edgar Allan Poe?  We can be friends if you like Edgar Allan Poe.

Do you work in the library most days?

T: Stethoscope.

Were you married to a doctor?

Earlier I believe you said you were a man, then there was a mention of a stethoscope, could you possibly be Dr. Murphy?

T: I thought you were another one.

Did you treat any of the residents of New Harmony if you were Dr. Murphy? What types of ailments did you treat?

Were there a lot of children for you to treat?

How many children did you have?

Do you go to other buildings besides the library?

Is The Raven your favorite book?

T: Yeah

Is Edgar Allan Poe your favorite author?

Do you have a favorite author?

Can you quote another verse from The Raven?

T: Come on.

How long have you been here?

T: Heaven. Go. I see it.

Do you not want to be here?

Did you work here?

Do you have a family?

If you can see heaven can you tell us what it looks like?

T: Too close.  That’s awesome.

Do you go back and forth from heaven to here?

Did you raise chickens?

Did you live on a farm?

(Traci felt something wet on the side of her face.)

T: A secret.

What exactly is a secret?

T: Tell no one.

Tell no one? Tell no one that we spoke with you?

(Traci clarified: A male said ‘a secret.’ A female said ‘tell no one.’)

Questions for the female: Were you married to Dr. Murphy?

T: In the middle.

Were you the mistress of Dr. Murphy?

T: No.

Any relation at all to Dr. Murphy?

T: I’m happy.

Any questions for us?

Can we answer any questions for you?

What’s your secret?

Do you still read?

T: Do you?

Is that why to stay in here, to read?

T: Enough for. Eventual.

Have you read all the books in the library?

T: What he has.

Do you feel safe in the library?

T: No, stop.

Do you want to leave the library?

T: Oh, shit. Well, then.

Are you arguing with each other?

Has keeping this secret made you sad?

Can you tell us something else about the secret? Is the secret about you?

T: Hang on. It leads to me.

Were you having an affair with someone?

T: Too many.

Did you have a baby?

Were you sick and didn’t want anybody to know?

T: I’m Kevin.

Did you work in the library, Kevin?

T: Hi, hey.

Hi.

T: Meeting.

Did you live near the library?

Are you someone new?

Are you still here?

T: I’m sorry.

Back to this secret.  Was the secret about your husband?

T: It’s not…it’s not Kevin.

Was Kevin your husband?

Did you have an affair with Kevin?

I’ve lived in New Harmony for 25 years; how long did you live in New Harmony? Or did you live in New Harmony.

I walk by here all of the time walking my dogs.  Do you see me walking my dogs?

T: It’s Calvin.

I never had Calvin for a dog. Did Calvin see me walking my dogs? 2-4 at one time?

How many people are we speaking with?

T: Don’t make me.

Don’t make you do what?

T: I’m just a lad.

Are you a little boy that used to come to the library?

Are you tired of answering our questions?

T: Those.

Is the little boy still here?

Will you share your secret if we promise not to tell?

Is the secret about you?

Discussion afterward: In the discussion I explained that I began channeling Calvin.  I had initially heard the name wrong and said Kevin but was corrected.  I felt a coat on me, like an overcoat.  I am fairly certain Calvin was from the Owenite period of the New Harmony history.  He was a pre-teen boy and was afraid.  The group was very curious about the secret.  They were determined that it was an affair, but the feeling I got as a listener was that something was physically hidden.  I also let the group know that the voice that was speaking about heaven was silent immediately after talking about going.

Group C Library.jpg

Session 4, Group C

Can you tell us what year it is?

Traci: Maybe

Do you want to give it a try?

T: Attention. It’s me. How’d it go?

How did what go?

What’s your name?

T: I’ll tell you what. You’re talking to John.

John, is your weapon upstairs?

What did you do here, John?

Are you stuck here, John?

T: I see it. Mmmhmm.

Do you want to leave?

T: You know what?

T: Don’t do that (someone noisily moved).

Can I take a book home, John?

Would that upset you?

Did you work here?

Are you wondering what we’re all doing here?

T: Lost it. It’s typical.

Did you live here in New Harmony?

Were you married?

T: Don’t. I was there. Bright pink.

What was bright pink?

Is there a female spirit in the room? Besides John?

Do you like pickles?

T: Ask them.

What, about pickles?

Is there a librarian that would like to say ‘hi’?

John, what is your job here? What do you do?

T: Mamma. Don’t. I feel you.

John, how old are you?

Are you still here with us?

Can I take some books home, John?

What about something from the room upstairs? Would that be ok?

T: Go away from here.

T: John Smith.

Why should I go away?

Can you give us any other names?

Do you not like us here?

T: Goodnight. At ten.

What happens at ten?

(Traci felt someone walking in front of her)

Do you have any advice for us right now?

T: Please do.

Anything we could do to help you?

T: At night. He’s there.

Who is there?

T: Hey there.

Who are you talking to?

Has it been a long day for you today?

T: Go ahead. Scream.

Do you want me to scream?

Are you hanging around Traci over there, walking around?

T: Uh huh

Do you like Traci? (Traci felt footsteps again)

Do you need something from Traci?

T: I can. Every time.

Can you tell me what time it is right now? Can you tell Traci what time it is right now?

How old are you?

Can you make a noise?

Can you knock on something for us?

John, are you still in here, or is somebody else in here?

Can you make a whistle noise or some kind of other noise to let us know you’re still here? I don’t think you’re still here.

Can you tell us what year you were born?

Discussion afterward: We discussed that phrase ‘goodnight, at ten.’ It was interesting considering the event ended at ten.  Perhaps the ghosts were done with us.  This seemed to be the case as the activity wound down at the end of the night.

Conclusion

I want to thank everyone who attended. Special thanks go to Workingmen’s Institute for hosting us and to my wonderful team for their assistance and support.

69700387_10221850740917113_2476669960408006656_n.jpg(Above L-R) Joni Mayhan, Rick Schlegelmilch, Jason Nelson, Paula Bundy and Traci Hoehn