Haunted New Harmony Evidence Review – 10-27-18 Ribeyre Gymnasium

Gym at night(Above) The Ribeyre Gymnasium at dusk. Photo by the author

Doing four public investigations in one month takes its toll on the person organizing it. Beyond the actual event, which is five hours long, there are numerous back-and-forth communications about tickets, marketing and organizing. After the event, there are hours upon hours of audio review and photo analysis. By the time my fourth event of the season rolled around, I was ready to crawl into my bed and not come out until December. All that changed though when I opened the doors to the Ribeyre Gymnasium and saw the faces of the people who had signed up. I knew every one of them from previous investigations and Ghost Walks!

Joining me on the investigation were Amy and Joe, who attended a Ghost Walk earlier in the year, Tina and Eddie who attended my first investigation of the season, and Ali, who attended my second investigation of the season. Traci Hoehn was also there to help me with the event and to take some pretty amazing photographs.

Instead of doing my normal presentation, we just sat in a circle in the gymnasium and talked about the haunting and history of the building for a little while.

45558011_1900986686653666_4162886425898909696_n(Above) The group doing an EVP session in the gymnasium. Photo by Traci Hoehn

The Ribeyre Gymnasium was only one year old when it was put to use for a very tragic purpose. An F-5 tornado swept through three states and killed 695 people, while injuring thousands. It was known as the Tri-State Tornado and is still on record as the deadliest tornado in history.

It nearly wiped the nearby town of Griffin, Indiana, off the map. Twenty-six souls lost their lives that day, including a bus filled with children. Many of the dead were brought to nearby New Harmony and stored in the basement of the brand new gymnasium. Reports of a haunting came soon afterwards.

As I often tell people, any old building with an immense depth of history is probably going to have a ghost or two, especially in a town like New Harmony where nearly every building is haunted. The tragedy only added to the layers of souls lingering here.

People often see children darting around the gymnasium late at night. I actually saw one myself during an investigation in February. As I sat with the group in the Annex Building, which is attached to the gymnasium, I watched as a head and shoulders popped out of the bathroom door. It happened again later in the night and an additional five people witnessed it.

After I shared my information, we did a quick EVP session in the gymnasium to see if anyone would talk to us. I’ve never had a tremendous amount of luck garnering communication in the gym itself. Usually most of our activity happens in the Annex, the basement and in the two small attics on either side of the stage, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway.

Although the group asked great questions, we didn’t get any EVPs, so I used my Spirit Box. A Spirit Box is basically a radio that has been modified to scan rapidly through the radio stations. The ghosts can use the white noise to communicate. We often get full sentences that answer our questions.

Ali asked if they go to any other buildings in town and a male voice said, “I do.” Shortly after that, a female voice chimed in and said, “I do,” as well.

Eddie asked a few questions and we heard a voice towards the front of the building, but couldn’t hear what he said.

Tina was next and asked if they could tell us their names. As I listen to the audio, the response is faint, but sounds like “Reverend Jack.”

We continued around the group, but didn’t get any further responses. We decided to head down to the basement.

45496788_267613303896823_815131986157895680_n(Above) Joe and Amy in the basement of the gymnasium. Photo by Traci Hoehn

We did our first session in the room at the base of the basement stairs, in the room I think used to be the coach’s office. I asked several questions without getting an answer, so I passed to Ali. She asked if they were male or female and a male voice with a Midwestern twang said, “Not a teacher.”

She followed up by asking if they preferred the darkness and a faint female voice with a distinct foreign accent said, “You came too?”

At that moment, we heard a loud bang come from upstairs. It’s possible it could have been the ice machine that makes frequent sounds, but I needed to check it out anyway. Traci went with me and we searched the entire upstairs but didn’t find any source for the sound. While we were gone, the group continued on with the session.

Joe asked if we were talking to a child. An adult female voice came through, saying, “Very slow.” We went around the room another turn and didn’t get anything we could understand, so we moved onto the dowsing rods.

We’ve had very good results with the dowsing rods. I started us off and then passed them around the group.

  • There was a male with us
  • He was there in the 1950’s
  • No response on his possible jobs (not a coach, student, teacher)
  • He lived in New Harmony
  • They don’t know where the Fauntleroy Home is

I thought I was seeing movement in the other room, so I set up my laser grid. The net of green lights allows us to see further into the room and notice if something crosses through. We continued on with the dowsing rod session. Suddenly, Eddie jumped, asking his wife if she just touched him.  Joe continued with the dowsing rods and then passed them on to Amy.

  • There was a female with us
  • She was below the age of ten

We stopped getting responses so we decided  to switch rooms and moved to the second room in the basement. There was a light on in another room that filtered into our room and the group decided they wanted to go completely dark. We then turned out all the lights and sat in complete darkness.

Total darkness is often good for paranormal investigations, but not usually for the reasons people think. Ghosts are prevalent all the time, regardless of the lighting. It does, however, often produce a bit of anxiety in the living, which tends to draw the dead in closer to us. Any heightened emotion provides them with energy and intrigue. They feel it and they come in closer.

We started the session and I realized I hadn’t put my flashlight out. We sometimes can communicate with them using a Mag light set between the on and off position. I always use a flashlight that hasn’t been used recently to prevent battery arcing. As I was looking for it in my equipment bag, someone said, “I’ve got one.” This was clear and made the group laugh. Apparently, we had a helpful ghost with us.

As we started the session, my Mel Meter climbed up to 2.8. A normal reading would be zero unless there is an electrical line running through the area. Because it started out at zero, it was interesting that it suddenly climbed upwards. A Mel Meter measures the EMF levels in a room. A massive fluctuation could indicate that a ghost is nearby. We’ve also seen them use a Mel Meter to communicate with us.

When Ali asked if they were female, we didn’t get a response on the Spirit Box, but the flashlight came on. It was interesting that we were getting male voices on the Spirit Box, but were getting female responses on the dowsing rods and flashlight. Was it possible there were several of them with us and they were using different devices? Traci and I were both feeling male energy with us, so it was hard to say. She asked why they liked it down there and a male voice said what sounds like, “we revoked it” or “we revolted.” She asked if they ever go to the events upstairs and the flashlight came on.

Eddie asked if the little girl from the other room was in the room with us. As he was asking the question, a voice responded, “In here.” I’m always intrigued how they know what we’re going to ask sometimes before we ask it.

45502925_357260121697539_2426285677583794176_n(Above) The group investigating the second room in the basement of the gymnasium. Photo by Traci Hoehn

When it was Tina’s turn, she asked if they knew what Halloween was and the flashlight came on. She started to ask another question and a voice came over the Spirit box and said, “Hey Joe.” Joe was next in line to ask questions. She asked if they liked to dress in costumes and the flashlight came on. Ali pointed out that the Mel Meter was at 2.6.

As we sat there, I saw a purple light flash in the doorway. We couldn’t find any explanation for it and it didn’t repeat itself.

When it was Traci’s turn, she asked if there were more than three of them with us. An older person’s voice (difficult to tell if it was male or female) said, “I’m with ya.”

Traci took several pictures of the doorway but didn’t capture anything paranormal. When it was Eddie’s turn, he asked if they’d ever had their picture taken and the flashlight came on. He then followed up with more questions. He asked if they had their picture taken in school here, but didn’t get a response, so he asked if they were too young to go to school here. The same older voice came through and said, “I was.”

They seemed to like Eddie. He said, “I’ve been married a loooong time.” The flashlight came on, which made everyone laugh. He asked if they were married and the light came on again. He asked if they were happily married and the light didn’t come on. He then asked if they had any grandchildren and a voice that sounded female said, “Thirteen.”

Tina’s turn came and she asked a few questions. The only one that got a response was when she asked if they ever coached a basketball team.  The flashlight came on. There were a few faint responses on the Spirit Box, but nothing we could make out. We decided to move into the big room in the basement where the bodies were stored after the tornado.

I spent a few moments talking about crossing over into the light. I feel it’s something I should do when I can. Some of them feel as though they’re trapped there and I want them to know they always have free will to move on. I’ve actually crossed over a few souls at investigations and will continue to do so as long as they’re willing to go. While I was talking, the Mel Meter went up to 3.0.

As we started talking, I could feel them drawing in closer. Several people started feeling physical symptoms. One person’s ear started feeling funny and I got a sudden stab of pain in my ankle, as though someone had poked me with a pin. A bit later, someone else felt a tug on their ankle.

We began doing a dowsing rod session:

  • It’s always quiet down there
  • They like the quiet down there

We weren’t getting any further responses, so we moved to Spirit Box. Traci asked a question that finally got them going. “Are you Republican or Democrat?” she asked. We all laughed afterwards because the question was asked the night before at the Opera House and generated some conversations, between the living and the dead. The dead had something to say this time too. “Very particular!” he said.

She decided to expand on the conversation and asked a few more political questions with no responses. It wasn’t until she said, “I’ll stop talking politics. It probably isn’t polite,” that a voice said, “I want it.” It sounded like a child’s voice, so perhaps she didn’t fully understand what we were talking about.

The conversation moved onto the construction that’s being done in the basement. Ali asked if the noise bothered them and didn’t get an answer. “Are the workers really loud?” she asked and this was followed by a clear child’s voice that said, “Did you get that?” I feel like the answer wasn’t in response to the question. I think he was trying to break through the veil to talk to us and wanted to know if we heard him. None of us caught it at the time.

Traci felt like someone was sitting beside her, so I told her to take a photo of me and I’d take a picture of her. My picture was too dark and the one she took of me was normal. It was getting close to break time, so I suggested we go around the room and ask one question each. As I was explaining this, a male voice chimed in, “Say something!” he said.

We started going around the room asking questions, the Mel Meter jumped up to 3.0. This was kind of interesting to me because it usually doesn’t register anything in the basement. Traci asked them if they’ve been afraid to talk to us and a male voice said, “Am still.”

45463614_1039841202891190_3729290077000433664_n(Above) Ali holding the Mel Meter as the numbers climbed in the basement of the gymnasium. Photo by Traci Hoehn

This got me wondering. Do they realize they’re dead? Is this a bit like the movie “The Others” where the ghosts think the living are ghosts? We’ve often asked qualifying questions to see if they can see us. Sometimes they’ll give a correct answer, but most of the time they don’t. Another thing they seldom do is give their names or the year they were there. It’s completely possible that some of them have been down there for so long without having anyone use their names that they’ve forgotten altogether. A hundred years is a long time, even to the dead.

44932371_10219157735393658_5606950238649581568_n(Above) Traci Hoehn in the basement of the gymnasium. Photo by the author

I turned the Spirit Box off and we just sat for a few minutes and watched the room. It wasn’t long before we started seeing things moving around in the darkness. Nothing was clear to us. It was just fluid movement, like watching fish swim past from the bottom of a lake. As we sat there, my digital recorder caught a faint EVP. A woman said, “That’s too easy.” I don’t know what she was referring to, but it was fascinating to hear.

After a quick break, we resumed the investigation in the Annex building. We started off with dowsing rods.

We asked them about the Multi-cultural Festival that was held there earlier in the day.

  • They really didn’t like the music
  • I asked them if the food smelled good and didn’t get a response, so I asked if they can smell and the dowsing rods indicated no.
  • I asked a few follow up questions about whether they can feel hot and cold but didn’t get a response.
  • Eddie asked if they could see him holding the rods and got a no response, which made us all laugh. How could they answer him without seeing him?
  • They don’t always stay in the Annex.
  • They like to play tricks on people
  • They like to play with the clock on the wall

45541140_115792869334605_3528976268353601536_n(Above) Our group investigating the Annex. Photo by Traci Hoehn

Traci asked if he was the one I saw peeking out of the bathroom. The dowsing rods crossed to yes and we captured an EVP at the same moment that said, “yes.” The only problem with the EVP is that the voice doesn’t sound like a child, which is what I saw.

She stopped getting responses on the dowsing rods, but did get the chair to tick. We’ve had this happen in the Annex many times before. One time, we asked for it to tick once for yes and twice for no and held a long conversation. The chair only ticked the one time this time. She asked if they could point the dowsing rods into the direction where he was standing and it pointed towards the bathrooms.

At that time, Traci took two people up to the first attic to investigate. I turned on the Spirit Box for the rest of the group, but didn’t get a single response.  We decided to move into the gymnasium again and see if we could find the ghosts.

We ended up sitting on the stairs leading up to the balcony to do an evp session. It was quiet up there but we did enjoy startling Traci’s first group as they came down from the attic and couldn’t find us in the Annex. Two others went to join Traci and the others came to join us on the stairs. We were in for a surprise when the bell chimed the hour. We all nearly jumped out of our skin. We weren’t feeling anything, so we moved to the stage.

It was almost as though all the ghosts had gone to bed. It just became incredibly quiet. Crystal Folz had joined us for part of a session, but had to leave due to an issue at home. We wondered if the ghosts went home with her.

Several of us were feeling something with us on the stage. We switched out Traci’s group in the attic. Eddie and Tina rejoined us while Amy and Joe went up to the attic. We turned on the Spirit Box. I asked if there was anything they’d miss and a male voice said, “tobacco.” There were a few other responses that weren’t clear until a male voice came through and said, “They broke it.”

Traci’s last group came back downstairs so we decided to check out the second attic as a group. It was a tight squeeze and there was nowhere to sit, so we only lasted about fifteen minutes. We turned on the Spirit Box and began asking questions.

A voice immediately said something that vaguely sounded like hello. I recognized the voice from earlier sessions and asked if he’s been following us. A male voice came through and said, “I’m Bobby,” and then another voice said, “Tony Goldwyn.” I wasn’t sure what to make of this.

I asked if anyone was there with us and got several responses that we couldn’t make out what they were saying. At one point, it sounded like a female voice said, “Are you going?” and an older person answered them, saying, “I’m sleeping.”

Traci then asked, “How many fingers am I holding up?” A deep male voice said, “Eight dozens.” At least the ghosts have a sense of humor.

Ali asked if they could tell us their age and a female said, “The brown head group.”

So much of what we were getting was garbled and difficult to interpret. When Eddie asked if there was anything buried in the dirt in the basement, we got several strange responses. A female voice said, “mangle” which was followed by something I can’t make out. Then, a different male voice said, “dream sickle.”

Joe asked if he was a Harmonist. A male voice said, “maybe.”

I asked if they knew what town we were in and a gruff male voice said, “New Harmony.” Normally, I would jump for joy for a response like this, however, this one wasn’t very clear. I can hear it with headphones on, but others might not be able to make it out.

We were getting tired and the voices coming through the Spirit Box were difficult at best to make out, so we ended the session.

Traci’s Attic Investigations

Traci took small groups of people up to the attic to the left of the stage. The room is filled with Christmas decorations and boxes of old photos from New Harmony’s School. First up was Ali. They did a dowsing rod session:

  • There was someone up there with them
  • No response on if they hide up there – they probably wouldn’t admit it
  • Ali didn’t scare them when she suddenly stood up
  • It bothers them that the attic is filled with boxes
  • His/her picture isn’t up there in the boxes
  • She is a female
  • My group downstairs was being too noisy (they heard my group scream when the bell rang)
  • She taught at the school

45428207_2486272911399118_3877020016926785536_n(Above) Ali using the dowsing rods in the attic. Photo by Traci Hoehn

Next up were Eddie and Tina. They spent some time talking with Traci and then moved to using the dowsing rods.

  • They lived in New Harmony
  • They had a child
  • Their child went to New Harmony high school
  • Their child played basketball
  • Their child is in one of the photos in the attic
  • Their child that played basketball was a girl

They picked up one of the pictures from the top of the pile.

  • Their daughter was in the photo
  • Their daughter was in the back row and was blond
  • She didn’t have glasses

They began trying to narrow it down by asking which row the child was in and then pointed the flashlight at each person until the rods indicated one specific person. Unfortunately, the ghosts were playing pranks on them though. When I came up to check on them, I actually knew the girl they were referring to and both of her parents and grandparents are still alive.

Amy and Joe came upstairs for their turn. They also spent time exploring the attic. Everyone was curious about the boxes of pictures up there. No EVPs were captured during any of the attic investigations, but everyone had fun exploring.

We ended the investigation shortly afterwards. It was a fun night, overall. We not only got to explore an intriguing New Harmony landmark and chat with the ghosts, but we also had a lot of laughs. It was a great mix of people and I probably enjoyed it more than any of the other investigations we did this season.

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(Above) Joni, Traci and Crystal. Photo by the author

Thanks to everyone who attended and to Traci Hoehn for assisting me once again and taking some amazing photos. Appreciation goes to Crystal Folz for running my Ghost Walk and stopping by to sit in on a session with us. Thanks also to Chris Laughbaum for providing the space for us to investigate, despite the low turnout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haunted New Harmony Investigation Review 10-26-18

45459888_1895146023867797_5105632279946854400_n(Above) Our investigation on the stage of Thralls Opera House. Photo courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

 

Every paranormal investigation is different, even if you explore the same haunted buildings. As we’ve found in New Harmony, Indiana, we can count on the souls from the town’s past to make an appearance, but we’re often visited by others we’ve never met before.

This has been the case in a number of our investigations. Several times, we’ve wondered if someone brought their own ghost to the ghost hunt. Other times, we just have to scratch our heads and wonder, with no easy explanation available.

For our third investigation of the season, we switched up our line-up. Instead of investigating Community House #2 and then moving onto the Fauntleroy Home, we investigated Thralls Opera House for our second half of the night.

We had a small group of eight people, with Traci Hoehn and Rick Schlegelmilch assisting me with the investigation. Due to illness, State Museum Sites Collections Manager, Amanda Bryden was unable to attend. It seemed very strange not to have Amanda there, but we made due.

45402877_247946039207728_9128978181926158336_n(Above) Our investigation on the first floor of Community House #2. Photo courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

 

We settled in on the first floor of Community House #2 and did a quick evp session before moving onto the Spirit Box. Several people asked questions without getting any responses until a woman named Nina asked a question that inspired a response. She asked if they were Democrats or Republicans. Several of us giggled after she asked it, knowing it was a hot topic among the living. Apparently, it was a provocative question for the dead as well. A male voice said, “You call?” Throughout the night, Nina would continue to ask great questions, ones I will be remembering for my next investigations.

We stopped getting responses so I decided to lighten up the mood. Instead of pelting them with one question after another, which might sound like an interrogation to them, we decided to go around the group and share our favorite meals. There wasn’t a response until it was Rick’s turn. “I’d like some blueberry pancakes,” he said. A female voice came across the Spirit Box and said, “Me too!”

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(Above) Our investigation on the second floor of Community House #2. Photo courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

 

The discussion on foods continued. When someone asked if they liked cornbread with their ham and beans, an older raspy female voice said, “potatoes.” Someone else asked if they liked ice cream and a different female voice said, “Blueberry.”

After a few more questions, we moved onto the second floor.

I decided to use the Spirit Box right away to see what we would get. As soon as I turned it on, a female voice asked, “Are you here?” and a male voice answered, “No.” It gave us all a laugh.

Traci shared some interesting information with us. Before we started the investigation, she walked around and took several photos, including ones of the room we were currently in. When our group came upstairs, we found the door to that room locked. Traci said it had been unlocked when she came upstairs earlier.

We began asking questions. Traci asked if there were any children there and the same raspy older woman’s voice came through again and said something that sounded like, “Can I hurt her?” We didn’t catch that at the time, so no one responded.

Someone asked if they were born in New Harmony and a male voice said, “Kind of missed me.” After a few minutes of no responses, I turned the Spirit Box off and we moved to dowsing rods.

During the session, I was putting two people out in the hallway at a time to see if they could see any shadows move, which happens frequently there. The first group saw nothing but the second group heard footsteps behind them.

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(Above) The second floor of Community House #2. Photo courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

 

Dowsing Rod session responses:

  • There were more than three women with us.
  • They were having a women’s meeting.
  • They told the men they couldn’t come in there – this was interesting because men and women were separated during the Harmonist period. Women would have been on one side of the hallway and men on the other. Other sessions have produced the same responses with different people in attendance. We’ve always communicated with women in the room, never men.
  • Rick asked if he was going to be in trouble being on the women’s side of the hallway and the rods went to yes.
  • They haven’t been in the house all day
  • They aren’t dressing up for Halloween
  • They haven’t had dinner tonight
  • They were married (flashlight came on)
  • Christmas is their favorite holiday
  • There was a child with us. It was the same child that was responded to her in Key West on a recent vacation.
  • The child never lived there.
  • There was more than one child there.
  • They know someone there.
  • She asked for the rods to point to the person they knew and they pointed straight ahead to one of the men in our group.
  • They stay there all the time
  • A male came into the room
  • There are often disagreements in the house

As we’ve discovered over time, some people have better responses with the dowsing rods than others. Some people tend to be better vessels than others. Several people in the group didn’t have any luck with the rods, while others were really good with them.

I was curious about the male that came into the room because we’ve never felt males in that room before, so I turned on the Spirit Box to see if he’d talk to us. I asked him if he was supposed to be on that side or if he was from a different time period when it was okay for women and men to be on either side. A male voice that we’ve heard before said, “It hasn’t been a problem,” which clarified the situation for us. Had we been talking to Harmonists, they would have told us differently.

 

I tried to pin down the time period he was there by asking relevant questions, but didn’t get any further responses. I asked him if he had anything he wanted to ask us and the same voice said, “What are you up for?” We didn’t get any further responses and moved onto the third floor.

The third floor has always provided us with the most reactions, especially on the Spirit Box. We turned it on and asked a few questions before finally getting an answer. Someone asked if they went to school there and a raspy male voice said, “My girlfriend.”

The third floor was used primarily for dormitory housing but was also the site of New Harmony’s print shop for their newspaper. We’ve communicated with three of the printers who worked there, two of whom fought in the Civil War.

Sometimes the responses aren’t clear. We will think we hear a specific answer but upon review later, it’s clearly not what we thought it was. And sometimes the responses make no sense. Someone asked if they had pets and a male voice said, “That lady.” Someone else asked if they liked the pinwheel and the same male voice said, “A way to go.” Rick Schlegelmilch, who is a New Harmony resident, asked if they see him walk past with his dog, Clutch, but didn’t get a response. Traci asked if they liked to play tricks on Amanda, who works there, and a different male voice said, “Have a smoke.” I have to wonder if they have issues hearing us clearly just like we often have problems hearing them.

After a few more rounds with no responses, we moved into the print shop.

45583896_168905954061797_5957838698681729024_n(Above) Our investigation in Community House #2. Photo courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

The print shop is a small room on the third floor that is filled with the old printing presses from the 1800’s. We’ve always gotten a lot of evps in that room, even though we have to pack ourselves in there, sitting shoulder to shoulder. As soon as we turned the Spirit Box on, we began getting responses. Some asked if they liked music and someone said something we couldn’t understand so she asked what kind of music they liked. “That’s a little rough,” was the answer. Too many to pick from, perhaps?

Nina continued to ask great questions, like “Did you carry a gun?” and “Did you ever kill anyone?” but didn’t collect any responses. Finally, someone asked a question that got an answer. She asked if they were alive when Lincoln was president. Shortly after, a young female voice said, “I miss you,” which was followed by an older woman saying, “He had a bow tie.”

Someone else commented that the flashlight came on and a male voice said, “Walking it.” We went around the group again and got a few responses that we couldn’t make out. I was feeling a very strong male in the room but weren’t getting any clear answers. I asked if anyone in the group was feeling anything different and they were. Several people said they felt sudden headaches come on in the last few minutes. Several days after the investigation, Rick Schlegelmilch reported finding strange scratches on his hip. He had to wonder if something followed him home.

I explained to the group that the ghosts aren’t always who we expect. Sometimes people come to the events with something attached to them and essentially bring their own ghost to the ghost hunt. We will hear different voices that we’ve never heard before and then don’t hear again in consecutive investigations. While we always expect to communicate with known people who lived or worked in the buildings we investigate, it’s often not the case. Ghosts come and go and don’t have to die in the building in order to haunt it.

We wound up the session and took a break before venturing down the street to investigate Thrall’s Opera House. My friend, Crystal Folz, who is a psychic medium, joined us for the second part of our evening.

DSCN6217(Above) Thralls Opera House. Photo by the author.

Thrall’s Opera House has an interesting history. Built in 1824, it was originally intended to be used as a dormitory building. After it was built, it looked very similar to Community House #2, but was transformed over the years. After the Harmonists left the town and sold it to Robert Owen, the building was used as a theater for plays and musicals. In 1888, it was turned into an opera house and was given the name Thralls Opera house after one of the main benefactors of the program. It continued on this way until the early 1900’s when it was sold and turned into a gas station and garage. Sixty-four years later, the state purchased the building and turned it back into an Opera House.

Over the years, tour guides and visitors have reported hearing strange sounds in areas that are known to be vacant. Two tour guides once left a note near the door, asking for a sign of their presence. They returned the next day only to discover the note wadded into a ball. The checked the alarm records, only to discover that no one had been in the building after they left the previous evening.

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(Above) Our investigation on the stage of Thralls Opera House. Photo #2: Crystal Folz with the other investigators. Photos courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

We started our first session on the stage. It was decisively spooky as we sat there in the shadows. We could feel them swarming around us. We started with an evp session and quickly began hearing a strange tapping sound at the edge of the stage. It almost sounded like someone tapping a cane against a metal pole.

Crystal Folz, who is a psychic medium, joined us for our Thralls portion of the investigation and began feeling a choking sensation in her throat. She wondered if someone there had suffered throat issues. It got so bad, she needed to leave the building for a moment. The sensation abated instantly as soon as she walked outside, but continued again when she walked back in the door. During the session, several other people also began feeling a burning sensation.

We moved onto a dowsing rod session:

  • There was someone there who wanted to talk to us
  • Someone there was a member of the Golden Family who performed there for years
  • Francis Golden was there with us (she was the youngest of the family)
  • They don’t always enjoy the performances
  • She sometimes visits the Civic Theater in Evansville (Francis founded it and it’s insanely haunted)
  • She likes that they still have plays at the Civic Theater

At that moment, I heard the sound of men talking in the front of the building. Several other people caught it too and it was recorded on my digital recorder. We couldn’t’ make out what they said, but the voices were spoken in a conversational tone.

We continued on with the dowsing rod session:

  • There was someone up front
  • They like the people up front (rods moved slowly to yes)
  • They wished they would go away
  • They liked us being there

Several members of the group reported seeing shadows moving on the balcony.

  • Something was wrong with her throat (KII meter flashed and dowsing rods moved)
  • Some of the outfits in the display cases were hers

We stopped getting responses on the dowsing rods, so we moved onto the Spirit Box. I asked if Francis was with us and got a response that I couldn’t make out. I began asking questions about the afterlife. I asked if they’ve ever seen Heaven and didn’t get a response, so I asked if they see a white light when they die and a faint voice said, “I haven’t.”

Someone asked if she liked it there and a female voice said, “We’re meant to be.”

We went around the room for a while. Any responses we got were faint and difficult to hear. I asked if they considered themselves Yankees and a voice said, “Kind of.”

Suddenly, several people began smelling a woman’s perfume. It came on very strong. At the same time, Rick felt someone nudge him. The smell wafted around the stage area and several people smelled it before it abruptly disappeared.

I asked the group what they were feeling and almost everyone had the sensation of being watched. While the vibe at the opera house is usually light, it had a decisively edgy aura about it. We felt as though a group of people were watching us from the balcony.

We decided to move to the balcony. As soon as we sat down, we began hearing the same tapping sound we heard on the stage. It sounded like it was to the right of us, near the stairs. Crystal mentioned that it was interesting because it wasn’t repetitive. It would happen a few times and then stop, only to tap again a few minutes later.

We turned on the spirit box and immediately heard a young girl say, “Evil!” Then, without warning, we began smelling the woman’s perfume again. I jumped up from my seat and ran over to see if I could smell it too. I caught it for several seconds before it disappeared again. It was strong and floral, reminding me of old-fashioned perfume.

Rick asked if anyone could talk to us, that we came up to the cheap seats to see them. A male voice said “You’re a mere presence.” It was spoken quickly and none of us caught it at the time. Even on audio review, I had to listen to it several times to make it out.

Someone asked if we could come back to visit and a voice said, “Evil!” again. It was apparent they didn’t understand why we were there. Perhaps if they were from an earlier time period and weren’t comfortable with our electronic equipment. Or, maybe they were talking about something else. Not long afterwards, someone asked if they were of German descent and a voice said, “I’m evil.”

The vibe on the balcony was so intense; it was almost difficult to remain up there for long. It felt as though we weren’t welcomed and were being surrounded by angry eyes. Everyone in the group felt it and commented on it from time to time during the session. In hindsight, I had to wonder if the intensity had something to do with Amanda’s absence. Were they worried that we weren’t allowed to be there since Amanda wasn’t with us? Also, we were in the balcony area, which is normally off-limits to visitors.

Nina asked if they could make the pinwheel spin and a male answered, “Pretty blond.” There were several pretty blonds in our group so we aren’t certain who he was referring to, but we all laughed when we heard it. Considering the vibe though, it was an uneasy laugh. No one wanted to be the target of his interests.

I often like to lighten up the session by having “the pie conversation.” I go around the room and have everyone tell us their favorite kind of pie. Sometimes this will generate a response from the other side, but not this time. There was one quick “You’re a stick” in the middle of our conversation, which didn’t make much sense. This seemed to be the trend of the night. It was as though we weren’t clearly communicating with one another.

We moved onto dowsing rods, but didn’t get anything after several rounds. Rick suggested we try an experiment and give them a standing ovation. We certainly raised the vibration and the dowsing rods finally moved to a “yes” response when we asked if they enjoyed it.

We decided to move to the basement of the building where the orchestra pit used to reside.

45367128_603003543431300_7705693592752226304_n 45427224_2266330980322745_1560070840760926208_n

(Above) Our investigation at Thralls Opera House. Photo #2: Nina. Photo #2: Rick Schlegelmilch. Photos courtesy of Traci Hoehn.

As  we sat down and I began talking into my recorder to document the location, the flashlight came on. They apparently knew we were down there. We went completely lights out for this session and sat in perfect darkness.

The only light we could see came from the cracks in the floorboards above us on the stage. I asked them if they could walk across the stage above us and block out some of the lights, which caused a protest in the group. “Or not!” someone said, which resulted in a group laugh.

Crystal asked if they could make the same tapping noise we had been hearing before. After a few minutes, we began hearing them in the basement too. I felt someone very strong drift into the room and used the opportunity to ask the group what they felt. Most people felt a male, but several people felt a female. It was possible there were both, but I was feeling a female directly behind us.

I decided to try the Spirit Box to see if they would talk to us. Someone asked if they like the way the Opera House looks today and a voice came through and said, “I like it.” Unfortunately, the response came in the middle of her next question so it’s difficult to hear and not sharable.  While we were listening for answers, we heard footsteps directly above us. I turned off the Spirit Box and we just sat and listened for a while, hoping to hear it again. We sat for about ten minutes but didn’t hear it again so I turned the Spirit Box back on.

I was curious if someone from the group brought a ghost with them, so I asked if someone could ask a few questions about it. As soon as I said that, a male voice asked, “Can you hear us?” This really drove home the nagging feeling I’d had all night. We were having communication issues. We couldn’t always hear them and they couldn’t hear us either.

We got a few responses that we couldn’t make out so we turned the box off and just sat and chatted. Someone in the group felt that whoever we were talking to was from the building and hadn’t followed up. She said when I was asking if someone followed us, she could hear “here, here, here” in her ear.

We ended the night soon afterwards, feeling as though we’d truly experienced something amazing. Our communication with the souls residing in the two buildings was sometimes clear and other times confusing, but always intriguing.

Thank you to everyone who came out. Thanks to Rick Schlegelmilch, Traci Hoehn and Crystal Folz for helping me with this investigation.

 

 

 

Haunted New Harmony Investigation Review 10-19-18

 

DSCN6203(Above) Community House #2. Photo by Joni Mayhan

 

We returned to Community House #2 for the second time this month, hoping to connect with the souls who still linger there. We know there are many of them because we’ve communicated with them on previous investigations. We just didn’t know if they would be willing to talk to us or not.

During our first investigation of the season, we were treated to the sound of footsteps above us, but it wasn’t to be the case for this investigation. As we settled in for an EVP session on the first floor, the second floor hallways were quiet.

Amanda Bryden, who is in charge of the state buildings and is a well-versed historian, began telling the group about the supposed demise of Frenchman George Gerard. During the early 1800’s Mr. Gerard moved to town, but was having money issues. Money that was promised to him hadn’t arrived yet and his financial situation was growing bleaker by the day. In despair, he resorted to suicide, hanging himself from a ceiling rafter on the second floor of the dormitory building. Days later, the envelope containing the money he was awaiting was discovered on the floor of the post office, accidentally misplaced. Many feel that George Gerard still haunts the hallways.

One member of our group was fluent in French, so we asked her to ask a few questions, hoping Mr. Gerard would respond. We didn’t receive any responses, so we moved on with the investigation.

44764804_179918046246688_2308531349503344640_n(Above) Several members of the group during an EVP session. Photo courtesy of Traci Hoehn

 

One of the craziest things that happened during that session was a response to a question. Someone asked how they got there. “Forty-three,” was the answer. In many areas, the Spirit Box will pick up random radio stations, but New Harmony is too far away for that to happen. The box went through the stations several times without making a peep. When it blurted out, “Forty-three,” it was as loud and clear as though someone standing in the room said it. Was it in reference to a year? Or miles traveled? We weren’t certain and couldn’t get the man to expand further. Then, moments later, someone asked if there was someone there besides George Gerard and the same male voice said, “The first half.” Sometimes the responses don’t make sense to us. The first half of what? We asked but didn’t get an answer.

Our time was up on the first floor, so we moved up to the second floor, setting up our session in a room that was formerly used as a dormitory room. I decided to give the Spirit Box a break and broke out my dowsing rods. Nineteenth century ghosts are often apprehensive of our modern electronic devices, but will speak freely through the rods. We’ve always had great responses with them at Community House #2. I had the group pass them around so they could experience them firsthand. Some people are better with the dowsing rods than others. I think it’s because some people tend to overthink them. They will feel them begin to move and will adjust them, thinking they are moving them themselves.

Dowsing rod responses:

  • There was a woman and a girl there – no men
  • They weren’t young
  • They were happy there
  • They don’t want to stay there
  • It was confirmed that there weren’t any men there (we were probably on the women’s side of the hallway. Women and men would have been separated.)
  • They didn’t live there, nor did they work there or were customers there.
  • They like playing pranks on people
  • They didn’t have any pets

Our time was up on the second floor, so we moved to the third floor.

We started in the large main room and continued with our dowsing rod session.

  • There was someone with us
  • It wasn’t Nick Slater, Charles Slater or Albert, the three printers who we often talk to
  • (I was feeling a female, which Traci confirmed) They asked if it was Mrs. Murphy but didn’t get a response, so we moved onto Spirit Box

I asked if they knew any of our names and didn’t get a response, so I asked if they liked to mess with Amanda when she was working there. Immediately, someone said, “Amanda.”

Amanda then asked, “What about Meagan?” and they responded with, “Not a thing.” Amanda asked if his/her name was included on the exhibit panels and a male voice responded, “Not all of them.” Seconds later, another male voice said, “Maybe.”

Another male voice said, what sounded like, “Carol Duval.”

After another minute or two of no answers, I suggested that we move into the print shop. At that moment, a male voice said, “We’re in a trial.” I found this interesting. Did he feel he was on trial with all our questions?

We got settled in and began asking questions. I asked if they could tell us their names and a male responded with, “Ain’t sure.”

We continued with the session, picking up the same male voice over and over again, although we couldn’t always make out what he was saying. At one point, it sounded like he said, “I’m beautiful,” which didn’t make any sense.  Then without warning, I began hearing male voices outside the room. The digital recorder caught it, but it’s hard to hear over the sound of the choppy Spirit Box.

Someone asked if they moved here for the Utopia. A male voice said, “I did.” She couldn’t understand what he said, so she asked if he could say it again. The same male voice said, “Hear the voice.” I’m not sure what that meant. Was he telling her to listen to the voice or was he talking to one of them, asking if they heard the voice? At the time, we thought he said something about a book.

When asked how many years they worked there, a male voice said “Quite a few.” It was very faint though. Directly after that, a child’s voice came through with the most heartbreaking question I’ve ever heard. We didn’t hear it at the time because it happened so fast, but she said, “Can I go home?”

We’ve known there were children there, but seldom hear from them during our sessions. Was she trapped and needed permission to go home? Someone asked if this was their favorite room and in the middle of it, you can hear a woman saying, “Go into the light.” This was astounding to me and really validated what I’ve always thought. If she was telling the child to go into the light, which is the pathway to Heaven. I hope she listened to the woman.

Amanda followed up on an earlier response that we thought we heard about a book. She asked if the book was in the building right now and the same male voice with the slight southern twang said, “That’s kind a tough.” Someone else asked what the last date they remembered printing on a newspaper. “I didn’t,” was the response, which makes sense if the person wasn’t a part of the printing offices.

Our time was up at Community House #2, so we moved on to the Fauntleroy Home.

40592125_10218698293267892_5211552766241013760_n(Above) The Fauntleroy Home. Photo by Joni Mayhan

 

The Fauntleroy Home was built in 1820 and was the fifty-third house built by the Harmonists. It is best known as the birthplace of the Minerva Society, one of the first women’s groups in the nation. The house is named after Robert Henry Fauntleroy and his wife, Jane Dale Owen Fauntleroy who lived there in the early to mid-1800’s. The house has been prone to ghost stories since 1848, when the first ghost was reported being seen on the staircase. By my estimation, it is the most haunted house in New Harmony.

Mary Emily
(Above) An old photo of Mary Emily Fauntleroy sitting in the same area we investigated

 

As we sat in the entry room by the stairs, I explained to the group about the primary ghost who haunts the house. Mary Emily Fauntleroy purchased the house in the early 1900’s and turned it into New Harmony’s first tour site. She put her blood, sweat and tears into the house but couldn’t make ends meet during the Great Depression. The house ended up in possession of the state with the promise that she could continue to live in the house until she died. She lived there for many years, but when WWII broke out, the state ceased operations and booted her out, despite the promises. She moved next door to live with her brother Homer until she died.

The haunting accelerated about ten years ago when the house underwent a major renovation. The state wanted to return the house to a specific period and all of Mary Emily’s modifications and collection didn’t fit the 1850’s time period they were shooting for. They ended up removing most of her collection and tore down the additions she had made to the house. The haunting became angry after that and for good reason. Mary Emily was angry.

Amanda Bryden, who is in charge of the buildings, was one of the people who made the decision to restore and renovate the house.

I asked Amanda if there was anything she wanted to add and as she started to speak, the pinwheel that we placed in the middle of the floor suddenly was crushed to the ground. It didn’t merely fall over; it was pushed so hard that the plastic cup that was holding it became dented. “I’ll just shut up now,” Amanda said with a chuckle. She’s always felt that Mary Emily doesn’t like her because of the renovations and this might have been confirmation.

As I listened to the audio we recorded during this session, there was a strange crackly voice that came through just after she said that. We did a Spirit Box session for twenty minutes and got a few responses that weren’t clear, but nothing from Mary Emily. We moved up to the second floor.

Everyone agreed that the second floor feels far different from the first floor. It feels heavy and not necessarily welcoming. We always feel as though we’re being watched and possibly judged. It’s not a friendly space. As soon as we turned on the Spirit Box, a male voice asked, “Who you talking to?” I just went with the flow and answered him. “We’re talking to you,” I said.

I told them that I was doing a presentation at Workingmen’s Institute, New Harmony’s library, and asked if they wanted me to tell the people anything. “Go home,” the male voice said.

I followed up my question by asking if they’ve ever been there before. “Do I do everything?” he responded in a sarcastic tone. The man was very vocal during the session. Someone asked, “Were you happy in life?” He responded with, “This says buy me.” I’m not sure what it meant.

Someone asked who the president was and there was no response until a full minute later when someone asked if there were more than one ghost in the room. “Johnson!” a male voice blurted out, which was followed by another male voice that said, “You didn’t!”

Sometimes I wonder if they can hear us clearly or not. This was apparent when Mary Emily’s voice came through and answered a question. Someone asked, “Are you male?” and she said, “I am healthy.”

Then, the investigation got very interesting. Elizabeth Stowers attended the investigation and offered to take a few photos. As she took a photo, we heard a very loud “hello!” come across the Spirit Box. It was so loud, I thought it came from inside the room instead of across the box.
When Elizabeth looked at the photo, the lights streamed up from the Spirit Box to the ceiling.

I asked who said hi to us and a voice clearly said, “Edith.”

She took another photo and asked if they’d jump into it and the same female voice said, “Again?” In this photo, the lights were absolutely crazy. They buzzed out from all the devices and spun around the room. There has been some discussion about the photos. Several people feel they’re due to slow shutter speeds, but Elizabeth was using a flash. I don’t know enough about photography in low light situations to know if this can be explainable or not, but she took an additional dozen photos and couldn’t duplicate what she captured in the strange two.

lights(Above) The room was completely dark when Elizabeth Stowers took this photo. Several people have stated that a slow shutter speed will produce these results, but I find it interesting because a flash was used for the shot. Is it paranormal or just a slow shutter speed? You be the judge.

 

As she was attempting to duplicate the photos, we caught a male voice on the Spirit Box attempting to help her. He said, “Don’t move it.”

We finally gave up on the photos and sat back down to continue our session. Amanda asked if they used to live next door. The same female voice said, “No.”

We went around the room for several more turns and didn’t get anything, so we moved to dowsing rods.

Dowsing rods:

  • He was a male
  • As I asked if he used to live next door, I heard a disembodied voice. Upon play back, it is very faint, but sounds like it says, “Joni.” Most of the group heard it and we went to the windows to see if someone was walking past, but the streets were empty.
  • He didn’t live at the Chadwick House next door
  • He lived in New Harmony
  • He lived across the street in the Neef-Lesseur house
  • He lived there in the 1800’s
  • He didn’t come over on the Boatload of Knowledge
  • He didn’t know any of the Owens, Fretageots
  • He worked in New Harmony
  • I passed the rods and as I did, I felt a female behind me. We asked the rods.
  • It was a female
  • She was behind me
  • She enjoys the company
  • She wasn’t the one who manipulated the photo

I began feeling a very strong female behind me. We tried to communicate with her with the rods, but no one responded. Then, out of the blue, the house alarm went off. It goes off without fail every single investigation. We tried to find out who turned it on, but no one would take the credit.

Traci Hoehn, who often helps me with investigations, took over the dowsing rods. She explained to the group how she locks her elbows in tight and a ghost seemed to be listening too. We caught a female voice on the recorder saying, “Look.”

Continuing on with the dowsing rods:

  • This room was her favorite place
  • She didn’t have children
  • She often travels to other buildings
  • We were talking to Mary Emily
  • She wished she could have had children
  • We had a discussion about how Mary Emily was really married to her house and someone asked if she had suitors. No response on the rods.
  • She was the one who knocked the pinwheel over earlier.

I suddenly saw the shape of a man appear in the doorway across from me. It stood there for two to three seconds and then disappeared. We asked the dowsing rods, but didn’t get a response. We continue for a few more minutes but didn’t get any further responses, so we moved onto the basement.

We settled in for an evp session. As we went around the room, I heard a humming sound, but no one else heard it. I heard it a second time and several others heard it too, but it wasn’t caught on the digital recorder. After we’d gone around the room several times, we moved onto Spirit Box. Someone asked what their names were and there was a faint response. It said, “Edward.” That was the only response we got. I could feel them in the basement, but they weren’t interested in communicating with us. We ended the session and walked back, taking our time to talk about the Harmonist Cemetery and the Scholars Retreat, which is the house Mary Emily moved to after being evicted from her home.

On the surface, it seemed like a fairly quiet night. We didn’t hear the loud door slamming or footsteps that we sometimes witness. Once I dived into the audio review, I quickly realized that this investigation was one of the most monumental encounters in my years of investigating the paranormal.

Some of the ghosts in New Harmony are eager to talk to us and we’re equally happy to listen.  Thank you to everyone who attended and to Amanda Bryden, the State Historic Site Collections Manager, for hosting this event. Much appreciation to Traci Hoehn for her assistance and photographs and to Crystal Folz for joining us after her Ghost Walk. Thank you Elizabeth Stowers for sharing your amazing photos with us too!

 

 

 

 

 

Haunted New Harmony Investigation Review – 10-12-18

DSCN6203
(Above: Community House #2 at dusk)

It’s always such an honor to investigate historic buildings. As we move through the rooms, we always keep that history in our minds, knowing that many others passed through this space before us. We also hope to learn something from the souls that still reside there, giving us a glimpse into the lives they once led.

We had a small group for our first investigation, which meant we could all stay together and not have to separate into two groups. It also gives us greater opportunity to communicate with the souls of the building. They are often less intimidated by smaller groups so we were hopeful to make contact with them.

We started in Community House #2, which was built in 1822 by the Harmonists, the Utopian society who founded the town. The building was originally used as a dormitory building for the younger members of the group, but over time has been used as a furniture store, school, print shop for the local newspaper and a rooming house. Many lives have passed through those doors, so we weren’t sure who we’d be talking to.

As we settled into our first EVP session on the first floor, we all began hearing footsteps and noises upstairs. We turned on the Spirit Box soon after and immediately began getting responses to our questions. We asked if they could talk to us and a male voice said, “Speak your tone.”

Someone else asked if that was his favorite room and the same male voice said, “It was mine.”

After thirty minutes, we moved to the second floor to a room that had once been used as a dormitory room. The room had a second room that branched off of it. I put my Mel Meter in the doorway and turned on the REM mode. If anything came close to it, it would light up. I’ve only had this go off several times over the five years that I’ve owned it, so I was surprised when it immediately began flashing.

Not long afterwards, we heard a door slam down at the end of the hallway, even though all the doors are closed and locked.

We then brought out the dowsing rods for everyone to try. Here’s what we learned:

  • There were four of them with us
  • They weren’t all women
  • When asked if they could make the pinwheel turn, they responded with “no”

 

Fleeing shadows are often seen in the hallway, so we put two people in the hallway at a time. I turned on my laser grid so they could watch for shadows. If something broke the grid, they would clearly see it.

43756792_10219036608045550_6180045634968485888_n(Above: The laser grid set up in the second floor hallway in Community House #2 )

The first two people didn’t hear or see anything, but the second two heard what sounded like a broom sweep right behind them

43951751_10219036602445410_6033660161539702784_n(Above: Amanda Bryden talking to the group on the third floor of Community House #2)

After a half hour, we moved to the third floor.

Because we’ve always had good luck with the Spirit Box up there, we turned it on immediately.

  • Say hi to us? “I do not.”
  • Any Civil War soldiers who want to say hi to us? “Hi.”
  • Do you like it that the floor hasn’t changed? “Down here.”
  • Did you have any actual furniture? “The chimney.”
  • Did you move back to PA? “Go home.”
  • Where is home? “Careful.”
  • What is your name? “Alfred Owen” (at the time, we thought it sounded like “Al Gore”, which caused a laugh)
  • What is your name? “Christina Werk”

The responses were interesting because two Civil War soldiers worked on the third floor in the printing office. The other responses were curious, but might make more sense later. Amanda Bryden, who is in charge of the buildings is going to research the names to see if they fit into the town’s history.

40592125_10218698293267892_5211552766241013760_n(Above: The Fauntleroy Home)

After a short break, we walked down the street to the Fauntleroy Home.

I’ve always said the Fauntleroy Home is the most haunted house in New Harmony. Many people have had terrifying experiences there, something we’ve witnessed firsthand. While no one in any of our groups has been pushed or scratched, several people have been touched and we’ve had many personal experiences we can’t explain.

The Fauntleroy Home was built by the Harmonists in 1820. It was the 53rd house built in town and has had a long history of people residing there. One of the primary ghosts that we’ve frequently interacted with is Mary Emily Fauntleroy. She purchased the home in the early 1900’s and turned it into New Harmony’s first tour site. The home was her entire life and she dedicated her life to preserving it and telling it’s history. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t get to live our her life there. After owning her home for a number of years, she had a difficult time making ends meet. The house eventually was turned over to the state and they promised her she could remain there until she died. When WWII broke out, the state ceased operations and kicked her out. She moved next door to live with her brother and his wife until she died. I’m fairly certain she returned to her beloved home as soon as she died.

43691959_10219037768594563_6349744513002504192_n(Above: Amanda Bryden talking to the group on the first floor of The Fauntleroy Home)
We usually communicate with Mary Emily on the first floor, but it was unnaturally quiet. Amanda was talking about the renovations that were done there years ago and without warning, the pinwheel in the middle of the floor slammed to the ground. It didn’t fall over. It was thrust over to the point where the cup that was holding it was bent. We all jumped when it happened because there was no logical explanation for it. It was as though someone slammed it down in anger.Mary Emily.jpg(Above: A historic photo of Mary Emily Fauntleroy sitting in the same spot where we did our first EVP session at The Fauntleroy Home)

After a few minutes, we moved up to the second floor.

43952014_10219037769314581_5306829864014184448_n(Above: Our group on the second floor of The Fauntleroy Home with the pinwheel in the middle of the group. The red light is from a flashlight)

The second floor bedroom is always active and it didn’t disappoint us this time either. We used a variety of equipment, including a Spirit Box, the Mel Meter, a KII meter and a flashlight. During our first session, we employed the flashlight. If it is set in between the on and off position, the ghosts can easily utilize it to respond to our questions.

Flashlight responses:

  • Do you miss your kitchen. Yes
  • Do you still have family here? Yes
  • Did you come here voluntarily? Yes
  • Are there two spirits here? Yes

We turned on the Spirit Box and got a few interesting responses:

  • Randomly, someone said, “The Ghost Walk” on the Spirit Box. This was interesting because I do Ghost Walks past the house weekly and stop to talk about the house and it’s hauntings. Have they been listening?
  • We also heard it say “Amanda” but it’s not as clear across speakers as it is on headphones.
  • I asked if  anyone wanted to tell us anything and a male voice said “hey”.
  • In August, we investigated the Culbertson Mansion in New Albany, Indiana, which is two hours away from New Harmony. During one of our sessions, I asked them what town they lived in. One of the ghosts responded, “New Harmony,” which intrigued me. Had a ghost from New Harmony followed us to New Albany? During this investigation at the Fauntleroy Home, I asked if any of them followed us to the Culbertson Mansion. The response to my question this time was, “I couldn’t walk.”
  • Someone asked if this was home and a male voice said, “No.”

I can’t handle listening to the Spirit Box for long periods of time, so I turned it off. I asked if it annoyed them too and the flashlight immediately came on.

Shortly after that, the alarm started blaring. It was apparent they were done with us. I always find it astounding when the ghosts turn on the house alarm. It has an on and off button. Someone has to switch it over manually. Apparently one of the ghosts in the house is fairly high tech. When Amanda went downstairs to turn off the alarm, one of the ghosts followed her. I could feel it, but also asked and the flashlight came on immediately, giving us confirmation.

Crystal and I both felt like there was a new ghost there. We identified him as a young male who died recently. Crystal thought he died from drugs. I felt he died from a car accident. As it turns out, we were either both wrong or we were picking up on different ghosts.

44033064_10219037768674565_8356929897477701632_n
(Above: Joni and Crystal Folz)

Crystal felt that he was pacing, agitated and anxious. At that moment, we recorded an EVP that said, “Kill.” It’s very faint and you can only hear it with headphones, so I didn’t upload it. Still though, hearing it gave me chills. What did this mean?

We began using the dowsing rods to attempt to get more information, but I’m not certain we were getting the right story:

  • He just came there recently
  • He was in a car crash
  • He was driving the car.
  • Drugs were not involved. I received a faint EVP that said “No,” at the same time
  • He lived in the Chadwick house next door.

This was interesting to us because Crystal and I visited the Chadwick house last year. While we were there, Crystal picked up on a young man who hung himself, which was something I later confirmed. We began wondering if that was who we were talking to. I began talking to him about crossing over. As if in confirmation, the light came on. At that moment, I immediately began feeling a tingle in my ankles that is a sign that someone wants to cross over. I felt it move through me and out the crown of my head. Someone crossed over. I wasn’t sure if it was him or someone else, but one of them moved on.

43879624_10219037769754592_240065161195421696_n
(Above: Crystal Folz and Duanne Wittmayer sitting in the small bedroom at The Fauntleroy Home)

We moved to the basement. It was the first time we’ve actively investigated the basement. I kept feeling a strong sense of slaves in the basement, something that Crystal had picked up on last year when we visited the basement. We then began talking about how New Harmony was formerly a sundown community. People of color weren’t always welcome in town. Amanda shared a story from the turn of the previous century when a group of African-American musicians were in town to perform and missed their train out of town due to weather. Fearful for their safety, some kind people locked them inside Thralls Opera House for the night to keep them safe. The fact that Crystal was feeling slaves in the basement wasn’t completely out of context. Robert Henry Fauntleroy, who moved into the house in 1839 formerly owned a plantation in Virginia and sold/freed his slaves in order to come to New Harmony. At least one of the freed slaves came with him because she’s referenced in the book The Old Fauntleroy Home.  It was possible they roomed in the basement.

The night’s investigation was interesting, but it left us with more questions than answers. Who had we been talking to all night?

We will continue to investigate these historic buildings and will hopefully learn more about their history as time progresses. I was thankful, as always, for the opportunity.

 

Thank you to Amanda Bryden for your tireless hours, to Crystal Folz for stopping by after conducting a rainy Ghost Walk, and for everyone who attended.

 

 

 

Culbertson Mansion Investigation Review 8-25-18

Culbertson

 

One of the greatest misconceptions we make as paranormal investigators is to go into a location with expectations of who we are going to find haunting the building. Such was the case in the historic Culbertson Mansion.

Haunted New Harmony hosted a public paranormal investigation at the 20,000 square foot Second-Empire mansion on August 25, 2018 with half the profits going directly back to the historic site. Thirty-three people attended the event which sold out three days after it was posted online. Most of them left with experiences they couldn’t explain.

The Culbertson Mansion is located in New Albany, Indiana, near the banks of the mighty Ohio River. It was built by William Culbertson, who was once the richest man in Indiana. The home has soaring hand-painted fresco ceilings, a carved rosewood-grained staircase, marble fireplaces and crystal chandeliers. Walking into the mansion is a visual delight. Many of us found it difficult to concentrate on the ghosts because we were so taken back by the opulence.

40085246_10218633340524114_7300263776819871744_nAfter a presentation on the history and hauntings of the building, we split up into three groups. They were led by Mary and Gary, who are both volunteers at the mansion and Kaitlyn Tisdale, who works for the Culbertson Mansion Historic Site.

Haunted New Harmony’s team of paranormal investigators were stationed on each floor and remained there for the duration of the night for consistency.

DSCN6060.JPGFirst Floor

I was the investigator on the first floor and held most of my sessions in the formal dining room. The three groups each spent an hour with me and we utilized a variety of methods. With each of our groups, we start out by situating all the participants in a circle in folding chairs. This keeps the group quiet to prevent noise contamination that will be picked up on our digital recorders. Ghosts often communicate with us in a frequency we can’t hear with our ears, but can record with our recorders.

We started out with a straight EVP session, where we went around the circle and asked questions of the ghosts who lingered nearby. We then used the Spirit Box. A Spirit Box is a specialty piece of paranormal equipment that scans rapidly through the radio stations. The ghosts are able to talk to us, using the white noise. We record these sessions on a digital recorder and review them later because we often don’t catch what is said at the time. We then moved on to a dowsing rod session. We’ve found that many nineteenth and twentieth century ghosts aren’t keen on our electronic devices, but will communicate through dowsing rods. This was the case at the Culbertson Mansion as well.

40066125_10218633339524089_6717238643745882112_nWe also utilized several devices that recorded changes in the electromagnetic fields. EMF detectors such as the Mel Meter and KII meters are often a valuable tool. Ghosts will use these to interact with us, but we didn’t have a lot of success with them at the mansion.

Throughout all three sessions on the first floor, I felt as though the activity was fairly low. Several people felt as though they were touched and a few people thought they saw movement in the shadows, but that was all. It wasn’t until I reviewed the audio recordings that I realized how active the night truly was.

One thing that was curious happened with the Spirit Box. We kept hearing the same male voice come across the speaker. He was somewhat sarcastic at times, but we couldn’t always make out what he was saying. We heard him clearly during my first group but didn’t hear him as often during the second and third group. It turns out, he just switched floors. We have his voice on the audio recorded on the other floors.

During one of our Spirit Box sessions, someone asked what Christmas was like in the mansion. “It’s been a long time,” was the response.

Listen to it here:

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/1st-floor-2nd-group-sb-what-was-christmas-likebeen-a-long-time

During my second group, someone felt as though they were touched on the knee. A voice on the Spirit Box immediately chimed in with “My dear.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/1st-floor-2nd-group-sb-did-you-pat-me-on-the-kneemy-dear

40083548_10218633337604041_7058569964025806848_nPerhaps one of the more chilling recordings I heard all night came during my third group. Two voices came on the Spirit Box, talking about me. “Where’s Joni,” one voice said. Then another voice responded with, “Oh, there’s Joni.” I’ve heard my name on the Spirit Box several times before but have never had them actively looking for me, which was a bit creepy.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/1st-floor-3rd-group-sbwheres-jonioh-theres-joni

All through the night, each group kept asking for members of the Culbertson family to talk to us. If any of them spoke to us, they didn’t identify themselves. It made me realize that we came in, expecting to find them there and directed most of our conversations in their direction. What we didn’t think about was the others who might have drifted in.

A person doesn’t have to die in a building or even live there to haunt it. Sometimes they come in with other people and just decide to stay. Other times, they might have died nearby and drifted in because they were drawn there. We kept asking for their names all night and didn’t get a response until the third group visited my floor.

It was almost as though it took them all night to trust us. Out of the blue, they began telling us their names. None of them were names we were expecting either. If we were hoping to hear from William, Cornelia, Blanche, Samuel or Frank, we were greatly disappointed. The names they gave were: Cheryl, Mike and Randy. Who are these people? I don’t know, but perhaps someone reading this might have a better idea.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/1st-floor-3rd-group-sbim-cherylim-mikerandy

During the session, I had my volunteer assistant bring a small group of three or people at a time down to the basement. I’ve found that the kitchen area there is very active and wanted everyone to have a chance to experience it. Every group that went down had amazing experiences with the dowsing rods. Several people reported feeling ghostly touches and felt cold spots. Several others came back with news that they were talking to Cornelia and a boy they thought was William, junior on the dowsing rods.

Towards the end of the evening, one of the volunteers needed to leave, so my friend Paula Bundy, who was helping me for the evening, took several groups down herself. At one point, I walked away from my group in the dining room to switch out the groups. The group in the dining room continued on with the EVP session and actually recorded a ghostly voice.

I had explained earlier in the evening that it wasn’t a good idea to ask them if they wanted us to leave. My policy is: if you ask that question and they say yes, we need to leave. We’d be jerks if we stayed after getting direct communication like that. Someone asked if they were happy we were there and someone else corrected him, telling him that probably wasn’t a good question (it was actually okay). As he was discussing this, they got a response on the digital recorder. The ghost said, “They don’t know me.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/1st-floor-3rd-group-evp-correct-interpretation-of-the-rulesthey-dont-know-me

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the first floor investigation came at the very end of the night. Someone who attended the event brought a REM Pod device. This electronic gadget beeps when the electromagnetic frequency surrounding it is broken. We had the device sitting in the room with us all night and it never made a peep until the end of the night. It began beeping. We recorded the beeps because it almost sounded like Morse Code. Melissa Goforth, a reporter who was covering the event, sent the recording to a friend who is an expert on Morse Code. He stunned us all by telling us it was beeping out the sentence: I was born in TN. Was the participant born in Tennessee? I’m hoping this will make more sense as time goes on.

DSCN6074Second Floor

Jason Nelson headed up all the investigations on the second floor. Jason has been helping me with my Haunted New Harmony events for a year now and is well versed in the process.

Gary was the volunteer for Jason’s first group. Gary is in charge of the carriage house, where they operate the haunted house event every October. Gary has been involved with the Culbertson Mansion for many years and shared a few expenses has had.

One story was especially intriguing. He was putting makeup on several of the actors for the haunted house event. As he was finishing, a woman in a beautiful green dress came in. He saw her in the mirror, but when he turned around, she was gone. A bit later, he walked past the dining room and saw the same woman putting place settings on the table, but when he came into the room, she had vanished. He asked someone and they said it was Cornelia. There’s a painting of her there, wearing the same green dress.

Another experience happened to him in the carriage house. As he was walking up the stairs, he felt hands on his back, as if coaxing him to move up the stairs faster. When he turned, the person behind him was too far behind him to have done it.

 

During their regular EVP sessions in the main room, they didn’t capture any true EVPs, but they did catch quite a few responses on the Spirit Box. They asked if they had a nanny and the response was: breaking the rules. That didn’t make a lot of sense to us, but the response was very clear.

Another response came when they asked if they had any pets. The answer was “I don’t.”

40021524_10216711926092523_7700044529641979904_nMelissa Goforth (pictured above with her daughter Sophie), who was reporting the event for the local paper, brought her daughter Sophie with her. Normally, I don’t allow children under 15 to attend my investigations for a variety of reasons, one being that it’s a bit much for children to handle. Through some miscommunication, I didn’t realize that Sophie was under fifteen until she arrived at the mansion. The ghosts seemed to like her though, so I was glad she attended. As I reviewed all the audio from the evening, most of it occurred when her group was in the room.

During the Spirit Box session, Melissa explained that she brought her daughter and wanted to know if there were any other children there. A voice said, “I want your kiddy.” This was alarming on many levels. Was one of the souls there interested in children?

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/2nd-floor-1st-group-sb-any-children-herei-want-your-kiddy

As the session continued, someone asked if he had any hobbies. The same male voice responded with “I could drink.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/2nd-floor-1st-group-sb-any-hobbiesi-could-drink

They asked him if he liked games too and he responded by saying, “The game,” which was a direct intelligent response, letting us know he could hear us and was answering our questions.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/2nd-floor-1st-group-enjoy-gamesthe-game

During the session, someone saw a smoky mist move under another participant’s chair. It moved quickly but stayed just long enough for them to see it. Was this a ghost attempting to manifest?

They did a dowsing rod session with great success. When they asked if there were any kids there, the rods pointed to yes and then turned to point directly at Sophie.

During Jason’s third group, the dowsers discovered that Frank was there and Ann was with him. Someone also smelled Frank’s cigar in the hallway. Cornelia also came through, telling them she was there. Her first husband Dudley was there too. Several people were having foot pains and it was explained that Dudley had his left foot amputated, which could have explained it.

For me, the most thought provoking Spirit Box response came towards the end of the night. Someone asked what city the ghost lived in. Normally, if we get a response to this, it’s the town we’re investigating in, which makes total sense. This time though, we were shocked. “New Harmony,” the voice said.

This made the hairs on my arms stand at attention when I heard it. Did a ghost follow us from New Harmony to New Albany? Did it stay or come back home with us?

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/2nd-floor-3rd-group-sb-name-of-your-townnew-harmony

 

34047639_10217849001516129_9009396010253811712_nThird Floor

Traci Hoehn was in charge of the third floor and I set this up for a reason. Traci is very intuitive and often picks up on the same impressions that I do. From the moment I first visited the mansion, I knew the third floor was going to be the most haunted. There’s just a vibe up there that you can’t ignore if you have any sort of six senses.

Traci took her own notes during the evening, so I’m inputting them here:

Session 1:

  • Right after Kaitlyn explained the Punishment Closet and we were talking having groups of two go out there, there was the distinct sound of the door knob to the hallway between the servant’s room and the Punishment Closet rattling. It was loud enough to be heard by the entire room.
  • “Mommy” is heard several times on the spirit box, but I couldn’t get a clear clip because on each occurrence someone in the group was also talking.

Session 2:

  • One man felt very cold while it was very hot in the room. There was no breeze around him.  I could feel the cold around his body when my hands were about an inch from him.  When he got up and moved, I sat in his chair for a moment.  I didn’t feel cold, but I noticed that his chair wasn’t even warm.  The metal seat felt cold as if no one had been sitting in it all evening.
  • The young girl felt something grabbing her foot.
  • When someone asked, “How old are you?” during the spirit box session, there were two responses: initially a voice said four quickly followed by three.
  • We got several responses through the night when asking about pets that seemed to answer dogs, cats, and possibly chickens.

 

Session 3:

  • Two women sitting near the corner where the closet is located felt cold spots.
  • One of the aforementioned women later felt a hand on her back and then playing with her hair. She felt uneasy and moved seats.  While this was going on an empty chair next to the two women continually made ticking noises.
  • The seat that was occupied by the man in Session 2 who felt cold was now occupied by a man who said he kept feeling the sense of falling backward.

Traci captured quite a few Spirit Box responses during the night. One was a very intelligent response to a question. They asked them what their favorite games were. A male voice said, “My favorite.”

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/group-3-what-is-your-favorite-game-to-playmy-favorite

When someone asked if there were any children in the room with them, they received a response that sounded like a child’s voice. I can’t make out what the child says, but the fact that a child responded makes it quite interesting.

https://soundcloud.com/jonimayhan/group-3-is-there-any-children-in-this-room-with-us

They also recorded a true EVP during a dowsing rod session. A woman asked the rods to show her what “yes” looked like. A ghostly voice responded with “no.”

The third floor is home to a very intriguing room. It’s located down a long hallway beside the staircase and looks to be made of wood lattice, the same type you might put around the bottom of a porch. The room is just large enough for two people and has a chair in it. This room is called the Punishment Closet.

Children who were misbehaving might have been put here in a “time out,” to think about their misdeeds. It definitely has a creepy feeling to it. During the session, Jason would have the volunteer bring small groups of three to the closet to use the dowsing rods.

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Above: Sophie in the Punishment Closet (photo courtesy of Melissa Goforth)

On several occasions, the guests would discover that the rods wouldn’t operate like they had during the group. They would often spin wildly and refuse to settle down. Nearly everyone who spent time in the closet came out feeling a bit unnerved.

40212336_10218633343924199_9170369584916594688_nReview

At the end of the night, I gathered the groups together in the formal dining room and asked them to share their experiences for the evening. Everyone agreed that the third floor was the most active floor of the night. Many people came forward, telling us they felt cold spots and ghostly touches. Several people saw smoky mists attempting to form. One woman thought she heard someone whisper her name as she went down the stairs to the basement.

Someone thought they heard the name Martin and Kaitlyn said there was once a servant there named Martin. They also kept getting the number 3 come across the Spirit Box on the third floor. We couldn’t figure out any reference to the number three, but perhaps that information will become clear as time goes on.

Everyone enjoyed the punishment room and felt a lot of activity there. Everyone also loved working with the dowsing rods and felt they were getting relevant responses to their questions.

All in all, it was a great investigation. I think we learned quite a bit about the ghosts who linger there, but we’ve barely scratched the surface. The mansion hasn’t been widely investigated and the ghosts aren’t well versed on how to interact with us. Trust has to be established first. I feel they’ll become even more forthcoming in future events.

I hope to return to the mansion for another public event in November. I will post information on my website as soon as we can determine a date.

40158234_10218633344724219_7166327394947563520_n

Above: Joni Mayhan, Paula Bundy, Jason Nelson and Traci Hoehn

Thank you to everyone who came out to the event, including my team of investigators and the wonderful volunteers who were so knowledgeable and helpful throughout the night. Special thanks to Jessica Stavros and Kaitlyn Tisdale from the Indiana State Museum Sites for hosting us for this amazing event.

And also…thank you to the souls who linger there for allowing us in their space.

The Old Rooming House – Evidence Review 3/30/18 and 3/31/18

 

IMG_6159.JPG

When my friend (and second cousin) Jim Stinson suggested we set up a paranormal investigation at his nineteenth-century era rooming house, I didn’t hesitate. After visiting The Old Rooming House numerous times, I knew it was haunted and was eager to explore it.

The Old Rooming House is an Italianate Victorian house built in 1896. While originally a family home, it was established as a classic comfort boarding house in 1949 by Mary Rickens, who charged $3 a week and expected her boarders to be “neat, clean and polite.” Mary ran her business for over 35 years, and then sold it to Jim Stinson, the current proprietor. Jim remodeled the house, adding extra bathrooms and varnishing the hardwood floors. Since then he’s continued to add to the house’s impressive collection of vintage travel memorabilia, antique furniture, and much-loved books.

People who stay there feel a sense of peace and relaxation. For many, the experience of stepping back in time provides them with an opportunity to unwind and recharge themselves. Jim says that many people will check in with the expectation of exploring the town, only to find themselves taking a nap instead.

We decided to try something different. Instead of just hosting a ghost hunt, we required all the attendees to book a room and spend the night. This kept the groups small and gave everyone a chance to explore the haunting as well as enjoy the tranquility the Old Rooming House offers.

For me, it was a chance to explore the history of the building by going directly to the source.

March 30th Investigation

My good friend Deb Burdick came to this event, along with Jim’s next door neighbor, Jessica. Deb has a long history with The Old Rooming House, having helped Jim set it up when he opened it in the 1990’s. Rounding out the rest of the group were two families from Illinois. I knew right away that we would have a good night because the groups quickly bonded with one another. If I liked them, I was fairly certain the ghosts at the Old Rooming House would too.

29570482_10217333877438349_3722285775863174565_n.jpgDuring the opening session, I turned on my recorder and began explaining how the investigation would work. While I was talking, a woman’s whispery voice said, “I do,” in response to if they understood how to use the flashlight to communicate with us. Thirty seconds later, I felt a touch on my finger. It felt like a fly landed on me but there wasn’t a fly anywhere in the room. I mentioned it to the group and the flashlight came on immediately.

Sitting Room

29570484_10217333872398223_6725704933608415278_n.jpgWe introduced ourselves and then I passed the dowsing rods around the group. When it was Frank’s turn, his hands were shaking as he held the rods. He apologized for his shaking hands and we received an EVP at that point. The same female voice consoled him, saying “You’re fine.”

During a dowsing rod session, we learned the following information:

  • Raised a family in the house – flashlight came on
  • Mannie was in the house – both dowsing rods and flashlight
  • The fire was intentionally set
  • Leora was present – She was born in the house next door and lived there until she died at 99. When the house was 100 years old, she gave it a birthday party. She took care of her family. Since we had a surprise guest, we began asking her questions with the dowsing rods. Here are the responses:
    • She had many good memories in the house
    • There were many parties held in the house
    • She still feels the love that was made in the house
    • She was happy we were there – both dowsing rods and flashlight response

I turned on the Spirit Box and we went around the group and asked questions.

Someone asked what their favorite room in the house was. A male voice said “pink,” which was followed by a female saying “up.” We weren’t sure what they meant by that since there aren’t any pink rooms upstairs. Perhaps there used to be a pink room upstairs?

During the Spirit Box session, we heard a knocking sound coming from the floorboards. It started near Deb, knocking twice and then knocked again beside me. We spent a few minutes trying to find a natural reason for it but couldn’t.

IMG_6117Room #3

We moved upstairs to Room #3 and continued our investigation after a short break. Almost immediately, we heard a knock on the window beside me. It sounded like a knuckle rapping on glass.

We introduced ourselves again in case we were talking to someone new. As I told them we were there to communicate with them and wished them no harm, the flashlight came on quickly.

  • There were more than one there
  • Someone there studied French
  • They all get along

I was running my iOvilus during the EVP session and it said “David, threat, ticket.” That didn’t make sense to any of us, but I’m including this here in case it makes sense later.

We moved to the Spirit Box. It was fairly quiet until Heather began trying to pin down the age of the soul we were talking to. She asked if it was her age or younger and a deep female voice said, “I will be.” It was quiet for several more questions, not speaking until Ed passed when it was his turn. A clear male voice said, “Don’t stop now.”

Deb asked if she liked the work she did and a female voice said what sounds like, “I ironed.”

I decided to lighten things up a bit and asked everyone to go around the circle and tell us what their favorite pie is. The responses were mouth-watering, even to the souls residing there. After Corey said, “pumpkin,” a female voice piped up and said, “Chocolate.”

We then moved onto the dowsing rods. Since Jessica seemed to have the best responses when she used them, I asked her to hold the rods while everyone asked questions.

  • They were happy we were there
  • There were three of them there
  • They like music
  • Some of them are musicians and have played music together
  • There were three spirits there (confirming this for the second time)
  • They didn’t mind if we did another investigation (slow yes)
  • She bought the house in the 1930’s (Mannie bought it in 1947-49)
    • Richard family owned it before her. It was a residence
  • Guests were expected to be well behaved
  • She’s the one who encourages Jim to make hospital corners when making beds
  • She wishes Jim would paint the exterior
  • She had a lot of friends in New Harmony
  • They wanted us to leave the room and move to another room (the rods actually pointed to the door)

IMG_6128Room 4

We moved to Room #4 and continued with the dowsing rods.

  • Confirmed she bought the house in the 1930’s
  • One of them was a female
  • There are three of them
  • At least one of them is a musician (confirming a previous response)
  • One of them followed us from another room
  • One of them played music at dances in town
  • One of them played at the dance hall in town
  • At least one of them went to church
  • At least one of them was married
  • One of the people we were talking to was Mannie
  • She likes the way New Harmony is now
  • She sometimes leaves the house to visit other locations in town
  • She likes to go to the Labyrinth
  • She used to have picnics
  • No response when I asked if she belonged to a Women’s club
  • There were men’s clubs in town
  • One of them went to dances on the second floor of the Oddfellows Building
  • None of them knew of anyone practicing séances, table tipping sessions or spiritual gatherings
  • One of them knew Homer Fauntleroy and Mary Emily Fauntleroy
  • One of them went to the Fauntleroy Home on a tour
  • One of them went to the Opera House

Lisa asked if someone could knock on something to show us they were truly there. There was an immediate knocking sound in the hallway behind us. She continued with the dowsing rods.

  • One of them didn’t think of us as friends, but considered us guests
  • One of them was originally from New Harmony
  • One of them ventured outside of New Harmony
  • One of them plays the piano
  • No one plays the guitar
  • One of them sings a lot (the rods began spinning after the “yes” response
  • One of them sang in church
  • None of them listened to Elvis Presley but did listen to music on the radio
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford wasn’t popular then
  • One of them liked going down to the Wabash River and liked to fish
  • One of them knew Jane Owen
  • Some of them try to communicate with guests at the Old Rooming House
  • Some of them think about leaving and going somewhere else
  • None of them have lived outside the United States

We moved onto Spirit Box and had several clear responses. I asked who we were talking to and a voice came through very clearly. He said, “I’m Nick.” The response really took us back because it was so loud and clear. We began asking him other questions, but he wouldn’t respond to them. Someone asked if he’d been downstairs and he said, “Who me?” someone asked the same question again (we were getting tired at this point) and he said, “You talking to me?”

 

One of the guests had been to Antique Emporium earlier in the day and talked to the shop owner, Paula, about her resident ghost Bebe. The woman began asking if the ghosts at the Old Rooming House knew Bebe. The responses were inconclusive. We thought we heard something different than what was actually said in many cases. Someone asked if they’d gone fishing with Bebe and a voice said, “We didn’t.” It’s highly possible they didn’t know the ghost from Antique Emporium when she was alive. The time periods could have been vastly different and they might not have recognized her name. We aren’t even certain her name is Bebe. That’s just a nickname they gave her at the shop.

Since the majority of my group was from Illinois, someone asked if the ghosts had ever been to Illinois. Two voices responded. One said, “No,” and the other said, “I didn’t.”

Someone asked if we had been in their room before, earlier in the evening, and a female voice said, “We talkin’.” The same question was asked again a few minutes later (again, we were getting tired) and the ghosts cut us some slack. “You talking to me?” one of them said.

Perhaps the best response we received all night came when someone asked if any of them played the banjo. “Mannie,” was the response. This is interesting because the former owner, Mary Rickert’s nickname was Mannie.

It was getting late, so we moved downstairs to Room #1.

29597840_10217333871838209_8395921855511523026_n.jpgRoom #1

We did a Spirit Box session, but it was clear they were getting as tired as we were. We didn’t get a single response on the Spirit Box so we moved back to the dowsing rods.

  • They didn’t like the noisy box (Spirit Box)
  • There were two females and a male there
  • One of the females was Mannie
  • Leora doesn’t stay there but popped in to say hi
  • No response when we asked if the man’s name was Nick
  • I asked if I got Nick’s name wrong and it said “yes” and the flashlight came on
  • The other female is quiet and doesn’t wish to communicate
  • The three of them aren’t related
  • They have frequent ghost visitors from other houses
  • Bebe is one of those visitors
  • One of them was born in the 1900’s
  • One of them was born in the 1800’s

We were amused to see the rods begin pointing to the next person, as though they were prompting us to move it along. We passed the rods and began asking more questions.

  • There is something valuable hidden in the house
  • They would gladly share with us
  • At least one of them drank illegally during prohibition
  • There were some speak easies in New Harmony
  • One of them likes rum
  • The Old Rooming House was never a speak easy
  • The person upstairs was Richard or “Dick” for short, not Nick
  • He was from Illinois
  • He liked to sing

After we finished that session, it was clear that everyone was tired. We concluded our investigation by thanking the residents for allowing us in their space and everyone went to bed. As expected, they all slept soundly.

Evidence Review 3-31-18

26239617_10217342851502695_4938380083895197951_nI returned for the second investigation the following day. The second group was smaller than the first. We had two groups from the Evansville area attend. One was an experienced paranormal investigator named Donna, who attended with her friend, sister and her mother. The other group was a woman and her 13 year-old-daughter, Zoey.

We started out in the sitting room and did a quick EVP session. I like to do a burst session to start things off. A burst session is when you go around the group and ask just a few questions while recording it on a digital recorder. You then listen to the recording to see if anyone responded. Even though we got a response during my Friday night investigation, we didn’t get anything this time.

We then moved onto dowsing rods. I demonstrated how to use them and then passed them around the group, inviting everyone to try them. Not everyone is adept at dowsing. Some people are just a natural conduit, while others are not.

  • There was someone there with us
  • The person was a female
  • She was happy I came back again
  • There wasn’t anything we did the previous night that they didn’t like
  • She watches over the guests and makes sure they are okay
  • Her name was Mannie
  • She had trouble with some guests over her time there
  • She liked to plant flowers
  • She liked her guests to be comfortable
  • She liked roses
  • She loved New Harmony
  • She has ridden in a horse and buggy

I then went to Spirit Box.

I told them that they are going to fix the old Harmony Way bridge and asked if she knew that. A voice came through and said, “You can watch me.”

Room 3

IMG_6137.JPGWe started out with a dowsing rod session. I was curious to see if Leora was there with us and received a “no” response. I continued on.

  • Manny was friends with Leora
  • I asked if Manny was married and got a very slow no response (her husband died before she did)
  • She said she did not have children
  • She liked her guests to be polite, neat and clean
  • We got a slow “yes” response when asked if she fed her guests. (she fed the ones who stayed with her for long periods)
  • She had an automobile
  • It’s okay for them to come back and visit again
  • She had people there to clean for her – Mannie did most of it herself
  • She had trouble with guests before
  • We asked about the fire. It damaged the home but no one was hurt.

We didn’t know it at the time, but we actually recorded a ghost voice responding to the question just after the dowsing rods crossed. It said, “no.”

  • The building was repaired quickly after the fire (it actually sat empty for a year)
  • The fire was set intentionally
  • It was the only major fire they had there (we asked more questions about the fire and who set it but the person is still alive, so I don’t want to disclose this information publicly)
  • They played board games there
  • Mannie liked children
  • She had many favorite guests who returned again and again
  • Someone has tried to break in before
  • A guest died there and is still there – died of natural causes (heart attack)
  • She allowed pets to be there, but only certain animals
  • She liked dogs more than cats
  • Women were treated equal when she owned the rooming house
  • She’s happy that Jim keeps the place neat and clean
  • She knew they were coming before they got there
  • She liked all color roses
  • She had a garden
  • She had chickens at one time
  • She loved animals
  • She visits places around town, including shops, churches and restaurants
  • She comes and goes as she pleases
  • People see a white light when they pass
  • Passing is much easier than what people think
  • There is an afterlife
  • It’s a continuous circle

We then moved to Spirit Box. We didn’t get a tremendous amount of responses, but the ones we did receive were intelligent.

Someone asked if there was anyone on the staircase. “To the right,” was the response. It was enough to make us go out into the hallway to look. We didn’t see anything, but it was still an interesting response.

Since we felt we had been talking to Mannie for most of the evening, we frequently checked in to make sure she was still with us. When someone asked if Manny was still there, a voice said “Manny.” It wasn’t necessarily confirmation of her presence, but it was validation that the ghosts in the house could hear us and respond clearly.

 

Someone asked if Nick was still there and a female voice said, “Nick’s escaped.” This was a bit alarming to me on several accounts. It was a very clear intelligent response…and I had a new ghost in my house. I felt it earlier that morning when I woke up. Was it possible that Nick followed me home?

At least ten minutes went past without getting a single blip on the Spirit Box. Someone asked who owns the rooming house and a voice said something that sounded vaguely like “Jimmy,” came through, followed by “old coat.” I asked the owner about this and he said that a man named Bob often came to the Rooming House and died several years ago (not on the premises). Jim went to a yard sale some time later and bought one of Bob’s old coats.

We took a break and resumed our investigation in Room 4.

IMG_6135.JPGRoom #4

We started out with the Spirit Box but didn’t get anything clear so we moved to dowsing rods.

  • Nick was married
  • He had children
  • He lived out of state
  • He stayed there often (slow yes)
  • He liked Manny
  • Room 4 was the room he often stayed in
  • They were allowed to bring women up to their rooms
  • They asked if he was married and this time got a “no”
  • We began to wonder if we were talking to two different ghosts and the answer was yes.
  • Nick was a businessman
  • He knew about the fire but wasn’t staying there when it happened
  • He had a dog who sometimes stayed with him
  • He stayed there for long periods of time
  • The other female who is there wasn’t there when Nick was there

I began asking questions about afterlife and the rest of the group joined in.

  • They’d never been to Heaven
  • They do see a while light when they die and can decide whether to go into it or not
  • She didn’t leave because she didn’t want to leave the house
  • There isn’t a hell
  • When people die, they never go to a bad place
  • Everybody is welcome in Heaven
  • Every person has spirit guides
  • Some people have more than one
  • It said that I had three, which surprised me because I thought I only had two. Then I remembered my grandma Nanny who has been with me all my life. They confirmed this.
  • Everyone went around the room and asked about their spirit guides. Nearly everyone had more than one and many had relatives watching over them.
  • We choose to come back and live new lives (reincarnation)
  • We make contracts when we come back
  • If people choose not to go through the light, they can cross over later

 

IMG_6143.JPGRoom 1

We talked for a bit and then did a Spirit Box session. After nearly ten minutes without receiving a single response, we turned it off. I played a few songs from their time period to see if I could generate any activity, but it was apparent the ghosts were getting as tired as we were. We ended up having a long conversation about pendulums. One of the members of the group had one, so she pulled it out and we demonstrated how to use it.

We didn’t receive any more responses, so we called it a night.

All in all, it was a great experience for everyone involved. It wasn’t a scary ghost hunt. It was a way to connect directly with the people who created the history of the property. We were honored for the chance to communicate with them.

 

Thank you to Jim Stinson at the Old Rooming House for his hospitality. Like many of the buildings in New Harmony, I felt that the building was gently haunted. A former owner and a guest or two loved it so much they decided to stick around.  Most people wouldn’t even know about it unless they pursued it like we did.

For more information about the Old Rooming House: http://www.oldroominghouse.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Ears Ring When a Ghost is Nearby?

Clairaudience

For many years, I blamed my frequent ear-ringing on a common medical condition called Tinnitus. When I would hear the sound, which often ranged in pitch and tone, I would blame it on the loud music I listened to as a teenager. But then I began to notice something strange.

When I would turn my head, the sound would either get louder or softer and I would also get the unnerving sensation that someone was watching me. Was this truly tinnitus or was it something else?

10297756_10208596438887846_3588367893016507105_n(Above) My ears were definitely ringing at the Spider Gates Cemetery in Leicester, Massachusetts

After years of experimenting with this, I began to realize that I was actually hearing something that no one else could detect. I was hearing ghosts.

People who experience the paranormal through their hearing are Clairaudient. In Latin, this means “clear hearing.” Many people who are Clairaudient hear actual voices or music, while many others hear tones like I do.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, test it. Turn your head to see if the sound is constant or if it seems to originate from a specific direction. I can pinpoint the location of the ghost by using this ability, telling me where in the room the entity is standing. I’ve also learned to pull information about the ghost by the pitch of the tone.

For me, a very high crystalline pitch signifies a spirit, someone who has crossed over into the light. It might be a spirit guide or a family member coming to check on me. A tone that sounds more like fuzzy static is a ghost, someone who is earth-bound. Within this tone, the pitch might be high or low. A higher pitch is always connected to women or children entities. A lower pitch is usually attributed to a male entity.

As with many people, as I began working with my abilities instead of running from them, I began to grow stronger. New abilities began appearing, almost like magic. If I tuned into the tones, I began getting pictures in my mind of the ghost I was hearing. Over time, this advanced into pulling more information. After I tuned in, I would get the picture in my mind, but also began getting information about the person.

On one recent case, I was checking out an old house for a friend. I knew nothing about the location and warned my friend to remain quiet while I walked the premises.

Almost immediately, I began hearing a tone. It was high pitched, which meant it was female. I saw her as being an older woman with a roundish face and a button nose. I saw her carrying a black book with her, which I interpreted as being a Bible. I thought she might be a widow because I saw her alone. She was determined in life and retained that quality in death. I sat down later that night and drew the image I saw in my head. After I sent it to my friend, he was astonished. It looked very similar to a woman who had once lived in the house next door to his property. He confirmed that she was a widow and was very religious. She’s actually been seen in spirit-form inside the house before but was often accompanied by a special-needs daughter who she spent her life caring for. I didn’t see the daughter, but I often only see/feel one at a time, so this didn’t surprise me. The stronger ghost usually comes forward for me.

IMG_2673(Above) The photo of the ghost I drew side-by-side with the actual photograph of the woman who I might have seen. I doctored the image since she still has relatives in the area.

If you hear frequent ear-ringing, try the following tips:

  • Turn your head. If the sound remains constant, you probably have Tinnitus. If it doesn’t, you might be Clairaudient.
  • Try to find the source of the sound. Often times, there will be a cold spot in that location as well.
  • Watch your pets. My cats were excellent validation for me when I was first working on this ability. I would track the area the sound was coming from and then watch my cats, who were actively staring at the same spot.
  • If you have paranormal equipment, use this to communicate after you hear the ear-ringing. I’ve recorded many EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) on my digital voice recorder after pinpointing an active spot in the area. You might also get higher readings with an electromagnetic meter (EMF) in that spot.

As someone who is a bona fide ghost magnet, I feel the need to caution you about expanding any metaphysical abilities. As the ghosts become more visible to you, you also become more visible to them. Learn how to ground and shield yourself and always have a backup plan in place in case something follows you home.

 

Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the best-selling author of 17 paranormal books. She also teaches Paranormal 101 classes in the town of New Harmony, Indiana. To learn more about Joni’s books, click on the photo below.

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