Orchard House Investigation Review – 3-18-23

Once again, we were back at the Orchard House for our second round of investigations. This was beneficial on so many levels. We were comfortable with the location and knew all the best places to investigate, and we had a lot of information to build from. We knew the names of six of the primary ghosts that haunted the house, so we were able to better focus on learning about them.

We divided into four groups and began investigating the four zones.

Lincoln/Lee Bedroom

First session – Red Group

Traci led the groups in this haunted room. She started out by explaining the room. When Jane Owen hired a decorator for the Orchard House years ago, she wanted a Civil War theme, but she didn’t want to play favorites. It is decorated with both the Union and Confederate troops in mind. The Lee/Lincoln bedroom is a prime example of this. The room also had a secret room hidden in a built-in cabinet.

This group participated in the Estes Method, which uses a Spirit Box. A Spirit Box is a modified radio that scans quickly through the channels, allowing the ghosts to speak through the white noise. With the Estes Method, participants are hooked directly to the Spirit Box while the group asks questions. Since they are wearing noise canceling headphones, the participant can’t hear the questions being asked of the ghosts in the room. They can only hear what comes across the Spirit Box and will call out what they hear. When the questions and answers line up, it removes the possibility of preconceived notions. We won’t try to make the answer line up with the question.

The first guest donned the headphones and they were off and running. 

Q: Do you have a big sweet tooth? Do you like dancing? What did you do for a living? Can you hear us? Are you an adult or a child? Is the Captain, George or Roscoe still here? (names they got during the previous investigation). Are you scared? Did you have a happy life? Do you have any advice for us? 

They didn’t get any responses from the participant, so they pulled her out. She said she could hear mumbling, but couldn’t make out any clear words. The next person took over. 

Q: Where was your favorite place in town? Do you go around to other buildings in town? Do you like living in New Harmony? Do you remember my name? Are you friendly? Did you used to live here? 

The second participant didn’t get any responses either. He said he could hear fragments of words, but nothing he could make out clearly. The third participant put on the headphones and they started the next session.

Q: We want to talk to you. Where is everyone? Are you mad that Marissa is sitting in your seat? 

Jason Nelson came in with the SLS camera. It shows stick figures on the screen when it detects a ghost. He immediately saw something on the camera, but it disappeared quickly. AFter a minute, it reappeared above the participant’s head.

They finally got an answer. She said, “basketball.”

Q: Did you enjoy playing basketball? Did you ever watch people play basketball out the window?

After a few more rounds of questions, they once again switched participants. 

Q: Can you make the chair rock? Is there anybody in the room with us? Can you tell me what the Captain’s name is? 

A: Blanket

Q: Do you have a blanket here? Are you cold? 

They heard a knock that sounded like it came from inside the room.

Q: Is that knock from you?

A: Sweating

Q: Are you sweating under the blanket? Are you sick? 

Time was up, so they pulled him out of the session.

Second Session – Yellow Group

Traci got her second group going and the first participant put on the headphones. 

Q: Is there anyone here with us now? What’s your name?

A: Colt

Q: Hello, Colt. My name is Traci. How are you? Do you know the Captain? Did you live here in the 1900s?

A: No

Q: Did you live here during the 1800s? Are you in your forties? 

A: Yes

Q: Colt, did you live here in this house? 

A: Deeter deeter

Q: Can you explain what deeter deeter means? Did you live here?

A: Huh?

Q: Did you work here? 

A: Location

Q: The house.

A: Clover

Q: Was there a clover field here?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you come here on a boat? What do people call this house? Were you involved in the Civil War?

A: No. 

Q: Did you get paid to work in the clover field? Did people pay you for passage? Was there an orchard here when you were here?

A: In the end

Q: Where were you going? Did you have trouble with your chest? (she was feeling pressure on her chest)

A: Turn around

Q: Traci was telling the group about the last session and how they told them there was someone coming for someone.

A: That was me

Q: That was you? Did people wear shackles here?

A: I was pressed

Q: You were pressed? 

A: You heard? The word?

Q: Was there a safe word? Was deetle deetle the safe word?

A: Wrong

Q: Are you afraid to tell us the safe word? 

They pulled Becca out of the session. She asked if that was a bunch of randomness and Traci assured her they weren’t. They lined up with a lot of the questions.They put someone else on headphones.

Q: Is Colt still here? Did you live in this house between 1860 and 1865?

A: Yes

Q: Did you help people escape to freedom? Colt, are you trying to show yourself in the mirror?  Were you in the picture?

A: No.Thank you.

Q: Thank you for being polite. Is this still Colt? Or is the the Captain? Roscoe? George? Greg? Maddie or Max? 

A: Probably

Q: Did Colt leave? 

A: No

Q: Colt, is Max your son? Can you make the ball light up?

A: No. Honestly. You. 

Q: Colt, were you in there with us?

A: Where?

Q: In the hidden room. Why does Max have to stay inside? What’s your favorite color? 

A: Two

Q: Can you name them?

A: I don’t care. 

Q: Let us know if you’d like to talk to us

A: Here

Q: Are you on the bed?

A: No

Q: Are you standing behind me?

A: Eyes

The timer went off, so they ended the session

Third Session – Orange Group

After a brief discussion about the room and the experiment, they got started with the session.

Q: Is there anyone here who would like to talk to us?

A: April

Q: As in the month, or is that your name? Did you live in this house?

A: No

Q: Did you live in New Harmony?

A: Yesterday

Q: Are you male or female? 

A: Whoa/Well

Q: How old are you? 

A: What would you like? See

Q: I was just wondering how old you are? Did you visit here? Is anybody with you? 

A: A book

Q: Are you reading a book? What kind of book? Can you tell us your name? What would you like us to call you? Are you in one of the books on the table?

A: Tangerine

Q: Are you on the bed? (Traci jumped in to ask that because the cat ball activated)

A: Three eight

Q: What does that mean? (Traci noted that the cat ball was going crazy on the bed even though no one was moving it). Do you know who’s here?

A: No good. One.

Q: Is there someone who’s here that is no good?

A: No

Q: Do you like bell-bottomed jeans

A: Service

Q: Did you wear them in the service? Were you in the Navy?

A: I’m with you

Q: What does that mean? Are you a captain?

They pulled him out and put another person in.

Q: We’ve switched listeners. Do you want to continue talking with us? Can you repeat any of our names? 

Jason came in with the SLS camera and was picking up something on the bed where the cat ball was lighting up.

A: Seventeen

Q: Is that your age?

A: Marcus

Q: Is that your name? (the cat ball began going off again) Have you been here a long time? Is Marcus your name? 

A: Church

Q: Do you go to church?

A: At the doctor

Q: Are you sick? (Jason was picking up a stick figure sitting back to back with one of the guests). Are you on the bed?

A: Yes (cat ball also activated)

Q: Are you tired?

A: The corner

Q: Are you behind the rocking chair

A: Outside

Q: Is someone outside?

A: You are

Q: What’s outside?

A: It’s time

Q: What is it time for? Are we going somewhere? 

A: Girl. The dark.

Q: Is there a girl in the secret room

A: You. The storm.

Q: Did it storm while you were in there? (cat ball lit up) Are you scared of storms?

A: Shut

Q: Were you shut inside the room? Are we still talking to Marcus? 

A: Hey, Mother. I’m sorry. Church.

Q: Did your mother go to church? Did you live near a church? 

A: Bedroom. What is that?

Q: Are you talking about the light? That’s so we can see you. ARe you talking about the camera?

A: This one. The back door’s open.

Q: (Traci asked someone to see if the back door in the hidden room was still open – it wasn’t)

A: I’m telling you. Down.

Q: Down where? 

A: Free. Hey

Q: What are you doing? Are you ready for bed?

A: It’s mine

Q: Is this your bed? 

A: Now. Yes. Now. It’s mine. (Jason was tracking something moving around the room on the SLS)

Q: This room? This bed? 

A: Yes. Tomorrow.

Q: You’ve brought up church.

A: Twice. 

Q: Yes, you’ve brought it up twice.

A: I want

Q:  You want to go to church tomorrow? Do you want a bible in here?

A: Teenage

Q: Are you a teenager? (Seventeen was brought up earlier)

A: Tomorrow

Q: Is tomorrow your birthday? Will you be seventeen tomorrow? What’s your name?

A: You

Q: No, my name is Mickey. What’s your name? Are you male or female?

A: Questions! (he was probably getting tired of the repetitive questions)

Q: Do you have questions for us? Are there too many questions? Do you have plans tomorrow? You’ve mentioned tomorrow a few times. 

A: In here. Please

Q: Were you married? How old are you? 

A: Now

Time was up, so they pulled him out of the session. They reported they were getting answers with the pendulum in the break-out room. Some of them reported they would be getting responses and it would suddenly stop. Traci noted that the activity seemed to increase in the bedroom when it was quiet in the break-out room. One person felt like it was a girl who was afraid of storms and was hiding in the secret room. 

Fourth Session – Blue Group

The Blue Group was excited to investigate the Lee/Lincoln room. Traci got them started quickly.

Q: Is there anyone here with us? Can you tell us your name?

A: It’s

Q: It’s what?

A: My

Q: Your?

A: Feeling

Q: Is there a woman named Darlene here? Is there a woman in this room at all? Are you all talked out? 

A: Help

Q: What do you need help with?

A: Gone

Q: Gone where?

A: Nine. You. Adam. 

Q: You’re Adam?

A: Stay. I. Girls. Come back

Q: Come back from where? What is your name? Is this your room?

A: All I’m hearing is piano music. Natural. You. 

Q: Is that your grandmother?

A: To repeat.. Hope

Q: What’s the name of the song? Do you feel like rocking? Are you making that chair rock?

A: Yes. There. Far. 

Q: Is that your favorite chair? Do you like rocking? 

A: New Hampshire

Q: Are you from New Hampshire? Is your name Mary?

A: I’m not going to repeat that one!

They pulled her out and she told them she heard, “I’m so horny,” which gave everyone a laugh. Bekka donned the headphones and got started.

A: Anytime. Outside. A lot.

Q: Do you knit? (Traci interjected and asked them to focus their questions around the responses) 

A: Right now. Dave. 

Q: What’s your last name, Dave? 

A: Brian. I. 

Q: Dave Brian? Are you from New Hampshire? What were you going to say after I?

A: I. Can.

Q: Is there something you can do?

A: My body

Q: Did you move the cat ball on the bed earlier?

A: Me

Q: Are you on the bed now? Can you make the cat ball light up again? 

A: Her

Q: Who is her? 

A: She

Q: Is she your wife?

A: The whole/hole. Blank. I’m sorry. Run. 

Q: Where did you run? Did you run home? Are there slaves running?

A: Behind

Q: Are there slaves running. Are you going north?

A: On a farm

Q: Are we on a farm? Are we hungry? Can you hear me okay?

A: In the corner

Q: Which corner?

A: Propped

Q: Are you propped in the corner?

A: I want

Q: What do you want? 

They pulled Bekka out of the session and set the next person up. 

A: I just heard my name

Q: How many of you are in the hole? Are you still in the room with us? 

A: Your

Q: Your what? Are you scared? What is the hole?

A: What?

Q: What is the hole?

A: I still

Q: Why are you scared of the hole? 

A: We’re. Home.

Q: Is this your home? How long did you live here? Or are you just visiting? Are you in the room with us? 

A: Words

Q: Are you worried? Can you make the ball light up?

They closed the door and the light completely went out, making several people (Rosie :)) scream. It was a wiring issue they had noticed earlier. 

Q: Can you move the cat ball? We’re going to be stopping soon. Do you have any questions?

A: Me?

Q: You aren’t allowed to follow anyone home, but we thank you for talking to us. 

He took off the headphones and they finished the session by discussing the night. He said he felt a burning sensation on his left arm. It almost felt like a pinching. 

Living Room

The living room at the Orchard House has been a hotspot for us during investigations. Like in its heyday, it was a space where people would congregate and rest. It was a comfortable room for our investigation, as well. There were plenty of comfortable chairs and sofas to sit on, and they were able to close the doors to prevent noise contamination from the other rooms.

First Session – Orange Group

Donna Tilly led the groups in the living room, using both a Spirit Box and the Phasma Box. The Spirit Box is a tool we use in many of our investigations because it’s so tried and true. We always get responses on it. The downfall of the Spirit Box is the choppy sound it makes as it searches the radio channels. We decided to introduce a new piece of equipment for this investigation. The Phasma Box is a program Donna downloaded onto a laptop. It has a tremendous word bank the ghosts can utilize to communicate with.

Her first group got started with the Phasma Box. It only took four minutes before the first clear response came through. One of the guests asked how long they’ve been there and one of the ghosts said, “Take a look at this guy.” It was an eerie response, making me wonder if they were all sitting around evaluating us as we attempted to communicate with them.

Not long after that response, one of them said Donna’s name. It wasn’t spoken after a question. It just came out of the blue. This is what we call an intelligent response. There’s no question that the response came from a ghost in the room who was aware of what was going on. That’s when things get strange. I clipped it and posted it on Soundcloud and promoted it on Facebook and people came back to tell me that it sounded like a notification, not a voice. I went to listen and sure enough, it had a two-tone, “ding dong” sound. I went back to the computer and completely reloaded the file and listened to it, clearly hearing “Donna” again. I uploaded it once again…and it sounded like the notification sound again. Getting frustrated, I actually listened to the digital voice recorder, thinking for sure I’d hear “Donna.” Nope. All I heard was the notification “ding dong” sound again. I know what I heard (twice!) and am not sure why that happened. Was there a ghost in the machine or was it some sort of technical glitch? If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Another guest commented on the house, saying, “Pretty house.” A plaintive voice answered her. “It won’t let me out,” she said. This breaks my heart because nobody should be trapped in a location. 

Donna then switched to the Spirit Box. This is a new device developed by John Huntington out of Maine. He modifies radios to turn them into spirit communication devices. We got 21 EVPs from it the last time. 

It didn’t take long before they got the first response. A guest asked if they knew Maddie or Max, which are two of the ghosts we communicated with during the last investigation. A voice answered, “Maddie.”

During the remainder of the session, I kept hearing the name “Leonard” spoken. I heard it at least four times, so he was adamant we knew he was there.

Second Session – Blue Group

Donna started the second session with the Phasma Box. They introduced themselves and started the investigation. It wasn’t long before the ghosts had their own question. “You visiting?” one of them asked.

The Phasma Box is trippy to listen to. The sounds have a warped reverberation sound that gives it an automatic eerie sensation. There were several times when it sounded like they were genuinely trying to answer the questions, the responses were gibberish. Finally, Donna asked if they’d had supper and a male voice said, “Follow me.” Was he going to show her where they ate?

Donna asked if they felt the cold weather and a woman with a distinct southern accent told her, “Y’all, remember Eddie.” Who’s Eddie? That’s not a name we’ve encountered there before. Was she talking about Eddie who haunts Capers Emporium?

I didn’t catch this response until I heard a guest remark about it. When I went back and listened, it says, “Chris, can you hear me?” This is another name we haven’t encountered before. How many ghosts are there at the Orchard House? Or are we drawing them in?

Seconds later, we got another interesting response. I should add, this all happens in the first seven minutes of the investigation. Donna asked if they helped slaves find their way to freedom and a weary sounding woman responded, “So many.”

Donna asked if they knew what kind of trees were in the orchard and it sounds like a woman and a man were discussing her question. “Trees?” she asked. He responded, “In the orchard.”

There were quite a few responses on the Phasma Box that “kind of” sounded like responses, but weren’t clear enough to clip. It might take the ghosts some time to get used to this new piece of equipment.

They then switched to the Spirit Box to see if they could uncover any new information.

There were a lot of blips and blurbs, but the only clear response came when someone asked if they liked music. A faint voice said, “Yes.” But then again, who doesn’t like music?

Third Session – Yellow Group

They began the session and got an immediate response. After they all introduced themselves, Donna asked if the ghosts in the room could tell them their names. Without skipping a beat, a male voice answered with, “Lloyd.” How many ghosts are there? This is another new name.

During every group, Donna tried to determine if the house was used during the Underground Railroad. Usually, her questions went unanswered. But this time, she got an answer. “How many people did you saved (with the Underground Railroad)?” A man came through clearly and said, “We weren’t sure.” This is an honest answer. If they did hide runaway slaves, they probably wouldn’t know if they eventually made their way to freedom. It makes my heart hurt to think about.

They got some odd responses. They thought they were talking to Colt and asked where he was and it kind of sounded like he said, “in the kitchen.” Then, they asked who else was speaking and a voice came through and said, “I am.”

A male voice came out of nowhere and asked, “Are you possessed?” It was a strange exclamation, so I clipped it. It was also very clear.

They switched to the Spirit Box, but didn’t get anything. Donna asked them about their breakout groups. One man said he was in an illegal marriage and another person said they talked to someone who helped Union soldiers.

Fourth Session – Red Group

They started with the  Phasma Box and began getting responses right away. When one of the guests asked if they wanted to talk to them, a woman responded with, “Who is that?”

When one of the guests asked if she was okay, we got a very specific question. It was so clear, I had to listen to it twice to make sure it wasn’t a guest. “Are you ready?. Press the button,” she said. 

A guest asked if they were all happy in New Harmony and a woman responded, “Half as good.”

For every clear response, there were a lot of answers that weren’t clear. Sometimes voices just popped through and said something clearly, but it made no sense. At one point, a man came through and said, “More productive.” As one guest began asking questions, it kind of sounded like it said, “skip her.” She went on to ask questions, but every time she spoke, a voice would come through the device, preventing her from speaking. And then, out of the blue, a male voice said, “Appreciate ya’ll.” A guest responded with, “Well, we appreciate you.”

When asked what his favorite food was, it kind of sounded like he said “Chocolate.” When asked if he liked chocolate, it sounded like he said, “kind of.” It wasn’t clear enough to clip, but was still interesting.

As I listened to the audio, I often wondered if we were truly getting responses or if the Phasma Box just spit out words from its workbank on occasion, but then I got this and it dispelled the skepticism. A guest asked if Maddie was the only kid there and a man answered her right away. “Maddie,” he said, repeating what she asked. 

They switched to the Spirit Box but didn’t get a single clear response. This is interesting to me, because we got 21 clear responses with the same device two weeks ago. It makes me think that the ghosts have a preference and they liked the Phasma Box better.

Joni’s Paranormal 101

I spent my half hour teaching guests how to feel ghosts without any equipment. With each group, only several people professed to have any six senses, but as we continued we learned there were far more of them with a paranormal sensitivity. At the end of the session, I handed out paper and pencil and asked them to identify the ghost(s) in the room. I was feeling two ghosts. One was a woman in her 30’s with dark hair that was pulled up on her head. She was medium height and was thin with a long Victorian blue dress on. There was also a younger man there. He was tall, thin with dark hair and wore a dark suit. I felt as though he was also from the Victorian period (late 1800s). I told them nothing about what I felt. Here’s what they came up with:

First Session – Blue Group

  • Female. Older. Medium height. Light hair. Reddish dress. Late 1800’s
  • Male. Middle age. Tall, dark hair. Casual clothes, late 1800s
  • Female. Younger. Dark hair. Long light colored dress with flowers. Late 1800s
  • Female. Younger. Medium height. Dark hair
  • Female. Light hair. Late 1800s. Saw a man too. Dark hair, tall
  • Male. Older. Tall. Gray hair. Union Army uniform. 1800s
  • Male. Older. Tall. Light hair. Jeans and a button up shirt. 1700s
  • Male. Older. Medium height. Dark hair. 1800s

Second Session – Orange Group

  • Male. Young. Tall and thin. Dark hair. Sees red stripes on his clothing. 1890s
  • Female. Medium height. Thin. Fairly dark hair. Ankle length blue pattern dress. Early 1900s
  • Female. Older. Short. Light hair. Blue patterned dress. 1930s
  • Female. Young. Short. Thin. Light hair. Blue patterned dress. 
  • Female. Young. Tall, medium weight. Light hair. 1960s
  • Female. Thin. Dark hair. Victorian era. Floral print dress
  • Male. Tall. light hair. Wore stripes
  • Female. Young. Medium height and build. Blue dress. 1800s
  • Male. Young. Light hair. Three piece suit. White shirt, dark suit. 1800s

Third Session – Red Group

  • Woman with light hair. Medium height. Thin. Early 1900s
  • Male, Young. Medium height. Thin. Light hair. Early 1900s. Dark pants, white shirt with suspenders
  • Young female. Medium height. Thin. Dark hair. Late 1800s. Long dress
  • Older male, short, dark hair. 1920s-1950s

Fourth Session – Yellow Group

  • Male. Middle aged. Dark hair. Late 1800’s. Pants with suspenders
  • Male.  Young. Short. Dark hair. Name Cotton
  • Male. Young. Light hair. Short. 1860s’. White shirt, gray pants and a coat
  • Male. Young. Medium height. Dark Hair. 1860s. Dark clothing. Darlene
  • Female. Middle aged. Short. Dark hair. Light colored dress.  
  • Male. Young. Tall. Dark Hair. 1800s. White shirt and dark pants. G name

As I explained to them, people often intuit ghosts like the ghosts would want them to be seen. My friend, Sandy, and I used this method to hone our abilities many years ago. We were always perplexed as to why she would see them older than I would until we realized that Sandy was older than I was. They were showing us different ages that were closer to our own.

You can see there are many similarities. Most people saw a woman with a blueish dress. Some saw her as short, but this is relative. Most of the people who saw her as short were taller people themselves. Most of the people also saw her with dark hair, but even this could be subjective.  They also saw a man who was often dark haired, tall, thin and wore some sort of suit. Suspenders came up in several of the groups, as did red stripes. One guest saw him wearing a Union Army uniform. 

It was an interesting experiment, and I will continue doing this with my groups. I might even add more elements to it to see if we can get even more information. The outcome was what I expected. People who are drawn to the paranormal are often people with a sixth sense. They may suspect it’s there but don’t realize it until they work with it.

While we were doing our sessions, Jason often came in with the SLS camera and here is one of his catches. It was dancing above my head.

Master Bedroom

First Session – Yellow Group

Whistling Rick led  dowsing rod sessions in the upstairs master bedroom. He gave the group instructions on how to use the rods. They introduced themselves and got started. Each guest  had a chance to use the rods. Here’s what they found:

  • There was someone there with them
  • Roscoe wasn’t there
  • George wasn’t there
  • Greg and the Captain were there
  • Maddie and Max weren’t there
  • They don’t like whiskey
  • They wouldn’t point to where they were at (said, no when asked)
  • No women were in there
  • Not born in the 1900s
  • Were born in the 1800s
  • He used to work in the orchard
  • The little boy (Max) was still there
  • Max is ten years old
  • Max has a sister there
  • He still plays there
  • He plays in the secret room
  • They were talking to the Captain
  • He wasn’t between the age of 30-50
  • He didn’t like being the Captain
  • Captain was his nickname
  • He was involved in town politics
  • He likes chocolate cake and ice cream (as someone commented: who doesn’t?)
  • Max was there too. He was by the bathroom.

Second Session – Red Group

  • There was someone there with them
  • Was involved in politics in town
  • Was there in the 1800s
  • Frequents other locations in town – Gymnasium and Workingmen’s Institute
  • Scotty the former town marshall was not there with them
  • They know the group is friendly
  • They didn’t live in the house
  • They are just a visitor

Jason came into the room with the SLS camera and caught something, but it disappeared quickly

  • They don’t want to show themselves on the SLS camera
  • Roscoe was there with them
  • Greg was also there with them
  • Greg worked in town
  • He worked on one of the farms in town
  • Max and the Captain were also there
  • He stopped there once on the river and decided to stay
  • He likes it there
  • He was there when the house was built
  • He was there during the Civil War
  • He served during the Civil War
  • He was a Confederate soldier

Third Session – Blue Group

  • There was a male with them
  • He didn’t live in the house
  • He didn’t have a family
  • He wasn’t from New Harmony
  • He worked on a farm
  • He remembers the orchard
  • He was over by the bathroom
  • There were more than one of them
  • It was another male
  • He was standing between two of the guests
  • There is one person there they’d like to talk to
  • He was  hanging out by the bathroom
  • He liked apples
  • He likes piano music (she got the same answer on the Phasma Box earlier)
  • Neither of the men were married
  • He taught music
  • He went to church on Sundays
  • He played music in church choir
  • He played the piano

Fourth Session – Orange Group

Rick experienced a technical issue and the fourth session wasn’t recorded.


I think we dug a bit deeper on the haunting of the Orchard House. We did get confirmation that it was once used to hide runaway slaves and we also confirmed that a child named Maddie still lingers there. We had a few encounters with the others we discovered at the first investigation, but our conversations didn’t turn up as much information as we would have liked. I’ll definitely be setting up another investigation at this location at a later date. It’s too intriguing!

(Above: Top row (L-R) Rich Schlegelmilch, Jason Nelson, RJ Drone. Front row (L-R) Donna Tilly, Traci Hoehn, Joni Mayhan.

Thank you to my team for all your hard work, and thank you to all the guests who joined us!

Orchard House Investigation Review – 3-4-23

The Orchard House sits on the north-west edge of town. At first glance, you will see a stately two-story, wood framed house. As you get closer, you’ll probably notice the signs of wear and wonder about its origins. Closer still, you just might feel as though you’re being watched.

The Orchard House was built in 1860 and was renovated by Jane Owen decades ago to be used as a guest house for the New Harmony Inn. The building has four lavish bedrooms and ample space for entertainment, which makes it perfect for wedding parties. While most guests have nothing but a positive experience, others have experienced something unnatural while staying there.

“That place is haunted,” one guest of my Haunted New Harmony Ghost Walks told me, which piqued my interest, but didn’t surprise me. By my estimation, most old homes in New Harmony have a ghost or two in residence. We decided to rent the building and see for ourselves. By the time the sun broke the horizon the following morning, we were convinced of the haunting. Not only had we received intelligent responses on our Spirit Box, we also heard strange sounds throughout the night. Was it footsteps or just the sound of an old house settling? Sometimes it’s difficult to determine, but other times it’s clearly evident. As I slept in a room on the main floor, I heard the distinct sounds of footsteps come into the room. They walked all the way to the side of my bed and stopped in front of me as though taking the opportunity to get a good look at me while I slept. Even though I’m supposed to be a fearless ghost hunter, there are times when it takes me a moment to gather my courage. When I finally opened my eyes, nothing was there. I finally fell back asleep and learned that several of my friends had similar experiences.

Years later, when we started our new Dark Side Ghost Walk, we added the Orchard House to the tour. By this time, we’d gathered quite a few new stories from other guests. One guest came in and saw a man wearing overalls standing at the top of the staircase. As they stood there staring, he faded into nothing right in front of them. Others felt touches or heard sounds they couldn’t explain. During our very first Dark Side Ghost Walk, one of our guests stopped me after we’d passed by the house, telling me he saw a brown haired woman with a light blue dress staring out a window.

I approached the New Harmony Inn and asked them if they would allow me to rent the building for a public paranormal investigation and was astounded when they gave me the green light. I think on some level, they also wanted to see what we discovered.

Even though we’d already experienced warm weather, the night of the event was cool and chilly. Our guests showed up and we divided into four teams and then split up and investigated the house.

Living Room

First Session – Orange Group

Jason Nelson led a group in the living room, which was a hotspot in our past investigation. He used two different Spirit Boxes, one is a modified radio with reverberation built in and the other was our standard SB-7 Spirit Box. The theory behind the Spirit Box is that it scans the radio channels quickly, only landing on each one for an eight of a second. The ghosts are able to speak through the white noise. We use it frequently because of the amazing results we often get with it.

Three minutes into the session, they got their first hit. Jason had everyone introduce themselves and then asked if they could share their names. A male with an Australian accent said what sounds like, “George.” When I first listened to it, I though he was saying Jason, but changed my mind. Either way, it was interesting.

Immediately afterwards, a voice came through and said, “Watch it!” And then someone said, “Lincoln.” This is interesting because the house is decorated in Civil War motif. One room is actually named the Lincoln/Lee Room.

As Jason was marveling over the amount of responses they were getting, a male voice asked him, “You good?”

One of the guests asked if they lived there and a faint female voice said, “No.”

Someone asked if he followed someone there and a voice said, “Sam.” As far as I know, there wasn’t anyone named Sam at the event, so he must have followed someone else at an earlier time.

And then, still within the first five minutes of the session, a voice said, “Release them.” I’m not sure who or what he was referring to, but he had a bit of a British accent.

During the session, someone felt like something was touching the back of her neck. She moved to another spot. She thought she heard her name come over the Spirit Box, but upon review, it wasn’t anything I could make out.

A motion sensor cat ball kept lighting up on its own throughout the session.

Several other people showed up late and Jason had them introduce themselves. Right after that, someone asked if they were from New Harmony and there were several responses that sounded like “Yup.”

Someone asked, “What’s your name?” A voice responded with “Greg.”

“Do you like all the travelers who come through here?” A voice responded with “Yes.”

They got a lot of blips and blurps, but no clear responses for the remainder of the session.

Second Session – Blue Group

It didn’t take long for them to get their first hit. Five minutes into the session, one of the men in the group asked if they lived in the house and a female told him, “We see.”

Some of the responses were difficult to understand and could have been nothing more than radio stations popping in. When someone asked if their family was here, you can hear a quick, “Yup.” Quite a few answers came in similarly. When they finally got a hit, it was faint. “How old are you?” someone asked. A female immediately responded with, “Six.”

Jason switched to the SB-7 Spirit Box after they went several minutes without getting any clear responses. Unfortunately, it wasn’t even picking up radio station blurbs. It was nothing but static. The lack of responses came shortly after Jason began sending people outside for a breakout group with a pendulum. I have to wonder if the ghosts were following the guests outside. This would make a lot of sense. It’s the reason why we have breakout groups. Ghosts often feel more comfortable with small groups and are more willing to communicate.

Finally, after a few minutes, they finally got a response. One woman asked what year they were married and a male with a Midwestern accent said, “We’re gonna go east.”

Third Session – Yellow Group

They began asking questions, asking if the little girl from the second floor followed them downstairs. When asked if she played in this room, they got the sound of a little girl’s voice. Her voice is very faint and probably can only be heard if you’re wearing headphones.

Rachel asked what their favorite color was and a male voice said, “Color?” Then, a female voice exclaimed, “Pink!”

Ben Adams walked in with his SLS Camera. This camera is based on Kinect X-Box technology. It maps people and ghosts as stick figures on his screen. He picked up on a child-sized stick figure. Later in the evening, his system crashed and he lost all the video he recorded, so we have nothing to show you, unfortunately.

They didn’t get any other responses, so Jason switched to the SB-7 Spirit Box to see if they could get anything with it. Within seconds, they got a hit. He asked if there was anyone there who wanted to talk to them and a voice asked, “What are you doing?” It’s very faint, so you’ll need to listen closely or with headphones.

They were commenting on how quiet the Spirit Box was. Normally, you’ll at least hear occasional radio stations pop in, but it was just solid static. Then, a male voice said, “We’ve all been with Traci.” It makes a lot of sense. If there are limited ghosts in the house, they might be hanging out in other areas, especially with Traci who was doing the Estes Method. Her sessions were quite active. This is another very faint one.

Rachel and Eric came in from their breakout session and Rachel and Lisa took their place. They wondered if the child followed them outside. They were getting a lot of hits on the pendulum. She told them she went to school in New Harmony and played in the house. She said they didn’t like us all in the house asking them questions.

They heard something come through the Spirit Box and decided it was just a song on the radio, but then a male voice came through and said, “It’s me.” It too was a faint response.

Fourth Session – Red Group

They went around and introduced themselves and were off and running. Jason asked if anyone wanted to talk to them and a male voice asked, “You there?”

The very next question garnered a response, as well. A guest asked if there was a male with them and a man yelled, “Hey!” with great enthusiasm. This is another one that sounds different after I uploaded it to Soundcloud. Now, I hear, “Hello!” What do you hear?

Someone asked if this was his favorite room and he properly insulted her. “Idiot!” he said.

And then, we got the best EVP of the night. One of our guests asked if there was a little girl with us and a little girl responded with, “Mommy.” It was so clear and absolutely spine chilling.

The little girl wasn’t finished with them though. One guests thought it was a little boy they’d been talking to at their last session. She asked, “Is this Max?” and the same little girl responded with, “Maddie.” Then, a gruff sounding male asked, “You give up?” like he was scolding her for responding.

It was strange because after that, you could hear a child’s voice in the background. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. It was more like a cry.

Jason decided to switch things up and moved to the SB-7 Spirit Box. They ran it for a few minutes, but it was clear we’d worn the ghosts out. They turned it off and spent the rest of the session talking.

Breakout Sessions

On one of the breakout sessions, they were talking to a man. They couldn’t nail down the era, but the man knew about baseball and football. He was standing behind the woman and his wife had dark hair. They said they were there after the Harmonists.

Another group felt they were talking to a little girl. She said she lived there and her parents were there.

Master Bedroom

First Session – Yellow Group

Whistling Rick led a dowsing rod session in the master bedroom. After he demonstrated how to use the rods, he turned them over to the guests to use. In the meantime, he sent small groups out to the stairwell to do a pendulum session. We’ve discovered that the ghosts are more apt to approach smaller groups. By sending two people to another location by themselves, they often receive interaction.

  • They weren’t talking to the two men from the stairwell (from their breakout session)
  • They worked in the orchards
  • They worked in the house
  • They worked in the kitchen
  • They didn’t stay in the house. They just worked there.
  • She was standing in the corner
  • She followed them in from the stairs
  • She wasn’t the one they were talking to in their breakout session
  • She worked in the house
  • She was a housekeeper
  • She didn’t work there in the 1900s
  • She worked there in the 1800s

Ben Adams came into the room with his SLS camera. The SLS camera uses Kinect technology and shows a stick figure on the screen if a ghost is present.

  • She of them was married
  • They were talking to a woman

Second Session – Red Group

  • They were talking to a male
  • He worked there
  • He wasn’t an owner
  • He wasn’t scared of them
  • There were multiple people in there with him
  • There were two spirits there
  • The other spirit was his wife
  • They were the owners
  • He is happy
  • They were still talking to a man
  • When asked if they could point to where they were, the rods pointed toward the bathroom
  • They liked mashed potatoes and gravy (I mean, who doesn’t?)
  • They have family in town still
  • They like cornbread
  • They don’t know RJ (he was using the rods and works for the NH Inn)
  • They were talking to Max
  • There was a female there too
  • He was seven years old
  • They asked if Max could light up the cat ball and he did
  • The female in the room was his mother
  • She was hiding with him, as well
  • Max hid longer than six months
  • He left the town
  • He went north when he left
  • He stayed in the room across the hall
  • He eventually went to Canada
  • He was born between 1850 and 1950
  • It was his favorite house to be in
  • He didn’t go to school in the town
  • He didn’t work in the fields
  • He was still a child when he left
  • The owners kept him safe
  • They see us do our ghost walks outside
  • They don’t stand in the window so we can see them when we walk by
  • They want to be seen though
  • It’s very tiresome trying to be seen
  • They don’t go anywhere else
  • They were still talking to Max
  • He hid with other boys
  • Some of them are with him still

Third Session – Blue Group

  • They were curious what the group was doing there
  • They enjoy laughing at some of the drunken wedding parties
  • They were talking to a little girl
  • She is a teenager
  • She runs between the rooms
  • The girl left and they were talking to someone else (as groups came in from their breakout sessions, they often brought the ghosts back with them)
  • They were surprised there were so many people there
  • They sometimes visit other locations in town
  • They’ve been to WMI (our town library/museum)
  • They asked for the rods to point to where they were in the room and they pointed to the corner.
  • They’ve swam in the Wabash River
  • They worked there

Ben walked in with the SLS camera and demonstrated it for the group. He picked up something standing on Rick’s shoulders.  As Ben was filming, it popped up again but then Ben’s camera shut off before he could save it.

Fourth Session – Orange Group

  • They lived in New Harmony
  • They were younger
  • They weren’t there when the house was built
  • They are a native to New Harmony
  • They don’t know anyone in the room
  • They have family from the area that are still here
  • They don’t like all of the people in the room
  • It wasn’t their room
  • They see a lot of weddings
  • (I don’t know why they didn’t ask if the person they were talking to was male or female)
  • There are more than one of them in the room
  • They know Roscoe from the Lee/Lincoln room they were just talking to
  • They lived in the house
  • They can light the ball light up (but they didn’t actually do it)
  • No answer on the question I’ve been waiting for – male or female?
  • They’ve swam in the Wabash
  • They think the town is peaceful
  • They were there when the bridge was built and when the gymnasium was built (a hundred years apart, which makes us wonder about the validity of the response)
  • The group stopped announcing the answers to the rods for a long period.
  • They’re from New Harmony
  • They went back to not announcing the answers, so I can’t document what they discovered. I think everyone was getting tired.
  • They were slaves – Rick corrected this because they didn’t allow slavery in New Harmony
  • They were educated
  • They liked having an education

Breakout Group

  • They were talking to two males, one older than the other. Father and son.
  • There was a child hiding there. His name was Max.
  • There was a man who was married, but didn’t have children. Was buried in the cemetery.

Lincoln/Lee Bedroom

First Session – Red Group

Traci Hoehn led the groups in the Lincoln/Lee bedroom. This bedroom was decorated in a Civil War theme that included two men who certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed sharing a bedroom in life. The room also holds a hidden room. Inside a built-in cabinet is a secret door that leads to a secret room. We have no documentation, but believe it might have been used during the Underground Railroad.

Traci assisted the group with the Estes Method. In this experiment, participants wear a headphone attached to a Spirit Box. The Spirit Box is a modified radio that scans through the stations at a rapid rate, allowing the ghosts to speak through the white noise. By blindfolding the participant and having them listen to the Spirit Box through headphones, it eliminates the possibility that we are hearing what we want to hear. The participant can’t hear the questions that are being asked, but shout out the responses they hear. Sometimes they match up and sometimes they don’t. We’ve also noticed that it sometimes puts the participant into a channeling state. They begin seeing images and understand more of what is going on.

Q: Someone in here with us?

A: Yes

Q: Are you male or female?

A: No

Q: Are you by yourself?

A: So (no?)

Q: Are you scared? Do you know why you’re here?

A: No!

Q: What’s your favorite color?

A: No!

Q: Are you looking into the mirror? Can you say anything besides no? Where were you born? Can you tell me what the name of this house is? Are you alone here?

A: Yes!

Q: Did you open the cabinet doors earlier? Are you being shy right now? Are you happy we’re here? Is there someone in this room you would rather talk to? Do you remember our names?

A: No!

Q: They went around the room and identified themselves. Can you tell us who you’d like to talk to? What’s your name? Do you like this is called the Lincoln/Lee room?

A: No!

Q: Why does it bother you? Are you from the Union Army?

A: No!

Q: Were you from the Confederate Army?

They switched participants.

A: Hello

Q: Hello. How are you?

A: Follow

Q: Did you follow from another room?

A: Followed from room

Q: Did you follow from a room?

A: Beside me. Hiding.

Q: Are you scared?

A: Hiding

Q: Who are you hiding from?

A: Children. The owner

Q: Is the owner male?

A: I know the owner

Q: What’s his name?

A: He’s nice

Q: What’s his name?

A: Stay

Q: I’m not going anywhere. I’m just taking pictures. Did you have your picture taken?

A: A long way

Q: Where’s the owner?

A: Travel

Q: From where?

A: Scared

Q: We’re not going to hurt you

A: You’re messing with me

Q: We’re not messing with you.

A: Ten thousand. Hi

Q: What can we do to help you? Are you alone?

A: Woman

Q: Can we help you? Are you still there?

A: Yeah. The Captain

Q: Who’s the Captain? Is that who owned the house?

A: Yes

Q: Was he in the army?

A: Behind you

Q: Is he on the bed?

A: Yep. My mom

Q: Was your mom married to the Captain? Who else is here? How long have you been here?

A: Jackson. Yep

Q: Is that your family name? Or is Jackson here too?

A: Quiet!

Q: Sorry

A: Yep

Q: Are you still behind us? What’s your favorite color? Don’t slam…the door (Ben had just shut the door). You have to be quiet.

Q: Do you like Ben?

A: Fighting

Q: Who’s fighting?

A: Men

Q: What are they fighting about? Do you like music? Did you make the bells chime?

A: New York

Q: What’s in New York?

A: uh ha

Q: Are you still here?

A: Yup.

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself? Have you been to New York? Is the owner in New York?

A: Stay (Ben just walked out of the room and slammed the door like she didn’t want him to)

A: Many

Q: Many what? Did you live here? Did you hide here? Why are you here? (rapid fire questions)

A: yes

Q: Were you a Harmonist? (House wasn’t built until well after the Harmonist period)

A: Captain

Q: Is the Captain here now?

A: Yes

Q: Is he still on the bed?

A: Behind her

Q: Who is her?

A: Plaid

Q: Behind me? Or behind me?

A: Door

Q: Do you see the wooden boxes? (Rem pods)

A: To the left

Q: Yes, there’s one to my left. They light up and make sound

A: Music

Q: They don’t make music, they make sound

A: Tomorrow

Q: We won’t be here tomorrow. Can you do it today?

A: Can you stop it?

Q: Can you make this clock shut off?

A: I don’t know

Q: Do you feel strong? (Batteries were drained from Rem pod)

A: I’m sorry

Q: You don’t have to be sorry. We like talking to you.

Q: We’re getting ready to wrap up. Is there anything else you want us to know?

A: no response. They brought her out of it and she said she felt very sad while she was doing it. Ashley is one of the most intuitive guests we’ve ever had. She also attended our Murphy Auditorium event and was just as amazing. If you’re reading this, Ashley, we love having you at our events.

Second Session – Yellow Group

Ben was the first participant for the Estes Method

Q: We’re back again and want to learn more about you. They went around the group and introduced themselves. Are you still here with us? Do you have a favorite place to sit in this room? Can you go sit there now? Did you work in this house or live in this house?

A: Do you know. Hi Ben.

Q: laugher

A: Do you know?

Q: Do you know Ben? Are you the same person who was in here earlier talking to Traci and the others? What was the little secret closet used for?

A: Hi

Q: Hi! Did you live in New Harmony?

A: Do you want to laugh?

Q: I love to laugh. Will you tell me a joke?

A: Hey

Q: Hey. Can you see these purple lights on the floor? (Trip lights)

A: Do you want to ask?

Q: Yes. I want you to change the colors on the Trip Lights. Can you do that? Walk up to them and they’ll change colors. (Side note: The Trip Lights are based on EMF technology and will light up when a ghost comes near them)

A: Rick

Q: Do you know Rick?

A: That’s good

Q: Are you still here with us? (after a long time with no response) Is anyone still here with us? Do you want to talk to someone else instead of Ben?

A: Who the F?

Q: Is there someone new here? Who was cursing? Is the Captain still here?

A: Food

Q: Are you hungry? What kind of food do you like? Are you over there in the corner by the doorway?

They pulled Ben out of the session. He said he heard a lot of crying.

Rachel Maurer was the next one to try the Estes.

Q: Do you see the dog in here? Do you like dogs? Were dogs allowed in the house when you were here? Is there anyone here who wants to talk to us?

A: Talk

Q: Yes. We just want to talk. You can say whatever you want. Do you like cats? Or birds?

A: Me

Q: Are you a man or a woman?

A: Buried (or married?)

Q: Were you married?

A: Yeah

Q: Did you live in this house? Did you work in this house? Did you have any children?

Q: Did you live in New Harmony? Earlier you mentioned food. Can you tell us what your favorite food was? Were you married to the Captain? What was your favorite color? Can you hear Ben? (talking in the other room)

A: The night

Q: Did something happen at night?

A: A couple of

Q: Did something happen a couple of nights? Was it good or bad? Are you scared? What was your favorite thing to do? Did you like to read or take walks, go down to the river? Did you live here when there was an orchard?

A: A point

Q: Okay. Can you tell us your name?

Rachel came out of the Estes. She said it was hard to understand. She felt like someone grabbed her arm towards the end. She also said she heard “old timey” music at times.

Eric decided to give it a try.

Q: Hello? Does anyone want to talk to us? Can you tell me your name? Is there someone here? Did you used to hide people in that room?

A: Practice

Q: Practice what? Did you open the little door?

A: Stand

Q: How old are you? Do you like to play the piano? Did you live here? Can you open that pantry door again?

They pulled Eric out and Lisa gave it a shot. Lisa is a medium who often uses the Spirit Box for channeling.

Q: Is there anyone here who wants to speak to us?

A: Yellow. That’s my favorite color. Lynn.

Q: Is that your name?

A: Better not go there!

Q: Where am I not supposed to go?

A: It’s always so hot.

Q: In that little room?

A: We have to be very quiet. There were men here today.

Q: What kind of men?

A: Twenty-three men. Some had horses. We could hear them.

Q: Were they soldiers?

A: I wasn’t supposed to be here. My mother died.

Q: Did you come to work here and have a place to stay?

A: My hands (said with grief). Could play the piano….easily. Sis is going to learn next.

Q: Can we hear you play sometime? What’s your favorite song? Can you tell me your name?

A:  Tomorrow they will come for our guns.

Q: Who’s coming?

A: There. They’re shooting them there

Q: Where did you hide them?

A: He’s a hero.

Q: Who’s a hero?

A: Patty will sing on a Sunday. We get to hear the music then.

Q: We’re going to have to go. Is there anything you’d like to tell us?

They pulled her out of the session because the time was up.

Third Session – Orange Group

The first participant donned the headphones and they were off and running.

Q: Is there someone who’d like to talk to us? (they introduced themselves)

A: What?

Q: What do you mean?

A: Fuck!

Q: Is that your favorite curse word? Are you mad? Are you from New Harmony? Are you going to talk to us?

A: Done

Q: Are you done talking to us? Is there anyone else who’d like to talk to us? Traci noted that a strong woman just drifted in.

A: Out of time

Q: But we just got here. We’d like to hear what you will say. What’s your favorite color? Did you go to school here? Are you hungry? How many of you are here?

A: Fuck you!

Q: That’s not very nice. Rosemary is a very nice lady. Why are you so angry?

A: You’re about to break

Q: What going to break?

A: Ouch!

Q: Did you get hurt? Did you fall down the stairs? Do you like it here? Do you like visitors?

A: Hurry up. Somebody.

Q: What do you need us to do?

A: Too close

Q: What are we too close to?

A: Hell no

Q: We want to help. Do you stay in this house all the time? How old are you?

A: Hello? Where at? Stand! Hold.

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself? What’s in that hidden room behind you? How long have you been here?

A: Back. Please help!

Q: What can we do to help you? Are you hurt?

A: Real

Q: Are you not feeling well? Can you tell us your name?

A: Roscoe

Q: It’s nice to meet you, Roscoe. Is that your first name or your family name? Was this your bedroom, Roscoe?

Listening to the audio, I suddenly heard the sound of a cat or child crying. Traci followed it with a question of whether there were children there.

Q: Were you born and raised here in New Harmony? Did you live in this house?

A: Army

Q: Were you in the Union Army?

A: Are you?

Q: Did soldiers stay in this house?

A: Hell-ostomy (not sure what that is)

Q: Were you married, Roscoe? Did you fight in the war? Did you know any of the Owen family? Are you still here?

A: Perfect. Last.

Q: Last what? Did you have any children? Roscoe, are you still here?

A: Sup!

Q: What year were you born, Roscoe?

A: Hear me

They brought her out of the session.  She said it was a female that said “Sup!”

Misty was the next participant.

Q: Is Roscoe still hanging around? Are you tired of talking?

A: No

Q: Is there anyone else in here besides you, Roscoe? Are you still here with us, Roscoe? We’d like to talk to you. Are you hiding a person of color in that room?

Q: How old are you? Are you still hurt?

Misty pulled herself out of it. She said it was so loud. Traci set up the next participant.

Q: Is there anyone who wants to talk to us?

A: Sup!

Q: I’m glad you’re back. My name is Traci. Can you repeat any of our names back?

A: Hey!

Q: Are you a male or female? Did you live here? Are you going to talk to us? Did you work here in New Harmony?

A: Listen

Q: Okay. We can listen.

A: Whisper

Q: Are we talking too loud? Are you still angry? Was this your bedroom? Can you touch the antenna on the boxes and make them light up?

Fourth Session – Blue Group

Q: The group introduced themselves. Is there anyone here with us? Can you tell us your name? Were you the person dancing on Rick earlier? (SLS Camera showed a stick figure dancing above Whistling Rick). Do you like Rick’s whistling?

A: Congratulations. What?

Q: Congratulations for what? Is there still a little girl around us? What were you congratulating us for?

A: Can. Work.

Q: What kind of work?

A: Noon

Q: Is something going to happen at noon? Do you work here in this house? Who were you congratulating? Is there still someone named Roscoe here? Is there someone in the secret room? Would you talk more if someone else was listening?

A: George

Q: Who is George?

They pulled him out and set Maryellen up with the headphones.

Q: We switched listeners. Are you more willing to talk now?

A: Here

Q: What’s here?

A: No. Under the covers.

Q: Who’s under the covers?

A: I’m back

Q: Is this the Captain?

A: Sometimes

Q: Are you still on the bed? Are you still here with us?

A: Boy

Q: Is there a boy here?

A: Window. Yesterday. Last night. Next Monday. Maybe.

Q: What’s the boy’s name?

A: It was backwards

Q: What was backwards?

A: Rose. Settled. A friend. Rose was.

Q: Was Rose your friend

A: Oklahoma.

Q: Was she from Oklahoma?

A: In a dream

Q: Whose dream? Who did Rose marry?

A: Seven. Nine. Ten. Not old. Middle. Seven. Hold me. Just a little. I was there.

Q: Where were  you? What is your name?

A: One more time

Q: Did you not understand.

A: Okay. Home. It’s okay. I’m home. You were out.

Q: yes. I was out. Was I out on the porch?

A: Oh my God. Where are you going to?

Q: After this, I’m going home.

A: I’m not listening. Go away.

Maryellen pulled the headphones off. It was getting overwhelming. She felt like someone blew cold air in her face. She heard someone say her name.

They set a new person up with the headphones.

Q: Are you going to keep talking to us?

A: Where are you?

Q: I’m right in front of you. Where are you?

A: Place

Q: What place are you at? Are you in the hiding place? Are there children here? Is there a little girl here?

A: We don’t

Q: We don’t what?

A: This here

Q: Who is here? Do you remember any of our names? Can you say one of them?

A: Afraid

Q: What are you afraid of?

A: Local

Q: Are you from here? Are the locals mean to you?

A: Why?

Q: I don’t want anyone to be mean to you

A: Is that the best?

Q: The best of what?

He took the headphones off. He’d had enough. He was hearing a female voice. It was like a loud whisper. The person before him said she heard the same thing. The next person decided to give it a try.

A: Please. Don’t

Q: Please, don’t what? Is there something we can help you with?

A: Get out

Q: We’re going to be leaving very soon. Is that okay? We have five minutes left. Do you like having the place to yourself or do you like it when guests are here?

She didn’t last long. She said she felt dizzy. Traci donned the headphones for the last five minutes.

A: you know what?

Q: What? Is the Captain still here?

A: What’s that? It’s hiding

Q: Who’s hiding?

A: Fuck off!

Q: Well, we will soon, but not now. Can you tell me your name?

A: There

Q: There? What do you mean?

A: Do it again. A lot of them

Q: Are you talking about us? Or are you talking to someone else? Do you like pickles? (of course Ben asked this epic question)

A: We found him

Q: Found who?

A: Please don’t. I seen them. Floater

Q: Are you talking about down by the river

A: We’re here

Q: From where? Are you hiding here?

She took off the headphones and the session was over. Traci noted there were a lot of drownings at the river. Some were super suspicious, but many of them were from people swimming in the river and getting caught by undertows.

Breakout Groups

  • The owner was in there still and there are women and children hiding, as well.
  • Male, in his twenties. Not from New Harmony, but he was from Indiana. He stayed in the hidden room all the time. He confirmed that the voices in the other rooms (investigators) were irritating.
  • He’d been there for more than twenty years
  • Another group picked up on a male. He stayed in the hidden room.
  • Confirmed the house was part of the Underground Railroad
  • Wasn’t a slave. Was dark skinned.
  • Likes dogs. Doesn’t like cats
  • Several people reported getting headaches after doing the breakout sessions.

Joni’s Group

I held a Paranormal 101 class in the dining room. I went through several exercises designed to open up their sensitivities and also taught them how to ground their energy and create a shield to keep them protected. Towards the end of the session, I handed out paper and pencils and asked them to describe the ghost in the room. I was feeling a dark-haired woman from the late 1800’s, wearing a light blue dress with a high color. Several people from each group also described her, but many others picked up on a tall, dark-haired man on the other side of the room. The reason why we do this on paper is so we are all working with a clean slate. If I told them what I felt and then asked them what they were picking up on, all they’d be able to think about was the woman I described. Mediumship is another way of investigating the paranormal, and by opening up your sixth sense, you can perceive even more information.


After listening to all the audio we recorded during the night, I’m even more intrigued by the ghosts at the Orchard House. During the first EVP we captured, they told us there were eight of them. Over the course of the night, we uncovered all of them:

  1. The Captain – was in the Lincoln/Lee room
  2. Roscoe – also in the Lincoln/Lee room
  3. George – Lincoln/Lee room and in the living room
  4. Woman with dark hair and a blue dress – in the dining room
  5. Tall man with dark hair – in the dining room
  6. Greg – in the living room
  7. Maddie – the little girl in the living room. Her favorite color is pink and she’s six years old.
  8. Max – a little boy who hid in the secret room and eventually traveled north.

Armed with this information, we will go back for another investigation on March 18,2023 and will attempt to learn even more about them.

Thank you to my team for making this go so smoothly and thank you to everyone who attended. Special thanks go to the New Harmony Inn for allowing us to investigate this amazing old home.

The Investigation of Lowry Hollow

I’ve always been fascinated by the Chadwick-Fretageot home, which is now home to Lowry Hollow. The building sits on the corner of Main and Steammill Streets, looking elegant and refined. I first discovered the building after moving to New Harmony nearly seven years ago. Curious about the architecture and enamored by the history, I was delighted to be able to walk inside an old historic building. I wasn’t there long before I encountered a ghost. My encounter ended up becoming the first chapter in my book, Haunted New Harmony.

Excerpt from Haunted New Harmony (2017)

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Mostly, I just wanted to see the interior of the building. As I perused the main room, I noticed a door to my right that led into another room.

This room was smaller than the main room and was filled primarily with Christmas items. As I walked around, taking in my surroundings, I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t alone.

While I am no stranger to experiencing ghosts, I was taken back by the sudden appearance of one directly behind me. I turned swiftly as my ears began to ring with the tell-tale sound of an unseen presence. The sensation of someone standing behind me was so strong, I half-expected to find a living breathing person.

The room was as empty as it had been before, but the sensation hadn’t diminished. In fact, it seemed even stronger. After having experienced a few decidedly negative ghosts in my past, my first reaction to a ghost is usually one of self-preservation, but this one didn’t feel threatening in the slightest. If nothing else, it felt welcoming and curious.

Without warning, my mind was immediately filled with images. I saw an older woman with iron-gray hair that was pulled back severely from her face. She wore round glasses and was dressed somewhat simply, in a gray longish dress with buttons down the front of it. The words “school marm” and “spinster” came into my mind.

I saw her as being kindly, someone who loved children and welcomed visitors with opened arms. She struck me as someone who had a wonderful sense of humor but could be iron-willed if pushed.

I saw her so clearly in my mind’s eye; it was as though she were standing directly in front of me, encouraging me to examine her. Not wanting to sound silly by speaking aloud in an empty room, I simply smiled and acknowledged her in my mind before I retreated back through the doorway.

The experience was mind blowing. It was rare for me to meet such a solicitous person in spirit form. Whereas many of the ghosts I’ve experienced in the past were shy and retreating, she was nothing less than hospitable and charming. She was someone I could imagine having tea with and exchanging stories about our lives.


I later learned more information about the ghost I encountered. Her name was Nora Chadwick-Fretageot. She was born in the house and died in the house, having spent nearly thirty years of her life as a librarian at the nearby Workingmen’s Institute. Because she didn’t marry until she was twenty-nine, she could have been considered a spinster in her era.

The building itself had a rich history, as well. The house was built in 1830 and was first used as a store by a man named Richard Barter and then later, by a man named Aaron Lichtenberger. When James Chadwick purchased the home in 1852, it became a saddler shop, where horse saddles were made and sold. In its history, it was also used as a post office, bank and a stagecoach stop, which is evident by the upstairs door on the front of the building.

(Above) Nora Chadwick Fretageot and her husband A.H. Fretageot (image courtesy of Workingmen’s Institute.

In the past several decades, the Chadwick-Fretageot building has been home to several gift shops. When I wrote Haunted New Harmony, it was called The Arbor House. After Barb retired in 2019, she closed the business and lived there for several years. Years later, she sold it to Lynn and Rod Clark, who owned a business called Lowry Hollow, a popular gift and furniture store. When I first moved to New Harmony, Lowry Hollow was located at the old train depot, which was also haunted. I featured it in my book, as well. Finding a building that was a good fit for the business was difficult. While the train depot was filled with charm, it’s location at the far edge of town prevented the store from prospering as much as it should have. The business landed in two other locations before it finally found its perfect home at its current location.

Lynn and Rod spent over a year restoring and renovating the building. They added much needed HVAC systems and attended to the places that needed help, bringing the old historic building back to its former glory. The Clark’s opened Lowry Hollow in November of 2022, much to the delight of their customers.

(Above) Lynn and Rod Clark looking out the Stage Coach door during the New Harmony Christmas parade.

I stopped by several times during their renovation, marveling at all the work they’d done. I also tuned into the haunting and was delighted to see that the building’s ghosts were still in residence. They seemed happy with the changes, which pleased me as well. Once the store was opened, I approached Lynn about doing a public paranormal investigation at the building and the rest is history.

After months of planning, we finally opened the doors for our investigation. Thirty-three guests were in attendance, divided into four groups. Each group visited four rooms in the building that were set up with individual paranormal experiments.

Joni’s Group – first floor kitchen

I wanted to try something different, and I think the guests really enjoyed it. I taught a mini paranormal 101 class during my half hour with each group. I brought them through several exercises to test their psychic mediumship gifts. When a ghost drifted into the room, the guests were instructed to write down what they felt as I guided them through the process. So many of them were on target, I’m sure they left wondering about their potential abilities.

Donna’s Group – first floor entrance room

The second group on the main floor was led by Donna Tilly. She used the Portal, along with the Spirit Box, to capture audio responses from the ghostly inhabitants.

First Session

Donna had the group introduce themselves. We do this because it’s polite. We don’t want the ghosts in the building to see us as threats or people who are being rude. We’ve come into their domain and we want them to know we don’t mean them any harm.

The Portal is a device that is connected to two Spirit Boxes. Donna runs one on AM and the other on FM. It pushes the sound through an amplifier and filters out a lot of the choppy sounds the Spirit Box normally makes.

Right out of the gate, they got a very clear response. The Portal said, “Ivan.” It actually said it twice. The second time sounded so clear, it sounds like someone in the room speaking. Donna confirmed it came from the box.

The second interesting response came in between questions. It was spoken quickly, so I had to slow it down to understand it. A woman said, “Make me!” She said it like she was challenging them.

Not long afterwards, the same woman’s voice came through again. They asked how long she’d lived there and she asked, “When?”

Someone asked if there was anything they should know about and an old man came through and said, “I don’t know, man.” It was interesting timing because someone just asked Donna if the responses were supposed to be clearer and she explained that they might be once they were processed through the audio equipment. That was exactly the case. This response was spoken quickly, but once I slowed it down 72%, you could hear what he was saying.

A woman asked how many men were there and it sounded like the same old man said, “Seven,” but it wasn’t clear enough to clip. They didn’t receive any further clear responses for the rest of the session.

Group 2

Donna explained the Portal to her group and after they introduced themselves, they started the session.

The Portal was almost a complete bust for the second session. Any responses they got were impossible to make out. Near the end of their session, someone asked what their favorite color was and a woman said “purple.”

The group did spend a lot of time with Jason, who passed the SLS camera around the group and regaled them with stories about his findings from the other groups.

They switched over to Spirit Box for the last ten minutes of the session and did get one response. Donna asked if they could see her and a man said, “He left me.”

Group 3

After a brief explanation and introductions, they get started with the Portal.

It’s very easy to hear what you want to hear with the Portal or Spirit Box. At one point, someone asked what their favorite color was, and everyone thought it said yellow. Listening with headphones later, it wasn’t yellow. They also thought the Portal said “Traci,” but it didn’t. One low growly voice kept coming through, but it was too muffled to make out. I feel like repeated investigations might help him learn how to enunciate more clearly. Being that this was the first time people have tried to talk to him, he gave it a great effort. The clearest he got was when someone asked him how old he was. It sounds like he says, “I’m coming. I’m on the phone.” I’m not sure if he could even hear the group clearly. His response suggests he’s living his own life on the other side with glimpses of our dimension. This makes me think about the movie “The Others” with Nicole Kidman. If you haven’t watched it, you should check it out because this is probably what a lot of hauntings look like.

Jason Nelson spent the night roaming around between all the groups with the SLS (Structured Light Sensor) Camera. It uses X-Box Kinect technology to map out figures, portraying them as stick figures. It also maps out the ghosts in the room. Here is one of his findings with the camera.

Group 4

After introductions and explanations on the Portal, Donna started her session.

They went around quite a few times without any clear responses. I don’t know if the Portal was too difficult for the resident ghosts to understand or if they’d all retired early. They thought the fourth session was going to be a bust as well when Jason walked in with the SLS camera. He was tracking a shape on the wall. While the group was gathered around the camera, mesmerized by the stick figure, a voice came through and very clearly said, “Everyone knows that’s where I am.” It was so clear, I initially thought it was someone in the room, but it wasn’t. Perhaps with some training, the ghosts there could learn how to use more of our electronic devices.

Rick’s Group – second floor room known as “Rod’s Room”

Rick conducted a dowsing rod session with his groups in an upstairs room that was probably used as a bedroom during the majority of the house’s history.  The room is nicknamed “Rod’s Room” because it has a masculine theme. A large punching bag hangs from the ceiling, which tended to be a trigger for the investigation. Their results were interesting.

First Session

Rick started out his session by regaling his group with some of his paranormal experiences then passed the rods around the group. Here are the responses:

  • Somebody there was willing to talk to them
  • Rick noted that the punching bag in the room began slowly swaying
  • They were talking to a female
  • She worked there in the 1800s
  • She was in her twenties when she worked there
  • They just had one person with them
  • She worked there when it was a post office
  • She wasn’t married
  • They asked for the rods to point to where she was in the room and they did.
  • She had a baby, but was forced to give it away because she wasn’t married
  • She used intoxicating beverages – bourbon was her favorite
  • She smoked cigars – Rick began questioning whether they were still talking to the same person or if a male had entered the room.
  • She was not a lady of the evening
  • The punching bag was still moving as Jason came into the room with the SLS Camera. It showed a stick figure climbing on the bag, which quickly disappeared.
  • There wasn’t a man there
  • It was a woman and she did enjoy bourbon and cigars
  • They asked the rods to point where she was in the room and Jason picked up a stick figure in the same area the minute the rods pointed in that direction
  • She’s happy there
  • Someone else stays with her at the house – more than one
  • She knew some of the Owen family
  • Rick noted that they were such an agreeable group, the woman just couldn’t say no to them. Most of their responses were either “no response” or a “yes response.”

Second Session

Rick’s second group went directly into a dowsing rod session. Here are their results:

  • The woman continued with the dowsing rod session, and asked if there were any teenagers and the rods responded with “yes.”
  • She asked the rods to point to where the ghost was in the room and they did.
  • They were talking to a female
  • She was over the age of sixteen – slow yes.
  • She had pets – a dog
  • She worked there
  • It was the post office
  • She’s the same woman the previous group talked to
  • She lived there all her life
  • Rick made the group laugh. All the responses were coming up as “yes,” so he suggested they asked a question that would inevitably be a “no.” So they asked if she worked naked and the response was “yes.”
  • She was married
  • She didn’t know Ivan (from Donna’s first session)
  • She didn’t go to school there
  • She didn’t work anywhere else in town
  • They were still talking to a woman  (slow yes)
  • She was standing right behind one of the guests
  • She used to like to swim in the Wabash River
  • None of the men were having any luck getting their questions answered, making them wonder if she didn’t like to talk to men
  • She likes talking to women  (confirmed)
  • She usually stays up this late
  • When asked to point to where she was, the rods pointed behind her
  • She was in the picture behind her
  • They were wondering why all the people were there trying to talk to them
  • Her father isn’t in the photo with her
  • Her brother isn’t in the photo with her
  • She was behind the pillar
  • She isn’t still working there
  • She always lived there
  • She was born there
  • She was involved in politics in New Harmony
  • She was involved with the Minerva Society
  • They went several rounds without a response, but she finally acknowledged she was still there
  • She said she could light up the cat ball, but she didn’t actually do it
  • They asked if she was stubborn and the rods said “yes”
  • She has a favorite person. When asked to point to that person, she pointed to one of the men.

Third Session

Rick showed the group how to use the dowsing rods and then they were off and running. Here’s what they found:

  • Someone asked if there was anyone in there and they got a “no” response, which was amusing
  • They aren’t willing to talk
  • The people in the other room were too loud
  • They weren’t talking to a man
  • They were talking to a woman
  • She liked whiskey (there was a bottle on the table, which instigated the question)
  • She also liked cigars
  • She knows Michael from the other room
  • She also knows the name Eric
  • She didn’t follow one of them there
  • She was just visiting
  • She plays in the house
  • She’s a child (who likes whiskey J)
  • She’s playing games with them
  • She likes playing tricks on people
  • Eric was also there
  • She also visits other facilities in town
  • Jason came into the room with the SLS camera and told them he was chasing something coming up the stairs. He was seeing a stick figure on the screen.
  • She enjoys being in New Harmony
  • She was born in Germany
  • She wasn’t a follower of Robert Owen
  • She sometimes hangs out in the old firehouse (the owner was there and asked that question)
  • She didn’t follow them over
  • There is someone else haunting the old firehouse
  • She sometimes messes with the clock tower bell
  • The K2 meter began going off, which was indicative of a ghostly presence
  • They remember town marshal, Scotty

Fourth Group

Rick introduced himself for the group and then demonstrated how to use the dowsing rods. He then passed the rods onto the guests. Here are his results:

  • Someone was there who was willing to talk to them
  • They were talking to a man
  • They talked to him downstairs
  • He’s young
  • He has a friend named John (information found from a different group session)
  • He doesn’t like music
  • He wasn’t married
  • He isn’t a child
  • He was in his thirties
  • They confirmed they were talking to a man
  • They had a long period without responses
  • Two guests were convinced they were actually talking to a boy they connected with in another group
  • He likes to play in the building
  • He lives in the Ribeyre Gymnasium
  • He comes to Lowry Hollow because they have toys he can play with
  • He doesn’t miss his mom and dad
  • He got mad at Ava earlier. She was doing the Estes Method and had an experience.
  • He doesn’t think the dowsing rods are a toy
  • He likes to come to Lowry Hollow
  • He likes it when people come to talk to him
  • He’s not right in front of her

Traci’s Group – second floor gallery room

Traci Hoehn oversaw a group on the second floor in the front room that faces the street. The space is large and open with gallery paintings on the wall and room for workshops. Because it is January, they were doing a Chinese “Year of the Rabbit” theme. The room was more than likely used primarily for living quarters for the people who owned shops there. An unusual door is centered along the front of the building which the owners believe was once used to unload carriages when the building was a carriage stop.

Traci’s group conducted an interesting experience called the Estes Method. Participants wear a blindfold and headphones connected directly to a Spirit Box, which is a device that scans the radio stations rapidly. Ghosts are able to talk through the white noise. By connecting the participant up directly to the Spirit Box and having them blindfolded, we eliminate potential contamination factors. Many times, we’ll ask a question and we’ll hear something that “kind of” matches up with what we asked. By having the participant blindfolded and unable to hear the questions, they will only hear what they hear and then say it aloud.

In past investigations, Traci has been the one connected to the Spirit Box, but we thought it might be fun to offer this experience to several of our guests during the event. Here are the results:

First Session (Red Group)

Traci started out her session by having her guests introduce themselves. She then selected the first participant.

Q: Is there anyone here with us?

A: Crazy

Q: What’s crazy?

Q: Did you have any children?

Q: Were you born here in New Harmony?

A: Yes

Q: Did you ever go fishing in the Wabash River?

A: Safe

Q: Do you feel safe here?

Q: Did you live here?

Q: Is anyone else here?

A: Hey!

Q: When were you born?

Q: Are you male or female?

A: See ya!

Q: Can you tell me what your name is? Do you remember any of our names? Did someone think you’re crazy?

A: What?

A: Up

Q: Is there someone else upstairs? How old are you? Did you have any pets?

A: Yeah

Q: Did you have a cat? Or did you have dogs? Did you have any brothers or sisters? Is anyone still with us? Did you live in New Harmony all your life? Is there a little boy here?

A: TALK TO ME! (shouted)

Q: I’m trying to talk to you. What’s your name? Do you like to play with the toys?

A: Ah-oh!

Q: Did you get in trouble for trying to play with the toys? It’s okay.

Traci stopped the session. She said there were a couple of different voices coming through.

Next participant

Q: Is the little boy still here with us? How old are you? Did you ever plant a garden? Are you married?

A: Thank you! Victim.

Q: Who’s a victim? Was it  you? Were you in the Tri-State Tornado?

A: Come out

Q: Did you come out from the gymnasium? Is Nora Chadwick-Fretageot here? Can you tell me the name of the victim?

A: Late

Q: who’s late or was that their last name?

A: Come. Up.

Q: Where do you want us to come up to? Did you go to school here in New Harmony?

A: Answer

A: Hello.

She then ripped off the headphones, a little freaked out. A voice said, “Can you speak up?” very clearly and it startled her.

Next participant

Q: Are we speaking loud enough for you? Did you like to read?

A: Get back (said while Traci was trying to take a picture of her)

Q: Did she ruin the picture for you?

Q: Is that my mother? (her mother was using the headphones)

A: No (everyone laughed)

Q: Why don’t you think that’s my mom?

Traci told the group that a strong female had just come into the room. She saw her in her 40s and said she was nice. Jason came into the room with the SLS camera but didn’t see anything.

A: It’s not safe

Q: Traci explained that the SLS camera was safe, that it would show them where she was. Is there something we should know?

A: loud

Q: It is loud here tonight. We have a lot of people here in your house tonight.

Jason then picked up a stick figure by the lantern. Then it climbed to the ceiling. Traci then explained to the group what the camera did.

A: Train

Q: did you use the train? Traci explained that there was once a train that went through and Lowry Hollow’s first location was actually at the old train depot.

A: Wind

Q: Does the storm coming sound like a train? What do you think of the decorations?

A: Can’t hear

Q: Is there something we can do to make ourselves clear? Discussion about Chinese New Year. What animal are you?

A: Outside

Q: Traci did the pie question. We’ve found this beneficial to getting responses and ask everyone to discuss their favorite pie.

A: Where?

Q: Sorry we didn’t bring pie. What kind of pie do you like and I’ll bring you some.

Q: Were you talking about the decorations outside? I think they’re beautiful. Do you like them?

One of the guests suddenly felt light headed.

A: Miss them

Q: Who do you miss?

Q: You can light up the lights on the table if you want.

A: No

Q: Do you have any friends with you?

A: Slept

Q: Did you take a nap today?

A: John

Q: Who’s John? Does he work here or live here?

A: Friend

Q: Is your friend John here with us?

Second Group (Yellow Group)

Traci explained the process and then got started. The first participant donned the headphones and blindfold, and they were off and running.

Q: Is there anyone here with us? Can you tell us what your name is?

A: Eric

Q: How old are you?

A: Turn around

Q: Are you standing behind her? What did you do for a living?

A: Oh yeah

Q: Are you a young person?

A: The truth

Q: What’s the truth? Do you tell the truth? Is Eric the name of the little boy who was here before? What’s your favorite color? How long have you been here? Where do you live? Are you still in here?

A: Yeah

Q: Do you want to talk? What color is your hair?

A: I can’t

Q: Do you not have hair? Is there someone here keeping you from talking? Do you need something from us?

A: I could

Q: What could you do? Where are you in the room? How old are you? What do you do for fun?

A: No

Q: You don’t have fun? Are you still here?

A: You suck

Q: Are you short?

A: Come on!

Q: Are you frustrated?

A: Who’s that?

Q: This is Traci. Who are you? Are you Eric? Are you a boy?

A: First

Q: Are you the first born in your family? Is there something wrong with your eyes? (One of the guests began having pain in her eye) Can you see?

A: My room

Q: Did you live in this house? Did we upset you?

A: I like

Q: Is there anything you want to tell us

They then switched participants. He said he could hear a little bit of “mumble” and then would hear more. He said the voices sounded more like a woman’s voice. He heard a lot of guitar too.

Q: Do you live here? Are you a boy or a girl?

A: Yeah

Q: Have you been messing with the people sitting in that chair? Did you poke her in the eye? Are you still in the room? Is someone keeping you from talking to us? What’s your favorite smell? Are you here by yourself?

A: You (everyone laughed)

Q: Are you here by yourself or are you here with family? Is there something you want us to know about you?

A: Playtime

Q: Do you like playtime? You can play with the toys in the other room. You can also touch that light on the table and make it light up. Do you move things in here?

A: Put

Q: Do you put things in the right place? Will you touch the green light? Can you do something, please?

A: Why (everyone laughed)

Q: Because it would be really cool

A: No, you guys!

Q: well, okay.

A: Did you say my name? We’re going.

Q: Did we make you angry? Can you touch the green light?

A: In there!

Jason just walked up the stairs and was in the other room.

A: Come

Q: Come to where? Would you like us to go to the next room over?

A: Who are you?

Q: My name is Mitch. What’s your name? Are you a boy or a girl? Are you the young woman who was in the kitchen?

A: NO!

Q: Are you the man who was in the kitchen? Can you touch the green light? It would make us all very happy. Are you still in here? What do you like to play with?

A: Ouch!

Q: Are you okay? Did you get hurt?

She stopped. She said she kept hearing some call her name, “Amber, Amber.” And then she heard galloping, like horses.  The next guest put on the headphones and blindfold and they started again.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of music? Do you like music? Is there anyone else here that you can’t see?

A: I can’t. Mike.

Q: Mike is in here with you?

A: Oh!

Q: Who are you here with? Can you say their name? Do your eyes hurt?

A: Exactly!

Q: Are you next to me?

A: You can

Q: Can I feel you? Do any of us know you? Can you tell us your name or if you’re a boy or a girl? Can you give us a sign you’re in here?

A: Perfect

Q: What is perfect?

A: Upset

Q: What are you upset about?

A: don’t

Q: Don’t what?

A: Please

Q: Please what? Did you live in this house?

A: Yeah

Q: A long time ago? Are you busy?

A: No

Q: Are you tired?

A: I can’t

Q: You can’t go to sleep? Are you always awake?

A: No

Q: Do you sleep?

A: My favorite

Q: Sleep’s my favorite too. Did you sleep in this room?

A: Oh

Q: Oh what? How many fingers am I holding up?

A: Love

Q: You can’t see, can you?

A: Mom?

Q: Is your mom in here with you? Do you like being here?

A: Who?

Q: Do you like being here?  Are you behind me?

A: Believe it

Q: Can you knock on a wall or the table? Are you scared?

A: Sure

Q: Do you like us being here with you? What did this room used to be when you lived here?

They brought him out of the session. He reported it felt like it put him in a trance.

Third Group (Blue Group)

Traci explained the process and then the group introduced themselves. She then got the first participant ready for the Estes method.

Q: Is there anyone here with us who wants to speak? We have a new group here.

A: Hello

Q: Hello! I’m Traci. What’s your name?

A: Work

Q: Did you work here?

A: Work

Q: Do you want us to work? I’m not in the mood. Where did you work?

A: No

Q: Who are we speaking with?

A: Male

Q: Are you male or did you do the mail?

A: Male

Q: That’s not helpful! (laughter)

A: Michael (they got Mike last time)

Q: How old are you?

A: Jones

Q: Traci said she’d research it

Q: Are you alone?

A: Yes

Q: What was your job here?

A: Politics

A: Cool

Q: What’s cool?

A: Yes. A lot.

Q: Were you born here?

A: Five

Q: Did you enjoy your work?

A: Corner

Q: Are you in the corner of the room?

A: Yep

Q: Which corner are you in?

A: Two. One.

Q: Are you by the doorway?

A: Hello

Q: Are you by the window? Are you by the lamp?

A: What?

A: Paul?

Q: Do you have a wife?

A: Family

Q: How many kids do you have?

A: Two

Q: Are they boys or girls or one of each?

A: Nothing

A: How are you?

Q: I’m good. How are you?

A: Tired

Q: Is it getting late for you?

A: Four

Q: Hi Michael. My name is Michael too. Do you like to go hunting? Do you like to go fishing?

A: Wife

Q: Did you like your wife? Did you always live here?

A: Yeah. Me. Whisper.

Q: Do you want us to whisper

A: They just started laughing

A: What are you doing?

Q: We’re talking to you. What are you doing?

A: Listening

Q: Where are you right now?

A: Write/ride

Q: Write what? Did you ride horses?

A: Lovin’ (Everyone laughed)

Q: Congrats!

A: Nora

Q: Is Nora here? Was Nora your wife?

A: My name’s Nora

Q: Hello, Nora.

A: I did.

Q: We’re happy you’re here, Nora. Did you enjoy working at the library?

A: Yes.

Q: I remember you liked music?

A: Dress

Q: Did you like dresses?

A: yes

Q: What color was your favorite dress?

A: white

A: Brown

Q: Did you like the brown dress too?

A: no

Q: are you wearing the brown dress now?

A: yes

Q: sorry you’re wearing the one you don’t like. That stinks.

A: yep

Q: Can you tell me which building your husband ran his furniture company?

A: here

Q: No not here. This is where you lived, right?

A: me

Q: Did you tutor children as well

A: I am

Q: Do you tutor the little boy who’s here? Can you tell me the little boy’s name? He was in here earlier. We think he came in from the gym.

A: Church

Q: He came in from the church

A: Sunday

Q: Did you go to church on Sunday?

A: yep

A: here

Q: Nora, did you like your mother in law?

A: yep

Q: Nora, what was your favorite food?

A: one

A: am I?

Q: Are you what?

A: My arm

Q: What’s wrong with your arm?

A: Here I am

Q: Is this still Nora or is it someone else? Why are you here?

A: It doesn’t change. Surprise! (laughter)

Q: Nora, I like your sense of humor.

A: yep.

Q: Did you have any pets, Nora? Is there any hidden treasure in this house?

A: One

Q: Can you tell us where it is? (laughter) Do you believe in magic, Nora?

A: Four

She brought her out of the session. They told her how well she did. This might be the best session I’ve ever listened to. This same young woman did very well in my psychic development class portion of the investigation, which could explain things.

The next person got ready and they began asking questions.

Q: What’s your name? Are you still Nora?

A: Anyone here?

Q: We’re still here. Is there anyone here on your side? Can you hear us?

A: Walking

Q: Where are you walking to? (They heard the floors creaking). Do you know what year it is? Were you the one walking up the wall (on the SLS)?

A: Hello. Stand.

Everyone stood and then she said, “I stand,” so they sat down.

Q: Are you from here?

A: I’m dancing

Q: Do you like to dance? Why can’t we hear you dancing? What kind of dance do you like the most? How old are you?

A: There’s a woman

Q: Do you dance with a woman?

A: Woman

Q: Who’s the woman?

A: Be nice!

Q: We’re trying. Are you nice? Is the woman you’re dancing with your wife? Are you a woman? Do you like to go to parties?

A: Listen!

Q: Is there something you’d like to tell us

A: Baby’s mama

Q: How many children do you have?

A: you

Q: Are you talking to me? Is your baby’s mama here? Did you work here? Is Nora still here? Nora, we’d like to keep talking to you.

A: Yes

Q: Nora, what was your favorite book or author? Do you visit the library?

A: NO! (shouting)

Q: Well, okay. Did you like working at the library? Are you stuck here?

A: YES! (shouting)

Q: I’m sorry you feel like you’re stuck here. What do you do in your spare time, Nora? Is anybody still here?

A: shut up

Q: okay. Do you only like to talk to women?

A: TELL ME! (shouting)

Q: What do you want us to tell you?

A: Go!

Q: Where do you want us to go? Is there something you want us to see?

A: Wait

Q: I can do that. Nora, how many of you live in this building?

She took off the blindfold and headphones. She noted that they were screaming in her ear. She was primarily hearing a male voice.  The next person sat down.

Q: We have someone new listening. Do you have something to say to him? You told him to shut up earlier, so he’s listening now.

A: Nora

Q: are we talking to Nora?

A: eight

Q: lots of numbers. That’s odd.

A: office

Q: is that where the treasure is? What kind of office? Law office? Post office? Or your personal office? Nora, are you still here?

A: Hi

Q: Hi Nora. How are you?

A: Whisper

Q: You want me to whisper? How are you, Nora (whispered)? We’re about out of time. Is there anything special you’d like to tell us? Nora, are you still here?

There were no other answers and time had run out. This session was incredible.

Fourth Session (Orange Group)

Traci started the session by explaining the process. They then introduced themselves and the first person donned the headphones and blindfold. Here’s what they found:

Q: Is anyone here with us?

A: Don’t ask

Q: Can I ask you what your name is? My name’s Traci. Can you say my name? Can you see us? Are you happy? Do you want to communicate with us?

A: Back up

Q: Will you please talk to us?

A: All right

Q: What’s your name? Do you know what time it is? How old are you? Are you not talking because of who’s listening?

A: Yes

Q: Would you like us to switch listeners? Do you have a message for us?

A: Here. Doctor

Q: Do you need a doctor?

A: Him

Q: Who is “him”? Is he an adult or a child?

A: Property. Seven.

Q: Seven, what? Are you here alone? Can you show us you are here?

After a long period of silence, Traci switched out the listeners. She noted that they’d been  hearing a lot of numbers and none of them made much sense. She said she was hearing a male voice primarily. A female came in from time to time. The next participant put on the headphones and blindfold and they were off and running.

Q: Are you going to talk to us now? What is your name? Did you work here? What is your favorite food?

A: yeah, right! (said sarcastically)

A: I write

Q: What do you write about? Are we speaking to Nora?

A: Them

Q: Traci decided to do a round robin question: What is your favorite pie? The group went around and talked about their favorite pies, then Traci turned the question to the ghosts in the room. Are you scared of us? Can you talk to us?

A: We’re all here

Q: How many of you? Can you hear us? Why are you here? Do you want to be here? Are you young?

A: This is it

Q: Do you want more? Can you speak with us? Do you like animals?

A: Free

A: Something out

Q: Do we need to let something out? Is it trapped? They didn’t hear it at the time, but on audio review, there is a very clear growl afterwards. Makes me wonder what is trapped.

Q: Do you get mad?

Traci pulled her out of the session. She said she heard three different voices talking all over each other. They had a new listener hooked up and off they went.

Q: Is there anyone who wants to talk to us? Hello? Nora, are you still here? We’d really love to keep talking to you. Are you watching us right now? Are you listening? Are we upsetting you? Are you female or male? Are you still with us?

Jason walked into the room with the SLS camera, but he didn’t get anything. It had grown quiet.

Q: Are the kids okay? Are the kids here? Have you seen the doctor? Are you the doctor who visited the bank?

After a few minutes of getting zero responses, they pulled her out of the session. She said all she was hearing was radio interference without any voices. Traci found another person willing to give it a shot.

Q: Can you tell us your name? What’s your favorite color? Can someone talk to us? What color is the lantern hanging in the room? What year is it? Do you have a favorite song? Are you a Democrat or a Republican? Are you Catholic? Here’s your last chance?

They pulled her out of the session and Traci gave it a shot. She has always done it our past investigations, so she has the most experience.

Q: Why did you guys stop communicating with us?

A: No

Q: no shit!

A: That’s the problem.

Q: group laughed

A: Stop it!

Q: Stop what?

A: You made it

Q: Made what?

Q: Who are you? Do you want to talk to anyone in particular in this room? Do you like listening to the bells ring (the clock chimed)

A: I think so. I would. Yeah.

Q: Why wouldn’t you be able to

A: Buckle up!

Q: Why? Is it time for bed?

A: Lung cancer

Q: Did you die from lung cancer? What year did you die? (We don’t normally ask questions about their deaths, but Traci was under the headphones to prevent the line of questioning) Do you like where we’re going?

A: It’s true

Q: Were you part of the slave trade in any way?

A: Jamie

Q: is that your name?

A: I’m right here

Q: Hello, Jamie

A: I’m short

Q: Are you white? (What??) So, we have to go. If you want to tell us something, go ahead and do it. It was cool hanging out. It’s time for us to go.

A: Hello

Q: Hi

The session was finished, so they pulled her out.


All in all, it was a fascinating night. Guests had a chance to experience four completely different ways to communicate with the spiritual realm and they also had a great time. Like the stage coach stop it once was, it’s possible ghosts come and go from the location. We were delighted to hear that Nora Chadwick Fretageot is still in the building and are curious about the others we talked to. Michael, Ivan, the young woman who was forced to give away her baby, the little boy and the others we communicated with seemed happy where they were and were interesting to talk to.  We will be repeating our process on March 4th (sold out) and March 18th, 2023 at the Orchard House investigation. Check our website for more information.

Thank you to Lowry Hollow for allowing us to investigate this intriguing building, and thank you to Shannon and Anne for staying with us. Additional gratitude goes to my team for all your hard work and thank you to our guests who joined us. Now, it’s onto the next!

Murphy Auditorium Investigation 10-1-22

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

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

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

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

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

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


First Group

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

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

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

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

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

Second Group

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

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

Third Group

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

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

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

From the Portal:

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

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

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


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

First Group

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

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

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

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

Second Group

The ladies dressing room, where Gus has been spotted

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

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

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

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

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

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

The woman who was touched began asking questions.

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

Third Group

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

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

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


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

First Group

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

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

Second Group

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

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

Third Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Antique Emporium Investigation Review 2-29-2020



The haunting at this Southern Indiana antique store is legendary.

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

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

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


Upstairs – Group One

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

  • She was married
  • She had children

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

  • She moves things in the store

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_20200229_205656Second Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The session came to an end.

Civil War Room

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

First Group – Randy and Donna

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

Second Group – Heather and CA

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

IMG_20200229_194301Third Group – Paula and Deb

All questions were directed to Bebe

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

Fourth Group – two women who didn’t identify themselves

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

Fifth Group – Donna and Betty

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

Group Two

Sixth Group – two women (unidentified)

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

Seventh Group – Ben and Billy

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

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

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

Eighth Group – Rosemary and Andrea

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

IMG_20200229_205733Ninth Group – Emily and Hannah

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

IMG_20200229_194416Basement – Group One

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

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

T: Hello

Q: Are you from this area?

Q: Are you a man?

Q: Did you live in this building?

Q: What is your name?

T: Matthew

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

Q: What year were you born?

Q: What is your favorite season?

T: Move on

Q: Were you married?

Q: Do you have siblings?

Q: Did you have any pets?

Q: Did you have any children?

Q: Did you come here with someone?

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

T: Are you here?

Q: Yes, we’re here. Are you married?

Q: Where are you from?

Q: What’s your favorite color?

Q: Did you work in this building?

Q: What is your job?

Q: Did you enjoy reading?

Group started seeing a shadow or mist

T: Hey

Q: Do you want to talk to us?

T: Go in

Q: What do you enjoy to do?

Q: Is there a lady here with you?

T: Like it

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

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

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

Crystal noted that it didn’t feel the same.

Q: Did you go to the river a lot?

Q: Do you like fishing?

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

Q: Did you enjoy gardening?

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

Q: Matthew, did you enjoy art?

Q: Are you someone besides Matthew? Crystal asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The session ended and everyone went upstairs for a break.


Basement – Second Group

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

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

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

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

Q: Does anyone else live down here with you?

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

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

Q: Have you ever left this building?

T: Red

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

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

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

Q: What did you do for fun?

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

Q: Do you throw things in this building?

Q: Do you like visitors?

Q: Did you like to dance?

T: Look

Q: What do you want us to look at?

Q: Where did you go to dance?

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

Q: Does dancing make you sad?

T: We’re there

Q: Where are you?

Q: Was the dance in New Harmony?

Q: Was the dance hall on Main Street?

Q: Do you know Eugene from down the street?

T: Always. Girl.

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

Q: Were you dancing at a wedding?

Q: Did you have to work hard?

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

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

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

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

Q: Do you like to cook?

Q: Did you live here before the shop opened?

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

Q: Did you have many boyfriends?

T: Over you

T: Something’s wrong with it?

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

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

T: Hey

Q: Hi

Q: Did you lose a loved one?

T: Maria

Q: Are you Maria?

T: I don’t want it

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

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

T: Who else?

Q: Did you bring someone with you?

T: I needed it

Q: What was it you needed?

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

T: You probably don’t

Q: Are you Maria?

Q: do you want us to change your name?

Q: Does the name Bebe make you upset?

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

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

T: Walk

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

T: Go this way. Help! It’s day time

Q: Is someone trying to hurt you?

Traci noted that she just got a lot colder

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

Q: How can we help you?

T: Your store

Q: What about the store?

Q: Are you afraid of something?

Q: Does the store scare you?

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

Q: Do you want to leave the store?

T: Oh shit!

Q: Is someone new with you?

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

Q: Are you male?

Q: Are you female?

T: Jump!

Q: Are you jumping?

Q: Are you trying to hurt yourself?

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

T: Why’d you do it? I don’t know.

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

Q: Did you hurt someone?

T: Please

Q: How can we help?

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

They went to dowsing rods.

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

The session ended.

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

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

IMG_20200229_212623 (1)



Ghosts in the Gallery Investigation


2nd group gallery 5.jpg

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

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

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


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

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

From Haunted New Harmony:

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

Louis Heckman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gallery Investigation

IMG_20191213_193157First Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the audio we recorded when the painting fell:

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

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

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

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

Second Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The session ended at that point.


Pendulum Room

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next two people came back and tried it.

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

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

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


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

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

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

T: Love it

Q: Did you grow up in New Harmony?

Q: Is your family here?

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

Q: Can you see us?

T: Like you

T: some more then

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

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

Q: Did you work or live in this building?

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

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

(creaking from upstairs)

T: What’s that? No!

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

Q: Did you like Christmas time?

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

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

T: Do it!

Q: Do what?

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

Q:  What do you want us to do?

Q: Do you have good memories here?

T: Tonight

Q: Good memories when people are here?

Q: What about tonight?

T: When

Q: Are you disturbed by us being here?

T: In general

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

Q: Can you tell me something personal about yourself?

T: Learn

(Joni came downstairs to take pictures)

T: Under

T: You

Q: Did you go to school here?

Q: Was the bridge built during your time?

Q: What was it you want us to learn?

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

Q: What are you sad about?

T: I’m…

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

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

Q: Does this building make you feel sad?

T: Every

Q: Are we upsetting you?

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

Q: Do you need help with something?

Q: Are you okay?

T: Susie. Was here.

Q: Who was Susie?

T: Don’t. Hey.

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

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

Q: Is there a message we can pass on?

T: Hard

Q: What was hard?

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

Q: Are you Erica?

Q: Are Erica and Susie related?

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

T: Forest

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

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

Q: Did Susie get lost in the forest?

T: Hide!

Q: Susie was hiding in the forest?

Q: Is Erica afraid she lost Susie?

T: It’s not our problem (man’s voice)

Q: Susie hiding from the man?

T: In there

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

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

Q: Did someone take Susie from Erica?

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

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

Q: Are you scared of the man?

T: Waiting for you

Q: Are you waiting to go out tonight?

T: A man needs gifts. Hiding.

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

T: Someone.

Q: Did you hide gifts in the woods?

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

T: Rotten

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

Q: Did you like him?

T: There’s a bunch talking at once

Q: Are there too many voices around?

T: Get them

Q: Get who?

T: So? Great.

(painting fell upstairs at that point)

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

(sound of the cat ball rolling across the floor)

T: Don’t. Famous last words.

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

Q: Did you make the painting fall?

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

T: My memory. It’s wrong. Inbred.

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

T: Here with me

Q: Who’s here with you?

T: A man

Q: Does he make you fearful?

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

T: That’s it

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

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

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

Q: Does it scare you? A: Yes

Q; Is it a male? A: Yes

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

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

Q: Is your name Erica? A: Yes

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

Q; Did you work at the saloon? No answer

Q: Was Susie your friend? No answer.

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

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

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

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

2nd group basement

Second Session

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

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

Q: Hi!

T: Ben (male voice)

Q: I’m right here (Ben said)

T: Possibly

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

Q: Are you alone here?

T: Over there. Sure!

Q: sure, what?

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

(could hear walking upstairs from the other group)

Q: Do you hear the people walking upstairs?

Q: Are you female?

T: I did it

Q: What did you do?

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

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

Q: Did you knock the picture off?

T: Read

Q: Read what?

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

Q: Pleased to meet you Doreen

T: Say it

Q: Doreen. Say what?

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

T: Like that

T: The father

Q: What about the father?

Q: Doreen’s father?

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

Q: Did you like everybody coming in here?

Q: Is your father here, Doreen?

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

Q: Do you have a sister or brother?

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

T: Most people

Q: What do most people do?

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

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

T: Teamwork

Q: How many of them are you?

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

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

T: Who are these people?

Q: We are visitors here, talking to you.

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

(Joni came down to take pictures)

Q: Can anyone do anything to help you?

T: Weird

Q: What’s so weird?

Q: Is it weird that people want to help?

T: Christmas

Q: Are you ready for Christmas?

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas?

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

Q: What year is it right now?

T: Get out!

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

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

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

T: Seven

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

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

(Everyone felt the room grow substantially colder)

Q: Are there more with you?

T: Oooooh! (sounded kind of provocative)

Q: Ooooh, what?

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

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

They started a dowsing rod session at that point.

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

Q: Are you a young child? A: No

Q: Are you a teenager? A: Yes

Q: Are you female? A: Yes

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Do you like dogs? A: Yes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Are you afraid to say? A: Yes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Is his name Clyde Ramsey? A: No

Q: Were you an actress here? A: No

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

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

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

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

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

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

(They heard another noise)

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

(Cheryl mentioned that she saw a flash of light)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Above) Joni, Crystal and Traci

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

Thank you to everyone who attended!

2nd group gallery 5

Joni Mayhan
December 2019





















Workingmen’s Institute Investigation Review – 3/9/19


Ghosts aren’t always the scary phantoms you see in movies. Most of the time they are nothing more than people who decided to stay where they were instead of moving on to the afterlife. The reasons they stay are numerous. Sometimes they remain earthbound to watch over family members or homes they loved. Other times, they stick around to oversee their life’s work. Libraries nearly top this list.

I’ve visited many old libraries and haven’t seen one yet that didn’t have a ghost in residence. Over the years it’s become apparent to me that librarians are dedicated to their work and their libraries. The fact that some of them hang around in spirit form doesn’t surprise me.

Workingmen’s Institute has a rich history. It was established in 1838 by philanthropist William Maclure, who was Robert Owen’s business partner during the second communal experiment in New Harmony. Maclure wanted education to be available to everyone, regardless of their social status or wealth. It is the oldest continually operating library in the state of Indiana.

The library was originally housed in the Harmonists’ old church. When the building became old and unstable, they needed a new location. Dr. Edward Murphy donated the money to purchase the land and the building was soon built.

murphy wmi.jpg
(Above) Dr. Edward Murphy on the stairs of WMI at the grand opening

Dr. Murphy was a tremendous influence in New Harmony’s early days. His name graces many of the buildings and the park due to his generosity. In his later years, he made several trips to Europe to commission the reproductions of famous works of art. He brought them back and framed them in beautiful gold frames and donated them to WMI so the people of New Harmony could see fine art. He and his wife Sofia died within days of one another and the bulk of his wealth was donated to the library. His and Sofia’s ashes are interred in an urn that is located in the gallery room, surrounded by all his beautiful art.

Was Dr. Murphy still lingering at the library? That was one of our questions for the night.

We know the library is haunted. Over the years, people have had many ghostly encounters. They’ve ranged from boxes falling from a shelf, containing the information the current librarian was looking for, to ghostly apparitions drifting up the staircase. We were excited to see what we would uncover.

After a brief presentation, we divided into four groups. Each group would spend a half hour in each room with a paranormal investigator. Helping me that night were psychic medium Crystal Folz, medium/paranormal investigator Traci Hoehn and paranormal investigator Jason Nelson.

Maclure Room

(Above) The group, listening to Joni’s presentation in the Maclure Room

If you’ve been to Workingmen’s Institute, the Maclure Room is the large presentation room to the left of the main doorway. Over the years, it’s seen many presentations and research projects. It’s not difficult to imagine many of the tables being occupied by unseen readers. Jason Nelson led all the groups in this room.

Jason’s First Group (Group A)

Jason’s first group started their session by using the Spirit Box. They went around the room and introduced themselves, which is always a polite way to start a session. We have to realize that we are coming into their space. I’ve found that if we are polite, we often get more results, not to mention the fact that it’s the right thing to do.

As they were starting the session, a sound came through that Jason identified as a possible radio blurt. As soon as he mentioned that, another male voice came through and said, “That was fucked up.” They went around the room and asked more questions without getting a response, and then someone asked if they ever climbed trees. A male voice said, “Yeah, I did.”

The session was due to end soon, so Jason told everyone they could go around the room and ask one more question. They didn’t get a tangible response until someone asked if they were male or female. A female voice answered with, “I’m Betty.”

The best response from the session came towards the end. Someone asked if they played sports. A male voice said, “That’s more fun!”

Jason then turned off the Spirit Box and led the group through a dowsing rod session. Dowsing rods are usually fairly successful tools when investigating older buildings. Ghosts from the nineteenth century are often apprehensive about our electronic devices but are comfortable with dowsing rods.

He passed the rods around the room and gave everyone a chance to use them. As always, some people are very good with the dowsing rods and others are not. Here are the responses:

  • One of the people they were talking to had children
  • They were talking to a girl
  • She is young
  • She’s an only child
  • She didn’t grow up in New Harmony
  • She played with other children when she was a child
  • Her name was Louise
  • She had a favorite dress
  • She is the woman in white they often see on the stairs
  • She sometimes plays with the giraffe on the shelf
  • She likes to sing
  • Edward Murphy was also there
  • The person they were talking to stays there all the time

Jason’s Second Group (Group B)

He started by having the group introduce themselves and they went directly to Spirit Box. This group started off asking questions too rapidly, not leaving ample amount of time between them. It almost sounded like an inquisition and the ghosts responded by staying quiet. As they eased into the session, they backed off a bit and started getting more responses. Most of the responses were either too faint to pick up or weren’t identifiable words, but they did finally get an intelligent response. Someone asked if they visit the building frequently and a female responded by asking him a question. “What do you think about?” she asked.

They turned off the Spirit Box and moved to dowsing rods. They gave more space between questions with the dowsing rods and got more responses:

  • The 8-legged calf upstairs was his/hers (doubtful this is true)
  • Something in the collection upstairs in the museum belonged to them
  • They smoked
  • They liked bourbon
  • They often hear Rick whistle as he walks past
  • They wore glasses
  • One of the pairs of glasses in the museum is his/hers
  • There was a child in the room
  • He/she was the one playing with Sophie’s hair during my presentation (Sophie also noted that she saw a shadow move across the back of the room)
  • He/she contributed to the collection in the museum
  • He/she has toys upstairs

Jason’s Third Group (Group C)

Jason’s third group needed to use the restroom, so there was a delay in getting started. It threw them off a bit because they forgot to go around the group and introduce themselves like Jason normally had them do. As they started the Spirit Box, one woman asked, “What’s your name?” There was a radio blurt, which Jason noted. As soon as he stopped speaking, a male voice threw the question right back at her. “What is your name?” he asked.

The same male voice came through shortly afterwards and did something I’ve never heard before. As the woman asked, “Did you have children?” he asked the same question over the top of her question.


Jason asked if they were male or female and a woman responded “female.” Then, directly afterwards two very faint voices came though. One said, “Desmond,” and the other said, “Alvin.” They were too faint to clip into shareable clips.

They then moved to dowsing rods:

  • He/she has never had a dog
  • He/she grew up in New Harmony
  • They were talking to a man
  • He was upstairs earlier
  • He followed someone to the investigation
  • He wasn’t clergy
  • He wasn’t Dr. Murphy
  • He never used the fire pump upstairs in the Gallery room
  • No one else was in the room besides him
  • He’s been following their group from room to room
  • He liked to travel
  • He was a student in New Harmony
  • He doesn’t know anyone in the room
  • Not female (confirms the earlier response)
  • He’s not able to move around town

Jason’s Fourth Group (Group D)

Jason’s last group went around and introduced themselves before starting the session. They started with the Spirit Box. While they asked great questions, none of the responses were clear or relevant. They then moved onto dowsing rods and got a lot of great answers:

  • There was a little girl in the room
  • There were many of them there
  • William Maclure wasn’t there
  • No members of the Owen family were there
  • Alexander Maclure was there
  • John Eaton was there
  • They answered yes to “Have you read any good books lately?”
  • They have something in the archives
  • The little girl followed them from the other room
  • She had a pet
  • The little girl had a dog
  • She lived there and then moved away
  • Thomas Say wasn’t there
  • One of them was a Rappite
  • George Rapp was not there


(Above) The library as it looked when we investigated. It was under construction, which enhanced the haunting.

When I first mentioned the WMI investigation, Traci Hoehn was quick to claim the library. Having worked in a library before, she understood the commitment librarians have for their libraries. She also knew the activity level would be high in this room because it was undergoing construction to repair the ceilings and replace the aging light fixtures. Ghosts typically don’t like construction and become far more active, which proved to be the case.

Traci’s First Group (Group B)

Traci welcomed everyone into the library and explained the equipment she was using. She used a KII meter, which measures spikes in the electromagnetic field. She also used a Maglite flashlight they could use for communication, as well as a Static Electricity REM pod, which detects when ghosts are nearby. It will trigger when there is static electricity is present, something that ghosts might be able to utilize. She also used dowsing rods and gave them a demonstration.

Traci’s guests were also able to experiment with the Psychomanteum chamber. The room is equipped with a tall mirror and a dim light. People sit in front of the mirror and watch their reflection. I’ll include a section at the end of this review regarding what people experienced when they tried it.

Traci also explained that the library area will probably be an active area in the library. I agree with her. Librarians tend to be very protective over their libraries. When they die, many of them stick around to watch over their beloved space.

Dowsing Rod session:

  • There was someone with them
  • There were more than one (flashlight came on too)
  • There was a man in the room
  • There was a woman in the room as well
  • The woman worked there
  • The woman wasn’t a librarian (slow no)
  • The man worked in the library
  • The man was born in New Harmony
  • They like playing with the flashlight
  • She likes coming to the library to get away from distractions
  • The woman liked working at the library (slow yes)
  • The man had pets at home
  • The woman wasn’t the one who took care of Will (not sure who Will was)
  • The man was an archivist
  • His name is Arthur (referring to Arthur Dransfield, who was a librarian there)
  • The woman is approximately 30 years old (slow yes)
  • She had animals at home she took care of (fast yes)
  • The man took care of horses
  • The man was approximately 30 years old

Traci’s Second Group (Group A)

Traci explained her equipment to the new group and also explained that the library would probably be fairly active due to the construction. As a medium, she could feel them coming in and out of the room.

Dowsing Rod Session:

  • The woman was married
  • She had children (slow yes)
  • One of them (a child?) liked to play outside with other children
  • The man did not grow up in New Harmony
  • One of them followed this group from the other room
  • The woman is the white lady they’ve been seeing on the stairs
  • Her last name is Golden
  • Her first name was Francis (not sure this is accurate. Grace is who we think is there)
  • She worked there (she didn’t. Neither of the Golden sisters worked there) This was a Control Question. Traci explained that sometimes we get a ghost who likes to mess with people, sometimes pretending to be someone else. This was probably the case, since Francis Golden probably wasn’t at the library. As far as we know, she didn’t have a real connection to WMI, but her sister Grace’s hat is stored there.
  • The woman worked in New Harmony
  • The little girl from the other room was there
  • Traci was trying to encourage her to play with the light or the pinwheel and she kept moving the rods to “no.” She would play with the giraffe though, if it was in the room. They asked if the giraffe was supposed to be in this room and she said “yes.” Traci confirmed that with the library construction, the giraffe was usually kept in the library. She asked them to point to where the giraffe is supposed to be and it pointed to the right place. She asked the little girl to point to where she was in the room and it pointed towards one of the pillars. Someone asked where the children’s area was (question directed to Traci) and the rods pointed to the area where the children normally sit, making everyone laugh.

Traci’s Third Group (Group D)

Traci’s third group consisted of the former librarian, Margret Sherzinger, and Linda Warrum, who is a New Harmony historian. They were able to ask pertinent questions about the history. After explaining the equipment and the reason why the library might be more active, she sent the first person into the Psychomanteum. They then moved into a dowsing rod session.

Before they could get started with the dowsing rods, they started hearing footsteps on the other side of the library. Traci asked about it with the dowsing rods.

  • One of them was walking over on the other side
  • There was still a man in the room
  • There was still a woman in the room
  • The little girl was still in the room
  • There was a librarian there (she used this to demonstrate the importance of directing the questions to a specific person)
  • Traci asked for them to point to where the giraffe is supposed to be and it pointed to the same area it did before. She also asked if it would point to where the little girl is and it pointed to the same area as before.
  • All three of them are a family (woman, man and child)
  • Someone asked if any of them ever ran the library. The rods pointed towards the vault.
  • They are the Elliot family
  • Claudia was there. (Josephine’s daughter)
  • Margaret (who was the librarian at WMI for five years) was asking questions. She and her daughter helped make the giraffe. As she was saying that, the rods said yes. Margaret took a moment and thanked Josephine for all the help she gave her over the years when she was the librarian.
  • At that point the plastic that separated the rooms to keep construction dust down began swaying. They asked if they could move it again.
  • There is another librarian there besides Josephine
  • Alline was there
  • She grew up in New Harmony

Traci’s Fourth Group (Group C)


After a review of the equipment, Traci sent the first person off to the Psychomanteum and the rest of the group used the dowsing rods.

  • The little girl was still with them (slow yes)
  • The group had a laugh as everyone’s stomachs began growling at the same time
  • The little girl lived there (in New Harmony?) They started to pass the rods to the next person, but the rods kept pointing back to the previous person who was using them. Traci explained that the little girl was particular in who she wanted to hold the rods.
  • She had a dollhouse
  • She thinks they’re too noisy upstairs (Crystal’s group)
  • She likes it quiet in the library
  • She has a sibling – she has a half-brother and several sisters. Every time Traci would ask about the number of sisters she had, the rods would respond yes. Traci asked if she had 20 sisters and it said yes, making them all laugh. Traci then asked, “Are you lying?” and the rods went to yes. It was obvious she was toying with the group.
  • The man enjoys looking at nature and knows the little girl they were talking to
  • He enjoys reading with the little girl
  • Traci then demonstrated how to use the rods to locate things in the room. She asked them to point to the ladder in the room. They did. She then asked if the man would point them towards where he was standing in the room. The rods pointed in a specific direction. She then asked if the woman would point them towards herself and the rods pointed directly behind Traci. For the little girl, the rods pointed towards the same area she was standing before. Traci then asked if one of the guests would ask the question while she held the rods but closed her eyes. Someone asked if they would point to several items in the room and it did.


(Above) The Psychomanteum Chamber is nothing more than a full length mirror with a chair in front of it. Participants sit in front of the mirror with a dim light and watch their imagine change.

Most people had some sort of experience in the psychomanteum chamber. In order to give the majority of the group a chance to try it, they only had a maximum of five minutes. Most people found that they didn’t need the full five minutes. Many of them came out after two or three minutes with fear on their faces.

  • Several people in the first group saw their faces grow beards.
  • Several people said the light went out and then came back on (it’s supposed to flicker but would actually go off)
  • Shannon saw her face morph into a man’s face
  • Several others saw their faces melting and then transform into something else.
  • Felt like someone was touching the back of her neck.
  • Felt like his head was moving even though it wasn’t
  • Saw her face with glasses on and then the entire room went dark
  • Saw her face become oblong and then back to normal
  • Her face went light and then dark
  • Felt like something was behind her, watching her
  • Saw a light up above her – looked like a silhouette
  • Two people saw a mist materialize behind them

Natural History Room

Natural History room.jpgThe Natural History Room is located on the second floor of the building and contains a portion of the museum. Glass cases wrap around the room, showcasing everything from old Civil War weapons to old shoes. It also houses quite a few taxidermy animals, including an 8-legged calf, and the skeleton of a Civil War hero horse named Old Fly.

During my visits there, I always felt the strongest energy in this room, which was why I assigned it to Crystal Folz. Being a psychic medium, I knew she would be able to hone in on the energy better than any of the rest of us. This proved to be true.

Crystal’s First Group (Group C)

Crystal held court in the Natural History Room. She demonstrated how to use the rods to the group and then they started the session.

  • There were more than two of them
  • They could see the group sitting there
  • There was something of theirs in the room
  • They have shoes there
  • The children’s shoes aren’t theirs
  • One of them is a child who likes to read books

Crystal’s Second Group (Group D)

(Above) The Natural History Room in the early 1900’s

Crystal had the disadvantage of sharing her group with the Gansfeld Experiment. As soon as the group started getting results, the group switched and half went out into the hallway to try the Gansfeld.

The Gansfeld Experiment is a sensory deprivation experiment. Participants wear headphones connected to a laptop playing white noise and wear white goggles as they sit around a red lamp.

As soon as her new group settled in, she started another dowsing rod session while the other half of the group was out in the hallway.

  • It wasn’t a man named John
  • One of them has an item in the room
  • One of them came there as a child
  • They enjoy being there
  • There is more than one of them
  • They weren’t talking to a male
  • She doesn’t like science
  • She doesn’t like history
  • She’s an artist
  • Her art is displayed in New Harmony
  • She’s an Owen descendant
  • She’s a female
  • She’s Rosamond Dale Owen Oliphant.

From my book Haunted New Harmony:

“Rosamond was born in New Harmony in 1846 and was the granddaughter of Robert Owen. She was known to many as being eccentric.

Apparently, Rosamond was prone to having visions. One day while she was in the Fauntleroy garden, she had a vision of a strange land, along with the knowledge that her life would be forever changed. When she awoke the next morning, the words “prepare” were on her lips, so she swiftly began making plans to travel to England.

Soon after arriving in Europe, she married Laurence Oliphant, who was a known mystic and author. He died four months after they married. After his death, she told friends that she was still in contact with him. Her sense of spiritualism was something she embraced and often spoke about.”

Rosamond was a prolific author and worked for reform in women’s restrictive clothing. She was also involved in the Suffrage Movement and Peace Movement before setting up her own utopian colony in Palestine. If the group was, in fact, in contact with Rosamond, this is very fascinating and is something we will pursue in the future.

(Above) Rosamond Dale Owen Oliphant

Continuing the dowsing rod session:

  • She doesn’t have artwork in the building
  • There is a male there with her
  • He is trying to prevent her from speaking
  • He is a scientist
  • He has artifacts in the building
  • He has a connection with Old Fly (the horse skeleton in the room)
  • Answered yes to “Was he your horse?” (Control question. The horse was a female)
  • He’s telling tales to get attention
  • He’s an Owen
  • He’s Richard Owen
  • William Owen is there also
  • David Owen is there
  • Robert Dale Owen is not there
  • They are all there together (slow yes)

(Above) Some of the old shoes in the museum’s collection

They switched groups and the other half came into the room. They began a dowsing rod session with no knowledge of the group before there’s findings:

  • They were talking to a female
  • She is in her early twenties
  • She’s from New Harmony
  • She’s not attached to the building
  • Her work is in the building
  • They heard a noise in the other side of the room and asked if she made the noise. They got a “no” response.
  • They were sitting close to something she was associated with
  • William Maclure was there
  • He’s not happy with the changes they’ve made
  • There is a child there
  • The child is over the age of five

Crystal’s Third Group (Group A)

Crystal’s group started with a dowsing rod session:

  • There was someone there
  • It was a female
  • Her shoes were in the case

As Crystal’s group settled in, one male participant said that he felt like a girl was following him during the night. He had quite a few encounters with her during the evening and was curious. When it was his turn, he began asking questions.

  • The little girl was still with him
  • She likes coming into the room to look at the animals
  • She sometimes plays with the Old Fly skeleton
  • He began testing the girl and asked if the horse’s name was Sea Biscuit. He got a “no.” He asked if the horse’s name was Old Fly. He got a “yes.”
  • He asked the rods to point to the horse and it pointed to a woman in the group, making everyone laugh.
  • She doesn’t play the piano in the room
  • There was also a male there
  • They shouldn’t ask about the war

The other half of the group came in, fresh from the Gansfeld Experiment, and the rest of the group went out to take their place.

(Above) Old Fly’s skeleton

One of the group members knew of a man who used to maintain the building and built a lot of the cabinets. She directed questions to him.

  • He was there and confirmed he built a lot of the cabinets
  • The little girl was still there
  • They don’t like the changes being made to the building
  • The little girl likes to run and play up there
  • She likes to run up the stairs
  • She is afraid of some of the taxidermied animals
  • One of the ghosts came with one of the guests
  • They don’t live there all the time
  • One of the ghosts came from Evansville that night (very slow yes)

Crystal’s Fourth Group (Group B)

The last group came in and Crystal gave them some basic information about the items in the room, including military items, old shoes, taxidermied animals. She also told them how the previous group felt that a ghost came with one of the investigators.

  • One of them liked to play chess
  • He/she know the little girl who was downstairs with their group
  • He/she don’t drink alcohol
  • He/she aren’t the ghost from the previous rooms they investigated
  • He/she don’t like seeing the dead animals
  • He/she come into the Natural History room to get away from everyone
  • He/she don’t have a favorite animal in the room
  • He/she didn’t work in the building
  • He/she is from New Harmony
  • He/she came from the New Albany area (several people from the group were from New Albany) and has been following them all night
  • He/she knew they were coming there that night
  • He/she knows them from the Culbertson Mansion (several people investigated the mansion with me previously)

The group began talking about how the dowsing rods pull strongly on their own and were amazed by the reaction. None of them liked the room and felt creeped out there. One of the participants felt that something was in the area where the war artifacts were kept.

  • The ghost is with Joni (followed me to the event – one of the participants has read my books and knows that I am often a ghost magnet)
  • Some of the mineral specimens belong to him/her
  • Some of his/her work is there (stones)

They had a discussion about the stones in the room. As we know, crystals and gemstones can retain energy and can often affect an investigation. Crystal confirmed this.

The group switched and the other half of the group came in.

  • He/she wasn’t a hunter
  • He/she has pets (slow yes)
  • They were talking to a female (slow yes – Crystal noted that almost all the “yes” responses were that way, yet the “no” responses were quick)
  • She’s not old
  • The dishes in the cupboard weren’t hers
  • Someone noted that the rods weren’t responding, but were vibrating instead. She said it felt almost like electricity moving through the rods. Someone else mentioned feeling a tightness in his chest.
  • They can move the pinwheel (but didn’t)
  • She doesn’t have a dog
  • The horse skeleton doesn’t belong to him/her
  • The rods were vibrating again and weren’t answering any questions. Crystal did an experiment of holding her hand above the rods. She could feel the energy coming off them. Others in the room could feel the energy too.


Gansfeld Experiment Results


The Gansfeld Experiment was an interesting addition to our investigations. It provided our guests with a chance to try something new. They weren’t given any details about what they should expect, which gave them a clean slate to experiment with.

They sat around a small table wearing headphones that played white noise and wore white goggles that prevented them from seeing anything other than the red light in front of them. My good friend Paula Bundy oversaw this experiment. She timed them for ten minutes and then asked them to write down what they experienced. Not everyone had an experience. Some people felt nothing, while others had phenomenal experiences.  When we tested it prior to the event, Crystal Folz saw a vision of a woman painting pictures of seashells in books. It’s very possible she was picking up on Lucy Way Sistare Say. She was the wife of famed scientist Thomas Say. Thomas was an entomologist, conchologist, and herpetologist who spend many years in New Harmony identifying insects and shells. His wife Lucy would paint the illustrations after he drew them.

Lucy Say
(Above) Lucy Say

Here is what others experienced:

  • Felt a tap on the top of my headphones
  • Saw wrinkled eyes
  • Dark shadows and forms were checking me out
  • Saw two dark shadows – one from each side that moved into a light that became brighter. Then, heard a moan that started out saying “Mine” and went to “no.”
  • Something touched my necklace. My eyes and body went numb.
  • Heard a loud noise and someone walked by. I felt a touch on my left arm.
  • I felt someone kick my chair. It made it shake.
  • I felt someone touch my arm
  • Someone squeezed my shoulder. My heart was racing and my hands were sweaty. The red light kept turning black.
  • I got very hot and then very cold.
  • I felt tingling on my left side on the back of my head. The air seemed heavy.
  • I heard a soft tinkling of bells. Peaceful feeling.
  • I felt as if I was floating. I heard a high female voice in my left ear.
  • I felt like my face was bloating and then constricting. I heard a whole crowd of people who instantly started talking.
  • I heard a high-pitched little girl laughing.
  • I felt very cold but relaxing.
  • I felt like I was on a jetliner
  • I had three things happen. First, I heard a Native American Chant. Then I heard a man talking/moaning. Lastly, I heard multiple voices all mixed together.
  • I heard some voices. Time went by really fast. Right was pulsating or flickering.

Gallery Room

IMG_9512.JPGThe Gallery Room is across the hallway from the Natural History Room. It houses some of the larger historic artifacts in the museum, including a Harmonist wagon, fire engine and Father Rapp’s desk. All around the room are huge paintings in gilded gold frames. The photos were provided by Dr. Edward Murphy.

Joni’s First Group (Group D)

I started out by explaining how to use the dowsing rods. My “yes” is different from the rest of my group. For me, it’s always wide open for “yes” and crossed for “no.” We always start out the session by asking what “yes” and “no” looks like for the room. I then did a baseline reading for the room and identified that we had a male with us. I then passed the rods to see what others could get.

The first dowsing rod session for a group is usually fairly quiet as the participants get used to using them. My first group included New Harmony residents with a lot of knowledge about the town, so they asked excellent questions. It wasn’t until we’d passed them to the fourth person before someone got responses.

  • He worked there.
  • It wasn’t a male she was talking to.
  • There weren’t more than two of them.
  • They don’t use any of the equipment behind him (fire engine, desk, wagon, etc.)
  • He didn’t catalog anything there
  • He/she doesn’t have a connection with the building

With minimal responses, we decided to use the Spirit Box. I explained what it was and how it works and then turned it on to see what we could get.

I then told the group about our test run investigation there the previous week. Traci Hoehn and I did ten minute sessions in several rooms to get an idea of how the ghosts would react to us. In the Gallery, we connected with a male and a female. The female talked to us a lot in the beginning before the male came through strongly. We both felt that he was preventing her from communicating. Was this the case here as well? As I was closing the session, I asked if they were going to talk to us at all during the night and a male voice said, “Get off it.” The response wasn’t as clean as I wanted, so I’m not sharing it, but it was an indicator of where the evening might go.

Joni’s Second Group (Group C)

53921491_10220280460061073_208279289353732096_nMy second group arrived after being in the Natural History room. Several of them told me they had experiences with the Ganzfeld Experiment.

I shared some information I’d just received about the room we were investigating. According to Circulations Manager, Shannon DeLap, the room might have been used to conduct séances back in its early days. We do know that spiritualism was alive and well across the country, especially among the wealthy set. Considering that Robert Dale Owen wrote two books about his experiences with the Fox sister mediums during the Spiritual Revolution, it wasn’t a stretch to believe that New Harmony was swept up in the movement as well.

What does this mean for a building? Often, when séances are conducted, they open portals in an area, allowing easier passage for other ghosts to come through. It gives the room/and or building a certain spiritual buzz. The energy that fills the space makes it easier for ghosts to communicate.

After going around the group and introducing ourselves, we did a dowsing rod session.

Dowsing rod session:

  • The male wasn’t there with us (but I could feel him)
  • The female was there
  • Not from Indiana
  • She doesn’t have children
  • She wasn’t an outdoor person
  • She’s not a student
  • She’s not more than 30 years old
  • She’s not a mother
  • She’s not a teacher
  • She doesn’t work in the service of others
  • She doesn’t enjoy the indoors
  • She doesn’t enjoy the building
  • She wants to leave
  • She enjoys the sunshine
  • She was outside a lot in life

The woman holding the rods was getting more responses than anyone else, so I appointed her our group dowser. We began asking questions and she held the rods.

  • She is a female
  • She wasn’t the one who was there before
  • I started to ask if she came with someone and the rods pointed towards me
  • After we all laughed, and then I asked the question again. This time the rods pointed to the woman beside me.
  • I asked if the woman was related to Brenda and they said “no”
  • She didn’t know Brenda from before the event, making me wonder if the rods were pointing to Brenda or to me

We then moved to Spirit Box. We went around the group, not getting any responses. I could hear the group outside in the hall, so I got up to make sure the door was closed. As I walked away, a faint male voice said, “Don’t stop.” Did he think I was leaving and was trying to stop me?

We went around the group and asked more questions. While we got a few responses, none of them were clear. I did comment that the group got a lot more responses than the last group. I asked, “What is it about the group you like the best?” An older woman answered, “You are pretty.” It’s not as clear as I’d like, but I’m including a link so you can hear it.

Joni’s Third Group (Group B)

53300070_10220280461781116_4963178660098998272_n.jpgMy third group was primarily composed of people I know from other investigations or from around New Harmony. I decided to go right to Spirit Box since we were starting to get some reactions during the last group. We introduced ourselves and then went around the room, asking questions.

I asked if the female was still with us and got a faint response that sounded like, “I’m with you.”

My friend Rick Schlegelmilch, who often helps me with investigations, asked if they ever helped with the fire engine. A faint male voice said, “I got to.”

Rick’s wife Donna was next and asked, “How tall are you?” The same male voice answered, “I can’t hit.” I’m not sure what he meant by this, but the response came directly after the question. Did he mean that he was too short to fight or did this refer to something else entirely?

All evening, people kept hearing noises coming from the dark corner near the attic staircase.  This is also the area where Dr. and Mrs. Murphy’s ashes are interred. Halfway through our session, we decided to move down to the dark corner and I’m glad we did.

As soon as we moved, everyone felt immediately spooked. They kept looking up the staircase, feeling like something was watching them. I asked if they remembered one of our names and a very faint voice said, “Mary.” There wasn’t a “Mary” in our group, but it was an intelligent response to our question, which made it amazing.

I then asked if they could ask anyone of us to leave, who it would be. It sounded like it said, “You,” but it wasn’t clear. I then went around the room and asked everyone to tell us their favorite kind of pie. Sometimes this discussion will generate a response and it did. A voice responded with “Apple.” Seconds later, after we laughed over the clear response, another voice chimed in with, “Cake!”

The group kept feeling something at the top of the stairs and even saw a shadow move. Melissa Goforth noted that her phone app had spit out three words over the course of the night. The first word was “tease.” She asked if they were teasing us and a voice said, “Yep.” She also noted that earlier in the evening when her cousin Tony asked if they smoked, the word “lung” popped up.

One of the members of our group had mediumship abilities and felt that it was a man with salt and pepper hair.

Several members of the group also felt there was someone standing behind me. I had put myself in the corner, so there wasn’t much room, but they snapped a few photos, just in case we caught something. As we were talking about it, a male voice came through the Spirit Box and said, “we’re near you.’

The session was coming to an end so I thanked them for allowing us in our space. A male voice came through very clearly and said, “You’re welcome.” I was almost giddy as I uploaded the file online. I’ve gotten this response before, but it’s very rare. After uploading it, I listened to it again and the male voice was suddenly gone. It its place was a female voice that sounded like she was saying, “You think.” I have had EVPs disappear before. It’s usually a sign that the message was just for me and not for me to share with others.

Joni’s Fourth Group (Group A)

The last group came in buzzing about the Gansfeld Experiment. Several people had amazing results and others didn’t feel anything but thought it was a fun experiment. They all felt the library was the most active room in the building.

As we got going on the session, someone else mentioned a little girl who’d been following them around all night. This wasn’t the first time I heard about her. Every group seemed to mention her but I’d yet to feel her in my area. “Are you the little girl who’s been following us around, playing with us?” a woman asked. A male voice responded with “I haven’t.” It made all of us laugh.

This group was also feeling as though someone was standing on the stairs watching us. Someone asked if there was anyone in the attic and a male voice responded, “too much.” Did this mean they were tiring of us? Or did his question somehow offend them? Either way, it was interesting to me because it was the same voice that had been talking to us all night. It sounded like a very old man or an old woman with a deep voice. Could this be the male who was answering our dowsing rod questions earlier? Or someone else altogether?

I always try to ask relevant questions that could only have one answer. I asked what town they were from and was immediately rewarded by the kind of response I was hoping for. “Harmony,” a woman’s voice said. This was astounding on several levels. First, it was an intelligent response. Second, it gave us a time period for the ghost. The town was only called Harmony from 1814 through 1824. It’s been known as New Harmony ever since.

My group began talking about hearing noises at the top of the stairs. They snapped a few pictures, hoping to capture something but they didn’t get anything. We returned to the investigation and asked a few questions, but didn’t get a response, so I told them the story about the ghostly picture Rick Schlegelmilch took of me at Thrall’s Opera House. I was telling them the story about how I showed it to a psychic medium friend, who identified the man as Eugene Thrall, the man the opera house is named after. As I was telling the story, a male voice came through and said, “I don’t believe you.” He said it while I was still talking so it’s not clear enough to share, but still very relevant. A ghost is telling us he doesn’t believe my ghost story. How interesting is that?

We ended up chatting about ghost stories for the rest of the session. Several voices popped through, but weren’t clear enough to understand.

All in all, it was an interesting evening. We didn’t answer any definitive questions about who lurks at Workingmen’s Institute, but we did get a lot closer in understanding the haunting.

(Above L-R) Front row: Joni Mayhan, Traci Hoehn, Rick Schlegelmilch. Back row: Crystal Folz, Paula Bundy and Jason Nelson.

Thank you to Shannon and Ryan from Workingmen’s Institute for hosting us! Thank you also to my amazing team and to all the people who came to the event!



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.

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(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

(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.

(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.

(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.