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





















Artefakts Investigation Review 11-4-23

I’ve been fascinated with this grand building since I first moved to New Harmony almost eight years ago. It sits on Main Street, nestled between an assortment of other elaborate, historic buildings. They remind me of fancy wedding cakes, stacked side by side.

For the first seven years I was here, the building was known as the Antique Doll Shop and was filled with shelf after shelf of dolls. The shop was seldom open, serving more as a place for a personal collection than an actual public store. I managed to find it when it was open twice during those seven years and nearly fell over myself in my hurry to get inside to look.

The interior was everything I’d hoped for. It had tall swooping ceilings, colorful stained glass windows and built-in mahogany book cases absolutely brimming with dolls of every shape, size and color. And best of all, it had ghosts!

I felt them swirling around me, drawn by my energy, intrigued to be presented with someone who could actually sense them. I tried to imagine what it would be like for them to be trapped inside a building that was locked up most of the time, providing them with little interaction with the living. It seemed like a sad existence.

Fast forward to the summer of 2023. According to the local grapevine, the building had been sold and new owners would soon be opening a shop there. We heard it was a woodworking store, an antique store and a bevy of other possibilities. My friends and I would stalk the store-front nightly after our ghost walks, peering in the windows to see what had been added. It started with a few oddities: a holographic face pressed into a block of glass, a ceremonial gong, a tribal mask. We were hooked. And then, much to our elation, the business opened on July 4th weekend.

I walked in the day they opened and was greeted warmly by Pat and Theresa, who own the store. They’ve been collecting these artifacts for decades and were happy to find the perfect place to showcase them. It was almost as though the store was built for them.

I walked around taking in all the fascinating items. In one room there are showcases and bookshelves filled with sculptures, jewelry, and other collectables. Another room houses musical instruments, while the room adjacent to it is filled with interesting furniture pieces, much of it, mid-century modern. There’s a hallway filled with clocks of every shape imaginable. It’s a delight to be there on the hour to listen to all of them chime simultaneously. And then there are the intriguing pieces mixed in. There’s a ship’s maidenhead that looks like a mermaid hanging in the front window. There are two life-size, wooden Native American sculptures greeting you at the doorway and large metal fighter planes hanging from the ceiling. It’s the kind of store you could spend hours in, just taking it all in.

They’ve been following me on Facebook for a while, so they knew who I was and what I do. When I asked them if I could walk around and see what I felt, they were intrigued. And trust me when I say this, I was beyond excited.

There is second floor above the first floor that isn’t open to the public. One room, which is partially finished, contains more furniture and collectible items that don’t fit in the store, along with Pat’s extensive bonsai collection. Another room, which is long and narrow, reminds me of the space required for a bowling alley. This room is unfinished, unheated and doesn’t have any lighting. Both rooms were absolutely buzzing with energy.

I went back to the room with the furniture and bonsai and just sat for a moment, allowing the ghosts to come closer. It almost reminded me of befriending animal shelter dogs. I just sat in the silence and allowed them to get used to me. After a few moments, I opened myself up and began my psychic sweep. When I do this, I often write in a notebook, recording the words, images and phrases that come to my mind. They were eager to communicate.

The first ghost I encountered was a trim women in her late thirties. She was dark haired and self-contained. I wasn’t certain if she was educated, but I instinctively knew she was smart and level headed. I saw her in plain clothing:  a long skirt with a tight waist, long sleeved blouse and a scarf around her neck. Her dark hair was pulled up onto her head, but was escaping in thick, curly tendrils. She had kind eyes and a playful manner. I’m not good at intuiting names, so I didn’t even try. I just let her know I was aware of her and then opened my mind to the other ghost in the room.

This one was a male. He seemed somewhat distant from the woman, although I felt they were connected, maybe even married. There seemed to be some strife between them, but I wasn’t certain what it was. He was tall and dark-haired, dressed in a suit and tie. Both of them presented themselves as being from the early 1900’s era.

When I walked into the “bowling alley room,” I felt a distinctly different energy. The occupants here were frightened and unsettled. They reminded me of immigrants, hiding out in the shadows, afraid to be discovered. Unlike the man and woman next door, they often went without basic necessities. I wanted to help them, but something about them frightened me just a little. Mixed in with the sadness was more than a hint of anger. They weren’t necessarily hostile, but they weren’t keen on my presence either.

At a later date, I went in one evening to video the building as the last of the daylight was draining from the sky. The building truly comes to life in the faltering shadows. The various lights highlight the high ceilings and the magnificent woodwork. It gives the building a sense of mystery, something that brings out the beauty and personality of the space.

I walked up to the second floor to the room with the furniture and the bonsai. I began thinking of this space as the living room. It felt like a room where you could curl up on one of the sofas with a good book and a magnificent bird’s eye view of the town below you.

The Spirit Box is one of my favorite tools for paranormal investigating. It scans rapidly through the channels, allowing the ghosts in the building to speak through the white noise. When it works, it’s phenomenal. Sometimes we’ll get full sentences of intelligent responses to our questions. But when it doesn’t work, it’s irritating to hear the chop-chop-chop sounds as it moves through the channels.

This time it worked beautifully. I began talking to a man named Don. He felt somewhat suave and polished: a bit of a flirt. He was someone who was used to getting his way and was handsome enough to always capture the attention of the women around him. Was this the man I connected with before? I thought it might be. Without the female there, he was more gregarious and outgoing.

“Do you remember my name?” I asked.

“What’s that?” he asked, almost coyly.

It occurred to me that, even though I’ve been up there before, I’ve never properly introduced myself. I spoke with him for a few minutes, having a full-on conversation. To listen to the entire conversation, click HERE

Joni’s Sessions

First Session (Yellow Group)

I conducted a spirit box experiment on the second floor. After introducing themselves, we got started right away. It only took thirty seconds before we got our first clear response.

I asked who was there with us and a voice responded, “Emily.” Emily would play a major role in the night’s investigation.

I asked if there was anybody else, and a man with a deep voice said, “No.” This made us all laugh.

When asked how old she was, a female voice said, “for the ninety.” At the time, we thought she said, “From the nineties.” We weren’t certain if she was from the 1890s or the 1990s.

Someone asked if she was tied to a certain artifact there and a male voice said, “Big hat.”

There was a cabinet filled with old hats beside us. Someone asked if they could lead us to which hat it was and the male voice once again said, “Big hat.” This was pretty phenomenal. If, per chance, we were picking up on a radio station, the spirit box had already moved past that station. There’s no way the same voice could be on the radio, saying the exact same thing.

“Emily, what kind of hat?” someone asked. It was quickly answered with, “Wicket.” There were a few wicker hats on the rack.

As the next person was trying to phrase his question, a voice said, “What do you need?” He sounded friendly, but a bit impatient. I can imagine they would be exasperated with us. Some of them might have attempted to communicate with the living for decades. Imagine being invisible and not being able to talk or be heard?

We kept hearing the word “hat” in their responses, which was strange. What was it with the hats?

We asked another round of questions and really didn’t get any clear responses, so I decided to turn the spirit box off. I wanted to utilize the psychic medium we had in this group. Ashley Morrow has been to a few of our investigations and always blows us away with her impressions. I’ve worked with a lot of psychic mediums and she’s, hands down, one of the best. I asked her what she was feeling.

She was picking up on female energy at the back corner. She felt she was from the 1800s. I asked if she was Emily and Ashley looked up at where she was standing. “She said yes,” she told us.

We were curious if Emily was Amish, based on the wicker hat, but Ashley didn’t think she was Amish. She was tied to an item. “She’s saying hat,” Ashley told us.

I, too, am a medium and was also feeling a female energy. I’ve felt her there before and mentally see her as a dark haired woman in her thirties. The era I felt she was from was more of the early 1900s. I’ve always felt as though she lived there and worked there, possibly owning a business with her husband.

We asked Ashley to use the dowsing rods to answer a few questions the group had about Emily. We asked for her to point to where she was standing and the rods pointed towards the doorway, which is exactly where she spotted her earlier.

We asked her to point to the hat she was tied to and the rods directed us to a hat on a middle shelf. It was a wicker hat, but was more of a man’s hat. I looked at the inside of the hat and it was a newer hat. It really didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t old enough to belong to someone from the 1800s to early 1900s.

Ashley was also picking up on male energy on the opposite end of the room.

  • Is there a male behind me? Yes
  • Is he connected to Emily? No
  • Will you talk to us over the spirit box? Yes

We moved back to the spirit box to see if he was a man of his word. We were getting a lot of half answers or things that kind of sounded like a response, but upon review, it wasn’t anything significant.

After a lengthy period of time, we finally heard something interesting. “Emily,” a female voice said without benefit of a question. We attempted to pursue this small lead, but didn’t receive any further information.

One of the guests had his own KII, which measures electromagnetic energy that is sometimes affiliated with the presence of ghosts. It kept spiking. When we asked if they could get closer to it and make it light up to red, a faint voice said, “Blue.” While blue isn’t one of the colors on the KII’s array, it is an actual color. It demonstrated the fact that they were aware of what we were saying.

I was trying to remember who I spoke with when I came to the building alone and did a “promo” with my spirit box. I came in a few weeks before the investigation and filmed myself using the spirit box. I had a lively conversation with a charming man. After some searching, I finally found the video I posted to Facebook and listened for the man’s name. It was Don. He had a pretty suave voice. I asked Ashley if that sounded like the man who was on the other side of the room and she thought so.

I had Ashley bring the spirit box over to the area where she was feeling him. As soon as she got in place, I told her his name is Don. Immediately, a male voice – the same male voice we’d been hearing – said, “Howdy.”

It was a short-lived conversation. After his initial greeting, we didn’t get anything else, so I had Ashley use the dowsing rods again. She confirmed that Don was there and he was standing in the back corner.

The session ended and the group moved on to the next location. Little did I know, this group would end up with a story that grew with every session.

Second Session (Red Group)

Sometimes, the ghosts in the building will follow the strongest psychic medium for the evening instead of remaining in place to see who else shows up. Unfortunately, for the other three groups, this is pretty much what happened for the rest of the evening. While the other groups did have interesting interactions with other ghosts in the building, the two strongest ones continued to follow.

I didn’t tell them anything about the first session. I wanted them to experience it for themselves and see if they got the same names and interactions.

As soon as I got started, we got our first response. I was just informing the ghosts in the room that I brought a new group in to talk to them. A male voice quickly said, “Okay.”

I asked if anyone was still there from the first session and a woman promptly told me something I’d soon learn on my own. “They left,” she said, which was absolutely true. When you read the section on Traci’s sessions, you see that Don and Emily followed the Yellow Group. Thankfully, there were still other ghosts there to communicate with.

Unfortunately, not all of them were as cordial as the woman. When Deb asked how many of them were there with us, a man responded with, “Get out!” We didn’t hear it at the time, which was probably a good thing. Some of the guests might have been uneasy hearing that.

Without a question to prompt it, a woman said, “Red jacket.” It’s not overly clear, especially the “jacket” portion, but I clipped it because it would become a theme for the night. While we were discussing it, another female ghost said it again. “Red coat,” she said. We didn’t hear it at the time. It was spoken quickly and had to be slowed down by 80% to be clearly understood.

I was curious about this, so I stopped the spirit box session and moved to dowsing rods. I had Heather use them because she’s been on many of our investigations and is quite good at using them.

  • Is red your favorite color? No answer
  • Is green your favorite color? No answer
  • Do you like the red hat over there? No answer
  • Do you like the hat on the table? No answer
  • Are you a man? No

I had her walk over to the other side of the room where Ashley sat earlier.

  • Is there a woman here? Yes
  • Was there a man here too? Yes

I asked her to have the rods to point to where the woman was standing and they pointed towards the doorway where she’d been earlier

She asked the rods to point to where the man was standing and they pointed straight ahead of her

  • Is this your favorite room in the building? No

I asked the mediums in the group what they were feeling. Deb felt it felt “present” and there were more than one. Matt was next. He said he felt overwhelmed and a little anxious, like there was a large crowd there. I then told them what we picked up on the last session.

Deb informed us that one of the owners of the bookshop died of a heart attack in the building. Another person said she felt chest pressure. She also said that Bob, the man who died, had a daughter named Emily. It was interesting that we’d been hearing the name Emily all night.

We turned the spirit box on and kept hearing the world “old.” I asked if they thought we were old and then corrected myself, telling that we were young. A woman’s voice came through (faintly) and said, “That’s true.”

They kept getting the word “red” across the spirit box. I mentioned that my flashlight had a red light and immediately heard a woman say, “Light.” It shows they are aware of us and can hear us talk.

Then, without benefit of a question, a man told us to “record this.”

The rest of the session was nonproductive. The group headed to their next session.

Third Session (Blue Group)

The group came in talking about the color red. They were getting a lot of responses with the color red in their last two sessions. They thought it might be due to the young man named Ace. Ironically, Ace was wearing a red jacket. They said they heard Ace’s name and also his mother’s name, Stacey. She said she was holding the purse and asked if she could have it and they told her she was “too young.”

I started feeling the floor bouncing beneath me and brought it to the group’s attention. Nobody was moving, but it continued to happen. I hadn’t felt it in either of my last two sessions.

We turned on the spirit box and got started. We went around the room and introduced ourselves and got an immediate intelligent response when I asked what their names were. A man said, “Joseph” very clearly.

We went around, asking more questions. Someone asked, “What’s your name?” A male voice answered, “Joni.” It’s not the first time I’ve heard my name spoken by a ghost, but it hasn’t happened in a while, so I was surprised.

There were a lot of “yups” coming over the box. They asked if he was the one who was sitting next to Ace and it said “yup.”

They asked if Joe was there, if he’d come up with them, not knowing we got a response from a Joseph at the beginning of the session.

I asked them what town we were in and a male voice said, “town hall.”

Someone in the group was feeling like there was something surrounding a stuffed monkey sitting in a chair. This was the second time this had happened during the evening. I asked the owners about the monkey and she said it belonged to her son when she was a child. Perhaps one of the ghosts liked it too?

I walked over to Traci’s group to take pictures for a moment. While I was gone, they were hearing the same female voice come through. Theresa asked her if she had something she wanted to tell them and she said, “bring everyone.” When Theresa asked what her name was, she said, “Marsea.”

Several of them began feeling a cold spot between them and wondered if something was standing there. At that point, we began feeling the floor moving again.

Several people in the group were drawn to a photo of a woman on a shelf behind me. They asked for her name and it kind of sounded like “Haley.” I later learned it was a photograph of Rebecca, who owns Just Looking, a store across from Artefakts.

They thought they were hearing “red” again, but upon review, it was actually saying “Rick.” There was a Rick there during my pre-investigation session. We didn’t get anything else for the rest of the session.

Fourth Session (Orange Group)

I always feel badly for the last group of the night. By this time, we’ve usually worn out the ghosts in the building and they’ve already drifted into their respective corners to recuperate. This wasn’t necessarily the case this time though.

We got our first hit as we were introducing ourselves. In between people, a male voice told us, “I think it’s cool.”

When asked if they like to look out the windows, a male voice said, “We do.”

Someone asked how many people were in the room and a faint voice said, “Seven.” There were ten living people there. Did that mean there were seven ghosts?

A guest asked if they liked this room and a male voice said, “I don’t love you.” Well then… I’d be offended, but I’ve found that it’s better when the ghosts aren’t too attached to you.

I asked one of my standard questions, geared towards knowing if they can actually see us. “How many fingers am I holding up?” I asked. A voice immediately said, “Three.”

One of the guests remarked that she kept seeing something passing behind her (the light seemed to change). This was something that was ongoing all night.

Someone asked if they liked to read and there was a faint “no.”

At that point, something weird happened to my recorder. Everything recorded in double speed. I couldn’t even slow it down with my editing program. I tried to listen to the remaining seven minutes, but didn’t hear anything that jumped out at me. Was it the ghosts? Were they tired of talking to us or was it an equipment malfunction. I guess we’ll never know.

Traci’s Sessions

Traci was using the Estes Method in her sessions. Participants would be connected to the Spirit Box with headphones and wore a blindfold. The rest of the group would ask questions and the participant would call out what they heard come through the headphones. Many times, participants go into a channeling state and begin seeing images.

She was in an unfinished room on the second floor. This is the creepiest room in the building and has a definite vibe.

First Session (Red Group)

Unfortunately, the digital recorder malfunctioned at the beginning of the session and didn’t record. I do know that someone in the group felt pressure on her chest during the Estes session. Someone else felt their hair parting in the back.

Second Session (Yellow Group)

After they introduced themselves, they started the session. Ashley was the first to start.

Q: Can you tell us your name?

A: Hi

Q: Can you tell us your name?

A: Don

Q: Don, what’s your last name?

A: Moved

Q: Did something move?

A: Behind her. I’m behind her?

Q: Behind who? What color shirt are they wearing?
Q: Are you behind me?

A: No

Q: Are you behind me (Traci)?

A: Close

A: She saw me

Q: Who is she?

A: I can see her. She sees me.

Q: Can you tell us her name?

A: Ashley

Q: Do you like Ashley?

A: I worked here

Q: how long ago did you work here?

A: Shady

A: What I did was shady

Q: How was it shady? What did you do?

A: Work

Q: Did you steal?

A: Trouble with law?

Q: Did you get caught?

A: No

Q: Are you tied to something you stole?

A: Can’t tell

Q: Is it still in this building?

A: Before

Q: Are you from New Harmony? Were you here in the 1920’s

A: My wife

A: She helped me

Q: Were you bootlegging?

A: No

Q: Were you bank robbers?

A: Doesn’t matter. She had a boyfriend.

Q: is the money in the safe in the other room?

Q: Who had a boyfriend?

A: no

Q: Did you work as a teller at the bank?

A: yes

Q: were you upper management at the bank?

A: Yes

Q: Were you the president of the bank?

A: Absolutely

Q: Did you embezzle at the bank?

A: yes

Q: Was your wife the one who had a boyfriend?

A: yes. She was shady

A: She’ll see

Q: What will she see?

A: How I was better

Q: Better at what?

A: Husband

Q: You were a better husband that someone else?

A: Yes

Q: What was her name

A: Emily

Q: Did you know the guy she was having an affair with?

A: yes

Q: was he one of your friends?

A: yes

 Q: did you do something about it?

A: I did

Q: What did you do?

A: What do you want?

Q: We just want to know what happened? What do you want?

A: For her to forgive

Q: Fair enough. Have you asked her?

A: Maybe

A: It’s hard

Q: Why is it hard to ask for forgiveness?

A: No

Q: Then what’s hard? Can you tell us what was hard?

A: No

A: It would ruin me

Q: Why would it ruin you?

A: Respecting

Q: Was your hat in the other room?

A: couldn’t find me

Q: What does she need to forgive you about?

A: Ran

Q: Who ran?

 A: I ran

Q: Why did you run?

A: Trouble

Q: What kind of trouble?

A: nothing

Q: were you scared?

A: Hide

Q: were you afraid someone was going to be upset with you?

A: I did

Q: Did anyone find out? Did Emily find out?

A: I’m here

Q: Where’s Emily? Did you have a child together?

A: Emily?

Q: yes. Did you have a child together? Is that child here?

A: Husband

Q: Did Emily have another husband?

A: She tried

Q: Is that when you did something bad?

A: Unfortunately

Q: Is he here too?

A: Yes

Q: What’s his name? Is that his hat in the next room?

A: No

She felt pressure on her chest during the session. The next person donned the headphones.

A: Zero

Q: Is Emily here?

A: What do you want?

Q: What happened with you and Don?

A: It’s a secret

Q: You can tell us. Is this Don’s friend? Was there a child involved?

A: Little

Q: A little girl?

Q: Who are we speaking with?

A: In

Q: In from what?

A: hidden place

Q: Where is there a hidden place?

A: Secret

Q: Why is it a secret?

A: Secret

Q: Don, did they ever find out what you did at the bank?

A: They’ll find out

Q: Did Emily work at the bank?

A: yes

Q: Did you and Emily leave because something illegal happened at the bank?

A: Planned. One night.

Q: Did this used to be the bank?

A: Watched

Q: Was Emily watched

A: Watched bank

They pulled him out of the session. He was shaking. He said he felt really sad. Was hearing someone whispering and was seeing visions of the past. He saw Emily looking out the bank windows while Don was messing with the safe. He felt like there was a lover’s quarrel.

The next person (Mindy) put on the headphones and they started again.

Q: Do Emily and Don have a child? Is Don still here?

A: Calculate

Q: Did Emily have to calculate how to get Don into the bank at night?

Q: Do you want to talk about something else? Is Emily in here too?

A: Hope

Q: Hope about what? Don, did your friend know what was happening at the bank?

A: Red

Q: What’s red? Is it a name?

A: Morgan

Q: Who’s Morgan?

Q: Don, were you friends with a lot of men in town?

A: Maybe

Q: Did you know AC Thomas

A: Daddy

Q: Was AC Thomas your father? Did you know Elmer Elliott? How about Alfred Ribeyre, the corn king? Did you know any of the Owen family?

A: Random

Q: Can you tell us the year you were here?

A: Mustache

Q: Did you have a mustache? Was Morgan your friend you were trying to keep a secret from? Is Morgan here with us?

A: Loud

Q: What’s loud?

A: Baby

Q: Was your baby loud a lot?

A: Was eight

Q: Was your child’s name Morgan? Was your child eight?

A: Murky

Q: Did something happen to your child? Was there an accident?

They stopped the session. She said something kept touching her hand. She felt the pressure on her chest. The man who did the previous session said he felt a female’s sadness.

Third Session (Orange Group)

After a brief explanation about how the Estes Method works, they got started. After introducing themselves, they got started.

Q: Can you tell us your name?

A: Airport

Q: Did you work in an airport? Do you like to fly? Are you glad we’re here? Are you male or female? Is anyone up here with us that wants to talk? Do you have a family? Are you from New Harmony? Do you like to look out the windows? Do you stay upstairs or can you go downstairs?

Traci pulled him out of the session because he wasn’t getting anything. The next person took his place.

Q: Do you want to talk with us now? Is there a reason why you aren’t talking to us now?

A: Hey

Q: There you are! Can you tell me something about yourself? Did you work in this building?

A: How

Q: Did you work in the bookstore? Are there a lot of distractions other than our conversations?

A: Some

A: Good

Q: Is it good where you are? Is that what you mean? Have you met God? Are you trapped here?

A: No

Q: Are you alone? Is there anyone else with you? Do you wish you could go party with the group down the street? (You can literally hear screaming from the wedding down the street on the recorder) Do all the weddings get on your nerves? Is there someone in the room you’d like to talk to? Is it difficult for you to talk to us?

A: A little

Q: Why?

A: Forty-one

Q: Is that how old you are?

A: yeah

Q: Are you a male? Are you a woman?

A: Man

Q: Were you married?

They pulled her out of the session. She felt like her hair was parting in the back. This was the same as the first group. She also felt like someone was standing behind her. The next person took her place.

Q: We have someone else listening. Would you like to keep talking to us? How do you feel about the music?

A: I hear music

Q: Are you playing music for her? What kind of music do you like? Is there anything we can do for you? Are you with people you love? Downstairs, we were told we should be afraid of one of you. Are you the one we should be afraid of? Is there anyone you’re afraid of? Is there anything you want to tell us?

A: It’s behind

Q: What’s behind?

A: Next

Q: Are you next to her? Can you give us a clear sign you’re here with us?

A: Fancy

Q: Do you like playing with people’s hair?

A: Awake

Q: Do you do it to keep them awake?

She pulled the mask off and the next person took her place (a male).

Q: someone new is listening. Do you want to keep talking to us? (Joni walked in the room to take pictures, so Traci did the pie question. She went around the room and had everyone announce their favorite kind of pie. Sometimes it generates responses from the dead.

A: Ballroom

A: Spirit

Q: Is there a spirit here or are they drinking spirits (at the very loud wedding)?

Q: What is your favorite kind of pie (they finished the pie question)? Are you aware of the other spirits?

A: Is it here?

Q: Sorry. We don’t have any pie.

Q: Do you get tired? Is it harder to be in the spirit world? Or was it harder to be alive?  Do you want to go to the party next door? Are you sad right now? Do you have any hobbies?

Traci made a connection: the spirits there seemed to like to talk to women more than men. Most of the men didn’t get very many responses.

A: Wait

Q: What are we waiting for?

A: Favorite

Q: Do you have a favorite in this room right now? We’re going to be shutting this down soon. Is there anything you want to tell us?

There was no response, so they pulled him out of the session. He said he felt something touch his collar. He couldn’t make out what they were saying most of the time. He would get pieces of what they were saying, but not enough to clearly make it out.

Fourth Session (Blue Group)

After Traci explained how the Estes Method worked, they introduced themselves and got started. Teresa was the first participant.

Q: Can you tell us what your name is? Is there anyone up here who wants to talk to us?

A: Murder

A: Always

Q: Always murder. What do you mean by that? Did you do something bad to somebody?  Did the little girl come upstairs with us? Is there anyone in the room with us? What is your name? (one of the guests saw the exit sign completely black out. It would have been something very tall to block it out)

Q: Why were you by the exit sign? What did you use this room for? Did you live here? (The group heard a whisper from behind them. They all heard it.) Are you here with us?

A: Glad I came home

Q: Is this your home? Did Ace’s friend from downstairs come up here? Did we see you back by the exit sign? Can you tell Teresa we saw you? Can you tell Teresa your favorite color? Are you the one who was downstairs with us?  Is your name Haley?

Teresa took off the headphones and the next person (Ace) took her place.

Q: How do you feel about the music you hear playing? Do you like it? Are the ghosts from the gym partying tonight?

A: Raindrop. Someone.

Q: Yes. These buckets are from raindrops. (the roof leaks and there are buckets)

Q: They started the pie question again. Someone from the group (Jodi) remembered us doing it years ago.

A: They. Someone. Right now.

Q: Someone right now, what?

Q: Did someone else come into the room? Do you want to talk to the boy in the red shirt (Ace)?

A: Red. Still cold.

Q: Are you standing beside the guy in the red shirt?

A: Around

Q: You might like the boy in the red shirt, but you can’t go home with him. You won’t be welcomed.

Traci noted that a younger woman just came into the room who was very strong. Another participant asked if she had curly black hair. Traci thought she might have dark hair. Mid to late 20s.

Q: Is there someone who can walk across the laser grid and show yourself? Did Joe come up with us? Could you knock on the wall or floor and let us know you’re here?

A: Baby. No. Something.

Q: Did the monkey used to belong to the baby? (I must have missed something here. What monkey?)

Q: Is the girl still with us? Is there someone who won’t let you talk?

A: Talk

Q: is this the little girl from downstairs?

They pulled Ace out of the session. He said he kept hearing a “psst” sound, like someone was trying to get his attention. He also felt a tap. He kept hearing a deep voice he couldn’t understand. They put the next person in.

A: Help

Q: What’s wrong? Why do you need help? Were you attacked? Did someone take your toy? Are you stuck here?

A: Whisper

Q: That was you that whispered?

A: Kids

Q: Are the kids whispering?

A: More of them

Q: Are there a lot of kids here? Do you have a secret?

A: Shaking

Q: Did the kids get to play?

A: Sick. Cough! Right here.

Q: Was the kids bedroom or playroom?

A: Sick

Q: What were they sick with?

A: Cough. Sick (she noted they were saying sick over and over)

Q: Was it consumption?  We’re sorry you were sick.

A: Bedroom

Q: Did you have to stay in your bedroom because you were sick?

A: down. Just stay.

Q: Do you want us to stay?

A: Kill those.

Q: no thanks

A: Murder

Q: Did someone get murdered? Did someone hurt the kids?

A: Across. Cough.

Q: Were you talking about the saloon across the street? Or the pharmacy across the street?

A: cold

Q: What kind of medicine did they give you?

A: Stuck

Q: Are you stuck?

A: Open

Q: Do you need us to open something?

(she said they kept saying stuck over and over again)

A: Pain

She pulled the headphones off and said she’d had enough. She said it was really loud. It said her name and then there was a deep roar.

Traci told the ghosts they were not allowed to go home with anyone, but thanked them for talking with them.

Whistling Rick’s Sessions

Whistling Rick held a dowsing rod session in the main floor room to the left of the doorway. The room is filled with interesting furniture, lamps and oddities.

First Session (Blue Group)

  • Did you work in the building? Yes
  • Were you here when it was a hardware store? Was it a paint store? Were you here when it was a bookstore? Yes
  • Is there a little girl in this building? No
  • Did you work here? No
  • Did you live in New Harmony? No
  • Did you come here with one of the antiques? Yes
  • Are you attached to any of the furniture in this room? Yes
  • Can you point to the piece of furniture you’re attached to? No response
  • Did you live for a long time in New Harmony? Yes
  • Did you have a family? No
  • Are you a male? No
  • So, you’re a female? No response

An angel hanging in the window suddenly started moving. It spun slowly in one direction and then stopped.

  • Are you making the angel turn? No
  • Is another spirit making the angel turn? Yes

Another guest had a strange experience with a vintage pocketbook in the other room several weeks ago. She felt drawn to it and came into the store after seeing it in the window. She was inexplicably drawn to it and felt it nearly vibrate with energy. We later found out it came with the building.

  • Are you the same spirit who had the purse? No answer
  • Are you a child? Yes
  • Did a woman suffer in this building at some point? Yes
  • Is there a little girl in this building somewhere? Yes
  • Was the little girl playing with the angel? No
  • Was there a woman here who was punished? Yes
  • Do you go room to room to visit all the people? Yes
  • Do you use the mirrors to move? Yes
  • Are you by the mirror? No answer
  • Are you on the couch? Yes
  • Was there a woman in here who was tortured? Yes. Rick shut down this line of questioning, telling her we didn’t want to get into her worse aspects of her life.
  • Are you in this room with us right now? At this point, I hear a woman screaming, “Get down! Get down?” While there was a noisy wedding going on just down the street, we weren’t hearing any sounds from them in the furniture room. Was it a disembodied voice of a dead woman or was it someone from the wedding? We’ll probably never know.
  • Does more than one spirit live here? Yes
  • Are there more than five spirits who live here? No
  • Do you hate the Spice Girls (they could hear the music)? No answer
  • Do you ever visit the buildings across the street? Yes
  • Were you ever involved with the Centennial Saloon? Yes
  • Were you there when we did an investigation there several years ago? Yes
  • Is this a 15 story building? (he throws in deliberate “no” answers to make sure the rods aren’t just giving “yes” answers. The answer was “no.”
  • Are you still in here? Yes
  • Are you visiting the other rooms? No

Second Session (Orange Group)

  • Are you in the room with us right now? Yes
  • Are you originally from New Harmony? Yes
  • They asked if they could point to where they were in the room and Rick reported that it pointed to the same area as the last group
  • Rick brought it to the group’s attention that the angel in the window was spinning again
  • Are you attached to an object in the room? Yes
  • Are you attached to that angel? No answer
  • Are you free to leave this building? Yes
  • Are you happy? No answer
  • Is there more than one spirit here with us? Yes
  • Do you know each other? Yes
  • Are you and the other spirits related? Yes
  • Is your mother or father here? Yes
  • Did you live together as a family? Yes
  • Were any of you born in New Harmony? Yes
  • Did you know Father Rapp? Yes
  • Did you know Robert Owen? No
  • Do you get tired of the weddings in New Harmony? No
  • Do you know about the tunnels that run under the street? Yes This is an interesting factoid. Decades ago, tunnels ran under the street from the Centennial Saloon to the Artefakts building. We aren’t sure why, but there are doorways in the basement, facing each other.
  • Do you know the spirits upstairs? Yes
  • Should we be afraid of any of the spirits here? Yes
  • Do you know how to play any of the instruments in the next room? Yes
  • Do you ever go to the old Oddfellow’s building? Yes

Third Session (Yellow Group)

  • Don, did you follow us from upstairs? Yes
  • Is Emily here too? no

There was an entire soap opera story going on here. It started with their first session on the second floor with Joni, went to Traci’s sessions and is now with Rick. Don and Emily were a married couple, but they were going to do something bad with the bank. She apparently cheated on him. They did something shady. She was cheating on Don, but was doing something shady with him against the bank. The man she cheated on was there too.

  • Don, did you and Emily have a child? No
  • Did Emily and the other guy have a child? Yes
  • Did you do something to Emily and her family? Yes
  • Did you do something shady with Emily? Yes
  • Did her new husband know?
  • Was Emily married when you met her? No answer
  • Don, are you Emily’s second husband? No answer
  • Was Emily married to you when she had the other child? Yes
  • Did you raise the child as your own?
  • Is that why you need forgiveness?
  • Did Emily try to divorce you? Yes
  • Don, did you do something bad to Emily? Yes
  • Did you hurt her in some way? Physically? Yes
  • Did you hurt someone else to hurt her? Yes
  • Did you hurt the other guy? Yes
  • Is that why Emily is angry with you? Yes
  • Did you love the child, even though it wasn’t yours? Yes
  • Is the child here too? No
  • Did Morgan live here? Yes
  • Was the bank the one that’s next door? Yes
  • Did you succeed in doing shady stuff at the bank? Yes
  • Did Morgan work at the bank with you? Yes
  • Did any of you get caught? Yes
  • Was it Morgan? Yes
  • Did Morgan take the blame? Yes
  • Did you and Emily keep the money? Yes
  • Is the money hidden in town somewhere? No answer
  • Is it in this building? No answer
  • Did your daughter know about the money? No answer
  • Did your daughter outlive both of you? Yes
  • Is your daughter still alive? No
  • Were you alive in the 1890s? Yes
  • Did you die together? Yes
  • Were you shot? Yes

Note: we normally do not talk about their deaths during sessions. It’s usually not something they want to talk about and we often see them stop communicating when it’s brought up. We tell the groups this at the beginning of the event. I think everyone was so caught up in this story, they forgot this.

  • Did Morgan do something with the money? Yes
  • Is that why your daughter didn’t have the money? Yes
  • Did your daughter know you weren’t her biological father? No
  • Was Morgan upset he didn’t get to know his daughter? Yes
  • Is that one of the reasons why you guys fought? Yes
  • Was the bank you worked at here in New Harmony? Yes
  • Did Emily’s child get sick? Yes
  • Did you love your daughter? yes
  • Were you the type of person who liked to joke around? Yes
  • Did you and Emily like to entertain? Yes
  • Did you drink much alcohol? Yes
  • Did Morgan drink alcohol? Yes
  • Did you make your own alcohol? They didn’t announce the answer, but judging by the laughter, I think it was yes
  • Did you sell your alcohol? Yes
  • Was it connected to any activities in Evansville? Yes
  • Was it connected to any activities in French Lick? Yes (connected to the Chicago mob)
  • Were you considered a gangster in your time? Yes
  • Were you part of the Chicago mafia? Yes
  • Was there any counterfeiting? Yes
  • This was during the 1920s? yes
  • Was law enforcement in on it too? Yes
  • Did you have a hidden place at the bank where people came to drink? Yes
  • Was Morgan tied in with all the mafia stuff too? Yes
  • Don, did you move here from Chicago? Yes
  • Did you meet Emily in Chicago? Yes
  • Were you sent here to establish a business to help the mafia? Yes

Fourth Session (Red Group)

After Rick’s last session, he wanted to know if anything unusual had happened with their group. Heather told them during the Estes session, her chest felt heavy and a man was hovering over her, pushing her down. They also connected with Don and Emily. Rick introduced them to the dowsing rods and they got started. He encouraged them to follow through with some of the information they’d discovered during their other sessions.

  • Is there a spirit here with us right now? Is Don here? No answer
  • Is Emily here? Yes
  • Were you here when it was a bookstore? Yes
  • Were you a customer here? Yes
  • Were you here in the 1900s? Yes
  • Did you live here after the 1900s? yes
  • Did you enjoy New Harmony? Yes
  • Was New Harmony as pretty then as it is now? Yes
  • Could you point to where you’re at? Rods pointed to a certain area
  • Have you been following us from room to room tonight? Yes
  • Did you make the loud boom noise I heard upstairs? Yes
  • Is the music a distraction for you? Yes
  • Are you attached to any of the artifacts in the building? Yes
  • Do you remember the tunnels that ran under the street? Yes
  • Do you visit other buildings in town, like the gymnasium where they’re playing music? Yes
  • (There were a lot of questions without answers. I didn’t include them)
  • Would you like to talk to me again? Yes

Donna’s Sessions

Donna held court in the main downstairs showroom, surrounded by all the fascinating artifacts. She was using a computer program called the Phasmabox. This program works similarly to a Spirit Box connected to an enhancer. The ghosts in the room can use it to communicate in real time. Like the spirit box, when it works, it’s amazing. When it doesn’t work, it’s frustrating.

First Session (Orange Group_

During her first session, they got an incredibly clear response. “We were here earlier. Do you remember us?” a guest asked. The Phasmabox responded, “Nice to meet you.”

One of the guests felt like someone had just walked behind her. When she turned to look, all she saw was a chair full of dolls. At that same moment, the Phasmabox said, “Dolls watch.”

Second Session (Blue Group)

During her second session with the Blue Group, they got a response while they were introducing themselves. A voice said, “Hello.”

One of her guests in the Blue Group had an interesting back story. Stacy visited the store several weeks prior to the investigation and was drawn to a beaded pocketbook that was hanging from the side of one of the mahogany cabinets. As soon as she touched it, she felt a strong vibration roll through her arm. When she tried to open it, the pocketbook was nearly fused shut. After hearing her story, I reached out to the owners who told me that the purse was there when they took over the building. They don’t know anything about its history, only that it came with the building.

They asked quite a few questions about the purse, but didn’t get a lot of responses until one of the guests asked if the purse came with the tornado victims. This is in reference to the 1925 Tri-State Tornado that devastated the nearby town of Griffin. Many of the injured and deceased were brought to New Harmony and were tended to at the Ribeyre Gymnasium, which was only a block away. When this question was asked, a voice responded, repeating the word “tornado.”

Donna asked if there were a lot of kids there and a voice told her, “no.”

When one of the guests asked if they were attached to one of the items in the store, a female voice asked, “Why do you want to know?” This was an amazingly clear, intelligent response.

Nancy asked how many were in the room with them and got a quick response. “Two,” they said.

Stacy’s son, Ace, had an interesting experience during the night. During every session, the word “red” would come across the spirit box. Ace was the only one in the entire group of guests wearing red. He felt as though he was being picked on at first, but as the night went on, they all felt he was the favorite.

“Why do you not like the boy in red?” one guest asked. “Because, he’s like me,” was the response. That was enough to send chills down my spine. Ace is a sensitive and is able to feel the presence of ghosts, like many of us. In this case, it singled him out for the spirits in the house.

Third Session (Red Group)

We all had questions regarding why the ghosts lingered. Did they once live here? Or was this a place where they had a business or simply somewhere they worked? And why would they remain behind. Deb asked, “Did you work here?” and a male voice said, “This is where we worked.” It answered the question to a certain extent, but why? I’ve worked at a lot of places I certainly wouldn’t want to spend my afterlife in.

We know the building once held a general store, a hardware store, and a book store before becoming the Antique Doll Shop. Donna asked if they remembered the book store. A male voice said, “I remember it. A bookstore.”

Fourth Session (Yellow Group)

This group had the most experiences during the entire night. Their first session was with me in the upstairs living room space where they met Don and Emily. When they moved to the creepy second floor space and did the Estes Method with Traci, they pieced together more of the story and learned about Emily’s affair with Morgan. When they went to their third session with Rick, they learned about something unethical the group did at the bank next door. By the time they reached Donna’s group, we were certain they would learn even more, but it appears that the ghosts had retired for the evening.

When Ashley asked, “Don, is that you?” a male voice said, “Who’s Don?”

All in all it was a fascinating evening. I did visit our local library, Workingmen’s Institute, and attempted to research the history of the building, but I didn’t find much. I did learn some of the names of the past presidents and board of director members of the old bank next door, but nothing lined up with the findings the Yellow Group uncovered. A search of Maple Hill Cemetery didn’t provide any useful information either. There wasn’t anyone named Don there who was married to someone named Emily, nor vice versa. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, but I will be trying to research this further.

Thank you to all the guests who joined us. Thank you to Pat and Theresa for opening up their beautiful building for us to investigate. And, last but certainly not least, thank you to my amazing team for making this event flow so smoothly.

AC Thomas Investigation Review 10-13-23

You cannot glance at the AC Thomas House and simply look away. Something about the magnificent mansion draws you back in. It could be due to the pure opulence of this Queen Anne Victorian, which was built in 1899 for Amon Clarence Thomas and his family, while some of it could be the pull of energy. A lot of lives passed through this house, as well as a fair share of tragedy. It surprises no one that the house has a few ghosts in residence.

Any old house in a historic town like New Harmony is going to have energy attached to it. Whether or not that energy engages with the living is another thing. Over the years, many people have felt the haunting at the AC Thomas House which led to our investigation. We wanted to learn who was still lingering there and what caused them to stay.

We divided into two groups, led by Whistling Rick and Jason Nelson. Joni led investigations in the basement, which is known as the Gallery, while Traci stationed herself in the attic, known as the Loft.

The Gallery (basement)

Everyone who attended the investigation also booked rooms at the B&B. A group of young women who are also pre-school teachers booked the Gallery. They would have quite a few encounters during the evening.

We set up a Spirit Box, which is basically a modified radio that scans rapidly through the channels. When it works, it’s amazing. When it doesn’t work, it’s highly annoying. Thankfully for us, it was a good night.

After some trials and tribulations, we finally got our first hit. Someone asked how old he or she was and a male voice said, “Twelve.” We originally thought he said, “ten,” but upon review it was incorrect.

Shortly after that, two voices came through. A female voice said, “goodnight,” and a male voice said, “sleep.” Was it their bedtime?

A female voice said, “You’re cute.” We weren’t sure who she was referring to, but we all accepted the compliment. Nice ghost!

One of our team members, RJ, was walking around with the SLS camera. This device utilizes X-Box Kinect technology. If a ghost shows up on the screen, it is mapped out as a stick figure.  He caught something on the ceiling. It looked like it was dancing.

After everyone had a chance to view the camera, we returned to the investigation. Someone asked, “Do you have any family?” A male voice responded, “Yeah. Four.”

Whistling Rick asked if they remembered when the bridge was open and a man asked, “From where?” We told him, “Illinois,” and that seemed to satisfy him.

As a medium, I’ve always felt there was a caretaker woman who stayed in the basement. She is always concerned that guests of the house are comfortable and she loves children. While I was telling the guests this, I heard a woman say, “Yep,” and “That’s right.”

When I asked them if they knew the name of the current caretaker, they came very close to fully saying Clarissa’s name. It sounds like “Clarris.”

The next series of questions came from the young women who were staying in the basement. Apparently earlier in the day, Tegan was in the bathroom and the door suddenly shut. Later that night, they also had a few frights. While one of them was in the bathroom, the tub suddenly began filling with water. Despite their questions regarding who shut the door, they didn’t get any clear responses.

Someone asked if she ever had a job and an aristocratic sounding lady said, “Nope. At all!”

There were a lot of “almost answers.” We’d hear something that kind of-sort of sounded like a response, but it wasn’t close enough to clip. There were also a lot of “yep” answers. When asked if they liked the way the house was decorated, there was a “yep.” This makes sense because most of the furniture came with the house. The basement is filled with lovely photographs the current owners took of New Harmony, which makes the space far more inviting.

We also heard a very clear “breakfast!” said with much enthusiasm. When asked if he was hungry, we got another “yep!” When asked what their favorite breakfast foods were, it sounded like they were trying to respond, but none of the answers were clear.

I really wanted to use the dowsing rods and recruited a volunteer. Here are the responses:

Q: Are you a little boy?

A: The rods were hesitant, so I suggested that maybe he didn’t want to be called a “little boy,” and the rods immediately went to “Yes.”

Q: Do you like eggs?

A: Yes

Q: Did you shut the door on Tegan?

A: no answer

Q: Did you knock on the elevator upstairs?

Q:  Did you cause the lights to flicker when we walked in?

A: no answers

Q: Is there more than one person here?

A: No

Q: Are you a ten year old boy?

Q: Did you show yourself on the camera in the corner of the room?

A: no answers to either question

We switched dowsers

Q: Are you the person we were talking to on the spirit box?

A: yes

Q: are you ten years old?

A: yes

Q: did you say you had a couple of pets?

A: yes

Q: did you live in this house?

A: yes

Q: do you like eggs?

A: yes

Q: would you rather have chocolate cake?

A: yes

Q: do you like to play pranks on people

A: yes

We asked the rods to point to where he was standing in the room. It pointed in a different direction than where I was sensing it.

Q: Did you have siblings?

A: yes

Q: are your siblings here with you?

A: yes

We ended the session and the group went to the third floor for their next session.

Second Group

I turned on the spirit box immediately and it began talking. “What did you say?” one man asked and another exclaimed, “It’s working!” I don’t know if this was in response to something we did or if we caught them in the middle of a conversation, but it was an interesting start to the session.

As the group was introducing themselves, we heard someone say, “Bruce,” as though he was also introducing himself.

Elliott asked, “Is this your house?” and a sad sounding woman said, “It was.” He thought she said, “Rose” and did a few follow up questions that didn’t garner any answers.

“It’s a beautiful house,” Elliot commented. A man said, “I’m sorry,” as though he didn’t hear the statement.

Elliott invited them to light up the KII meters and one lit up almost immediately.

It was Ben’s turn and he asked if they usually stayed in the basement, or if they were there because the group was there. A woman very calmly stated, “We’re here.”

We then heard a man’s voice state, “He sounds sick.”

They kept hearing bits and pieces of a sound called Hard Habit to Break. I didn’t hear it, but a lot of the group kept hearing it. After a few more questions, I heard a very faint, “Ashley,” which turns out to be the name of someone they had been talking to on the third floor in their previous session. Had those ghosts followed them to the basement? Someone asked, “Ashley, were you the nurse?” A man responded, “That’s Daphne.”

After the last response, we were getting nothing of relevance, so we switched to dowsing rods.  Here are the responses:

Q: Is there a female down here with us?

A: Yes

Q: Are you a nurse?

A: yes

Q: were you a nurse here in New Harmony?

A: yes

Q: is your name Ashley

A: yes

Q: are you buried at Maple Hill? (no answer)

Q: are you buried at the Episcopal Church cemetery?

A: yes

Q: Are you buried under the gazebo?

A: no

Q: Are you over here by me and Jamie? (no answer)

They began discussing the SLS camera and then talking about their impressions. Jamie said she felt as though they didn’t like to be asked if they were servants. They were probably at a higher social status and resented being asked if they served others.

They began getting hits on the SLS camera. Half the group was gathered around the camera, while the other half was still working the dowsing rods.

Q: do you show yourself to children because you protect the children?

A: yes

Q: do we have kids dancing in here? (related to what they were seeing on the SLS camera)

A: yes

Q: is there a boy down here?

A: yes

The group began discussing the energy in the kitchen area. Several people felt a heaviness there. I joined them and felt it too. It was very strong there. There was a totally different energy there. I used my Mel Meter to see if there was a spike in Electromagnetic Energy (EMF), which is usually a sign of faulting electrical components or wiring, but it didn’t register anything out of the norm.

The Loft

Photo courtesy of the AC Thomas House

Traci did her session on the third floor in the space they call the Loft. It’s a grand room with a king sized bed, sitting areas and a lavish bathroom. We’ve done the Estes Method many times before and have found it to be an effective way of learning more about the haunting.

In this experiment, we put a blindfold and headphones on each participant. They are connected directly to the Spirit Box. As they hear responses, they call them out. The audience asks questions that the participant can’t hear. Some participants go into a light mediumistic state.

Traci had the group introduce themselves while Elliott got settled with the headphones.

A (Elliott): Hi

Q: Hi. What is your name?

A: Hey you!

Q: What’s your name?

A: Ashley

Q: Did you live here? Are you from New Harmony? How old are you?

Q: Do you remember any of our names? My name is Traci. Can you say my name?

A: Nurse

Q: Are you a nurse? When did you live in this area?

A: identify

Q: How old are you? Were you a nurse in a war?

A: 13

Q: Do you live here?

Lights flashed on a device.

Q: Can you do that again and make the lights flash?

Q: Are you a Harmonist

A: Yards

Q: Are you talking about the yard here?

A: Round

Q: What’s round?

A: Empty

Q: Are you talking about the gazebo?

Q: Is there anyone else here with you? Are we still talking to Ashley?

A: Under here

Q: Under what?

A: Hey Bruce!

Q: Is Bruce here? Can we talk to Bruce?

Q: Do you stay here or do you go to other houses?

A: Is that? Warning

Q: Do you warn people when they come here?

A: Five six

Q: Is Ashley still here?

A: Argue.

A: Next week. What?

Q: Ashley, are you still here?

A: Fragrance

Q: Do people smell you?

Q: Do you show yourself to people?

A: Can’t

Q: How old are you, Bruce?

A: Nothing. Property.

Q: Did you live here? Were you someone’s property? (untold history of AC Thomas. He was a member of the KKK)

Q: Are you bound to the property?

They pulled Elliott out of the session. He said there was a lot of talking, but he wasn’t always sure what they were saying. A woman was crying and also talking. Then he heard a man talking. It sounded like they were talking to each other on occasion. It was far more emotional than he expected.

Michelle became the next participant.

A: Steve

Q: Well, hello, Steve. Do you remember any of our names?

Q: What’s your name?

A: Sorry.

Q: No need to be sorry.

A: Send off.

Q: Where are you from? Do you have a favorite room here?

A: Help

Q: How can we help?

A: Found dead. Dad.

Q: Where did you find your dad? (That was accurate. AC Thomas shot himself in the house and his daughter found him)

Q: I’m sorry that happened to you. We can talk about something else. (She was getting visibly upset)

A: More people

Q: Were there more people there? (Traci interjected that we can pull her out of the session if her friends feel she needs it.

A: Robert

Q: Who’s Robert? What’s your favorite house in town? What did you do here as a kid?

A: Baby

Q: your baby? What do you enjoy? Do you have a favorite food?

A: Baby ducks

Q: Do you like this third floor? Or would you rather be on another floor of this house?

Q: We’ve gotten a lot of names: Ashley, Bruce, Robert and Steve. Are they all here?

Q: What do you think of all these people staying in the house tonight?

A: It’s me

Q: Just you here? What’s your name? Did you grow up in this house? It’s an awfully big house. Very nice.

A: Boo

Q: Can you see the lights on the floor? If you can, get close to them and they’ll change colors. They won’t hurt you. (Rachel brought her string of EMP sensitive lights.)

Q: how long have you been here?

A: Treatment

Q: What kind of treatment? Do you have a memory from here? Are you a man or a woman?

They pulled her out of the session. She said she felt emotional. She felt like she was going to burst out crying. She kept hearing piano music too.

Ben became the last participant of the session.

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself?

A: Heartache

Q: Did you have a lot of heartache in your life? I’m sorry about that.

A: Evil (he sang it)

Q: We’re not evil. We’re not here to hurt you. The lights on the floor won’t hurt you.

A: Wooo!

Q: Can you touch the blue light over here?

A: Wait a second!

Q: We’re waiting. What’s your name?

A: Go on with it. Don’t!

Q: What do you want to stop?

The lights on the floor suddenly went off.

A: Devil! (he sang it again)

A: Not here

Q: that’s good the devil isn’t here

A: What are you going to do to keep

A: help me

Q: What do you need?

Ben groaned and made some strange noises, almost as though he was in pain.

Q: Are you in pain? Is someone hurting you?

Blue lights flashed again

A: Who’s there?

Q: they introduced themselves again

A: Tell me

A: orders

Q: What are you orders? Are you military?

A: I was wrong

Q: What were you wrong about? Are you Mr. Thomas?

Q: Is someone in the bathroom? (they heard a noise)

A: hi

Q: hi

A: Ben

Q: Do you remember anyone else’s name? (blue light flashed again)

A: I want to die

Q: I’m sorry

A: And…

Q: Is there anything we can do to make you feel better.

A: What’s up?

Q: Not much. We’re just hanging out talking to you. What’s up with you?

A: 21

Q: Is 21 your age?

A: Don’t bullshit

They pulled Ben out of the session. He said there were at least six different voices. The upset one was a female. He heard a laugh that freaked him out.

Second Session

Traci started out the second session by explaining the process, and then they got started. Here’s what the first participant, Rebecca, experienced:

Q: they all introduced themselves. Can you tell us your name?

Q: is there anything you’d like us to know?

Q: have you ever lived in this house? Have you owned this house?

Q: Can you tell us your name?

A: eight

Q: how long did you live in New Harmony?

Q: What’s your favorite room in this house?

A: Always

Q: Do you like it’s a Bed and Breakfast?

A: Biscuit (everyone laughed)

Q: Are you from Indiana?

Q: Are you male or female?

A: Blue

Q: What’s your favorite color? Do you have any pets?

A: This time

Q: What about this time? Is something going to happen this time or are you confirming you’re a male this time? Do you remember any of our names?

Q: Are you from Posey county? Did you grow up in Posey County? Do you like New Harmony?

Q: did you ever sail a boat on the Wabash? Did you ever fish on the Wabash?

A: Always (his questions  came too close together, so it’s hard to know which one she was responding to)

A: Love you

Q: We love you too

Q: Are you messing with something in the bathroom to scare me? Can you tell us what your name is?

A: All day

Q: do you think our questions are boring?

Rebecca pulled off the blindfold. She was hearing a male and a female. The next participant put on the blindfold and headphones and they got started.

Q: Can you tell us what that noise is that we keep hearing?

A: No

Q: You don’t want to tell me or you don’t know?

A: Understand

Q: Is it a person making that noise?

A: Sister

Q: Is it your sister?

A: yes

Q: how is she making that noise?

A: yellow

Q: what’s yellow?

A: You

Q: Are you calling me a coward

A: sure (everyone laughed). Just a side note, but we later learned the sound was one of the windows opening on the second floor. It leads to a balcony. One of the guests didn’t feel well and was going out on the balcony for fresh air.

Q: Can you have her make the sound again?

A: Two

Q: Two times?

A: Dance

Q: no thanks (Traci said this, causing everyone to laugh)

Q: do you want to have a dance party?

A: yes

Q: is this a dress up dance party?

A: Us

Q: Do you want us to dance for you?

A: yes (laughter from the group)

Q: What kind of music do you want us to play?

A: Today

Q: What kind of music is that?

A: gross

A: dance

A: black light

Q: Do you want us all to dance?

A: no

Q: who do you want to dance?

A: pink

Q: Pink means one of the women, right?

A: yes

A: that one?

Q: Is it Michelle?

A: No

Someone just screamed in the participant’s ear and said, “You!” Someone else said that the little boy in the basement said she was cute on the Spirit box. Traci told the ghost in the room they weren’t allowed to touch people or cause them fear. The woman said she kept hearing “old music.” They switched participants and they were off and running.

Q: Is the boy here?

A: Can we play?

Q: yes, we can play. Do you want to play with the ball on the floor?

Q: Do you want to play with the ball?

A: yes

Q: Do you want me to roll the ball back to you?

A: later. Always.

Q: Can you tell me your name?

A: Me

Q: Were you the room who screamed in my ear?

A: Loud

Q: Was that you?

A: girl

Q: Which girl are you trying to talk to?

A: me

Q: What do you want to talk about?

A: Along. Together. Me.

Q: You, together with who?

Q: Was your sister playing on the second floor a little while ago?

A: Back. Every.

Q: Is she back with us now? Your sister, Amy?

Q: Was she trying to have a dance party? Is that what the sound was?

A: Now and wall. Ever more.

A: Equal

Q: are you doing the same thing for Aleah that you did for Teagan? She is a teacher and teaches boys your age. What is your sister’s name?

A: In. Orbit.

Q: What decade of music are you playing?

A: Your

A: I am

Traci began playing old time 20’s music.

Q: Is this the kind of music you like?

A: Apples. Oranges.

Q: Did you come upstairs with us from the basement?

A: Everyone knows. Lower. Forward

Q: Do you want to go back to the basement? Do you want to play with the ball?

A: Three

Q: We don’t have three.

A: Are you?

Q: Do you have a secret?

Q: Am I what? Do you want me to turn the music back on?

A: Try. Prominent.

Q: Is this your style of music?

A: Yeah. Always.

Q: Do you want me to keep it on?

A: Injured. Day.

Q: Who’s injured? Can we help them?

A: Owensboro

Q: Is that where you grew up?

A: Today

Q: What about today? Are you shy?

A: Loud

Q: Were you the loud noise in my ear?

A: Constantly. All right

Traci announced that they could ask one more question, that the time was almost up.

A: Behave

Q: Why would I behave? There’s no market in behaving

A: Right now. Let’s go

Q: Are you ready to go? Are you and your sister coming with us?

A: Going away?

Q: Where are you going? Do you want to leave this floor?

She pulled the headphones off. She said it was weird and she kept hearing techno music.

The Parlor

At the end of the night, we all convened to the main parlor on the first floor for a group Spirit Box session. It took a few rounds of questions before we began getting relevant responses. Elliott asked if they remembered any of our names (after we introduced ourselves) and a voice said, “Michelle,” very clearly.

I asked if the ten year old boy from the basement was with us and a boy’s voice said, “I’m right here.” It was faint, but I amplified it in the recording.

There were several underlying voices coming through. The volume level was low and you could only hear it if you were really paying attention (or wearing headphones, listening to it later, which was my case.) At one point a voice came through and said, “Donna!” as though calling to someone and then another voice corrected her, “It’s Rick,” she said. This is interesting because Whistling Rick was present for that session and his wife’s name is Donna. It just seems to be too relevant to be a coincidence.

Traci asked about their favorite breakfast food and the same soft voice said, “toast.” It wasn’t what I would have picked, but he’s entitled to his favorite.

We weren’t getting much beyond some blips and bleeps, so Traci offered to do an Estes Method session. Here are the results:

Q: Hello

Traci (T): Shiny

Q: What’s shiny?

T: Richard

Q: Does Richard live here?

T: It’s today

Q: What’s today?

T: my feet

Q: What about your feet?

T: Almost

Q: Almost what? Did you have something done to your feet?

T: Mine. In October

Q: Did you get braces?

T: Monday

Q: Do you live here?

T: Hold on

Q: Are you here by yourself?

T: Still. Leave. You’re leaving today.

Q: Who’s leaving today? What’s the date?

T: All right

Q: you know our names?

T: You can. Dead end. I want it.

Q: What do you want? Who’s wearing the headphones?

T: Let them go. Later.

We heard sounds upstairs. It was the window in the Diana Room.

T: It’s the boy. He’s afraid.

Q: What’s he afraid of?

T: Yeah. It’s loud. I’m talking to you.

Q: Who are you talking to?

T: hold on. I’m flying. When the flight left… (Traci inserted that something was touching her right hip)

Q: Who’s touching Traci?

T: Take that. I got it.

Joni inserted that she could feel the ghosts swooping into the room.

T: take it

Q: Been there done that. Wrote the book about it.

T: tell me. What do you want?

Q: your name

T: I’m here

Q: what is your name?

T: They’re going to come (Traci inserted that a really deep voice said, “Demon.”)

T: Where was that? You don’t know me?

Q: What’s the best room in the house?

T: You’re free to go

Q: Which floor do you like the best?

T: Hey, I doubt it. It’s not what the plan is.

Q: what is the plan?

T: Burning. We’ll speak now (two different voices)

Q: What would you like to tell us? Did you live here during the Golden Era?

T: What is that you want?

Q: for you to talk to us.

T: and what is that?

Q: conversation. We want to learn about your life

T: effective. Oh, really. Right now. (argumentative voice). I’m sorry

Q: Can you tell us your name?

T: All of this

Q: Are you upset

T: alternative

Q: What’s the alternative?

T: (told us she was hearing techno music playing)

Q: Do you want to have a dance party?

T: Yes

Q: Can you tell Traci to dance for us

T: Your wish has been granted (everyone laughed)

Q: What music should we play?

T: middle of the night

Q: What music did we request downstairs? Is your sister coming to the dance party this time?

T: Do it. Kevin and Paul tonight. Oh God! Can you do us a favor?

Q: yes

T: breathe

Everyone breathed.

T: you have it

Q: Do the ladies have any dangers with the basement tonight?

T: Yeah, it’s hard. But it doesn’t… That’s how it feels…always.

Q: anything interesting about the second floor?

T: It’s six am. We’re going to take it.

Q: What are you going to take?

T: brotherhood

Q: what brotherhood

T: yes…maybe. Do you know Christ?

Q: I do. Do you know Christ?

T: say it! Here!

Q: what does my hat say? (Ben Adams)

T: One, two. Let’s do it!


T: your face is good! Yeah!

Q: who’s face?

T: a piece of paper

Q: what?

T: I see you!

T: It’s a sure thing?

T: in the mirror. We’ll recruit you.

Q: no thank you. Happy being alive (Joni)

T: you have to help.

T:  you’ll go inside and then try this.

Q: Try what?

T: anode? What am I even doing? Thirty? I’m Chris. I’m real

Q: Do you live here?

T: hey, officer!


T: Can I be the PO? It’s complex. These people are missing. I am. I’m going deaf here.

Q: are there too many people talking?

T: we’ll find something next time

Q: are you missing because there was a fire?

T: who?

T: long overdue. Have you seen them? From the Greek.

T: It’s this way. Don’t move.

T: Look at that. I’m Superman.


T: come back to me


T: all of us. Haystack

Q: can you tell Traci to dance?

T: I can’t

Q: why not?

T: I found you (sang it). You’re a degenerate.

T: there are people in separate cast. Look down. We’re excited!

Q: so are we

T: can you find it yet?

T: it’s sitting almost in a tree. Gotta light there…above us.

Q: What is it?

T: yeah. You can see. Reading. Why do you say that? (different voice. She said they were arguing).

She took the blindfold off and said she kept hearing a deep voice that was saying creepy things. There were several voices. One of them was talking about something in a tree and the other jumped in to try to stop them from saying something they weren’t. Saw a young woman. Blond hair, wispy blond hair in a messy bun. She was more modern, which makes some sense because they were hearing eighties and techno music.

We ended the session. Traci and I left, leaving the rest of the group to spend the night. The young ladies in the basement seemed to have the most activity. They kept hearing sounds and having doors close. Some of the group stayed up late continuing to investigate, but no one had any negative experiences following the investigation.

All in all, it was a fun investigation. We learned quite a bit about the haunting, but would like to dive into it deeper to learn more. Thank you to everyone who attended and to the Haunted New Harmony team and House Manager, Clarissa Powell, for making it happen.

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 Review 10-8-22

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

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


Group One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Third Group

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

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

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

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


First Group

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

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

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

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

Second Group

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

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

Third Group

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

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


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

First Group

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

They then went to dowsing rods:

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

Second Group

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

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

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

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

They then did a dowsing rod session:

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

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

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

Third Session

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

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

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

Channeling Session

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

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

Murphy Auditorium Investigation 10-1-22

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Capers Emporium Investigation 1-8-22

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

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

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

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

The first building on the property was a harness store.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Basement – written by Traci Hoehn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your favorite part of the building?
Go down.
What do you like about it down here?
We’re going…down…here.
Another name then came through: Madison. Perhaps Madison was interrupting because the spirit box then seemed to pick up part of a conversation between two ghosts:
Thank you.
You’re welcome.
Just a minute.
Well, what are we waiting for?
The ghosts obviously weren’t talking to the living here, but they soon re-established their connection.
Are you by yourself?
Next to you.
You’re sitting next to me now?
I am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ribeyre Investigation 11-13-21

Ribeyre Gymnasium Investigation Review 11-23-21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second Group

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

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

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

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

Third Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

First Group

Q: Can you tell us your name?

T: Two, Three, Me.

Q: What about you?

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

Q: How many are here with us?

T: No. On it!

Q: On what?

T: Dang it!

Q: Did you help build this gymnasium?

Q: What is your name?

T: Over

Q: How long have you been here?

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

Q: How old are you?

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

Q: Where are you standing?

T: I see. Stick around.

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

T: yes

Q: Where are you?

T: Why?

Q: We’d like to see you.

T: gun. Three one.

Q: Did you own a gun?

T: In here

Q: Are you a hunter?

T: reality

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

T: In the room

Q: What room?

T: No

Q: Do you play here?

T: The inner

Q: do you have any friends here?

T: There are four now

Q: Are they all male?

T: Right

Q: Are you the tallest of the four?

T: Bad

Q: Are you from New Harmony?

T: The front door

Q: What about the front door?

T: We’re opening

Q: You’re opening the door?

T: In the theater

Q: Which theater?

T: I know that

Q: What do you know?

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

T: No (This made everyone laugh)

T: Run

Q: Why do we need to run?

T: You’re right there

Q: Where you married

T: I don’t know you

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

T: make up something

T: I drowned. Bodies.

Q: Where are the bodies?

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

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

T: Remember

T: I matter

Q: Yes, you do

T: In the tree

Q: What’s in the tree?

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

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

Q: What do you feel?

T: Can’t beat them.

T: Hey. I’ll keep it.

Q: What will you keep?

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

Q: Are there still four of you?

T: Well, thank you!

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

T: They’re laughing

T: The light

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

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

(Above) The basement. Photo by Joni Mayhan.

Second Group

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

Q: Is there anyone here with us?

T: Alex

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

T: Stop it!

T: Here

Q: Are you a little boy?

Q: Are you going to show yourself?

T: No

T: My name’s Gordon

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

T: Hey

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

T: We’re faithful. Exactly!

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

Q: Are you making those noises?

T: Behind you

Q: What are your favorite pies for Thanksgiving?

T: Is that you?

Q: It’s Sandy

T: please. No.

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

Q: What’s going fast?

T: Good show!

Q: Are we entertaining you?

Q: Can you walk through the green dots?

T: East then. I will not go.

T: I heard.

Q: What did you hear?

Q: Did you like plays?

T: One. That’s all.

Q: What does one mean?

T: Why?

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

T: Forget it

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

Q: Do you like it when it rains?

T: Get up.

Q: Are you telling us to get up?

T: A little.

T: My name.

Q: Can you tell me your name?

T: Help me. It was.

Q: How can we help you?

T: Don’t.

T: Coming. And then what?

Q: Does anyone have any questions?

T: Yup. I’m American. Ground.

Q: Do you know where your family is?

T: Ed

Q: Is Ed related to you?

T: Move

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

T: Oh yeah. Nothing.

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

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

T: It’s awful. Well. You were.

Q: You were what?

T: There. Um ha

Q: We’re so sorry it was awful.

T: Hi. Can’t go. I was looking.

Q: What were you looking for?


Q: Were you looking for family?

T: Okay. Yellow.

Q: Is that your favorite color?

T: Man. Get a hold of it!

Q: Is this someone new?

T: It’s me!

Q: Gordon? Alex? Who’s here now?

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

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

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

Third Group

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

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

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

T: There. I am!

Q: Where’s there?

T: In the back

Q: In the back of the basement?

T: Do you see me?

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

Q: Are you alone here?

T: I did it

Q: What did you do?

Q: Are you male? Are you female?

T: Going down

Q: Going down where?

Q: Do you stay down here?

T: Hey!

Q: Can you walk through the light grid?

Q: How old are you?

Q: Do you have friends here? Family?

T: Don’t do it

Q: Don’t do WHAT?

Q: Do you like answering our questions?

T: What?!

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

T: Later.

T: In the storm

Q: What happened in the storm?

T: You know.

Q: Tornado?

Q: Do you like it down here?

Q: Did you come down here after the storm?

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

Q: Did someone come here with you?

T: Where were we? My favorite.

Q: Your favorite sibling?

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

T: I do.

Q: Were you married.

T: Once

Q: Did you have kids?

T: Long time.

Q: How long were you married?

T: Help me

Q: What can we do?

Q: Do you stay here?

T: Indeed. Over there.

Q: Can you come over here?

T: yes. Everything’s coming together!

Q: What can we do for you?

T: Hey! One time. Ouch!

Q: What kind of job did you have?

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

T: Evil

Q: What’s evil?

Q: What’s your talk about?

T: You don’t know?

Q: I don’t

Q: Do you remember the explosion across the street?

T: All are gone.

Q: How many are left?

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

Q: Who’s here?

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

T: I’m coming

Q: Can you come talk to us?

T: What’d you say?

Q: Can you come talk to us?

T: Two or three

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

T: What? You bitch!

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

T: Yes. It’s good.

Q: Ghost is good?

T: Night. That’ll work. I never.

Q: Never what?

T: Try

Q: Try what?

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

Annex Building

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

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

First Group

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

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

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

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

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

  • He said he would reveal himself to the group tonight

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

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

Second Group

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

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

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

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

Third Group

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Community House #2 Investigation 10-23-21

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

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

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

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

First Floor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second Floor

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

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

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

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

Third Floor – written by Traci Hoehn

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

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

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

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

                Guest: Do you still want to speak with us?

                Ghost: You

                Guest: Do you live here?

                Ghost: This is a place.

                Guest: Did you live on this floor? 

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

                Guest: Did you work on this floor?

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

                Guest: Time for what? 

Ghost: Over there. Drowned.

                Guest: Who drowned? 

Ghost: Well, look at you.

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

                Ghost: Go down.

                Guest: Go down to what?

                Ghost: You go down.

                Guest: Do you want me to go downstairs?

                Ghost: See.

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

                Ghost: Do it!

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

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


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

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

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

(Above) Joni and Traci