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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.