05/31/14

Eastern State Penitentiary … Is Al Capone still serving time?

The other day I was talking with a friend about our investigation of Eastern State Penitentiary and they asked if I thought Al Capone’s ghost actually haunted his old cell. After I thought about it a minute I had to tell them I didn’t think so. Its funny there are rumors that his ghost haunts Eastern State and Alcatraz. My wife and I have investigated both prisons and have seen both of the cells where he was supposed to have been locked up and we never got any evidence or even the slightest impression his spirit was still there. This got me to thinking that I didn’t know that much about Capone.

 

Like me, most people probably don’t know how Capone ended up In Eastern State. On February 14 in 1929, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, Capone’s men carried out a hit on seven of rival gangster Bugs Moran’s men. It was dubbed the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. The plan was that Capone’s men were to lure Bugs and his lieutenants to a garage and kill them all. Bugs was running late and saw Capone’s men who were dressed as police show up, so he and another member of his gang turned around and left. After the dust settled and Capone found out that his men had not gotten Moran and fearing retaliation, he thought it would be a good time to get out of town for a while. Capone and one of his men took a road trip into Pennsylvania. The problem was they somehow got caught on a weapons charge and sentenced to eight months in Eastern State Penitentiary. While there Capone’s money and reputation got him celebrity status and  insured that his time at Eastern States was anything but hard time, or so he thought.

This is Capone’s cell today.

It was during Capone’s stay that reports started to surface of him, alone in his cell terrified, weeping and begging “Jimmy” to leave him alone. It was assumed that Jimmy was the spirit of James Clark, who was killed in the massacre. Clark was also Moran’s brother in law and his second in command. It was of course never proved or documented that it was Jimmy Clark, but guards and other inmates reported seeing Clark’s ghost standing outside of Capone’s cell while he begged for mercy. Capone is said to have even called in a medium named Alice Britt in 1931 to try to find out what Clark wanted. Apparently, Britt was unsuccessful, and Jimmy continued to follow Capone through his trial for income tax evasion, through his eleven-year sentence at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, and then, in 1934, to the Rock–Alcatraz, where Capone did three turns in “the hole” for rules infractions. Paroled in 1939, Capone left Alcatraz a broken man. Back in Chicago the mob had moved on; new leaders had taken his place and even those loyal to him realized once they saw him, that Capone would never control the mob again. Capone died in his bed, of cardiac arrest following a stroke and a bout of pneumonia in 1947. The ghost of James Clark, it is said, was with him till the end. After Capone’s death, no one reported an encounter with James Clark’s spirit again. There is speculation that Capone was suffering from Syphilis and was loosing his mind. The thought was that Jimmy was a hallucination that was a result of Capone’s guilty conscience, but that doesn’t explain the reports from the guards and other inmates, plus I find it hard to believe Capone had a conscience at all.

So is Al Capone’s spirit haunting Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia PA? I would say probably no, but keep and eye out for Jimmy. Who knows?

This is a cool little video from the The Travel Channel that will give you a look into Capone’s cell and a little view of Eastern State as well.

05/24/14

Stargate Project…. “Men Who Stare at Goats ?”

Imagine being able to receive information psychically that was valuable to public safety, public protection, military security and with ability to spy on enemies .  All done in a remote place.  The personnel would be trainable, experiments repeatable and accurate.

The Stargate Project A code name for projects initiated by US Defense Intelligence Agency investigating psychic phenomena for the military or domestic applications.  Viewing or to “psychically see”  events, sites or sense unknown information, to detect current events for domestic or military intelligence.  the viewer would attempt to predict things to happen in the future by precognition.

Precognition is future sight or second sight, extrasensory perception.  This information cannot be deduced by present available knowledge.

Russia was already seriously researching  ways to explore psychic functioning .  A book was published Psychic Discoveries from Behind the Iron Curtain, causing great interest in this area.  1972 Stanford Research Institute (SRI) began to research ways to experiment psychic techniques that were repeatable, that could be teachable and used for intelligence purposes. Russel Targ and Harold Puthoff, the team at SRI, worked on expanding remote viewing techniques over vast distances and trained American Military in 1985.  Their early results were impressive.  Ingo Swann accurately described a uniquely designed magnetometer buried in six feet of concrete.   Hella Hammid was able to accurately describe five out of nine target sites.  Ingo Swann became bored with the repetition of these experiments and stated he could time travel psychically to any place on the planet.  He(Swann) and Pat Price, a police officer in Burbank CA, were provided with geographic longitude and latitude coordinates and was said to give a “remarkably accurate view” of the stated location.  Swann’s tests were so amazing that he convinced SRI of his abilities.  Swann believed that any one could be taught this technique and these persons did not have to be psychic.  Swann’s best Remote Viewing trip was the planet Jupiter done at SRI in 1973.  In 1977 Targ and Puthoff published his findings in a book Mind-Reach.

Unfortunately Swann and Pat Price did not get along and “psychic contests raged” out of control.  Swann’s  contract ended in early 1973 and he left SRI.  Pat Price left SRI late 1974 going to work for the CIA.  He was well know for his map photos claiming to retrieve information from behind Soviet lines.  His sketches appeared to confirm intelligence photographs at that time.  The two reunited and eventually worked together creating techniques for  Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) that could be teachable with 5 step protocol.  Project research included  clairvoyance and out-of-body experiences.  The described Remote Viewing as a more structured approach to clairvoyance.  The “viewer” would receive a mission only after all other intelligence was exhausted.  Using over 22 active military and domestic viewers to provide data.  In 1995 three viewers remained in the program, one using tarot cards readings.

1995 this project was then transferred to CIA control the panel appointed Jessica Utts and Ray Hyman.  Mr. Hyman stated test results were “nothing striking or surprising….reported matching reports, data generated by viewers is general and vague and way off target“.   With recommendation of tighter control of projects with more critical research.  CIA terminated the $20million dollar project in 1995 secondary to lack of evidence.

 

 

 

05/6/14

“Vultures Who Prey on the Bereaved.”

I have always been fascinated by Ehrich Weisz. Who you ask? The Great Harry Houdini that’s who! We all know the name and it instantly conjures visions of straight jackets, hand cuffs, or of the Milk Can Escape also known as the “Chinese Water Torture” trick. There are numerous articles, books and even movies that taut his magic acts and abilities, but what I think of when I hear the name Harry Houdini is Spiritualism.
The 1920’s in America is often thought of as “The Roaring 20’s” and of us think of jazz music, prohibition, speak easys, and gangsters, but what about the Spiritualist Movement? People from around the world were reeling from losing an estimated 15 million people in the World War One and 21 million more to the Spanish-flu pandemic and they were searching for ways to connect with the dead. It was in this era that so called “Spirit Guides” emerged to help the bereaved contact their loved ones who had passed. The media of the time wrote glowing reviews and highly dramatized accounts of communication with people’s departed loved ones, and the people believed! If it was written in news papers it had to be real! It seemed as though the more famous they were, the more they charged. (Sound Familiar?)
In 1913 Houdini’s mother Cecilia, passed on and Harry was so distraught that he hadn’t been there at the end, that he consulted spiritualists in an attempt to communicate with her spirit. Harry soon realized that these so-called spiritualists were con-artists. While traveling the country and the world for that matter, Houdini met scores of mediums and witnessed 100’s of seances only to come away upset at what he knew was fraud. Houdini at one point even proclaimed that these people were “Vultures Who Prey on the Bereaved!”
With Harry’s back ground in illusions, he set out to figure out how the Mediums and Psychics tricked the public, which he did. Houdini then aligned himself with O.D. Munn, editor of Scientific American. Scientific American offered $2,500 to anyone who could prove that they had psychic powers. In the summer of 1924, Houdini targeted Mina Crandon of Boston. Followers called her “Margery”, non believers knew her as the ” Blonde Witch of Lime Street”. She was renowned for conjuring the voice of her dead brother, Walter, whose spirit rapped out messages, tipped tables, and even sounded trumpets. Walter was unfriendly, answering questions and quoting scripture in a gruff disembodied voice. Margery, by contrast, was charming and attractive—at least when she wasn’t showing off her most convincing psychic talent: extruding a slithery, viscous substance called “ectoplasm” from her orifices. Photos show this otherworldly substance flowing from her nose and ears, but mostly it emerged from beneath a sheer kimono like a string of entrails—an “ectomorphic hand” that Walter used to carry out his commands.
A panel from Scientific America visited Margery and was all but convinced that she was the real deal . When Houdini learned the committee was prepared to endorse Margery, he was outraged. Having already exposed the tricks of other celebrity mediums, Houdini was sure the committee was about to be fooled, so he canceled his shows and headed for Boston.
Margery met with Houdini and the panel from Scientific American for a séance and she took her seat infront of a three-sided Chinese screen. Soon the lights dimmed and an eerie whistling filled the room. Then the spirit of Walter whispered his arrival, even touching Houdini on the inside of his right leg. After a break, Houdini ordered an electric bell enclosed in a wooden box brought to his feet. Then Walter levitated a megaphone and boomed: “Have Houdini tell me where to throw it”.“Toward me,” Houdini said, and the megaphone flew through the air and landed in front of him. That was just the beginning. Throughout the evening, Walter produced a sequence of spectacles, ringing the bell box on command and tipping over the wooden screen. Houdini had done his homework. He knew that Dr. Le Roi Crandon, Margery’s husband, always sat on her right. He was a Harvard-educated surgeon and her promoter. Houdini also guessed correctly that he would be seated on her left in the circle, with hands joined, feet and legs touching. In anticipation to the séance, Houdini wore a tight bandage under his right knee the entire day leading up to the show. It had been so tight and was so painful that it made his skin tender to even the slightest touch. The sensitivity paid off. He could feel Margery twist and flex in the dark as she moved her left ankle slightly to get to the bell box under the table. Later, he felt her shift again to tip the Chinese screen with her foot. The flying megaphone stumped Houdini for a few hours, but he eventually figured out that Margery had placed it on her head, dunce-cap-style, with a momentarily free hand. She then jerked her head in his direction to send it crashing to the floor.“I’ve got her,” he said when the evening was over. “All fraud. Every bit of it. One more sitting and I will be ready to expose everything.”
A second séance at a Boston hotel featured a levitating table. Houdini reached out in the dark and found Margery’s head lifting the table from beneath. He again felt her legs move as she reached to ring the bell box. “The slickest ruse I ever detected,” Houdini said later, in something close to admiration. But when he announced his findings to the committee, he was asked to hold off on a public denunciation. The committee was conflicted. When it refused to award the prize after several additional séances, the Spiritualists became enraged—as did the spirit. “Houdini, you goddamned son of a bitch,” Walter roared. “I put a curse on you now that will follow you every day for the rest of your short life.” No Matter what Houdini said 1/2 of the panel was still firmly under Margery’s seductive spell and continued to report that she had supernatural powers. In October, Scientific American published an article that described the committee as hopelessly divided.
The dithering angered Houdini. In November, he published a pamphlet called Houdini Exposes the Tricks Used by the Boston Medium “Margery,” complete with drawings of how she produced her manifestations. “She certainly was clever in her maneuvering to pull the wool over the eyes of the committeemen,” he said, admitting the ingenuity of her techniques as he debunked her show. Houdini’s pamphlet humiliated Margery, but he wasn’t done yet: The “scourge of Spiritualism” wanted to make the religion disappear. But the spiritualist caught on and eventually banned Houdini from their shows. Imagine that?

04/17/14

Rocks Will Remember….

A term heard often in paranormal field is The Stone Tape Theory.  Term was first coined in a BBC film of the same name. What is this theory, is there anything to it? I am Researching this because the inquiring mind wants to know.  This theory was first proposed in the 1970’s.  Hypothesis was, that in times of high stress or high emotions could somehow help transfer memory to an inanimate object, and actual recording of the event.  This energy would playback in a non-interactive way (a residual haunting).

Researcher Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick claimed objects could retain, record or absorb the “psychic energy” of a tragic event.

William G Roll, Parapsychologist and Professor at State University of West Georgia, agreed with this stone tape theory.  Believing the mind can create apparitions from “psychic traces of the past”   by their “psi field”.  psi field is defined as subtle energy that unites the mind and body, a universal life force running between all things.  Energy in Chinese medicine– Qi;  in Indian Yoga–Prana or Kundalini  energy is also described as an aura, rays, field, audible or tactile vibrations.

Barrett stated that certain cases were imprints or “echoes”somehow become “perceptible to those living”.  He became interested in the paranormal in the 1860’s after an experience with Mesmerism (hypnosis).  He hypothesized these echoes were thought transferences or“place memories”.  Suggesting that hauntings are memories “lost” from an individuals mind, attaching itself to the environment, showing up and replaying back as hallucinations in sensitive people.

Barrett was a member of the Spiritualist movement and was said to be duped by a medium.  later founding The Society of Psychical Research in 1882.

I have not found a reasonable explanation for this theory of stone taping.  Some claim it is geological,  iron oxide, or rust particles, with electromagnetic fields acting as a recording device changing a persons perception of what is seen.  Others refer to the water memory theory (see Water, a Ghost Essential Element) and plate tectonics, an electromagnetic charge caused by quartz in earth that carries  an electric charge from movement of a fault lines.  Fascinating tales of phantoms, echoes and spirits all on the rocks. Cheers !

04/9/14

The Lady in Black

 

I know you like ghosts, but,do you like Civil War history? Do you like forts? How about a nice boat ride in Boston Harbor? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to check out Fort Warren. Its located on Georges Island at the entrance of Boston Harbor, which is operated by the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation.

 

Check out: http://www.bostonharborislands.org for more information and how to get there.

 

My wife and I go every year and end up finding something new every time. We haven’t seen the lady in black yet, but we have heard an eerie harmonica playing from a chimney located on top of the wall, way in the back of the fort. The Lady in Black is supposedly an apparition on George’s Island, a young woman in black robes that wanders about the grounds. She is believed to be Mrs. Andrew Lanier, wife of a Confederate soldier that was imprisoned there in 1861. Edward Rowe Snow, a 20th century local historian, had popularized the myth, and the following is his version of the story:

“Mrs. Lanier received a letter from her husband that he had been imprisoned at Fort Warren. She was compelled to free him, making an epic journey from Georgia to Hull, Massachusetts and the home of a Confederate sympathizer. Hull is only about a mile away from George’s Island. Mrs. Lanier systematically observed the fort with a spy-glass, and on a stormy night in January 1862, had rowed across to George’s Island and went ashore. She cut her hair short and dressed as a man, and brought with her an old pistol and small pick-axe. She made her way to the dungeon cells, and from outside the fort signaled to her husband by whistling an obscure southern tune, to which he signaled back. Mrs. Lanier was able to squeeze through the slit-window of his cell, and was then hidden by the Confederate soldiers. With the use of the pick-axe, the soldiers contrived to tunnel to the center of the fort, and then overtake the guards and obtain weapons. The tunnel took several weeks to dig, and on the eve of finishing the tunnel, a sharp blow of the pick had alerted a guard. The alarm was sounded, and the tunnel quickly discovered. As each of the Confederate soldiers was removed from the tunnel, a tally was taken. When all the prisoners were accounted for, Mrs. Lanier was to spring from the tunnel and capture a Union officer with the old pistol. Mrs. Lanier succeeded in surprising the officer, but he slapped the pistol from her hand. The pistol went off and the bullet struck and killed her husband. As punishment for her deeds, Mrs. Lanier was condemned to death by hanging. Her final request was to be given female clothing, and a search of the fort produced nothing but some old black robes. She was executed in these robes and buried on George’s Island.”

So if you dare to explore the Fort Warren keep your eyes and ears open you never know what may be waiting for you…

fort2

04/8/14

14 Degrees – A Paranormal Documentary

In 2007 myself and two great friends (then known as New Gravity Media) released our first full length documentary “14 Degrees”. The film which took two years to complete involved nearly 6000 miles of travel and investigations with dozens of teams across the northeastern U.S. This film, which now tops out at a whopping 2 hours and 16 minutes was intended to be a short film no longer than 15 minutes. However, after receiving interest from so many teams, we just couldn’t stop. Because of the overwhelming response the project was produced “backwards”. Instead of having a plan for a beginning, middle and end, we instead simply filmed everything and put the pieces together into a documentary format. The raw footage features over 275 hours of film footage and took 6 months in post production. Some popular names appear in the film such as John Zaffis, Steve Gonsalves and Keith Johnson. It was a first attempt that won us the 2008 Aegis film award. That film in it’s entirety is now available to the public for the low price of FREE. I hope you enjoy!

04/1/14

Celebrity Corner – Haunted White House


Disclaimer:

Many people over time have showed interest in, or have had, paranormal experiences. Some of these people are persons of notability such as actors, musicians, athletes, writers, and even politicians.  Although Para-Boston can not confirm nor deny their stories, they make for interesting, enjoyable reading. I hope you become as entertained by these stories as I was during my research.

The White House is not only one of the most historical buildings in America but did you know it is one of the most haunted? As President Harry Truman would say, “This place is haunted sure as shootin”.

Our shortest serving president, William Henry Harrison, died one month after his inauguration with pneumonia. Residents believe his ghost still haunts the White House attic. Located above the Oval Office, noise from the attic has been heard from several presidents. President Harrison is also not alone in the attic. In 1790, Mr. David Burns was forced to surrender his land so the White House could be built. A security guard working under President Truman heard a voice from the attic saying, I am David Burns.

The Rose Garden was planted by First Lady Dolly Madison in the early 1800’s and currently used to hold many presidential announcements. When First Lady Ellen Wilson asked that it be dug up, garden workers state that Madison’s ghost appeared and prevented it from happening.

The ghosts are not all of past presidents, First Ladies, or even people for that matter. The basement is said to be haunted by a demon cat. Those who have seen it reported that it looks like a kitten until you approach it. As you walk closer it turns into, what some would call, a phantom beast. The strangest part of this claim is it only appears right before a disaster. Once before the great stock market crash and again before President Kennedy’s assassination.

President Abraham Lincoln is said to haunt the residence section of the First Families. He is said to roam the halls and knocking on bedroom doors. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reported seeing him on occasion. Another residence ghost was that of First Lady Abigail Adams. President William Taft reported seeing her floating through a set of doors. Guests of the White House also reported seeing a ghost of a British soldier as he tried to set fire to their bed. Some assume he is the soldier that burned the White House down during the war of 1812. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter claimed to have seen the ghost of Lincoln’s son Willie who died in the same room she had been sleeping.

The Yellow Oval Room has seen its share of paranormal activity. Numerous White House employees have claimed to see Lincoln gazing out the window. These claims were also Made by First Lady Grace Coolidge. First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln claimed to see the ghost of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler in this very same room.

The East Room has been a favorite haunt for Abigail Adams. She is seen en route to this room while looking as though she was carrying something. This claim was most abundant during the Taft Administration.

One of the most vocal haunts is that of Andrew Jackson. Employees have claimed to have seen and heard him in the Rose Room laughing and swearing violently. Other notable persons who have had such a claim were Mary Todd Lincoln and White House seamstress Lillian Parks.

Winston Churchill refused to sleep in Lincoln’s bedroom after witnessing Lincoln’s ghost standing near the fireplace. Other notable persons seeing him in this room were President Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, First Lady Jacque Kennedy, Ladybird Johnson, and the children of President Ford.

If President Clinton haunted the White House, what room do you think he would choose and would he be holding a cigar?

03/25/14

Trigger Objects

Sometimes in paranormal investigating, the use of trigger objects are thought to be useful. A trigger object is an object either owned by the deceased person in question or something of their time period. The theory is that it may illicit activity, communication or perhaps the trigger object may move. It is also referred to as the Singapore Theory. The theory is based on familiarization and if the spirits occupying the location are familiar with the object or music, etc – they will be more drawn to it and possibly become more “active”. The ultimate goal is that this process is so effective and stimulating – that the end result is an apparition.

We have brought an orange to an old Colonial house in Coventry CT both because the homeowners thought an orange they had in the house kept showing up in odd places and because an orange was a rarity, like a gift, back in the Colonial times.

We have used a family Bible, a toy ball, stuffed animals, an old Sanitarium bedsheet, we have played various period music, and tried many experiments using many trigger objects.

There are many ghost hunting techniques out there and we use a multitude of approaches custom-fit to each and every investigation.

Objects already found on the location of the paranormal investigation which the homeowner’s state have already moved on their own are  ideal trigger objects. Of course there is no guarantee, but it is one of the best situations to test the theory. Also ideal is if the object belonged to, or held some significance to the spirit when alive.

It is often thought that getting the personal item of the spirit that has been known to move in the past is the goal. Don’t limit yourself to just that. There may be other personal items on-site that belonged to the spirit when alive: jewelry, coins, clothes, books, furniture, toys (avoid battery, activated or computer chip toys that can react on their own and be incorrectly thought to react because of a spirit), photos, religious items, war memorabilia, etc.  Some theorize that metal objects (coins, jewelry etc) may store and conduct energy. I have never run across this – but there are many stories of movement of human vices like tobacco, drinks, cigars, pipes.

No one knows if the spirits are a residual haunting (they don’t know you are there, but they or their energy are caught in time) or if they are intelligent (they know you are there and can communicate).

When using trigger objects keep in mind the environment. Is it somewhere sturdy? Will it get bumped? Is the floor slanted so the ball will roll? Is there an open window, an air vent or draft? Put the trigger object on a piece of paper and draw an outline around it and videotape the entire process. You may think something moved but it hasn’t or maybe the homeowner’s unsocial pet bumped it while you were out of the room. We’ve used devices that detect a floor’s vibration to rule out various situations (nearby trains, construction, etc) that may cause slight movement.

There are many theories and they are largely operating on hypothetical principles about what “ghosts” are and how they can operate in our physical realm.  Whatever the case, all we can do is try to illicit activity in as controlled environment as possible and as scientifically as possible. Happy hunting and let me know what types of trigger objects you have used and what happened! I’d love to hear about it.

03/21/14

The Farnsworth House Inn

“The Farnsworth house, located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is named in honor of Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth. General Farnsworth led an ill-fated charge after the failure of Pickett’s charge, claiming the lives of Farnsworth and 65 of his men during the battle of Gettysburg which took place July 1-3, 1863.

The original part of the house was built in 1810, followed by the brick structure in 1833. The house sheltered Confederate sharpshooters during the three-day conflict, one of whom it is believed to have accidentally shot 20 year-old Mary Virginia “Jennie”  Wade, the only civilian who died during the battle. More than 100 bullet holes pock the walls. Following the battle, the house served as a hospital.

The Lincoln procession also passed the Farnsworth House on November 19, 1863, on the way to the National Cemetery where he delivered the famous Gettysburg Address.”

The Farnsworth House stands as an Inn today, with further additions having been built in later years.  One of the rooms is named the McFarlane room, after John McFarlane, who built the brick structure of the house in 1833. The room itself is located in the original part of the house, which was built in 1810.

Rumors of Gettysburg’s haunted history have been floating around for decades, calling to many a paranormal group to make the journey to Pennsylvania to check things out for themselves.

Six investigators from Para-Boston decided to take a road trip in June 2011 to tour the Battlefield, and investigate some of the local haunts. Before the trip began, Bree asked one of her fellow investigators, Michael Baker, which Inn he felt may have more ‘genuine’ activity in his opinion, as he had been to Gettysburg in the past. The two choices were the Cashtown Inn, and the Farnsworth House. Mike immediately suggested that the Farnsworth House would be a great place to stay. He did not mention at this time what he may or may not have experienced there during his previous trip the year before. Bree went ahead, and made reservations for two nights at the Farnsworth House, in the McFarlane room, as that was the only room in the original part of the house that had both Thursday and Friday nights available.

Bree and fellow investigator, Paula, arrived on a Thursday evening to check in. The room was decorated to suit the time period, right down to the claw-footed bathtub, and the toilet tank with the pull chain. As the evening wore on, Paula and Bree both noted the room had a “strange feeling” about it, making you feel as if you could not relax in the room. We were both tired after an 8 hour drive to Pennsylvania all the way from Massachusetts, but sleep would not come easy that first night.

There was an older couple staying in the Eisenhower room across the hall, who also seemed to settle in for an early night around 9pm, as we didn’t hear any sound coming from their room the rest of the night. Beneath these two rooms, was the dining room and kitchen. At check-in, the receptionist told us that the staff only remained on site until around 9pm, but would return around 6am to start setting up for breakfast.

Footsteps heard at the Inn:

Around 12:32am, Bree and Paula both woke to what sounded like a squeaky wheel sound in the hall outside the room – almost as if someone were pushing a cart with a squeaky wheel past the room, except no footsteps were heard, just the squeaking. This only lasted a few minutes. At this time, Bree got up and turned on her recorder at about 12:40am to let it record while the two attempted to sleep. The decision was also made to turn off the air conditioner, so that any subtle sounds could be picked up by the recorder, even though it was probably around 80 degrees in the room! After attempting to fall back asleep again, around 1:22am, we were once again awakened to the sound of footsteps, and the floorboards creaking under someone’s weight. It was heard to discern where they were coming from, either the hallway outside our room, or from within our room! We did notice though, that they just seemed to start and then fade off, without hearing any doors open or close. Thankfully, these footsteps were captured on our audio recorder so we could share this experience with our group.  The next morning at breakfast, the couple who had been staying in the Eisenhower room came into the dining room, so just be sure, Bree asked them about their night in the Eisenhower room across the hall, and if they heard anything strange the night before. They said they hadn’t, but that they also fell asleep early, around 9pm-ish. Bree then asked them, if by chance they had gotten up in the night at all, around 1:20am or so. With this question, Bree got a strange look, so she went on to explain that she and Paula heard footsteps in and around the vicinity of the room or hallway, and just wanted to be sure it wasn’t them who had been doing the walking. The older man let out a surprised laugh, and assured us he had not gotten out of bed that night.

After returning back to Massachusetts, Bree told Mike of her and Paula’s experience at the Farnsworth House, and played the audio for him. What was really interesting, was that Mike had also previously stayed in the same room in his past trip to the Farnsworth House, and had the same experience hearing the footsteps!

 

 

03/15/14

The Wayside Inn

 

www.wayside.org

Unlike many other investigations we have done, the Wayside Inn is a prime location for experimentation with new equipment and an excellent resource for authentic tangible, and fairly reliable activity. The target rooms in the facility (9 & 10) have all of the elements of a good investigation destination, privacy, history and countless experiences documented in thousands of letters hidden in the room by the numerous guests throughout the years (Thanks to the Secret Drawer Society). I have investigated this exciting location at least 6 times prior and the vast majority of my visits have produced what I feel are fairly un-explainable experiences that keep me coming back for more.

The Inn, which dates back to 1716, is believed to be the haunted stomping ground of several dis-incarnate beings. Not the least of which is the enchanting Jerusha Howe, “the Belle of Sudbury”, the eldest sibling of one of the Inn’s original owners and the prime target of our in-depth investigation. 

It should be noted that both my team and I do not yet hold a firm belief that the experiences had at the Inn over the years are the result of “intelligent” interaction. Such a concept in this field of research has yet to be proven to our satisfaction and until such a time that gathered evidence supports the claim of “intelligence” by repeated and demonstrable  experiences, our research will focus on the elements that can be tangibly analyzed in the hopes of uncovering the statistical, environmental and / or physical makeup of the activity at hand.

Evidence History

THE KNOCK – 

My first experience at the Inn was shared with 10 other individuals (many of whom are current members of our team). During an investigation of Room 9  a very clear and apparent knock was heard on the room door. 11 individuals turned to look at the door and within seconds of the knock the door was opened and no one was there.  The stairway outside the door is very steep and very creaky.  It was very unlikely that anyone could have knocked on that door and escaped down the stairs while going unnoticed.  Everyone in the room that day concurred.

 

THE PIANO – 

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On July 26th 2011, I recorded nearly 20 minutes of random piano playing at 4:10 AM. The piano, while faint, was heard audibly. Knowing that Jerusha’s piano still existed in the Inn, I went downstairs to the museum to have a look. The 19th century piano was not only unoccupied, but sealed up and behind glass.  It should be noted that the piano music did not emanate from the museum room.  In fact, the piano music faded the further away from Rm 9 I got. The next morning I confirmed with the front desk that the piano I saw in the museum was the only piano in the Inn, and other guests claimed to have heard the piano as well.  Our sample below is noisy due to a faulty audio recorder.  But the piano is clearly heard.

 

THE SHADOW – 

These videos represent some of the finest visual evidence we’ve seen. Para~Boston Investigator Jonathan Smith reserved room 9 at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. Claims from other Inn residents stated that the spirit of Jerusha tends to bother male occupants while they sleep, and many times people have seen shadows moving in the corner of the room. This video captures just that. To the right of the bed you will see a faint shadow leave the floor and fly upward. This was not caused by any external means and we deem this video to be 100% authentic.

Equipment Developed For This Investigation

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For this investigation, we have decided to try a new piece of equipment that I have created for capturing both EVP’s and Electro-Magnetic fields simultaneously.  The scientific principles employed  in this “microphone” have been used in this field before, both intentionally and accidentally.  This device functions on the principle of magnetic induction, the same way a traditional dynamic microphone works, however there are slight alterations in this particular device that make it unique. In addition to two large copper plates creating a tune-able condenser element, combinations of multiple coils tuned for specific frequency ranges using different winding amounts and wire gauges are select-able via a switching system that is used in conjunction with a 153 lb neodymium magnet for increased sensitivity. It should be noted that this microphone has NO diaphragm and is incapable of recording standard audio.

Two of these devices (each tuned differently and on separate axis) will be used on site and record to two 24bit recording devices.   Because of their design they will not only capture EVP without the intrusive background audio, but they will serve as a very sensitive EMF meter that will display full spectrum analysis of any stray EMF field in the area allowing us to discern between different EMF fields and rule out any “man-made” sources.


IMG_5833Another experiment to be performed here involves the reactions and sensitivity of plant life during paranormal activity. The principles behind this experiment were first made popular by Cleve Baxter during the 1970’s. Baxter claimed that all living things are linked and therefore even plants can show fear and anticipation of other living beings in the room. To my knowledge, however, these ideas were never applied to paranormal research until now. To conduct this experiment I needed to create a skin galvanization meter that could record data for the entire night. A picture of the device I created is to the left. This meters probes will be clipped to a plant’s leaf and 240 samples per second of the leafs conductivity will be recorded. If the plant reacts to the environment (as Baxter claims) the plant’s conductivity (or Galvanization) will increase and show a reading on the meter. Will it work? Time will tell.

The Investigation…

Because numerous claims from previous occupants of the room seem to mention that the activity often centers around male guests, we have elected a volunteer to stay in the room overnight while our equipment records any potential activity.

Our team arrived at the Inn in the early afternoon hours of May 26th and proceeded to set up our equipment. Video cameras were strategically placed to cover all angles of the room, and in addition to our DVR night vision camera set, we employed one professional Panasonic AG100X which would be focused primarily on the bed and wall where the shadows previously appeared. Ultimately our goal was to mimic the camera angle of the “shadow figure” video shown above. Also, in hopes of having similar results, we decided to leave the lights on just as they were in the original evidence video.

A high powered shotgun microphone was employed to capture even the smallest audible sounds in the room.  This was done to create a suitable reference track should we need to correlate any of the camera footage. The microphone may also prove useful should the piano music manifest again.

On the dresser we placed a house plant and tablet that were both hooked to the galvanization meter. Tests were performed and the meter was properly calibrated for the evening ahead. Additionally the two EMVP coils were placed on a single microphone stand approximately 4 feet high. The coils were positioned to cover two primary axis (Z and X) and the output was connected to a high quality audio recorder set to record .wav files at a 48K sample rate (the highest quality setting available).  The recorders had enough memory and battery life to record continuously for 36 hours (although we wouldn’t need that much space).

All of the cameras in the room (8 in total) were wired back to room 10 and plugged into the DVR system. Recording began immediately. The majority of team left the Inn around 8:30 PM, with the exception of myself and our test subject Jason.  I would occupy room 10 and monitor the equipment and Jason would occupy the target room (9). It should be noted that Jason has not had any previous paranormal investigation experience.

During the night I noticed no strange activity first hand, but Jason, in room 9, had an unusual experience as soon as the evening began.  When returning to his room and preparing to settle in for the night, he noticed the sound of water coming from the bathroom. Upon opening the door, he noticed the water had been running — the faucet was fully open.  Assuming that one of the members of the team left it on before leaving the Inn, he simply shut it off and went to bed.

The next morning, Jason informed me of the water experience and demonstrated what he saw. During our evidence review, we carefully examined the video to see who the last person was to enter the bathroom.  It was Jason. Of course it would seem that Jason simply left the water on himself, but the audio from the high-powered microphone tells another story. As you will see below, Jason first used the bathroom at 7:51 PM and exited the bathroom at 7:52 PM. During the moments he had the door open (average 10 seconds each) running water was not heard on the microphone. However, when he re-entered the bathroom at 8:42 — the running water is clearly heard.  See this and additional evidence below:

THE WATER – 
First time entering the bathroom - Water Off

First time entering the bathroom – Water Off

First time exiting the bathroom - Water Off

First time exiting the bathroom – Water Off

Second time entering the batheroom - Water On

Second time entering the bathroom – Water On

Second time exiting the bathroom - Water Off

Second time exiting the bathroom – Water Off

The following is an analysis of the audio captured of the bathroom that evening.  The first time Jason enters the bathroom running water is not shown.  However in the second graph the running water can clearly be seen at 2Khz.
Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water is NOT present.

Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water is NOT present.

Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water IS present.

Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water IS present.

THE CRY – 

At 3:45 AM the EMVP Wand captured an evidence sample. The image (below) shows a spectro-graph of the EMVP output during that time. The dark purple area represents the hiss noise from the audio recorder and the light pink areas represent complex waves of EMF that can be audibly heard in the recording (i.e. an EVP).  The recording is what appears to be a woman crying – and quite aggressively. The sound is faint mainly due to the EMVP wand design and the source distance from the wand. But the definition is clear. (You will need headphones to hear this sample.) Because of the extremely low noise of this design, and the absence of recorded audio, this sample was identified. Traditional audio samples such as the ones above contain far too much background noise to identify recordings of this nature.  From this experiment we now have sufficient data to effectively redesign the EMVP device and specifically target the frequencies and components needed to capture this vocal phenomena  in a greater, more defined volume.

Woman Crying:

Woman Crying (Volume Enhanced):

The light pink areas represent the frequencies of the crying sound.

The light pink areas represent the frequencies of the crying sound.

THE LETTERS –

Anyone who has ever stayed at the Wayside Inn knows about “The Secret Drawer Society”.  Over the past four decades, visitors to the Inn have left notes describing their experience at the Inn.  Out of the 3000+ letters we found (and yes we went through them all) most seem to be about personal events such as weddings and anniversaries spent at the Inn.  But there were nearly 200 of them that mentioned paranormal experiences at the Inn. That was evidence we just had to have, so over the course of a couple nights spent at the Inn, we read and scanned every paranormal letter we could find and put them in a database (Link Below).  What surprised us about these letters is that we read testimony from people all the way back to the 80’s describing paranormal experiences which support the evidence we captured nearly 30 years later! For example, in spite of our extensive research before going into the Inn, we were unaware about the claims of the water faucets in the bathroom turning on.  The letters were an excellent confirmation of our evidence because we captured it and then learned about the claims.  That is a very difficult thing to do in this day and age.

The letters that you will find here are in the process of being transcribed for easy reading and searching. It is our hope gather very important statistics from the letters to aid in our research.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LETTERS

03/15/14

The Colonial Royal Governor’s Mansion

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A Georgian Style mansion in the heart of Roxbury, built by Americas first architect Peter Harrison dates back to 1747 through 1865, the Shirley-Eustis House has seen many historical eras. From the French and Indian Wars to the American Revolution to the War of 1812 to the Civil War. Para-Boston was invited by museum curator Patricia Violet to come investigate claims of doors opening and closing, voices, sounds of boots walking on wooden floors ….
This is a beautiful site with beautiful gardens with fruit trees that were favorites of the Lady of the House. Also on site is a carriage house with a carriage belonging to Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) a French General and political leader who supported the American Revolution.
While no evidence was captured to support or disprove a haunting, my personal experience was on my first visit here. Climbing up the massive front stairs through the front door I asked myself silently “male or female” and actually got an image in my “minds eye”, Of a very beautiful ‘Lady’ in the middle of the stairway just through the main door entrance.

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On another visit, I was able to pick this “lady” out in a photo. Mrs Eustis. The curator told me that she had never lived in this house having passed away prior to completion.
No I don’t pretend to be sensitive, medium or physic. But this was an interesting goose bump causing experience. Also did capture an EVP on the stairway where the “Lady” was standing. EVP is not clear unfortunately but voice was not any of the people present.
An interesting historical place, that requires more investigation! I can’t wait to go again.

03/13/14

Colonial Haunts

Historical places have always been intriguing and battlefields have set the stage for this country’s freedom. So having an opportunity to investigate Lexington’s Battle Road I was excited. Walking the paths the patriots marched, the history was palpable to me! My experience on Battle Road by Hartwell’s Tavern just down from the infamous Bloody Angle still baffles me.

I just finished using the restroom (nature calls lol) and began walking back to the group of people I was with. I had to stop and remove a pebble from my sandal. After removing the stone, I stood up and started walking again, and from behind me on my left side, I saw a hand reaching over my shoulder. I clearly saw a palm and the thumb come back at my face, as if to brush a bug (or spider, I hate spiders) away from me. I turned and looked back, thinking it was my husband, and no one was behind me…..momentarily startled, what just happened? I still question just what I saw?

Interestingly, about 15 minutes later I captured a picture that appears to have an anomaly, perhaps a soldier on horseback with a tri-corner hat, crossing the path in front of me? Check it out.

lexington and NEGC class 093

What do you think?
I still believe there is more to discover in Lexington, the Birthplace of our Nation and I cannot wait to go back again!

03/12/14

Alcatraz

ALCATRAZ

We haven’t done a formal investigation of Alcatraz, but I did have an experience there. We were in San Francisco on our Honeymoon and staring at us every time we looked out into the bay was “The Rock “. It’s always been an intriguing place, with history that spans a period from before California was a state with the Native Americans to the Civil War to the infamous prison that housed the likes of Al Capone, Robert Stroud(The Bird Man), Frank Morris, John Anglin, his brother Clarence Anglin (the three that escaped)and George Celio Barnes (Machine Gun Kelly).

So we booked a trip over and spent the day traipsing around the grounds. My experience happened while we were taking the walking tour of the cell block. It was one of those self guided tours that you listened to through head phones and it would guide you to different spots and tell interesting information and history. We had just left the barber shop and were headed to the next stop on the tour. Just as the recording was about to start up I heard a raspy, loud, and distinct voice say “Hey” in my left ear. I looked around thinking it was my husband but he was still in the barber shop and I was alone.

If you get chance to go, I highly recommend a trip to Alcatraz, but make your reservations well in advance, its on a lot of people’s bucket list.

03/5/14

Portsmouth Lighthouse

 

Located in Portsmouth NH and Known for mysterious shadows and unexplained voices.

03/5/14

Old South Meeting House

Inside of old south meeting house

Since 1729, when it was built as a Puritan meeting house, Old South Meeting House has played an important role in American history. It was on this site that the Judge Samuel Sewall publically apologized for his role in the Salem Witch Trials. It was on this site that Benjamin Franklin was baptized. It was on this site that slave and poet Phillis Wheatley explored the meaning of liberty.

In the years leading to the American Revolution, thousands of colonists gathered at Old South Meeting House to challenge British rule, most famously to protest the Boston Massacre and the tea tax. The largest building in colonial Boston, Old South Meeting House was the stage for an overflow meeting on December 16, 1773, which adjourned to Griffin’s Wharf for the infamous event that would become known as the Boston Tea Party.

10/22/12

Everett Square Theater

The Everett Sq. Theater (now under renovations) in Hyde Park, Massachusetts is one of the oldest theaters in Boston.  In it’s hay day it was host to a wide variety of entertainment featuring some legendary performers and stars such as The Three Stooges (my favorite), Charley Chaplin, Mary Pickford and many others.  Throughout the years, like many theaters, there have been claims of moving shadows and voices heard in what should be an empty building.  Prior to our team, there has never been a paranormal investigation conducted in this location.

Because unexplored locations present possible opportunities, our team was anxious to discover this awesome and unfortunately decaying behemoth. Hints of the the once grand nature of the auditorium could still be seen through the peeling paint and rotting walls.  The only impression anyone in our line could have is that this place is simply awesome.

Everett Sq. Theater

During our investigation we employed some methods of triggering in the hopes to stir up some old energy. We stood in what was once the seating area and played period music (such as piano rags) with an abrupt applause following each “performance”.  The music was broadcast in both audio and electromagnetic fields.  This was done to cover all ranges of what might be a receptive listening spectrum.

Sadly we didn’t get any visual bows to our rousing applause and approval, but we did leave with a piece of evidence that still has us scratching our heads.  We placed recorders in the projection room and monitored the entrance to that room with cameras.

Later on when our evidence was reviewed we heard movement and breathing in a room that contained no living individuals.  Did we capture the remnants of the days gone by? Or did we capture the sounds of a dedicated projectionist still waiting for the 8:00 showing? Perhaps it was a dimensional crossover?  Sadly we currently have no way of knowing. But one thing is for sure, the evidence was certainly unexplained.

Movement in projector room

Exhale in projector room

Bang in projector room

We certainly hope this old theater is successfully restored one day.  Gems like this are hard to find.

~Fine~

08/5/11

The Historic Warren Tavern

The Warren Tavern is the oldest tavern in Massachusetts and one of the most historic watering holes in America. The Warren Tavern was founded in 1780 in Charlestown, MA and still stands in that block of land today. In the early years of the Warren Tavern it was frequented by many national heroes such as Paul Revere, Ben Franklin and George Washington.

When we were asked to investigate this amazing place our imaginations ran wild with the thoughts of all of the history making discussions that must have been had by heroes and legends over a pint of frothy beer.  It staggers the mind!

The claims of activity at this place were what would be expected. Disembodied footsteps, apparitions of old patrons and the uneasy feelings that go along with being in the cellar.

The first thought I had when entering this place was that there must be a ton of misinterpretations.  The floor boards creaked when the wind blew and the classic tavern design of the place certainly entertained  the idea that some old drunkards must still be lingering in the corners.  Shadows were plentiful here, but sadly, not the moving kind.

After setting up our equipment for the night we all found a place to sit and hunkered down waiting for any signs of activity.  The apparitions were said to appear at a certain table and were only visible in the mirror behind the bar.  Unusual, but with that in mind we were careful to play by the guidelines. A set of eyes and and a camera gazing endlessly into the mirror.

While we did feel some unusual heaviness in the basement (Which could be due to wiring, cluttered feel, and the low ceilings), the investigation as a whole was a bust.  But the charming nature of the staff and tasty refreshment of the “other kind of spirits” make this a place I would be more than happy to return to.

Cheers!

 

05/15/11

Eastern State Penitentiary

 

Eastern State Penitentiary, one of America’s scariest prisons, lies in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Opening in 1829, inmates not only faced punishment in solitary confinement, but spiritual enlightenment as a way to repent for their crimes.  The most famous inmate of all was none other than Al Capone who’s cell is recreated today.  After falling into a state of disrepair, the prison was closed in 1971.  Today, one can travel to Philadelphia for both guided and self-guided tours of this massive, haunting structure.

This site has been a featured investigation on many paranormal shows and has become a popular destination to investigators.

On May 15, 2011, it was our turn.  We made our way to the site earlier in the afternoon and were able to roam the grounds free of charge to get a lay of the land.  The helpful staff even told us there were areas that normal tours never went in.  We returned that evening setting up our DVR system in the Rotunda with cameras pointing into each cell block.  We proceeded to break up into two teams of three along with a tour guide to explore the grounds that already had a creepy look in broad daylight, but looked much more ominous at night.  We spent the next few hours investigating with much passion and enjoyment.  Unfortunately, aside from bats flying around, there was no activity to report.  It’s a great bucket list location for any investigator.