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.

05/22/14

Albania…

One thing that I enjoy as a paranormal investigator is meeting people. Most of the people we’ve meet have genuine concerns and for the most part are basing those concerns on things like pop culture, TV , books, and even the media. But once in a while we meet people who’s beliefs are based in their culture. Last summer we received a call from a family in Hyde Park that had emigrated from Albania in search of a better, more stable life. Not knowing much about Albania, we did some research.

This is a brief overview. Albania is situated on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, with Montenegro and Serbia to the north, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. Slightly larger than Maryland, Albania is composed of two major regions: a mountainous highland region (north, east, and south) constituting 70% of the land area, and a western coastal lowland region that contains nearly all of the country’s agricultural land and is the most densely populated part of Albania. Largely agricultural, Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The government in Albania been in turmoil for years, shifting from Communism to Socialism to Democracy, all wrought with corruption. The most common religions practiced in Albania are Islam and Christianity, but there is a mixture of various religious traditions and pagan traditions coming from the time before Christianity and Islam. It is common for people of Albania to believe in witchcraft and evil spirits and to use talismans for protection against such things. After learning a little about the family’s culture and beliefs we proceeded with the interview and walk through of their home.

The oldest of two daughters (around 35) contacted us with a concern that there was an evil spirit in their home. I will call her Angela (not her real name). She shared the home with her mother, father and younger sister. They were some of the politest people we’ve met and warmly welcomed us into their home. The parents spoke very little English and relied on the daughters to translate. We found out that Angela was feeling like the energy was being sucked out of her while she was at home, mostly in her room. She told us that she only wanted to sleep while in there and had a hard time getting up at all, but once she was out of the house she felt better and had more energy. The mother believed that there was a spirit of a soldier in the home and he had appeared to her. She felt that he had been a previous owner of the house. The younger sister hadn’t experienced anything herself, but was petrified by the thoughts of a spirit being in their home. The father didn’t really believe but was very concerned about Angela’s issues. We set up a date to come back with our equipment.

The night of the investigation we set up video and audio and did an EMF sweep of the home. We focused on Angela’s bed room, looking for anything out of the ordinary that could cause her energy to be drained. After spending a few minutes in there we all developed a headache. The room had a strange feel to it, almost like a strange pressure. We did exstensive EMF testing in there and found no high readings, but still felt as though it was something environmental that was affecting us and Angela for that matter. We did several EVP sessions in the different parts of the house, and had one interesting thing happen. I was asking questions in the younger sisters room and our EMF detector was on. I asked the question” Did you own this house?” and the meters reading climbed several points. As I noticed this I asked more questions about the owning the home and whether or not they built it and the reading stayed high. I then asked a random question about fishing and the meter dropped back to its original reading. Later when we reviewed the audio there weren’t any answers to our questions to help validate the readings, so was this evidence or a coincidence? We’ll never know for sure, so we’ll call it interesting. We found nothing paranormal to report and nothing out of the ordinary, other than our reactions to being in Angela’s room. We made the suggestion for the family to install carbon monoxide detectors and also to do a mold test and more air quality testing too. We also recomended that Angela sleep in another room and spend as litlle time as possible in her room for a week to see if the issues subsided.

We checked back after a couple weeks and Angella reported very little change in her energy level after sleeping in a different room for a week and still felt lousey. Her mother had suggested that she see her doctor to see if it was a medical issue. Her father had installed the CO detectors and was waiting for the results of the mold test.

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 !

03/30/14

No…Really we’ve got Ghosts !

A nice lady contacted us a while back who was having some experiences. Three of us went to her home for a walk through and interview. She was very nice, but so hyper that we had a hard time following her descriptions of the activity in her home. She spoke very fast and would jump from subject to another  in one breath. She didn’t sit still either, she would get up and walk around  and  then sit down again. From what we could follow she was seeing things, hearing noises, and lights were turning on and off in the attic. While interviewing her, we found out that she was recovering from brain cancer. She spoke freely and told us that some of the meds that she was taking would make her hyper to the point that she would need to take double the prescribed amount of sleeping pills every night so she could sleep.  Her husband wasn’t there to interview, but we were told that he wasn’t having experiences and didn’t believe there was anything going on either.

Her 3 children on the other hand were. They told us how a tennis ball flew from a bedroom across the living room at one of the boys and the girl woke up with scratches and bruises. While we were there the children were playing really rough. They were wrestling and punching each other and at times would throw stuff at each other. Needless to say it was a three ring circus in their house. We were able to get the kids to sit down for a bit and talk to us. We found out that they watched all the paranormal tv shows and could name all the characters and episodes. They were obsessed with it.

We went back to do a formal investigation and weren’t able to capture any evidence for them. From what we saw when we interviewed them, and experienced at the investigation, we were pretty sure there wasn’t anything going on. We felt that with the mothers issues she was jumping to conclusions, and with the kids’ fascination with the tv show’s we felt that there was some wishful thinking going on. We explained our findings but, no matter what we reported they still believed.

03/29/14

Celebrity Corner – Jeff Ayers and Tim Duncan

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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.

Claremont Resort in Berkeley, California

The Claremont Hotel is a five star resort regularly visited by sports figures during the season tour. Two NBA stars recently found they have a fan base both living and dead.

The Claremont Hotel was built in the late 1800’s by Bill Thornburg for his wife and later sold to the Ballard family after her death.

In 1901, a fire broke out completely destroying the building while they were away.

In 1905, Fran Havens won the property during a checker game and began construction to build a hotel. Although an earthquake had slowed the process, the hotel was completed in 1915.

Almost immediately after it’s opening, visitors complained about the smell of smoke even though the original building that burned was completely demolished and a newly constructed building was erected on the same site. Other complaints included a flickering light and television on the fourth floor.  Some claim to have witnessed an apparition of a 6 year old girl, who died on the property, and feel she was to blame.

San Antonio Spurs players Jeff Ayers and Tim Duncan recently learned about her spirit by experience.  Ayers tried using his key card to enter his room but it would not work. While he continued trying his card, he heard the voice of a little girl coming from his room. Certain he had the right room, he went to the front desk to complain about the card and that someone has entered his hotel room. Escorted with security, they returned to his room. Now the card worked fine, the room was empty, and nothing was taken. He would have thought it may have been his imagination if not for Tim Duncan who claims to have heard the child’s voice as well.

I think Jeff Ayers should have left an autographed picture for the little fan.  She could start a fan club for the deceased.

03/27/14

Celebrity Corner – Charlie Chaplin

Many interesting people over time have shown interest or have claims of having a paranormal experience. Some of these people are persons of notability such as actors, writers, sports personalities, and even politicians. Although ParaBoston cannot confirm nor deny their stories, they nevertheless make it interesting reading. I hope you become as entertained as I was researching them.

Mystery, murder, and hauntings surround one of the most famous actors of the early 1900s, Sir Charles Spencer also known as Charlie Chaplin. An English actor during the days of silent films Chaplin was abandoned by his alcoholic father and neglected by a mother fighting insanity, he rose from the slums of London to the elite of Beverly hills.

His legacy aside from being a ladies man, includes unsolved murders that forced him out of the country and made him world famous.

 

Culver Studios

Culver Studios was owned and operated by Hollywood filmmaker Thomas Ince. Mr. Ince died tragically in 1924 while celebrating his birthday aboard a yacht owned by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Hearst was romantically involved with a Wanabee actress named Marion Davies. He created the Cosmopolitan magazine specifically for her. Among the partygoers aboard the yacht included Charlie Chaplin and his secretary. Hearst known to be a jealous man, saw Mr. Chaplin and Miss Davies slip off together during the party and discovered them on the lower deck. Arguing and confusion soon abrupted leaving Tom Ince and not Chaplin with a bullet to the head. This death shows that money does buy alibis and coverups. Mr. Ince death certificate read he died from a acute indigestion from eating and drinking too much.

Rumors say Mr. Ince haunts the Culver studios not long after his death and people have made claims of his presence even to date. Employees reported seeing ghostly figures roaming the lot at night. Others claim to be frightened by a womanly apparition that appears on the third floor.  The most famous sighting is of Mr. Ince himself. The reports claim seeing him climbing the stairs of the main administration building heading to his personal executive screening room. Many renovations to the studio have been made through the years and workers have claimed to see him during the construction.

I guess you can say “that’s a wrap”.

Now you see me, now you don’t.

In 1915 while filming  “by the sea”, Charlie Chaplin’s stunt double mysteriously disappeared from the set. The production was halted for three days awaiting his return. After the third day and still no word from Mr. Chaplin’s stunt double and long time friend, they assume he quit and was forced to find a replacement to continue production. Seven days later, Mr. Chaplin and his entourage were returning to his room. They entered to find a shocking discovery. His missing stunt double was lying dead on the floor. The corpse was soaking wet, covered with seaweed, and bound by the hands and feet. The decomposition indicates he had been dead for several days. No one could ever explain where he had been and how he could have ended up on Mr. Chaplin’s floor.

Today, people who live in the building claim to hear strange sounds coming from Mr. Chaplin’s room. Sometimes they are cries of help and other times splashes of water as if someone was trying to stay afloat. There have also been sightings of a man standing in the Corridor bound by the hands and feet. The most amazing detail is the ghostly figure is dressed in a black coat, bowler hat, and a small mustache.

My research found no claims of haunting by Mr. Chaplin himself. However, it seems people who have been associated with him has plenty to say.

 Hope you enjoyed this segment of Celebrity Corner and learned a little more about a well-known someone who shares the same paranormal interests as you. Stay tuned for another entertaining read in next week’s Celebrity Corner.

03/27/14

BRRRRR! It’s Cold in Here!

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In December we received a call from a super nice family from Saugus, MA. The mother, father, and son all reported some sort of activity. The daughter had no claims, but was a little nervous because of her families’ claims. One of the mother’s claims was being pushed off the edge of her bed while she had the flue. The son had claimed to see an apparition out of the corner of his eye while watching TV in the living room. The father reported being pushed while climbing up the stairs from the basement.

We arrived for the investigation and toured the home. The first thing that we noticed was the ceiling in the kitchen was pulled down. It seems that they had a major leak in the upstairs bathroom and it ruined the ceiling. We noticed some black discoloration on the joists and with closer inspection it appeared to be mold. The living room, where the son saw the apparition, had by-fold doors that were mirrored and allowed you to see out into the kitchen. We noticed a slight buzzing noise that was hard to locate. With an emf detector, we found the buzzing. It was a dimmer switch in the hallway that was defective and emitting high levels of EMF. The family was used to the sound and didn’t pay any attention to it. We then went to the basement and while looking around we noticed a fairly new gas furnace. Once we looked a little closer we noticed a hole about the size of a dime in the flu pipe. Our first thought was to get the groups carbon monoxide detector and test the basement. It went off as soon as we got close to the furnace.

The mold in the ceiling could have caused or contributed to the mother’s flue symptoms. Having been really sick at one or two times in my life myself, I can see someone feeling unstable and falling as they get out of bed. Reflections in the mirrored doors could have looked like an apparition. The carbon monoxide could have made the dad dizzy as he climbed the stairs and fall. The bad dimmer switch could have burned the house down. The daughter being scarred….well if your whole family watched the Paranormal TV shows and said that things were happening in your house, wouldn’t you be nervous too? Sometimes the claims or causes of presumed paranormal activity are explainable, but it may be tough to see when you’re too close to the situation, it may take an outsider to see the obvious.

I’m not trying to tell you that we have all the answers or that there wasn’t activity going on in their home. All I’m telling you is what we found and pointed out to the family. Hopefully it helped them.

03/25/14

Celebrity Corner – Pop Stars

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.

Musicians are some of the most interesting people, especially when it comes to the paranormal world.

I have listed some musical stars and their experiences.  As you read on, you will find each one is a little stranger than the last.  Move over paparazzi, you have company.

Demi Lovato, an American recording artist with two hits in 2013: “Heart Attack” and “Neon Lights”, states her house in Texas is occupied by a ghost of a little girl.  She believes her name is Emily.  She hired a medium and a paranormal investigation group to try to find concrete evidence of Emily.  When she was three years old,  her mother used to find her talking to Emily.  Demi is now 22 years of age and seems to have a friend for life.

Ace Frehley a former guitarist for the rock band “KISS”, states while in a library he was assaulted by a ghost.  It seems the ghost grabbed a book from on top of a water cooler and threw it at his head.  Maybe Ace was a nonbeliever and someone, or something, tried to knock some sense into him.

Katy Perry was taking time out of her musical career to film a commercial for her fragrance line in a haunted house.  She turned to look into the mirror only to find a very upset man with a mustache staring back at her.  Scared out of her wits, she ran around the house screaming at the top of her lungs.  Unfortunately for Katy, no one else saw him.  Was he interested in buying her fragrance?

Now let’s get a little scientific, shall we?

Lady Gaga is one of the most featured pop stars of today.  Even she isn’t immune to paranormal activity.  Insiders claim Lady Gaga is convinced she has an annoying ghost that goes by the name of Ryan.  Ryan follows her on tour everywhere she goes.  She has spent thousands of dollars on so-called real-life Ghostbusters as well as electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors.  She uses these EMF detectors before every show to detect Ryan’s presence.  Maybe Ryan is slipping into her costumes while she is on stage.

Last but not least, our most bizarre pop singer’s confession, or is it just fantasy?

Ke$ha recently interviewed with Ryan Seacrest. She told him that she was having an affair with a ghost, and a steamy encounter at that. Ke$ha claims to have had multiple sexual experiences with a ghost claiming she went to “the bone zone”.   In fact, her song “supernatural” was inspired by the affair.

I hope you enjoyed this segment of Celebrity Corner and learned a little more about a well-known someone who shares the same paranormal interests as you. Stay tuned for another entertaining read in next week’s Celebrity Corner.

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

Celebrity Corner – Dan Akroyd

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.

Story:

Our first story for this week is about a person who has influenced me personally. Not only in his passion for Blues music, but in the paranormal as well. He has been in many movies, television shows, and has been an accomplished musician since 1974. He was also inducted into Canada’s walk of fame and received an honorary degree from Carleton University.

His name is Daniel Edward Akroyd.

Born in 1952; son of an engineer for the prime minister of Canada, he considers himself as a spiritualist and proudly wears his spiritualist badge. Dan states that many people have seen spirits, heard voices, and felt cold spots. His theory is they exist between a fourth and fifth dimension. This spiritual nature is not new for the Akroyd family. His great-grandfather, a dentist by trade, also considers himself a mystic and a member of the Lily Dale society. His father also got involved in the paranormal by publishing a book in 2009 entitled “A History of Ghosts”.

*Did you know?: Dan Akroyd has webbed toes which he revealed in the movie “Mr. Mike’s Mondo” video and a skit on Saturday Night Live.

In a 2007 interview, Dan stated he believed his current home, formally owned by the Mamas and Papas, was haunted. Although the grew up in a family obsessed with the supernatural — he claims this home was the location for his first paranormal experience mentioning the ghost turns on his stairmaster, moves jewelry, and even crawls in bed with him. Dan truly believes it’s the spirit of Mama Cass.

* Did you know?: Dan also has Heterochromia (meaning his right eye is green and his left brown).

The movie “Ghost Busters” is a direct result from his passion for the paranormal. His interest in the spiritual is not his only interest as he is also into UFOlogy.

As long as people like Mr. Akroyd can produce successful movies with a paranormal slant, interest in the paranormal will continue to be popular to people of all walks of life and maybe even…in death.

I hope you enjoyed this segment of Celebrity Corner and learned a little more about a well-known someone who shares the same paranormal interests as you. Stay tuned for another entertaining read in next week’s Celebrity Corner.

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 – 

7486149_orig

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

IMG_5829

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

03/12/14

Nothing To Fear But The Living – Munchhausen By Proxy

On December 16, 2010 I was contacted about activity that was purported to be occurring at the home of a family in Whitman, Massachusetts. The woman who called me (a friend of the family) mentioned that the activity in the home had increased in recent days and was mainly focused around The mom who and her two daughters. Although the father and other occupants in the home have also had various experiences.

The caller mentioned that she is a medium with psychic ability and has been in contact with the entities that she says inhabit the family’s home. According to her she has identified three entities named Benjamin Jackson (or Smith), Tyler (no last name) and Beverly (no last name). One or more of these beings are alleged to be “attacking” the mom through the evocation of serious effects on her health.  The caller has also mentioned that the attacks and activity continue in spite of her multiple attempts at clearing the home. At the time of the reporting phone call she mentioned the spirits would simply “push her aside” following any attempt to keep them in order or remove them.

She has contacted us out of concern for the families well being and safety.  In response to the initial report we phoned the family to follow up and arrange for a preliminary meeting/interview as well as schedule a subsequent investigation of the home and activity.

According to the family, the activity truly started to manifest following the additional “awareness” brought by the family friends psychic communication with the spirits alleged to occupy the home. The eldest daughter is believed to have been channeling the spirits through various automatic writing sessions. As of Dec 16th 2010 she has channeled the spirits three times.  (See sample of writing below). In addition to the psychic communication, the family also claims to have experienced the gamut of paranormal activity ranging from moving objects, footsteps and voices to shadow figures and full bodied apparitions.

All of the  family along with their visitors claim to feel a very heavy presence in the home and many claims of headaches and chest pains.

Prior to the full investigation of the family’s claims, we conducted preliminary research in the hopes of qualifying some of the factual data presented during the initial interview.  We researched the names “Benjamin”, “Smith”, “Tyler” and “Beverly”and other details given by the family in the hopes validating some of their claims. We were not successful.

The following images represent visual input from the family’s children.

1 This image shows a drawing made by the youngest daughter.  It shows a general representation of how she sees these entities.
2    This image shows a drawing made by the eldest daughter.  It shows her interpretation of Beverly. Note the apron on the figure suggesting that she was a cleaning woman or servant of some kind.
3 This image is a sample of an automatic writing session conducted by The eldest daughter.  (See notes below)
 4 This image is a restatement of the automatic writing session in  eldest daughter’s own hand for comparison. (See notes below)

 The automatic writing sample provided by  eldest daughter contains various statements and information segments acquired by her during her session.  Our first step in this analysis was to verify the integrity of the writing. To do this we had her write a sample of the same statement in her own hand, while not in a meditative state.

Graphology analysis was done to compare slant, size and pressure in both the upper, middle and lower zones of the sample. We have found definite similarities between the two samples and have concluded there is very little difference between the two writings.  To further analyze this sample we have checked the structure and patterns between other automatic writing samples presented over the years and found several concerning discrepancies with this sample:

1.)    Misspelled names:  In a traditional automatic writing session, the spirit is said to channel their energy through the subject’s body and write the dialogue themselves.  The person doing the channeling becomes only a tool for the encompassing entity. In many historical recorded sessions the channeling individuals have been known to write in foreign languages typically the style and handwriting of the spirit they are channeling. While the channeling entity may misspell various words in the channeling session, it is unlikely they would misspell their own name, in the sample provided here, the name Benjamin is misspelled as “Benjamine”.

2.)    Modern Terms: This sample contains many modern terms such as “Awesome” and “On-line” (referring to internet usage). Since channeling spirits are typically known to communicate in the “language of their era” this presentation does not fit the traditional criteria.

3.)    Writing Fluidity:  In traditional writing samples the pen or pencil movement is fluid and swift and typically done with the hand least used by the medium. This sample shows slow, choppy pen movements and “normal hand” penmanship.

These issues present problems with the validity of the sample and therefore cannot be considered with any other evidence of paranormal activity that may be found in this case.

Our Investigation: 

The team arrived at the home at approximately 7:00PM on January 15, 2011. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the father.  The team proceeded to load in our equipment, introduced each investigator to the clients and began our camera setup.

One notable and concerning aspect of this investigation was discovered during the preliminary walkthrough conducted on December 29, 2010 and involves highly excessive levels of electric and electro-magnetic fields. These fields are strong and present throughout various areas of the home reaching levels in excess of 325mg in multiple locations.

Many of these affected “high energy” locations are in common areas of the home or places where the family members and guests might spend extended periods of time (i.e. near beds, chairs, etc.)  Upon further investigation our team discovered that these high energy fields are caused by a large assortment of devices within the home including but not limited to the following:  Fans, Heaters, Air Purifiers, Alarm Clocks, Lamps and Decorative String Lighting.

Although these devices are used for functional and decorative purposes we feel the side effects of their high EMF output can (in some cases) be dangerous and damaging to the occupant’s physical and mental health.

The World Health Organization warns that electro-magnetic fields in excess of 20 milligauss can have adverse health effects with prolonged exposure. The levels measured in this home are twelve times higher than the world health organization’s recommended limit.  This coupled with the families constant occupancy of the home for extended periods of time raises concerns about their overall health.  Even members of our team became sick during the investigation.  Sick to the point of vomiting.

None of the 13 team members personally experienced or recorded anything beyond the excessive and heavy man-made energy levels within the home, but based on our four independent preliminary interviews with members of the family we have found that due to the family’s firm belief and interest in the activity and causes presented by the family friend and parents, there is some evidence of possible coequal testimonial influence as well as Munchhausen by proxy.

Several of our investigators have noticed key changes to the younger daughters testimony in the light of evidence or testimony presented by other family members. For example on one occasion when asked if she had heard Benjamin speak, she firmly replied “no”, however after hearing her older sister  talk about hearing Benjamin’s voice, her testimony changed and she began telling of her experiences hearing his voice. This form of testimony change occurred several times within the interview process. She and her older sister were also inclined to change their claims in accordance with their mothers testimony.

We have also found that this family has been encouraged to identify their experiences with sources of a paranormal nature all with little or no research to support the assumption.  The eldest daughter has been told by the family friend she is a crystal child and possesses the ability to channel the spirits which allegedly reside in the home. However, there is no empirical evidence to support the claims of this child’s abilities and the child herself was unaware of these abilities before being told she had them.

However, she is still encouraged to develop her abilities, and assured by her mother that her results are valid. Again, this assurance is from unsubstantiated sources. We do feel as though outside influences and sympathetic behaviors are influencing the families overall viewpoint and experiences with regards to the environment in their home.

The sad ending to this story is that during this investigation and our individual, private interviews with the family member we had discovered several signs of child abuse which manifested in several recorded claims made by the children in the home.  The oldest daughter had made a list of the hurtful things her mother had done and said to her and her sister on a repeated basis. She had even written it down. The specific details of this aspect of the case must remain private but following our research we felt it necessary to report these issues to the Department of Social Services to ensure the children’s safety.

Call it Munchhausen by proxy, call it misinterpretation of natural influences or call it demonic possession.  At the end of the day it was still the case of a family so desperately in need of help and one we couldn’t ignore.  Maybe we cleansed the home of one kind of demon after all.

 

03/11/14

Psychics: Helpful or Harmful?

If you are a paranormal investigator, or you are interested in the paranormal, do you think a psychic should be used or consulted with?

Many claim to be psychic and really there is no way to prove or disprove if they are or are not. Claiming to be psychic is often a fast way to gain popularity, respect and sometimes money. I’ve been on investigations before with a self-proclaimed psychic who got the details of the case confused. She said she was doing an on-going communication session with the spirit of someone she referred to by name and that she was asking specific questions of this spirits and she was “receiving specific answers”. She even claimed to cross over the spirit. The problem was that she confused the details of two cases and was supposedly communicating with spirit A but was doing so in location B.

I would very much like to know what you think of psychics and what your experience has been.

03/9/14

Grief – An Investigation Into a Mother’s Love

In the Spring of 2011 our team was contacted by a family from Springfield, MA. We don’t usually get calls for investigations of private residences from over a 100 miles away, but when this one came in we felt the need to go right away. A year prior to the call the family’s teenage son who was autistic had passed on. They felt that the spirit of the child had not passed over and was still hanging on to the family. In actuality the mother was convinced of the presence.

The husband and son, who did not believe in hauntings or ghosts only tolerated her claims because of her profound grief. When we arrived at the home for the investigation the mother showed us in and retold the story of her son’s death and showed us his Urn that she had in the living room.

She then showed us his room, and upon entering we realized that it was set up as a shrine to  her son. When he was alive they had a fan running and a TV on at all times to help him feel calm and relaxed. The TV and the fan were still on over a year later, the mother felt that he was still there and needed them on. She also explained that she would put his urn in his bedroom every night when it was his bed time. She had claims of visions of things in mirrors and would see shadows and images on a wall in the hallway outside his room. We set up audio, video and did some EVP sessions in which nothing was found .This saddened us because she was so desperate for proof that he was still there.

I think that we all left that night with the same sad feeling that this woman was suffering. The loss and the belief that her son’s spirit was still there was her only way of dealing with it. This investigation made such an impression on me that I still feel for this woman all these years later.

Food for thought….Many people believe that a person’s spirit or soul passes over to another realm or lets say Heaven. Is it possible that a mother’s love could be so powerful that it could hold them back?

03/8/14

The Refrigerator Proximation

We received a call from a family in Worcester, Ma who’s son was having issues almost every night. Specifically he was having dream like visitations that they thought to be spirits. Sometimes they would be pleasant others horrifying. We went for a walk through and interview and the son told us of a particularly disturbing event where some demon like entity was sitting on his chest with its hands around his neck and he couldn’t move or make a sound.

What he was describing sounded like a typical case of sleep paralysis. While he was telling his story we asked to see his bedroom which was located next to the kitchen. Upon entering his room we noted that the headboard of his bed was on the same wall as the refrigerator, basically his head was right next to the refrigerator. I placed my EMF detector on his pillow and it read very low I believe around .01MG. After several minutes the refrigerator kicked on and the meter spiked, as a mater of fact it went so high that the digital display just flashed dashes. Needless to say we recommended moving his bed.

We at this point scheduled an investigation for the following weekend. The client called us and cancelled later in the week telling us that after the bed was moved he slept very well and had no more dreams….Hmm.

03/7/14

Triple Homicide House

We were contacted by a woman who had recently purchased this home. The issue with the home was that it was the scene of a triple homicide before the sale. The criminal investigation is not complete at this time, therefore we don’t feel as though we should elaborate on the crime or any of the circumstances involved with the case. The client though, had full disclosure and purchased the house a greatly reduced rate.

Unfortunately television shows and superstitions that friends and family had been talking about started to weigh on the woman and she became uneasy and felt creepy being in the home. We did a thorough investigation including video, audio recordings, EMF sweep and inspection of any area’s of concern.

We found no signs of activity or any environmental issues that could cause any problems. Our group members who were present for this investigation did agree on one thing, just knowing what went on in this home was enough to give anyone the creeps!

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.

04/16/13

Metropolitan State Hospital

Met State

On 4/6/13 we investigated some of what remains at the Waltham Massachusetts Metropolitan State Hospital. Kline Hall is the building we investigated and it is now the LexMedia Community Access Cable Station. Most of the Old Met State was torn down and the underground tunnels blocked. They moved the buried bodies from the old unmarked cemetery to build a retaining pond for the new Avalon Condominiums. The new cemetery is out deep in the surrounding woods.

metfern sign  metstate grave

We used a very sensitive microphone and headset and held a quiet time for over an hour. There were a great deal of noises, humming, singing and voices heard that were difficult to explain. We occupied the first floor of the building and there is a gym on the second floor. It was late and what was interesting is that the sensitive microphone picked up these noises, but did not pick up the music playing on the second floor. If any of the noises in question were made by tenants using the gymnasium – then why didn’t we hear the music?

met state map

What was the most eerie was the sound of children singing. It is thought that a dozen children were poisoned by strontium that doctors were adding to their milk in an attempt to cure their mental illness.

Individual audio recorder captured a child humming.

Paula and mike L. felt a sudden temperature drop.

We are uncertain that the location is haunted and it warrants further investigating.

History of Metropolitan State Hospital:

The former Metropolitan State Hospital property is located on a hilltop setting in South Lexington, bordered on the north by Concord Avenue in Lexington and on the south by Trapelo Road in Waltham. It was operational from 1929 until 1992.   The $1.8 million complex was considered the most modern mental health facility in the country.

The facility closed in January 1992, part of a broader deinstitutionalization movement that shut down most state mental hospitals in Massachusetts. The entire property remained abandoned and unused for the next fifteen years.

In 2007 the portion of the property in Lexington was transformed into a 387-unit apartment complex known as Avalon at Lexington Hills. The former Kline Hall theatre now houses marketing offices, Lexington’s cable access station, an auditorium and a fitness area. A large concrete relief from the medical-surgical building has been installed outside the building as a memorial to the state hospital.

memorial metropolitan state hospital

In 1978, Metropolitan State patient Anne Marie Davee was murdered by another patient, Melvin W. Wilson. Wilson dismembered Davee’s body and kept seven of her teeth which were discovered in his possession by employees of the hospital. Despite this discovery and its obvious implications, no action was taken against Wilson until Massachusetts State Senator Sen. Jack Backman (D-Brookline) led a Senate investigation into the case along with 19 other reports of negligence by state mental health workers. On August 12, 1980 Wilson led investigators to at least three burial sites where he put pieces of Davee’s body. This evidence included a “hut” in the woods where Davee and Wilson met, clothes and even sheets which hospital employees discovered the day after her disappearance. Nearly two months after her murder, another search by hospital staff yielded pieces of Davee’s clothing and belongings along with a hatchet, the supposed murder weapon.

metstateshoe metstate sheet

In addition to the torments suffered inside the walls of the hospital, the spirits might be restless for other reasons. More than 350 former residents were placed in pauper’s graves on the grounds of  the hospital. Originally, none had proper headstones or even names attached to them. They were buried with only a stone to mark their number and their religion. In recent years, people have made an effort to give the souls a proper burial, but this does not seem to have slowed the hauntings.

There is also the sad fact that in the early 1960s more than two dozen children died and were buried on the grounds. The general consensus is that they were poisoned by strontium that doctors were adding to their milk, believing that it was a way to treat their mental illness. The ghosts of these children are said to still haunt the property.

People believe kids are buried in the ground because there was also a children’s ward along with a hospital. When the children died, they would be buried right outside the property. The grounds of the hospital are believed to be haunted by all the tormented spirits who once called the place home. The place is common for people in the area to go in at night to seek ghosts, even though it is barracked off to the public. It has become so popular that it was even featured on the television show World’s Scariest Places.

Paranormal events started getting reported while the hospital was still in operation. Residents and hospital employees reported seeing shadow figures move through the halls, passing through walls, appearing in locked rooms, and disappearing into thin air. People have also reported hearing disembodied screams, especially in the areas of the facility used for electro-shock therapy, and dead residents have been seen by nurses in their now empty rooms.

Years later, workers reported still hearing screams and seeing flashing lights from those areas. Activity was also reported in a series of tunnels underneath the grounds used by the workers to travel to different parts of the campus. Their passages were lit by single lightbulbs yards apart, and it was common for the workers to feel unseen hands grab at their feet or touch their faces or backs as they walked into the darkened areas.A few local people have even had the overwhelming feeling of experiencing the actual emotions felt by the patients, and they could talk about procedures and practices of the hospital although they had never actually witnessed them.

Current reports of haunted activity:

– heavy doors, which are always open, slamming shut when alone in building and there are no windows in these two rooms and doors are then found closed.

– sounds of voices talking when alone in building

– construction debris chunk found on kitchen counter when there is no construction overhead

– a lightbulb went POP and was found on the floor in an area that didn’t use that type of lightbulb. Witness said they didn’t leave lightbulbs laying around unused.

– two summers ago a full-bodied apparition of a woman “glowing blue” was seen by more than 15 elderly people and police were called. This “ghost” looked to be gardening beside a sidewalk up the road from the building

– some contractors that worked in the underground tunnels while renovating cable station building would not return and not give a reason

Other info on Met State Hospital:

– hospital supposedly built on Indian burial grounds

– there were hospital tunnels underneath cable company building

– old bricks from the old Met State buildings are rumored to have been used on new buildings

– Hospital Memorial marker on the Kline Building (Cable Station Building).

Met State Investigation Notes/ Observations:

Saturday 4/6/13

Actual start time:  8:41pm

Temperature: 69F

Time:        Observations made with headphones on by Mike B or Team; unless otherwise noted:

8:47            Laura put (trigger objects) hatchet & piece of hospital sheet in kitchen

8:50            faint footsteps?

8:57            Banging

8:59            Laura ran up to the gym to see if people were in there. A walkie talkie was used The Gym appeared vacant.

9:04            investigators observe a shadow blocked the red light in front hallway

9:08            Shadow blocked red light in front hallway

908            Bang at microphone in kitchen

9:11             Children’s voices, reports of chills by team, one low/deep voice, conversation

9:27            Male voice

9:29            Multiple voices

9:30            Camera 3- flash of light over kitchen counter

9:32            Singing

9:33            Hum

9:34            Mike- hearing music, specific notes; FAFCFACFACF…

10:13            hallway noises, dragging, moan, footsteps   (not heard thru headphones)

10:26           EVP session asked about basketball, Camera 5- pulsating orb over basketball

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