Monday, August 17, 2009

The Original Springs Hotel

The oldest portions of this unique hotel date back to 1892 when the place was built to replace the original spa/farm that existed on the property that had burned down. Since 1867, the owners of the property (the place changed hands several times) had been drawing visitors to the area with the hopes that the spring water there would provide medicinal help to those who drank it. For years, hundreds of folks visited and did just that--they drank from the springs and word got around that the water there was good!

Today, there still exists a spa on the premises that offers different types of massages, as well as pedicures and manicures (not to mention the spring water that still flows). There's also a nice bar/restaurant called the Boiler Room on the site that has great drinks and food. But the Original Springs Hotel has more than just these amenities to offer visitors--it is believed that as many as three spirits roam the halls of this hotel.

When Mike, Brandon and I visited the Original Springs we learned from the night shift desk clerk that sightings of the spirits there had occurred as recently as the week before our arrival. A guest staying in one of the rooms had witnessed the apparition of a woman standing near the soda machines beside the pool. This was not something she had been expecting while going for a Coke! According to the clerk, this female apparition has been seen many times in that area over the years.

Other ghosts seen within the hotel include a second (or possibly the same) female who is often seen peering from the top floor windows (specifically, the ones that overlook the pool) and a male Civil War era soldier that is often seen around the Boiler Room. Additional activity experienced within the Original Springs includes seeing shadow shapes (usually in the hallways and within rooms), hearing voices and being overwhelmed with the feeling of being watched.

After we loaded our gear into our rooms at the hotel, we did our usual walkthrough to identify where the hot spots were, then we got into some EVP/EMF work around the pool area. It didn't take long for us to find a strange EMF spike on a small set of steps in the second floor hallway--a hallway that not only looks over the pool, but is also directly above the soda machines where the female apparition is usually seen. This spike soon turned into one of the best question-and-answer EMF sessions we have ever had at a haunted location. While we performed the session, we video and audio recorded the entire affair.

Once this was over, we did some more work in the portion of the hotel that is said to be the oldest (the Original Springs had had many renovations and new areas added over the years). Then we retired to our rooms for the night--audio and video rolling.

Once our review of the evidence was over we found that, in addition to the EMF session, we had captured one great EVP. It occurred right when we were leaving the stairs/hall area and were finished with the EMF session. This EVP is included at the end of the video shown below. As you watch the video, you'll notice that I am holding a small digital audio recorder in my hand; this is the device that captured the EVP. It appears that the apparition we were talking with did not want us to leave!

Due to the size of the video (Warning: It is 17 minutes long!) I uploaded the video to Facebook. You can watch the video embedded from there below. You can get more information regarding the history and haunting of the Original Springs Hotel at the hotel's website, or by visiting Troy Taylor's website. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rest Inn Peace-The Parlor B&B Investigation

You hear it a number of times in the field: 'We have a subtle haunting.' For a lot of ghost hunters--especially those who are simply thrill seekers--this is exactly the type of information they do not want to hear. They want LOUD and OBVIOUS signs that a place is haunted. When they visit or investigate a place that has a timid or weak entity living within--and they don't get any definitive evidence (probably because they were busy talking and cutting up throughout their entire investigation)--they declare the place to simply not be haunted. Even when this contradicts the information given to them by the owners/inhabitants of the place--people who have oftentimes lived their entire lives within the location and know the place more intimately.

The Parlor Bed and Breakfast in Ironton, Missouri has just such a haunting. The stories told there are not the stuff of horror movies or books that feature the Warrens. They have a spirit within the house--and though they have seen and heard her on occasion--the spirit typically likes to stay in the background and avoid folks there. But make no mistake, the Parlor is, indeed, haunted!

While Mike and I were enroute to the Parlor, the entire Ironton area of Missouri suddenly came under attack from several tornadoes. We dodged broken trees and branches--as well as traffic--all the way there. Once we arrived and met with the owners of the house, Jeannette Schrum and Robert Halket, we learned that we would be without power for the night. This was great as far as we were concerned--until we figured out that half the neighborhood would be firing up loud generators that evening! But this was a logistical problem we quickly overcame.

After we settled into our rooms, Jeannette told us about their experiences within the house--most of which involved a female apparition who had been spotted in the kitchen on a couple occassions. Other stories involved voices in the upstairs area, electronic Christmas ornaments that seemed to be activated by nobody and a doorbell known to ring itself! Though this female is the most prominent spirit in the house (and thought to be the grandmother of Jeannette), there is also thought to be at least one more entity there as well.

During our actual investigation of the Parlor B&B, we seemed to always be a step behind the spirits there. You could hear the movement of objects in empty rooms, but when you approached the area everything would cease. But this is why we have audio recorders! Thankfully, we had our usual array of electronic devices scattered throughout the house for the evening. Mike spent the night in the 'Franklin Room' of the house--an area known for objects being moved. I stayed in the 'Waterfall Room' where voices have been reported over the years.

No evidence was gathered in the Franklin Room (though Mike did have a couple personal experiences there), but I had many instances recorded in the Waterfall Room where it sounded like a drawer was being slightly moved, or objects on the dresser/nightstand were shifted or banged. After examining all the evidence from the Parlor, nothing was found in the way of photos or video. We did, however, have several interesting EVP's, though...

EVP1: This was captured in the living room while we were still investigating. While staking out the area of the kitchen where the apparition was seen, we caught what sounds like a female speaking. There were no females in our team that night.

EVP2: This was captured in the Waterfall Room while I was sleeping. It sounds like a female humming a tune, then if you keep listening, there is a bang--just an example of the twelve bangs I recorded in that room that evening.

EVP3: This was also captured in the Waterfall Room while I was sleeping. There's a few things going on here. First you'll hear the sound of a loud bang in the room and me gasping as it wakes me up. Right after, you'll hear a female voice make a noise. Clearly, she wanted me to notice her that night!

All in all, the Parlor B&B is a great place to visit--ghosts aside. Jeannette will regale you with her tales of the history and haunting of this wonderful house, as well as serve you up a piece of her awesome carrot cake (a recipe handed down from the very grandmother who is thought to now inhabit the place). Check out the Parlor's website for more info on reserving a room there and visiting. I highly recommend staying in the Waterfall Room...