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...