Thursday, December 30, 2010

Case Files: Falcon Rest Mansion and Gardens

Construction on this Victorian mansion began in 1896 by one Clay Faulkner, a local businessman who made his fortune selling 'Gorilla Pants' to the public.  He moved into the house along with his wife, Mary, and their five children (Margie, Virginia, Thula, Daisy and Herschel) and he managed to live there until his death in 1916.  Mary would then sell the property and move away to Nashville.  During their residence in the home, though, the Faulkner family was so prominent in the area that the town of McMinnville was originally known as 'Faulkner Springs'!

Today, the Falcon Rest Mansion is a historic tourist attraction that has been wonderfully restored by owners (and onsite caretakers) George and Charlien McGlothin.  The mansion (where the ghosts are said to reside) is open to the public daily for guided tours, or you can join in one of their well known dinner theatre/shows.  It's well worth your time if for no other reason than to see the grand architecture, the period furnishings and to stroll the unique gardens on the property.  You can also stay in one of several bed and breakfast rooms located on the grounds.

As for the haunting, it's well known throughout Tennessee.  It's said that Mr. Faulkner is still hanging out in his old mansion.  He's usually seen or heard around his bedroom on the first floor, though other activity has been witnessed on the staircase (including the sounds of a person whistling a Christmas hymn) and on the second floor.  At least one other spirit has been seen in the mansion as well; during a tour of the property, one participant once stated seeing a female spirit wearing a long dress and a bonnet!

During our short investigation of the mansion (getting to the location took longer than expected) we had several interesting personal experiences.  At one point during an EVP session, an investigator was suddenly enveloped by a massive cold spot.  Since this was a hot night in August (with air conditioning turned off), it was quite startling and was witnessed/felt by several people.  This happened on the first floor of house in Mr. Faulkner's old bedroom.  The bulk of the personal experiences, however, would occur on the second floor...

While working in the second floor library and bedrooms, we heard (on several occasions) the sounds of female and male voices.  The male voice only happened once and sounded like a quick gasp or moan.  The female voice was ongoing, however, and we managed to capture several instances of this on audio.  There was also a young child's rocking chair that was placed in one bedroom that seemed to constantly get strange hits on a K2 EMF detector.  We would take a reading and there would be nothing.  Then, moments later, the K2 would light up like the 4th of July (see photo)!  At the height of the activity, we could actually say, 'Move away from the lights,' and the K2 would die.  Then, when we asked whoever was there to move back towards the device, it would light up again.

Once the review of the audio, video, photos, etc. from the investigation was finished, we were left with several great pieces of evidence.  Here are five EVP's we captured over the course of our visit, as well as an interesting video clip...  Put on the headphones, turn off the TV, and give 'em a listen:

EVP1:  This was captured in the upstairs library while we were downstairs setting up.  You'll hear a car go by outside and what sounds like a male gasp/moan.  This is identical to the one we heard live.

EVP2:  This was captured on the first floor by the stairs.  It corresponds with the video clip below.  You'll hear an investigator say, 'You can come.'  There is a pause, then a strange whispered 'no.'  It sounds male.

EVP3:  This is an example of the female voice we heard live.  You'll hear it twice in this clip; the first is right after an investigator says 'You playing a trick on me?' and the second after 'Ok, well...'

EVP4:  Two more instances of the female voice heard live with us there.

EVP 5:  This was captured in Mr. Faulkner's room.  You'll hear a male and female investigator talking, then a third voice (female) comes in with a 'uh huh' that's loud, followed by a 'yoo hoo' style sound.  This is not an investigator and was not heard live at the time.

Video Clip:  This was captured on the second floor.  The camera is pointed at the library and a bedroom entrance.  All the investigators are downstairs at the time.  You'll hear a male investigator say 'Are you coming with us?' followed by a female investigator, 'You can come.'  There is then what appears to be a figure quickly go by the left (library) doorway in the video.  It's quick and happens right at the end of the video.  It's interesting that an EVP was captured at the same time (EVP2 above).

If you manage to make a trip to Falcon Rest Mansion and Gardens, you will not be disappointed.  It's a great place to stay while exploring the area around Murfreesboro and Nashville.  Make your reservations and get more information about the B&B on their website.