Meeker Mansion Nov. 2011

I worked a psychic fair at the historic Meeker Mansion in Puyallup, Washington. Built by Ezra and Eliza Jane Meeker, it is a tribute to the Victorian era and family. A fellow reader had told me at a different event that Mr. and Mrs. Meeker were still in residence in spirit. They sure were!

Ironically I was assigned the master bedroom of the mansion. It took less than 10 minutes before Ezra and Eliza Jane showed up. At first I saw (and heard) Ezra sawing logs on the left side of the bed. On the right side Eliza Jane had her back to him as she patiently waited for her weariness to overcome his snores.

I had the impression it was an amicable marriage. Eliza Jane was most inclined to chat and showed me many evenings of quiet companionship in their lamp lit bedroom.

As I looked around the bedroom and noted how carefully the restoration work had been done I was bothered by the milk glass vases flanking the mirror above the beautiful replica wooden mantel. Eliza Jane commented they were wrong, they should have been crystal.  Later I realized she meant instead of vases those “decorative” spots were intended to hold oil lamps with clear crystal chimneys. Only the best for the marital boudoir.

One of the most striking features of the room was the partially restored fireplace that had been updated at some point to burn coal. The decorative tile around the small fireplace was original. I knew this before I read the informative blurbs posted around the room because Mrs. Meeker commented on it.

The tile motif was done in a mauve wash and boasted the raised figures of small birds in the upper corners below the mantle. The lower tile had two remarkable figures flanking the fire. On the left was a classic knight in presumably shining armor. On the right was a Grecian maid, draped in folds of cloth and tending a lamb.

Eliza Jane did NOT like the Grecian maid. I was admiring the figure in the tile when I sensed her presence behind my left shoulder as she glared her disapproval at the “shameless hussy”! I asked her why she put up with the if she found the figure so offensive. She told me Ezra liked the knight in armor and overruled her objections to his decidedly non-Medieval companion.

Eliza Jane seemed both fond and protective of her built-in closet. The master bedroom had a walk in closet/box room, handily situated behind the fireplace for optimal comfort in winter time dressing. The walk in-in closet also had her original rocking chair and a trunk still stenciled with the name E. Meeker. I got the impression that Eliza Jane enjoyed her quiet moments in her rocker.

Both the rocker and the low height of a mirror in an alcove built into the main floor staircase made it clear Mrs. Meeker was a tiny, petite woman.

Non-stop readings is thirsty work, so I usually bring a gallon of water to refill my sports bottle over the course of the day. No time for lunch so I ate snacks I had brought with me. Eliza Jane showed up repeatedly when I carefully refilled my water bottle, as each time she cautioned me NOT to drip water on her fine bedroom carpet. Another concern was crumbs from a fruit bar I was eating. I assured her I would be meticulously careful of her carpet and linens. She remarked I had manners. I gave credit to my mother and grandmother which met with an approving nod.

Periodically through the course of the day I felt Eliza Jane’s presence observing readings over my shoulder. I didn’t have attention to spare for her at those times, but knew I was under observation.

At the end of the day I thanked both Mr. and Mrs. Meeker for allowing me to be a guest in their home, especially their private quarters. Eliza Jane  informed me I would be welcome to visit again for which I gravely thanked her. As a buddy and I ventured out into the dark and rainy evening my last glimpse of her in spirit was as she stood framed by a beautiful inlaid stain glass door and waved goodbye as she wished me a good night.

I will be working the spring fair at Meeker Mansion. Looking forward to getting back inside and visiting with the lady of the house, regardless of the century between us.



Lynne can be contacted for private readings at:

(c) 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.

Posted in Personal Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Celebrity Ghost Hunt Premiere

Chip Coffey launched his new TV show “Celebrity Ghost Hunt” with typical no-nonsense accuracy as he helped untangle paranormal events at a privately owned gold mine in North Carolina and identified a former resident of a Los Angles home.

Actor Christopher Atkins, best known for his early roles in “The Blue Lagoon” and the TV drama “Dallas” had taken up part-time gold mining with his friend Jimmy who owned the mine.  Jimmy wasn’t the only one who figured substantial gold remained in the mine as he once got an offer of $6 Million dollars for the place. He declined as he believed the mine had the potential to yield $400 Million dollars of untapped gold.

The closer Jimmy and Chris got to the gold, the stranger unexplained events became. While in the mine, both men heard a growling sound that shifted into an unearthly howl. Another time Jimmy and his son heard the heavily amplified sound of a beating heart. Heavy mining equipment served by dedicated power boxes had turned itself on without the help of any human beings.

The odd experiences didn’t confine themselves to the work day. One night Jimmy’s daughter-in-law Michelle woke up in the house to see the figure of a man standing at the foot of her bed. His daughter Charlotte shared the time she saw a half-torso apparition of a man wearing a black shirt.

Jimmy had seen the ghost of a miner on the property. The figure was clothed in a trench coat and miner’s helmet. Jimmy yelled at the apparition but got no response.

Chip started getting impressions of the presence of assorted spirits as soon as he walked around the mine shaft. First he sensed two people who were in conflict over the gold in the mine. He saw two people walking in front of a group and then mimed a gun going off with the comment, “boom”.

As Chip was talking about the two people in conflict I saw two men whom I believe both had some financial interest in the mine. Chip saw a shooting murder. I saw something different.  The thinner of the two men was walking in front of the heavier one, as they argued about how to run the mine. The heavy-set man pushed his erstwhile business partner into the mine shaft to his death.  I would not be surprised if both incidents happened at the mine at different times.

Chip told Jimmy and Chris that a number of conflicting positive and negative, light and dark influences were in play around the current mining operation.  He picked up on some Native American spirits who were not happy about the gold being taken out of the earth.

Regarding the two people he first saw in conflict over the mine Chip had the sense that, “If we couldn’t do it here, you won’t either.” That took sour grapes to a whole new level.

Paranormal Investigator Michelle Griffin and her team were brought in to see what they might be able to document at the mine. They had the full array of standard ghost hunting gear including an infrared light, a full spectrum camera, DVR recorders and a K2 meter.

Michelle her team, Chip, Chris and Jimmy trooped down into the mine to investigate at night. Chip picked up on something but when the camera panned over to what might have been an ore crusher nothing was seen by the naked eye. However with my third eye I saw the figure of an old-style miner working the equipment. It wasn’t exactly the same equipment presently on site as the miner was cranking away at a manual wheel.

Chip started out with standard questions in a group EVP session. A disembodied knocking sound was heard not once but twice in response to his inquiries about any spirits nearby.  When Chip asked if anyone was present who did not want the gold found he saw a presence behind the group as the K2 meter lit up.  Chip told the team, “We are surrounded” by spirits he described as closing in around the living.

I could see a gaggle of past characters associated with gold mine in a circle that inched closer and closer to the group of investigators.  One figure in particular stood out.  It was the heavy-set miner I had seen push his erstwhile business partner to his death. He was in his 40’s with dark hair starting to run to early gray. He wore canvas overalls and held up an old-fashioned lamp with a round lens.  He demanded to know, “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Back up on the surface Michelle and Chip both saw something move behind a tree. Jimmy commented, “There’s noises over there.”  Drawn by the sounds he walked ahead of the group despite Chips repeated calls to come back.

When Jimmy returned to the group he said he had seen,  “A big gray puff of smoke.” Furthermore he had not realized how far he had wandered from the group. He said, “My hair was standing on end. I thought you all were closer to me.”

Chris confirmed Jimmy’s experience. He said, “I swear to God I saw a big gray puff of smoke. Then it went away.”  Later evidence review showed a gray mist that briefly obliterated a nearby tree before vanishing. An EVP captured at the time confirmed local spirits were still there, “To find the gold.”

Chip thought the mysterious puff of smoke was related to Native American spirits he had sensed earlier. This was supported by a visit to local historian Patricia Curl who pointed out the mine sat near a former major Indian trading path. Chip asked Patricia her opinion about how the Native Americans in the area might have viewed gold mining. She said they would not have been happy about it as they were closely  oriented to nature.

Chip stated his theory that something energetic might be hampering the mining efforts.

I had two different images shown to me when I looked at Jimmy’s mysterious puff of smoke. The first image was of a Native cooking fire which pretty much backed up Chip’s train of thought that past Native Americans were still around and not pleased with renewed mining efforts.

The second image was related to early gold mining. In that image I saw the puff of smoke as the product of TNT blasting in the mine. I could smell black powder characteristic of early explosives.  I wasn’t sure if one impression was wrong and one was right. In my experience with the paranormal, frequently multiple layers of meaning are expressed in one image or incident.

Historian Patricia turned up some additional interesting bits of information. Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s the area of the mine was called “Hell’s Half Acre”.  Terrible accidents or perhaps not so accidental incidents took place there including an owner of the mine who was murdered by a gunshot to the head. That validated the first two figures Chip saw in his initial walk around the mine shaft.

Another documented death was that of a Mr. Terry who disappeared when the mine flooded and was presumed drowned. The moment I heard that I was certain it was Terry’s dying heartbeat Jimmy and his son had heard while working the mine.

Chris and Chip went back down into the mine to try to talk to Mr. Terry. Chip asked if Terry had died in the mine shaft or if he had died for the gold. At that moment Chip saw something standing behind the audio guy who had also sensed a presence and turned his head to look.

Chip didn’t come out and say he saw the spirit of Terry behind the audio tech, but I sure did. Terry wasn’t a pleasant sight.  I could feel his lungs full of water and he his face was bloated. When Chip asked him, “Did you die for the gold?” I heard Terry chuckle as he told me, “I guess you could say that.”

I asked Terry’s ghost how he got caught in the fatal flood. He said heavy rains caused the mine to flood and showed me an image of fragile white-painted boards that gave way under the pressure of the water backed up behind them.  I asked Terry if the boards broke with some human help. He replied, “I reckon them fellas would done it if they had thought of it, but it was an accident.” He would know.

Terry’s ghost confirmed the last sound he heard before he drowned was the frantic beating of his heart in his ears. This was consistent with oxygen deprivation from a drowning death. At first the heart speeds up as it tries to grab more oxygen for the faltering body. Then the heart rate slows and death soon follows.

Chip knew darn well he was talking to Terry’s ghost.  First he asked if Terry’s shade would help Jimmy and his crew find the gold. A nearby work light flickered in response.  Chip quickly asked Terry “Are you with us?” The light flickered once for “yes” at Chip’s request.

One of the things I like about Chip’s shows is he is proactive about resolving paranormal disturbances.  True to form, Chip asked a Native elder by the name of Many Skins to pray over and bless the land in an attempt to make peace with the agitated spirits of former Native Americans. Many Skins assured Chip he could sense any spirits of his predecessors around him as he wafted smoke with a feather from what was likely sage burning in a large shell.

As he got ready to leave Chip told Jimmy and Chris, “Hope what we have done here will help.” The following morning Chris told his camera diary that the whole place somehow felt peaceful and calm.  After Chip’s visit no further troubled paranormal activity was reported at the Dixie Queen mine.

The second location was the Los Angeles, California home of actor Eric Roberts and his wife Eliza. Eric was best known for his Oscar nominated role in the 1980’s movie “Runaway Train”. The Roberts had been in residence for 13 years.

Eric said one sleepless night he walked into the kitchen to get some juice and for some reason turned to face the fireplace. There he saw smoke that formed into the image of a woman who stood in front of the fireplace. Stunned he reached out to touch her and she dissolved and went back up the chimney.

Worried about what others might think of his experience Eric decided not to discuss it until one day a terrified housekeeper blurted out, “I have to quit Mr. Eric. There is a ghost in the kitchen!” She left and never returned. Shortly after that Eric’s property caretaker Eddie quietly pulled him aside and told him he too had also seen the ghostly woman twice.

I picked up on a female presence before Eric told his story but additional details came through as he recounted his experience. I saw a woman with long hair and skirts leaning over a bubbling pot of food in a larger fireplace than the insert visible in the Roberts kitchen today. The larger fireplace was made of cemented river rock. Her skirts caught fire on hot coals and she later died of her burns in an upstairs bedroom. Nothing of the sort was picked up by Chip nor did such a scenario come out in the historical research shared in the episode. Was I seeing an earlier inhabitant of a different house and era? I don’t know.

Chip arrived at the Roberts home without prior knowledge of what Eric, the housekeeper and the caretaker had seen. The first presence he felt was that of a strong, dominant man along with that of a …”somewhat submissive woman.” Chip also said that Eric was empathic, which Eliza confirmed.

I asked the spirit of the woman Eric saw in his kitchen if she had been afraid of the dominant male presence Chip had picked up on when he entered the house. I thought that presence was her husband. Apparently not as she told me, “He is a good sort.” Then she asked me with a shrug, “What else is there for a woman?” For her generation, she was probably right.

Chip led the couple downstairs to their basement to chat. He asked Eric if something tough had happened to him between the ages of 12, 13 and 14. Eric confirmed something traumatic had happened in his life. Whatever it was it started at age 12 and continued through age 14. Chip told Eric that during that depressed, struggle filled period an energetic being had locked onto Eric. The issue was dropped as far as the viewers were concerned, but I strongly suspect Chip helped Eric with his energetic attachment.

Back up in the kitchen Chip asked Eric and Eliza if they had associated any smells with the female presence Eric had seen by the fireplace. Eric recounted his experience but didn’t mention any smells. I saw and smelled homemade bread when Chip asked about any scents associated with the female spirit. Chip didn’t comment further which left me wondering, what did he smell when he tuned into the woman’s spirit?

Paranormal Investigator Beth Brown and her team from the North Orange Paranormal Society (NOPS) were brought in to check out the Roberts kitchen. Their night-time investigation included a K2 Meter, cameras, a DVR and much to my delight an Ovilus.

Beth handed Eric the K2 meter and placed a DVR on the hearth of the kitchen fireplace. Eric started by telling the female presence, “I know you lived here.” The K2 meter blinked in apparent response. This promising start was immediately followed by Beth’s recorder which abruptly stopped due to a full battery drain. At that moment Eric, Eliza and Chip all heard a soft sighing sound from thin air. Eliza said she had never heard that sound in the kitchen before.

Chip saw something move and followed a “major shadow” past the kitchen window into an adjoining room. Later evidence review showed a glowing orb that settled next to an office chair.

Chip decided it was time for NOPS to break out their Ovilus which promptly started spitting out words. “Property”, “sister”, “heart” came out in short order. The Roberts were taken aback because their pet cat named Heart was in the kitchen. Chip asked the spirit using the Ovilus to come up with words that were related to the investigation. It complied as the Ovilus said, “tragic”, “Frank”, “peace” and then, “Alice run!”

None of these names or words made much sense until Beth and her team did some historic research on the house and former residents. While they were doing that Eric had a chat with past owner Stephen Lotto who had lived in the house from 1975 to 1981. Eric asked Stephen, “Did you see our lady?” Stephen replied, “You mean the lady in the kitchen?” Stephen was familiar with her and told Eric that the spirit of the lady in the kitchen had frequently been observed checking the children’s rooms and looking in on Stephen’s mother-in-law.  Stephen saw the lady wearing puffed sleeves, long skirts and a bustle. That was pretty close to the unexplained woman I saw catch fire.

Eliza and Eric had a chat with local historian Arlene Waters. One of the former owners of the house was a couple named Alice and Frank Mass and their numerous children. Eric and his wife recalled that the Ovilus had said both names during NOPS investigation.

Privately during a diary camera session Eric asked Eliza if the lady in the kitchen turned out to be Alice Mass, was Eliza leaning in the direction of evicting the spirit or allowing her to stay. Eliza didn’t have to think twice, she wanted Alice to stay.

Beth and her team located Joanne, a granddaughter of Alice Mass who had lived with her grandparents in the house between 1948-1952. Joanne agreed to talk to the Roberts and Chip on the phone. She described her Grandmother Alice as a saint and told the group, “I was so happy there.” as a child. Joanne said of her grandmother, “She was very, very attentive and loving.” When asked about her grandmother’s experiences in the house she said, “I think she was happy there.” It was clear no paranormal mumbo jumbo or potential family drama was going to be discussed by Alice’s adoring granddaughter.

This left some holes in what the Ovilus spit out. Why did the words, “tragic” or “Alice run!” come out during NOPS investigation? This was not addressed again during the episode. It could have been intentional to protect the privacy of Alice and Frank’s descendants.

Chip reassured the Roberts that nothing bad was in their house and that Alice loved them. After Chip’s visit the Roberts had no further interaction with the spirit of Alice Mass.

Frequently content and friendly spirits simply want to be acknowledged. I think that was the case with Alice Mass and perhaps also her husband Frank whom Chip still felt in the house.

This is going to be a fun show…. I hope Biography picks it up as a regular program. I also liked the chance for top-notch regional paranormal investigative groups to be involved and recognized for their work. I cannot imagine Chip Coffey inviting or enduring any lackluster groups.  There are solid grass-roots people in this field and I am happy to see some of them on air.



I can be contacted for private readings via email at:

© Lynne Olson 2011. All rights reserved.

Posted in Celebrity Ghost Hunt | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Haunted Collector: The Sanitarium/Pueblo Firehouse

John Zaffis and his team didn’t go far from home when they responded to a plea for help from landlady Donna Wagner. Donna’s tenants and family reported a variety of disembodied voices, scratches and apparitions at her residential property in Stratford, Connecticut.

The young daughter of a former tenant in the upstairs apartment had complained to her mother her back hurt. When the mother looked at her daughter’s back she found it heavily scratched, nearly cross hatched in a pattern that looked like it had been made by a weeding hand rake.

At one point Donna had been sleeping on a couch in the front room. Her boyfriend woke in the middle of the night and observed an apparition of a young woman who seemed to be missing her feet. The figure approached Donna’s sleeping form, bent over her and vanished.

John asked Donna if the front room held any significant or older items. She showed him a 1920’s era electric cigarette lighter that had belonged to her grandfather. However he had died before she bought the rental property.

Donna showed John the downstairs bedroom and related a frightening experience. Donna had placed a red glass candle holder on a surface in the room. She suddenly experienced feelings of intense anxiety combined with pressure in her head. As those sensations hit her the glass holder abruptly shattered.  I got the impression one of the male spirits in the house was desperately afraid of fire and destroyed the candlestick to avoid any possibility of fire in the house. I saw he had died of terrible burns.

In the basement Donna told John that things had been reported moving on their own and disembodied voices were frequently heard by different living people in the house. John once again asked if there were any old objects or perhaps items that had an odd history. In response Donna showed him what she said was an antique pool ball set. Apparently it had belonged to the troubled father of a former tenant who spent his life playing pool in the basement of the house. Donna didn’t go into details, but simply said the man had “issues”.

I picked up an unbalanced mental state and a great deal of anguish that seemed to be focused on the need for punishment. This poor soul believed he had been cursed for a past bout of misbehavior. He wasn’t all there and had approached a young woman inappropriately. I don’t think he knew what appropriate behavior was. At the time he thought she was pretty. He was a deeply troubled soul, small wonder his family left his pool balls behind when they moved on. I think they moved on after his death, but that was not confirmed in the episode.

Somehow this beleaguered soul was responsible for the scratches on the back of the little girl who once lived in the upstairs apartment. I asked his ghost why he hurt her. He told me, “She has to be punished. She shouldn’t be here!”

I think one of the reasons this man played pool in the basement was to drown out the voices in his head. Sometimes dark entities will attach themselves to the mentally ill because it is easy to frighten or enrage them. I think something unsavory may have been hitchhiking with this poor man, later tortured ghost.

The upstairs apartment where the young girl had been scratched had a strange statue of a seated man. It was determined to have come from Belize where an on-screen note advised viewers the practice of black magic was common. It was a disjointed interlude as nothing about the statue or possibly iffy practices in Belize were brought up again.

Aimee was sent off to research the land and tenants while the rest of the team did their standard daytime investigation which included an EMF sweep and an EVP session conducted by John and Beth in the basement. Beth showed a distinct lack of enthusiasm as she told John, “I don’t like basements.” If so she may have picked the wrong line of work as lead investigator.

Beth tried to start an EVP session but her DVR was dead. She checked with John who said he had just put new batteries in it. John dug up some replacement batteries, but they only lasted long enough to briefly turn on Beth’s recorder before it went dead again. The second set of fresh batteries tested as drained which didn’t make much sense to John who brought the incident up to tech guru Brian.

Brian said both sets of drained batteries had come from the same package and that sometimes batteries went flat. He issued Beth a different DVR with new batteries from a different package for the night investigation. It didn’t help much. Even with a different recorder and fresh batteries from a new package, once in the basement Beth’s DVR briefly turned on and went dead again. She had better luck when she moved to a different spot in the basement.

Meanwhile Aimee found a helpful local historian who uncovered a listing for 117 King Street in a county ledger from 1927. At the time it was owned by a Beatrice Rutherford and run as a sanitarium. The historian had a friend who had grown up on King Street in the 1930’s.

Todd Lovell told Aimee nothing had been normal about Rutherford Hall Sanitarium. As a child Todd never saw grocery delivery trucks at the house. Neighbors whispered about people who entered the house but never left. Despite this Rutherford Hall operated as a Sanitarium for close to 31 years.

Brian launched the team’s night investigation by focusing cameras on the creepy statue in the upstairs apartment and the old electric cigarette lighter in the front room.

John and Beth started out in the basement. After Beth’s DVR flickered on and died yet again, John looked around and noticed a crawl space. Beth wanted nothing to do with the crawl space so John called Chris and Brian down to the basement and sent Brian into the crawl space to investigate.

At first all Brian saw was a bunch of dirt. He started to sweep aside the top layer with his hands and found a glass bottle stopper. A little more cautious rummaging produced the broken pieces of a bottle that seemed to match the stopper. Right away I got impressions of lethal medicines administered to the vulnerable patients of the Rutherford Sanatorium. I was close.

The following day John took the brown glass bottle fragments to a local expert who identified the former contents as poison based on a series of raised bumps on the side of the bottle. The lack of a threaded top and a seam placed the bottle in the 1920’s before massive production of such containers. He explained that in an era of poor lighting, the bumps were intentionally placed on bottles of poison so that someone groping around in a cupboard would not mistake it for anything else. I wish the kind of poison had been identified, but instead a general note was flashed on-screen about how poison was commonly used in homes for benign purposes such as disinfectants. No kidding, just like any modern-day household with cleaning supplies. Half the substances we use in our homes are poisonous if ingested. That hasn’t changed since the 1920’s unless a household is carefully and intentionally operated with only non-toxic green products. Even then all bets are off the moment you go looking for motor oil, antifreeze or gas for the lawn mower.

So, the bottle dated from the right era and had been tossed into the crawl space. Sure made one wonder about the people the neighbors saw enter the place but never leave. I wanted to know if patients never left under their own power or if the meat wagon was a frequent visitor, but that wasn’t addressed. If 117 King Street was ever bulldozed, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if human bones were found. In fact, I was surprised Brian didn’t find any bones in the crawl space. Interestingly Donna’s boyfriend had found old bottles and tools in the crawl space in the past. However at the time she made no connection to anything shady from the junk he found.

After fun and games in the crawl space Chris and Brian headed back upstairs to see if any of the toy cars Brain had placed on the floor and circled in chalk had moved without human assistance. Three of the four toy cars were exactly where Brian had left them. The fourth was some distance way from its chalk circle. Chris reasonably asked if the floor was level. Brian fetched a level and sure enough, the floor slanted. A bit more testing showed that even minor vibration on the floorboards would allow gravity to pull the toy car down the slant of the floor. It was a good, common sense debunk, although I was disappointed they didn’t put a camera on the toy cars, instead relied on the chalk circles to tell them if they had moved. Why not combine “old school” techniques with modern cameras?

Beth obtained an EVP in the basement when she asked any ghosts who might have been around, “Where you a patient here?” The recorded response was a male voice that said, “suffer”.

John handled the evidence review with Donna. He had her listen to Beth’s EVP and told her about the history of the bottle Brian found in the crawl space. Donna was unaware of the properties sanatorium history or the local rumors about the place. It makes me wonder how far back does a seller have to report oddities or defects in a property to potential buyers?

Predictibly Donna asked John to remove the broken bottle fragments from the house. This seemed rather lame to me in light of the previous bottles and tools her boyfriend had found in the crawl space before the Zaffis team was ever called in.

With the number of ghosts crawling through that house I doubted removal of one bottle that might have only contained floor cleaner wasn’t going to do the trick. No way to know if it helped as no follow-up was offered in the episode.

The second location was the Pueblo Historical Museum in Colorado. The museum focused on the history of a local fire station built in 1881 and in service until March of 1979. The Hose Co. 3 Fire Museum had some colorful stories.

As Gary Micheli walked John through the old fire house I sensed the ghosts of two former firemen who had served there. One was a former chief, the other rank and file from a different era. They were both still responding to old fire calls.

Craig first showed John the main ground floor of the station turned museum. He showed John an early Model T fire engine and related the story that in the late 1970’s the old engine had been turned on and run for some time to charge the battery. It was left unattended as the firefighters went upstairs. Suddenly the Model T started down the street on its own, shedding equipment as it trundled down the street unmanned.

The second runaway fire truck was a 1960’s era Seagrave. In 1977 it was still in use when three firefighters sleeping in the upstairs bedroom were rudely awakened to the sound of the Seagrave engine as it started itself and plowed through the front doors of the station.

John noted the old bronze hose nozzles on display on the ground floor and speculated that they might well have been used to respond to house fires where people died.

Craig told John that the fire station had only lost three firemen in the line of duty during its 98-year history. An early fatality was the stations first Chief R.J. Krague. One day in 1891 his horse and buggy had an accident. Chief Krague was thrown headfirst into a rock and died on impact.

Next Craig showed John the Captain’s Office where many people had reported voices coming out of thin air. He noted the station’s call logs dating from the late 1800’s were stored there.

More phantom voices and breathing were reported upstairs in the firefighter’s bedroom. The bunk room was connected to the main floor by a real brass pole. Craig shared a tragic tale of a family who visited the station in the 1960’s. According to Craig their six-year-old-son had fallen down the pole and died of his injuries. Aimee’s research at the local library turned up the incident but it had a happier ending. The boy survived his fall.

During the daytime sweep Brian and Chris found their EMF meters useless due to the heavy power lines outside the building. Brian tried to get around this by using a DC only meter he called a Natural Tri-Meter. The idea being that alternating current was caused by man-made objects and direct current was more likely to be part of the natural environment. Since both AC and DC are used in electrical applications I was uncertain how useful the DC meter would be.

However it did pick up a slight reading from the wooden cabinet.  Chris noted that his father frequently said wood could hold energy.

Beth and John tried a daylight EVP session while seated in the cab of the old Seagrave engine but didn’t get anything. (I plan to check and see if the antique fire engine on display at the station in my Dad’s home town is a Seagrave. Fortunately the long-term retired Chief is around. If I ask nicely I can probably convince him to tell me about the engines used under his watch. What can I say, I love old metal.)

Brian and Chris had better luck using a Ghost Box. Not sure of the model they used, but it was a lot less screechy than some. A spirit identified itself as William and then used the Ghost Box to spit out the words “book” and “door”. When Chris asked William’s shade if he wanted to talk to anyone in particular the response was clearly, “John”. In order to made sure they had the right John they asked William if they should bring Zaffis to the room. The answer was, “go”.

John came up to the room and started to ask questions. When he asked for the name of the ghost he was talking to once again the ghost box said, “William”. John asked why the ghost was in the firehouse. The answer was, “blaze”. When John requested to know how many presences were around him, Chris and Brian the response was the somewhat inconclusive word, “ghosts”. Was William trying to say something along the lines of many ghosts?

Aimee’s research turned up the fact that the Model T fire engine vibrated so severely when running in idle it was known to release the parking brake. Zaffis and his team considered the runaway Model T engine debunked.

Chris and Brian noticed a picture on one of the walls that honored the memory of late fire fighter, William A. DeLong. William died in 1949 when in the process of responding to a fire call he crashed into a first aid truck. Was this the William who spoke to the team through the ghost box? I believe so as he had quite a bit more to say.

The nighttime investigation started with John and Beth who attempted an EVP session around the Model T engine. They got nothing and when John asked Beth if she sensed any activity going on around them she said no. It was interesting to me how the show left the question of Beth’s possible psychic sensitivities unanswered. Most of the time they pretend she doesn’t have any until she is asked a direct question that assumes she does. Why sit on the fence about this? Are they afraid of losing credibility by admitting they have a sensitive on the team? If so, they should have never mentioned she had any ability to pick up energy or vibes and let her pass as an everyday Muggle.

In the Captain’s Office Brian and Chris tried to reestablish contact with William via the ghost box but were frustrated by sounds outside the station house. Chris suddenly noticed that the door to the book cabinet was open and asked Brian, “Was that open before?” Brian was almost positive the door to the book cabinet had been closed earlier and noted neither man had heard any noise that might accompany an old book cabinet door as it opened. It was wide open at that point and the old call ledgers were easily seen. Brian speculated that perhaps one of the heavy books had shifted inside the case and pushed open the cabinet door. It would have been interesting to know if the door was heavy enough to swing open once unlatched.

Brian tried his Natural Tri-Meter on the ledgers but didn’t get any sort of reading off them. Chris was rummaging around in the book cabinet and noticed something had become stuck behind the ledgers. He fished out a woman’s brooch decorated with flowers. The brooch did set off the Tri-Meter. Once the brooch was removed the readings ceased.

John took the ladies brooch to jewelry expert Dwayne Hinsler. Dwayne identified it as a Victorian mourning brooch and explained the decorative flowers were fashioned out of human hair.

As Chris and Brian were checking out the book cabinet William’s ghost clearly told me that he wanted the brooch to go to his granddaughter whom he told me lives in the Pueblo area.

John showed Gary the brooch. Gary had never seen it before and was puzzled that the door to the book cabinet had opened as it had been locked for a number of years. Gary asked John to remove the brooch and John happily added it to his collection.

That was not an acceptable ending from William DeLong’s point of view. He wanted that brooch to go to a granddaughter.

One practice John used in adding his latest acquisitions to his museum puzzled me. He placed both the poison bottle fragments and the ladies mourning brooch under glass domes with the explanation the glass would contain the presumably haunted energies in the objects. I have never found any physical material effective in containing energies or entities attached to an object. There is no lead cure for kryptonite in the paranormal world as I have experienced it to date.

Perhaps removing the objects from the locations where they might have picked up haunted energies might help dissipate the paranormal activities of the objects but I doubt it would cleanse the objects completely.

There are a number of schools of thought on how to energetically cleanse physical objects. Some of them even work. Personally I just ask Archangel Michael to blast an energetically contaminated object with Divine /God source cleansing light and that has worked so far.

I have a catch-all cabinet that came out of a home where transients had broken in and set up a satanic altar. It was in the same room as that garbage was going on. I had my guides blast it thoroughly with divine cleansing light and never had a problem with it since. Prior to the Divine light cleansing it only made me feel uncomfortable because I had walked into the room with the altar and was not too thrilled when the person with me who had grown up in the house decided to take it back. It turned out to be a good lesson in how to handle such objects so that they become everyday things again, rather than the focus of fears.

A quick check in an online phone directly showed five listings for DeLong’s in Pueblo. Two of them were women’s names. Of course the desired female could have married and go under a different name these days. I hope John Zaffis will consider honoring William DeLong’s wishes.



I can be reached for private readings via email at:

© 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.

Posted in Haunted Collector | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Haunted Collector Premiere

John Zaffis and his home-grown team launched an entertaining new paranormal series based on the Demonologist’s personal museum of haunted objects. The goal was to help people whose buildings were troubled by paranormal activity by identifying and removing haunted objects. As John explained, “I found sometimes spirits attach themselves to objects making life a living hell.”

The show was a family affair with John heading the team, his son Chris as one of his investigators and daughter Aimee as the group’s historic researcher. The team was completed by tech guru Brian and somewhat sensitive but not psychic Beth.

Their first client was Jill Wilder of Lake Charles, Louisiana whose long paranormally active childhood home and current rental property couldn’t hold tenants for long. Out of six tenants four had moved out due to disruptive paranormal activity that ranged from footsteps and cold spots to disembodied voices and cupboard doors that slammed themselves.

At age five, Jill had seen the apparition of a lady in an old-fashioned black dress that stood in the closet of her childhood bedroom.

One early suspected object was a post-World-War II plastic doll that had belonged to Jill’s mother, but nothing came of it.

Jill told John the wood in the walls of the house had come from a church, which he found promising enough to send Aimee to research the structure that had provided the wood. It turned out the donor building had been a temporary meeting hall rather than an established church. This finding discounted the building materials as likely culprits in John’s mind.

John pointed out paranormal activity can happen any time, not just at night, so his team’s first step was to do a daytime sweep of the home to see what came up and to establish equipment baselines for the night-time investigation. Team members started on opposite ends of the house to avoid contaminating each other’s results and used EMF detectors to note man-made sources of EMF’s such as electrical sockets, fixtures or appliances.

Beth and John checked out the kitchen where Beth found an old ceramic clown shaped cookie jar disturbing. She focused on the clown jar for her first EVP session. One of the questions she asked any possible nearby spirits was, “Do you want the tenants to leave?” Immediately I heard the voice of a young boy respond, “Yes” with a lot of vehement emotion.

My psychic impression was backed up by an EVP capture in response to Beth’s question that clearly said, “Yes”.

I saw the ghost of the little boy as about eight-years-old with somewhat shaggy dark hair. He was wearing pants, long-sleeved shirt and old-style suspenders that crossed in the back. I asked him why he wanted Jill’s tenants gone. He told me, “Their noise disturbs me.” When I asked why the noise of daily life bothered him his appearance changed dramatically. He had been beaten to death by a piece of wood that looked a lot like a section of 2×4. His head was a bloody, pulpy mess. When I asked him who had killed him, he told me the Uncle he had lived with had beaten him to death for stealing food.

The boy told me his name was Kenneth, which threw me for a loop as that is a name in my family. I doubled checked with my guides to make sure my subconscious wasn’t supplying me with a familiar name but they said that wasn’t the case.

Kenneth’s ghost did look spindly and underfed. He told me he was often hungry. I asked him when he died and he answered, “Before the war.” Based on this clothing I would say he likely died in the 1930’s. The year 1938 jumped out at me.

I got a psychic visual of Kenneth’s ghost banging the built-in cupboard doors in rage over his murder for something as minor as taking food.

I asked Kenneth’s ghost if he would consider moving on to the other side. At first he wasn’t having it as he told me, “No!” I asked why not. He said, “I am so angry! I was only hungry….boys get hungry.”

I asked Kenneth if there was someone he had known in life he would like to see again on the other side. He said he had a little sister he had been fond of. I asked my guides to get involved and help this poor soul head home. However it wasn’t Archangel Michael who did the honors. Instead Kenneth’s young father was brought from the other side to take him home. I was allowed to see his three-year-old little sister waiting for both of them as they headed for heaven. Kenneth’s mother was on the other side but oddly removed at a great distance from her reunited family. The last I saw of him his father was holding one hand, his little sister the other as they walked beyond the point I was allowed to see.

Phase two was the team’s nighttime investigation of Jill’s home. John and Beth started out by sweeping the dining room with a thermal imaging camera. Meanwhile Chris held an EVP session in one of the bedrooms.

Beth noted some strangely shifting heat patterns on the old clown cookie jar. John determined the glazed surface of the jar was reflecting their body heat back at them. The hot water heater and washing machine in the kitchen both lit up the thermal camera and the EMF meter.

Something interesting showed up in the form of a large blue cold spot on the thermal camera. The cause was not apparent on the kitchen floor, so John sent Brian under the house to look for metal pipes or possible heating/air ducts.

At first Brian only found wooden support beams and a thin metal pipe that was too small to account for the large cold spot. He started scanning the area with a metal detector that went crazy over an innocent looking patch of dirt under the house. Brian dug down and found what seemed to be an old leather-covered box buried in that spot.

Brian brought the box out to John who opened it to find it full of dirt which shortly gave way to an old mud encrusted gun.

John took the gun to Lee Perkins a former Marine with 27 years of service under his belt and involved in the Lake Charles Gun Club. After rubbing off most of the mud, Lee determined the gun was an English-made Welby & Scott Mark II service weapon that dated from the 1940’s or 1950’s. He was even able to determine the model number. Once I heard it was a Mark II my ears perked up as I knew those were commonly used Allied service weapons in World War II. Lee confirmed the Mark II was predominantly used by military and law enforcement.

It was impossible to tell how the gun had gotten under Jill’s house, although I agreed with Lee’s guess that it could have been a homicide weapon. I checked with Kenneth’s ghost, and the gun had nothing to do with his death. Lee also pointed out the extreme weather including floods that Louisiana was subject to could have washed the weapon under the house with Jill’s family being none the wiser.

Brian said the size of the gun correlated to the cold blue spot picked up by the thermal in the kitchen.

John showed Jill the gun and asked her if she knew anything about it. This was where things stopped adding up for me. I was certain Jill recognized the gun. I had a distinct impression she was thinking to herself something along the lines of, “Oh no, they found it…” However Jill told John she had no idea where the gun had come from and that, “I’m kind of shocked right now.”

John speculated the gun might have been used in a local 1961 bank robbery that had left one person dead. Jill continued to reel from the sight of the gun and asked John to take the gun with him and add it to his museum. John did so and promised to follow-up several months later to see if the paranormal activity in the home had quieted down. Frustratingly there was no further follow-up mentioned in the episode. Perhaps the status of Jill’s house will be addressed in a future episode?

The second location team Zaffis explored was the Deep River Public Library in Deep River Connecticut. Client Anne Paitta sent the team a video in which she told them the paranormal activity in the library was so extreme that some local children were afraid to enter the building.

As the Zaffis team introduced themselves my first impression were of the ghosts of a grown man and a woman. I got that the man built the house and the woman was his wife. I didn’t pick up on the spirits of their children until later in the investigation.

Anne told John’s team that a female figure in a long dress was frequently spotted walking down the stairs from the second floor. That was pretty fast confirmation for the female ghost I had just sensed. Anne explained that frequently, “You can feel something whisping by.”

Originally built as a private residence by Richard Spencer in 1881, the structure housed Richard, his second wife Julia and their three children. (I picked up two girls and a boy but the gender of the Spencer children was not mentioned on the show. The boy would have been the middle child.)

John noted there was a stove built into the wall of the home’s original kitchen. Anne said it was original to the house. John’s curiosity was engaged when he observed the Fuller & Warren stove was built very low and was probably a custom job.

The moment John mentioned this I saw a grown woman in an early wheelchair reminiscent of the ones FDR was sometimes photographed in during his first term as President in the 1930’s. It’s most interesting feature was wooden wheels. It had a leather seat. Aimee’s research on the Spencer family revealed that Richard’s wife Julia had become disabled later in life. At that point Richard had died and their three grown children had moved away from the area. The stove was installed so Julia could live in the home by herself despite her disability. I think she spent many of her later years in the kitchen both to cook and enjoy the warmth from the stove.

Anne took the team into the pantry off the kitchen where she said disembodied voices routinely chattered. In the attic she reported odd noises, shadows and the bell of an old manual Royal typewriter that routinely rang by itself.

John took a closer look at the typewriter and noticed it was model number 10. He was skeptical the typewriter carriage return triggered the bell under its own power.

The basement of the library was solid brick and had a muffled feel to it. It had a side room that was empty except for two concrete blocks evenly spaced in the middle of the floor. During the days the Spencer’s lived there that room was used as cold storage for meat. The atmosphere of the meat room gave Beth the creeps.

Both the day and night investigations failed to turn up much evidence of paranormal activity. There were two exceptions. The most notable one was the old Royal typewriter that sent the EMF meter into squealing overdrive. This didn’t make any sense as manual typewriters don’t HAVE any electric parts or even use electricity. (I learned to type on a manual Royal and knew this to be true.)

The second paranormal event was a personal experience that Beth had investigating the basement with John during the night. They were doing an EVP session when Beth asked, “Are you a member of the Spencer family?” Nothing was recorded but Beth freaked out when she felt somebody repeatedly tapping her big toe.

I saw the ghost of a young boy tapping Beth’s tennis shoe. I asked him why and he told me, “I like her shoes.” He appeared to be around seven-years-old. He told me he was named after his father. I am not sure why he chose to appear at that age in his childhood home as Aimee’s research had found all three Spencer children reached adulthood and moved away. I wondered if Julia Spencer miscarried or had a stillborn child that wouldn’t have shown up in the historical record because this little boy felt like he died young. He probably never saw age seven. Perhaps he wasn’t a Spencer, but the child of a family who lived in the house after Julia Spencer’s death? Of course spirits can and do choose to show up at different ages all the time for their own reasons. Whomever he was this little boy ghost was an intensely curious spirit. He did not mean Beth any harm, but she didn’t seem to be aware of him or his benign intent.

With no additional evidence, John reasonably focused on the old Royal typewriter. He took it to expert Joanne Lockwood who told him the model 10 broke new ground in typewriter technology as it was the first unit to have a shift key which triggered the carriage return and thus the bell Anne reported ringing all by its lonesome up in the attic. Joanne told John the model 10 he brought from the library came out in 1914. It was an expensive machine that cost around $125 which in modern currency worked out to about $2,000.

With this information in hand, John developed a working theory that the manual Royal probably had belonged to Julia Spencer who had lived in the home alone by 1914. John recalled she had three grown children who lived out of the area and reasonably speculated that Julia used the typewriter to correspond with her adult children. My guides chimed in at this point and told me that John was right and mentioned that Julia also wrote several unpublished manuscripts on the same machine as time weighed on her heavily.

Anne requested John remove the typewriter and add it to his personal museum. He did so and checked back with Anne two months later. At that time Anne reported activity seemed to have calmed down at the library. Mission accomplished.



Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at:

© 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved

Posted in Haunted Collector

Waverly Hills Investigation 2010

Investigating Waverly Hills in May 2009 and May 2010 were vastly different experiences. I was part of the first nights group. As you can imagine, excitement was at a fever pitch among participants because the Ghost Adventures Crew was not only present but also had split up so each group got an hour to investigate with Zak, Nick and Aaron respectively.

My first hour of investigation was with Shannon Sylvia, a psychic medium I had met for the first time at the 2010 event. We started on the fourth floor that had a lot of small patient isolation rooms. Author Jeff Belanger was also with this group. A factual story was told about a local homeless man who was known to have squatted at Waverly about 15 years ago when it was an unattended, abandoned building. He and his dog were known for walking the halls together. One day he was found dead in an elevator. Of course, this story was told directly in front of the elevator involved. (Today the elevators at Waverly are welded shut to prevent tragedies.)

Immediately I saw the old man dead in the elevator. He was curled up and the dead body of his dog had been thrown in after him. His ghost told me that his dog had been with him and dying in that elevator wasn’t his idea. He was murdered. Jeff Belanger, who does all the location research for “Ghost Adventures” was able to confirm that the old man was found with his do, and both had been murdered. Not surprisingly the old man was mad as hell at being killed. It wasn’t an easy or neat death.

I was fortunate to investigate with Mike and Rhonda Schienle. Rhonda is the founder and President of Indiana Paranormal Investigations Inc. Rhonda is also a medium in her own right. Mike is her sword carrier and tech guru.

 Running around an event that some treated more like a party than an investigation and conference, I was happy to be hanging out with an old married couple. It was also great to be able to bounce my psychic impressions around with another medium. I appreciated they had solid investigation protocols.

Up on the fourth floor, Rhonda, Mike and I broke off from the main group after a while. I encountered Molly, the ghost of a young TB victim I first met at Waverly Hills in 2009. Sadly she was weaker than when I had first seen her. She was tucked into bed this time. I asked her if she was strong enough to get out of bed and move a plastic ball around for us. (She had on a previous visit.) Molly was game but told me she didn’t dare leave her bed because if she did Matron would be upset with her.

Just outside Molly’s room, I saw a group of student nurses chatting and smoking. Based on their tea length uniform dresses, full starched caps and distinctive cloaks they dated from the 1930’s into the early 1940’s. For some reason the year 1942 stood out for me.

I walked up to them and tried to engage them in conversation but they scattered telling me that my presence would alert Matron to the fact they were standing around and smoking. They didn’t want to get caught so left the area. The Matron on duty that night must have had a formidable personality!

Rhonda and I both picked up on the ghost of a young father named Daniel. He was terribly sad. After he was diagnosed with TB, Daniel had been forced to leave his son, a blond charmer who was “Just twoooo” years old at the time. Rhonda heard Daniel’s comment several times via her medium skills. Daniel showed me his darling little boy. I don’t think he saw his son again.

 At one point the three of us walked into a storage room. Adhesive from removed labels still showed on empty shelves. Matron herself finally showed up. Her ghost appeared as middle-aged with short gray hair, dressed fairly similarly to the student nurses. She told me the higher, taller cupboards stored blankets and pillows. She commented bitterly that they didn’t stay on the shelves for long, as there were so many patients, always too many sick coming into Waverly. The medical staff frequently struggled to keep up.

Sometimes when she needed a break, Matron would go into the storage room, especially in winter as it featured a huge, long hot water heater. She would warm herself up for a few minutes, staring outside the window of the room, onto a bleak, snow-covered scene. She allowed me to view the scene through her eyes. One of Waverly’s remaining gargoyles outside of the building had a cap of snow on it. I had a strong sense of her intense feelings of exhaustion and depression. For some reason I saw a lot more of the Waverly medical staff this trip than I had in 2009.

Our second hour was spent doing a group EVP with Zak on the third floor. Zak told us about his experiences in an operating suite. Something had touched his hand. He shared a clear EVP telling him to “Get back”. I looked into it and saw that Zak had walked into a past operation. The surgeon was the ghost who told Zak to “Get back”, as in out of the room to avoid contaminating his surgical field with germs. I would call this particular encounter both a residual and an intelligent haunting. The surgeon reacted to what he saw as Zak’s intrusion, but from the surgeon’s perspective he was still in his own era in the middle of a procedure.

I had spent part of the previous hour in the same surgical suite Zak had his experiences in. In fact I was standing about a foot behind a taped X where GAC had experienced some activity. I was just a few feet away when Chris from T.S.P.; was scratched by a ghost on the back of his neck. The scratch drew little blood but raised a significant four-inch welt on his neck. Chris had not been doing any hostile or aggressive provoking. Instead of being scared, Chris got mad telling the ghost of the man who scratched him; “I don’t like being scratched like that. That’s not cool. Only wimps scratch!” Interestingly the angry man who scratched Chris looked exactly like the murdered homeless man I had seen in the elevator. He was striding around the room, highly agitated, but without his dog this time. I don’t know why he scratched Chris, but I do think he was responsible.

When the change signal came, Fr. Andrew Calder came into the room and offered to bless Chris and anyone else who had been present at the time of the scratch. Chris, myself and perhaps half a dozen other people took Fr. Calder up on his offer. I was surprised at how few people accepted the blessing. Personally, I will take whatever grace comes my way.

For our group EVP Zak had the paying public stand in doorways along the third floor while he handled provocation, inviting the ghosts to use all his energy if needed to create an EVP. He had those of us with video cameras set them on the floor, pointing into the hallway. I cannot speak to anyone else’s experience but my handy cam got zilch.

 Zak was luckier. I took some video of him reviewing the results of the EVP he got during my group EVP session. As we have seen on TV, ghosts tend to remember the GAC guys. Zak got several EVP’s. The first one said, “Zak go away”. The second said, “Hate you”. It was pretty cool to be in a group with Zak that got some measurable results.

While Zak was provoking on the third floor, I amused myself by looking into the community social room across the hall. It was full of the ghosts of patients past. Most memorable were the ghosts of twin brothers named David and Derrick. They got TB at the same time and were confined to Waverly. I would say they were around 21 or 22 years old. These guys were class clowns! They flirted, cracked jokes, bantered and more. Before they got too sick they did everything they could think of to cheer up other patients. The young girls especially adored them. David told me Derrick died of TB a week before he did. Derrick was so wasted and gaunt I wouldn’t have recognized him if David hadn’t shown me his twin’s death.

 My third hour was spent with Mark and Debby Constantino and Nick Groff in Waverly’s autopsy room/morgue on the first floor. Nick said his previous group had seen some shadow figures in the hall and experienced some tapping coming from the welded elevator doors that served the autopsy room. Not surprisingly I saw some graphic carnage going on in the autopsy room. I will skip the details.

As usual, Mark and Debby got some good EVP’s. Debby asked the spirits around us if they considered themselves ghosts or spirits. Psychically I heard the response as, “Ghosts”. A few minutes later the Constantino’s EVP backed me up with a disembodied voice saying that they considered themselves “Ghosts”. Although they didn’t get an EVP backing this up when Debby asked the ghosts around us if they were buried on Waverly property I heard “Yes” in response.

Nick certainly tried to get some sort of EVP response but as all ghost hunters know sometimes you don’t get anything.

I chose to spend my fourth hour talking to Fr. Calder in the “lobby” AKA the old Waverly laundry room.

After the official hunting hours were past, those who wanted to were given another hour and a half to roam Waverly. Rhonda and I made full use of the extra time left to our own devices. Rhonda and I went back to the fourth floor surgical suite. Another group was already there and not particularly polite in slamming the door on our backs as we left the room. I couldn’t pick much up due to the hostile energy of our “fellow investigators”. I have no idea who was or wasn’t in the room, but I would like to note that civility goes a long ways in ghost hunting, especially at an event like this one that was overcrowded the whole time.

Rhonda and I headed up to the small fifth floor where Chris and T.S.P. were working with a K2 meter, a DVR and a green laser net. Unfortunately they didn’t record any results while I was there, but I saw and heard ghostly responses to Chris’s questions. He was trying to interact with the ghost of a little boy. He offered to leave the boy ghost some pocket change so he could buy candy with it. The ghost boy turned to me and said, “I can’t use money here, I am IN THE HOSPITAL.” His response was complete with a classic six or seven-year old child’s scorn for such obtuse adults. However ghost boy did tell me his favorite candy had been cherry lollipops. Chris ran with my suggestion about cherry candy but got nothing. True to his word Chris left his pocket change on the floor when we all left the area. I was impressed with his professional practices and the fact he kept his word to the ghost boy.

I did see a number children and young teens using the area T.S.P. had covered with a laser net. The boy who liked cherry candy was quite clear as was a girl reading a book while seated in a wheelchair in the far right corner of the room. I asked her what she was reading and got a flash of the cover of one of L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” books with the explanation that it “was like that but not that book”. So not sure what she was reading other than the fact it was a girls fiction book that was published by 1908 or later. Based on her white dress and black lace up boots I would have placed the girl in the wheelchair about 1910. So I suppose her book reference was to let me know I was in the right era. Ghosts are frequently incredibly creative if you pay attention. This ghost girl reached right into my mind and referenced a title I could nearly recite, having been a HUGE L.M. Montgomery fan as a child. Chris Fleming was absolutely right in his talk at this event, as he cautioned ghost hunters to mind their thoughts because the ghosts know what living breathing investigators think. That ghost girl was several hundred feet and a solid century away from me, but knew exactly how to tell me what she wanted me to know.

Next Rhonda and I poked around the fifth floor some more. One of the nurses who committed suicide in the infamous room 502 connected with Rhonda earlier in the investigation, in fact on the third floor. She told Rhonda her name was Mary. (Rhonda got this factually confirmed the next morning!) Room 502 leads into a communal bathroom. I felt drawn by Mary into the bathroom where a young intern doctor got my attention. My first impression is that Mary got pregnant one of the two showers by this young intern doctor. He was wracked by guilt over her pregnancy and subsequent suicide. Their relationship started innocently enough, a man and woman in a brutally tough working situation, surrounded by death seeking to comfort each other.

 The young intern’s family would not have accepted Mary as wife material for the son they had such high hopes for. He told me he didn’t know about Mary’s pregnancy. She hid it until she was about halfway through her second trimester when she was too big to hide the bulge any more. Her career was over, she didn’t have a husband and she was terrified of the judgment she would have been subjected to once her secret became public knowledge. I don’t think the young intern died of TB. I think he moved on to other hospitals and a private practice. Guilt holds him to Waverly as a ghost.

Both Rhonda and I tried to suggest that forgiveness was available at this late date for both of them. They weren’t ready to hear it. However Rhonda felt Mary’s distress deeply. At her suggestion we said the Lord’s Prayer aloud and Rhonda felt it helped comfort Mary’s ghost. I believed her, but I was more tuned into the energy of Mary’s guilty lover.

As we headed downstairs around 3:30 am, we saw an old 1930’s era truck parked inside the lobby of the first floor. It was sheer fluke our flashlights picked up on it at all. We took a few minutes to admire it. I got the impression it was a working truck used by Waverly to transport the unclaimed bodies of TB victims to mass graves on the property. I would love to know if current Waverly staff could confirm or deny that impression.

The second night group was shorted an hour and a half of investigative time. The death tunnel was not included in the hourly rotations of investigating groups. Event staff had been placed in the death tunnel for those who wanted to go there, but in order to do so, participants had to decide which “Ghost Adventures” member to miss investigating with. I doubt many people opted out of investigating with GAC in favor of heading to the death tunnel.

The other major differences were the ghost’s attitudes. In 2009 most ghosts were sad, due to the circumstances of being at Waverly, but by and large friendly and not prone to nasty comments. In 2010 the angry, negative ghosts were considerably more prominent. There were the EVP’s Zak got saying, “Zak, go way” and shortly thereafter, “Hate you” to Zak.

The group who investigated with Chris Fleming on the second night ran into some trouble with his Spirit Box as the ghosts got abusive (Same Spirit Box used in Ghost Adventures Halloween Special.) A female investigator was interacting with a male ghost. The female investigator asked, “Can you touch one of us?” The male ghosts, hostile reply was, “I want to slap you bitch.” Undaunted she then said, “Fine…pull my hair.” The reply was “Pull your own damn hair.” Chris Fleming then shut down the Spirit Box. There was little communication with his group after that.

Chris of T.S.P. was scratched the first night and the second night investigator Jason Fitch was badly scratched on his forearm. I was leaving for the airport about the time the second night of investigators straggled back to the hotel. Jason had a vivid, three-line scratch down most of his right forearm. It looked like he had gotten into a fight with a cat and lost. He said it bled at the time. Seeing the scratches just a few hours later, I suspect they bled rather heavily. I had a chance to chat with Jason several times before he got scratched and can confirm he did not arrive at Waverly with those scratches. Jason is a God-fearing man who isn’t afraid to proclaim his faith. I wonder if that made him a more noticeable target for the malicious ghost(s) that attacked him?

Not all the ghosts were negative. I had the ghosts of two darling toddlers’ tug at my right pant leg. I looked down and a little boy was the one doing the tugging, closely flanked by a little girl about the same age. They asked me to help them. I told them short of requesting divine assistance to help them on to heaven I really couldn’t do a lot for them. They were not interested in moving on and wandered away. I wasn’t frightened; the light tug was completely in character with a young child trying to get the attention of an adult.

Another startling event happened when Mark and Debby Constantino were investigating the second night. They had a heavy door slam loudly with a lot of force and the EVP caught at the time was the ghost of a surgeon telling the group to get out of his OR. There was no source of breeze in the area, but the group HAD been asking for the ghosts to make a noise. They did, with a vengeance, but as a true professional Debby thanked them. The ghosts in the morgue remembered previous investigators. Among them was Violet, the not quite dead young woman I saw on an autopsy table in 2009 when investigating with Chris Fleming. Chris got some good EVP’s backing up Violet’s story you can find on YouTube if desired.

One dynamic I thought about considerably after this investigation was the hostile and abusive change in attitude among many of the ghosts and spirits present at Waverly Hills in one short year. What intentions and provoking practices were in play that brought the more negative elements to the forefront of investigators experiences? It was a pointed reminder that intention is everything in the paranormal field.

Lynne can be contacted directly for private readings via email at:

(C) 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.

Posted in Lynne's Investigations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ghost Adventures: Yorktown Hospital

“Ghost Adventures” tangled with the ghosts of a murderer, nuns and former patients of the Yorktown Memorial Hospital in Yorktown, Texas.  Founded and built in 1950 by the Roman Catholic order of the Felician Sisters, it functioned in the remote oil town until 1988. After closing the facility operated as a drug rehabilitation center. Today it stands empty and abandoned under private ownership.

Zak was jazzed by reports of both good and evil spirits in residence. He especially hoped to encounter rumored demons as he explained, “When there’s demons, we’re there.”  He was destined to be disappointed. I didn’t see or feel a single demon in the entire episode.

As GAC wandered around the shabby sun-scorched grounds in an attempt to find the caretaker, Zak was startled by a lone donkey that meandered up to the crew with mild curiosity. Zak found a faded trailer and knocked on the door. Caretaker Mike Henson answered.

Mike said his job not only included living on site, but window and roof repairs as needed. He told Zak about the determined nuns who bought the land, built the hospital and largely staffed it.

Zak interviewed former Yorktown internist, Dr. Gordon Barth, M.D. Dr. Barth had actually been born in the hospital on July 4, 1953. When asked by Zak to estimate how many deaths might have taken place at Yorktown Dr. Barth estimated at some points fifty deaths a year. Zak extrapolated from that number and figured Yorktown Hospital had likely seen at least 2,000 deaths over its nearly 40-year history.

Dr. Barth talked about how one death of a young female student in the 1980’s had stuck with him. She had come to the hospital and died in the ER of no apparent medical cause.  I asked the spirit of the girl who died why she had expired. The only answer I got was, “I was just so tired.” My guides told me there were undiagnosed cardiac implications involved her death.  At that age I wondered if an eating disorder was in play.

Zak asked caretaker Mike if he believed in ghosts. Mike did and cited numerous aggressive attacks of past investigators who had been slapped, kicked or punched by unseen forces inside the hospital.  This intrigued Zak who asked Mike for pointers, “How do we go in there and get beat up?”

Dr. Barth didn’t believe in ghosts but shared a personal experience with the shade of a former Yorktown doctor. One night Dr. Barth napped on the couch in the first floor doctor’s lounge.  He woke up and saw the silhouette of a fellow doctor who had worked at the hospital prior to his then recent death at home.  Dr. Barth got up to go check on a patient and the outline of his dead college disappeared.

Mother and daughter investigators Susan and Cassidy Wallner told Zak about their basement experiences with a ghost called “Doug”. Cassidy looked to be about 14, her mother 40-something. Susan told Zak she and Cassidy had seen the shadow of a very large man appear at the crossing of four basement hallways.

I had a brief chat with Doug’s ghost. I saw him as a heavy-set Caucasian man with dark hair and matching stubble. He wandered the basement hallways in a modern style knee-length hospital gown that wasn’t quite big enough to close in the back. He limped badly and I saw he suffered from a bad diabetic ulcer on his right leg. It was bandaged up, but refused to heal.  “Douglas” as he insisted on being called was also mentally ill. His ghost told me he went to the hospital because of “my bad leg”. At one point he had lived in a trailer with his mother who eventually tossed him out because he talked non-stop night and day. Douglas explained to me, “My head didn’t work right.” He elaborated, “I would hear things…. See things.” I asked him if he still did. He shrugged and said, “Sometimes”. I suspected in ghost form he was dimly aware of other spirits around him. 

What he wasn’t aware of, was he was dead. He seemed mildly surprised when I informed him. I asked why he didn’t move on. He told me he had, “No place to go.” I suggested heaven but he didn’t really know how to get there.  With prompting from my guides I told Douglas Jesus would show him the way to heaven. His response was, “Where are my pants?” I asked him why he needed his pants to go to heaven. His ghost replied, “So I can go meet Jesus.” He thought about this for a moment and sadly told me, “But I haven’t seen him here.” Once again I called in my guides for help and the big guy himself showed up to walk Douglas to heaven. I saw both figures walk down a long basement hallway that turned into a light filled portal to the other side. Douglas changed as they walked into the light. He became a younger, slimmer version of himself with a shy smile as he turned and gave me a little wave before he moved beyond the point I was allowed to see. Unlike so many seriously mentally ill people Douglas was mostly lost, not aggressive or afraid. He essentially drifted through both life and death.

Mike showed Zak a rusted sign outside the ER that told patients to ring a bell for help as the nuns shut down the ER at 10 pm each night. However one sister was always up all night to listen for the bell. In a sad case the buddies of a heroin addict dumped him at the ER and didn’t ring the bell for help. Reportedly the addict quietly overdosed on the floor and his body was found the next day when the ER opened.  I don’t know the facts of the case, but my first impression was that the addict was already dead when he arrived at the ER. His so-called friends used the ER as a dump site. I suppose it was better than the alternative, that the dead man’s family and friends never knew his fate.

Mike showed GAC bloodstains on a basement wall where a triple stabbing and double homicide had taken place. The story was a woman had gotten involved with two male patients. The day of the murders she was talking to one of the men when the second guy rushed through a nearby doorway, fatally stabbed the woman and then turned the knife on his competition. Both victims died.

During walk through a local school bus had stopped to drop off students. A young female student called out to Zak from a window, “I see you on TV.” She then told Zak, “You’re hot.” Zak felt it was an awkward moment and started to spout parental advice such as, “…Do your homework.”

Mike sent Zak to the door of Brystal Schultz, a friend that lived nearby. Brystal recounted the time she had been scratched on her arm by an unseen presence. At first she wasn’t sure what happened, but felt a strange burning sensation. When she left the building and checked her arm under light she found painful red welts.  Frequently she felt someone else was around when she and Mike hung out inside the hospital building. When Zak asked about the stories of people in the nun’s lounge getting choked by ghostly presences, Brystal told him it happened a lot, especially to women with tattoos. Mike believed the ghosts of former nuns were responsible for the choking incidents which took place in the old nun’s lounge on the top floor. Brystal pointed out to Zak that, “Back in the day there were no men allowed there.”

During his interview with Dr. Barth, Zak asked about the kinds of injuries Yorktown Hospital would have seen from oil rig accidents. GAC attempted to get a better idea of what such injuries involved when they drove up to an oil drill and started rolling cameras. That didn’t last long as security guard Rosendo Velo advised them they couldn’t be there. Zak started to chat with Rosendo who proved to be a font of information. Rosendo was familiar with Yorktown Hospital. He had gotten his first stitches there from Dr. Barth. In addition Rosendo’s uncle Remaldo had died at the hospital. His nephew was convinced Remaldo was one of the ghosts in the hospital. My guides quietly disagreed and told me Remaldo Velo had long since moved on.

Mike locked GAC down as Zak emphasized his desire to provoke the ghosts of the nuns who disapproved of tattoos.  GAC set up their gear and started the investigation in the blood spattered basement where the double stabbing murders occurred.  Zak’s lung troubles seemed to be an ongoing challenge as he wore a heavy-duty respirator and even Nick had a basic face mask on.

Zak was wearing a non-infrared “point of view” ( P.O.V.) camera which allowed viewers to see he worked in pitch blackness. Zak used a temperature equipped MEL meter, a static camera on a steady tripod and placed two digital recorders in the hallway. At this point I saw Douglas’s ghost walk up to the camera on the tripod and started to tap it as he asked, “What is this thing?”

Just to be clear that GAC was at the spot of a sordid murder, Zak used a black light to illuminate the blood stains on the basement wall. He asked any ghosts in the area “Tell us how you died.” He followed up with similar questions, “Why did you come to this hospital?” “What happened to you?”   Zak was abruptly surrounded by ghosts in hospital gowns eager to answer his questions. At that point both Aaron and Zak experienced chills. Their bodies were registering the ghosts although the cameras were not.  

As Zak talked his MEL meter signaled a shift in magnetic energy fields around GAC. At the same moment Zak’s EVP picked up a female voice that asked, “… you wanna play?” I saw the ghost as a young teen, not a child. She was gaunt and had quite a bit of confusion. She had mentally regressed to a younger age. My best guess was she might have been a cancer patient. I have seen that happen when chemo reaches toxic levels.

Next Zak saw something move in front of him. A grainy static IR camera shot captured a partial apparition that was more distinct around the feet than upper body.

Since GAC was focused on the location of the stabbing murders it wasn’t surprising they captured an indistinct EVP of a woman moaning. That corresponded to how I saw the wounded woman huddled against the wall. She didn’t die right away but was in terrible pain. I agreed with Zak that it was the female victim of the stabbings who created the EVP that said, “…it must be told.”

It was drool time as GAC headed up to the second floor of the hospital chapel that contained the nun’s lounge where most choking attacks were reported.  Zak took off a coat, a hoodie and finally his t-shirt as he exposed the tattoos on his arms and the center of his upper back. The most eye-catching tattoo was of a skull faced, winged demon of death Zak had experienced at Poveglia Island off of Venice in Italy. I have had my fair share of interaction with the angel of death that I have seen as Archangel Ariel. The only thing the tattoo got right was the black wings and even then they were more bat-like than the sleek black feathers I had seen Ariel sport. Granted Zak was talking demons, I was talking Archangels… different players, different teams. I was disturbed by the energetic implications of the death demon tattoo. Not wise to embed a demonic image over the back of the heart chakra. I think the tattoo was fairly new as I don’t recall Zak had it at the Waverly Hills Charity t-shirt auction May of 2010.

Regardless of what Zak’s bare torso might have been doing for his female fans, the ghosts of the nuns around him in the lounge were not impressed. Zak was working with a PX Box and the first word it spit out was, “soul”. The intention I felt behind that word was disapproving concern that Zak’s soul might be in danger.  An EVP was then captured that seemed to comment on Zak’s tattoos. It said, “…it’s sick” in reference to the demon of death image.  On a roll Zak asked, “What are you going to do to me?” The response was, “…suffer…”

Although the lounge was filled with the ghosts of former nuns who ran the hospital the only one I saw speak to Zak was the Matron or Mother Superior whom I think filled both roles. She was NOT happy with Zak and his choice in tattoos. She fumed, “How DARE he brings demons into this sacred space?” She further told GAC, “Men are not allowed. The doctor’s lounge is downstairs.” I wish those comments had been recorded!  The other ghostly sisters stood along the walls with their eyes averted from Zak’s display, their gazes firmly anchored to the floor. The middle-aged Matron nun was on the narrow-minded side, but from her perspective Zak was a disrespectful and misguided young man who had invaded her private space where men were not allowed, let alone half clothed.

 I was familiar with such restrictions and codes of conduct as I attended an all-girls Catholic high school owned and run by nuns. Unlike the sisters who educated me the ghosts of the nuns in the lounge at Yorktown Hospital were in full habit. That surprised me as most religious modified their attire after 1965 when Vatican II reforms went into effect. It was likely full habit was worn the first 15 years of the hospitals operation.  

As Zak started to re-dress the PX box kicked in again. Two words separated by pauses were, “…listen…” then, “…think…” Zak asked, “Think about what?”  GAC got nothing for five minutes and then an EVP response came through as, “…Jesus…” I think for all her disapproval the ghost of the Matron nun was trying to give Zak some helpful advice.

Next up was an EVP burst session in the nun’s quarters.  Still bent on bodily harm, Zak challenged the ghosts of any nuns around him, “Do you want to choke me? Come on.”

Right after this an EVP was recorded that warned, “…don’t go into the bathroom.” Of course that is where Zak immediately headed. He asked Nick and Aaron to leave him alone that he, “Just want to see if whatever is in here wants to get personal with me.” Zak did feel the presence of an unseen someone walking next to him over and over. He asked whomever it was to talk into the red light on his DVR. He got an EVP that said, “okay” in response.  It felt like a female presence that walked next to Zak. As Zak entered the bathroom I saw the ghost of a strung out rehab patient staring at himself in the mirror. The ghost was a teenager perhaps 17 or 18 years old. He looked and felt awful.  That may well have been the ghost responsible for the energy Zak felt on his arm.

Meanwhile Nick and Aaron amused themselves in the hospital chapel confessional. Nick took the role of the priest, Aaron as the penitent who “confessed”, “I’ve been investigating a lot of scary dark places and I am starting to like it.” Nick answered, “Cool.”  I disagreed but whatever. The chapel was long decommissioned.

 I did see the elderly, balding ghost of a one-time hospital Chaplin priest. Like the nuns up on the top floor he was in old school attire. In his case he wore a formal cassock. Visualize a formal house dress for men or a modern-day judges robes and you have the general idea.

Mocking Zak, Aaron assigned himself solo duty in the basement and returned to the area where the love triangle murders happened. Aaron got settled and asked any local haunts, “What would you like to tell me?” Immediately he heard loud metal clanging noises. Aaron described them as something rattling around the basement pipes. To me the noises sounded more like loud footsteps echoing off metal stairs. Either way Aaron was on track as he got an EVP that clearly said, “…metal…” Later he got additional EVP’s that seemed to once again pertain to the old murder. In halting order he recorded, “… hurry”, “…hide” and “…the killer is coming”. I think that old tragedy was an imprint haunting.

Up on the first floor hallway Zak and Nick poked around the ER. As Nick pointed his camera through the shattered ER door windows the battery suddenly drained and died. An EVP was recorded at the same time that said, “…get in there…”  I guess nothing else happened in the ER as the episode then wrapped up.  There was a ghostly body of a man on gurney in the ER, but other than that I didn’t pick up much other than a general impression of many ghosts crammed into the small rooms and snippets of their experiences under the knife. I tuned out most of it before it could become overwhelming.  Just because I can see, hear and feel these experiences doesn’t mean I always choose to.



Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at:

© 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.

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Ghost Hunters: Haunted Town

In the 2011 season premiere “Ghost Hunters” was invited to investigate by the entire town of Alexandria, Louisiana. TAPS focused on three downtown locations. The hot spots were the venerable 1908 Hotel Bentley, Irish pub Finnegan’s Wake and adjoining Diamond Grill.

Mayor’s Liaison Bill Hess ushered Jason, Grant and Steve through all three locations. They started with the Hotel Bentley where they were greeted and given some background by City Spokesman Richard Gwartney.

Richard briefly shared the stories of the four most commonly seen ghosts at the currently defunct hotel. The mischievous spirit of a young girl who suffered a fatal fall down the elevator shaft from the second floor was discussed. The shade of a man who fell over the railings of the grand staircase in 1985 had been reported. A couple of ghosts were routinely seen peering over the Mezzanine railings directly above the center of the grand staircase. The most prestigious ghost reported was that of hotel builder and local lumber magnate Joseph Bentley. Mr. Bentley had lived in a suite of rooms on the third floor of his hotel and also died there.

I had an immediate hit on the girl who fell down the elevator shaft. One of her favorite tricks in life and following her death was to lick her finger and startle the unwary by placing it on the back of her target’s neck. She told me this was a game she played with her brother when alive. She was about seven years old and curious about the elevator. Her death was an accident.

The pair of spirits who peered over the railings from the Mezzanine at the center of the grand staircase were both children. I saw a boy and a girl close in age. They found that location the perfect spot to people watch, point, and giggle.

Richard speculated that the man who fell to his death from the grand staircase in 1985 may have been pushed or helped along. I agreed with Richard. The man looked to be a construction worker, fairly burley and intensely surprised to find himself flying over the stair railing.

Disembodied conversations had been reported in Mr. Bentley’s suite. I asked if his ghost remained in the hotel. Bentley showed up right away with a testy response, “Of course I am here. Where else would I be?” I mentioned heaven and got nowhere as Bentley firmly told me, “This is my place. I am staying here.”

The Hotel Bentley had a number of owners and periods of dormancy between its lavish 1908 opening and the most recent closing of the doors in 2004. Despite periodic infusions of hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations the property didn’t seem to be able to stay open for financial reasons rather than paranormal events.  

Next up was Finnegan’s Wake, an Irish pub across the street from the empty Hotel Bentley. Co-owner Shannon Nolan told TAPS about a variety of unexplained paranormal activity throughout the building. Like its next door neighbor, the Diamond Grill, Finnegan’s boasted cathedral ceilings with a second floor balcony that framed the main floor.  

The bar itself was the focus of much activity. Imported from a brothel called Ma Humbles a number of glasses tended to leap off bar shelves and shatter. Bottles also had the habit of moving around the bar regardless of where they were last placed. Owners and staff reported routine sightings of shadow figures glimpsed out of the corners of assorted individual’s eyes.

Co-owner Galen Bohannon shared the time he was working the bar and had leaned against the cooler for a few moments. He looked down and noticed, “… a glass busted on the floor in front of me. It had come over my right shoulder….above my head.”

Shannon also related hearing disembodied footsteps on the stair to storage on the floor above. He claimed he frequently heard large crashes in the attic. Each time he rushed up to figure out what had fallen over nothing had been disturbed.

Bartender Dana Brodhead shared the story of a late female employee named Stella. Local lore maintained that Stella started working in the building around the time it opened as a jewelers in the 1930’s. She worked there until her death in the early 1960’s. Allegedly she never left.

I had to agree with the never left part of the story. Stella showed up periodically during the walkthrough and TAPS lights out investigation.  Stella’s ghost told me she didn’t like the glasses the bar currently used. Perhaps that was motive for the numerous glasses that seemed hell-bent on suicidal leaps off the bar shelves?

Dana told TAPS, “Our lights have a personality of their own.” She said they routinely flickered and turned off an on. For some reason old wiring was not suggested as a possible logical explanation. Dana explained a recent incident with the glassware. Several weeks before TAPS arrival Dana had entertained guests at the bar. Abruptly a glass on the bar tipped over, “As if someone walked up and touched one glass and it hit the bar and shattered.” Jason clarified with Dana, “It fell over and shattered?” She said yes. Grant asked which direction the glass fell. Dana replied it fell toward the bar.

Additionally Dana confirmed she was among the staff that often saw “something” walking by along the balcony out of the corner of her eye.  She wasn’t prepared to say they were people.

Assistant Manager Ben Wighteon spoke of table candles that moved or were misplaced on a regular basis. Migration of objects was not limited to candles as Ben told TAPS it was, “Unexplainable how things come up missing in this place.”

With three locations to cover, one of them a huge hotel, TAPS took two nights to investigate. The first night their focus wasFinnegan’s Wake and the Diamond Grill. Although they didn’t get to the Hotel Bentley until the second night they did set up static cameras on the grand stairway, the second floor balcony overlooking the length of the lobby and the third floor hallway where Mr. Bentley once lived.

Additional cameras were set up to monitor the balconies of both the Diamond Grill and Finnegan’s Wake. A camera was dedicated to cover the bar at the Diamond Grill.

Jason and Grant started the investigation in the Diamond Grill kitchens. As soon as they walked in I saw the ghost of a former cook flipping food on the grill. Jason and Grant didn’t see him.  They did pick up on exceptionally high EMF fields in the kitchen located directly under the bar. They used their familiar EMF field debunk to dismiss any possible paranormal activity around the bar.

As Grant and Jason moved father back into a second kitchen area a distant clanging noise was heard. Jason asked Grant, “What’s that?” and explained, “Something just moved!” Jason said to him it sounded as if “Something was dragged.”

Both Jason and Grant saw one of the kitchens swinging doors move. Suddenly Jason saw a black mist he realized was “looking back” at him. He told Grant he had seen someone and followed the unrecorded apparition which promptly vanished. What Jason saw as black mist I saw as the ghost of a former chef as he tried to figure out who these guys were and why they were in his kitchen.

Tango and Steve took on the bar at Finnegan’s Wake. Steve tried to debunk accounts of falling and flying glassware by wetting down a glass which he placed on one of the glass shelves to see if it would slide. Despite the moisture the glass stayed put. Steve tried to rattle the heavy wooden bar with no success.  He then headed upstairs where the stomped around to see if vibrations would travel through the floor and impact the bar. Despite his best Godzilla-esque efforts the bar was sturdy and didn’t move.

Next Steve placed an empty beer bottle on its side and invited any ghosts around the bar to roll it around. Nothing happened. He tried to elicit a response as he tapped the handle of his flashlight against a heavy glass ashtray on the bar. No dice.

It was disappointed they didn’t get anything because Stella’s ghost was at the bar watching their activities with narrowed eyes. Arms crossed she told Steve, “I don’t play with little boys.”

Adam and Amy headed up to the third floor at Finnegan’s where Shannon often heard loud phantom crashes. Their EMF meter registered high readings just as Jason and Grant’s had in kitchen below the bar, doubly dismissing any paranormal employee experiences as the impacts of working in an EMF  saturated environment.

Amy asked Adam, “Wait a minute… Did you hear a voice?” Amy described the voice as a soft “whoo” exhalation.  She realized she might be onto something and asked Stella’s ghost, “Are you not happy with the way things are? Do you want to move it back to the way it used to be?” Neither Amy nor Adam heard her, but Stella’s ghost replied with a vehement, “Yes!” Once again Stella’s shade mentioned to me how much she disliked the current glassware. I asked her why and got the unhelpful answer of, “I just don’t.”  With a little further prodding Stella said, “They are ugly. No class.”

Although Adam and Amy didn’t hear Stella’s spoken response they both heard a noise they traced to a heavy hydraulic hinged door that was ajar. Amy moved the door slightly and said the creaks that resulted were the noise they had heard. Adam noted there were no discernible breezes around them. Amy scouted out the stairs beyond the door to check for other open doors or possible cross breezes. She didn’t find anything that might debunk the door but neither could she or Adam duplicate it. They set up a camera to monitor the door and left the area.

The second night of investigation was spent exclusively at the Hotel Bentley. Jason and Grant started in the Venetian Room off the lobby where the ghost of a woman had been seen looking out a window.  I did not see a female ghost at the windows, but did see a male ghost in a monkey suit balefully peering out the formal dining room windows. When I asked him who he was glaring at, the ghost of the concierge told me he was keeping an eye on the lazy gardeners who worked on the grounds. He said they would wander off and the appearance of the hotel would suffer if he didn’t keep on top of them.

The moment Grant and Jason walked into the Venetian Room I saw it in use as a busy, elegant formal dining room. The diners of yesteryear were in formal dinner wear.  The women had on different colored dresses, the men tuxedos.   

As soon as they entered the Venetian Room Jason felt the air around him suddenly get thick. He asked Grant if he felt the pressure on his head as well. Grant confirmed, “Yeah, got that feel.” I was not surprised Jason felt the atmosphere in the room change. It was jam-packed with the ghosts of diners, waiters and busboys. Whatever past evening I saw in progress it was stifling hot despite the Bentley’s much vaunted air conditioning.

A few moments later both Jason and Grant heard a noise like a cart rolling across the floor. I saw the cart they heard. It was pushed by a waiter to a table of hungry guests.

Based on past reports of a female ghost, Grant asked, “Hello? Is there a woman in here with us?” Both men said they heard a faint response that might have been, “yeah”. Unfortunately this was not heard upon review.

Despite the lack of EVP backup the guys were onto something. I saw the ghost of a young woman, about 17 years-old in a formal dress, complete with corsage. Her bobbed honey-blond hair was styled in soft finger waves, so I would place her in the 1930’s.  I think the teen was the source of the noise Jason and Grant followed out of the Venetian Room and back into the lobby. They were right about her location. She was nervously waiting just outside the dining room for her date.  Grant nailed that one.

Once in the lobby Jason saw shadow play he later described as legs headed up the grand staircase. He mused that the shadow figure could not have been caused by cars passing by on the street as TAPS had it blocked off in front of the hotel. 

Jason told Grant, “Whoa, I just saw someone.”  They raced upstairs and checked out the second floor rooms but found nothing. Grant and Jason continued to call out “Hello” at regular intervals until Jason told Grant he had heard something, “That really sounded like a hello response.” As Jason recapped for his camera man he abruptly stopped speaking and asked Grant if he had heard whatever Jason had. Grant once again replied, “Yeah”. Jason asked Grant, “Did it sound like, ‘No, you don’t?’” Grant confirmed, “Yeah, like forceful.” 

Grant said yeah a lot in the episode. He also seemed preoccupied and although he backed Jason up a number of times he came across as not particularly interested in what was going on around him.

The next bit of disembodied vocals sounded like singing to Jason and Grant. I had the impression of children singing although during the reveal Grant said it sounded more like a room of well lubricated pub customers. Did TAPS pick up additional singing at Finnegan’s that they didn’t show on the episode?

Grant thought perhaps a radio was on in one of the many hotel rooms around them, but they couldn’t find the source despite Jason hearing it twice.

Steve and Tango tried their luck on the third floor of the Bentley. Joseph Bentley’s ghost had been reported in front of the elevator doors, so the guys sat in the hallway instead of  Mr. Bentley’s suite.

Steve tried to draw Bentley out when he loudly announced, “Mr. Bentley we’re on the third floor.” Steve and Tango didn’t get much beyond a few responsive knocks and thumps. I was disappointed because the ghost of Joseph Bentley was standing in the hallway watching them. He was not a happy camper and rebuked Steve, “People are trying to sleep here!” Steve wasn’t aware of Mr. Bentley’s presence or irritation.

Steve continued, “If you are not Mr. Bentley, make a noise right now.  This was followed by a thump Tango had nothing to do with. When Steve asked again Tango commented on a knocking noise they both heard.  The ghost behind both the thump and the knocking was the concierge I had first seen in the formal dining room off the lobby.

Steve couldn’t determine if the noises he and Tango heard originated inside on the third floor from an outside source. He said, “The idea that it happened on command made it that much more interesting.” When no additional responses were forthcoming Steve and Tango packed up their gear and left.

Amy and Adam tried for better results on the third floor. Like Steve and Tango they set up in the hallway. Why didn’t any of the TAPS teams actually enter Mr. Bentley’s suite? If his ghost was seen at the elevator wouldn’t it follow it might be seen in his former living space?

Granted the Bentley suite probably would not have worked as well for the laser grid Amy and Adam set up in the hallway. What really bothered me was one of the dots of laser light that should have been in a fixed matrix seemed to detach itself and float around the upper right corner of the grid. It could have easily been dust but TAPS would have enjoyed greater credibility with what happened next if a voiceover had tagged the anomaly. Instead it wasn’t mentioned at all.

As Amy and Adam sat in the hall looking annoyed and bored respectively the entire laser grid shifted about a quarter turn.  The laser grid stick was propped up on the rubberized handle of a flashlight on the hallway carpet. Amy tried to recreate the shift in the laser grid when she duplicated her action of setting down her recorder on the floor nearby. The laser joggled a bit but didn’t move a quarter turn as it had before. Amy concluded that setting down her recorder might have contributed to the movement of the grid. Although she couldn’t duplicate it, the movement was ruled not paranormal.  This time I agreed with her. The laser pointer rolled. There wasn’t a ghost nearby as far as I could tell.

Steve and Tango worked to debunk reports of figures on the balcony above the hotel lobby. Steve noted the angle was wrong for the headlights of passing cars to reflect off the marble pillars and cause the illusion of shadow figures. It was never made clear if the past reported sightings of shadow figures on the balcony had taken place during daylight, in darkness or both.

Steve concluded that if he aimed the beam of his flashlight along the ornately decorated tops of the marble pillars that flanked the balcony that the shiny marble reflected enough light onto the rounded roundels to create the illusion of a phantom head and shoulders on the balcony.

I didn’t see it, but maybe. What I did see was the balcony jam-packed with couples. The various pairs flirted, gossiped and watched the formal dance going on in the lobby below.  There were even velvet lined chairs for the erstwhile dancers to sit on when they took a break or sought a bit of privacy.

TAPS resident comedy team didn’t disappoint when they checked out the base of the grand staircase where the ghost of a little girl reportedly liked to trip unwary guests. Steve turned his thermal camera on Tango as he went up the first central set of steps.  No interference from the ghost girl was evident. (I didn’t see her around at this point at all.) Steve suggested Tango invite the ghost girl to trip him on the stairs. Round two, Tango trudged up the central stairs and managed to trip himself. 

Steve speculated that since people in general manage to trip over their own feet on regular basis that perhaps they were embarrassed and to cover their awkwardness they blamed the ghost girl for their gaffes.

Jason and Grant took a turn on the Mezzanine as they looked down into the gloom of the darkened Hall of Mirrors. Grant took a half-hearted shot at debunking reports that the chandeliers moved by themselves. He noted the crystal and the sheer size made his air current theory unlikely. That line of thought was abandoned when both guys saw a light from what Grant said was the “basement”.  In the dark I couldn’t tell if Grant meant the lobby floor or if the lobby had a direct line of sight from the Mezzanine into the basement at some point.  I thought it unlikely as elegant hotel lobbies generally try to make such mundane realities as the basement levels unseen or at least unobtrusive. Looking down into a utility space would ruin the effect of the grand scale, the series of domes and the marble pillars and floors.

Shortly thereafter a second burst of light was recorded in the lobby. Jason described it as if a camera flash had suddenly gone off.  Grant said he saw a third, dimmer light in the lobby but despite the split screen and review of the shot several times I didn’t see the third dimmer light. I did get a psychic glimpse of a photographer with an old style 1880’s camera with a powder fueled tray flash taking a picture of a group of people in the lobby. This puzzled me because the Hotel Bentley wasn’t built until 1908, well past the camera technology of the 1880’s. I asked my guides about it and was told the entire shot had been part of a publicity campaign for the hotel.

After the light flashes Grant and Jason headed down stairs. Grant heard and recorded 3-4 disembodied footsteps. He and Jason tried to follow them down the hallway but didn’t find anything.

The Town Hall reveal was more like a publicity event as TAPS was greeted with applause and cheers. First the EVP of singing was played. The crowd was told it had been recorded at Finnegan’s Wake. Co-owner Shannon agreed it sounded like singing but had no idea what the song was. He also agreed that a faint, indistinguishable EVP sounded like a female voice.  Based on two faint EVP’s and no personal experiences at Finnegan’s, Grant reassured Shannon that “I see no reason to be afraid of the place.” Grant suggested Shannon think of the unseen inhabitants of his bar as regular people, as patrons. How Shannon was reassured by this that whatever haunted his pub was benign, I didn’t follow.

Dana from the Diamond Grill listened attentively to an exceptionally faint EVP captured talking over Adam. Dana said she heard what sounded like a voice but had no idea what was said. Jason mentioned the voice was exceptionally close to the microphone when it was recorded. If that was the case, why wasn’t it louder or at least had a discernible word?

An almost equally garbled EVP Amy and Adam captured in the Diamond Grill was played. Jason thought it said, “Hey Adam” and Dana agreed. All I could hear for certain was a strong “h” sound.

An EVP recorded in the Diamond Grill bar was determined to have said, “I’m sorry.” Jason noted TAPS had no context for the comment. Yet Grant told Dana there was definitely something going on in her business and Jason claimed the EVP “Definitely…” was an, “…intelligent haunt.” With no context or apparent response to investigators questions how did Jason conclude that the source behind the garbled EVP was intelligent?

The evidence was better for the Hotel Bentley. Jason shared his personal experience of seeing ghostly pant legs headed up the grand staircase. The flash of light video was shown. Grant explained that he and Jason had headed upstairs, seen a shadow on the right that hesitated and then went down the hallway. While on the stairs landing they recorded an EVP of unidentified footsteps. I heard the footsteps clearly but wondered why the first step was so much louder and heavier than the following ones? Increased distance? A heavier tread as a ghostly figure climbed the stairs? I don’t know and it wasn’t discussed during the episode.

The final EVP was when Jason was talking to his camera man and was interrupted by a disembodied voice that TAPS decided had said, “No, you don’t.” Bill commented that the voices in the final EVP were related to the room Grant and Jason were in at the time and concluded “…they were calling to you.” It was good Bill was happy but once again I felt as if I had missed some key conversation or back story that was left on the cutting room floor. I had a hard time hearing anything TAPS heard on EVP except the footsteps. Suffice to say they were not Class A EVP’s.

To wrap things up Grant told the town of Alexandria “Something was going on.” They already knew that. Jason stated that although there was definitely paranormal activity going on in the downtown core, “It doesn’t appear they are the least bit tied to one another.”

Shannon felt reassured by TAPS investigation. Dana was pleased to have her personal experiences confirmed.

Bill stretched a bit when he said, “If it is Joseph Bentley (in the hotel) he is trying to reach out to say he is happy to have people in his hotel again.” I don’t know how large a stake Bill had in the current cluster of Hotel Bentley owners, but what I got from Bentley’s ghost when Steve and Tango were yelling outside his suite, was no, he really didn’t want TAPS there. He perceived them as intruders. If the hotel could be gotten up and running again, perhaps Joseph Bentley’s shade would feel differently about paying guests. It was and remains an elegant and impressive building.  I would stay there if it was operational. 



Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at:

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