Casefile: Patterson Homestead
August 29th, 2008
8:00pm - 2:00am
Investigators Present (entire evening):
Rob, Ilka, Patty, Don,
Investigators Present (partial investigation):
Allison, Wendy, Ed
Sherry and Mary
The evening of August 29, 2008 was a hot, humid and cloudy one. The parking lot of the Patterson Homestead already had four team member's cars in it when I pulled up with Case Manager Ilka at a few minutes after 7:00pm. Standing together in a small group were Don, Amanda, John and Patty. Mere moments after my arrival, Allison and Wendy showed up, completing the group that was supposed to be there.
Briefly, I went over the details of what I knew about the Patterson house. Robert and Elizabeth built the house in the early 1800's, living in a log cabin during its construction where the caretaker's house now sits. They lived there until the 1830's when their son, Jefferson and his wife Julia moved in. Robert and Elizabeth had eight children while Jefferson and Julia had 14 (of which only 10 survived into adulthood).
There were five deaths associated with the property that I knew of: Colonel Johnston (Julia's father) and four of Julia and Jefferson's children (Rachel, John, Elizabeth, and Katie). Activity in the house consisted of footsteps, cold spots, phantom smells (of cooking), items moving, and even full bodied apparitions. A bust of John H. Patterson (co-founder of NCR) had turned to face a replica cash register.? We were certainly in for an interesting evening.
It must be noted that the Patterson house is a three story (with basement) Federal style home. We had four floors to cover, two teams (one per floor), and only two CCTV cameras. I was glad that Lisa, the caretaker, arrived a little early and ushered us into the house, our arms laden with equipment. Not too long after we got our gear into the house, Sherry and Mary, our intuitives, arrived.
Setting up Command Central in the house's kitchen proved to be a little challenging in that we had to move a table around and run our video cables across the floor and over the top of the refrigerator. It made for an efficient setup, and it wasn't too long before we were taking the tour with Lisa. For the first floor, it was the entire group traipsing around listening to the stories about the Patterson family. John was busy snapping pictures and was having a tough time maneuvering around the tour group. He decided to start at the top and work his way down which proved to be a better idea.
During the tour we found out just how hot the third floor really was, and I was already dreading investigating up there. After being shown the entire house from top to bottom, we regrouped back in the kitchen and split into groups. Patty, Sherry, Mary and Don were Team 2 while Allison, Amanda, Wendy, and I comprised Team 1. My group was slated to check out the third floor for the first hour, so we got down to it, and sweated it out for almost half an hour. During that time we heard a couple weird noises that could easily be explained away--nothing out of the ordinary.
Little did we know that on the first floor the other team was having a lot of success. Of course, they had both psychics with them, and they were picking up on two small children (toddlers--boy and girl) playing marbles in the front sitting room. It is presumed that these two are Rachel and John, two of the Patterson children that died of cholera in the late 1830's. They also picked up an EVP (one of our best of the night) in the parlor as well as Don and Amanda attempting to debunk the secretary door opening seemingly on its own.
After a brief "smoke break," the teams switched floors and went back at it. My team heard some weird noises in the first floor parlor and snapped a few pictures of orbs (ahem...dust), but again, the other group was picking up on a teenage boy on the third floor. Patty would ask questions, and the psychics would hear the responses which were quite smart-alecky. It would be later confirmed that a 16 year old boy had died in that room upstairs from cholera after clinging to life for several weeks. Typically, once cholera was contracted, the individual was dead around 6 hours later.
Switching after the second hour, my team went to the second floor while the other team investigated the basement. Much was made about the "Christmas Room" that held all of the holiday decorations?it gave Patty the creeps being in there. There was a completely sealed off room (which could've only been the root cellar) that Don was intent on finding out why it was blocked off. Upstairs, my group was getting nowhere fast in Julia's room, and that EVP session wouldn't yield anything either.
During some down time during the third and fourth hours, I went back into Julia's room with the two psychics and sat there while they picked up on the spirit of Mrs. Patterson. They said that they could feel how stoic she was and how much she loved her family. Other things they picked up on were the hardships the family had to endure, the sense of longing and loss when Mr. Patterson and Katie died, and it was at this point that Sherry got direct empathic contact with Robert Patterson. She felt a great pain in her kidneys and back which is where Robert was wounded by Indians during an attack in the 1780's.
It was soon time for the psychics to leave as well as Allison and Wendy. Shortly thereafter, Ed arrived, and he and I decided to head downstairs to investigate. The Christmas Room was kind of creepy to me too; standing in there by myself I could almost feel someone standing close to me. Ed had ventured off into another room, and I went to find him sitting near the old fireplace. We hung out in that room for a few minutes and then proceeded to wander around the entire basement just checking things out. For a little while, he and I sat in the room at the foot of the basement steps...until a heat exchange unit kicked on and startled us both!
We both laughed about getting scared by the sudden loud noise and decided to adjourn to the middle room to sit on some buckets. It wasn't long before Ed said, "Dude, you've got to take a look at this. Come sit here and just look." We traded places, and I sat and watched where he told me to, over towards the bathroom and straight ahead at some shelves. It looked like a shadow figure was pacing back and forth in front of the bathroom door, and a shadowy head kept playing peek-a-boo in the faint light coming from the Christmas Room.
Overall, it was a great investigation, and as of this writing I am excited to say that we are going back to revisit the place with Paravizionz (our affiliate group) in November 2008. We hope to have more experiences in the basement. And Don hopes to put to rest what exactly is in the root cellar.