Case #: 20120922-F
8:45pm - 1:15am
Pre-Investigation: Rob, Ilka, JoHanna
We were contacted via the website by a nearly hysterical mother of two teenage daughters (one is 11, the other 15) who were claiming that over the last few months, activity was increasing in their home to the point of there being physical contact (scratches). What set her over the edge and made her contact us was that the previous night, the hair dryer had somehow powered itself on in the bathroom sink and fell into the sink.
During the pre-investigation, Rob, Ilka, and JoHanna spoke with the family and learned more about what was going on with the family, not only paranormal-wise but some of the personal issues they'd been dealing with. Suffice to say that in the last 4 years that they've been living in the house, they've been through a lot. The summer of 2012 was unusually difficult for them--too numerous and personal to go into here.
It was noted by JoHanna that the youngest daughter had "allergic shiners." She explained that kids with allergies often get dark circles under their eyes. This article from WebMD goes into detail about nasal allergies in children and lists allergic shiners as a symptom.
Claims of activity: The vast majority of claims come from the two teenaged daughters. However, sometime in her past, the mother has had some kind of paranormal scare involving one of her long time friends and a Ouija board. Basically, they were playing with the spirit board, and her friend was asking it if she would die young [YES] and how would she die [CAR]. The friend started giving away some of her things around the time she was 16 and the prophecy fulfilled itself. Her friend died in a car wreck at a young age. This had been shared with both daughters at some time in the past.
The most recent claims: the hair dryer turning itself on, one of the girl's friends getting scratched, the dryer door opening and closing on its own, mysterious fingerprints appearing on the metal duct work in the basement, objects moving on their own, and the dog barking at something in the corner of the living room. Some time ago, the mother was watching TV upstairs and saw the apparition of a woman in a long white dress in the doorway to her bedroom that turned to look at her and walked into the closet and disappeared.
The oldest daughter has a boyfriend who has a cousin that supposedly does Ouija board stuff at his house. We want to stress that we don't condone the use of the spirit board. There's just too much that isn't understood about them. They're just more trouble than they're worth. Apparently, this cousin's house is crazy haunted with all kinds of stuff going on. Not something we'd investigate--you use a Ouija board to contact spirits, you've brought it on yourself.
Investigators present: Rob, Ilka, Mike R., and Noelle
Investigation: We arrived onsite around 8:45 and were greeted warmly by the client. She had even laid out a spread of muffins, cookies, coffee, and tea. This is the nicest reception we've ever received, and it was much appreciated.
After talking with the client for a bit, she left the house to us, and we started running the equipment. Ilka & Rob started downstairs, which is where most of the claims of activity originate. Mike and Noelle climbed into the attic to check for signs of animal infestation or anything else strange.
It was noted in the basement that the breaker box area to the left of the laundry sink has very dangerous EMF. It totally pegged every EMF device we used (Lutron, K2 specifically). An effort should at some point be made to shield this somehow. Throughout the rest of the house, EMF was flat (base 0.2mg) except around the usual devices: clock radios, microwaves, dimmer switch, etc.
A test was done of whether something in the environment could be making the dryer door open/close. It was noted that closing the pantry door at the top of the stairs made a very similar sound, but no rational explanation could be found (other than it wasn't closed all the way--it's a front-loader)--and we tried running up/down thestairs, opening/closing doors upstairs. The dryer door did not move the entire time we were there.
After a break for the smokers, Mike & Noelle investigated in the basement while Rob & Ilka sat quietly upstairs. Nothing worthy of noting happened, and it was pretty quiet. On our final break before wrapping up for the evening, Noelle noted that she'd thought she'd seen something on the DVR system that (not knowing this was one of the client's claims) looked like a woman in a white dress walking across the doorway in the client's bedroom. Upon reviewing the DVR footage, nothing resembling a lady in white was seen (there were lots of dust orbs & fruit flies zipping around--client admitted that the family "eats a lot of fruit").
Here is a breakdown of our EMF readings comparing the baseline readings during the pre-investigation to the night of the full investigation.
|Kitchen: Baseline EMF - 0.2mg||Baseline 0.2mg||usual high EMF around appliances & dimmer switch|
|Living Room: Baseline EMF - 0.2mg||Baseline 0.1mg||ranged from 0.1 - 0.4mg|
|Client's BR: Baseline EMF - 0.2mg||Baseline 0.1 - 0.3mg||noted very high around alarm clock (7.6mg)|
|Youngest girl's room: 0.2mg||Baseline 0.1 - 0.3mg|
|Oldest girl's room: 0.2mg||Baseline 0.1 - 0.3mg||15mg+ fan beside bed; ceiling fan made weird noise|
|Basement: 0.2 - 0.4mg||Baseline 0.2 - 0.4mg||DANGEROUS EMF around breaker box|
What was captured: Nothing was seen on video except for the following strange image. It lasts for only 4 seconds on our one DVR camera. [This links to the video from our Facebook page. Hopefully you can see it.]
Opinion: We can only come to two possible conclusions about what's going on given the evidence and the results of our investigation (with no one from the family on site). Either these kids are hoaxing everything in an attempt to "guilt trip" their mother, which we really hope is not the case. Or the youngest daughter is exhibiting symptoms of poltergeist (no, not the movie from the 80's). This brief article from the Shadowlands describes what we feel poltergiest is. There is obviously some kind of abnormal stress being placed on the youngest child. Being alone with her older sister (whose boyfriend admits to doing the Ouija board) watching who-knows-what on Netflix and whatever else may be going on in her life, it wouldn't surprise us if she is exhibiting poltergeist.
Our recommendation is to get their minister involved and possibly set up some kind of counselling/help--just someone for Mom to talk to. We'd also recommend taking the youngest daughter to an allergist or at least the family doctor. Something in the environment is causing her to have allergies (possibly one of the animals?). Also, it wouldn't hurt to talk with her school counsellor or teacher just to make sure everything is okay.
This was a difficult case for us--one we felt deserved extra attention, likely more than we could offer. A lot of external forces are at work, and the family dynamic is a rather unique one. We hope that the client, given some guidance/assistance can power through this difficult time and persevere.
Conclusion: Given our investigation we can't come out and say that this house is haunted--at least in the meaning of the word that we're used to using. Certainly there is a history to the land that this house was built on. The "lady in white" that has been seen (which is residual and therefore harmless) proves that. There may be something going on with the youngest daughter, we can't say for certain. In an effort to get another perspective on this, we've invited our friends at T.O.G.A. to contact the client to see if they can come up with something that we might have missed.