Case Number: 20081206
Iams Homestead: Trotwood, Ohio
December 6th, 2008
6:00pm - 12:00am
Investigators present: Rob, Ed, Don & Quinton (Don's grandson), Ilka, Mike
Assisted by members of the Trotwood Historical Society: Ralph & Janet Kuester, Claude & Linda Keeling, and Ruth Lang
Claims of activity: According to Ralph Kuester of the Trotwood Historical Society, there hasn't been much in the way of paranormal activity that's gone on at the Iams Homestead since they acquired it in the mid 1990's. Reports of people hearing footsteps upstairs when they're in the basement as well as an almost foreboding feeling of being watched. Accoring to Nicole Kleinhenz, a friend of hers gets the creeps when she goes into the upstairs bedroom that's made up to look like an old one-room schoolhouse. The barn located adjacent to the house was the scene of a hanging (James Butler) back in the 1980s. Ralph has a photo that looks like a ghostly someone hanging from a rafter. A new furnace was installed a few years ago, and the two workmen got creeped out in the basement. One of them was left alone in the house and felt someone down there with him, watching. Ralph has been alone in the house with all the doors locked working in the basement and heard very distinct footsteps. Upon calling out "Who's there," getting no response, and verifying that no one was there, he left quickly. Ruth has been playing the pipe organ in the family parlor and felt the distinct presence of a woman standing behind her.
After a fairly quick setup, we got right down to it. Rob, Ed, and Ilka went to the barn with Ralph while Don, Quenton and Mike investigated the basement. An EVP session was conducted in the barn asking first for James Butler to come forward and then for anyone else to make themselves known. Aside from a few strange noises and shadows moving about, nothing happened in the barn. During Don's investigation of the basement, he said, "If you want us to leave, let us know." Within the span of a minute, one of our CCTV IR cameras powered off as did a digital voice recorder and digital camera. So they took the hint and came upstairs to take a break.
The two teams swapped locations, this time only Rob and Ed went into the basement. Ilka stayed upstairs at Command Central monitoring the screens. The three others headed out to the barn with Ralph. Weird noises were heard in the basement, probably the house settling, but at one point they seemed to be coinciding with where Ed was telling it to make the noises. The EMF level in the basement fluctuated wildly due to the electric wiring and the pipes. It certainly does give you the creeps downstairs, and there was at least two occasions where I turned around because I thought someone was behind or beside me.
Around 9:30, the groups took an extended break while more members (Claude, Linda & Ruth) of the Trotwood Historical Society arrived and Ralph and Janet left for the evening. Ruth told us about the original layout of the house and what structures were added on and when and about her experiences when she plays the organ in the parlor. Don's team went up to the second floor and investigated while Rob & Ed stayed downstairs on the first floor. After about an hour, the teams switched out with Rob and Ed being joined upstairs by Mike. Around 11:30, we adjourned to the front parlor to hear Ruth play with all of our cameras and meters running, hoping to capture something. It was after that when Ruth explained that the woman that used to live there also played the organ. Perhaps the ghostly female spirit, also her namesake, stopping by to listen?
What We Captured: While the stories were great, we were out to catch something tangible that we could show whether it be audio, video, or photo. EVP sessions were conducted in the barn, basement and upstairs room, and the only thing captured was a strange voice that could have been one of the investigators in the school room (see the audio page). Even some of the pictures seem to show the ever popular "orb" in them, which is nothing more than dust. While the basement certainly was creepy, there was a lot of EMF down there which could certainly account for anyone feeling like they were being watched. The school room upstairs has a pronounced dip in the floor (leans toward the northeast). This gives the sensation that something's not right (what's known as the "funhouse effect") and would account for people feeling uneasy about going into that room. So in the almost 6 hours we were there investigating, nothing happened and nothing much was caught on our equipment.
Opinion: The Iams Homestead is much like the Patterson house. Both houses have their own history of tragedies and triumphs. We were the first paranormal group to visit the Iams Homestead and hopefully not the last. We debunked most of the claims of activity and are uncertain about others (the barn and James Butler). We are glad that the Trotwood Historical Society allowed us access to this historical location and hope they keep us in mind for the future. Thanks THS.
Conclusion: Just from the evidence that we gathered during our investigation, we can't say that anything paranormal is going on at the Iams Homestead. The majority of the creepy feelings can be attributed to EMF sensitivity and most if not all of the places where "creepiness" was claimed had high or very high readings. [Exposure to high electromagnetic fields for a long period of time can cause symptoms ranging from "skin crawling" to nausea and even paranoia.] Ruth's claim that someone watches her while she plays could be attributed to moving air currents (the organ is a foot pedal pump pipe organ). Then again, it could be her namesake coming back from beyond to listen to someone doing what she loved to do when she was alive.