CASE FILE 1051

Case status: Open
Case date: Nov 11, 2018
Location: Beaverdam, VA
Identity: Public
Site classification: Historic

Report #754 – Initial Post by Brad Bradley

16120 Chiswell Ln, Beaverdam, VA 23015
(804) 227-3500
scotchtown@preservationvirginia.org
Tom, Susan or Shannon (arrangements with Susan)

Based on many anecdotal reports of activity, CPRI requested permission to perform research at Scotchtown. These reports consisted of shadows, voices, footsteps and other unexplained noises. Permission was granted and the date of 11/10/18 was scheduled.

CPRI team and members of Transcend Paranormal as well as Mark Higgins arrived and setup static equipment. HQ was in the law office building to the Northwest of the main house. Attendee list, equipment location list and surveillance log is located in the primary data repository linked in the following post.

Report #756 – Personal Report by Brad Bradley

Normally I don’t have personal experiences. However, at this location I had two of significance. I was working on a cable run outside the house and was holding one end of it which terminated in the house. Suddenly, there was a significant tug (about 2 feet pull) on the cable from inside the house. No attendee was in the house. Also, while returning to HQ from the house after fixing an equipment issue, I noticed a shadow move in front of the upstairs north window of the law office. Steve Dills was standing outside talking to the site manager, Susan, and said he saw it as well just before I did. No one was upstairs in the law office.

Report #757 – Personal Report by Mike Magner

I arrived at about 3pm on 10 Nov. There was a reenactment in progress featuring persons in colonial-era dress, with horses and colonial era muskets and artillery. I took several pictures of the outside of the house prior to set up, which began around 5 pm. Set up was completed around 6:55pm.

I personally did not witness anything unusual during set-up, but several events were reported by other team members. One team member reported hearing a woman’s scream in the basement. Brad reported that an ethernet cable was seemingly jerked out of his hand while he was working on fixing an audio problem.

During the research phase of the project, there were several knocks and bangs that were heard through the microphones at HQ. Teams that entered the house on various incursions heard voices and noises while in the house.

As far as personal experiences, I did heard voices in the house on at least two different occasions, which were also reported by other team members. I also heard a couple of squeaks that seemed to be coming from the old stairs to the basement. The team was able to replicate the squeak sound by turning the doorknob on that same door.

Another odd event that I witnessed was feeling a cold spot in mid air that seemed to be about 2 feet in diameter that seemed to move around the room. Team members were holding out their hands trying to follow the cold spot. Two team members reported feeling the sensation that they were touched gently by what felt like a piece of string gliding over their hands.

More events were recorded in the event log.

Not much happened during tear-down, except that a few team members felt the sensation of “being watched” when they went up into the attic to retrieve equipment.

In reviewing the audio from the DRO5, I heard what sounded like a scream on the recording. On further analysis, it was clear that the noise was actually from the cellar door opening and closing. This sound comes up pretty often throughout the recording, but I have clipped a good example in the dropbox database: [REDACTED]. I have added this clip in as a reference for future sound investigations.

Report #758 – Participation and Audio Analysis by Tommy Amos

On 11/10/2018, I participated in the CPRI investigation of Patrick Henry’s former home, Scotchtown. This investigation was most intriguing. The site provided activity during the entire monitoring period. I believe activity is not limited to the main house. I believe additional investigations are warranted in order to validate the findings of this investigation and to look for long term patterns of activity.

For this investigation, I utilized a Tascam DR-05, Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone, easel and a 12”x18” framed photo. The DR-05 and Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone were left in the middle of the floor in the kitchen building. The DR-05 collected audio data during the entire investigation interval. The Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone collected a limited set of environmental data. The easel and 12”x18” framed photo were used to support an experiment to test for intelligent entities. They were placed in the main house in the main foyer/hall approximately 30 minutes after the monitoring period began. The easel was used to securely hold the framed photo. All items were collected immediately following the investigation period and will soon be analyzed.

Experiment: devise and conduct a test to make an emotional connection with any intelligent entities from the mid 1700 time period that may be present. This experiment is based on Near Death Experience research by Dr. P. M. H. Atwater in which she advocates the use of items that will provide an emotional connection to an intelligent spirit. Based on her work, I decided to create a false historical statement and present it as fact on site. I decided to create a photo of a nonexistent piece of art that would bring into question Patrick Henry’s loyalties. The photo showed an artwork that combined Patrick Henry’s painted image with that of King George III. I used Adobe Photoshop to create the false artwork. To support the artwork as fact, I claimed that it had recently been discovered and that a note from Patrick Henry was found with it. The note proclaimed Patrick Henry’s loyalty to the Crown in the event that he was captured during the colonial uprising the ultimately led to the Revolutionary War for independence. After the artwork was unveiled in the house in front of a group of investigators, we monitored it for approximately 20 minutes for any signs of activity.

While monitoring the camera that showed the photo and easel in the foyer, multiple members reported witnessing visual disturbances or shadows. These were reported multiple times. Unfortunately, due to a malfunction with the DVR system, it wasn’t recorded. Additionally, voices were reported being heard over the remote audio monitoring system by multiple members. During the time period leading up to the photo being placed in the foyer, only a couple of pops/bangs were noticed. This experiment is the first of many that will be conducted at various locations that are believed to have intelligent spirits present. No single site can stand alone as evidence that documentable connections with spirits can be created through the use of objects that cause an emotional response from intelligent spirits.

I accompanied Allen into the residence to conduct additional experiments that should have an emotional appeal to any intelligent spirits present. Allen attempted to invoke a reaction from any spirits by using references and music from the 1770s. Both during and after each attempt, various noises or talking was heard. A prominent squeak was also noticed every time. That squeak was later determined to be the door knob for the door that leads downstairs from the foyer. The stairs are unsafe and the door has likely not seen use in many years. Random, moving cold spots were also noticed. These all seemed to be slightly larger than a basketball. No firm cause could be determined.

After completing the notes above, I have completed my audio analysis of the kitchen. The kitchen is located in an external structure that is around 80 feet from the main house. Based on my analysis, I would say that the kitchen was the most active location on the property. I only extracted a small sampling of the various sounds that occurred. There was a fire that was smoldering out when the investigation started. I discounted any pops, crackles, etcetera that I considered related to the fire. Additionally, due to the door of the kitchen remaining open, the single room kitchen acted as a sound concentrator. This caused my DR-05 to basically pick up any sounds on the property. Voice pollution is continuous throughout the entire 6+ hours of recording. I only extracted voice sounds that either didn’t fit in with the other current voices or were recorded during a time that no other voices were heard. There is one clip that sounded like muskets being fired. This was relatively loud to the recorder. The docent mentioned that locals sometimes set off homemade explosives, which was heard in the distance while tearing down. Those distant sounds, in my opinion, cannot account for the sound that was recorded.

Here is the format that I will be using for the following audio analysis. Actual time of the start of the clip, which is within a margin of +/- one minute due to the limited accuracy of the start time for the recorder. Audio clip name, which includes the name of the audio file created by the DR-05, the offset time from the start of that file, and a descriptive name for the sound clip. Note: the DR-05 was never stopped during the entire recording that resulted in 4 full and 1 partial file being created. The base start time of the recording was 5:19 pm and is the start time for the file DR0000_0277. That file and each whole file lasts 1:33:12. The whole files are 0277 – 0280.

5:27:45 pm – DR0000_0277_00-08-45_crunch-and-voice.wav

5:56:42 pm – DR0000_0277_00-37-42_tap-on-table.wav

6:03:47 pm – DR0000_0277_00-44-47_loud-pop.wav

6:08:27 pm – DR0000_0277_00-49-27_voice.wav

6:10:10 pm – DR0000_0277_00-51-10_voice-again.wav

6:12:51 pm – DR0000_0277_00-53-51_breath-after-Brad.wav

6:24:05 pm – DR0000_0277_01-05-05_odd-sound.wav

6:29:50 pm – DR0000_0277_01-10-50_pop.wav

6:58:21 pm – DR0000_0278_00-06-09_voice-partial-phrase.wav

7:29:13 pm – DR0000_0278_00-37-01_voice.wav

7:38:52 pm – DR0000_0278_00-46-42_metalic-voice-then-piano-like-tones.wav

7:47:07 pm – DR0000_0278_00-54-55_voice-you-can-do-it.wav

7:57:06 pm – DR0000_0278_01-04-54_clear-throat-after-Brad-Steve-leave-kitchen.wav

8:04:59 pm – DR0000_0278_01-12-47_What-The-Hell-Was-That-Pop.wav

8:43:06 pm – DR0000_0279_00-17-42_Huge-Pop.wav

9:14:41 pm – DR0000_0279_00-49-17_Deep-reverberating-thud.wav

9:28:08 pm – DR0000_0279_01-02-44_multiple-clicks-and-pops.wav

9:41:09 pm – DR0000_0279_01-15-45_unique-thump.wav

9:49:21 pm – DR0000_0279_01-23-57_pop-then-hum.wav

10:10:51 pm – DR0000_0280_00-12-55_pop-then-movement.wav

10:13:12 pm – DR0000_0280_00-14-36_musket-fire.wav

10:15:16 pm – DR0000_0280_00-16-40_something-fell.wav

10:20:54 pm – DR0000_0280_00-22-18_creepy-male-voice.wav

10:27:19 pm – DR0000_0280_00-28-43_small-tap-huge-tap.wav

10:28:47 pm – DR0000_0280_00-30-11_odd-thud.wav

10:40:05 pm – DR0000_0280_00-41-29_something-sliding-on-floor.wav

10:50:59 pm – DR0000_0280_00-52-23_woo-hoo-go-hoo.wav

11:18:40 pm – DR0000_0280_01-20-04_recorder-got-thumped.wav

11:51:11 pm – DR0000_0281_00-19-23_breath-while-Richard-is-talking.wav

Report #759 – Behringer Audio Analysis by Brad Bradley

Channel 1 – Attic, near stairs

01-181110_1951.wav (start 7:51pm, end 10:06pm)

1:44:58 (9:36pm) – conversation in attic.

Channel 6 – Gift Shop

06-181110_2206.wav (start 10:06pm, end 11:40pm)

31:39 (10:37pm) – voice heard by team in gift shop

39:33 (10:45pm) – door handle squeak from door going to basement from hallway.

57:47 (11:03pm) – conversation heard by team in gift shop.

Report #760 – Datalogger Analysis by Brad Bradley

Other dataloggers did not show anomalies that could not be explained.

Geiger Counter – 1st floor hallway – Mean 20CPM

7:59pm – 30CPM spike

10:18pm – 38CPM spike

Geiger Counter – basement under gift shop – Mean 28CPM

12:31am – 47CPM spike

Geiger Counter – 2nd floor near stairs – Mean 18CPM

10:36pm – 32CPM spike

Report #761 – Personal Experiences and Observations by Allen Slonaker

I arrived late to the project and did not actually make entry into the main house until approximately 10PM. I did so with Tommy and Mike. Once inside we focused our efforts on furthering Tommy’s experiment into the possibility of triggering activity with material historically associated with the property and / or residents.

We entered the main house and remained in the foyer area nearest the main entrance. Shortly after entering I went about halfway through the foyer and then turned to face the main entrance. In doing so I noticed what I thought was a gray fog or spot in the doorway that would be one your left when entering. It approximately three feet high and was gone very quickly. This could very well have been my eyes adjusting to the lighting conditions but I noted it for the record nonetheless.

Over the course of our time inside I read or played several items. I began with reading Lord Dunmore’s proclamation offering freedom to slaves and indentured servants who served the Crown against the rebels. This proclamation was released shortly after Henry’s speech and Virginia’s formal call for independence. Toward the end I peppered it with some references to the troubles in WIlliamsburg leading to the seizure of the powder magazine. This lead to a squeaking noise that seemingly came from the left side of the foyer nearest the main entrance.

At one point Tommy stated that he heard a vocalization, possibly from the area of the gift shop. I did not hear this.

We then experience what seemed to be a moving cold spot. It is difficult to say what the cause was but it may have been environmental and not anomalous. While focusing on the cold spot I believe I was touched on my left hand. The sensation was as if someone had laid a string across the fingers on the back of my hand and pulled it across. Tommy later reported the exact same thing while inside during our excursion.

I progressed to playing to instrumental pieces. The first was the Grenadier fife and drum, a British marching tune from the time. I followed this with The World Turned Upside Down, which was played by Lord Cornwallis’ military band during the surrender ceremony at Yorktown. We heard repeats of the squeaking noise during this time.

After some examination it was determined that the turning the doorknob to the basement entrance by the front door produced a sound that was seemingly identical to the squeaking noises that we heard.

I then read a four paragraph excerpt from Thomas Payne’s Common Sense. After this reading we heard a distinct vocalization that presented in a clear conversational volume. I believe it originated from the front corner of the gift shop approximately 180 degrees opposite of where our microphone was positioned.

After nearly one hour we concluded our excursion.

Report #763 – Basement DR05 Live Monitor Analysis by Brad Bradley

DR0000_0080.wav (start 4:44:34pm, end 8:07:21pm) DR0000_0081.wav (start 8:07:21pm, end 9:09:07pm) DR0000_0082.wav (start 9:09:07pm, end 11:02:27pm)

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