First of a two-part series If any site in our area deserved its formidable reputation for spectral sightings and sounds and good food, it's the The Stottsville Inn in Pomeroy.The ghost of Josephine Chandler is still present at the Inn as windows still steam up, warm and cold spots are evident in the same room, wind and voice sounds are heard, as open doors and windows and blinds that are open are found closed, as different people who visit the Inn get creepy, goose-bump feelings.
If there is any truth or stories to be believed at the Stottsville Inn, it is by the eye of the beholder and by Paranormal Ghost Investigators, who are sent to th Inn by owner Jack Salek and Manager Janice DiGennaro.
Haunted houses and historical inns are usually host to the restless spirits of their previous occupants and the trend to communicate with the spirits goes back to the golden age of ghosts, in the mid-1800s. Sightings still exist today.
The ghost seekers, better known as "Paranormal Investigators" from Honey Brook, were sent to the Inn to speak with the spirits and come away with some findings as did two preliminary investigators, one on Nov. 30, 2007 and on May 31, 2008.
Ghost hunts are best conducted by a small group who can verify each others findings. If you work on your own, there will be no one to verify your findings and act as a witness, and if you fall in the dark there will be no one to call on for help. It is a misconception that spirits are summoned at the request of the medium (a psychic), and because of this many people still believe that spirit communication is wrong, because it disturbs the peace of the departed. In fact, they say the reverse it true.
Spirits come only when they have something that they are desperate to impart to the living and they use a medium or Paranormal Investigator to communicate with, because most of us are not receptive to direct communications with the netherworld.
The investigators' co-founder, Cynthia S. Starr Witman and co-founder Ruth F. Hines, along with the search group team, Frank, Ken, Jeremy, and Tiffany, on their preliminary visit on Nov. 30, 2007, had brought investigative equipment to the Stottsville Inn. Cameras, digital Hi-8 video, 35 mm cameras, mini-DV video, four-camera DVR, DVD recorder with audio, standard cassette, micro-cassette, along with Lutron EMF meter, K-II meter, electron-ic/digital thermometer with a compass and infrared thermometer.
According to the report finding of the investigators, they were told - which they hadn't known prior to their visit - that a murder took place in Room 305. A beautiful 19-year-old woman, Josephine Chandler, was murdered in her room by her husband, Horace. He is said to have killed her, and then himself.
In the report, the five investigators went upstairs to check Room 305, on the third floor of the Stottsville Inn. A voice recorder was placed on the bed and recorded 7 minutes, 26 seconds of audio. EMF sweeps recorded.8 and.9, although near the window on the far side of the room, the EMF signal was 2.9 and 3.0. The temperature was 62 degrees by the window and 59 degrees at the windows on the far side of the room. They closed all of the blinds, although one opened back up by itself (facing the road). They didn't actually see it open, but noticed it later. The temperature on the far side of the room was now down to 57 degrees and the rest of the room was 71 degrees. The EMF jumped to 2.2 as they all experienced creepy, goose-bump feelings. The EMF then fluctuated from 2.1 to 1.8.
The area on the opposite side of the bed (near the window) was much colder than the rest of the room, no drafts, just colder in temperature. There was no breeze, it was 58 degrees, yet the rest of the room was 62 degrees. Frank had been holding the EMF and something hit his hand, knocking it out of his hand and onto the bed. The EMF recording now read.3, then.4, then.6, then.7.
As the area on the other side of the bed is now up to 60 degrees, Ruth got a big chill and Cindy asked if they were bringing the temperatures down.
An EVP session was conducted as they asked "Is there anybody here?"
"What is your name?"
No response. "Do you want to us to leave?" No response.
Jeremy then noted that the bottom window was starting to steam up. He then felt the bed and noticed a warm spot on the edge of it, as if someone had been sitting there. The area was about 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the bed.
The investigators then went upstairs to the attic and Jeremy stayed at the bottom of the attic stairs. Nothing out of the ordinary was noted. While descending the stairs, Ruth felt a shove on her hip area. Cindy and Ken had been in front of her and were already in the hallway. Frank was a few steps behind her and when she turned around to look, Frank asked if her knee gave out and she replied she was just pushed. He immediately said that he didn't do it.
When they then listened to the voice recorder, a whisper was heard, which sounded like..
"I want to leave immediately."
Then Cindy asked, "Do you want us to leave?"
When played backward, the whisper sounds very much like. "Leave us alone!"
In conclusion, with the evidence the investigators collected that day, they felt there was paranormal activity occurring at the Stottsville Inn, and they wanted to come back to witness and hear more. So owner Jack Salek invited the ghost seekers back on Jan. 5 of this year.
The group arrived at approximately 7:30 p.m. and met the manager who told the group they could park in the back and bring the equipment in through the back door (in the bar area). The group did a protection prayer and brought their equipment in putting it in the hallway on the second floor, then went down to the table to have dinner.
The bar was open until 11 p.m., so they were unable to set anything downstairs until the area was vacated. Base was set up on the second floor in the last room on the right. DVR cameras were set up, and camera one and camera two were put in Room 305, camera three was put in room 202 and camera four was put room 301. Mini DV cameras were set up on the third floor near the railing of the staircase facing the hallway attic area.
Several of the staff heard about the EVP they collected during the preliminary visit there on Nov. 30, 2007 and were eager to listen. Unfortunately, no one had a story to share of possible paranormal activity they encountered except Janice the manager, who is there most of the time.
Janice always gets the feeling someone is watching her.
"I always have to step back, thinking someone is there," she said. "The lights that are bright will flicker and dim then go back to bright. One time, Jack and I were down in the basement and the ice scoop that was on top of the ice machine flew off almost a yard away. Being in shock, Jack said that was from the vibration from the machine. But I said, "I don't think so."
Janice tells the spirits to leave her alone and that she doesn't need to be scared. Janice says people who come here always lose something when they are here, but find it when they leave.
At approximately midnight, the ghost seekers start the investigation as they were able to set off the DVD recorders in the bar area and in the dining room. The group started on the third floor in Room 301.Ken, Ruth, Cindy, and Frank were all inside the room, Jeremy remained out in the hall sitting on the steps outside the room. They did an EMF sweep with no abnormal readings. They noted that the temperature was approximately 60 degrees and dropping. During the EVP sessions in the room, she said that if it reached 57 degrees, then we would go and leave them alone. Within five minutes, the temperature lowered to 56.9 degrees.
They left room 301.
The search group then continued working their way down the third floor hall in each room with an EMF sweep with no abnormal readings. They reached room 305 and settled in for an EVP session, noting that there were colder temperatures on the far side of the room near the window and the chair in the corner. They completed the EVP session after approximately 20 to 25 minutes and exited room 305.
The group then went down the stairs to the second floor and went inside room 201. Jeremy said right away that he felt that he was walking into cobwebs and waived his arms around. Two of them had already been in the room earlier during setup and had not felt anything like that. They conducted an EVP session and 20 minutes later moved down the rest of the hallway and back to base.
Once back at the base, they monitored the DVR. Frank and Cindy ventured out after about 45 minutes to the other end of the second floor hall, taking pictures and checking EMF readings. At 3 a.m., Cindy, Frank, and Jeremy went to room 305 for a vigil.
Once inside the room, they closed and locked the door.
An EVP session was conducted, the temperature checked and it fluctuated wildly as did EMF readings. Digital and 35 mm pictures were taken. They heard noises coming from the bathroom and checked it out to find nothing out of the ordinary. Frank reported that he felt very cold across the back of his neck while sitting on the chair located on the far side of the room, opposite the door. He moved the chair away from the wall to see if it improved, but it was still very cold. They checked the window for drafts but found nothing. They concluded the vigil at 3:45 a.m. and started to break down their equipment. Jeremy went to open the doors and said the door was still locked. He tried to unlock the door and was unable to do it, so Cindy went over and unlocked the door. Approximately 3:45 a.m. to 4:10 a.m. they packed up to go home.
Until next time, Ciao, Joe PS: The Paranormal Investigators findings that day in the attic was no physical evidence collected, only personal experience. They didn't' get a chance to investigate the basement. In the bar area, for some unknown reason, the camera did not record. On the second floor, Room 201, a shadow would appear and disappear on the side of the TV set and the third floor EVPs from room 301, 304, 305 and the third floor hallway were "shaking." The mini DV camera that was set up on the third floor hallway was also 'shaking." And evidence on the DVD showed that most rooms had orbs and shadows as lights dim and orbs fly.
Is it the ghost of Josephine Chandler? Stay tuned for Part II next week as the paranormal investigators come back. They feel strongly that there is definitely paranormal activity at the Stottsville Inn.