It had started out as a routine follow up investigation. The third floor of Glenrock’s Bronco building (a brick building on Birch Street that houses the Paleon museum, one of the local papers and a number of small businesses) had been the source of several paranormal investigations. Jess and I had first encountered its strangeness while investigating with another group. We had some experiences that very first night which were dismissed by our fellow investigators. We knew what had occurred and determined to return to the spot and find out more.
It’s been two years since that investigation and we have returned to the spot many times. The other paranormal group concluded a residual haunting if anything for the building. Having investigated the basement, main floor and third floor several times we of course knew better. On the night in question we had returned to find out about the woman in the room with the paintings.
This room had always been a source of anxiety for me. My first time in there I had almost run from the room encountering a sense of oppressive energy that I couldn’t explain but which made me uncomfortable. I caught some indistinct EVPs but was pretty sure they included my name and the unsettling word: “help.”
We returned to the room on a lark last October as the culmination of our first annual Glenrock ghost walk. Being history buffs we were searching for ways to attract people to our town as well as inform the locals of the wonderful history of the place. The EVPs I caught in the room that night were much clearer: “Trish help.”
Now I’m not the most detached paranormal investigator and this repeated plea haunted my dreams. I kept seeing this room in my sleep, an old apartment with a dresser between two built in cupboards and child’s paintings along the walls. A woman caught in time and memory pleading for assistance. It was a problem. Because I think a lot of “ghost hunters” forget that the voices on our recorders and the lights we see in our cameras were once people with lives, families and feelings. It was hard to think I couldn’t reach and help her. I won’t pretend that I know how.
Last night we returned to the room to conduct a thorough very patient EVP session to try and coax her forward. With all of the usual equipment laid out as well as some trigger objects, motion sensors and a flashlight that could be turned on with the lightest touch, we thought for sure we would capture something that could help us figure out the mystery of the woman lost inside the room.
And perhaps we did. I don‘t know. I haven’t reviewed the evidence from that room because I was distracted and still am flabbergasted by the events that took place outside in the hallway.
Because in a building empty of occupants at 10: 30 on a Sunday evening in an area without electricity I saw lights come together, pulse and form into the figure of…well I don’t pretend to know what it was for sure. All I know was my eyes and my brain struggled to process something I had never encountered in my life and may never encounter again.
We had decided to return to a spot in the hallway where we had experienced a sort of unsettling sound vacuum two years before. We were killing time while we gave our anxious female the opportunity to interact with the equipment in the room. It was an afterthought, a break, just a moment in the hallway that may have changed my understanding of the paranormal forever.
I cleared the bat excrement from a space on the floor and sat unceremoniously in the space with my back against the wall.
“Yeah, I think I’ll stand,” Jess giggled.
“Wuss. Hey you know we ghostie hunters must do what we got to do Jess,” I replied and sat with my back against the outer wall of the apartment behind me. I was at the cross section of two hallways, one leading to the outside with a light at the end where our extra water bottles and equipment bag lay and one cloaked in darkness except for the faint filtered window light that danced periodically along one wall every time a vehicle went by on the street below. We began to talk about the circumstances of that night two years ago.
“Remember we had just come out of that room where you had been calling out for David Smyth,” recalled Jess.
“Oh yeah, David Smyth eh? It’s so weird that I chose him. I’ve done so much more research on him since then and it’s creepy. He was from the same county in Ireland as me and had similar family experiences,” I shared.
“That’s awesome, said Jess.
“I’ve even visited his grave in the cemetery a number of times to pay my respects,” I confessed.
David Smyth was a member of the Glenrock business group and an early investor in the Bronco building. I had singled him out for that initial investigation because, well at the time it was the only name I could remember from my research. Now I know he used to run a business where the Classic Café stands today, he lost two wives and one child and made a real life for himself in Glenrock’s 1920s era.
“Awh, that’s so sweet,” shared Jess.
“Well I dunno. I’ve learned a lot since that night. They are people who had lives and families and aren’t just scary bumps in the night you know?”
The conversation inevitably turned to our children and we shared the days antics including my 15 month old’s attempt to belly dance right before I left the house for the investigation. We giggled for a while, feeling light and not intimidated by the dark hallways looming all around us. I decided to return to our investigation which was short as always. Wanting to fill the time a little better I decided to call out.
“Hi I’m Trish and this is Jess.”
“I know we’ve been here many times before but we are trying to find out what we can do to help you. We want to know why you are here and your name. Please give us a sign of your presence tonight. Knock on the wall like this.” I knock two times on the wall behind me.
“Trish knocking,” Jess stated for the digital recorder.
“Or on the floor like this.” I knock twice more.
“Trish knocking,” Jess repeated.
“I know it takes a lot of effort and a lot of energy but we really need you to try. Use our energy. Don’t be afraid. Come towards us now. Give us a sign of your presence.”
Jess flipped her flashlight on and recorded the EMF reading for the tape.
“Holding steady at a point two.”
“Please give us a sign of your presence. I think you want help but I can’t help you unless you talk to me. We know you are here but we need to prove to other people that you are here.”
We dropped into silence for a few seconds. I tried to focus in the darkness, looking for any signs of noise or movement.
“Settling,” said Jess.
A thump. Jess and I look at each other and I point in the direction of the sound, down the darker hallway and she nods agreement.
“If that was you, can you please do it again,” I ask.
Another thump. We look at each other and this time I point in the opposite direction. Once more Jess nods in agreement.
“It’s about what? A little after ten? The temperature’s dropping Trish. There’s gonna be a lot of creaking, popping and settling what with the temperature fluctuations today.”
“Yeah I know,” I agreed. “Please if you are trying to make contact you have to be very clear. Please knock two times in a row so we know it’s you.”
Silence. The night stretches all around us. We settle into our vigilant positions and just wait. I am looking down the dark corridor and Jess is looking down at the EMF meter.
“Still point two,” states Jess.
We sit for a few minutes, trying to stay calm and quiet. Ghost hunting is a lot of sitting around in the dark over analyzing every squeak and bang, discovering with the morning light that it really was nothing.
But then something catches my eye.
I see quite clearly three distinct balls of light come around the corner at the other end of the hallway and disappear.
“Are you looking down this hallway Jess?”
I giggled. “I hate to even say this aloud but I’m pretty sure I just saw three orbs dance around the corner down there.” Orbs are a bit of a joke among the ghost hunting community.
“You sure it wasn’t light from outside?”
“Oh probably. It was just weird for a second. They were very blinky.”
Jess laughs at my description and looks up. “Oh I just saw one too. Probably a car going by.”
We both listen for the sound of a vehicle which is pretty easy tonight. The building is old and in need of repair and two more windows were broken out in the storm we had a few weeks before. It was cool and outside noise was constant. We explain sounds for the recorder for a while longer.
“Car outside.” We watch the square shadow of the window frame cross the wall as the car passes. There’s a giggle and scream.
“People outside hooting and hollering.”
“Music, probably from the apartments behind us.”
We continue this way for a while. The entire time I am looking down the dark corridor watching the light play against the wall, hoping the female spirit is in the room down there somewhere leaving us a message. I start to notice that the composition of the light has changed in the hallway. Indeed it seemed brighter, then fainter, then brighter, then fainter. I listen for a car passing. Nothing.
“Are you looking down this hallway?” I ask Jess without taking my eyes of what I am beginning to think is some sort of light anomaly.
“Well can you? I think I see something.”
“Honey you know how I am. I can’t trust my eyes.”
“It’s like there’s a light down there fading in and out.”
“It always looks like that for me.”
“Jess I see something. Please look.”
“Honey I don’t see anything.”
I watch for a little longer. I couldn’t tell you how long. It’s like the end of the hallway is pulsing with light. I hear a vehicle and watch the car’s shadows cross through the light anomaly. Okay so it’s not that.
“Jess I’m serious I see something.”
“Honey I’m sorry you know I can’t trust my eyes.”
And then I see it.
My brain and eyes are in shock; there is a breakdown in communication. I am seeing something I have never seen in my life and I can’t get my mind and eyes to agree or communicate with me what it is. The closest I can think is: ‘I see a person.’
I gasp twice without speaking. I have since listened to this incident on my digital recorder and I not speaking anyone will tell you is an anomaly in itself.
“Trish? Speak to me what?”
It’s still there. It’s like a gray figure but it’s not a figure. The best visual I can give you is a child size thing with a gray sheet over it that keeps getting fainter and then brighter in time with the light at the end of the hallway. Something keeps trying to come into focus.
I am beyond movement, almost beyond speech. I have one hand holding onto my foot with a death like grip and the other hand securely over my own mouth so I don’t scream. Is this a ghost? Am I really seeing this? I blink, try to shift focus, look away and look back, and try to make it disappear, try to make it nothing but a trick of light but its not going anywhere. In fact it’s moved forward two feet.
It’s getting closer.
“Jesus Christ Jess.”
“What honey? What?”
“Don’t you see this?”
“I see, I see a figure. At the end of the hallway oh my god. Oh my god.”
“I can’t see it, I’m sorry I can’t validate you I can’t see it.”
I wish with all my might that Jess could see the figure but out of the corner of my eye I see her head is down. She doesn’t want to look.
I can’t turn away.
“Come towards us now,” I manage to say. The digital recorder and our own ears pick up two distinct thuds, like footsteps coming down the hallway. I can barely breathe. I’d love to run but I can’t move. I am transfixed; stunned. There is a gray figure, an outline of a human without detail; no arms, no legs no face, a mound of gray changing in intensity pulsing in front of me. A something… a ghost?
“Please come closer,” I say loudly and then in a whisper, “Jess you have to see this dude you have to see this.” My voice is pleading. I can’t see this alone without validation without a camera to back up my claims, another person to see the unbelievable sight before my eyes.
“Oh my god Jess. Oh my god. I see someone.”
“I’m sorry hon I don’t. What?”
“I… it’s something down there at the bottom of the hallway. I, it’s oh my god. It’s a person, a little person. They keep fading in and out. Jess you can’t see this? It’s right there!”
“Wait a minute,” Jess says in a serious tone.
I can’t take it anymore. In a sudden worry that someone is actually in the building and messing with us I keep my eyes on the figure and ask Jess to turn on her flashlight.
“What now?” asks Jess.
“Yeah point it straight down there.” She lights up the hallway and it’s empty.
I let go of my foot as my hand cramps and touch my chest to feel the heavy beating of my heart. I am full of adrenaline. I saw something. I finally saw something after all this time I saw something.
And I have no way to prove it.
“You didn’t see that?” I ask unbelieving.
“No Hon. I’m sorry I didn’t.”
“I can’t believe you didn’t see that. Jess it was right there hon for a long time. It was pulsing in and out.”
“I’m sorry Trish.”
I admit I was pretty mad at Jess at that point. Her poor eyesight had always been a bit of a giggle point on previous investigations. We had always focused on EVP work in the past, deciding not to waste too much time on cameras and film for the slim to no chance of catching something on camera. But now I was angry. I needed validation.
“Oh my god I’m getting you laser surgery. I can’t believe you couldn’t see that it was so clear.”
“Calm down Trish.”
“I can’t dude I’m pissed off. I finally saw something and I have no way of validating it.”
“But honey we didn’t have the camera on, we didn’t have film running, no one would believe us anyway.”
“I’m not thinking about proving to anyone else what I saw I just wanted you to see it. I don’t care about evidence and stuff.”
We walk up the hallway to check out the area. I try to describe to Jess what I saw without being able to give much detail and she continues to claim she saw nothing. My disappointment is palpable.
“Let’s take a break,” suggests Jess. We go into the room to check on our trigger objects to discover nothing has moved then head downstairs to the museum to calm me down and collect our thoughts. I can’t tell you how much emotion was coursing through me. I know for the first time I saw something and I have no one to back me up. It was a truly upsetting and crushing thought.
Outside the night had grown darker and the streets cleared of people and movement. We were stood outside the door of the museum and Jess stopped and looked at me.
“Ok I’m gonna describe something to you and you tell me if it’s what you saw. In the hallway a gray figure, about this high, like a young boy or girl, a mound in dove gray, fading in and out.”
“You saw it! You friggin saw it!” I was elated. I wasn’t crazy, seeing things or delusional.
‘Holy crap I guess I did.”
The validation was overwhelming and euphoric. We went inside the museum and I drew out on a piece of scratch paper the hallway, the points of light, the mound of gray, the exact position and Jess confirmed my scribblings. She was too dumbfounded to say anything upstairs and wanted to be sure we had seen the same thing. Where I had seen it for several minutes, Jess saw it for ten seconds.
But she saw it.
We decided to end the investigation and get a stiff drink. The adrenaline of the evening kept us up and chatting until three in the morning; this morning a few hours before I started writing this all down. After Jess left I put on my headphones and listened to the section of the investigation in question. My digital recorder had caught the footsteps, my gasps and shock and Jess’ denial of what her eyes had seen.
After we had turned on the flashlight and headed up to the spot so I could recreate the scene for Jess, I caught something on the recorder. I’m sitting on the floor, kneeling trying to describe the height of what I saw. I exclaim that I’m cold. Over my voice, very distinctly there is the most validating EVP of my short investigation career.
A voice, a whisper, distinct and crisp: “I’m here.”
On June 26, Deer Creek Research will have a shut in at the Glenrock Library from 9pm to 12 a.m. and this EVP will be played for all attendees.