Monday, September 1, 2014

Thornhaven Manor: After Action Report

The ECIPI team investigated at Thornhaven Manor on August 30th and 31st.  Thornhaven Manor is located outside of New Castle, Indiana.  The house was built in the 1840s and originally sat on 400 acres.  The property now consists of 7 acres.  The house has sat empty for some time and the property owner, Steve, is working to renovate it.   You can visit Thornhaven Manor's Facebook page here.

We began our evening with a tour of the property from Steve, along with discussion of the site's history.  The house, even in it's current state, is beautiful.  You can imagine how it would have looked in its hey-day, when the Powell family first lived there.  There are rumors of a tunnel leading out from the kitchen which was used for the Undergroud Railroad, though so far that tunnel hasn't been located.  There was once a tower on the house as well, which might have been used for signaling that this was a safe spot for runaway slaves to stop as well as for a look-out to see if anyone was coming.  Even without the tower, the windows offer gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.
Once our tour was over, the team went to work setting up our 8 cameras, our audio recorders, Gauss meters, and a Haunted Trigger Object.  We also took advantage of the fire-ring and got a nice blaze going over which we cooked hamburgers (and vegan hot dogs for one team member).  We had an enjoyable dinner, allowing the house to settle a bit before we began our investigations.

Sound carries quite well inside the house.  It soon became apparent that we couldn't have any conversations at our base camp (in the dining room) without the sound reaching our investigative team, no matter what location that team was at in the house.  The dining room itself was active as well.  We got numerous K2 hits there and even had the battery-powered "candles" turn themselves on.  When we make a return visit, we will try to establish base camp outside to allow for a proper investigation of the dining room area and we will use smaller teams inside the house.

The more energy the team had, the more response we seemed to receive from whatever entities are in the house.  As we grew tired later in the night, activity seemed to drop off.  We found that the name "Lizzie" and the phrase "time out" seemed to trigger responses on our K2 meter.  We also found that we got more responses when we were conversing amongst ourselves rather than in reply to questions posed.

At one point in the evening the entire team heard an eerie cackling noise.  We had split into two groups, one upstairs and one downstairs.  Everyone heard the sound.  At first each group thought it was someone in the other group, but we quickly determined that wasn't the case.  The sound was also captured on numerous audio recorders.  An EVP was caught early in the evening as well, and one investigator reported hearing someone male whisper her name in the main stairwell of the house (at a time when all the male investigators were outside).  Full evidence review will begin this evening and we are hopeful that we will have caught more.  The site was definitely active and interesting.  We want to make a return visit next year!

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