Crooked Creek Civil War Museum
This is the old 'Mayes' home site relocated to the battleground site from
Somerville, Alabama. This dogtrot cabin was made in the 1830's and
restored on site in 1996. The Mayes Cabin is available for overnight stays
On Saturday March 2, 2013
The Paranormal Research Alliance held a membership recruiting investigation at The Crooked Creek Civil War Museum in Vinemont, Alabama. This museum is located at the site of the famous Battle of Days Gap on Hog Mountain that took place during the Civil War on April 30, 1863. A fierce battle in which the Confederate Army was ambushed by the Union army resulting in about 80 confederate deaths and about 30 union.
Due to the fact that it was snowing and the low temperature of the night was 26 degrees, we concentrated the majority of this investigation at a 175 year old cabin on the premises.
The Crooked Creek Civil War Museum was founded in April 2006 by owner Fred Wise. Also on the premises is the cabin (mentioned above & photo) which is rented out on a nightly basis.
Although Fred himself has always been skeptical when it comes to ghosts, there seems to be a lot of evidence to support that this former civil war battlefield is haunted.
Two other paranormal teams have investigated this location and caught some amazing evidence, including a full body apparition of a bearded man dressed in Civil War garb standing in the kitchen of the cabin. A full body apparition of another bearded man in Civil War garb in the museum itself, several mist like apparitions in the trees on the property, and on one occasion a woman rented the cabin for a night and was awakened in the middle of the night to see an apparition of a man dressed in Civil War garb walk through a solid door and climb into bed with her.
Just outside of the cabin about 50 feet away is a mass grave site where the bodies of the Confederate soldiers killed in the battle were buried. It is said that not all the bodies were completely dead when they were buried. Forensic experts with cadaver dogs and X-ray equipment visited the location in 2009. The x-rays revealed bone fragments buried a few feet below ground and the cadaver dogs detected human remains.
Paranormal Research Alliance Investigates
Date: Saturday March 2nd and 3rd, 2013
Time: 6:pm to 6:am
PRA Investigators Present
Guest Recruits Present
David Woodard Cody White
Tyler Gordon Jeannie Shaddix
Cloudy with snow Precipitation: 30% Humidity: 67% Wind: WNW 8 MPH Temperature:
34 degrees at 6 PM
26 degrees at 3 AM
Solar X-rays: Active Geomagnetic Field: Unsettled Moon: Waning Gibbous 73% full
Let me begin by saying that I (Blair Jett) was the only experienced member on this event that knew how to properly use the equipment. The other five individuals were all guests as part of a recruitment event to find new members for the PRA. Many errors and contamination took place throughout the night that hampered this from being an effective investigation.
This is okay though, and I expected this. You cannot bring inexperienced individuals into a training type atmosphere without expecting mistakes to be made.
It is our intention to return to this location with trained staff and conduct a genuine investigation.
Myself and the guest recruits arrived at the location at about 4: pm. We interviewed Fred and he took us on a tour of the museum and cabin. We videotaped this, but due to the fact that the guests operating the video camera were not trained in how to use the equipment, none of that footage was usable to publish here.
At 4:45 pm Jeannie and Michael were walking up to the front door of the cabin and the front door opened on it`s own while they were still a good 15 feet away from it.
As amazing as this seemed, we investigated this door further and found that it is in need of maintenance. If the door is not slammed tight it does not close properly and can be forced open by as little as a relatively strong breeze. So we cannot submit that into evidence.
Michael Parker has practiced the art of divination by use of a pendulum and dowsing rods with his native American Indian heritage for many years now. At 4:50 pm while consulting with the pendulum, it informed us that we would be contacted by ghosts tonight.
At 6:pm Mike, David, Cody, Tyler, and myself went outside to the mass grave site while Jeannie stayed in the cabin alone.
Jeannie Alone In The Cabin
This infrared photo (below) taken of Jeannie produced an anomaly that I have no explanation for. Look to the right of Jeannie about chest high.
What do you see?
I see what appears to be a face wearing sunglasses. This almost looks human to me, but looking closer it almost appears non human. I`m not going to go so far as to say it`s demonic, but it appears out of proportion to be human. I put this photo in a photo program and adjusted the lighting, contrast, and shadow, and cannot call this any type of trick of the eye like Pareidolia or matrix effect.
Is this paranormal?
I cannot find a logical explanation.
Infrared Night Vision
Although we did not pick up any evidence on our video and audio recorders, Mike`s dowsing rods did become active when we approached the grave site. Jeannie did not report any activity inside. Due to the extreme weather conditions, we terminated examination of the grave site after about 15 minutes. Also due to extreme weather we had no choice but to build a fire in the fire place. Typically in an investigation we prefer not to have fireplaces active nor electric heaters, but this was probably the coldest night of the year. It was snowing outside with temperatures in the 20`s and the interior of the cabin wasn`t much warmer. So we had to make an exception.
Looking from the dining table you see the kitchen beyond the doorway.
This is the kitchen where a full body apparition had been caught on film in previous years by another paranormal team.
Looking down the hall from the living room is the downstairs bedroom.
This is the bed that a visitor in 2009 reported an apparition walking through a wall and
climbing into bed with her.
(Infrared Night Vision)
I can definitely say that all of us had personal experiences that night. On four different occasions we witnessed the K-ll meter spike. At several times each and every one of us felt cold spots, and on one occasion we confirmed one of those cold spots with our infrared thermometer. It showed an approximate variation of about 5 degrees.
At 7:49 pm Cody found the refrigerator door open in the dining room area. Although everyone in the group swears that they at no point left the fridge open, we cannot rule out the possibility of human error considering that we were using it to keep our beverages cold. So we cannot submit that into evidence.
Mike Parker brought his dowsing rods and pendulum with him and the pendulum was kept on the floor in the living room. At one point in the early part of the night we noticed the pendulum moving on it`s own, but this was not being kept in an environment free of contamination and we cannot say without a doubt that the pendulum had not been accidentally bumped. So we cannot submit that into evidence.
Two things all six of us are absolutely sure that we witnessed is moving cold spots in all rooms, and at multiple times we all saw shadow anomalies and witnessed different variations of darkness in all rooms. Even though we were working in complete darkness with the exception of light being emitted from the fire in the fireplace, we all witnessed the room get darker and lighter several times.
At 8:15 pm while taking a break with the lights on between sessions, I happened to look over at Jeannie and Cody and observed what appeared them both staring at the same spot and simultaneously following something invisible with their eyes. They first spotted it in the living room and their eyes followed it into the dining room. Both Jeannie and Cody reacted with a "Whoa!". I asked what was wrong and they both told me they saw a shadow and watched it move from the living room to the other room.
Had I of not observed this with my own eyes, I`m not sure how seriously I would have taken this, but witnessing it myself added validity to their claims.
While doing a session in the living room at 8:45 pm we all observed bumping noises coming from down the hall in the downstairs bedroom and later we thought we heard bumping sounds coming from the stairs leading to the upstairs bedroom. Although the audio recorder we had running in the living room did not pick this up over the sound of an electric heater, we made our way down the hall to investigate. At another point Tyler felt what he described as something slapping him on the head and this was captured on video.
(left) David and Cody aim the infrared camera down the hall towards the noise while Blair gets up off the floor so they can make their way. (right) the bedroom upon their arrival.
At about 9:40 pm we conducted a Ghost Box session in the living room in an attempt to communicate with spirits. This session produced no results.
A Ghost Box AKA Frank`s Box is a modified am/fm radio that sweeps through the frequencies emitting white noise. The theory behind this is that spirits can speak to you through this device. This is a piece of ITC (Instrumental TransCommunication) electronics that is still in experimental phase.
Blair attempting to speak with spirits using the Ghost Box.
At 12:30 am all six of us ventured down to Crooked Creek. Crooked Creek is at the very bottom of Hog Mountain where the battle took place. In fact, you can still see the fox holes on the river bed 150 years later.
(left) Cody using the infrared night vision camera as we make our way to the creek. (right) David experiments with dowsing rods
(the white blotches in the pictures is snow)
While down at the creek Michael gave some of the potential recruits a lesson in how to communicate with spirits using dowsing rods. We all asked questions and we got responses with the rods.
We asked if the spirit communicating with us was a soldier that died here. The response was yes.
We asked if it was a Confederate soldier. We got no response.
We asked if it was a Union soldier. The response was yes.
We asked if it followed us from the cabin. The response was yes.
We asked if it felt an attachment to anyone of us. One of the rods pointed right at Jeannie. I guess even soldiers that have been dead for 150 years still like women haha.
Each one that experimented with these rods reported that their hands were heating up as though energy was circulating in them. This was interesting considering that we were all freezing in the cold weather and those of us that did not handle the rods, like myself, were freezing so bad that we could hardly feel our hands and fingers. Also while communicating, Cody reported someone or something blowing in his ear.
This photo did spark our interest. The white specks are snow, but in the circled area there is a red glowing spec of light that is similar to spirit energy.
We conducted sessions all through the night until wrapping up the investigation at 6 am. At 2:48 am Blair, Tyler, and David did a few hour long sessions in the upstairs bedroom while Mike and Cody did a session downstairs. Later Mike also joined them upstairs for another session.
At one point while downstairs Cody reported seeing the face of a man with a beard in the dining area while he was using night vision goggles. We had an infrared night vision camera running at the time, but the location where Cody reported seeing this was just out of view of the camera.
(left) Mike and Cody doing session downstairs while Blair is in the upstairs bedroom trying to get spirits to show (right)
We cannot deny that all of us had personal experiences including cold spots, bumps and knocks, and shadows. We captured about 15 hours of video and probably 23 hours of audio.
The only possible evidence we collected would be the photo of Jeannie with the face like image in it, and the photo of the red energy spec caught at the creek.
We have examined this video and audio with a fine tooth comb and cannot substantiate any activity. We did capture many orbs, which we examined over and over and over again. A few of the orbs were what I consider borderline evidence of paranormal activity. I watched them over and over, but the more I examined them, the more I had to finally rule them out as dust or insects.
David did report seeing a moth inside the cabin and as much as I considered submitting a couple of the orbs as evidence, I finally had to throw them out. The procedure is, "when in doubt, throw it out". I certainly am not one to try and fake any type of evidence and I hold very strict standards for evidence at the PRA.
So with this in mind, we cannot say that we uncovered any scientific evidence to prove a haunting. The questionable photo with Jeannie and the face like image warrants further investigation and is probably the closest thing to possible proof of paranormal activity. Yes, I know that other groups have caught great evidence here, and yes we all had personal experiences here, but personal experiences cannot scientifically prove a haunting. One thing that I do believe that may have hampered our getting any results is the fact that we had six people present and past experience shows that some ghosts and entities are shy of large groups of people.
Again, this investigation was greatly contaminated by the fact that this was a recruitment event to attract new members to our organization. When you have new and inexperienced people at a function like this there is bound to be mistakes and contamination.
Again, this was a public recruitment function, not a genuine investigation. Genuine investigations are conducted in a much more professional manner without all the hoopla of a public event.
I am happy to say that this event was not a waste of time either as we did recruit a new team member in Michael Parker. Mike is new to the scientific use of equipment, but has great experience with his Native American Indian art of spirit communication. I believe Mike will be a great asset to the PRA.
We plan on returning to this location in coming months to conduct a genuine investigation.
UPDATE OCTOBER 2014
On September 20, 2014, the Paranormal Research Alliance returned to Hog Mountain and concentrated our investigation on the campground area and the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum. We caught some pretty substantial evidence that leads us to conclude....Yes....the place is haunted.
We had some experiences where we believe we got some tapping sounds to our questions. The audio was enhanced using a real time EVP listener and amplifier. We did not include those clips below because it`s too difficult to hear them on the recordings.
This first clip is audio only taken from an Ghost Box session at the creek. You`ll hear what sounds like two footsteps, then Mike Parker & Blair Jett acknowledging the sound.
The second clip is from video taken inside the museum and you can hear what sounds like a grunt.
The third clip is also from the video shot in the museum. You`ll hear someone whistling. Mike Parker and Flavia Williams were the only two present during this session and the whistle was neither one of them. They did not hear this whistle with the naked ear.
In this fourth clip you`ll hear the whistler try to begin whistling again for a split second, then you`ll notice a flickering to the right of the screen with an odd sound. We determined that this was the museum `Open` light. This is the only time this light malfunctioned which leads us to believe it was manipulated by the same ghost that was whistling.
The fifth clip is audio only, taken from an EVP session with Flavia Williams and Mike Parker. You`ll hear Flavia ask "Were they making too much noise?" Followed by a whisper saying "No".
This audio clip below is from the same EVP session above. You`ll hear both Flavia and Mike talking and what sounds like a sigh.
This video clip below was taken from a session where Mike Parker and Blair Jett were walking through the woods. Just to the left of Mike is what appears to be an apparition. There is a remote possibility that this could be a tree or bushes of some kind, but after careful review, we`re not convinced it being a tree as it doesn`t have the typical body style of plants or trees.
This is a very fast video, only about 2 seconds. I recommend pressing the pause button right after you hit play.
This last clip is from two sessions. First you`ll see the clip from above with Mike and the possible apparition, then it will go to audio (only) recorded in the museum. You`ll here a voice say "Not In Here".