Theater Guild, Jacksonville, Illinois July 2011
Investigators: David, Trish, and Vicki
Weather conditions: hot and dry with full moon
We arrived just before 8pm to the Theater guild. Our time was scheduled from 8pm until 2am. Upon arrival we were informed that the owner and a few of her guests would be there also. So much for paying for a private investigation!!! We were given a tour by Loren Hamilton. He lead us throughout the place, including a trip to the basement, which we quickly decided would be our one and only time down there for safety reasons. One of the ladies joined us down there briefly...shades of things to come!!!
While on the tour I felt like my arm was touched upon entering one of the rooms on the 2nd floor. Also standing outside another room on the same floor (a room referred to as the wedding gown room). I started to feel dizzy. It went away as soon as I moved from that location. One other thing I would like to note during the tour, that I smelled a sweet fragrance like a perfume odor. It would suddenly appear and disappear. Interestingly, I smelled it on each floor as if we were being followed.
As far as when the actual investigation started I had another personal experience while in the wedding gown room with Trish. It felt like someone was tickling the right side of my head. Soon after, I heard a tinkling sound coming from one of Trish's dangling earrings. She said it felt like someone was playing with it. Trish had also mentioned that she felt like she may have been touched on the 2nd floor in the room with the giant nutcrackers.
As far as solid evidence goes, it was difficult to ascertain. The challenge we faced were the non-CAPS personnel, the owner and her people. They seemed to sneak around and at one point Trish walked into a room on the 2nd floor and found them sitting there in the dark. Despite their constant intrusions, we tried our best to go on with investigating. We may have captured some EVPs, but had difficulty substantiating with so much contamination. I had one of the video cameras on the 2nd floor, and while our team was working in the attic. Shortly after it began, the video caught one of the ladies going room to room searching for us. She left, only to return moments later with another lady pointing to the attic door. The one lady then opened the door and entered the attic stairwell, then suddenly left. We heard the door at that time and noted so on our audio recorders. The video evidence confirmed that indeed it was a person, not an entity playing with the door. So that is a prime example of the intrusive/contaminating behavior we had to deal with!
Although faced with that aggravation, at least David and I went through with the performances we had planned to give on stage located on 1st floor. We had hoped that would stir up some of the entertainers said to haunt the place, but we did not seem to get much, and once again the ladies all resided in the room next to us, and were not very quiet!
We were faced with an even bigger challenge around 11pm when an eleven-year-old boy arrived and was foisted upon us for the remainder of our investigation. We were not a happy team!!!
Back to evidence...or lack of... My video camera placed on the 2nd floor yielded no substantial evidence on the first tape, except to confirm we were being followed by a human contamination. I don't know if one of them was wearing the fragrance I had referred to in the above section. My 2nd tape had some interesting orb action. Now I want to stress, I am not a fan of orbs whatsoever!!! That being said, some of them were interesting to watch and seem to go straight across from one wall to the other. Some looked like interesting lights. It must also be noted that the first video appeared to have very few "orbs". Not sure if this was related to the fact that the owner turned off the air conditioner about thirty minutes into the first tape.
I also had placed a video camera in the third floor attic. I did hear a couple of EVPs on there, but did not garner any visual evidence. Two non-CAPS personnel had entered this area in the night and had turned the fan on for a time which greatly interfered with the sound quality of our video.
Later that same camera was placed on first floor pointing into a closed-off gated room where shadow figures had been reported. This video caught nothing visual and I had to disregard all audio since the room next to it was full of non-CAPS personnel.
Because of the conditions we unexpectedly faced (significant contamination) It is impossible to conclude whether indeed this location is as haunted as has been purported. If asked, my opinion would be that because some potential EVPs were captured on the third floor, it is perhaps haunted.
It would be nice to return sometime without the non-CAPS personnel, but alas that maybe just a Midsummer's night dream and for now we live with the memory of the comedy of errors!