Thornhaven Manor, New Castle Indiana July 2014
Investigators: Dave, Trish, Vicki and returning guest Betsy
Weather cloudy with cooler than normal temperatures
This year’s annual pilgrimage to Indiana was a place called Thornhaven Manor; a beautiful but somewhat eerie brick structure on the outskirts of New Castle. The home sits on several acres of land which includes a barn that hosts two baby turkey vultures and their Mama that by all accounts, I am quite happy not to have come face-to-face.
Around 6:30pm we met the owner, Steve Miller, who graciously showed us around the home and property. We are always so pleased to meet people willing to put the time and effort needed to restore historic structures. When Dave asked his plans for the home, Steve jokingly replied that although he bought it to live in… some days he’s not so sure.
The manor was built in 1845 for a prosperous influential man named Simon T Powell and his wife Elizabeth. They had four children, one of whom was a little girl named Lizzy who tragically died at the age of two. They also had a son that died while fighting in the civil war on the side of the Union and another daughter who perished sometime in her early adulthood. Their son Henry, who also fought in the war and had severely damaged his leg, lived into his 70’s. After Elizabeth died, Simon remarried to a woman named Melvina.
Although the years have certainly taken its toll on the home, there is no doubt that at one time this place was filled with beauty and elegance. I couldn’t help thinking of when we might get the opportunity to come back when Steve had finished.
While on the tour, I began having issues with my camera battery failing. I overheard Trish say her camera batteries drained as she was passing by that same area on the main floor. As we moved on, both our cameras rebounded back, although over the course of the evening we all had to undergo multiple battery changes. After showing us the house and grounds Steve left us to investigate at our leisure; whilst he took off towards the backyard to build us a welcoming fire should the mood strike us.
We decided to use the first room on the main floor as our command central; it would make for convenient loading and unloading. As Dave pointed out, it would also be the quickest way out.
Betsy and I started upstairs and almost immediately we both began feeling a heaviness in our chests; I had a hard time talking at that point. We decided it was in our best interest to head back downstairs for a while. Curiously Trish experienced the same labored breathing in the upstairs children’s room at the end of the evening.
While Dave and Trish then went upstairs to investigate and set up another video camera, Betsy and I sat in the “Doll Room”, (in honor of a dolly that sits in there that was found by Steve when cleaning up the basement). While sitting quietly, Betsy detected several temperature fluctuations with her laser thermometer, and then saw a strange squiggly white light near the top of the staircase.
When Dave came back down he sat with us for a spell. During this time we heard a continuous, loud thumping noise, as if someone was walking very slowly across the floor. After we had set up multiple static cameras and recorders we vacated the house for about a half hour to see what kind of activity we could catch. We met up with Steve who was relaxing by the fire. He told us that strange banging and footsteps are a common occurrence at Thornhaven
At about 10 pm I was setting up my video camera at the foot of the staircase and heard a strange knocking noise behind me. I turned and noticed it appeared to be coming from a nearby door. I called out to the others thinking that perhaps it was one of them only to discover they were all on the other side of the house. As the thumping continued I looked at the door and saw it had a transom and realized it was a door leading to the outside. At first it sounded as if someone was hammering, but became progressively louder and freakier until it reached a crescendo when the door itself was literally vibrating; then it stopped.
While I stayed inside, Dave went to check and I heard him say that not only wasn’t anyone there, but that the entry was at least three feet off the ground, covered in thick foliage and there weren’t even any steps…
Later that evening as we all sat downstairs with the creepy doll, Dave tried playing some old time music in hopes of eliciting some responses. A few times Trish felt goose bumps and we all kept hearing a sort of clicking noise but never found the source. Betsy and I heard a whispery voice.
While the others went upstairs, I felt the sudden urge to sit in the first floor hallway next to the staircase. To my side was the drawing room with bay windows that was corded off for safety. Previously some investigators had captured interesting thermo pictures that looked as if an image was looking in from the outside.
As the others resumed the music experiment upstairs, I suddenly felt an exceedingly spine-chilling sensation enveloping me and my K2 meter began lighting up. The home currently does not have electricity, so the fact that any of our K2 or EMF meters would spike is quite significant. I whipped out my digital camera and began frantically taking pictures...
Suddenly a tremendously loud banging noise came from behind me. To say that I was petrified is an understatement! I got up to look at where the noise had come from and by golly, there was another door. This one had a broken out window with a room behind it. I apprehensively peered through it and to my great relief I was not met eye-to-eye with anything, paranormal or otherwise.
I scurried upstairs to find the others to let them know what had happened and show them the pictures. The first photo revealed a black mist but in the next it’s gone. There were a couple of other strange photos that looked as if something red was on the wall.
We all went back downstairs to check it out. I took my flashlight and shined it on the wall and to my surprise there was nothing red in appearance. Both Betsy and Trish began having issues with their cameras and my K2 meter briefly lit up again. Dave decided to get the spirit box to perform a session in that spot. The spirit box produced strange modulations; Trish was sure she heard a whisper.
Throughout the rest of the evening we continued to have periodic K2 hits, heard unexplained noises and whispers, at one point I swear I glimpsed a pair of little legs dangling from the “Doll Chair”.
After packing up our equipment I turned and looked back at Thornhaven bathed in darkness. A marvelous place and I can’t wait to return, but like Steve said at the beginning, don’t know if I’d really want to live there…
Above is one of Betsy's shots into the famous drawing room.
To the right is the outside transom door where the loud banging appeared to emanate. It seems quite inaccessible to either man nor beast.
The photographs below were a few of the many taken by Vicki by the drawing room at near the base of the stairs.
In the first pair a large dark mass appears to be block the view of the bay window, yet a shot taken 10 seconds later it is not longer there...
The same type of phenomenon occurred when shooting toward the stairs only in this case the mass appears to be more red in color.
Caught in the first floor front room when I was first getting out our equipment. At about 2 secs a child's voice perhaps say's, "Don't Move..."
Captured this upstairs in the servants quarters during the "Music Experiment". At about 2 secs a child's voice seems to say, "Better Leave..."
Another one in the Doll room. At about 2 secs a deep male voice, "Release..."
Caught upstairs in the hallway. At about two secs child with a sing-songy voice.
EVP from the "Creepy Doll Room". Something faint about about 1 sec, then a male voice at about 7 secs, not sure but sounds like "Betsy burned us..."
Recording of the "Loud Footsteps" we captured on the main floor. Couldn't believe how long they lasted...
Caught in the first floor front room when I was changing my camera batteries after the tour. Sounds like a child singing softly at the beginning then at about 6 secs, very loudly, "Mommy...".
Taken from the Spirit Box session on the first floor after my encounter. Dave say's he's ready to turn off the SB7, at six seconds... "Wait".
The first clip shown is a very persistent and apparently playful light anomaly. The path this object appears to follow and the course changes it makes are unlike anything we have ever caught on video.
The second clip was also from one of our static cameras set up to monitor our Boo Buddy Friend. It appears to be illuminated by one of our other lights but the shape is certainly something we could not easily explain.
If your having trouble viewing this video, we have finally posted it to YouTube...