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The Phoenix Center, Springfield, Illinois, June 2014

CAPS investigators: Dave, Trish and Vicki with our hosts: Jonna and Lisa

Weather: Mild and Full Moon


This large brick building has a rich history within its walls. The site has been used for social services, in one form or another, for more than 100 years. It was built in the 1870’s as an orphanage run by the Catholic Church. For a time it was turned over to the Mary Bryant home for the blind before being once again taken over by the Catholic Church with a focus on helping unwed mothers. In 2001, the site became the Phoenix center; opened as a safe haven for the LGBT youth to meet.

Over the years, there have been many reports of paranormal activity. The chief of which is the sighting of a celestial nun who apparently still has a habit of roaming the halls. There have also been reports of the odorous smell of cigarette smoke, the echoes of children’s laughter, phantom footsteps in the main hallway, and finding kitchen cabinets left open are just a few.

Dave and Trish visited this location back in November of 2013 with the aid of our friend and Medium, Michell. During that visit, Michell picked up on several spirits: a Chaplin named “Robert”, a young boy named “Josiah”, and a cook who evidently still wants to have the run of the kitchen, just to name a few. One of the experiences they had during that investigation was an EVP they captured at the same time seeing a creepy skeleton prop move.

I was quite anxious to investigate the property for myself, and it happened to be a full moon on a Friday the 13th when the opportunity presented itself. Dave, Trish and I arrived at around 10pm and I was introduced to Jonna and Lisa. We immediately set up our cameras and recorders in the basement, on the main level, and of course the infamous kitchen. Unfortunately we were not able to access the upper floor that night.

While Dave spent most of his time investigating any paranormal type activity in the other areas of the building, Trish and I sat with our hosts in a sitting area of the basement. Surrounded by our detectors, we held a Spirit Box session, closely followed by the use of the divining rods. During our time using the rods, we encountered several phenomena.

The most profound moment was while Jonna was holding the rods, the K2 meter next to her lit up to the highest level. Trish said she was just thinking of it turning red and at the same time Lisa turned and thought she saw a figure standing behind her. While all this was going on with us, Dave thought he heard a disembodied male voice yell out “Hey”.

I am glad I was able to meet Jonna, Lisa and the spirits that inhabit this wonderful building that seems to radiate Peace, love and harmony. Much to my disappointment however, the cook didn’t follow me home… As my family would tell you, I could sure use the help in the kitchen!

Child, StairwellCAPS
00:00 / 00:08

This EVP was captured by a recorder left on a stairwell that leads to the 2nd floor.  The beginning is the sound of a child around .1 second.  Other voices can be heard at 3 seconds and right after around 5 seconds.

00:00 / 00:02

This one was captured on the main first floor level hallway.  We think it is a child saying "Mommy". 

Male, KitchenCAPS
00:00 / 00:16

This EVP was captured in the kitchen area. A noise is heard just prior to a whisper. About 6 seconds in we hear a male voice responding to Dave.  We think this one says "Get down".

Best FriendCAPS
00:00 / 00:05

I captured this in the basement while I was gathering all my equipment.  I was alone at the time. I believe this is a special message that says "Loved her best friend..."  I can't make out the last part of this.

Relax, What HappenedCAPS
00:00 / 00:08

This EVP seems to indicate a male spirit hovering around David. A male voice clearly says "relax".  The same male voice is heard after David is tagging to say he is mobile, "What happened to him".  This was on the main floor.

Robert, SpiritBoxCAPS
00:00 / 00:06

This was during our Spirit box session in the basement.  I believe it says "Robert" which is one of the names Michell had picked up during her visit.

Leave, StairwellCAPS
00:00 / 00:05

This too was picked up on the recorder left on the stairwell leading to the 2nd floor.  A male whispered voice is heard saying something like "Man leave".


This was taken in the kitchen.  These were the only anomalies seen on that camera through the entire recording and they all happened within 30 secs.

This video was put together with a second audio track from a recorder placed in the same area.  Listen for the EVPs captured between the two audios.

In addition, you will see one of the investigators hair suddenly flip for no apparent reason.  It was a lot of activity in only a short amount of time.  Shows the value of having multiple recording devices and investigators who are willing to take the time to go through everything.

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