Exploring the Unknown

William L. Rhodes House- Appleton, WI

Background:

  • This house was built in 1897 by William and Florence Rhodes.  Mr. Rhodes owned W.L. Grocery, the first grocery store on College Avenue in downtown Appleton.  Florence, was a registered piano teacher and gave lessons inside the home.  The house is recognized in the State Register of Historic Places and is situated in the Appleton City Park Historic District.  The current owners purchased the home in 1994, restored the property and now run it as an elegant Bed and Breakfast.

Investigators Present:

  • Vicky, Scott, and Jim, joined by Doug Oram, Stephanie Guetschow, and Mark Tracey Christensen from the Fox Cities Paranormal Meetup Group..

Equipment used in investigation:

  • Sony camcorders with Night Shot, Nikon Single Lens Reflex (SLR) digital cameras, Canon SLR digital cameras, KII meters, diffusible laser pointers, digital audio recorders, digital thermometers, and Frank’s Boxes.

Strategy:

  • Six investigators paired off to explore each floor of the three story homes. Each investigation was conducted in four hours, totalling eight hours of evidence review. During the night, investigators used different tactics to encourage activity, such as asking questions out loud and using trigger objects to observe for unexplained occurrences.  A trigger object could be the use of a match box car and asking an unexplained force to move it.

Visual Evidence Captured:

  • Over 600 photographs were taken throughout the investigation.  The last two pictures shot that evening were these, shooting towards a window on the second floor.  Our team attempted to debunk the image by taking additional photos on a second occasion, but all attempts failed to reproduce the same effect.  This signifies that capturing visual evidence of this anomaly is a rare occurence.

Audio Evidence Captured:

  • Here is a selection of the best audio evidence we captured during our investigation.

Note – Headphones/earbuds are recommended when listening to EVP sound samples.  Spirits do not speak at the same frequency we do.

Caught in the back room on the first floor.  Vicky is attempting to capture visual evidence by snapping pictures.  The recorder is setting on the table, about fifteen feet away.  Vicky’s voice is heard lightly as she counts, “One… two… three” and then takes a picture.  A female EVP loudly requests “Patrick, come here,” possibly to take a photo?  Vicky continues to snap pictures and quietly count to three.

A breathy whisper gasps, “Help me.”  At this moment, Vicky expresses, “Feels so cold.”

Unexplained whistling caught on first floor in dining room.  Vicky asks, “Can you come talk to me?”  After another whistle sounds, a breathy whisper responds, “Vicky, over here.”

EVP captured by Jim on the 2nd floor while sitting in silence.  Jim is heard getting up from his seat, when a voice is heard saying, “Can’t go bankrupt.”  Jim, not hearing this in real time, asks it to show itself.

EVP captured by Vicky while walking down the hall with a Gauss Master on the 2nd floor.  Vicky is stepping lightly on the creaky floor, however, a whisper states, “Ain’t too careful are you?…I’m behind you.”  The shorter versions of the EVPs are here: “Ain’t too careful are you?”,   “I’m behind you.”

Scott captured this EVP in the attic, while getting ready to take a picture.  A clear male voice is heard.  The last word is inaudible, but sounds like “I see you photographer” or possibly “I’ll see you for breakfast.”  Being a Bed and Breakfast for the past 17 years, this is a possible recent residual response.

While using the Frank’s Box, Vicky asks “Is there a message that you’d like us to pass on to the new owners?”  A female voice states, “Tell them” when a clear male response continues and is able to make a full sentance stating, “Thanks for praying, you guys are cool!”  The owners are in fact religious and pray within the home often.  Here is the “Thanks for praying, you guys are cool!” (short version)

“Come, Vicky. Come to me…”  Vicky is on the 2nd floor.  A child is clearly heard speaking to her.  The child says, “Come, Vicky.  Come to me.”  After a slight pause, the child asks, “Want to play Spades?”  The loud sound throughout is the heater.

“Jerk!”:  Vicky in the attic.  Vicky is heard asking, “Are you the original owner of this house?”  After several seconds of silence, a very loud, odd sound manifests and then a whisper answers, “Yes,” and is immediately followed by a louder, “Jerk!”  This is another of many examples in which EVPs are preceeded by, or followed by, very odd unexplained sounds.

“Back in the nineteenth, you idiot!”  Scott is in the dining room with Stephanie doing EVP work.  Scott is heard saying, “This was quite the neighborhood back in the early 20th century from what I understand.”  An apparently annoyed female whisper sounds off, “Back…back in the nineteenth, you idiot!”  I’m assuming this was Florence.

“Why dont you watch it!”:  Jim on the 2nd floor.  An angry EVP telling Jim to “Watch it.”  Did Jim almost walk in to someone unseen?

“Knock twice… boom boom.”:  Jim in the attic.  Jim is requesting signs of a possible presence.  He says, “If you want me to leave you alone, knock twice….boom, boom.”  A whisper repeats him.

Conclusion:

  •  All attempts to debunk the anomoly in the photograph failed to disprove the female apparition.  Ample audio evidence was  captured in the form of EVPs and a few investigators reported feeling cold spots as well.  Further observation of these areas proved no significant explanation for the change in temperature.  The MPI Network does believe this home to be active.  We shared these findings with the owner, who seems genuinely entertained with the idea of sharing her Inn with nonliving guests and living guests just the same.
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