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Paranormal Investigations and Research
I would like to start out by thanking our great group of Guest Investigators for making these tours some of the best of experiences. Also special thanks to the Staff at the Canon City Prison Museum for being great hosts for these events.
For those of you who missed the event, here are the highlights with photo’s:
The setting starts with a short briefing on how the nights events will play out. We then divide everyone into teams and send them off. It’s a seemingly simple process on the surface. We do take the time to properly parse off the teams with the intent of everyone having a good time.
Then the fun starts. Being that this was the first full excursion into this building by most MPPIR staff, the evenings events had the heavy possibility of being unpredictable. We as well as our guests where not to sure what to expect.
Having the whole grounds to ourselves, including the outside area (its fenced in), we decided sending a group outdoors to visit the grounds and the Gas Chamber. The old Gas Chamber is displayed just outside the front area in a small building.
During the first session the unexpected did happen in a way that I don’t think anyone could have predicted. Well maybe a physic could have.
While exploring the Gas Chamber house one guest saw two cameras get nudged by an unseen force. The first camera was located on a tripod and next to its owner. The other was an IR stationary camera we had positioned in the area to watch the Gas chamber. MPPIR lead investigator Ralph confirmed with playback of the camera’s video that it had moved to the left while the group was in the room. What moved the camera is unknown. At least one person in the room stated the camera’s both moved on with out the assistance of the living.
Another hot spot in the building is the kitchen. During our site review and first visit to the building the kitchen stopped me cold. While walking near the office door I “felt” a scream and shock. This sent my radar into full mode. My attention focused directly on the Knife lock box located on the east wall. The feelings I got here where unmistakable, something horrible happened here. It had to do with a knife, a fight and a female. These “feelings” where later confirmed by museum staff and Tom (a local well-known investigator to Canon City).
Thus I made a point to make sure that there was a team in this area as much as possible during the evening. This did lead to events of interest during the course of the night. At least on person was felt as if they were pushed gently while in the kitchen. Hopefully we will have EVP’s from this area as the energy level in the room as reported by most of the sensitive people was really high.
The largest of areas I sent teams into besides the grounds around the old Prison was the main cell block. This area comprises of 80% of the main floor. It is one level with concrete walled cells on both sides. Many people have reported strange happenings in both the office area and the cells.
Late in the evening one of the teams tried a new twist on the flashlight game, using two flashlights. One flashlight had a blue lens and the other with a red lens. They told any entities present to blink the red flashlight for yes and the blue one for no. The group was very excited about the results they got from this event. They did spend a lot of time asking questions using this method. I hope to repeat this experiment in the future.
In the back of the museums basement is a room used for archives and storage. It is in this room MPPIR placed a laser tripwire system. This device works the same as any laser tripwire. Break the beam and the alarm goes off. For about 1 hour or more without being touched or moved by any investigator the alarm went off repeatedly. We check the position of the lasers more than once and came to the conclusion that as it had sat armed for some time before this activity occurred and then stopped shortly after we checked on the device that something we could not see was setting off the alarm on the tripwire.
I would also add that the archive room is an area that I “felt” a presence in. It seemed to me during the late hours of the morning that something was moving around in the room. After first wanting to wander into that area alone to take some pictures, I decided after getting a very uneasy feeling to gather some people who were looking for something to focus on. I brought myself and 3 others in the room where I told them that I had felt a presence in the area.
This “entity” seemed to be directing me to the northeast corner of the room. I kept getting the word ‘photograph’. Now it did not seem to me to take pictures but to look for one. What I found while scanning the shelves of the area where the books, records and photos of Inmates long gone that resided in the prison. I did not disturb these artifacts of history but did take note that maybe the entity wanted to show me something. I will for now have to leave that investigation there. Though maybe the museum staff can look into why this spirit wants someone to look for a photo.
The investigation teams spent a lot of time in this area. Most reported some sort of entity in the area. A small number reported at least one male and 1 or 2 different female spirits. I do find it interesting that the groups reported this.
All in all the night was an exciting evening in exploring the unknown.
©2011 MPPIR, Blog and Photo’s from Frank.
What makes our “tours” unique is that they are not just tours. We bring in the public to join us on actual investigative work. This allows a person to get a hands on feel of paranormal investigating. This approach is unique in many aspects as you are not lead around and told “Ghost stories”. We show you how to look for and record possible paranormal events.
To give you a look at what happens during our tours I decided to share some pictures of these public investigations. (click on the images to make them larger)
I will start with how we began all of our investigations public or private. The Site Briefing. We always have a briefing at the beginning of each investigation. At public tour/investigations, because we travel into dark and sometimes hazardous places we always make sure we give a safety brief to our guests. While looking for things that go bump in the night we don’t want to stumble around and cause bumps and bruises.
Yes I did notice the young lady with the crutches. But don’t worry she is ok and she acquired the injury during cheering practice. I did not inquire as to how exactly.
We don’t always investigate in the dark. The Jail Museum has been shown to have activity during the day and night. We do go well into the night with our investigations and sometimes until the sun rises.
This picture shows a typical setting early on in the evening. Surrounded by equipment the investigators start with checking readings and getting a good baseline of temperature, EMF and a general feel for the area. Starting just before sunset gives an investigator a good idea of the area they are working in and prevents accidents. This is a good idea when investigation a new site for even seasoned ghost hunters.
Getting down to the fun and exciting side of a ghost hunt is always the best part. MPPIR has a lot of experienced investigators that are open-minded to trying new techniques. We take from both the normal and paranormal to find new ways to conduct research. Cameras and digital recorders are good for documenting evidence but you also need measure tools.
We allow for any device to be used as long as it’s not destructive to the environment.
Here we see dowsing rods being tried by a Ghost hunter. It’s quite fascinating when something as simple as a flashlight or bent copper rods seem to react to your questions.
This 15 min exposure does show what appears to be a ghostly face over the lady in the picture. This is one of my early photo’s. It’s not considered to be paranormal. At closer examination you can see that the 2nd face is actually the woman’s face. Though brighter the features match. It did set my back when I first saw it though.
Though normally we place men in this chair. As the Matron (as we call her) tends to “touch” men when they sit in that chair. Ask Ric about it sometime… if you want to hear a strange story.
Speaking of strange fun; during our “tour” on July 23, 2011, I had the chance to lead this group around and look for paranormal activity. We did get some interesting results. While in the Matrons room I typically have a male investigator sit in the above mentioned chair.
Now this chair is not believed to be original to this room. Neither is the bed you see or any other furniture in the room. Because of this fact I find it curious that when males sit in the chair they tend to get the feeling of being touched. Typically having their hair pulled or moved in some fashion. Males also have reported having their neck or cheek brushed against by some unseen person or force.
This gentleman (shown left) actually reported feeling his hair lifting slightly on his left. Than he said that it felt like something brushed his left cheek. After being a rather good sport and sitting in the chair for around 10 min he got up and check the area around the chair with his hand. Apparently feeling the air for something. He never explained to me what he was feeling for. I would have to believe his experience while sitting in this 100-year-old piece of furniture. His reaction was very typical of someone who gets touched from the beyond. His wife (picture right above on the very far right) was amused by his reactions also. She did mention to the entity that this was her husband and the entity could not have him. I would have to say that their experience in with the Matron was one to remember.
I would like to leave of with thanks to the City of Cripple Creek, the City employees and the MPPIR team that put in many hours to make these investigation tours possible. With that I will leave you with one very dark picture of Michelle R., the Museum Manager and Historian, whose work has led to many new discoveries about the history of the Outlaws and Lawman Museum.
©2011 MPPIR, Frank C, Blog and Photo’s (photo’s are from July 16 and July 23 2011)
Part of the District Museum complex includes a building on the southeast corner of Bennett and Fifth Street with the name of the business it housed, the Colorado Trading and Transfer Company. The building was built by the Carlton brothers, Albert “Bert” and younger brother Leslie. The brothers came from a wealthy family in Warren, Illinois. When Bert developed T.B. he moved to Colorado Springs in 1889. Leslie joined him and the brothers heard of the going’s on in Cripple Creek and rode their bikes up there to see what was going on. Not bad for a T.B. patient with the use of only one lung.
The brothers started a firewood and coal delivery business. By the time the Midland Terminal Railroad arrived in Cripple Creek, the brothers had established a business transporting ore from the mines to the terminal rail head. They built the building at the corner of Bennett and Fifth in 1894 next to what would be the Midland Terminal Railroad Depot. Amazingly enough, the building escaped destruction in the two fires that razed Cripple Creek in April 1896. The building standing there today is the same building, refurbished in the early 1990s with funds from the City of Cripple Creek.
Bert and his wife Ethel lived on the top floor until 1898 when they moved to more suitable housing befitting Bert’s financial position in the town as owner of the First National Bank in Cripple Creek. They moved to the top floor of the bank. The building was sold to the Midland Terminal Railroad in 1899 to continue its purpose as a freight depot for the railroad.
When the town was in decline after the bust of the Gold Rush, Carlton, known as “King Bert”, bought back the building and the Midland Terminal Railroad as well. In recent history, its most frequent inhabitant that we know of is Jan as it houses her office as the museum manager. It is furnished as it would have been at the turn of the last century.
There is also a gift shop that occupies the front of the entire first floor. Nancy, who is a museum employee, told me that yesterday, as she was straightening the books on the bookcase shown in the picture below (the bookcase is on the right hand side near the window), a book flew out of the shelves and landed on the floor about three feet away from the bookcase in front of the table under the window. The book was titled “Ute Indians”. Perhaps they are looking for attention too.
The back half of the first floor is part of the museum display of memorabilia lining the walls and cases with information on the people, places and events that made Cripple Creek history.
©2011, MPPIR, Blog: Nancy B, Photo’s Nancy B & Frank C
A question we are asked a lot: where there any deaths in the jail? For years we heard about them through remarks made by visitors and MPPIR members. Now, with our new jail museum manager we are finding out about them another way. One is from the research that the current Jail Museum manager does by combing through old newspapers that are mostly on microfiche and looking at jail records year by year. The other way we “know” of deaths in the jail is through our paranormal research and information we get from psychics and sensitives, some of whom are visitors to the jail and some are members of MPPIR.
One of the deaths that occurred in the jail was that of a woman who had been put in jail for the crime of insanity. Olga Knutson would have died no matter where she was, but she was in jail when it happened. The date was February 3, 1907.
Here’s the story and it is a bizarre story at best. Olga Knutson was a 30-year-old mother of an eight month old baby boy. She lived with her husband, a miner, and her new baby in Altman. Everything seemed fine until Olga became paranoid. First she decided that the neighbors were intent on doing her baby harm. Then she said that the sheriff came with a posse and a rope for her. She became so paranoid, that her husband took her to the doctor. He found nothing wrong. A short time later, she became so irrational, that she was taken to the hospital where a short time later, she was put in the Strong Room . The local hospitals had a “Strong Room” for patients suffering from mental problems and became uncontrollable, even violent.
When Olga became too irrational to be handled even in the Strong Room, she was sent to the jail, which was standard practice for the restraint of the mentally ill. She had to be transferred to the Insane Ward of the jail. This Ward was the three cells at the front of the building. It didn’t take long for Olga to totally breakdown, both physically and mentally. She lost all control of her bodily functions and lost her mental faculties. In the middle of the night, the doctor managed to give her a sleeping potion to sedate her and she sank to the floor, apparently asleep. When the Matron checked on her at 5 am, she thought something was amiss and summoned the doctor. By the time the doctor arrived Olga was dead. It was one week after the onset of her mental disturbance transforming her from a sane functioning young woman to an irrational violent inmate of the jail.
No cause was ever found. But then forensics of the day were pretty primitive and autopsy were seldom done. What caused this young woman to deteriorate into madness and death? Does Olga still inhabit the jail cell where her life ended? Are some of the EVPs and actual whispered voices those of Olga? Apparently Olga was not buried in Mt. Pisgah cemetery. She may be buried in Victor cemetery or somewhere near, or she may have been taken elsewhere for reasons only her husband knows.
A clue may come by reading Michael Lesay’s “Wisconsin Death Trip” which chronicles many such people who suddenly become mad and either harm themselves or others, only to have to be incarcerated due to their own violent behavior. Death often came suddenly. The picture you are about to see is of a person who was once alive.
The book dispels the popular myth that cities were hot beds of moral turpitude and industrial madness and rural areas were Edens of happy people. Not so. The sudden madness and death of Olga was not an uncommon thing. Jail records show a large number of people put in jail for insanity. Then, they were sent off to larger insane asylums. What caused this sudden madness? Poison? Environmental exposure to toxic substances? Lead and dyes were used for stained glass windows which were prevalent not only in Cripple Creek but across the old west. Long dark cold winters?
There is another explanation that is cloaked in secrecy. Many men visited Meyers Avenue, the Red light District in Cripple Creek, and contracted syphilis which they took home to their wives. Due to the social stigma associated with this, many people did not seek treatment and tried to treat themselves. The treatment was mercury which in itself would cause madness and death. Whether from the disease or the treatment, many people ended up with insanity and death.
Jail records show that the reason for incarceration was often insanity. If anyone has any information that might enlighten us on this, please comment on this blog. We’d love to hear from you.
But back to Olga. Perhaps the doctor who gave her the sleeping potion recognized her symptoms and helped her on her way. Perhaps he just gave her too much. Perhaps she was dying anyway.
The information on Olga was discovered in the usual way. Research. It was reported in one of the half dozen newspapers that published in the day,and in the jail records. It has also been reported in the unusual way. There have been sensitives who report a feeling of sickness and death in those cells in the Women’s block. Now we have a name and when we investigate the Women’s Block, we can ask Olga if she is still here.
@2011, Story Nancy B, MPPIR
If you like this you should read the follow up: Olga Knutson — A Coroner’s Opinion and Report
I have to give full credit to Brandon (MPPIR) for finding this ghost picture in one of my collections of photos.
There is now a contention and belief that “The Robed Lady” paces back and forth in the Ice Room. Many have felt cold chills, goose bumps or from some more “sensitive” persons, energy passing through them. I personally have felt all these in the Ice Room. I do not like going into this room alone. Not fear of “The Robed Lady”, more fear that she will show up to say “Hi” and nobody will be around to witness it.
As a side note, I have also begun to wonder why when my pictures are focused on the wrong subject or out of focus I end up with something in them. Like this one.
Photo 1, is very recent and was taken during a Ghost Tour at the Jail Museum. Photo 1 is once again in the “Ice Room” and because the face appears female we are going to refer you back to the first post of a picture of The Robed Lady in or near the ice room.
Now if you don’t see it fear not. I didn’t either. What I first saw and moved on from was a ghostly image of Ric (MPPIR). Ric is standing along the back wall. If you look real close you can see a figure of a man. Its blurry but that is Ric.
My Camera is sitting on a tripod for this shot to reduce and eliminate any camera shake. The shutter setting is 20 seconds. I was focused on the archway as that was the last picture I had of the robed lady and was hoping she would show up there. I was wrong.
Now lets talk about matrixing or paredoilia. Because that is the first theory I turn to when analyzing photos of faces in mist or blurred spots.
I would go with this theory right about now if it where not for the my simple plan to make sure I can rule it out by taking extra shots of an area. I try to always take two pictures of the same subject, if not more.
So get ready to toss this photo out as matrixing?
So I bring us to a photo I took shortly before this one.
With this setting on the camera, Tv( Shutter Speed ) 20 seconds. Photo 3 is taken right before Photo 1 with 1 second between them. Both me and Brandon could not see a face in this photo at all. I still see Ric and all the other features. Including the laser lights. I did not move the camera or the tripod and was still focused on the archway.
Now in Photo 3 I can see a face. As I have been training my eyes and brain to rule out matrixing I will throw this face out. It’s not the same but if you want to play the matrix game you can. You can see what looks like a very long nose using the features of the rock to make and other rock features to make out the eyes, eye sockets and cheeks. It’s in the same area just larger. This matrix-ed face would be very distorted and quite large. You can even use your mind to add a forehead. See Photo 3a.
Why are these rock features in Photo 3(a) and not Photo 1? Lets take a close look at the rock features. Photo 4 is in monochrome so that you may see the features of the rock.
Photo 4, Shooting Date/Time 4/16/2011 6:55:17 PM, was taken after Photo 1 and Photo 3.
Click on the pictures to make them larger in a new tab and you can take a real good look at them.
Why do I not believe that Photo 1 is matrixing and Photo 3 is? For matrixing to work as a theory in my opinion you have to rule in features of objects you know exist. I know the features of the rock in this room. I photograph them all the time. I know that the matrixing theory is that one makes familiar objects and sees a face with them. This is done in photography all the time. My facial recognition software uses the same ideology to pick out faces in photos. I use this software to examine all my pictures.
Could I be wrong? I could be. I could be just wanting to believe. I see her face, coming out of the wall. To me it appears slightly forward of the wall. I could pick this apart and find all the rock features, I have. To me though I see her face, brightly I see her face. I don’t see it in the other pictures I took of the room that night. Not one.
Then again I am not the one who discovered this photo. Brandon did.
Once again I will leave you deciding for yourself and with two other strange photo’s I took that night.
Authors note: There will be a few of you that wont see her. For this I have added Photo 8. Click to enlarge this to see where I point out the details.
©2011, Photo’s and Blog, Frank MPPIR.