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During the month of October, the MNPSG normally shuts down for media opportunities. One case came through to us that we wanted to check out when we were contacted in the middle of the month by the owners of a tavern on Lake Superior.
|Location: The Duluth Depot, Duluth MN (http://duluthdepot.org/)|
|Date: October 7, 2012 - Start: 8:30 PM End: 1:47 PM|
|Investigators Present: Adam, Kristin, Kayla, Justin (Milissa and Don were present staff)|
|Video Camera: 4 DVR IR Cams, 2 mini-dv cam, Canon Rebel T3, Sony Hi-8, Bell&Howell SD Video Recorder|
|EVP: 3 Sony ICD-8600 Digital, RCA USB Digital Recorder
EMF: MEL Meter, Cell Sensor
The Minnesota Paranormal Study Group was invited to do a seminar at the historic Duluth Depot by the St. Louis County Historical Society in October 2011. We booked this opportunity one year in advance and when Fall of 2012 closed in, we asked if we could check out the "haunted history" of the property. The Depot and its members approved.
The Duluth Depot was built in 1892 and at one time, it served seven different rail lines. This was the Northland's Ellis Island and allowed over 5,000 passengers to be transited all over Northern Minnesota. The Depot supported a main lobby which today is called "The Great Hall." It's grounds also hosted an immigration room that processed foreign passengers and had a supporting boarding house across what is today, Highway 35.
In 1973 it opened as it is operated today; a cultural gem in the Twin Ports region that houses various institutes and organizations. Currently, it is home to:
- The St. Louis County Historical Society
- The Duluth Playhouse
- Duluth Art Institute
- North Shore Scenic Railroad
- Lake Superior Railroad Museum
- Veterans' Memorial Hall
- Minnesota Ballet
- Matinee Musicale
The team was hosted on the night of October 7, 2012 by Milissa Brooks-Ojibway and her husband, Don. Milissa is a collection curator with the St. Louis County Historical Society and was quite knowledgable about the SLCHS and its operations within the Depot. While not a self proclaimed historian, she did an ample job of providing us with relevant information on the grounds.
Being a large property, it hosted many ghostly stories including:
A.) A wedding party that rented the Great Hall for their reception had some strange images from their event. In one photo of the bride and some guests in the Northeast corner of the Great Hall, a small girl appeared crouched in the background. No one knew who she was or remembered seeing her at the party.
The MNPSG was unable to gain this photo and are still on the search for it. If you have a copy of it, we would love to see it!
B.) Another ghost hunting organization took video in the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and claims to have captured a shadow figure transform into an orb and float away. The oddity of it is that the train window is much higher than the height of an average human being.
Due to the public attitude of the group who does not exist anymore, we are unable to provide this video on our website at the time.
C.) A maintenence worker at the Duluth Depot claims to have been startled one early morning; while working on a project in the same area of the LSRM where the shadow video was recorded, he claims to have heard a large bang come from a large store front window pane. With being the only one in the museum and it being before 5 am, he had no explanation for this incident.
For an interactive tour, please view this video we filmed while on our initial tour with Milissa and Don:
During our set up, we had a few oddities happen to our team.
1.) When we set up our DVR cameras, we allow the recording to take place as we set up cameras so we can adjust the viewpoints as needed. Upon review, there is no record of this time as our cameras start as soon as the teams started the 9 PM investigation. The oddity of this is that the three guys appears on initial frame so that means no one was around the base unit to press record as the ladies were already upstairs.
2.) While setting up cameras, Justin and Adam had heard a male voice come from the Northwest section of the LSRM. This is the area where both the other team's video and maintenence worker had experienced strange phenomena. Upon this experience, Adam had asked Milissa if any outside noises were possible but behind that area is a train car storage lot and is inaccessible by pedastrian traffic.
3.) While setting up a Bell&Howell mini-video camera on a tripod, Justin had reported seeing a set of "shadowy legs and waist" step behind a train. This startled Justin quite a bit and had him shaken which is not likely. We were hoping to have this caught on our "already running" DVR system as a camera was pointed in that direction but as point 1 states, our camera was mysteriously not recording. This was also in the same area that point 2 states and was reported after the team set up our IR strobe for "bait."
The team had decided to start our investigation around 9 PM and split up the genders.
Justin, Adam and Don
Kristin, Kayla and Milissa
The ladies would investigate the upper floors including the Great Hall, Depot board room, and Objiwe Room while the guys would start in the LSRM on the bottom floor. After an hour, the teams would switch.
Guys initial investigation of LSRM: Nothing to report.
Ladies initial investigation of Ojibwe Room: Nothing significant to report. Minor movement in closet area of inanimate object.
Ladies initial investigation of Great Hall: Nothing to report.
Ladies intial investigation of Depot board room: All three ladies had reported hearing a conversation within the room but our equipment did not record any significant evidence to support. Kristin reported having what felt to be a spider web on her arm but found no way to remedy the feeling such as wiping it away.
TEAMS SWITCH. 10:20 PM
Guys intial investigation of Great Hall: Had strange bang originate from Veterans' Hall enterance. Compared against the wound clock ticking and unsure of results thusly experience was considered natural.
Guys initial investigation of Forest History Center: Found battery drain in our equipment similar to what was reported by Milissa in the tour video. Nothing paranormal to report or speculate on.
Guys initial investigation of Depot board room: Tested Shack Hack device for about a prolonged period of time and found only a few strange results in the analysis review. See results below. Personal feelings on the room were to be calm and relaxed which Justin related to the feeling of a hotel room.
Don had to leave for work and departed from the group. Justin and Adam continued to sit in the room and converse quietly while observing the environment.
Upon leaving the board room due to tape and battery drain, the two investigators entered the balcony area that overlooks the Great Hall. While walking, Adam reported hearing a young girl's voice coming from the area by the entrance to the Forest History Center that appeared to be singing which was accompanied by the sounds of haphazard dancing footsteps. While whispering to Justin on his experience, Justin began to question aloud who was there. Once he raised his voice to present the question, the sounds stopped. Both investigators reported the only sound that they heard to be that of a beeping sound which they both compared to that of a truck backing up.
To help capture any future dancing and singing, the two left behind an ambient audio recorder on the floor of the Great Hall in the area where Adam reported hearing the singing.
Ladies initial investigation of the LSRM: While upon a train, the team reported hearing a conversation of voices in the distance. Audio equipment did not provide supporting evidence.
12:45 AM - Milissa brought Adam and Justin to the Ojibwe Room to investigate as they had not had a chance to investigate. Nothing substantial to report.
Team broke down equipment at 1:14 AM and departed museum at 1:36 AM.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION
The team had very little luck in providing much objective evidence during this investigation. Our video cameras and audio devices had issues with the heating system noises as well as odd technical difficulties deter our results. The only odd piece of reviewable evidence comes from our Shack Hack session in the board room with Justin, Adam and Don present.This is approximately a 30 minute session which we only had a few odd results that seemed to answer our questions. At the time when we do this, we take these with a grain of salt and have only had success with this at the Palmer House Hotel investigation.
This clip appears to say:
CLIP ONE - "I AM A SPIRIT."
CLIP TWO - "Repeats our names at initial recording, upon analysis it appears our names come AFTER we acknowledge them. Very Faint audio due to recording source's distance from Shack Hack device"
CLIP THREE - "The name of 'Georgia' comes through the box as the little girl's name."
Referring to clip three, we received information from local Duluth citizen and historian Mike Flaherty who found that the name Georgia does correlate to the history of the Duluth Depot.
Around April 20, 1910, a four year old girl named Georgia Meachum passed away about 10 blocks east of the location of the Duluth Depot. Her father, William H. Meachum, worked at the Duluth Depot when the buidling hosted the office for the Western Union Telegraph business. She came upon some copper nitrate and ingested it which poisoned her.
Below are two clippings from the incident:
Sources: Courtesy of Mike Flaherty; Duluth Herald - April 20, 1910 / Duluth News Tribune April 21, 1910
With this historical news, it shocked us in our results as it is very rare that we can ever make a connection with a specific name. Perhaps the Shack Hack can provide more answers to our investigation than we have previously thought and who knows how many answers we have shaken off as just "radio noise."
With the pure amount of historical significance that the Duluth Depot holds within its walls, the place may very well be home to wayward spirits, just as it was a home to wayward immigrants.
This is one location that we hope to investigate again in the near future to build upon the initial case file!