Nick Groff

Paranormal Lockdown – White Hill Mansion – S02E08

image Nick and Katrina visit White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, New Jersey, built in 1722 by Robert Field. When he mysteriously drowned, his widow Mary and 7 children were left alone in the house. It changed hands several times to become a field hospital, a brothel and even a speakeasy with supposed tunnels leading from the house to the nearby Delaware River.

Now there are claims of the paranormal such as a child apparition running from floor to floor, voices, footsteps and the sound of a body being dragged. Some claim to see Mary Field crying at her writing desk. A tub upstairs is rumored site of a throat cutting. It is also believed a prostitute was strangled in the attic and mobsters murdered someone down in the basement and took him out through the tunnels.

But keep in mind, these are stories and while it’s almost impossible to think there hasn’t been a death in a house that has stood since 1722, the ones discussed are "believed" to have happened.

For Day 1, while in the basement, Katrina feels she sees a face sneak up behind her. When she makes a comment, there is a response of "sorry about that". In the attic, Katrina feels that something touches her arm.

With those being the main events of the day, Nick decides to sleep in the haunted tub, while Katrina sleeps in the attic. Nick puts out a motion sensor which does go off during the night. Not a big surprise considering how old, shaky and crumbling the house is. Anything moving close by could cause that.

For Day 2, they head back to the attic and as Rob sets up the 3D mapping software, there is a small stick figure under a table. They also believe they hear a child cry. The figure manages to stick around for a minute before disappearing as Nick moves in closer to touch it.

For Day 3, again in the attic, Nick asks if someone was murdered in this room. He gets an answer of "yes" and then "Cut his throat". This is followed by the equally garbled, "get out". Katrina feels this references the tub where the supposed murder took place.

As a final piece of evidence they get the phrase "Where are you daddy?" on the device.

While Katrina may be working herself into a frenzy of fear, very little seems to happen in this house. Because of ties to a field hospital, brothel and speakeasy, we’re lead to believe all sorts of dark forces are swarming around the house. What they walk away with is a stick figure on some 3D mapping software and Katrina being touched on the arm. A tap that comes in a room with low ceilings, odd angles and plaster/paint hanging off the wall for several inches.

There is certainly a want for the house to be haunted, as that would help the restoration budget. While there is no doubt the house has seen plenty of tragedy and death, the dark and sinister overtone of the voice over just isn’t there. Nick had no issues with any sort of figure behind the bar. Nothing happened to him when he slept in the tub. There were no footsteps, bodies being dragged or anything else for that matter.

Further, Nick says he found the exit to the tunnels, a bunch of debris clumped together, but not the entrance in the house itself. Does a tunnel actually exist?

Is there a child trapped in the attic as they want us to believe? That depends on how much faith you put in their 3D mapping software.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Statler City Hotel – S02E07

image Our next outing on Paranormal Lockdown takes us to New York to investigate the Statler City Hotel. It was constructed in 1923 and became a high spot for entertainers, musicians and even Presidents. And apparently Al Capone did some business there, a mob connection they are going to hold onto throughout this episode, thus the unusual disclaimer at the start.

Conor Hawkings is the property manager and claims to have heard footsteps, had doors closed on him, has been touched and even spoken to. Their main piece of physical evidence is from a wedding photo where a black shadow figure can be seen lurking to the side of the guests. There is also the story of Mary Jean, a lonely 22 year old who committed suicide by jumping to her death from the hotel.

For Day 1, they head to the lower levels and the Turkish bath where it’s claimed stones are being thrown at workers. As Nick and Katrina look around, they indeed hear the same rocks. However, a quick look around the area shows it’s a shambles of construction and decay. It’s hardly a stretch to reason that debris is falling off the ceiling or walls and with the echo it comes across as sinister and someone throwing rocks.

For Day 2, Nick and Katrina pay a visit to the restaurant meat locker and the room where Mary Jean jumped. On the devices they pick up "girl", "ghost in the cellar" and "Mary." There are interesting things to note. First, Katrina shows plenty of filler around the windows which explains knocking, footsteps and bangs. Second, the device is speaking words in the background which everyone is ignoring. Again, the device is spouting out words and they choose which ones to run with.

As an experiment, Katrina moves some furniture around in the dining room. Her hope is the spirits will tidy the place back up again. As they work, Rob and Katrina feel they hear a muffled moan.

Day 3 starts with a review of the evidence where they see a chair move in the Terrace Room. To add to the drama, the lights on the wall mysteriously go out, which of course can only be explained by paranormal means, not someone flicking a switch. Further, Nick turns on the Wonderbox and gets the words "dismemberment" and "pool". When they try to get more information, they get the words, "not a guest", "a snitch" and "I was in the drum." These all capitalize on the mob hit notion they put forward from the beginning.

Now with the idea of the mob hit, Nick heads to the meat locker where they get "he sent his men". The next parts are blanked out since they supposedly contain names.

By the end, we are lead to believe a mob hit took place in the hotel. That as may be, but it was the 20s and New York, I’m sure there was a mob hit in every building during that time. The words and phrasing are interesting, but again, the devices put out a lot of words so it’s go with hits and gloss over the misses.

The chair moving was pretty interesting, although they don’t seem as intrigued as I thought they would be. Most of the activity has an alternative explanation, however, there are a lot of interesting voices that might be worth a second look.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Bellaire House – S02E06

image Our next lockdown takes us to South Eastern Ohio and the Bellaire House, supposedly built on a ley line. It was constructed in 1909 by Jacob Heatherington and was handed down through the family. Eliza inherited, but when she passed, the house went to Edwin, who supposedly conducted seances to make contact with his departed sister. It was then purchased by Kristin Lee who claims the house has a dark side and she has abandoned the property.

As Nick and Katrina show up, Kristin explains that one of her first experiences was seeing the figure of a man. She has also been held down in bed and fears there is something not quite right with the attic. When Katrina gets to that spot, she feels there is something to be fearful of. When they hear footsteps, Kristin decides it’s time to leave. Oddly, Katrina reveals she had a dream about an attic and a girl trapped inside.

They start the investigation in Kristin’s room, which Nick says feels a little weird. Katrina says she feels pressure on her head and Rob observes an orb moving around at the same time. This is followed by a thump which could be coming from the attic.

Nick brings out the Geobox and claims he feels quite dizzy. They get a response that someone might be using their energy to communicate.

To bring the night to a close, Nick stays in the attic and Katrina sleeps in Kristin’s room.

For Day 2, things get a little weird with the devices. Nick brings in device creators Steve Huff and George Brown. As they go to different rooms, they get a slew of voices coming through with such things as "Save us" and "Leave". In the attic they get, "the child", "sleep precious", "my blood", and "send the child". They also get the name "Ed" several times. From Nick’s point of view, the voices want to attack a child.

For Day 3, Nick heads to the attic, while Katrina stays on the first floor. Nick gets words like "had a boy", "where is he", and "my twin". Katrina gets some odd phrases referencing jumping out the window. As they line up the editing, they make it out to be the spirit energy is trying to get Nick to jump out the window and Katrina finds him just in time.

They take this evidence to Kristin who reveals a story that something tried to lure her son out the window and that he "was going to fly." It all sounds pretty bad. However …

When going through this investigation several things stood out. First, the house is a wreck. There is plenty of wood rot and water damage with the attic ceiling clearly ruined by a leaky roof. And since there is water damage, there is a sagging floor which explains why Nick felt dizzy and why that wardrobe door swings open. Watch as the footage is cut right as the door starts to open.

As always, the thumps and footsteps are animals nesting in the place. Katrina’s pressure or "wave" is most likely the smell of rot and decay with a dash of mold smacking her in the face. Renters won’t stay because the place is falling apart.

The recorded voices are interesting and there are plenty of them. So many in fact, the devices spew words the moment they switch on. And if you listen, there are completely nonsensical responses and responses that don’t match a single thing they ask. They’re picking up all sorts of interference and spitting it out. When the right word comes out, edit the footage and call it a hit.

But, this recorded evidence makes the house sound quite sinister. So sinister in fact, that Kristin has opened it for tours, overnight stays, events and paranormal investigations. There is even a Facebook page and Web site. She has turned lemons into lemonade and your scare is her dollar.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Waverly Hills Sanatorium – S02E05

image For this episode of Paranormal Lockdown, it’s time for a trip to Waverly Hill Sanatorium, a place many an investigator has tread with almost universal claim of apparitions and shadow figures. This will be Nick’s third visit, but a first time for Katrina.

Waverly Hills was constructed as a tuberculosis hospital and admitted thousands of patients most of whom succumbed to the illness. As it spread, more radical approaches were taken and experimental operations were performed, so they say. Although abandoned in 1981, it is believed spirits of patients and doctors haunt the corridors.

To start the investigation, Nick and Katrina check out some of the hotspots including room 502 where a nurse supposedly hung herself. They also bring out Ben Hansen, a paranormal investigator and former FBI agent. One of the main points is the body chute, a long tunnel that was used to load the many deceased onto trains so they could be carted away. This was to keep the death count away from these other patients. While down there, Ben describes that on his last visit he heard shuffling feet and heard the iron gate slam.

Ben has brought some test equipment and they set down an LED mat that responds to changes in the environment. If something passes over the field, the lights will shine. While talking, the lights begin to flicker and pulse as though something is there. At the same time, Nick says he feels cold.

Then it’s off to the fourth floor, which is notorious for shadow figures. Katrina says she has a feeling about one of the rooms and at the same time Nick goes running down the hallway chasing a shadow. Both he and Rob smell smoke, like a campfire.

To end the night, Nick sleeps in the body chute and Katrina sleeps in room 418. During the night, Nick puts the LED mat at the foot of his bed and it pulses and glows on several occasions.

At the start of the next day, Nick says he heard shuffling through the night. Katrina also got up during the night, looking around as though someone was there. She also make the interesting comment of how she can see how fear takes over for a lot of people.

While they look around during the day, Nick sees another shadow figure. They use the Wonderbox which gives them, "dead" and "morgue". With that, they head down to the morgue, where Katrina lays down on the storage shelf. Oddly, the Wonderbox gives off the word die, and Katrina acts as though she is a little disoriented. This is followed by Nick and Rob saying they hear footsteps.

They then move to the fourth floor and in the confusion of the space, Nick feels that Rob and Katrina were right in front of him, not off to the side, thus giving the idea of a doppelganger. Things get jumpy as there is a loud bang. And finally to end the night, Nick will sleep where they just heard the bang and Katrina will take the morgue.

The final day starts off with Katrina making an interesting comment. She goes outside to see vultures flying around. But notice how they cast shadows that Nick saw the day before.

Bringing out a new piece of equipment, Rob is at the helm of a thermal drone. He is able to get a wide view of the hospital while Nick and Katrina investigate. As they roam the halls, Rob says he sees something on the floor below them. When they review the evidence, there is a blue square that seems to cover a door then disappear. While not as pronounced, the same activity seems to happen in other sections of the same image. It’s interesting, but not indicative of shadow figures or doppelgangers.

Waverly has become quite infamous because of it’s traumatic past and when you add things like the body chute and experimental surgeries, the fear factor goes up a few notches. But when you step back and look at the captured evidence, Waverly Hills has a lot of the same misconceptions as other old buildings.

Many of the stories can be attributed to rumor such as the suicide of the nurse. Other items have a more earthly explanation as well. The daytime shadow figures were birds. The scratching sounds and even the shadow figures are once again due to the animals living there. The doppelganger idea is mere disorientation as demonstrated by Nick. The LED mat, while interesting, could be reacting to a slew of different things. And finally, the cold spot on the thermal image. Again, quite interesting, but other parts of the building seem to exhibit the same thing.

Waverly is shrouded in mystery and foreboding, but as Katrina herself said, it’s easy to let fear take over.

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