Paranormal Investigators Of Milwaukee

PIM has officially partnered
with Allison Jornlin of
Milwaukee Ghost Tours!


/>





Ashmore Estates
May 1st, 2014
Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee (PIM)

INVESTIGATORS: Noah, John, and Missy

PIM investigated in conjunction with Valerie Kedrowski and three other female members of the Steven's Point Paranormal Club team.

ENVIRONMENTAL DATA:

Time taken: 5:30 pm

Weather Outside: Cool and Windy

Outside Temperature: 50.3 degrees F

Wind Speed: 0.9 mph gusts to 8.5 mph

Barometric Pressure: 29.11 steady

Humidity: 43.5%

Moon Phase: 6% Full Waxing Crescent

Geomagnetic Field: Unsettled

Solar X-rays: Normal

Solar Wind Speed: 342.2 km/sec

Solar Wind Density: 4.9 protons/cm3

Radio Sun: 10.7 cm flux; 124 sfu

Planetary K-index Now: Kp=1; quiet

Planetary K-index 24hr Max: Kp=3; quiet

Interplanetary Magnetic Field Btotal: 7.7 nT

Interplanetary Magnetic Field Bz: 3.6 nT north

Sunspot: Yes; 81

Coronal Holes: None

HISTORY:

From 1857 until 1869, the Coles County Poor Farm was located in Charleston Township near the small town of Loxa, Illinois. In 1870, the county purchased 260 acres from A. N. Graham in Section 35 of Ashmore Township for a new farm, which sat astride the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad. This small timber and brick building, constructed by H. B. Truman, was the first to sit on that property. It was 38x58 feet and two stories tall, with an attached kitchen.By 1911, the Auxiliary Committee of the State Board of Charities condemned the almshouse for its "vermin infected walls," "rough floors," "small windows," and improper ventilation. It was reported that "flies swarmed everywhere" and "were especially noticeable on the poor food prepared for dinner." In January 1915, the Almshouse Committee received bids for the construction of a new "fireproof" building at the location. The building contract for the new almshouse was granted to J.W. Montgomery in March for $20,389, and the cornerstone was ceremoniously laid on May 17, 1916.

Coles County sold the almshouse to Ashmore Estates, Inc. in February 1959. That corporation opened the building as a private psychiatric hospital by the same name. In October 1964, after only five years in operation, the psychiatric hospital closed down because of debt. The institution reopened in 1965, but changed its focus from a private facility to one that accepted patients from state mental institutions. By 1968, the shelter care facility housed forty-nine residents, including ten afflicted with epilepsy.

Paul Swinford and Galen Martinie purchased the institution in July 1976. Swinford and Martinie invested over $200,000 in the construction of a modern addition onto the old building. Construction began in 1977, but was not finished until the 1980s. Once the addition to Ashmore Estates had been completed and the rest of the building was brought up to code, the institution's future appeared brighter.

In February 1986, Paul Swinford entered into a limited partnership with a Peoria-based company known as Convalescent Management Associates, Inc. to help manage the institution's finances. The departments of Public Aid and Public Health dragged their feet over the issuance of proper licenses and certificates for nearly a year, leading Swinford to file for permission from the Illinois Health Facility Planning Board to close the facility. At that time, Ashmore Estates' financial losses exceeded $1.5 million. By the end of April, all of the residents had been transferred to area homes, and Ashmore Estates closed its doors.

In 1998, a resident of Sullivan named Arthur Colclasure paid $12,500 for the property and announced that he planned to renovate the building and turn it into his home. However, continuous vandalism prevented him from ever realizing his plans.

In August 2006, Scott Kelley purchased Ashmore Estates from Arthur Colclasure and began renovating. To finance the project, the Kelleys offered flashlight tours of the interior. To discourage trespassers, they erected signs and moved onto the property. Their haunted house opened on October 13, 2006. In the off-season, Scott offered overnight stays in the building.

In January 2013, Ashmore was hit by a fierce storm, with wind speeds reaching 80 to 100 mph. Ashmore Estates suffered heavy damage; its roof was blown off and the support gables were destroyed. Shortly thereafter, new owners took over the property and made plans to restore the building to its former glory.

However, after a little over a year the owner's sold the property to Robbin Terry who immediately started cleaning out the building and making repairs to the windows and roof. Robbin plans to re-open Ashmore Estates in the summer of 2014 for overnight paranormal investigations. All money from investigations will go toward the repairs required for the building.

REPORTED ACTIVITY:

  • Apparition of a young girl, believed to be Elva Skinner, who died in a fire in the Coles County Poor Farm building that was located on where the current building sits
  • Apparition of a doctor who is believed to have jumped from out of the window in the building
  • Apparition of a male wearing a top hat has been observed
  • Claims of footsteps being heard, shadow figures observed, and disembodied voices have been reported as well as people being shoved in hallways
  • In October 2009, a local meteorologist was sitting at the Nurse's Station on the 1st Floor. He found himself with a broken collar bone, lying on the floor, with no recollection of what happened and believes he was pushed by an unseen entity
ARRIVAL:

The group arrived on location at approximately 3:15 pm and began unloading their equipment. Base camp was set up in the Lobby by the front doors. At 3:30 pm Valerie (Val) made telephone contact with Missy and indicated that the door to the building was not locked.

This report will refer to the Basement, 1st Floor, and 2nd Floor regarding where people and equipment are located. Historically, sometimes the lowest floor (called the Basement in this report) is referred to as the 1st Floor and so on as you move up a floor which might cause confusion.

The group entered the building and brought in equipment, setting up base camp at the Nurse's Station on the 1st Floor. It was found that there were numerous broken windows and outside access to the interior, which allowed animals to enter the building. Several birds were guided outside and the windows and access points to the building were covered with plywood to secure the building from outside contaminants.

At 5:00 pm, equipment was set up in specific locations along with trigger objects. Val's group arrived at this time as well. Trigger objects are objects specifically selected to induce a response. The following equipment and trigger objects were placed in the following locations:

1st Floor Nurses Station: Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum, high definition video camera, Zoom H1 digital audio recorder, Dark Matter DM-X930 data logger, EMF pump V.2 and a touch flashlight. The DM-X930 datalogger measures and records several environmental factors, including: temperature, EMF, humidity, barometric pressure and is also a digital audio recorder. The EMF pump emits an electromagnetic field into the surrounding area. The use of an EMF pump is based on the theory that spirits need energy to manifest or manipulate objects. A touch flashlight is activated by two contacts being touched, thus, closing a circuit and turning the light on. The touch flashlight is used in lieu of a flashlight that has had the battery compartment or on/off switch manipulated to function in a way that is not intended and as a result, can create false positives. Playing cards, a pair of dice, a bullet, mini bottle of whiskey, syringe, cigar, book of matches, bottle of medications, and a stethoscope were placed on a table near the 1st Floor Nurse's Station as trigger objects.

2nd Floor Nurses Station: Zoom H1 digital audio recorder, EM Vortex and a touch flashlight. An EMF Vortex is another type of EMF pump which emits an electromagnetic field in a clockwise or counter-clockwise pattern. A Slinky toy, ball, candy mint, toy horse, jacks and ball and a toy car, were placed on a table near the Nurse's Station as trigger objects.

2nd Floor Hallway: Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum, high definition video camera (east side) and a Sony HDR-XR200V high definition video camera (west side). An Extech RHT50 datalogger, which measures humidity, temperature and barometric pressure at one minute intervals, was also placed with the trigger objects. John subsequently took baseline photographs of the trigger objects and equipment to document their location, in the event it was questioned whether an object moved. Additionally, every member of PIM is equipped with a Zoom H1 digital audio recorder, as a control recorder, which they carry on their person. Control recorders are not only used as another recording device but also to discriminate the sound contamination that an investigator might create during an investigation. Control recorders are started and time stamped prior to all other equipment being started and time stamped. Time stamps, from a designated atomic watch, are used as a point of reference and make cross referencing easier during evidence review.

Basement: Noah and John each placed a Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum, high definition video camera at each end of the Basement Hallway. A Zoom H1 audio recorder was also placed in the Basement Hallway.

At 5:30 pm, Missy documented outside weather conditions and then obtained baseline EMF and temperature readings inside the building (see table below).

LOCATION
EMF Before Investigation (with power on; denoted in mG)
Temperature Before Investigation (Fahrenheit)
1st Floor Nurse's Station
0.0
53.0
1st Floor East Hallway
0.0
51.0
1st Floor Central Hallway
0.0
49.7
1st Floor West Hallway
0.0
52.9
2nd Floor East Hallway
0.0
51.8
2nd Floor Nurse's Station
0.0
50.5
2nd Floor Central Hallway
0.0
50.0
2nd Floor West Hallway
0.0
51.0
Basement West
0.0
51.3
Basement Boiler Room
0.0
49.9
Basement East
0.0
50.8

NOTE: EMF detection of 1.0 or higher can make a person have symptoms of nausea, dizziness, paranoia and the feeling of being watched. Some people are more sensitive to higher levels of EMF than others.

At 6:50 pm, the equipment was started as well as the illumination for the video equipment. Val's group also set up various pieces of equipment.

At 7:30 pm, the group left the property for a dinner break while Val and her group continued to set up equipment.

At 8:31 pm, the group returned and everyone activated their control recorders.

At 8:45 pm, the group met with Val's group on the 1st Floor to discuss how we planned to conduct the investigation of the building. Val's group moved to the Basement and PIM went down to the Basement to place an additional H1 audio recorder just outside of the Boiler Room. PIM proceeded to the 2nd Floor.

INVESTIGATION:

START TIME: 8:56 pm

LOCATION: 2nd Floor

Missy positioned herself in the West Side Hallway, John in the East Side Hallway, and Noah in the Central Hallway. The group began with a few minutes of controlled silence. Controlled silence is a common practice to get acclimated to and tag or document the normal sounds of the buildings and its surrounding environmental noises. It was noted that it was quiet on the 2nd Floor but vehicular traffic could be heard on the nearby highway. After silence was observed, the group began an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session. An EVP session is conducted by asking questions and leaving a minimum of ten seconds in between each question in the event a response is captured on a nearby device. Investigators speak in full voice and tag any abnormal noises they might make during an investigation. Common noises that investigators tag are stomach growls, accidental whispering and shifting or moving noises they might create that could be mistaken as something paranormal during evidence review.

At 9:05 pm, Missy stated, "If you worked here, what did you do?" Missy then observed that an arrow that was painted on the floor, visible by low levels of ambient light, was briefly blocked out by what appeared to be a shadow. It was noted that there was a window near the image on the floor and the shadow could have been caused by a passing vehicle.

A short time later, Noah advised he was consistently hearing pebbles falling from the ceiling, apparently due to the poor condition the ceiling was in. Noah then stated he heard something moving above him. He used his FLIR thermal imaging camera and observed a small object in the camera viewer and it indicated a reading of 62 degrees. A bird was observed flying around earlier that the group was unable to get out of the building and it is a likely source of the noise and image.

After this was noted the team heard screams emanating from Val's team which was in the Basement. After a short time the team decided to end their session to see what was causing this disturbance.

END TIME: 9:51 pm

Upon moving to the 1st Floor PIM inquired with Val what was causing the disturbance and the group was informed that Val's team had disturbed a bird that was in the Basement and it seemed to be following them. Noah immediately went and found an old tennis racquet that was in the building and used it to user the bird toward a broken window which it eventually flew out of.

After this incident was over, Val's team decided to head upstairs with PIM heading to the Basement to continue the investigation.

START TIME: 10:23 pm

LOCATION: Basement

The group proceeded to the Basement. During the controlled silence, it was again noted that vehicular traffic was quite loud and easily heard. The wind was also loud, creating a "howling" sound.

At 10:41 pm, Noah and John both heard what sounded like a foot taking a step and sliding on the floor as it did so. They were unable to determine the cause of the sound. This was captured on several voice recorders but nothing can be seen on video. Due to the decrepit nature of the building, PIM assumes the noise was a building sound.

No other events occurred during this session and the team decided to move to another part of the Basement.

END TIME: 10:46 pm

START TIME: 10:50 pm

LOCATION: Boiler Room

After several minutes of controlled silence, we conducted an EVP session.

Shortly after we started an EVP session we heard some commotion from the 1st Floor. Noah radioed Val to find out what was going on and he was told that Val's team was cold and was heading out to the car to warm up and have a snack.

The group continued the EVP session with nothing out of the ordinary noted during this session. The group decided to end the session and take a break on the 1st Floor.

END TIME: 11:28 pm

PIM took a break on the 1st Floor at base camp. A short time later Val and her team came back in to the building and met with PIM at base camp to discuss the game plan for the last part of the investigation. It was decided to investigate as one large group on the 1st Floor since that floor had not been investigated yet.

START TIME: 1:11 am

LOCATION: 1st Floor

PIM's group and Val's group met on the 1st Floor and spread out to conduct an EVP session. Nothing happened during this session and PIM decided to head to the other end of the building to continue investigating while Val's group decided what they wanted to do.

At 1:57 am, PIM's group moved further down the 1st Floor Hallway to continue the EVP session. Meanwhile Val's group decided to pack up their gear and head to the hotel.

John realized that he needed to change his SD card in his camera in the Basement so the session was ended.

END TIME: 2:55 am

After Val's team left at 2:55 am, John went to the Basement to change the SD card in his video camera.

It was then decided to finish up by investigating the 2nd Floor one last time.

START TIME: 3:05 am

The group spread out throughout the 2nd Floor and as Noah was heading to the east end of the building he heard a fluttering sound and realized there was something flying around the 2nd Floor. The group then decided that it wasn't worth investigating if live animals were on the floor and decided to end the investigation.

END TIME: 3:10 am

The group took down all their gear and stopped all recording devices. After they completed packing up all the equipment, the group exited the building, securing the door behind them.

EVIDENCE:

AUDIO: None
VIDEO: None
PHOTO: Due to the nature of photographic evidence, PIM does not believe photos are accurate evidence of the paranormal. However, photos are taken for baselines and documentation of trigger object starting positions.

CONCLUSION:

The investigation of this building was very interesting, particularly due to the rich history. PIM enjoyed investigating with Steven's Point Paranormal Club and greatly appreciates being invited to accompany them on this investigation. Although no evidence of paranormal activity was obtained this time, PIM looks forward to its return trip this summer after the renovations of Ashmore Estates have been completed.