Noah, Gravy and Jann arrived at 4:30 pm and were met by the president of the Berlin Historical Society. She gave a quick tour of the buildings before leaving for the night.
At 5:10 pm Jann went to take outdoor weather information readings and indoor baseline readings while Noah and Gravy set up equipment. Gravy also blocked the windows with black plastic sheeting.
The main building of the Historical Society is a two-story brick house with a basement. The top two floors of this building are divided into dioramas and displays showing different periods and items of interest in Berlin’s history; the basement is used as a storage area. There is another building which was once a bottling company that is also part of the Historical Society. This structure consists of one large area with displays as well as an attic that is used for storage. There is a back section that is also used for storage and houses the town’s original jail cell.
The group started in the main building using the Blacksmith area near the rear entrance as a base camp for gear. There is a small sewing room off the back of this room that contains a sewing machine, hats and shoes. An Olympus 8100 digital recorder was placed on a stand between the sewing room and the Blacksmith room. A Sony HDR-SR7 camera with a wide angle lens was in the Blacksmith room aimed at the area that houses the Berlin Telephone Company display. There is a display with cigars and cigar boxes in this area, so Gravy placed a cigar near this case as a trigger object within the view of the video camera.
When one progresses through the downstairs the “Berlin Telephone Company” is the next display, and to the right is the Church area. On the Phone Company display case, there was placed an EMF pump. In the Church area a teddy bear and some candy were placed on the lectern as trigger objects. A single-axis electromagnetic field (EMF) Detector Mel-8704 REM was also placed in the church area.
The next displays moving forward are the “In the Beginning” and “Mascoutin Village” areas which lead into the front entryway. There was a Zoom H1 audio recorder placed on a table in the entryway near the stairs.
Upstairs one enters a cranberry bog themed room followed by the Wisconsin Granite Company mining room where, a Polaroid PDR400 voice recorder, and a Sony DCR-SR5 w/0.45x wide angle lens were placed. A ball and jacks were placed as trigger objects within the camera shot.
Moving through the upper floor, the next displays are “Truesdell Furs” and “Centennial” followed by the “Train Bulletin” and “Lock and Dam” displays. A TASCAM DR07 MKII was placed near the Centennial sign and a Sony DCR-SR85 w/ 0.45 Wide angle lens was placed so the cashier’s window of the train station was within view of the camera. Some money was placed on the counter of the cashier’s window as a trigger object.
A Zoom H1 recorder and a Single Axis EMF-Mel 8704R-Vibe were placed in the basement of the main building. In the main area of the building that used to be a bottling company, a Zoom H2n voice recorder was placed on an end table in the living room diorama, and a Sony DCR-SR42 w/0.45x wide angle lens was set up to capture that area.
At 7:00 pm Gravy took baseline photographs of all of the areas in both buildings. We left for dinner at 7:15 pm and were back at the property by 8:00 pm to begin our investigation.
Claims of Activity
- In the building that was once a bottling company, there is a display of items from Berlin’s first newspaper. People have reported the printing press tiles being knocked on the floor when they had all been in their boxes.
Basement – 8:53 pm
Everyone spread throughout the basement. Jann was in the very back of the basement near a tunnel that leads to the outside. Noah had his FLIR E40bx Thermal Imaging Camera and was positioned near a doorway which separates the two rooms that make up the basement. Gravy was seated near the stairs.
The group began by giving five minutes of controlled silence to observe the normal sounds for the area. At this time the group noticed that there was a lot of noise contamination coming from a neighboring bar.
At 9:00 pm an electronic voice phenomena (EVP) session was started. Noah began the session by addressing any possible entities and telling them that we were not there to harm them or to make them leave as is standard procedure. We asked if there was anyone who would like to speak with us and some other general questions, but no responses were noted during the EVP session or on any recording devices. The outside noise was also making it difficult so we ended the session at 9:15 pm and decided to move to another area.
END TIME: 9:15 pm
1st Floor – 9:21 pm
We all spread throughout the first floor of the main building. Jann was in the Blacksmith area, Gravy was in the Church Room and Noah was near the Telephone Company display which is between where Gravy and Jann were stationed. Shortly after the group got settled, at approximately 9:23 pm, Gravy commented that it felt like someone lightly touched the top of his head. Noah stated that at the same moment it felt like someone had touched (flicked) both of his ears.
After a few minutes of controlled silence, an EVP session was started. During this session, the group heard no responses, and none were recorded. There were some noises that were heard during this time that were noted. Gravy heard a snapping noise that he suspected was a settling noise from the house cooling down. At 9:23 pm, Noah and Gravy also heard a noise that sounded like something rolling across the upstairs floor, but it was not captured on any recording devices.
END TIME: 9:42 pm
2nd Floor – 10:08 pm
The group moved to the 2nd Floor and Noah and Gravy checked the cameras to make sure that the batteries were still charged. Gravy and Noah found that the camera near the mining display was no longer running and they went to the first floor area to grab a charged battery. While Noah and Gravy were off getting the battery, Jann noted that she heard someone say her name, but believes she was hearing Noah and Gravy talking downstairs.
When Gravy and Noah were done replacing the battery, the group spread out around the 2nd Floor. Gravy was near the Truesdell Furs display, Jann was in the area near the Lock and Dam display, and Noah was near the “Centennial” sign. The group got settled and after a few moments to note the ambient noises, decided to try doing a session with the iOvilus. The iOvilus is an app for the iPod that is supposed to allow spirits to communicate more easily. However, how this app works is complicated and poorly understood and is really not a scientific tool. PIM uses the device to see if any patterns in responses do emerge and if so, try and correlate that with changes in other environmental factors such as EMF levels or air temperature changes. After several questions and no intelligent responses, the group decided to move to the building that was once a bottling company.
Before leaving the main building, Noah saw that the battery of the camera that was in the church room had gone dead. At 10:46 pm, Noah restarted the camera in the church room and the group moved to the bottling company building.
END TIME: 10:46 pm
Bottling Company Building – 11:02 pm
The group entered the building at 11:02 pm and Gravy immediately replaced the battery in the video camera as it too had gone dead. The group was deciding what to do and Noah thought it would be a good idea to check the 2nd Floor of the building for animals since he thought there might be some up there. Noah grabbed the thermal imaging camera and he and Gravy went up the stairs followed by Jann.
At the top of the stairs there is a landing. The upstairs is divided into two areas; the landing, and a storage room. There is a wall that separates the two areas with a doorway, but no door is attached. Jann was on the stairs and Gravy and Noah were both on the landing. Noah pointed his thermal imaging camera through the doorway and said, “There is something over there that is about eighty degrees.” This sparked a debate about what may be throwing off that much heat in an attic storage area.
Jann thought she heard something move from inside the storage area, and Gravy assured her that it was just Noah sliding his foot across the floor. Noah then said that he didn’t move. This statement was followed by a flurry of activity coming from the storage room which inspired Jann followed by Gravy and Noah to retreat down the steps.
Jann sat next to the diorama with the living room furniture while Gravy and Noah discussed the possible implications of once again transcending the stairs to find out what was causing the noise. While this was going on, the resident of the attic was still making its presence known by thumping and scratching around. Noah thought that the risk of rabies was not worth investigating the building further so the group decided to move outdoors to discuss the situation further.
Once everyone was outside, the group milled around the lawn speculating whether they should go back in, and what exactly was making that noise. Noah had a voice recorder in the building, and Gravy had a video camera on a tripod that could easily be knocked over, so the group did have to go back into the building to retrieve the gear.
The unknown animal on the 2nd Floor could still be heard when the group reentered the building. The group quickly gathered the equipment from the building and exited. What was causing the noise in the attic is still a mystery to us, but we are fairly certain that it is what is responsible for knocking the printing press tiles from the newspaper display on the floor.
END TIME: 11:35 pm
The group took a break in the Blacksmith area and afterward decided to once again investigate the Basement.
Basement – 11:42pm
Noah was once again seated in the doorway that separates the two rooms in the basement. Gravy was positioned in the back of the basement near the tunnel, and Jann was seated near the stairs.
At 11:45 pm we heard a metallic sounding noise from upstairs. Noah went up and sat on a metal chair to see if that was the cause. At 11:52 pm the group heard the same noise, and the noise was debunked as being cause by the chair bouncing back after the weight of someone sitting in it was removed.
At 11:55 pm Gravy once again felt something touch his hair. This was not captured on any video recorders.
At 12:00 am, everyone heard an alarm from a battery pack on the 2nd Floor and decided to move upstairs.
The group did ask a few questions during this period in hopes of capturing EVPs; however, no responses were recorded or heard. Noise coming from the neighboring bar was still an issue as well.
END TIME: 12:00 am
2nd Floor – 12:07 am
Silence was observed before an EVP session was started at 12:07 am. Jann was seated near the Truesdell Fur display, Noah was near the Centennial sign, and Gravy was near the Lock and Dam display. The group did not hear any responses or capture anything on their recorders during this session. No one reported any personal experiences at this time either. Jann checked the trigger objects and found that everything was as she had left them.
END TIME: 12:24 am
1st Floor – 12:58 am
The group spread out in the area with Jann in the Church room, Noah in the entryway, and Gravy in the Blacksmith area. Attempts were made to communicate with any spirits that may have been present, but no responses were noticed at the time or captured on any recording devices. We tried drawing attention to the teddy bear and candy that were placed as trigger objects as well as the organ in the church display with no response.
Jann moved from the church display to the area near the “Centennial” sign at 1:25 am. At this point Gravy tried asking some more questions, but once again there was no response that we could hear and nothing captured on our recorders.
END TIME: 1:24 am
At this point, the group decided to go back upstairs to experiment with some trigger objects in the area near the Train Station Display.
2nd Floor – 1:26 am
A geophone and a Tri-Field Natural EMF Meter were placed in the cashier’s window near the money that had been placed there as a trigger object. A geophone is a device that lights up when it senses vibration; a Tri-Field Natural Meter measures the naturally occurring field given off by the earth and is very sensitive to small changes in EMF.
Jann was seated under the “Centennial” sign, and Noah was seated with the FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera aimed at the cashier’s window. Gravy was in the area near the Train Bulletin.
The group did an EVP session. Questions and statements were designed to draw attention to the devices in the cashier’s window. Noise contamination from the building next door was an issue during this session.
END TIME: 1:38 am
No evidence was captured during the investigation.
PIM had a great time investigating this location and we feel honored that we were able to investigate this site. Buildings that house historical artifacts are excellent places to investigate as nearly everything is a potential trigger object. We would love to investigate here again and to work with the Historical Society to learn more about Berlin’s history so we can tailor our investigations to suit the location.
We, unfortunately, were unable to capture any evidence on our recording devices; however, Gravy and Noah both had unexplainable sensations of being touched. Neither of them felt threatened by this, but felt that if it was in fact paranormal, it was possibly a spirit who was being curious or playful.
PIM would like to thank the Berlin Historical Society for allowing us to investigate this fascinating location. PIM would also like to urge others to check out this wonderful museum that shows the progression of a great Wisconsin town.